A Response from SETI

From: Andrew Johnson

Date: 2006-08-03 12:37:12

Below the C2C summary, there is an e-mail I sent to Seth Shostak regarding an article he wrote:   www.space.com/search…   beneath that is his response. I don’t think he satisfactorily addresses the statements of Gordon Cooper and Edgard Mitchell, do you?   Audio:   www.checktheevidence… SETI’s Response First hour guest Seth Shostak, senior astronomer at SETI, vigorously refuted Steven Greer’s claims that SETI has been receiving multiple ET signals. If SETI had run across anomalous signals they would alert other astronomers for verification, he said, adding that if such a find was made, it would be a major discovery, not a security issue to be covered up. Further, he noted that Greer presented no facts, names, dates, frequencies or technical data.   Dear Madam/Sir, I skimmed to the end of Seth Shostak’s recent article entitled “Public Split on Alien Invaders and Spooky Specters”. It is a shame that a scientist should choose such an unscientific title for this article, but there it is I suppose. I fundamentally disagree with the conclusions of this article: “These sorts of polls, which invariably show the shortcomings of Homo sapiens’ ability to make deductions based on repeatable, objective evidence, are nothing new. Indeed, they may be difficult to eradicate, since, as children, we fabricate intuitive theories to deal with the unobservable. This explains much of the world for us, but also, as an English astronomer pointed out to me, leads us to assume that it is inhabited by magical forces – a point of view that the polls continue to reveal as highly ingrained.” This conclusion is unscientific because it does not properly consider “repeatable, objective evidence”. One needs only to listen to the documented testimony of people such as Gordon Cooper and Dr Edgar Mitchell – themselves form NASA astronauts – to begin to realise that the SETI program is simply not broad enough in its scope. *Apollo 14 Astronaut, Dr Edgar Mitchell, As Reported in Florida St Petersburg Times, Feb 18, 2004 * /The aliens have landed. Thus declared Apollo 14 astronaut Edgar Mitchell on Saturday to a crowd of more than 200 admirers. “A few insiders know the truth . . . and are studying the bodies that have been discovered,” said Mitchell, who was the sixth man to walk on the moon. Mitchell, who landed on the moon with Alan B. Shepard, said a “cabal” of insiders stopped briefing presidents about extraterrestrials after President Kennedy. “Presidents Carter and Clinton tried to get it opened up,” he said, adding that only insistence by the public will produce the truth. For those who might consider his statements farfetched, Mitchell, who has a doctorate in science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, noted that 30 years ago it was accepted that man was alone in the universe. Few people believe that now, he said./ Original story: pqasb.pqarchiver.com… *Mercury Astronaut Gordon Cooper, As Reported on CNN Web site, Oct 5, 2004 * /In his post-NASA career, Cooper became known as an outspoken believer in UFOs and charged that the government was covering up its knowledge of extraterrestrial activity. “I believe that these extraterrestrial vehicles and their crews are visiting this planet from other planets, which obviously are a little more technically advanced than we are here on Earth,” he told a United Nations panel in 1985. “I feel that we need to have a top-level, coordinated program to scientifically collect and analyze data from all over the Earth concerning any type of encounter, and to determine how best to interface with these visitors in a friendly fashion.” He added, “For many years I have lived with a secret, in a secrecy imposed on all specialists and astronauts. I can now reveal that every day, in the USA, our radar instruments capture objects of form and composition unknown to us.”/ Original Story: www.cnn.com/2004/TEC… Gordon cooper also described how his team filmed a saucer landing near Edwards Airforce base. video.google.com/vid… Is he an unreliable witness too? And with the speech of Paul Hellyer, Former Canadian Defence Minister, at a Toronto Conference on Exopolitics video.google.com/vid… people like Seth Shostak are going to have a harder and harder time when they deny evidence which has not been Fourier transformed through a radio telescope. You may choose to argue that Paul Hellyer isn’t a scientist – that’s fine – would you then assume that /only/ scientists can decide what is and what is not valid evidence?  If you want repeated video evidence, then watch a compilation I made – from over 200 “unscientific” clips. Seth Shostak and people like him can deny the validity of this evidence if they wish. I personally feel very uncomfortable calling all the people in this video idiots or bad observers, nutcases, pranksters and hoaxers. As ever, you decide for yourself – I have. video.google.com/vid… (This is 200 megabytes and plays for 95 minutes.) I made it out of frustration with the bulk of scientific communities denial of evidence.) Regards and Best Wishes, Andrew Johnson UK  Dear Mr. Johnson:Thanks for your e-mail.  As for SPACE.com‘s choice of title for my recent article… That’s something they do: my original title was something altogether different, but they always change them.As for your suggestion that (1) we should believe testimony when it’s given by astronauts, and (2) SETI should broaden its scope, I won’t address the former, as it suggests that, just because someone is trained to fly the Space Shuttle, their word is a substitute for objective scientific evidence.  That’s silly, and it’s not science.  As for (2), it is not SETI’s mission to investigate claims of sightings of alien craft around Earth.  We do a different experiment, one that could be quickly checked by any number of observers and observatories.  If I suggested that MUFON, for instance, should broaden its activities and do detailed radio searches of F through K star systems, would you think that a major desideratum?  I suspect not.  I’m certainly open to being convinced we’re being visited.  But I would ask you what the BEST piece of evidence is… the one that would make it into a museum on Exhibition Road.  Not the thousands and thousands of “testimonies” — after all, many people have seen ghosts, too.  I want ONE VERY GOOD piece of evidence.  That would, at least, be something to start with…Sincerely,Seth Shostak    

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