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Book Review:
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SELENITES, by Alexey V. Arkhipov
Moscow: Novation, 1998, in Russian
(ISBN 5-89553-002-8, 192 p., 21 ill., 294 ref., hard cover)
This book is a popular introduction to the problems of the search for traces of extraterrestrial intelligence (ETI) on the Moon, "Selenites" is a name given to lunar inhabitants in sci-fi literature. This author does not confirm that our satellite is inhabited, only presenting arguments which motivate the archaeological reconnaissance of the Moon.

The first chapter ("Is News About the Moon Well Forgotten Old One?") directs the reader's attention to the strangely correct ancient notions concerning our satellite. For example, lunar mountains are described quite realistically as "SMOOTH heights" in the dialogue of Plutarch (46-120 AD). However, the thick regolith cover smoothing the lunar relief was unknown before our missions to the Moon. According to ancient sources, Plutarch correctly wrote about "the country of death on the Moon" where there was "nothing spoilt and rotten". He also noted "light" life on the Moon and the mass of the satellite ("Moon is 1/72 part of the Earth"). Other ancient knowledge concerning the Moon (e.g. the extreme cold there) correctly reflects the physical reality which only became known in our own time.

The second chapter ("Guests from the Moon") is a search for the possible source of this unusual information. Ancient texts and folklore describe "Beings from the Moon" and detailed reviews of such personages is presented. Their contacts with terrestrials about 4-5 millenium ago could explain anomalous lunar knowledge.

The third chapter ("Hunt for Selenites") is a review of searches for selenites up to our time. This search was begun by the great astronomer J. Kepler in 1610. Amongst his followers were known astronomers: D. Fabricius, J.H. Schroeter, F.P. von Gruithuisen, K.F. Gauss et al. The subject of searching for ETI on the Moon is now popular in the sensational press (e.g.: the books of G.H. Leonard and F. Steckling and the works of Richard Hoagland). The critical review of such publications is discussed in this book.

The fourth chapter ("Is the Moon an Outpost of the Universe?") justifies the interest in extraterrestrial scouts to the Earth and the Moon. For the first time, K.E. Tsiolkovsky (the pioneer in space rocket theory and space philosophy) wrote about this in 1925-28. Now, similar ideas are published by many authoritative scientists. The Pentagon and NASA has considered the Moon a strategic base near our unique planet and travelers from other stars could also use the Moon.

If the Moon is a base for ETI, the alien artificial satellites could orbit the Earth. NASA experts concluded that small, natural satellite-boulders (>10m) are almost improbable. However, dozens of unidentified satellite-like objects were observed before the first satellite launch in 1957. The fifth chapter ("Secret of Other Moons") is a detailed review of such reports since Anaxagoras (c. 500-428 BC) up to our present time.

If alien satellites and trash orbit our planet, they could fall to Earth as well as our space vehicles and debris. The sixth chapter ("Extraterrestrial Souvenirs") describes the fallings from fireballs, apparently artificial subjects (artifacts) long before 1957. Similar events have been reported from antiquity to our present time. Moreover, melted, metallic artifact-like finds have been extracted from pre-human geological layers.

The seventh chapter ("Is the <Razor of Occam> Dangerous?") discusses a methodology of the search for ETI. It is shown that the "presumption of naturality" of planetology is quite ineffective in a search for artificial phenomena. The free competition among "natural" and "artificial" explanations of candidates in ETI manifestations is the most adequate strategy. The following chapters are the creations of "artificial" hypotheses- alternatives for the start of such a competitive process.

The eighth chapter ("Manifestation of Intelligence?") gives analysis of data from NASA's "Lunar Transient Phenomena Catalog" (1978) concerning unexplained night lights, reflections of sunlight from some mirrors, "searchlights", and moving objects on the Moon. Many such reports from former USSR observers are now published for the first time. It is difficult to explain these phenomena in terms of natural processes; they seem to be artificial so it is possible that such transient lunar phenomena can be considered as probable ETI manifestations.

If somebody is on the Moon he must respond to the invasion from Earth which began in 1959. A provocation is the popular military method for a revealing of disposition and the facilities of an enemy. For the first time, searching for reactions from the Moon regarding terrestrial probes is considered in the ninth chapter ("Invasion of Terrestrials"). It is shown that transient dust clouds and red spots on the Moon obviously correlate with our activity in certain regions of the satellite. This effect is real. It is hardly possible to explain the "invasion effect" in terms of selection.

The tenth chapter ("Guidebook for Archaeologists") is a compilation of objects and regions on the Moon which are promising for archaeological reconnaissance. Much information regarding anomalous phenomena and details concerning the Moon is collected and systematized here.

Finally, the eleventh chapter ("Conclusion and Prospects") concludes that an archaeological reconnaissance of the Moon is justified. The opportunities for it will occur in the future with the construction of a lunar base. However, it is reasonable to prepare for the exploration in situ at this time. As the USA, Europe and Japan already have plans for new missions to the Moon, the search for ETI there will be done indirectly, at the least. The main task of this book is to direct the public's attention toward this inevitable problem.

This book is illustrated, including detailed references.

Prof. Oleg A. Deineko
8, Bolshoy Znamenskij per., Apt. 33,
Moscow 121019 RUSSIA

Yuriy N. Morozov, PhD

Alexey V. Arkhipov, PhD
Institute of Radio Astronomy,
Nat. Acad. Sc. of Ukraine,
4, Krasnoznamennaya str.,
Kharkov 310002 UKRAINE

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