Breaking: UFO Experts Say SETI Shutdown “No Big Deal”
Article By: Chris Edwards
The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) is known for using high-powered telescopes and satellite dishes in an attempt to catch signals from outer space indicating that there is life on other planets and that they are trying to communicate with us. However, the SETI institute has just released a statement on its website notifying the public that, due to the lack of funding, the Hat Creek Radio Observatory will be forced to undergo a hibernation, causing SETI’s Allen Telescope Array to lie dormant.
The Allen Telescope Array, made popular by the movie Contact, consists of 350 antennas of 6.1 meter diameter each, resulting in an instrument with a collecting area exceeding that of a 100m telescope. With this Array now lying dormant, SETI is suffering a huge setback in their continuing search for extraterrestrial signals in the galaxy. The question is, with the ATA offline, how will this ultimately affect the UFO community?
“It’s no big deal,” said John Ventre, the Pennsylvania Director for the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON). “I don’t see it as a bad thing.”
Ventre explained that although MUFON and SETI may have similar goals (such as to prove the existence of extraterrestrials), they have largely different views on whether or not we have already been contacted. “SETI was the public view of extraterrestrials and was set up as what the government wanted you to see,” he said. “We have already been contacted by aliens with hundreds of reports of UFOs a week so SETI really stands with no purpose.”
Roger Marsh, the director of Communications for MUFON had similar thoughts, though he said he would be sorry to see it go. “I appreciate all SETI has done for us even if we disagree.”
SETI could not be reached for comment.
Despite the current lack of private and government funding, Marsh does believe that funding for the paranormal may see an increase over the next few decades due to its presence in the media. With television shows, conferences and websites giving more and more attention to these phenomena people may feel “less embarrassed about donating money to paranormal research.” He also looks forward to the day when more universities and colleges start offering educational programs and funding to organizations like MUFON and The Rhine Institute so they can continue to keep their doors open in their quests to pursue the paranormal. “Even though it might look like MUFON and SETI have different goals,” continues Marsh “we still have the same objectives. The only way we can be truly open-minded is to have different styles of research.”
UPDATE 7:25PM EST:
Dr. Seth Shostak, Senior Astronomer at SETI, returned calls to the INSIDER today to comment on the status of the SETI Institute and their announcement that the ATA – an important tool in their quest to find life outside of Earth – is being shut down due to lack of funding. Since that announcement, several news outlets and UFO community sites have started speculating over whether or not this is the end of SETI. Dr. Shostak stated that SETI will not be closing down as rumors have suggested, despite the temporary loss of the ATA. “It is a setback. It’s like going into a electrical engineer’s lab and removing his soldering iron.” However, SETI is hosted by various groups around the world with a worldwide effort to continue their pursuit of astrobiological sciences and extraterrestrial evidences. “We expect to have the ATA back up and running within a few months,” says Shostak, although he did not elaborate on how. When asked to respond to comments from top UFO officials on how SETI’s rumored shutdown would impact the UFO community, Shostak replied, “No need to comment because it’s not a question of shutting down.”