Not made by humans? | Part 1

Dawn at Big Ear, Ohio State University,

At a quarter past ten in the evening on the 15th of August 1977
a once-in-a-lifetime event took place in Delaware:

a very strong signal arrived at the “Big Ear” radio telescope. It had all the characteristics of having come from an extraterrestrial intelligent source.

The OSU Big Ear radio observatory was aligned in North/South direction. The parabolic reflector is in the South.

No-one was at the telescope at the time. The receiver and telescope computer were doing their jobs all by themselves. Therefore the signal was actually first detected by a machine, a twelve year old computer.

The IBM 1130 had first been built in 1965. it looked and felt like an old battleship. It had only 1 megabyte of memory. For that reason the only record of the radio signal is a 6 digit printout on endless paper. There’s no audio recording of the signal. Today we would have a complete audio recording of it, measuring mega- if not gigabytes. But in those days, just six characters on paper had to suffice as a record.

After a few days the stack of computer printouts was bundled by Big Ear technician Gene Mikesell and brought to Jerry Ehman’s home.

Jerry Ehman was a SETI volunteer with the Ohio State University. Together with Bob Dixon he had written the software for the Big Ear computer in FORTRAN and assembler.

Around the 19th of August Jerry began analyzing the printouts from the radio telescope at his home, looking for unusual radio signatures.

A few pages into the pile of paper he saw a peculiar sequence of numbers and characters.

He was astonished. After highlighting in red pen the six characters “6EQUJ5” Jerry wrote the notation “Wow!” in the left margin of the computer printout opposite them.

The Wow! signal printout

The characters and numbers denoted a very strong narrow-band transmission. Apparently it had come from outer space. Narrow-band transmissions usually don’t occur naturally and are a sign of artificial origin.

Conventionally speaking, all artificial things are made by humans. That’s because human language and the Cambridge Dictionary defines “artificial” as “made by humans”. That definition may have to be revised.

The Wow! transmission had all the hallmarks of a radio signal from a non-human extraterrestrial civilization. In the 1959 article “Searching for Interstellar Communications” Giuseppe Cocconi and Philip Morrison explained that using the 21 cm hydrogen frequency was a logical choice for SETI.

And that was precisely the frequency of the Wow! signal. It had come from the direction in the sky were the constellation Sagittarius is found. 

The Big Ear radio and computer shack.

If we transfer the number codes from the Wow! printout to plotting paper we can see the waxing and waning strength of the 1420 mHz radio beam that reached the radio telescope. Each of the letters and numbers corresponds to a certain signal intensity, as the next graph illustrates.

The signal may have been transmitting for centuries and was never detected because no one looked for it before. The signal source did not move in the sky. The only thing that moved over for 72 seconds was the Earth, rotating majestically from East to West as the radio receiver moved in and out of the signal beam.

And then the signal vanished. Gone. The signal would have been picked up again by the second horn antenna of Big Ear. But it was no longer there.

The rise and fall of the signal we see in the graph above was due to the antenna pattern, the signal itself remained at constant strength.

The graph below shows a similar signal pattern in “OV-221”, the radio source to the right of the Wow! signal. (OV-221 is also known as MSH 19203 (Mills Slee Hill Radio Sources)).

In this broadband continuum record the Wow! signal does not show up because it is too narrow-band.

Today I’m waiting to hear if OV-221 corresponds to the center of the Milky Way galaxy , Sagittarius A*, but no-one seems to know the old radio source designations anymore.

After Jerry Ehman showed the computer printout of the Wow! signal to John Kraus and Bob Dixon, they immediately talked about it, speculating and making hypotheses. Quickly, John and Bob began to investigate the various possibilities.

Dr. John Kraus was a physicist and the designer of the Big Ear radio telescope. He actually invented several types of radio antennas.

Bob Dixon was the director of SETI at Ohio State University radio telescope.

Together they excluded the possibility of the signal having been a plane, planet, asteroid, comet, satellite, space craft, ground based transmitter, or any other known natural source.

