Statement of the Contact Project regarding METI

Text revised and updated: 11. January 2022

Don’t Be Afraid of Messaging Extraterrestrial Intelligence | Douglas Vakoch

Dr. Vakoch is President of Messaging Extraterrestrial Intelligence (METI).

“As astronomers launch ambitious projects for Messaging Extraterrestrial Intelligence, alarmists worry that transmitting intentional radio and laser signals into space may provoke an alien invasion. These critics overlook one fundamental fact: it’s too late to hide.”

Dr. Vakoch, Feb 3, 2020


Dr. Vakoch is currently not associated with the ‘Contact Project & Initiative’. His statement was directed at the fact that humanity has been announcing it’s presence via radio signals to our cosmic neighborhood for the last 100 years. He did not mean to imply that Alien presences are already here.


This is what the Contact Project & Initiative is about:
The Mission of ‘The Contact Project & Initiative’ is to investigate UAPs/UFOs on every frequency, using real-time tracking, radio receivers and transmitters, HD video, HD images, optical and radio telescopes and passive & active radar, so that the question of the nature and origin of UAP can be answered without doubts.

The engine of this initiative will be an app custom designed to coordinate real-time reporting, alerting, documenting and contacting efforts.

Anyone can take part, there’ll be a public as well as a science data channel. The goal of the ‘Contact Initiative’ is to gather high quality evidence.

To do this every frequency will be scanned, including the 1420 Mhz hydrogen waterhole, which is legal as long as it’s done passively. If transmissions are found, the next step is to discover if UAPs react to radio transmissions. Broadcasting at a frequency of 1420 MHz is illegal under international law, however.

Should the UAP respond to transmissions on HAM or CB radio amateur frequencies, great! But what if it doesn’t?

To have any chance to stay legal under current law and to be able to broadcast at 1420 Mhz the UAP position data must be forwarded in real time to SETI for further investigation.

Actually, a memorandum should be drafted to provide for an exception to broadcast on 1420 Mhz for METI purposes. The relevant article of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) is recommendation RA.769 : Protection criteria used for radio astronomical measurements

What does the Contact Project want to do?
We want to do METI (messaging ETi) with a target that’s already here, UAPs. We don’t have to worry about attracting the attention of “hostile” aliens by messaging them as they already know of us, if that’s what UAPs/UFOs are.

As things go, this possibility wasn’t seriously considered by the METI organization in 2015, because the subject of UAPs was still considered too crackpot then.

So, the statement issued by the METI organization regarding messaging extraterrestrial intelligence only covers targets outside of Earth’s atmosphere (statement here).

Since then, in 2021, this outlook has changed somewhat by the release of a preliminary assessment of the American Director of National Intelligence on UAPs (assessment here).

The METI statement called for a worldwide scientific, political and humanitarian discussion about the implications of messaging ET, before anything should be initiated. Arguably, since UAPs first made headlines in 1947 there’s been a worldwide discussion about “them” for over 75 years.

A lot of that time much of humanity reacted like an ostrich, sticking it’s head in the sand when hearing UFO reports. Or like three monkeys. Which comparison do we prefer?

Wisdom?

Did it never occur to anyone that these phenomena may be more than swamp gas or the result of delusions? Sadly, as a result of the swamp gas hypothesis, the METI statement covers only METI targets outside of Earth.

METI might wish to reconsider their statement. Because currently there seems to be no position on contacting UAPs, to the best of my knowledge.

METI says:
ETI’s reaction to a message from Earth cannot presently be known.

If extraterrestrial civilizations have a presence on Earth in the form of UAPs/UFOs or drone-like von Neumann probes they will certainly be able to monitor our news and events. We already know that there was no reaction from UAPs/UFOs to the Voyager space probes and the Golden Records.

METI says:
We know nothing of ETI’s intentions and capabilities, and it is impossible to predict whether ETI will be benign or hostile.

Experience shows that when UAP are pursued by military jet fighters they don’t react hostile. Civilian planes are not attacked either. It’s reasonable to assume that the intelligence behind UAPs is mostly benign.

