Wednesday, 1 April 2015

The Wow! signal: the most important UFO?

Here, I discuss the best evidence for alien contact and why most people have never heard of it.

<<click here and the post will open in a new window>>

1 comment:

    On April 9th, 2015, Emily Petroff and her colleagues published a paper showing that some unexplained, high frequency radio signals ("perytons") are probably being generated by microwave ovens. This discovery does not, however, explain the Wow! signal (nor Fast Radio Bursts, which, like the Wow! signal, are unexplained signals in our data). The abstract (i.e. summary) of their paper ends with this statement:
    "Radio emission escaping from microwave ovens during the magnetron shut-down phase neatly explain all of the observed properties of the peryton signals. Now that the peryton source has been identified, we furthermore demonstrate that the microwaves on site could not have caused FRB 010724. This and other distinct observational differences show that FRBs are excellent candidates for genuine extragalactic transients."
    While microwave ovens can clearly be vindicated, perhaps we can glean a few points of greater wisdom from this story:
    1) Sometimes mysterious data has mundane roots, and this might also be the case with the Wow! signal (as Jerry Ehman points out).
    2) Conversely, and importantly, the current (mostly modern) scientific process is pretty good at tackling these mysteries. The premise that scientists should attempt to exhaust all possible mundane explanations before jumping to radical conclusions has proven to be one of the best foundations upon which all modern progress has been built. Congratulations to Dr. Petroff, et al., for their careful and well-reasoned work. You can read the full PDF here: