'...it's entirely possible, in my view,
that we could retrieve a
message from another world
just a few decades... '
Senior Astronomer, SETI
The idea that intelligent creatures might
exist somewhere else in the cosmos has fascinated humanity ever
since the invention of the telescope revealed that our world is but
one amongst countless others.
At first some people wondered if there
were people living around the supposed seas on the Moon and others
feared invasion from near neighbors, particularly Mars.
In 1858 an Italian astronomer called Secchi announced that he had
seen 'canali on the
surface of Mars, and in 1877 Giovanni Virginio Schiaparelli, an
astronomer at the Milan Observatory, produced drawings of these
features. Though the most accurate translation of the Italian word 'canali
would have been 'channels', it was translated into English as
With the completion of the Suez Canal fresh in people's
minds, the interpretation was taken to mean that huge artificial
waterways had been discovered - which amounted to evidence of
Debate raged over the findings,
with Schiaparelli himself stating that there was no reason to
suppose that the canals were artificial. The discovery sparked the
imagination of a young m an named Percival Lowell who was at the
beginning of what was to be a distinguished career in astronomy.
was one of the first to realize that it was far m ore sensible to
site observatories in out-of -the-way places, such as deserts or on
mountaintops, where smoke and light spillage from cities would not
diminish the astronomers view of the heavens. He was the driving
force behind the creation of the Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff,
Arizona, in 1894.
Professor Lowell studied linear features on Mars with his
twenty-four- inch telescope and developed theories about the
habitability of Mars, based on his estimate that the planet had an
average temperature of 48°F.
The Lowell Observatory made consistent
observations of the Martian canals and Lowell personally maintained
that the linear features were indeed of artificial
reached Mars, scientists expected to discover what
the canals really were but they found that there were no canals and
almost no straight lines on the planet at all. We have to conclude
that either the Martians have camouflaged them rather well over the
last century or, infinitely more likely, a generation of astronomers
were imagining things at the limits of their optical telescopes.
The idea that there could be real
Martians was a popular worry that was brilliantly used as the plot
by H.G. Wells in his novel
War of the Worlds.
A wave of mass hysteria gripped thousands of radio listeners in
October 1938, when a dramatization of this book was broadcast and
led unsuspecting listeners to believe that an interplanetary
conflict had started, with invading Martians spreading death and
destruction across New Jersey and New York.
The next day the New York Times reported on the scare:
'A weather report was given,
prosaically. An announcer remarked that the program would be
continued from a hotel, with dance music.
For a few moments a
dance program was given in the usual
manner. Then there was a "break-in" with a "flash" about a professor
at an observatory
reported on the scare:
noting a series of gas explosions on the planet Mars.
News bulletins and scene broadcasts followed, reporting, with the
technique in which the radio had reported actual
events, the landing of a "meteor" near Princeton N. J., "killing"
1,500 persons, the discovery that the "meteor" was a "metal
cylinder" containing strange creatures from Mars armed with "death
rays" to open hostilities against the inhabitants of the
By far the majority of experts now accept that if advanced life of
any sort does exist in places other than the Earth, we will almost
certainly have to look towards interstellar space in order to find
But our greater knowledge of outer space has not quelled the
public's appetite for close-encounter stories.
Roswell incident is believed by many to be an
extraterrestrial encounter. It is
said that a UFO crashed in the New Mexico desert
in July 1947 and the debris was removed to an army base in Fort
A US government cover-up is said to have tried to pass off the event
by stating that the debris was actually part of a radar unit from a
Rumors about the existence of secret alien bases located in various
places, such as the Moon, under the ocean, or in a tropical rain
forest have persisted. Some people have gone so far as to claim that
they have worked on
secret UFO projects for the government and seen UFOs at military
According to a recent poll, some three million Americans believe that they have encountered bright lights and
incurred strange bodily m arks indicative of a possible encounter
with aliens. Psychological tests confirm that these 'abductees' are
rarely psychotic or mentally ill
in any usual sense of the term.
It makes us wonder whether humans are simply prone to having some
kind of neural dysfunction involving optical illusions. Maybe the
decline of old-style belief in mythical creatures like fairies and
goblins and in religious imagery such as angels or the Virgin Mary,
has caused people to have new kinds of hallucinations.
once thought they saw the 'little people' dancing in a circle of
light or a heavenly messenger with a glowing halo, the
bright lights in their heads are now translated as alien contact.
Whilst the debate continues about
everything from Roswell to crop circles, it has to be admitted that
there has never been any proof of alien contact - and it is, of
course, impossible to prove the negative. However, the probability
of contact does seem extremely small, given the vast amounts of
space and time involved.
The solar system, of which the Earth forms a small part, is only one
of m any even in our
own corner of our galaxy - the Milky Way. Astronomers have
identified stars that definitely have planets orbiting them, so the
state of affairs within our own solar system is certainly not
An interesting finding has been that larger, gaseous planets
in other star systems, much like Jupiter and Saturn in our own,
have been discovered to have an orbit that is always very close to
their host star. From these early indications it seems that our
planetary arrangement is unique,
which just might not be accidental.
It is a fact that if Jupiter were not
just over five times more distant from the Sun than we are, advanced
life on Earth would not exist. This giant planet is positioned as a
'catcher' of space objects that would otherwise impact into the
A dramatic example of this was seen in July 1994, when
twenty-one fragments of the
comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 smashed into
Jupiter at speeds of up to half a million kilometers and
hour, creating fireballs larger than the planet Earth.