Now, since the Wow! signal appeared to be unnatural and no known human cause for it could be found, it was suspected that it could have come from a technological alien civilisation.

It was decided to go back to the region in space were the signal had come to see if it could be found again. The scientific method calls for reproducibility of any experiment or result.

Weeks turned to months, and years into decades as astronomers from all over the world searched the region in space were the Wow! signal had been detected.

The Wow! signal was never found again.

Calculations on the space region of the Wow! signal

Image by The Planetary Society, license

The Wow! signal was observed for 72 seconds. In this time a region of space equivalent to 18 arcminutes was scanned, according to the following calculations:

24h x 60 min = 1440 mins/day = 86400 sec
360° / 86400 = 0.0041° per second
72 seconds = 0.3°

An arcminute (denoted by the symbol ‘), is an angular measurement equal to 1/60 of a degree or 60 arcseconds. To convert a degree measurement to a minute of arc measurement, we multiply the angle by the conversion ratio.

The angle in minutes of arc is equal to the degrees multiplied by 60:
0.3 x 60 = 18 arcminutes.

As seen from the Earth, the Sun and Moon both have angular diameters of about 30 arcminutes. The full moon’s average apparent size is about 31 arcminutes (or 0.52°).

In other words, the Wow! signal spanned an area of about half the size of the Sun or the Moon, as seen from Earth in the sky. That is a rather large area in astronomy.

On the basis of this simple calculation I cannot readily agree that the Wow! signal came from a pointlike source. That may or may not be a problem. It can be resolved by agreeing that the resolution of the Big Ear radio telescope was not any better!

The frequency and speed of the Wow! signal source

It’s assumed that aliens that use the hydrogen frequency do so in a manner to compensate for the motion of their planet with respect to the motion of Earth. Otherwise the precise frequency of the hydrogen becomes higher or lower.

That’s why it’s important to look at the precise frequency of the signal.

John Kraus, the director of the observatory, gave a frequency value of 1420.3556 MHz in his 1994 summary written for Carl Sagan.

Jerry Ehman in 1998 gave a value of 1420.4556±0.005 MHz. 

This is (50±5 kHz) above the hydrogen line value of 1420.4058 MHz.

Only one of those frequencies could be the correct one. The explanation of the difference between Ehman’s and Kraus’s values was that a new oscillator had been ordered for the frequency of 1450.4056 MHz.

The university’s purchasing department then made a typographical error in the order and wrote 1450.5056 MHz instead of 1450.4056 MHz. The software used in the experiment was then written to adjust for this error. When Ehman computed the frequency of the Wow! signal, he took this error into account.

After all errors are accounted for, the Doppler shift of 1420.4556 MHz indicates that the Wow! signal source moved at a speed of 37 893 km/h towards Earth. The following calculations show how I arrived at that speed:

Calculations on the Doppler shift of the Wow! signal

The Wow! signal was detected at 1420.4556 MHz. First we need to convert the frequency to the wavelength. The wavelength is given by the frequency and the speed of light, how far one wave crest travels in a given time span.

Frequency to wavelength calculator:

The frequency of the Wow! signal 1420.4556 MHz is equal to a wavelength of (Δλ) 21.105373 cm. That’s the distance between each wave crest.

The presumed origin signal of hydrogen has a precise frequency of 1420405751.768 Hz, equivalent to the wavelength of (λ) 21.106114054160 cm. Wikipedia:

The doppler shift speed from delta lambda and lambda = 299 781 932.02409 m/sec.

Now we subtract
299 781 932.02409 m/sec
[Doppler shifted Wow! signal speed from v = (Δλ/λ) * c]
-299 792 458 m/sec [ speed of light (c)]

10 526 m/sec = 37 893 km/h or 10.526 km/sec.

Ref. 1: The source of the Wow! signal approached Earth at a speed of 37 893 km/h or 23 545 mph, if the transmission frequency was from hydrogen.

The average speed of asteroids is 18 – 20 km/s vs the 10.52 km/s from the Wow! signal. Comets that impact Earth usually are also faster, at 30 km/s.

End of part 1.

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A proposal to make radio contact with UAPs/UFOs


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Can We Have Artificial Gravity In Spacecraft?

Why has nobody built rotating spacecraft to simulate gravity?

Pictured: a fairground ride from the 1950’s, I call it a GRAVITY DRUM.

A whole spacecraft is expensive to rotate, but small spaces on space stations or ships could easily be rotated.

Can those small spaces be big enough to provide meaningful and healthy artificial gravity?

From my physics knowledge I recall that gravity and acceleration are the same.

If I remember correctly, 1 g is equal to an acceleration of 9.81m/sec per second. In other words, a wheel with a circumference of 10 meters would have to be spun about once per second to simulate 1 g in Zero gravity? Not quite.

Alas, it’s a bit more complicated than that, and thankfully we don’t have to spin the wheel quite so fast. That’s a bonus!

Here are a few handy calculators to work out wheel sizes and rotation rates to simulate Earth gravity:

SpinCalc, solves for gravity, radius and rotation rate,

Circle Calculator, solves for diameter, radius and circumference.

A wheel with a circumference of 10 meters would have a diameter of 3.18 meters. This would be a handy size for artificial gravity experiments, even on Earth.

Would it be comfortable to spend any time in this? The wheel should rotate at about 24 RPM to simulate 1 g. It could be compartmentalized in to 1 x 2 meter beds, holding ten crew.

So at least during their rest period spacefarers would have the benefit of normal gravity. The astronauts are lying on the inside of the wheel, a bit like in the fairground ride illustration but with more privacy.

Is it feasible to built such small Drum Gravity units?
How would the human body react? (Artificial Gravity by Centrifuge).

We know that the negative effects of zero gravity are really serious and numerous. Even 2.5 hours of daily treadmill exercise are insufficient to prevent these effects:

  1. fluid redistribution: Bodily fluids shift from the lower extremities toward the head. This precipitates many of the problems described below .
  2. fluid loss: The brain interprets the increase of fluid in the cephalic area as an increase in total fluid volume. In response, it activates excretory mechanisms.
  3. electrolyte imbalances: Changes in fluid distribution lead to imbalances in potassium and sodium and disturb the autonomic regulatory system .
  4. cardiovascular changes: An increase of fluid in the thoracic area leads initially to increases in left ventricular volume and cardiac output. As the body seeks a new equilibrium, fluid is excreted, the left ventricle shrinks and cardiac output decreases.
  5. red blood cell loss: Blood samples taken before and after American and Soviet flights have indicated a loss of as much as 0.5 liters of red blood cells.
  6. muscle damage: Muscles atrophy from lack of use. Contractile proteins are lost and tissue shrinks. Muscle loss may be accompanied by a change in muscle type.
  7. bone damage: Because the mechanical demands on bones are greatly reduced in micro gravity, bones essentially dissolve.
  8. hypercalcemia: Fluid loss and bone demineralization conspire to increase the concentration of calcium in the blood.
  9. immune system changes: Loss of T-cell function may hamper the body’s resistance to cancer — a danger exacerbated by the high-radiation environment of space .
  10. interference with medical procedures: Bacterial cell membranes become thicker and less permeable, reducing the effectiveness of antibiotics.
  11. vertigo and spatial disorientation: Without a stable gravitational reference, crew members experience arbitrary and unexpected changes in their sense of verticality.
  12. space adaptation syndrome: About half of all astronauts and cosmonauts are afflicted. Symptoms include nausea, vomiting, anorexia, headache, malaise, drowsiness, lethargy, pallor and sweating.
  13. loss of exercise capacity: This may be due to decreased motivation as well as physiological changes.
  14. degraded sense of smell and taste: The increase of fluids in the head causes stuffiness similar to a head cold.
  15. weight loss: Fluid loss, lack of exercise and diminished appetite result in weight loss. Space travelers tend not to eat enough.
  16. flatulence: Digestive gas cannot “rise” toward the mouth and is more likely to pass through the other end of the digestive tract “very effectively with great volume and frequency” .
  17. facial distortion: The face becomes puffy and expressions become difficult to read, especially when viewed sideways or upside down.
  18. changes in posture and stature: The neutral body posture approaches the fetal position. The spine tends to lengthen.
  19. changes in coordination: Earth-normal coordination unconsciously compensates for self-weight. In weightlessness there is a tendency to reach too “high” .

Compared to these adverse effects of zero gravity, here are some studies by a psychologist named Graybiel from 1977 on the effects of rotating a human on his own axis here on Earth, like on a spit (from


Graybiel concluded that 
1.0 RPM: even highly susceptible subjects were symptom-free, or nearly so
3.0 RPM: subjects experienced symptoms 
5.4 RPM, only subjects with low susceptibility performed well
10 RPM, adaptation presented a challenging but interesting problem. Even pilots without a history of air sickness did not fully adapt in a period of twelve days.

The “adaption” that Graybiel is talking about is the getting used to the absence of the rotation, after the body had been spun.

What that feels like we all remember from childhood.:


I must say that spit rotating a human on his own axis in the horizontal under the influence of Earth gravity is most likely to be very far removed from what a human may experience in an artificial gravity drum in weightless space.

I’d go as far as to say that Graybiel’s rotation comfort zones have absolutely nothing to do whatsoever with artificial gravity by centripetal force. All he proved in his paper “Somatosensory motion after-effect following earth-horizontal rotation about the Z-axis” is that the after effect of spinning someone rapidly is disorientation of the vestibular system of the ear, leading to dizziness, aka vertigo.

But let’s see if these Graybiel’s comfort zone figures can be applied.
The SpaceX Mars rocket is going to have a diameter of 9 meters. Would it be possible to create a comfortable habitat for sleeping or resting spacefarers within the confines of this rocket?

A 9 meter drum would need to rotate at 14 RPM to simulate 1 g, or at 8 RPM to achieve 1/3 of Earth gravity. Graybiel’s findings would indicate that the space available on the SpaceX Mars rocket would be too small.

However, I believe that the gravity (centripetal force) acting on the body as it lies down, not spinning about itself and on one level , will be more comfortable than twirling rapidly around one’s own axis.

In Drum Gravity Bed Units there would be no head-to-foot acceleration gradient.

The drum gravity bed units are conceived of as an add-on module to a spacecraft or space station, be it in transit, orbit or on the Moon, Mars or asteroids to provide more natural gravity.

Have prototypes of this concept been built?

In a certain way: Yes! The first picture in this post is a fairground attraction from the 1950’s.

Did humanity really forget from the ’50s how easy and fun it is to enjoy artificial gravity? Apparently the fairground visitors subjected themselves to the experience voluntarily and enjoyed it.

“Rotor Ride”

Simple gravity devices like this could help spacefarers to maintain their health, after the device is tweaked.


Rotating wheel space station — Wikipedia

Here are the calculations on the von Braun wheel from 1952 used in the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey:

They envisioned a rotating wheel with a diameter of 76 meters (250 feet). The 3-deck wheel would revolve at 3 RPM to provide artificial one-third gravity. It was envisaged as having a crew of 80.

Fast forward 70 years (not much has happened since the 1950’s):

The SAHC human centrifuge began testing and operations in about 2020. It’s to investigate the tolerability and use of artificial gravity on astronauts and their health, to counter the effects of weightlessness. What’s taken so long?

The machine measures 5.6 meters in diameter. 
It would be small enough to put in the SpaceX Mars rocket. But it needs a few more seats.

Centrifuge with lying test person

With the Short-Arm Human Centrifuge (SAHC) in Cologne — provided by the ESA — artificial gravity will be created to afford fundamental research in medicine and human physiology. The main focus is on the possibility to extend e.g. bed-rest studies to test methods of artificial gravity based counter-measures for medical risks due to weightlessness.

Technical data:

Max. radius at outer perimeter: 2,8 m
Max. overall payload: 550 kg

Max. centrifugal acceleration
(foot level, test subject height 185 cm): 4.5 g
Max. revolution of centrifuge rotor
(software limit): 39 rpm

Scientific applications

  • Development of effective countermeasures for neuromuscular and skeletal degeneration of astronauts using Artificial Gravity, etc…

This is an article by Erich Habich-Traut for the Contact Project,

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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?


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

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

The Contact Project can be found on

Contact Project on reddit:

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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.


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.


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 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 or friend me on Facebook.

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Artists impression

To motivate the public to take part in the Contact Initiative search and to download the app, prizes can awarded for UFO Alerts! that lead to 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.

NFT’s for verified UAP sighting pictures or video?
Alternative to cash prizes, credits may be given (that’s at the discussion stage), they could be collectible non-fungible tokens (NFT’s) linked to the detection record and/or the verified UAP pictures,. Their value is based on their historical value, rarity and 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.

The app and the Contact Project Organization itself may be financed by advertisements in the APP, which sell on the ALIEN MARKETPLACE.

A ‘jackpot’ cash prize will go to the first person to report an UFO/UAP that makes contact. Lesser prizes are for genuine UFO reports, verified unidentified flying objects without explanation.

A credit system of some sort or a cash prize should be instituted to motivate the participants. False reports are penalized by subtracting from the prospective “jackpot” money of the participant.

Examples for advertisements on the ALIEN MARKETPLACE are any products of interest to UFO, SCI-FI and Fantasy fans, as well as the general population.

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Realtime data feed about in progress UAP sightings

Creation of Adam / Earth Rise
Michelangelo / NASA

With the app named “UFO Alert!” (or “Contact Project App”) the Contact Initiative wants to engage with others who also think that they aren’t alone in the universe.

That includes not just our neighbors on planet Earth, should they exist. By that I mean neighbors on other planets.

We, the Contact Initiative, believe that there is a non-zero chance that UFOs/UAPs have an extraterrestrial origin. In other words and more precisely: we believe that UAP may be of extraterrestrial origin.

But we can’t be 100% certain.

In the past we may have seen something unexplained in the sky and wondered what it was… We never found out about it because no one told us and we didn’t have the tool to tell us.

We are the casual UFO/UAP witness.
We are 46 million people in the USA alone.
We wanna know what’s going on!

The UFO Alert! app

An tool to identify the identifiable and investigate the unknown.

click image to enlarge

Currently the flowchart of the app is not hewn in stone. No godly instructions were received on a mountain to create this.

This is a project in the brainstorming stage. To make it a reality compromises may have to be made.

That is possible because the app has a modular design. The app is composed of modules. Each module is desirable, but not essential to create the app.

For instance. the “Identified Flying Object Databanks” can be left out. They can be added at a later stage, or never. Omitting them would make the app programming much easier and faster.

How much can be realized at the first try?

That depends on
a) funding or
b) the selfless support from the open source community.

UFO Alert! is an open source UFO/UAP real time reporting tool. Every user who downloads the app is a “Search partner”. Users CAN register to use the app. During the registration users CAN enter their profession, such as pilots, air traffic controllers, military personnel, and age and hobbies.

Search partners can be anyone with a smartphone, radio operators, videographers, gigapixel camera operators, Unistellar telescope operators and (passive) radar operators, which are a subset of radio HAM enthusiasts and people that are close enough to have visual or audible contact with an UAP/UFO.

UAPs are a very transitory phenomenon. Often a sighting lasts less than a minute. Speed is of the essence to reacquire the target. Because it is in the reacquisition phase that the “UFO Alert!” app gathers most of its data.

The Contact Project

The “UFO ALERT!” app has two modes of operation: ALERT and CONTACT.

App users that report a sighting shall be called Alerters.

HAM radio and other operators that are sent the coordinates of the UFO shall be called Contacters.

What happens when an UFO is spotted?
The user who sees the object/phenomenon presses the “UFO sighting in progress” or “Alert!” button of the CONTACT app:

The app immediately uploads the timestamp and GPS coordinates of the sighting:

The user can also try to take snapshots or video of the UFO sighting with their smartphone. This provides real time additional data: the smartphone’s gravity sensors record the elevation and its magnetic compass records the azimuth:

The data are then sent to an “Identified Flying Object server”.
Here GPS and time data are parsed (and available elevation and azimuth). An astronomical real-time database, the NORAD database and air traffic databases are used to identify known flying objects near the UAP location, such as planets, planes and satellites. (To categorically exclude ship traffic, such as may have been filmed in Kumburgaz, Turkey, in 2007-2009, a marine AIS database should be included). Secret military projects are excluded via NORAD TLEs:

If the object is not identified,
it becomes a “prospective UAP” (PUAP):

GPS coordinates and other data of prospective UFOs/UAPs are forwarded as an ALERT to close-by Contacters using the same Contact app, to be investigated in more detail:

Contacters are selected based on their vicinity to the GPS coordinates of the sighting and their hardware/qualifications/experience. The contacters may be HAM radio operators and others (search partners with CB / HD camera / HD video / telescope / radar):

Should the same PUAP be reported multiple times at different locations a trajectory can be computed and search partners will be notified in advance of a possible PUAP arrival.

Users that spot the PUAP can fill out a standard UFO sighting questionnaire and/or supply more detailed reports that will be attached to the alert.

The presence of a not identified flying object has now been broadcast to users of the CONTACT app in the vicinity of the sighting via multiple routes (SMS, EMAIL, POP-UP APP NOTIFICATION).

Alerted by this notification:

HAM RADIO OPERATORS will be listening for incoming broadcasts from the sighting using multiband radio frequency scanners. Should the sighting be a remote controlled drone it would now be identified via the unique drone radio frequency signature.

If the PUAP is a viable UFO and not a drone → then HAM operators will attempt to make contact using a variety of radio bands. A pre-recorded message or data burst transmission may be broadcast towards the UFO.

Other search partners may try to use the information to get radar or visual confirmation via HD cameras or automatic telescopes (for instance UNISTELLAR / VAONIS STELLINA). 

A special field of amateur HAM radio is the analysis of passive radar data, often to observe meteor tracks. Sometimes unexplained tracks are recorded, showing flight maneuvers of objects at right angles. In case of these anomalous sightings an ALERT can be triggered with the aim of visual confirmation and radio contact.

Any search partner who can verify the sighting by eye sight using the CONTACT APP provides real time data to the sighting in progress.

The CONTACT INITIATIVE effort may be coordinated via the members of SETI Institute / SETI LEAGUE / MUFON /  HAM and other organized networks.

All who download the app can make UFO reports.
A sighting by a single person is less convincing than an event that many witnesses report from a distance to each other.

An AI algorithm will analyze live reports coming in in real time to determine if multiple witnesses are reporting on the same thing. This takes into account the position and possible flightpath of an object.

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, they 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.

The Contact App flowchart as PDF: download here,
and as JPG: download here.

What do you think of the Contact Initiative? Join the discussion on or friend me on Facebook.

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Reconstruction by author, MUFON #82139, Ireland, 1986

Based on personal experience the author of “The Contact Initiative” estimates the chance to spot an UFO/UAP in any one day to be approx. 1:10.000.

UAP photographs on 35mm negative film, frame 7 of 2. MUFON #111680, UK, 1995,
The UAP was grayish without markings as seen here. Photograph by author.

You may have a chance to take pictures or video of an UFO once every 50 years, as I did in 1995.

More impartial data than personal experience about the frequency of sightings comes from surveys. There are not a lot of surveys on the subject of UFO/UAP. More surveys should be carried out.

But there is one:

One available survey comes from Century Fox Home Entertainment. They did a poll for a promotional campaign of the Ridley Scott movie “Phoenix Forgotten“.

