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How To Tell The World You’ve Discovered An Alien Civilisation



After countless fictional scenarios of humans making contact with alien civilisations, you’d think we’d be prepared for actually discovering one. But finding intelligent life beyond the Earth is clearly likely to be one of the most shattering moments in the history of our species.

So if you’ve just discovered an alien civilisation, how should you go about breaking the news? This is a momentous task, and I have been involved in developing some guidelines for the scientists who are involved in searching for extraterrestrial life. The research is due to be published in the journal Acta Astronautica.
With the millions of dollars currently being invested in initiatives such the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI), some would argue it is only a matter of time before we do come across intelligent life.
I’m personally not convinced, but pessimism isn’t enough to abandon a search. The scientific method requires us to test our hypotheses with observation and experiment – regardless of our initial prejudices.
If we ever do find signs of intelligent life, I don’t expect it to be a message from an alien civilisation or a landing party.
It will probably be something a little more prosaic, such as signs of artificial pollution in the atmosphere of an exoplanet. It may even take the form of enormous structures built in space to collect energy and provide habitats.
I showed in some work a few years ago that we would be able to see such megastructures in exoplanet transit data, such as that gathered by the Kepler Space Telescope.
True enough, Kepler did see weird objects such as Tabby’s Star, KIC 8426582, with features similar to those predicted would come from artificial structures. But like most astronomers, I’m still a sceptic – a swarm of comets around Tabby’s Star producing incredible changes in brightness is still the more sensible interpretation.
What’s really encouraging about this, though, is that it shows SETI can be done “on the cheap”, taking advantage of publicly available astronomical data to search for aliens. For a pessimist like me, this seems like a much more appropriate strategy.
The flurry of internet activity surrounding Tabby’s star – blogs, tweets, news stories and the Kickstarter campaign to encourage the public to support further observations – demonstrate how different the world has become since SETI began around 60 years ago.

Super-connected world

If evidence of extraterrestrial life ever came to us from the stars, what should the discoverers do next? This is something astrobiologists have pondered for decades.
In 1989, a committee of SETI scientists even drew up a set of post-detection protocols to guide scientists through the steps after discovery.
These steps include getting your colleagues to verify the discovery, and notifying “relevant national authorities” (precisely who this means is unclear to me), followed by the scientific community and then the public via a press release.
However, this set of guidelines was written before the age of the internet. Back then, we got our news via the paper or the TV screen. Even 24-hour news was in its infancy.
Nowadays, the news world is a fragmented sphere of articles placed on our devices and in our feeds via a variety of social media tools, shared by our friends and family. Data flows extremely rapidly, and easily gets amplified and distorted.
That is why my colleague Alexander Scholz and I decided to take another look at the issue, asking how the SETI post-detection protocols should change to reflect our super-connected world.
We quickly realised that scientists need guidance before starting the experiment, let alone after making a detection. It is now common practice for new scientific projects to set up a blog about their work, and this will be essential for SETI.
The blog should include a clear description of what a certain project will do, and what the criteria are for a successful detection, a false positive and no detection. This would help journalists and the public alike to avoid misinterpreting the results.
The individuals involved need to be credible communicators of their work, so maintaining good digital presence in the early stages is very helpful. We also recommend they update their security settings to protect against nefarious individuals broadcasting their personal information – which is sadly a real risk these days.
If a team is lucky enough to make even an unconfirmed, tentative detection, they must be sure to have nothing to hide. Leaks are unavoidable, and alarmingly rapid. Nobody wants an “aliens found” story that turns out to be false. The best way to do this is to publish data immediately.
If it’s very clear that the detection is unconfirmed, and natural or man-made causes can’t be ruled out, then there is no room for conspiracy theorists to wail about the scientists’ collusion with the men in black (an accusation flung at me more than once). It also gives other scientists the chance to check the work, and verify the detection.
Of course, we’ve all seen some of the comments on YouTube or other media sites – there are numpties everywhere, and there is seemingly no stopping good scientific discussion being twisted into inexplicable diatribes and vile hate speech. Therefore, the most important piece of advice for scientists is to be involved in the conversation.
If a publicised detection turns out to be false, the team should immediately make a public statement making it clear that no aliens have been discovered and why. They should even publish a paper retracting it if they have to.
But whoever discovers intelligent life should also prepare for it to swallow up the rest of their life – there isn’t going to be time for much else. Their new job will instead be to help humanity come to terms with its new identity, as just one of multiple intelligent civilisations in the universe.
Duncan Forgan, Research Fellow, University of St Andrews