“The threat to humanity from each other is magnitudes greater than from ETi. That hasn’t and shouldn’t stop us from talking to each other and that includes ETi.”

The Contact Project

GALACTIC FEDERATION?
All sorts of explanations about UFOs and their prospective occupants have been given, from the no-contact rule of a Galactic Federation to higher dimensional frequencies that mortals can join only after exhaustive preparation.

I didn’t make up the Galactic Federation link to UAPs, this claim comes from highly decorated former Israeli Space Security Chief Haim Eshed.

Healthy skepticism is of course in order as most sightings have a prosaic explanation, ranging from misidentifications to pranks and hoaxes. But they don’t account for every sighting.

To admit in 2021 that some UAP cannot be explained was a major step forward by the US government.

The Contact Initiative wants to find out if there is just one UAP that will respond to radio transmissions. And that is easy.

And to prepare for the possibility of a positive response from an UAP?
Not so easy.

Monolith © Utah Department of Public Safety Aero Bureau
2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY – THE PROLOGUE INTERVIEWS

The Contact Project can be found on https://contactproject.org.

Contact Project on reddit: https://reddit.com/r/contactproject

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“The Implications of the discovery of extra-terrestrial life for religion.” Royal Society presentation and article

Ted F. Peters 2011, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A | Summary by Erich Habich-Traut for the Contact Project, 2021

Three crosses on a hill at sunset. Free Church of Scotland, Reverend Sandy Sutherland, used with permission

The implications of the discovery of extra-terrestrial life for religion. Theologian Ted Peters wrote about the future of religion. He asked the following questions:

(i) Will confirmation of extra-terrestrial intelligence (ETI) cause terrestrial religion to collapse?

A few years ago, Ted Peters decided to put conventional wisdom to a test. Along with his Berkeley research assistant, Julie Louise Froehlig, he devised a survey: the Peters ETI Religious Crisis Survey:

Would the discovery of an extraterrestrial civilization cause a crisis in religious beliefs? Peters surveyed evangelical, protestant, catholic and orthodox Christians, and also Mormons, Jews, Buddhists and Atheists:

‘No’ is the answer based upon a summary of the ‘Peters ETI Religious Crisis Survey’. The discovery of an extraterrestrial civilization would not cause a crisis in religious beliefs.

When we turn away from one’s own personal beliefs and ask respondents to forecast what will happen to the world’s religions, including beliefs other than one’s own, something startling was revealed:

What the survey question above shows is the conventional wisdom of non-religious persons. They make a prediction about what will happen to religious persons: Atheists believe that religions will face a crisis.

Contrary, the Peters survey shows evidence that religious believers themselves do not fear that contact with ETI will undercut their beliefs or precipitate a religious crisis.

Then the paper examines four specific challenges to traditional doctrinal belief likely to be raised at the detection of ETI:

(ii) What is the scope of God’s creation?
This entire universe can be viewed as the product of God’s creative power and loving grace.

(iii) What will be the moral character of the alien intelligences we meet?
Will our extra-terrestrial neighbours be subject to sin? Will they have fallen, so to speak? Or, might the aliens have escaped the scourges that plague us here on Earth?

(iv) Is one earthly incarnation in Jesus Christ enough for the entire cosmos, or should we expect multiple incarnations on multiple planets?
What theologians agree on is that the incarnation we have witnessed within our own planetary history is that of the divine Logos, the divine mind through which everything in physical reality has come into being. They presume continuity between this incarnation and whatever exists despite its distance from us. 

(v) Will contact with more advanced ETI diminish human dignity?
Suppose we Earthlings begin to recognize that we are outclassed by our superior space neighbours.  Might we lose our dignity?

“Hand Of God”, NASA

The existence of a more advanced extrasolar civilization does not preclude our being an object of divine concern. Contact with alien intelligence will not disenfranchise us from being created in God’s image.

The belief that God has revealed himself in a supreme way, frees one to look for that which is of God outside that particular revelation. Christians should expect to learn new things about God from an encounter with aliens.

Conclusion
Despite the conventional wisdom, it is not reasonable to forecast that any of Earth’s major religious traditions will confront a crisis let alone a collapse should we confirm an encounter with extra-terrestrial intelligence.

