If there are indeed extraterrestrial civilizations (ETC) out there somewhere, then evidence of their existence may be visible to more than just somebody on their back porch watching a strange light in the sky. Chances are that astronomers are looking at artifacts from ETCs right now, and like a skeptic trying to explain away a UFO sighting, they could be grasping any explanation that did not involve ETCs.
Recently I just started glancing through Wikipedia, looking at various types of unusual stellar activity, observing how astronomers categorized them, and attempted to explain them.
After the initial discovery of pulsars, “At this point, Burnell notes of herself and Hewish that “we did not really believe that we had picked up signals from another civilization, but obviously the idea had crossed our minds and we had no proof that it was an entirely natural radio emission. It is an interesting problem—if one thinks one may have detected life elsewhere in the universe, how does one announce the results responsibly?” Even so, they nicknamed the signal LGM-1, for “little green men” (a playful name for intelligent beings of extraterrestrial origin). It was not until a second pulsating source was discovered in a different part of the sky that the “LGM hypothesis” was entirely abandoned.”
It seemed somewhat un-scientific to assume that it was not “LGM” just because there was more than one. I must have missed some major fact.
Then I found a transcript of a talk by Dr. Burnell, one of the discovers of pulsars.
“So were these pulsations man-made, but made by man from another civilization? If this were the case then the pulses should show Doppler shifts as the little green men on their planet orbited their sun.
This is not looking good. Do you see them making assumptions about the nature of ETCs? Paraphrasing: “Since the source was not in orbit around a host star, then this could not have been the product of an extraterrestrial civilization”!!!
Consider the possibility that the source was not in orbit around a star. Perhaps it emanated and was fueled by the star itself?
“The pulsar story clearly shows that phenomena which at first closely resemble expected manifestations of ETI may nevertheless turn out to be natural objects – although of a very bizarre sort. But even here there are interesting unexamined possibilities. Has anyone examined systematically the sequencing of pulsar amplitude and polarization nulls? One would need only a very small movable shield above a pulsar surface to modulate emission to Earth. This seems much easier than generating an entire pulsar for communications.
“For signaling at night it is easier to wave a blanket in front of an existing fire than to start and douse a set of fires in a pattern which communicates a desired message.”
Let’s humor the dear departed Dr. Sagan and pretend that pulsars are indeed artificial beacons.
The Kardashev scale was developed by Dr. Nicolai Kardashev. It’s more of a thought experiment than anything, as far as mainstream science.
It classifies civilizations (earthbound and extraterrestrial) into three types, based on how a civilization uses resources. We are, of course, technically a Type I civilization. A type II civilization is a “civilization capable of utilizing and channeling the entire radiation output of its star”.
My point is, why should we be surprised if an advanced civilization harnesses a nearby star and makes it into a beacon? By the way, we have found planets orbiting around millisecond pulsars. That’s right, a millisecond pulsar (MSP). The first one discovered, PSR B1937+21 pulses at 1.557708 milliseconds, roughly 641 times a second. I wonder if a natural body can really rotate that quickly?
But what evidence do we have that might suggest that pulsars are placed by ETCs? Let’s look at that. There’s some interesting discussion on this site:
“We have often noticed that perfectly-competent scientists lose their capacity for rational thinking when it comes to the subject of ETI actually encountered, as opposed to ETI theoretically considered. In this, scientists reveal their common humanity, and this human race has a deep fear of such an encounter.”
What kind of utility would a pulsar have? Why would an ETC go through the trouble? Modern earthbound scientists find a large number of uses for pulsars, to start with:
The pulsar mentioned above, for instance has an extremely constant period at 3.3 x 10-12 sec/yr (better than our best atomic clocks).
Dr Paul LaViolette, speaks of the haste that science has taken to explain away pulsar behavior, and he notices some patterns in their distribution in our galaxy. Interesting reading.
Anyway, at this point, these are questions that I asking; I can’t make any conclusions at this time. But it’s interesting to wonder what else is out there that we are ignoring.