Scientists Find More Mysterious Repeater Signals From Deep Space
Another set of mysterious “fast radio bursts” (FRBs) from a distant galaxy were recorded by astronomers at the Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment (CHIME) in British Columbia. Scientists are still unsure of the source of these strange bursts, though one potential explanation posits that they may be the product of an advanced alien civilization.
The latest bursts are the first recorded from this source since it was accidentally discovered in 2007. Astronomers remain baffled by this latest recording, which detailed signals at a significantly lower frequency than their first discovery. Initial frequencies clocked in at 1,400 megahertz, but the latest bursts came in at around 400 MHz; the lowest possible frequency their instruments could detect.
Is this potential alien civilization sending signals at varying ranges to increase its chances of being heard? If so, it seems we’re picking up all of them.
Though they were first discovered in 2007, speculation around the FRBs’ origin didn’t captivate headlines as much as it did in 2017 when Professor Avi Loeb of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics published a paper suggesting the alien possibility.
“Fast radio bursts are exceedingly bright given their short duration and origin at great distances, and we haven’t identified a possible natural source with any confidence,” Loeb said. “An artificial origin is worth contemplating and checking.”
There are two competing theories on the extraterrestrial potential; the first being that a civilization is transmitting their calling card in hopes of contacting another civilization like ourselves. The other possibility is that the bursts are propelling the sails of alien probes in deep space – a type of technology the Breakthrough Initiative is currently attempting to develop.
Astronomers noticed that whatever the source of these waves may be, it’s scattering the radio bursts – meaning it must be a massive object with “special characteristics.”
“That could mean in some sort of dense clump like a supernova remnant or near the central black hole in a galaxy,” said Dr Cherry Ng, a team member in the study from the University of Toronto. “But it has to be in some special place to give us all the scattering that we see.”
In the event that these bursts are coming from an alien megastructure, their source would likely have to be at least the size of a planet, unless they’re being emitted by some technology we can’t yet fathom. This would surely put the civilization beyond level one on the Kardashev scale, a level in which they have been able to harness all the energy of their home planet. We, on the other hand, have yet to reach such advancement.
Could this latest discovery mean we’re on the precipice of making contact with an advanced extraterrestrial civilization? It might be time to start building an intergalactic radio broadcaster of our own…
Was The 1977 Southern Television Broadcast Interruption A Hoax?
Government agencies that regulate television and radio signals are pretty astute when it comes to maintaining the security of the airwaves. But just after 5 p.m. on Nov. 26, 1977, unsuspecting viewers in England who tuned into the nightly news experienced a Southern Television broadcast interruption by a ‘voice from space.’ To this day, no one knows for certain who was behind the interruption.
Southern Television Broadcast Interruption a Hoax?
On this particular Saturday evening, unbeknownst to those working at an independent television station in Southern England, thousands of viewers were subjected to a six-minute message from an entity referring to itself as Vrillon of the Ashtar Galactic Command.
During the broadcast, Vrillon warned his unassuming audience of the dangers humans were getting themselves into by using weapons of mass destruction. Vrillon also confirmed the UFO phenomenon and his race’s presence “seen as lights in the skies.” Vrillon warned humanity to be wary of false prophets and the evils of money, before imploring his audience to live in harmony and put down its weapons.
The transmission returned to the evening’s normally scheduled programming of Looney Tunes before viewers were assured by news broadcaster, Andrew Gardner, that everything was alright and that it was simply a hoax. But some began to panic, frantically phoning the station under the assumption that the apocalypse was upon them, despite Ashtar Command’s seemingly peaceful dispatch.
News stations distorted the story, reporting different names and versions of Vrillon’s message. This added to the confusion creating a War of the Worlds-type anxiety among those who couldn’t fathom the possibility of a hoax. Adding to the conspiracy is the fact that the culprit of the transmission has still never been discovered.
Many believed the broadcast to be the doing of the Raëlian community, the UFO church founded just four years earlier by Claude Vorilhon, whose name sounds and looks uncannily similar to the Ashtar Commander, Vrillon. Was the name Vrillon just a misconstrued pronunciation of Vorilhon?
The Southern Television broadcast is often compared to the Max Headroom Chicago broadcast interruption of 1987 or the Captain Midnight HBO interruption a year earlier. Though the culprit in the latter case turned out to be a disgruntled employee.
The particular broadcasting system that was being used by the Southern Television station was unusual in that it bounced one signal to another transmitter on the Isle of Wight, rather than using a direct landline like most television transmitters at the time. This allowed the signal to be interfered with, though it would take someone well-versed in the technology to intercept and interrupt it.
What is strange about the Ashtar Command broadcast is that not everyone heard the name “Vrillon” that night. Some say they heard the name “Asteron,” some heard “Gillon,” and others heard “Bramaha.” Adding to the intrigue is the fact that the only audio or video evidence of the message is a reenactment.