Ted Peters believes that contact with extra-terrestrial intelligence will expand the existing religious vision that all of creation—including the 13.7 billion year history of the universe replete with all of God’s creatures—is the gift of a loving and gracious God.


Reference:
Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society: https://www.academia.edu/14721074/_The_Implications_of_the_discovery_of_extra_terrestrial_life_for_religion_Royal_Society_presentation_and_article

Ted Peters biography:
http://mttaborslc.org/ted-peters

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SETI on the cheap

“There was a specific electronic signature (frequency) emanating from them (UFOs/UAPs) when they were going into or coming out of the water, so they were easy to track. “

wrote Bob Fish in an Email to John Podesta,
published on Wikileaks by Julian Assange.

Robert Fish, USS Hornet

Can we send “welcome” radio messages during a sighting at UFOs and listen back for a response? Of course we can. That has not been done yet. At least not by civilians. Someone asked on a forum what the frequency is that the Navy listened to…

The frequency is easy to find out.
When an UFO is near we use a multi frequency receiver that scans the entire (electromagnetic) radio spectrum in an instant. The “Uniden Close Call” feature is incorporated into many HAM radios. “Whistler Spectrum Sweeper” is another option.

Both are ways to find frequencies that are close to you with a very strong signal.

Uniden Close Call vs Whistler Spectrum Sweeper

The “AOR AR-7400” is another receiver that scans a predetermined spectrum in one second.

Licensed radio amateurs (HAM operators) near a sighting could try to find the correct UAP frequency and then try to make contact.

To do this there’s no need for highly sensitive multi billion dollar radio telescopes. SETI pointed their dishes at very narrow points in the sky, searching distant star systems for alien messages.

That is not necessary when the potential alien transmitters are close by.

With the open source smartphone app “UFO Alert!” any search partner will be informed immediately of interesting nearby UAPs.

If UAPs emit radio frequencies their signal will be close by and strong enough to be picked up by conventional antenna.

Avi Loeb
The question of “what are UAPs? is also being investigated by Avi Loeb with the “Galileo Project”: this consists of hundreds of stationary optical telescopes that hope to photograph UAPs in high resolution.

I don’t think pictures alone will be sufficient to explain UAPs, no matter how high the resolution. I wrote to Avi suggesting we pool our ideas.

Science has a tendency not to publish results until 100% certain about them. That could mean a delay.

Public channel
On the public channel of the “UFO Alert!” app there will be no such delay. Public participation and discussion about possible results is the apps main feature. It will be totally transparent.

Science channel
The “UFO Alert!’ may have search partners that take a more cautious approach in publishing their findings.

That’s possible due to the open architecture of the app. The results of one search partner or group may disagree with that of another.

Conclusive evidence
But the app of the Contact Project has one main goal: radio contact with UAP. The analysis of those transmissions, if they exist, should leave no doubt about the result.

Join the subreddit: https://www.reddit.com/r/contactproject

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HANDSHAKE PROTOCOLS

The hand ✋Manus Dexter Palmar

So, we’re transmitting voice or data by radio to an UAP. They respond. What now?

Before we can have a meaningful communication with ETI (by radio), we need to agree on some form of handshake protocol. This is not just a friendly formality.

Communication, either analogue or digital, is dialogic. Dialogic processes refer to words uttered by a speaker and interpreted by a listener. We must make sure that the speaker is understood by the listener and that the listener can respond. It takes two to tango.

A handshake protocol can agree on the speed and language cypher to be used.

Language is seen as a cypher for thought, different groups of individuals employing unique sounds.

Language sets people apart, it seperates people into nations and regions. This gives them identity.

Digital V90 handshake

Computers or civilized states on common ground have developed handshake protocols for meeting strangers.

An example of a digital handshake are the modem sounds from dial up internet of the 1990’s. What we hear is the V90 handshake protocol of TCP-IP, the internet protocol.

In the movie end sequence in “Close Encounters of the Third Kind”, when the 5 note sequence is played and the mothership responds, we hear a demonstration of a tone-frequency handshake protocol that’s played by a musician.

