The media is littered with eye witness accounts of extraterrestrial encounters and while some seem genuine enough a vast number are discredited.
Of the plethora of sightings two distinctly different recorded accounts are worth mentioning here. Both are especially revealing.
On August 15, 1977, an alphanumerical sequence 6EQUJ5 was recorded at the Big Ear radio observatory at the Ohio Sate University. The sequence, emanating from the constellation Sagittarius is regarded as the most persuasive evidence of extraterrestrial communication. A volunteer researcher named Jerry Ehman working at the observatory at the time, circled the sequence with a red pen and wrote ‘Wow’ in the margin. Observatory director John Krauss confirmed the finding and was astonished at the discovery. Lasting approximately 72 seconds the radio signal is known as the ‘Wow Signal’.
In 1987 Jillian Kass-Ross woke from sleep at 2 am to a terrifying blinding orange light. The heat and light were extreme and overwhelming & she was unable to open her eyes. A few moments later she fell asleep.
The next day the Australian model saw three vertical pin pricks on her forehead and by the evening her face had swollen dramatically. Later medical examination revealed no known cause. A week later the swelling subsided leaving three triangular brandings on her forehead. Some days later while on holiday in Egypt she would be greeted by locals praying to her on seeing these unusual skin brandings. A former RAAF officer Colin Norris, then President of S.A. UFO research organisation confirmed that her case was one of a spate of skin brandings at the time. He and his associates had photographed at least a dozen cases with identical skin markings in Victoria and South Australia.
Of the numerous documented encounters, these two vastly different cases share the same peculiarity; the message while undecipherable nevertheless seems persuasively real.
So what do we send them? Macabre eating images and rather cliche ‘Star Trek’ style depictions of people tacked onto spacecraft seemingly as an afterthought.
Yes, this is for real:
Compare Leonardo’s proportions almost 500 years earlier:
The depiction of a human couple was included as part of a plaque attached to the antenna of the 1972 Pioneer 10 & 1973 Pioneer 11 spacecraft. Included on the plaque are symbols for our Solar System, silhouette of spacecraft, hydrogen element and our Sun’s relative position to the centre of the Galaxy and 14 pulsars.
How much public & government consultation occurred for this, our message to the universe? Considering its significance NASA gave astronomers Carl Sagan, Dr. Frank Drae & Linda Salzman Sagan just 3 weeks to complete the task. The 1977 Voyager Spacecraft includes similar symbolic imagery on a Golden Record. In case it is intercepted by alien intelligence, NASA included the bizarre eating image (see link above).
The imagery on Pioneer Plaque has since been widely criticized including the use of ‘arrow’ symbolism (presumably derived from our hunter-gatherer origins), sexual bias in the depiction of the human couple with hand gesture and submissive posturing etc etc. All this leads to the inevitable question: Have we really considered the consequences of communicating with extraterrestrial intelligences? Perhaps they have? And now we’ve sent the messages we cannot undo them.
Since Voyager and Pioneer at least 2000 alien planets have been detected and these discoveries suggest habitable worlds are common throughout the Milky Way galaxy. It is reasonable to assume that intelligent life has had enough time to evolve in our universe of 13.8 billion years. Douglas Vakoch, Director of Interstellar Message Composition at the SETI Institute in Mountain View, California believes it a reasonable proposition to expect to find intelligent life over the next decade. This is the time needed to search for radio signals from a million stars or more – a number large enough to discover intelligent life.
Jillian Kass-Ross had a recurring dream of bright lights illuminating a building with minarets on her travels following her brandings. Weeks later & to her astonishment she saw the dream played out on the television news as missiles exploded over an identical building in Baghdad. When she discovered a 6 metre circle burnt in her hobby farm she wondered whether these events were somehow related.
..Is anyone out there?
John Pinkney 2009, Ultimate Book of Unsolved Mysteries. Five Mile Press