Headline of the Chicago Sun, June 26, 1947. This started modern UFO/UAP history.

It’s been 74 years since the first widely publicized UFO encounter of Kenneth Arnold in 1947, who coined the term “flying saucer” when he saw nine objects skipping along the sky from his plane. Since then there have been tens of thousands reported unidentified flying objects in the Earth’s skies, some of them even similar in shape to Arnold’s sighting.

Countless theories about the origin and purpose of these phenomena exist. UFOs were a subject of public interest and regularly reported in the media until the end of the 1960’s .

Fall RIver Herald News, July 29 1952: The invasion of Washington
UFO/UAP captured from government survey plane in 1971 over Lake Cote, Costa Rica

After the moon landing, skeptical scientists who questioned the alien origin of Flying Saucers won the scientific debate, relegating believers of the extraterrestrial hypothesis to fringe status.

This pretty much ended serious mainstream media coverage of UFOs.

The mantra became that ‘extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence’, a phrase known as ‘The Sagan Standard’.

To find extraordinary evidence for the existence of technologically intelligent aliens, lacking suitable specimens for testing,  Sagan proposed instead to search for their signals in the sky with radio telescopes.

This concept he illustrated in his movie “Contact”, which had its premiere in 1997.

Two years after the premiere of “Contact” the University of Berkeley made it possible for anyone with a computer to join in the search for alien signals, when they launched the seti@home screensaver.

The seti@home screen saver

165000 people seized the opportunity to find ET on their computer, taking part in the largest participatory computing project in history. I was one of the first to sign up, on the 16th of May 1999. Sadly, seti@home stopped processing new data on March 31 2020. No announcement had been made whether or not it had been successful in its mission: to find radio evidence for extraterrestrial life.

The next month, on the 27th of April 2020, 73 years after the first widely documented flying saucer sighting, the Pentagon publicly acknowledged the existence of UFOs, supplying pilots testimony, audio- and video recordings.

The Pentagon is the headquarters building of the United States Department of Defense

By now the UFO phenomenon had been so thoroughly discredited that skeptics quickly began questioning the Pentagon’s UFO/UAP material. 

However, the material didn’t just consist of fuzzy camera footage, but also recorded radar tracks and simultaneous sightings by pilots and aircraft carrier personnel.

In any UFO/UAP sighting, camera images are corroborative evidence of the witness testimony. Very often the quality of the camera can not capture what the witnesses have perceived.

The Contact Initiative uses a wide variety of methods to verify UFO/UAP. First we have the human observer, who may be able to capture the UFO image in low-res with his smartphone camera.

Then the location of his sighting is forwarded to a number of search partners in his neighborhood. They will try to capture the UFO with HD telescopes, cameras and radar, as well as listening with RF scanners to incoming radio waves from the object.

Excerpt of “UFO Alert!” flowchart

The more data about a UFO/UAP sighting exists, in as wide a range of frequencies as possible, the easier it is to verify the sighting as genuine. And if that wasn’t enough, HAM radio amateurs will try to hail the sighting.

The Contact Initiative does not rely on images. Having the UFO Alert! app is like carrying the resources of an airplane carrier in your pocket.

Best, Eric, founder,


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contact /ˈkɒntakt:
1. the state of physical touching.
2. the action of communicating or meeting.

By definition, merely receiving an extraterrestrial transmission does not fulfill the criterion of “Contact”.
Doug Vakoch, President of METI

It was in 2015 that scientists Douglas Vakoch, David Grinspoon, David Brin, Seth Shostak and others discussed this issue at the American Association for the Advancement Of Science (AAAS): is it a good idea to transmit messages to possible intelligent extraterrestrials in the Cosmos?

Within a week of this discussion a statement was signed and released, together with 24 other SETI experts, declaring that a “worldwide scientific, political and humanitarian discussion must occur before any message is sent”.

Illustration of an AAAS conference


When the statement was signed, SETI by radio telescopes was humanity’s best hope to contact Aliens.

A then 68 year old phenomenon titled by the public as “UFOs” was known about at the time of this statement in 2015. But UFOs were not considered to be connected in any shape or form to Extraterrestrial Intelligence. Neither were “UAPs”.