Star Trek “First Contact”: ETI communication is initiated by handshake.

In the example from the Star Trek movie “First Contact”, a human literally shakes the hand of a Vulcan before communication is initiated. This is a dialogic handshake.

Not every human is comfortable shaking hands because of fear of viruses. Especially alien ones.

What kind of handshake protocol we’ll be using when we make First Contact with ETI we don’t know precisely.

But when it comes to the transmission of data then it will be a digital handshake. Therefore it’s pointless to expect to hear a single word from ET without ACK.

ACK SYN

ACK! SYN? Mars Attacks movie poster

Known as the “SYN, SYN-ACK, ACK handshake,” computer A transmits a SYNchronize packet to computer B, which sends back a SYNchronize-ACKnowledge packet to A. Computer A then transmits an ACKnowledge packet to B, and the connection is established.

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Why I am coming forward now

During April 2020 I had a lot of time on my hands. It was the first Corona lockdown in Germany. I decided to sort through old 35 mm negatives in an old drawer in our basement. The drawer serves as a storage box.

As I was pulling the film strips through the scanner, I came across negatives from England, where I had lived in 1995. Between those negatives were two frames of particular interest.

Ilford XP2 35 mm film, 1995

Ilford XP2 film frames 7 and 8 showed an UAP. I was not prepared to find these pictures. I had completely forgotten this UFO sighting for 25 years. The only other two people who knew about it were my girlfriend and her father who were with me when the sighting took place.

The blurry camera images are not as good as what I saw with my own eyes that night in 1995. I got two exposures of the same object driving in a straight line at 70 mph on the motorway. That made it possible to actually triangulate distance, speed and size of the object:

Triangulation of distance to UAP, frames 7 & 8

It has been suggested that what I saw was an advertising blimp parked near the motorway. I don’t think so, because it had no advertising or any markings on it. Also, the object became 25% smaller as we drove towards it for approx. 15 seconds at 70 mph.

To get smaller the blimp would have to have traveled faster than 70 mph. But a blimp top speed is only 55 mph.

UAP?

That leaves me with the question: what did I see?

This is the reason I am stepping forward, now.
I know how to answer this type of question, once and for all.


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The Mission of ‘The Contact Initiative’:
to investigate UAPs/UFOs using real-time tracking, radio, video, gigapixel images and passive radar, so that this type of question can be answered without doubts.

The engine of this initiative will be an app designed to coordinate real-time reporting, alerting, documenting and contacting efforts.

The goal of the ‘Contact Initiative’ is to gather high quality evidence and, if possible, find out if UAP react to radio transmissions.

What do you think of the Contact Initiative? Join the discussion on https://reddit.com/r/contactproject or friend me on Facebook.

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The Short Version of the Contact Project Research Proposal as PDF

5. Dec. 2021

Here’s the PDF version of the Contact Project research proposal, together with the introductory note and the “Contact app” flowchart. The working title for the Contact App development is currently “UFO Alert!”.

Download and email these documents to promote or evaluate the Contact Initiative. If you do forward these documents I’d be interested in the responses you get.

Contact Project: The Introduction Letter

Contact Project: The Research Proposal

Contact Project: The Contact app flowchart

A note on the Alien Marketplace, funding, etc.
As with most projects or initiatives, a positive cash flow greatly contributes to development speed and stamina.

The last chapter of the research proposal is the “The Alien Marketplace”. This type of chapter is more at home in a business plan than a research proposal and it outlines a funding possibility.

To finance the Contact Initiative a lottery and ad platform funded by advertisers and NFT trading technology are optional but not mandatory. It seems to be the most straightforward way to finance the app and its development and growth.

The Contact Project and Initiative welcomes donations and investments. Mostly the two are mutually exclusive, but I’m not an expert. How investment into the Contact Project could convert into equity has not been explored. I’m open to suggestions.

For donations: we are not tax exempt since this is the early start-up phase.

What do you think of the Contact Initiative? Join the discussion on https://reddit.com/r/contactproject or friend me on Facebook.

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