Unidentified flying objects

Unidentified flying objects


I. SETI Institute General Information

What is SETI?

SETI is an abbreviation for Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence. It is an effort to detect evidence of technological civilisations that may exist elsewhere in the universe, particularly in our galaxy. There are potentially billions of locations outside our solar system that may host life. With our current technology, we have the ability to discover evidence of cosmic habitation where life has started and developed to a technological level at least as advanced as our own.

What is the SETI Institute?

The SETI Institute is a non-profit corporation that serves as an institutional home for research and educational projects relating to the study of life in the universe. The Institute conducts research in a number of fields including astronomy and planetary sciences, chemical evolution, the origin of life, biological evolution, and cultural evolution. Institute projects have been sponsored for example by NASA, a lot of private foundations, private industry, and private donations. There are currently nearly three dozen active projects at the Institute investigating Mars, planetary science, exobiology and related topics. Project Phoenix is a unique research effort; it is the SETI Institute's search for extraterrestrial intelligence, and is the Institute's largest project. It is funded entirely by private donations.

The NASA SETI program?

The NASA effort was called the High Resolution Microwave Survey (HRMS). In 1993, Nevada Senator Richard Bryan successfully introduced an amendment that eliminated all funding for the NASA SETI program. The cost of the program was less than 0.1% of NASA's annual budget, amounting to about a nickel per taxpayer per year. The Senator cited budget pressures as his reason for ending NASA's involvement with SETI.

Who funds the SETI search?

Project Phoenix, is funded by a few major donors (such as William Hewlett, David Packard, Gordon Moore, Paul Allen, and Barney Oliver), foundations and many individuals. You can help.

Who works at the SETI Institute?

The Institute employs scientists, engineers, administrators, technicians, public outreach specialists, educators and other support staff.

II. SETI Institute Research/Technical Information

What is Project Phoenix?

Project Phoenix is the name of the SETI Institute's research project to search for extraterrestrial intelligence. The name derives from the mythological Egyptian bird that rose from the ashes - in this case, the ashes of congressional funding cuts.

After the demise of the HRMS Targeted Search, the Institute quickly moved to retain the core science and engineering team of that effort, and with help from its subcontractors, upgraded and expanded the Targeted Search electronics and software. That equipment is now being used to search the vicinities of nearby stars for signs of technological civilisations, the core activity of Project Phoenix. In addition to conducting this big search, the SETI Institute is also spurring a parallel effort to design and develop systems of much greater capability, as well as supporting other research and educational projects. Since February, 1994 all this work has been supported by private donations.

How does Project Phoenix search for extraterrestrial intelligence?

Project Phoenix uses the world's largest telescopes (40 to 300 meters in diameter) to check the surroundings of nearby, sun-like stars. Stars are examined one by one over a portion of the microwave region of the electromagnetic spectrum for artificially produced signals. The ability to detect slowly-drifting signals and the application of near real-time data processing make Phoenix the most comprehensive and sensitive SETI search in the world today.

The observational phase of Project Phoenix is expected to run until the year 2001. The actual time needed will depend on the availability of radio telescopes, the level of terrestrial radio frequency interference, the rate at which improvements can be made to receiving systems, and, of course, whether or not an extraterrestrial signal is detected.

How do you know if you've detected an intelligent, extraterrestrial signal?

The main feature distinguishing signals produced by a transmitter from those produced by natural processes is their spectral width, i.e. how much room on the radio dial do they take up? Any signal less than about 300 Hz wide must be, as far as we know, artificially produced. Such narrow-band signals are what all SETI experiments look for. Other tell-tale characteristics include a signal that is completely polarised or the existence of coded information on the signal.

Unfortunately, SETI searches are burdened with confusion caused by narrow-band signals from our own planet. Military radar and telecommunications satellites produce such signals. Project Phoenix uses a second telescope to sort out this unwanted interference. Since the second telescope is hundreds of miles away from the main instrument, an extraterrestrial signal will have a slightly different frequency at the two sites. This is because of the Earth's rotation and the effect of Doppler shift. Looking for the expected slight shift in frequency at the two telescopes is a good way to judge which signals are local, and which are truly extraterrestrial.

Has Phoenix detected a signal from ET?

Not yet. You may have heard of interesting 'candidate' signals found by SETI searches other than Phoenix, for example the famous 'Wow' signal found at the Ohio State Radio Observatory in 1977. Because data collected in these searches were often processed long after the observation, candidate signals could not be immediately checked to see if they were of extraterrestrial origin. Subsequent observations conducted days to months after the original observations have never detected any of the candidate signals again. In order to be sure that a signal is from another civilisation - in order to have it accepted as real by the scientists.