Reconstruction of “Phoenix Lights” by eye witness Tim Ley, USA TODAY, 1997

The “Phoenix Forgotten” plot was inspired by the “Phoenix Lights” UFO phenomenon from 1997. (Ref.: 1, Ref.: 2)

Over 1700 Americans were asked if they had ever seen an UFO:
16.74% responded positively (Ref.: 3).

If that percentage is any guideline, then we can say that 16.74% of 258.3 million adults (Ref.: 4), about 43 million Americans, had a UFO sighting.

 According to author Leslie Kean, “roughly 90 to 95 percent of UFO sightings can be explained”. (Ref.: 5)

The chief investigator of CUFOS in 1979, astronomer Allan Hendry, concluded from 1307 cases that 91.4% had a clear and simple prosaic explanation. 8.6% were classed as “UFOs” and 1.5% of those cases had no possible plausible explanation. (Ref.: 6)

This leaves us with 645,000 unexplained sightings from 43 million. This covers a time-span of 38.4 years, it being the median age of the US population (Ref.: 7).

If there are 645,000 completely unexplained UAP sightings in 38.4 years, we get 16,796 (sixteen thousand seven hundred ninety six) sightings per year. That’s 46 UAP cases without possible plausible explanation daily in the USA.

I believe this to be a fairly high number.

The Contact Initiative doesn’t want to wait around to get results. To maximize the chances of spotting UAP/UFO a large number of volunteer UFO/UAP spotters are needed.

And the method of spotting and forwarding a report of a sighting must be as simple as taking a photo or video.

The “CONTACT APP” (name may be changed) will be designed for this purpose, to be as simple as possible. But it will be the most powerful civilian use flying object identification program on the market.

One of its appeals will be that it provides near instantaneous identification of objects and phenomena commonly mistaken as UFOs: celestial objects, meteors, planes, blimps, military training exercises, satellites. The app gives feedback to the UFO spotter if what he/she saw is a known phenomenon.

The app records with high accuracy the position and time of the sightings and the number of users who see the same thing.

If the Contact app is downloaded one million times (corrected), then the chances are that we will see 65 UAP cases without possible plausible explanation in a year.

That amounts to a bit more than one really, really, puzzling UFO case per week. This should be enough to engage and keep the attention of the public. Because, what good would be an UFO app that doesn’t spot UFOs?

On the other hand, incorrect identifications of common or explicable phenomena as UFOs should become less with the Contact App. This way the great majority of witnesses would feel less stress.

A large number of participants serves to raise the awareness of the possibility of Extraterrestrial Contact. What does it mean to be a part of a greater community of diverse intelligences in the Cosmos?

The goal is to prepare for and meet a technological superior non-human species. That we’re not the most advanced technological species in the Universe is logical:

The Universe is billions and billions of years old. In it there are billions and billions of habitable planets. Modern human technology only exists since a few hundred years and we left the stone age just about 5000 years ago.

The development of life and intelligence is most likely not a one-time miracle confined to an infinitesimal speck of the Cosmos, the Earth.

The potential benefits of contact to an advanced intelligent extraterrestrial species are incalculable to the future and destiny of the human race.

It may be that we don’t have much in common with each other except curiosity. But that alone would be a driving force of human determination and progress, geared at finding out more about the other.

Should it turn out that UAP/UFOs are otherworldly emissaries of non-friendly intent, then it would also be important to find out. It could be fatal to stick our collective heads into the sand.

These are the reasons why the Contact Initiative proposes to contact “UFO sightings in progress” by radio waves.

1.: Kurt Russell claims he saw — and reported  — the ‘Phoenix Lights’,

2.: Ex Arizona Governor saw a UFO during the 1997 Phoenix Lights,

3.: New survey shows nearly half of Americans believe in aliens,

4.: U.S. Adult Population

5.: UFOs, UAPs and CRAPs

6.: Identification studies of UFOs


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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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