If we are right about the Moon
being constructed to act as an incubator, the manufacturer would
have been pleased to note that
Jupiter and Saturn were in very unusual and perhaps unique outer
If it were not so, they would have to have caused them to be
in this position - which would suggest that the entire solar system
could have been designed for the benefit of humankind!
Whether or not our solar system is a happy accident, it is estimated
that there are a thousand million other stars in our galaxy alone,
any one of which could possess a planetary system where life might
have evolved and even flourished. Beyond our galaxy there must be
stars with Earth- like planets beyond counting. Bearing these facts
in mind, it surely appears unreasonable to believe that only our
tiny little green planet is alone in producing a self-aware species.
However as we have previously noticed, setting out to actually meet
our intergalactic or extragalactic cousins seems hopeless, even if
we knew where they were located. But this may not be the end of the
Time is not a fixed concept. If a person could travel close to the
speed of light, they would experience a severe slowdown in time,
relative to a slower moving object. At light speed, time stops
completely, relative to something moving at a much lesser speed.
Because of this 'time stop', a photon that travels at the speed of
light would not experience distance and time in the normal way.
from the photon's point of view, it could go from one end of the
Universe to the other instantly, while from an outside point of view
it would take about thirteen billion years.
Still stranger, scientists have found the need to speculate about
the existence of a particle called a 'tachyon' that can travel
faster than light. But theoretically at least, travelling faster
than light would result in an individual going backwards in time. So
the tachyon is something of a mystery at the moment, with scientists
having to calculate the activity of these particles with time
working in reverse.
So, just maybe, there will be ways to work around the problem of
travelling at speeds close
to, or even above, the speed of light.
Next, there is the possibility of intergalactic communication
using what physicists call 'quantum entanglement', that can happen
to sub atomic particles. If quarks with identical spin are paired
and separated, and the spin of one is changed, the other changes its
spin instantaneously to match that of its partner - no matter how
far apart they are separated.
Einstein called this phenomenon
'spooky distance', and it suggests that some force, not yet
understood, must be capable of travelling in folded space in some
manner or may not exist at all in space as we know it, and therefore
not be restricted to the effects of travel.
It is therefore not inconceivable that other advanced creatures have
found a way to bridge the chasm of space-time between their planet
and ours. But we are not able to deal with such technology yet, even
though we can envisage its existence.
Right now, as far as
we know, we cannot greet them face to face, but as we pointed out in
Chapter Eight it might be possible to listen to them or even talk to
As we have also noted, recent publications by leading academics such
as Paul Davies, Christopher Rose and Gregory Wright, are suggesting
that physical artifacts are a far better way of communicating
across the vastness of space. Paul Davies has stated that a far m
ore reliable way for any alien species to contact us would be to
leave artifacts in the vicinity of planets likely to spawn
intelligent life that, given sufficient advancement on the part of
such a developing species, it could not fail to recognize.
And so, the question that confronts us is:
Could aliens have built
the Moon from the very substance of the Earth in order to allow our
development, and then left a physical message of what they had done
in the very dimensions and movements of the bodies?
We believe that the message we have detected in the Moon and its
relationship to the Earth is so amazingly differentiated from the
'background noise' of all other measurements that it forms a
breakthrough for humanity.
Certainly, if a message of such clarity
and consistency was received from beyond our planet by means of good
radiation, the personnel at SETI would be jumping up and down with
If the message from the UCA is attributable to aliens we have
already speculated that its motive could simply be a desire to
progressively transform the matter in the Universe from a chaotic
condition to an ordered state of self-awareness. One can image that,
given enough time, all of the matter in existence could be united in
a single thinking entity.
Astronomer Royal, Sir Fred Hoyle, wrote a
novel called The Black Cloud 38 in which he speculated about a cloud
of space matter that had such instantaneous interaction between its
particles it was, effectively, a single living entity.
Could this be
the long-term goal for all intelligence? If so, we will need to
understand what has happened in the case of our own planet much m
ore clearly so that we will be able, in due course, to take part in
this ultimate mission for the Universe.
If we accept alien intervention in
our distant past, we have to ask how these visitors from elsewhere
could have known that the fruits of their labours would come to have
ten fingers and therefore work in base ten.
A possible answer is
that all successful life forms come to intellectual maturity with
these characteristics, but the whole notion does seem odd.
Furthermore, there is the problem of how the alien Moon builders
came to use Megalithic geometry and kilometers to incorporate
elements of the message.
This too seems unusual. What is more, as we have observed, there
appear to have been visits to
the Earth by the UCA (Unknown Creative Agency) in much more recent times. This would suggest
that the alien visitors,
having manufactured the Moon, would have had to return to the Earth
over four billion years later in order to pass the Megalithic
message onto the developing human culture in Britain and France.
find it difficult to imagine a culture or society that could endure
for such a vast period of time.
It is much more likely that such a
civilization would have gone the way of inevitable evolution,
managed somehow to destroy itself, or simply grown bored with the
whole experiment in only a tiny fraction of the time involved.
If readers wish to believe that aliens are responsible for this
message, we would have to say that this is a theory worthy of
For our part, we can see no direct proof that
this has been the case, and there seem to be factors involved that
make the alien hypothesis unlikely to be the answer we are seeking.
However, there is a third, and altogether m ore amazing option yet
to consider and it is one that appears to fit the bill in every
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