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.
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Former US Air Force fighter pilot: UFOs use Star Trek-style warp drive




A former US Air Force fighter pilot asserts that he has deciphered
the method behind the extraordinary maneuvers of UFOs, reports

the past two decades, numerous military encounters with these enigmatic
crafts have been reported, prompting a significant investigation by the

One of the most renowned sightings occurred during the
USS Nimitz encounter, where fighter pilots witnessed a UFO descending
from 28,000 feet to just above sea level in less than a second.

astonishing movement would imply that the craft reached a staggering
speed of 19,000 miles per hour, a velocity that would be fatal to any
human pilot.

to Chris Lehto, a former USAF pilot, the craft exhibits two key
characteristics: it moves without inertia, essentially lacking weight,
and it accelerates at an incredibly rapid pace without affecting its

Image: NATO Allied Air Command/Facebook

believes that the explanation lies within a technology that seems
straight out of science fiction. He proposes that the answer to the UFO
enigma lies in the Alcubierre Drive, a theoretical interstellar engine
conceptualized by Mexican physicist Miguel Alcubierre in 1994.

Alcubierre Drive employs a form of “space warp” technology, reminiscent
of what has been depicted in episodes of Star Trek. By bending space, a
craft inside a “warp bubble” could potentially travel at or even
surpass the speed of light without violating the known laws of physics.

the Alcubierre Drive remains a hypothetical concept with challenges to
overcome, Chris notes that the required energy is no longer believed to
be unattainably large.

filed with the US patent office outline the potential workings of the
drive, as well as another groundbreaking technology theorized by
American aerospace engineer Salvatore Pais.

Pais suggests that
high-powered rotating magnets could theoretically eliminate an object’s
inertia, and he has filed a patent for a starship based on this

However, Chris maintains skepticism regarding Pais’
theory. He explains that while Pais’s patent applications for the US
Navy attracted attention for their potential energy-related
applications, doubts have been raised about their feasibility. There is
speculation that they may be scams, pseudoscience, or disinformation
intended to mislead adversaries of the United States.

rival theories propose that the “Tic Tac” UFO is a classified Pentagon
project testing similar advanced technologies discussed by Chris.

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A Mysterious Earth-Like Planet Has Just Appeared in Our Solar System, Scientists Say




Scientists say they have found evidence of a new Earth-like
planet that has suddenly appeared in our Solar System and is orbiting
the Sun.

Physicists, including those from the National Astronomical Observatory
of Japan, said the planet is likely to be the mysterious ‘Planet Nine’
that was hypothesised to exist in the far outer edges of the Solar

Several studies in the past have suggested there is likely an
undiscovered planet beyond the Kuiper Belt – a stellar disk of materials
such as asteroids, space rocks, comets around the Sun in the outer
Solar System past the orbit of Neptune. reports: In the new research, published recently in The Astronomical Journal, scientists
found that some of the objects in the Kuiper Belt behave in a way
indicative of the presence of a small planet among them.

One such object, they said, is about 500 astronomical units (AU) from
the Sun, where 1 AU is the distance between the Sun and the Earth.

In comparison Neptune is at a distance of 30 AUs from the Sun.

Some of these were also found to have “odd” orbits suggesting they
are being pull by the gravity of a cosmic entity larger than those that
typically influence such objects.

Computer simulations run by the scientists indicate that the most
likely explanation for the observations was another hidden planet in the
Kuiper Belt.

“We predict the existence of an Earth-like planet,” researchers wrote in the study.

“It is plausible that a primordial planetary body could survive in
the distant Kuiper Belt as a Kuiper Belt planet (KBP), as many such
bodies existed in the early solar system,” they added.

If such a planet exists, researchers say it would have a mass about
1.5 to 3 times that of Earth with an inclination of about 30 degrees.

They say the theorised planet’s orbit would likely place it between 250 and 500 AU from the Sun.

Researchers say the discovery of such a planet close to the Kuiper
Belt can unravel new constraints on planet formation and evolution.

“In conclusion, the results of the KBP scenario support the existence
of a yet-undiscovered planet in the far outer solar system,” scientists

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