Ground Zero, Recent Shows
2/10/20: SIGNS OF LIFE W/ ELANA FREELAND AND DR. MICHAEL DENNIN

MONOLOGUE WRITTEN BY CLYDE LEWIS

In science fiction movies, we have all been entertained by scenes depicting chaos, panic, and hysteria following the detection of alien life. Buildings crumble, fires rage, riots break out, societies collapse.

Even the late Stephen Hawking said if there’s life beyond on Earth, why risk looking for it?

If we ever discovered life or if life came here it would be like Columbus finding the Indians and we all know what happened to the Indians.

NASA is saying that we are on the verge of finding microbial life on Mars. That will be an amazing breakthrough but there are light-years of difference between acknowledging the presence of otherwise harmless microbes on the next planet over and being confronted with an advanced, technological alien race. Extrapolating from one scenario to the other isn’t necessarily going to be accurate.

Reactions to living aliens, whether microbial or not, are likely to be quite different than reactions to fossils found in meteorites or even diseases that flourish on asteroids.

There is also the possibility of the detection of intelligent life through analysis of technosignatures; basically, signals of possible technology that is being used by extraterrestrial civilizations.

We know that announcing that alien life is out there will affect people in many ways.

It is proposed that finding life beyond Earth would affect religious beliefs. However, people who are confident in their own religious beliefs could make room for the existence of extraterrestrials.  Science would also have to make way for this thorny subject matter.

We do know that the military and government officials are already preparing for an announcement that could change our defenses in space.

As many of you may or may not know, four days ago I had to shorten my show because I was exhausted. I was pushing two days in a row with very little sleep.  I was really disheartened that I could not finish the show because I felt that the topic was very important in order to understand how 2020 is going to present us with what I will call the “celestial payoff” when it comes to more information regarding our government’s dealing with UFOs and extraterrestrial intelligence.

The disclosure of the Pentagon’s UFO program in 2017, which officially existed between 2008 and 2012, has stirred interest on Capitol Hill. Members of the House and Senate Armed Services Committees who have requested details on the program; the latter has quietly interviewed a number of the military pilots who claim to have witnessed UFOs while on training missions.

This means that the military and intelligence professionals are being briefed on UFO incidents that they believed should be treated as a national security matter.

Something in the narrative has changed – it is a narrative that we are not hearing, but a narrative that has definitely changed since the times of Truman and Eisenhower.

The question I have is what are officials hearing now that they did not know back in the 1940s when the saucer hysteria was common after World War II?

There are striking similarities between a central UFO narrative from the Cold War era and the one getting mainstream media attention in 2020. Many people who have been studying the UFO phenomenon for decades are certainly feeling a sense of déjà vu.

The only difference is that while UFOs have been buzzing our skies since the Truman era they have remained elusive and difficult to positively authenticate.

Now the military has now had a close encounter that has been documented and for the first time in a very long time, these Unidentified Arial Phenomena are now engaging the military and are also disarming our nuclear weapons.

The military has since shut down any public inquiry about recent UFO engagements but again the impromptu meetings with military brass and members of the House and Senate Armed Services Committees raise several red flags with regard to protecting the earth from invaders and possible weapons that can be launched from adversarial countries.

They are also doing something else that also raises a bit suspicious about what is truly out there.

The U.S. Space Force will turn on a new and improved radar system as early as this month that’s designed to track small objects in space. The “Space Fence” is built on a remote island in the South Pacific and will allow the military to keep an eye on thousands of objects orbiting the Earth, up to 22,000 miles from the surface of the planet.

The Space Fence, located on the Kwajalein Atoll in the Pacific, will also help the military monitor space junk, keep track of enemy satellites, and help prevent satellites from colliding with one another. NASA estimates that up to a half-million such objects with a diameter between 0.4 and four inches are circling the Earth, at a speed of 22,000 miles an hour. Any man-made spacecraft entering orbit with these objects, particularly manned spacecraft or space stations, risks a catastrophic accident.

A previous version of the Space Fence shut down in 2013 due to budget cuts, could only track items in low-Earth orbit. The new Space Fence is designed to detect objects as small as four inches from low-Earth orbit roughly 99 to 1,200 miles but also medium-Earth orbit 1,200 to 22,000 miles and geosynchronous orbit 22,000 miles and beyond.

