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Your Paracast Newsletter — November 29, 2020



Gene Steinberg

Forum Super Hero
Staff member
The Paracast Newsletter
November 29, 2020
www.theparacast.com


Writer MJ Banias Reveals a New Media Venture Covering Science, Technology and Defense on The Paracast!

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This Week's Episode: Gene and Randall present a special return appearance by writer, educator and blogger MJ Banias, who will discuss a new media venture in which he is involved, The Debrief, which is described as "science, technology, and defense news for the bold and rebelliously curious." The discussion covers a range of UFO-related topics and also SETI and the hopes to find evidence of life in outer space. MJ is the author of "The UFO People: A Curious Culture." He has been featured on multiple podcasts and radio shows. His work has been included in Mysterious Universe, RoguePlanet, Vice, Fortean Times, FATE Magazine, and the book, "UFOs: Reframing the Debate." He lives in Canada with his wife, three children, and a massive cat.

J. Randall Murphy's Ufology Society International: Ufology Society International (USI) - Explore the UFO Phenomenon

The Debrief: The Debrief

After The Paracast -- Available exclusively for Paracast+ subscribers on November 29: Writer, educator and blogger MJ Banias, from The Debrief, an online science, technology and defense news outlet, continues the discussion that started on the November 29, 2020 episode of The Paracast. He focuses on UFO culture, such as the controversies confronted by America's largest UFO group, MUFON, and why he believes it will fade over time as memberships decline. And what about the difficulties in attracting younger people to the study of UFOs? MJ also joins Gene and Randall in talking about a possible paranormal unified theory, in which all strange events might be traced to a specific cause.

Reminder: Please don't forget to visit our famous Paracast Community Forums for the latest news/views/debates on all things paranormal: The Paracast Community Forums. Check out our new YouTube channel at: https://www.youtube.com/c/TheOfficialParacastChannel

So Does ET Have Radio Stations?

By Gene Steinberg

One key argument made against the possibility that UFOs are visitors from other worlds is the apparent lack of radio signals. Well, at least, we cannot detect them. More to the point, if there’s loads of life out there in the cosmos, it doesn’t seem as if any of those civilizations have perfected radio.

Or if they have, it’s quite different from the kind of radio we use, and hence we are unable to pick up their signals. Of course radio telescopes scan a far wider spectrum of frequencies, so even if there are no AM, FM, VHF, UHF or other broadcast bands in use, we’d hear something — anything — to reveal their presence, right?

So is this evidence that there are no intelligent civilizations anywhere in our galactic neighborhood? After all, wouldn’t they have developed systems by which they could communicate among themselves wirelessly? Don’t the laws of physics apply equally around the universe, so that what works here will, one supposes, work 50 light years from here?

Certainly the search for possible life-bearing exoplanets is based on the assumption that the conditions that produce life on Earth would have to be present, in some form, on those other planets too. Many seem to have the potential to harbor life, even if it’s not life as we know it.

Indeed, it may well be that life can, as it does here, survive quite extreme conditions, or what we regard as extreme conditions. That would seem to indicate that life is a constant, although it’s an open question how much of it would develop what we would regard as an advanced civilization.

The sci-fi concepts of life in the universe range from humanoid — including Klingons and Ferengi — to more bizarre forms. And I’m not talking about walking and talking lizards or insectoids. Star Trek depicted a silicon-based lifeform, the Horta, in a 1967 episode, “The Devil in the Dark.”

In the latter, it took Spock and his “mind meld” to communicate with a Horta and reach some sort of understanding so they could coexist with the inhabitants of a human mining colony.

I suppose that, even if ET employed a communications scheme similar to our radio, they might not want us to hear them and thus the signal would be scrambled in a way that would manifest itself to outsiders as just more random noise.

But what about the signals sent aloft before such technology was perfected? Where are the voices of ET when it wasn’t so far advanced?

But the real question is whether our radio telescopes could pick up those signals from light years away. How far can, say, signals that are the equivalent of those broadcast by one of our TV stations travel, and when will they be lost in the background noise?

Would, say, a civilization a few dozen light years from here be able to detect those signals and make sense of them as something that originated from an intelligent civilization? Even then, what would they make of it? Would they be able to translate the audio and video and thus, eventually, interpret the conversation so that it is all or mostly understandable?

How would they react to all that stuff we are sending anyway?

Think about that movie send-up of Star Trek, “Galaxy Quest,” that bases its humorous premise on the answer.

In that film, the stars of the defunct series in the title make a living, more or less, attending conventions for fans of the show when they’re not getting drunk. So during one of those meetups, they are visited by actual aliens from a far-off planet, who misinterpreted the shows as documentaries, “historical documents,” and thus fashioned their own civilization on that basis, including the starship and its technology.

Not knowing it was all fiction, they succeed in dragging the actors from that series into a genuine galactic conflict.

While only a modest box office success, the film has become a cult classic and won Hugo and Nebula awards.

In any case, one wonders just how aliens might react to our comedies and dramas, and whether they’d take them seriously or understand the concept of play acting for entertainment. Would those broadcasts convey to them, shall we say, a false picture of what Earthlings are all about, or would they understand the concept of drama?

What about “I Love Lucy” and “The Adventures of Superman?"

Remember, too, that broadcasts will exist on a finite time cycle. While broadcasting stations still exist, streaming radio and TV have taken over for many people. Cable and satellite TV can present the same content — and hundreds of other channels — via wired or satellite digital transmissions. It won’t be many years before those terrestrial stations are shut down for good.

So if there are alien civilizations listening to us, there would be a finite lifecycle unless they had the technology to receive satellite transmissions from light years away and decode and separate millions of individual signals.

If communications technologies took a similar path elsewhere in the universe, again there would be a finite lifecycle for their broadcasts, after which they’d no longer exist.

The long and short is that radio telescopes would probably hear intelligent signals generated by comparable equipment. In other words, if ET wanted to talk to us, they’d send us a greeting via the appropriate technology, with the hope that we’d stumble upon the right frequency and the right signal at the right time to pick it up.

Even then, that greeting may be years, decades or centuries old by the time it reaches us. Even if the civilization that broadcast it still existed, it may not be in a position to or care about receiving a response.

Sure, there is the Star Trek concept of “subspace radio,” where signals can travel faster than light, but such a scheme requires having comparable technology to receive them.

When it comes to listening to the radio signals from UFOs, assuming they are extraterrestrial, it’s a sure thing that if they didn’t want us to receive their transmissions, they would have little difficulty concealing and encrypting those signals from primitive Earthlings.

Radio telescopes? Let me put it this way: If ET wants to phone Earth, they definitely know our number.

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