Scientists 99.95 % Confident Signals Aren’t Chance– Did ET Phone Home?
A series of powerful, millisecond transmissions from high above our familiar Milky Way Galaxy slammed into earth. We’ve logged 10 nearly identical events since 2001. While gamma rays from exploding stars also carry huge energy, the character of these repeated Fast Radio Bursts (‘FRBs’) are too regular for known star processes.
To understand how the bursts stand apart takes a little background, so here goes. A commercial FM or AM radio station broadcasts on one wavelength. The 10 FRBs each blanketed the entire radio spectrum – sort of like broadcasting on all stations at once.
As the wave blanket travels through space, higher frequencies spread apart from lower frequencies – they disperse. The 10 FRBs dispersed with even spacing unlike any natural event, all based on multiples of the number 185.5. The chances of coincidence are 5 in 10,000 –small odds it’s natural.
Then there’s the phenomenal power. Each FRBs required energy equal to a month’s solar radiation. So let’s review. A fantastically precise and powerful radio transmission repeats 10 times since 2001. Who or what scatters this message.
Here we land in speculation. For answers, we’ll use platonic method – questions. If you were a sufficiently advanced intelligence and wanted to speak to the universe, how would you do it? First, if would take a lot of power. We’ve got that. How would you rise above the stellar background noise? The signal would have to be distinguishable from the irregular warblings and explosions of the many stars in many galaxies. It is.
Next, what’s the message? Or is it just a beacon? It’s been 50 years since Frank Drake of ‘Drake Equation’ fame did his schtick – a calculation on how many inhabited planets exist within earshot – well, radio-shot. Since Drake’s transformative conjecture, we’ve launched telescopes to peer back in time – and learned there may be no beginning or end. We’ve also observed panspermic life in unexpected forms. Recent evidence backs a multiverse theory – our caller might be dimensions, not miles away.
In sum, I give you ‘Bierman’s Drake Corollary,’ – the extra dimensions alone up contact odds to damn near 100%. So armed, I can unscientifically tell you, “there, there chile, other folks not only exist, but are watching over our earthbound crib with motherly affection.”
Again, we’ve reached this conclusion by amalgamated leaps of faith, though the History Channel speaks of an Alien reality in affirmative present tense – unambiguous straight news style. If the ordered FRBs are civilized contact – and I think so – our chatty ET friends may want nothing of us other than brakes on the thorough mucking of earth. With our interests aligned, we might skip the next round of planet scourging tribal conflict and work toward better ends – like decoding the FRBs.
Will cracking this fortune cookie yield paper strip wisdom? You know, ‘You must patiently pursue your goals’ or maybe ‘Friends surround those who are willing to see them.’ Could it be the warning klaxon of a spreading terror – a Twilight Zone-esq “if we’d only taken the time to listen, we could have stopped it” plot? Will the number 185.5 join sharp fanged clowns in my nightmares?
The question of an ET presence seems moot after two recent years, criss-crossed by exotic craft above every major city. Though video isn’t proof, testimony can be faked, and ubiquitous flying saucers may be ours in service of fear’s controlling spell, the weight of recent evidence transforms belief in extraterrestrials from crazed delusion to proper cocktail conversation.
Cabinet level notables including Finland’s ex Surgeon General Rauni Kilde, and Canada’s ex Defense Minister Paul Hellyer express absolute conviction of visitation, adding destined spiritual ascendance as purpose. It’s a nice story – one many want to believe – despite inconvenient new age attributes to fuel incredulity. But then believers do, and doubter maybe always will. Toning down the story, especially if the truth, serves no purpose.
Deeper in, the tales gets weirder still– high strangeness for another news day. For now, we’re left with an impossibly powerful, repeated missive from on high, the FRBs purpose served by their very reception. “You’re not alone,” they say, “and advanced enough to hear us.” It’s a start.