The 10 most popular stories of the erroneous detection of extraterrestrial civilizations

Are we alone in the Universe? It seems the question of whether man once to establish contact with any intelligent extraterrestrial civilizations originated long before it was discovered the first system in addition to Solar, and also the first exoplanet. Telescopes international research projects SETI and Amateur astronomers for many years were sent to the depths of space and trying to detect signals that could be messages to alien civilizations. The desire to find evidence of the existence of intelligent extraterrestrial life is so deeply engrained in the subcortex of our brain that often become the cause of erroneous conclusions and beliefs about the previously seen unknown phenomena.

History contains many examples of how even the most eminent scientists mistook the received signals from outer space for the message of aliens, but eventually came to the understanding that the witnessed a completely different phenomena, ranging from the radiation of pulsars and ending you will not believe the signals are malfunctioning microwave. In fairness it should be noted that some of the received electromagnetic signals still do not have adequate scientific explanations. Today we will talk about the top ten cases, of events and phenomena that have been mistaken for evidence of the existence of extraterrestrial life, or still do not have an official justification.

Martian channels

One of the biggest astronomical misconceptions of the late 19th and early 20th century was the story about the existence of water channels on the surface of Mars. Some astronomers claimed that the only explanation for the presence of these channels is that they were created by some intelligent beings for irrigation. The American astronomer Percival Lowell even wrote about it three books, in which he described his thoughts and praised “a very intelligent approach” to the issue of their creation. It is clear that the media, such statements quickly picked up and widely circulated in the mass consciousness.

An argument on the existence of channels on Mars continued until the beginning of the 20th century, has not yet appeared more advanced technology that enabled us to prove that the very idea of the existence of channels of irrigation on Mars is nothing other than delusion. It turned out that the channels – this is a common optical illusion, due to low resolution of telescopes of that time, fueled by a constant desire of the human brain to combine unrelated points in a line.

Signal HD 164595

Star HD 164595 in the constellation Hercules, is very similar to our Sun and is located about 95 light years, hit the headlines in 2016, after it became known that in 2015 with direction, scientists have recorded a strong short signal. In August 2016, it was suggested that the signal could be sent to an alien civilization. Earlier it was established that close to the star has one extrasolar planet, but scientists have tended to believe that the world is far not capable of supporting life. This wave emerged the hypothesis that near HD 164595, there may be other planets that is just not found.

The received signal lasted only two seconds and were identified only once. Therefore, to establish its exact source was quite problematic. The participants of the program, search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI) conducted its own investigation in an attempt to establish the possible artificial nature of the source. The findings of the study it was assumed that the probable source of the signal turned out to be interference caused by some object of terrestrial origin. This conclusion was prompted by the fact that the signal was observed only once and only with a single telescope. The true source scientists install failed, but it is most likely that it was one of the satellites then in orbit.

Kenneth Arnold

The world is full of eyewitness accounts of UFOs, but the history of Aviator and businessman Kenneth Arnold became one of the most famous cases that attracted public attention to the existence of unidentified flying objects. In 1947, Arnold claimed to have witnessed nine UFOs over the Cascade mountains (Washington, USA). In his words, the objects had the form of a disk and “flew like flies put on water saucer”. In the result, the press quickly coined the name “flying saucer” (“flying saucer”).

The case led to the huge popularity of the UFO phenomenon in the United States: over the next two months, nearly 850 people from all over the country stated that they had seen in the sky “flying saucers”.

Skeptics, including the US air force insisted that Arnold saw the usual Mirage. Also there were other assumptions: new missiles, new aircraft, the reflection of sunlight from snow or dust. Many people, including Arnold himself was dissatisfied with such explanations and continued to say that we are talking about a space alien spacecraft. Later, Arnold claimed that he saw several “flying saucers” and even wrote a book about my experience of observation, to become a true legend among ufologists.

Peritoni

For many years the Australian radio telescope of the Parkes Observatory caught a strange powerful radio signals that no one could explain. These signals are called peritonei in honor of the fictional creatures Peritone — character “book of imaginary beings” by Jorge Luis Borges.

The frequency of these signals and their “habit” to appear from the star clusters recalled the behavior of another little-studied phenomenon, fast radio bursts (FRB), discovered many years later. After astronomers first discovered these signals started to walk the talk about their possible artificial nature. The same rumors initially went on peritonea. Later scientists came to believe that peritoni formed somewhere near the Ground, which immediately destroyed the myth of their alien nature, however, to determine the exact source of these signals, scientists could not for many years.

In the end, the mystery was fully revealed in 2015, when astronomers have once again used the Australian Parkes telescope and discovered the cause of these signals. As it turned out, the thing is… the radiation of a conventional microwave oven, which was used by the Observatory staff for heating up food. Every time the microwave door was opened ahead of time, it escaped the radar pulse, reminiscent of the FRB. This case showed that even the greatest mysteries are the most ordinary explanation.

FRB-signals sent from the alien ships

According to one of the assumptions, explaining the nature very powerful, but short-term emissions of radio emission, called fast radio bursts (FRB), of course, was the aliens sending us messages. However, in 2017, one group of scientists went even further, speaking with another theory. AVI Loeb and Manasvi Lingam of Harvard University put forward the hypothesis that the radio signals of unknown nature can be a byproduct of the high tech space ships of the aliens, making the jump to hyperspace. And the radio bursts is how the car’s exhaust, starting.

Scientists have even created a mathematical model to explain their idea, but recently another group of researchers found repeated FRB-signals coming, seemingly, from the same place (although the exact source is still not identified), which itself called into serious question the hypothesis with aliens. Among the more plausible explanation for these fast radio bursts are neutron stars and black holes.

Crop circles

Circles or crop circles – geoglyphs in the form of rings, circles and other shapes, formed on the fields with flattened plants. Over the past four decades, they found several thousand of these units. Since the bulk of the reports of these drawings indicated that they appear mainly at night, the phenomenon quickly gained a mystique and, of course, various hypotheses explaining the cause-of their occurrence. Of course, among these hypotheses was attended by the aliens.

Scientists have never supported the hypothesis that the drawings in the margins — the work of aliens, but it caused great interest of the public, as the phenomenon is quite actively discussed in various media. In fact, all of these drawings were created by man. Some are art projects, others were created as a hoax to confuse people. Despite the fact that she has repeatedly refuted, the hypothesis about the aliens, drawing on the fields still lives in the minds of many people.

Megastructure aliens near the star Tabby

Space Observatory “Kepler”, which completed its work last year, were in search of earth-like exoplanets. In 2015 a group of Amateur astronomers analysed the data collected “Kepler”, when their attention was attracted by a very unusual star. It turned out that the object KIC 8462852 (later dubbed “star Tabby”) has a very unusual level of change of luminosity. Usually due to the passage of planet in front of the star its light pales slightly for a short time that is repeated at regular intervals. However, the star KIC 8462852 was the exception: its luminosity fell by up to 22 percent, and such decline was observed for various lengths of time (from 5 to 80 days), which led to the emergence of a large number of hypotheses.

You probably already guessed that one of these hypotheses was said about aliens. Specifically, it was about the fact that around the stars of a highly advanced alien civilization creates astroengineering building type of Dyson sphere or collector of light. Since the construction is not completed, it can be a hemisphere, which from time to time, closes the light, reducing us to its brightness.

Star Tabby became the subject of very great interest from SETI (the program on search of extraterrestrial civilizations), but the results of their latest study suggests that the reduction in the brightness of stars most likely is caused by very large cloud of dust, and not a hemisphere, allegedly created a reasonable or a supercivilization appeared in a natural way.

Roswell

Roswell UFO incident is probably the most famous in the history of “a tale of UFOs.” The us military and politicians had plenty of time to comment on the incident and to refute the conjectures of the people even after several decades since the event.

In the summer of 1947 near the ranch in new Mexico he fell a secret weather balloon of U.S. air force. Local farmer William Brazel discovered its wreckage. Since Brazel had previously heard stories about “flying saucers”, he decided to tell about his discovery to the local Sheriff, saying that, may have found one of them. The Sheriff contacted the nearby military base. Trying to avoid rumors, the military issued an official statement. The event attracted a lot of attention until it was announced on the official position of the U.S. air force, where it was confirmed that the detected object is of earthly origin.

Initially, the incident was quickly forgotten even by ufologists and remained unknown for 30 years. But in the late 70’s around him again there was an interest, when the ufologists interviewed an alleged witness of those events and were able to see classified documents. According to a new story, the fallen object was a space ship whose crew was killed in the accident. Body allegedly transported to a secret military base, conducted their autopsy, and the U.S. government imposed on this business of the secrecy stamp.

Sounds unbelievable, but undertaken in 2013 in the U.S. the survey 1/5 of respondents still believe that the events in Roswell in 1947 was somehow connected with the crash of a UFO and aliens.

Signal “little green men”

In 1967 a researcher Jocelyn bell and her supervisor Anthony Hewish of the radio Astronomy Observatory Mallard (UK) found a very interesting radio. He was so consistent and fast that it seemed artificial, but at the same time obviously alien. Bell and Hewish called it LGM-1 (“Little Green Men” or “little green men”).

The hypothesis that the signal was received from the other civilization was not basic, however, scientists had to consider this option and to think about what to tell people if this assumption is indeed confirmed. When the researchers received a second similar signal, a version of the aliens immediately dropped, because the probability that we have decided to communicate two alien civilization that seemed to them highly unlikely.

Later it turned out that Jocelyn bell and her supervisor Anthony Hewish first time in history, discovered a pulsar – a rapidly rotating neutron star with extremely powerful magnetic field, emitting radio pulses. These impulses at equal intervals of time are thrown towards the Earth, which makes them at first glance similar to the artificial transmission of the broadcast message. Despite the fact that the alien scientists in the end is not found, the discovery of radio pulsars has proved very useful for astronomers.

The Signal “Wow!”

In 1977, astronomer of the SETI program Jerry Ayman conducted the analysis of data obtained during the previous day’s observations with the radio telescope “Big ear” Ohio state University. The scientist drew attention to the fact that of the telescope, contains information about 72 seconds is quite a powerful signal. What most surprised astronomer, so this particular signal.
Its characteristics (bandwidth transmission, the ratio signal/noise) corresponds, in some interpretations, theoretically expected signal of extraterrestrial origin. Stunned by this fact, Ayman swept signal corresponding to the group of characters on the printout and signed on the side “Wow!” (“Hoo!”). This signature gave a name to the signal.

The next month Ayman tried to re-register the signal using the “Big ear”, but to no avail. In a further attempt to detect the same signal was made, and other scientists. But they were also unsuccessful. Scientists managed to determine the approximate location of the signal source (somewhere in the constellation Sagittarius), but to figure out its exact nature and failed, that still does not exclude the possibility of its artificial origin.

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