The world's famous UFO case started on the 2nd of July 1947, when some people saw a flying saucer crashing on the Foster Ranch near Corona, New Mexico ( The nearest military base was at Roswell). That happened during a severe thunderstorm.

The next day, William Brazel and his seven year old neighbour Dee Procter found remains of a crashed flying saucer. The wreckage was spread out over an  area more than half a mile.

On the 6th of July 1947 Brazel Brazel showed pieces of the wreckage to Chaves County Sheriff George Wilcox. After showing him the pieces, Wilcox called Roswell Army Air Field (AAF) and spoke to Major Jesse Marcel, the intelligence officer. He drove back to the sheriffs office and inspected the wreckage himself. Marcel reported to his commanding officer,

Colonel William Blanchard. The Colonel ordered Marcel to get someone from the Counter Intelligence Corps and to go to the Ranch with Brazel and collect all the wreckage they could get into their two vehicles. The wreckage which Brazel had left at the sheriffs office was collected by some military police and was then flown to the Eighth Air Force headquarters in Fort Worth and then to Washington.

7th July 1947, Marcel and Sheridan Cavitt of the Counter intelligence Corps went to collect wreckage from the crash site and loaded it onto their vehicles. Marcel told Cavitt to go on ahead and after Marcel filled his vehicles he drove home to show his wife and son some of the strange material which he had found.

At around four o'clock p.m. the same day, Lydia Sleppy at the Radio Station in Roswell started to transmit a story on the teletype machine about a crashed flying saucer, but it was interrupted, supposedly by the FBI.

8th July1947: At around midday Colonel Blanchard at Roswell AFF ordered Second lt. Walter Haut to issue a press release telling the country that the Army had found the remains of a flying saucer. In the afternoon General Clemence McMullen ordered Colonel Thomas DuBose to tell the Eighth Air Force Commander, General Roger Ramey to delete the flying saucer story and create a cover up story, also to send crash material to Washington immediately. Later on in the afternoon Ramey gave a press conference, he went on to say how that what had crashed at Corona was in fact not a flying saucer but a weather balloon. He showed the press the remains of a weather balloon to make the story more convincing.

The Los Angeles Herald Express, Chicago Daily News, The San Francisco Examiner and the Roswell Daily Record were the only evening papers to run the Flying Saucer story. The New York Times, The Washington Post and Chicago Tribune were morning papers and carried only the cover up story with the weather balloon until the next morning.

Soldiers were sent at some point to the field of debris on the Foster Ranch along with guns to limit access to the field and a search was launched to find the main body of the saucer. It was found within a day or two and a couple of miles form the saucer several bodies of small humanoids were found.

The military took Brazel into custody for about a week and while he was on the streets he was escorted by the military. His behaviour made people who knew him curious for when he passed them in the street he didn't recognise them. Following this period of detention Brazel repudiated his initial story.

An eyewitness describes the Trans-en-Provence Case in France on January 8, 1981:

'My attention was drawn to a small noise, a kind of little whistling. I turned around and I saw, in the air, a ship which was just about the height of a pine tree at the edge of the property. This ship was not turning but was descending toward the ground. I only heard a slight whistling. I saw no flames, neither underneath or around the ship.

While the ship was continuing to descend, I went closer to it, heading toward a little cabin. I was able to see very well above the roof. From there I saw the ship standing on the ground.

At that moment, the ship began to emit another whistling, a constant, consistent whistling. Then it took off and once it was at the height of the trees, it took off rapidly toward the northeast. As the ship began to lift off, I saw beneath it four openings from which neither smoke nor flames were emitting. The ship picked up a little dust when it left the ground.

I was at that time about 30 meters from the landing site. I thereafter walked towards the spot and I noticed a circle about two meters in diameter. At certain spots on the curve of the circle, there were tracks.

The ship was in the form of two saucers upside down, one against the other. It must have been about 1.5 meters high. It was the colour of lead. The ship had a border or type of brace around its circumference. Underneath the brace, as it took off, I saw two kinds of round pieces which could have been landing gear or feet. There were also two circles which looked like trap doors. The two feet, or landing gear, extended about 20 centimetres beneath the body of the whole ship.'

Appearance of the aliens:

The descriptions of the aliens sometimes differ, but there are also a lot of agreements in the single statements of the eyewitnesses of the UFO cases. Because of this agreements you can create a picture of the appearance of the aliens:

1. No viewable ears.

2. No viewable nose.

3. Very small mouth.

4. Very large eyes, with large & dark appearing pupils.

5. Very large cranium, with perspective to the rest of the body.

6. Adult size is small, approximately 3 (three) feet in height.

7. Off white/grey skin or outer covering.

8. No apparent sexual organs. Reproduction is, evidently, either asexual or non-existent.

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