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Thursday, February 14, 2013

14:02:2013 -- The True Story of a 1967 “Contact” Incident


Dear Friends,


Be Well.

David



The story of the SETI discussions during the discovery of pulsars has never been fully told—until now


 

One of the most significant events for human kind will be the detection of intelligent life elsewhere in the universe. This kind of ‘contact’ is bound to have a profound impact on human culture, society and technology.

The question of how to handle such an event has been widely discussed. Indeed, the international community agreed on a ‘Detection Protocol’ in 1990 that sets out the steps that a research group should take in the event of a contact.

Today, Alan Penny at the University of St Andrews in Scotland tells the story of a real life incident in which the possibility of contact with an intelligent civilisation was seriously considered. Penny draws together various first hand recollections of the event to show how researchers handled the possibility.

The event in question is the 1967 discovery of pulsars, which we now know are rotating neutron stars that produce regular radio pulses. The team that made the discovery was led by Anthony Hewish, who later won a Nobel prize for the work, and famously included Jocelyn Bell Burnell, who did not win the prize.

At the time, the dawn of radio astronomy, the discovery of a source of regular pulses in space was a huge surprise. “We had to face the possibility that the signals were, indeed, generated on a planet circling some distant star, and that they were artificial,” said Hewish later.

The timeline behind the discovery stretches over 6 months or so. In August 1967, Bell noticed regular signals at the same sidereal time each day. Almost immediately, the team considered the possibility that the signals were generated by Little Green Men or LGM as they called it.

In December, the team confirmed the discovery using another telescope and Bell pinpointed the exact position of the source in the sky.

Soon afterwards, she found a second source of signals and by mid-January, a third and fourth source. By this time, the team discounted the possibility that an artificial source could be responsible and eventually settled on neutron stars as the explanation.

In February, the paper announcing the discovery was accepted and published in Nature following a public announcement on 24 February 1968.

Penny says that what’s interesting about this process is that during the discovery process, the team discussed the implications should the signal turn out to be an artificial source, how to verify such a conclusion and how to announce it. They also discussed whether such a discovery might be dangerous.

This process closely follows the Detection Protocol agreed by the international community in 1990.

There’s an interesting corollary to this. The team also discussed the possibility that if it were an artificial source, somebody would want to reply.

Penny points out that the international community has yet to agree on a Reply Protocol because there are widely differing views on whether such a course of action would be beneficial or dangerous for humanity.

This is a situation that needs to be rectified. “The 1967 episode indicates how difficult it would be to construct a policy in the fervid atmosphere of a ‘Contact’,” says Penny.

With SETI searches now focusing on habitable exoplants around other stars, it seems prudent to come to some agreement sooner rather than later.

Ref: arxiv.org/abs/1302.0641: The SETI Episode in the 1967 Discovery of Pulsars

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How to Digitally Record/Video a UFO sighting:


Como registar digitalmente ou gravar um vídeo de um avistamento de um UFO:




Stabilize the camera on a tripod. If there is no tripod, then set it on top of a stable, flat surface. If that is not possible lean against a wall to stabilize your body and prevent the camera from filming in a shaky, unsteady manner.

Estabilize a camera com um tripé. Se não tiver um tripé, então coloque-a em cima de uma superfície estável. Se não for possível, então encoste-se a uma parede para estabilizar o corpo e evitar que a camera registe de maneira tremida e instável.

Provide visual reference points for comparison. This includes the horizon, treetops, lampposts, houses, and geographical landmarks (i.e., Horsetooth Reservoir, Mt. Adams, etc.) Provide this in the video whenever is appropriate and doesn’t detract from what your focus is, the UFO.

Forneça pontos visuais de referência para comparação. Isso inclui o horizonte, cimo das árvores, postes de iluminação, pontos de referência geográficos (como o Reservatório de Horsetooth, Mone Adams, etc) Forneça esses pontos no vídeo sempre que for apropriado e não se distraia do que é o seu foco, o UFO/a Nave.

Narrate your videotape. Provide details of the date, time, location, and direction (N,S,E,W) you are looking in. Provide your observations on the weather, including approximate temperature, windspeed, any visible cloud cover or noticeable weather anomalies or events. Narrate on the shape, size, color, movements, approximate altitude of the UFO, etc and what it appears to be doing. Also include any unusual physical, psychological or emotional sensations you might have. Narrate any visual reference points on camera so they correlate with what the viewer will see, and thereby will be better able to understand.

Faça a narração do vídeo. Forneça pormenores sobre a data, hora, local e direcção (Norte, Sul, Este, Oeste) que está a observar. Faça observações sobre as condições atmosféricas, incluindo a temperatura aproximada, velocidade do vento, quantidade de nuvens, anomalias ou acontecimentos meteorológicos evidentes. Descreva a forma, o tamanho, a cor, os movimentos, a altitude aproximada onde se encontra o UFO/nave, etc e o que aparenta estar a fazer. Inclua também quaisquer aspectos pouco habituais de sensações físicas, psicológicas ou emocionais que possa ter. Faça a narração de todos os pontos de referência visual que o espectador irá ver e que, deste modo, será capaz de compreender melhor.

Be persistent and consistent. Return to the scene to videotape and record at this same location. If you have been successful once, the UFO sightings may be occurring in this region regularly, perhaps for specific reasons unknown, and you may be successful again. You may also wish to return to the same location at a different time of day (daylight hours) for better orientation and reference. Film just a minute or two under “normal” circumstances for comparison. Write down what you remember immediately after. As soon as you are done recording the experience/event, immediately write down your impressions, memories, thoughts, emotions, etc. so it is on the record in writing. If there were other witnesses, have them independently record their own impressions, thoughts, etc. Include in this exercise any drawings, sketches, or diagrams. Make sure you date and sign your documentation.

Seja persistente e não contraditório. Volte ao local da cena e registe o mesmo local. Se foi bem sucedido uma vez, pode ser que nessa região ocorram avistamentos de UFOs/naves com regularidade, talvez por razões específicas desconhecidas, e talvez possa ser novamente bem sucedido. Pode também desejar voltar ao mesmo lugar a horas diferentes do dia (durante as horas de luz)para ter uma orientação e referência melhor. Filme apenas um ,inuto ou dois em circunstâncias “normais” para ter um termo de comparação. Escreva tudo o que viu imediatamente após o acontecimento. Logo após ter feito o registo da experiência/acontecimento, escreva imediatamente as impressões, memórias, pensamentos, emoções, etc para que fiquem registadas por escrito. Se houver outras testemunhas, peça-lhes para registar independentemente as suas próprias impressões, pensamentos, etc. Inclua quaisquer desenhos, esbolos, diagramas. Certifique-se que data e assina o seu documento/testemunho.

Always be prepared. Have a digital camera or better yet a video camera with you, charged and ready to go, at all times. Make sure you know how to use your camera (and your cell phone video/photo camera) quickly and properly. These events can occur suddenly, unexpectedly, and often quite randomly, so you will need to be prepared.

Esteja sempre preparado, Tenha sempre uma camera digital, melhor ainda, uma camera vídeo consigo, carregada e pronta a usar sempre que necessário. Certifique-se que sabe como lidar com a sua camera (ou com o seu celular/camera fotográfica) rápida e adequadamente. Esses acontecimentos podem acontecer súbita e inesperadamente e, por vezes, acidentalmente, por isso, necessita estar preparado.

Look up. Be prepared. Report. Share.

Olhe para cima, Esteja preparado, Relate, Partilhe.

MUFON.COM

ESOTERIC



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