The new fence will also track more objects. The old fence could track up to 2,000 objects in orbit, while the new Space Fence, as Popular Mechanics wrote in 2018, is “expected to detect five to ten times more.” This will allow the Space Force to anticipate collisions between satellites or between satellites and space junk, allowing satellite operators to adjust to a safer orbit if possible.

It can also track the satellites of countries such as Russia and China, predicting when their satellites will be over the United States and U.S. forces abroad.

The heart of the Space Fence is a new Gallium Nitride powered S-band radar system. Gallium Nitride “can operate at higher voltages, greater radio frequency power density, and in smaller sizes than their Gallium arsenide predecessors.” This allows both the greater sensitivity and boost in range for Space Fence 2.0.

The new Space Fence will cost $914 million, and the Pentagon plans to build a second site in Western Australia in 2021.

Sure the Space Fence has so many uses but are we rushing to activate it because we have somehow detected that there may be some alien civilization with a vendetta against the earth?

Not really out of the question anymore…really.

Life has been around on Earth for about 3.5 billion years – an incredible amount of time on the human scale.  For the first 2.9 billion years of that time, all life was confined to single-celled organisms, the bacteria and amoebas that still cover the planet.

Imagine that for a moment: from the first cell taking shape in Earth’s oceans to 2020 for more than 80% of that time life had not become complex enough to become multi-cellular. That leap from being one cell to two is quite a large one, and it’s possible that there are countless planets out there with life that never made that leap.  From looking only the example of our own world, we could suppose that if we do encounter life at all in the cosmos, there is a very good chance that these life forms will be smaller, or perhaps with exoskeletons—they could be Advanced Artificial intelligence or extremophile creatures that are far from anthropomorphic or looking human or humanlike.

In 1961, famed astronomer Frank Drake created a formula for estimating the number of extraterrestrial intelligence that could exist within our galaxy. Known as the “Drake Equation“, this formula demonstrated that even by the most conservative estimates, our galaxy was likely to host at least a few advanced civilizations at any given time.

Many have argued that this famous equation was certainly the first time a scientist pioneered what is now called disclosure of extraterrestrial civilizations.

In the past three decades, scientists have found more than 4,000 exoplanets. And the discoveries will keep rolling in; observations suggest that every star in the Milky Way galaxy hosts more than one planet on average.

Given a convergence of ground- and space-based capability, artificial intelligence/machine learning research and other tools, scientists have now changed their attitudes – or they have softened their attitudes about advanced extraterrestrial intelligence.  Now with their new capabilities, they have been confident about identifying and confirming the existence or extraterrestrial intelligence.

2020 is now becoming the year of the celestial pay off in which objects of interest are found to offer “technosignatures,” indicators of technology developed by advanced civilizations.

The search for intelligent beings elsewhere is largely conducted by checking out nearby star systems for either narrow-band radio signals or brief flashes of laser light.

Going back to Drake’s equation we can estimate that there might be 10,000 broadcasting societies in the Milky Way, so at least there would be one million 10 million stellar systems that would perhaps broadcast a signal — and there would have to be repetition in order for it to even register on the radar.

Since 2007, researchers have cataloged over 100 fast radio bursts, or FRBs, coming from every direction in the sky. But it’s unknown what causes these radio bursts. Only 10 have been seen to repeat (SN: 8/14/19), and none of those had exhibited any sort of steady tempo.

All that has changed as a recent signal has now given scientists a reason to form a hypothesis that does not rule out “first contact” with an intelligent extraterrestrial civilization.

A mysterious radio source located in a galaxy 500 million light-years from Earth is pulsing on a 16-day cycle, like clockwork, according to a new study. This marks the first time that scientists have ever detected periodicity in these signals, which are known as fast radio bursts, and is a major step toward unmasking their sources.

The Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment Fast Radio Burst Project (CHIME/FRB), a group dedicated to observing and studying Fast Radio Bursts discovered that a repeater called FRB 180916.J0158+65 had a regular cadence.

The CHIME/FRB team kept tabs on the repeating burst between September 2018 and October 2019 using the CHIME radio telescope in British Columbia. During that period, the bursts were clustered into a period of four days and then seemed to switch off for the next 12 days, for a total cycle of about 16 days. Some cycles did not produce any visible bursts, but those that did were all synced up to the same 16-day intervals.

