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.


—–

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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10. FUNDING: THE ALIEN MARKETPLACE

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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8. CHANCES OF ENCOUNTERING UFOs/UAPs

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:

STUDY ON PUBLIC UAP SIGHTINGS
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.

MISIDENTIFICATION OF UFOs
 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.

POSSIBLE UAP/UFO YIELD PER MILLION APP DOWNLOADS
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?

PEACE OF MIND
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.

EDUCATIONAL VALUE
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?

GOAL OF THE CONTACT INITIATIVE (CONTACT PROJECT)
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 SAGAN
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.

BENEFITS OF FRIENDS
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.

DON’T BE AN OSTRICH
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.

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

References:
1.: Kurt Russell claims he saw — and reported  — the ‘Phoenix Lights’,
https://eu.azcentral.com/story/news/local/phoenix/2017/06/14/kurt-russell-claims-reported-phoenix-lights-ufos/394749001/

2.: Ex Arizona Governor saw a UFO during the 1997 Phoenix Lights, https://en.wikinews.org/wiki/Former_Arizona_Governor_says_he_saw_a_UFO_during_the_1997_Phoenix_Lights

3.: New survey shows nearly half of Americans believe in aliens,
https://www.huffpost.com/entry/new-survey-shows-nearly-half-of-americans-believe-in_b_59824c11e4b03d0624b0abe4

4.: U.S. Adult Population
https://www.census.gov/library/stories/2021/08/united-states-adult-population-grew-faster-than-nations-total-population-from-2010-to-2020.html

5.: UFOs, UAPs and CRAPs
https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/ufos-uaps-and-craps/

6.: Identification studies of UFOs
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Identification_studies_of_UFOs

7.: US MEDIAN AGE
https://www.census.gov/newsroom/press-releases/2020/65-older-population-grows.html

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7. WHY INCLUDE UFOs/UAPs IN SETI?

Would ETI use radio waves moving at the speed of light to seek contact… if there was an alternative?

“Natural communication” between species using conventional radio is almost impossible over interstellar distances.

As ‘natural communication’ I describe an exchange of ideas where the sender can expect a reply before he/she has died from old age…

Using radio waves for communication is like sending mail with the Pony Express. Radio is bound to the “slow” speed of light, at about 1 billion km/h.

That may seem fast, except it isn’t, considering interstellar distances. Extraterrestrial species live so far from us that at best it will take us 8.7 years to send and receive a return message.

That is the time it takes for radio waves to pass to and from our nearest neighboring star system, Alpha Centauri.

Clearly, the speed of horses or light is not sufficient to speak to ET. Unfortunately, we can’t make horses or light go any faster. Is it possible to develop something faster than light to send a message (or people) to far-off lands?

Something faster than light?

Can the Alcubierre/Lentz drive move objects at hyperspeed? Is there any hint that extraterrestrial intelligence ever used “spacecraft unknown to humanity” to visit Earth, maybe to seek contact?

Are UAPs/UFOs spacecraft in the traditional sense, with occupants, or do they just contain a message that can be unlocked, for instance by transmitting a radio key sequence?

We don’t know.

UFO sightings at record levels
https://www.statista.com/chart/8452/ufo-sightings-are-at-record-heights/

UFO sightings are understood by the Contact Initiative as possible signs of extraterrestrial technology. These sightings are fairly abundant.

SETI, by contrast, has not found any techno signatures of verified alien origin despite over 50 years of searching. Has SETI not been successful because it has looked for technosignatures in the wrong direction?

The Contact Initiative believes that there is a reasonably good chance for an UFO/ET connection to exist. This, I believe, is sufficient grounds to include UFOs/UAPs in searches for techno-signatures of alien civilizations

Superluminal spacecraft are the easiest way to contact civilizations that have not developed faster than light communication technology, such as Earth.

It makes sense to attempt listening for radio signatures from UAPs.

Robert Fish wrote in an Email to John Podesta that

“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.”

https://wikileaks.org/podesta-emails/emailid/31721

I propose to transmit back to the UAP.

This may be a message of peace, mathematical code, or an echo of their own radio emissions. Or whatever else we can think of.

The Contact Initiative aims to establish radio contact with UAP.

In my understanding this project doesn’t fall under the restrictions of the statement of the SETI Institute concerning contacting alien civilization: https://setiathome.berkeley.edu/meti_statement_0.html

The SETI Institute is concerned with the effects of contacting ETIs on distant planets that are not aware of our existence. SETI Institute doesn’t want to alert potentially hostile Aliens to our presence.

On the other hand, we have been aware of UAP/UFO for decades, if not millenia. And, unless they are blind, so have UAP/UFO.

Therefore the (First) Contact protocol is not applicable.

What do you think? Join the discussion on https://reddit.com/r/contactproject and https://contactproject.org.

Best, Eric

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3. A BIT OF UFO HISTORY

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 SAGAN STANDARD
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.

PENTAGON ACKNOWLEDGES “UAPs”
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,
https://contactproject.org



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2. IS ALIEN CONTACT A GOOD IDEA?

Definition
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

Read: (STATEMENT REGARDING MESSAGING TO EXTRATERRESTRIAL INTELLIGENCE (METI)

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.


References:
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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INTRODUCTION TO THE CONTACT INITIATIVE

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

UFO ALERT
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.

MY OWN MOTIVATION

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

https://contactproject.org

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