Even though there is no proof of it, some people have always believed that UFOs/UAPs are somehow connected to extraterrestrial intelligence. Those people were not necessarily represented at the AAAS conference in 2015, but they express their beliefs at other venues.

Roswell Parade

Are UFOs connected to Aliens?
The Contact Initiative wants to find this out by trying to make radio contact with UAPs. To do this we’ll develop an open source app which is now on Github https://github.com/contactproject.

We, the Contact Project & Initiative, hope that the Contact app will be downloaded by many millions of people worldwide.

Once deployed, every one million app users will contribute to about 1 sighting per week that has absolutely no reasonable explanation. This estimate is based on the Allan Hendry study and a US UAP sighting survey.

We believe we have better chances of finding extraterrestrials or their technosignatures by targeting UFOs/UAPs than by targeting distant stars.

It doesn’t compute to intercept or attempt interstellar Alien communications with light-speed radio waves. At this stage in technological development, even we have a better outlook of building faster-than-light spaceships (Dr. Erik Lentz), than to generate impossible faster-than-light radio waves.

Why should Extraterrestrials be any different? It makes more sense to search for superluminal objects (UFOs) that can travel interstellar distances in days, rather than to listen for relatively snail-paced radio beams, taking years to cover the same distance.

Radio waves can only carry information.
Objects on the other hand can carry more than information, such as passengers, but… objects can also carry much more information.

For instance, to physically store the information of all books ever written on Earth (Ref. 1) it requires the volume of 10 stacked 3.5 inch HD drives (175 terabytes of data (Ref. 2), HD capacity in 2021 (Ref. 3)).

Illustration of information density for all the World's books in 2021 on 3.5 inch HD storage devices.

In other words, in 2021 the knowledge from all books ever written on Earth fits inside a cube measuring 15 cm each side, weighing 6.7 kg (Ref. 4). To download the same amount of data by radio through space, considering our current data transmission capabilities between Mars and Earth (Ref. 5), it would take about 7.4 years (Ref. 6) of continuous transmission.

The Contact Project is about the reception and transmission of signals,
as well as the possibility of physical contact. The gold standard for evidence is physical evidence. In a matter of such importance and possible consequence to human civilization as the existence of extraterrestrial intelligence, nothing else may be sufficient to prove it.

1: How many books in the world
2: How much storage each book
3: Seagate IronWolf Pro 18 TB HD
4: HD size
5: Current maximum bandwidth between Mars and Earth?
6: Broadband download time and speed calculator


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Left: Kenneth Arnold with UFO sighting in June 24, 1947
Right: first official UFO/UAP footage from the USG, 2021

A Proposal To Contact UFOs/UAPs by Radio
Keywords: crowdsourced, open source, automated alert system, distributed, public and specialized observers, smartphone app, passive radar operators, proactive HAM radio operators, gigapixel camera operators, megapixel telescope operators, CETI, METI, SETI

Erich Habich-Traut, http://contactproject.org
27. October 2021


After more than 70 years the US Government recently confirmed the existence of UAPs/UFOs. There is a possibility that some of these objects or phenomena are not of earthly origin. To find out where they are from we want to try and talk to them by radio,

The Contact Initiative (CI) believes that UAPs/UFO’s are under the control of some form of intelligence and non-hostile.

SETI has been trying for decades to find signals of alien radio communications by pointing radio telescopes often at random at nearby stars in the hope that they may harbour intelligent life.

SETI faces three difficulties:
1. It has to find a planet that is populated by intelligent life
2. The alien life must be using radio waves to communicate
3. Any alien signals detected will be decades or centuries old and will take twice that time for a reply.  (If we receive a message from ET in 25 light years distance, and we respond with a message immediately, then it will take 25 years to send signals to ET and another 25 years before we can hear a response. Hence, a human lifetime of 75 years will have passed.)

Point three shows the difficulty of trying to use radio waves for interstellar communications. Very often the participants of such a communication die of old age before they have even exchanged first welcomes..

In the movie “Contact” Carl Sagan tried to circumvent this inconvenience by speculating that ET could send instructions for a wormhole transporter that doesn’t rely on slow radio waves.

Even in the idealized world of the Hollywood movie “Contact” this approach didn’t prove the existence of extraterrestrial intelligence to all sceptics, because the resulting exchange between human and ETI left no convincing physical evidence.