The discovery is important, because out of the 150+ fast radio bursts recorded by Earth-based observatories over the last decade and a half, only ten of them have repeated, and none as steadily as the source discussed in the study. Furthermore, only a handful of them have been tracked back to the galaxy they came from.

Most scientists do not want to jump the gin with some alien explanation but it cannot be ruled out in this case.

The discovery of a 16.35-day periodicity in a repeating Fast Radio Burst source is an important clue to the nature of this object,” scientists suggested, providing several possible explanations for what may be causing the phenomenon.

One possibility is that it is an object orbiting a sun that sends signals out only at a certain interval in its orbit. Alternatively, it could be a signal sent by a binary star system made up of a massive star and super-dense highly magnetized neutron star. Or it could be a stand-alone object caused by rotation or wobbling, such as a highly magnetic neutron star.

And although the scientists don’t mention it, there’s no ruling out that this could be an alien life-form attempting to make contact with other lifeforms in the galaxy. Human scientists have been fascinated with the concept of using radio waves to try to make contact with extraterrestrial intelligence since the 1890s, and countries have built a number of radio telescopes over the past century to listen out for incoming extraterrestrial radio waves.

The study’s authors now plan to continue watching out for the signal-emitting object, looking out for clues regarding its origins. Scans of SDSS J015800.28+264253.0 by X-ray and gamma-ray radiation telescopes may provide further clues as to its identity.

There is always hope – and 2020’s celestial pay off begins with a signal that could mean signs of life.

In 2017 we were first given “confirmation” as the New York Times published a report about the Pentagon determining the threat of UFOs to the military.  This was also happening simultaneously with the sighting of an interstellar object called Oumuamua.

There were many scientists including Stephen Hawking that encouraged more study into the object as it was of a peculiar shape and size.  Some scientists wrote it off as a comet.

Oumuamua lacked signs of a distinctly cometary phenomenon. When comets get close to a star, the heat boils some of their ice. The reaction causes dust to fly off the comet and trail behind it, producing a glowing, whitetail called a coma. Oumuamua didn’t have a coma.

Then came some more strangeness, the Hubble Space Telescope, continued to track Oumuamua after it faded from view from even the most powerful ground-based telescopes. The sun’s power gravity bent Oumuamua’s trajectory, acting like a slingshot. But “the path was not behaving as it would if it were just merely controlled by the sun’s gravity. It was as if it powered up an accelerated.

Astronomers used computer modeling to explore possible explanations for the mysterious acceleration, including potential effects of solar radiation, drag-like forces, and interaction with solar wind, the charged particles emitted by the sun. None of them fit.

Avi Loeb, the chair of Harvard’s Astronomy Department, co-wrote a paper that examined ‘Oumuamua’s “peculiar acceleration” and suggested that the object “may be a fully operational probe sent intentionally to Earth’s vicinity by an alien civilization.” 

It was at this time that SETI –Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence and METI –Messaging Extraterrestrial Intelligence issued a renewed and advanced protocol for finding what are called intelligent extraterrestrial signals.

It was later announced that President Trump requested that a new branch of the military be formed called “The Space Force.”

There has been a lot of criticism and a lot of speculation over why the Space Force was created and why now?

Whatever the case, this new transparency feels like part of a trend. The 1970s saw a lot of regulations opening up the workings of government to public eyes, and these sprang from a feeling that trust had been abused in the prior decades when Cold War anxiety was higher.

With less war, or at least with less immediate war, we have the luxury of looking more closely at space and what might be out there, what might be observing us and does it want to communicate or does it want to attack.

There is also the troubling idea of space superiority, with killer satellites, kinetic kill weapons, nuclear missiles and all kinds of mechanized death machines floating above us.

However, I am sure the alien invasion question is certainly in the minds of military planners.

We know that evolution is predictable, and alien biospheres should thus produce intelligent creatures much like us, with the technological prowess and an ever-increasing need for resources.

But we should be honest finding extraterrestrials has proven not to be a single, drama-packed event. It occurs little by little as most science does, with a lot of back-and-forth discussions and appraisals of the evidence.