The premise of SETI, the search for extraterrestrial intelligence, is that we are not alone in the universe and that Alien life somewhere has developed radio technology just like us.

We expect the Aliens to be friendly or at least impartial to our existence. That is by no means a certainty, looking at the example of our own species.

The Contact Initiative (CI) has as its goal to implement “active SETI”, or ‘CETI’ as it is known (communication with extraterrestrial intelligence).


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People watching the sky
A group of people looks up toward the sky.

The CONTACT INITIATIVE looks for answers about the nature of UAPs/UFOs by trying to make radio contact with them. We need volunteers, outreach workers and programmers to develop an open source app.

My name is Erich Habich-Traut and I’m 57 years old. I’m the initiator of the ‘Contact Initiative’ (CI).

I’ve coordinated a multinational science project 2001 – 2015 with my website “Our Planet Earth From Space”, which tracked Earth Changes: http://opefs.com.

I’ve been a volunteer for Bigelow Aerospace from 2006 ~ 2012, providing real-time tracking of their prototype space habitats Genesis I & II via NORAD (https://web.archive.org/web/20120504010218/http://bigelowaerospace.com/genesis-1-tracking.php).

I’m writing to you as the initiator of the ‘Contact Initiative’ (CI). It’s primary goal is to make radio contact with ETI.

The difference between the Contact Initiative and classical SETI is that UAPs are included in its search for techno signatures.

The Contact Initiative wants to gather high quality evidence about the phenomenon. It also wants to inform and enthuse the public about the possibility of contact

The engine of this Contact Initiative is a smartphone app that records GPS coordinates of UFOs after a user alert. Users can also take snapshots or video of the UFO with their smartphone. But that is not the primary goal. When the smartphone is used to photograph the UFO, its gravity sensors record the elevation and the compass records its azimuth.

The UFO alert is sent to an astronomical database, NORAD database and air traffic databases to identify known flying objects. Secret military projects are excluded via NORAD TLEs.

The remaining objects qualify as prospective UAP. They will be investigated by forwarding their GPS coordinates to close-by search partners using the same Contact app. All this happens near real-time.

The search partners are selected by their proximity to the sighting and their capability/qualifications.

Search partners can be HAM radio operators, videographers, gigapixel camera operators, Unistellar telescope operators and (passive) radar operators. Passive radar is a subset of radio HAM enthusiasts.

To motivate the public to take part in this search prizes can be given for successful detections of UAPs, staggered by evidence weight:

less important:
1. confirmed UAP pictures, 2. video, 3. radar images,

more important:
4. reception of radio emissions,  5. verifiable conversation with ETI (CETI), 6. physical alien artifact, 7. actual landing of UAP with ETI.

Alternative to cash prizes, credits may be given. Those could be collectible non-fungible tokens (NFT’s), whose value is based on their desirability.

The whole endeavor (and prize money) will be funded by private enterprise through the “Alien Marketplace” advertising space. This marketplace is accessed through the Contact app. To filter out fakes and false identifications AI algorithms and volunteers evaluate the results. The volunteers may be paid cash or NFT tokens that can be traded on the Alien Marketplace.


MUFON #111680, UK, 1995

My own motivation to get this “Contact Initiative” off the ground are my own UAP sightings from Ireland in 1986 and 1995 in the UK.

The 1995 UAP I managed to photograph twice on 35mm film, making it possible for me to finally triangulate it’s approximate size, distance and speed in May 2020, when I found the lost and forgotten negative film from 1995.

According to a Gallup poll over 40% of the American public believes in UFOs.  Now, after the release of the Pentagon ODNI UAP report in July 2021 the climate seems right to get to the bottom of this and ask the question for real and to get a real answer: Are we Alone?

After this introduction, could I please interest you in reading the proposal outline and flowchart of the “Contact Initiative”?

Keywords: Contact Initiative, GPS tracking, smartphone app, crowd sourced, automated alert system, distributed, public and specialized observers, passive radar operators, proactive HAM radio operators, gigapixel camera operators, CETI, METI, SETI, commercial funding, NFT, alien marketplace

Thank you for your time,

yours sincerely,

Erich Habich-Traut



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