Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/07/31/signals_seti/
SETI urged to fess up over alien signals
'Mother lode' or load?
Alien hunters today pounded the SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) Institute here with e-mails and phone calls, following claims made this weekend that the organization has covered up the detection of signals from space.
Allegations of a SETI cover up were made last night on the fringe-friendly Coast to Coast radio show hosted by Art Bell. During the broadcast, professional SETI watcher Steven Greer, the CEO of Space Energy Access Systems, claimed that insiders told him that SETI discovered a high concentration of signals from space, and that another organization stepped in to block those signals. SETI, however, maintains that it has not seen any signals of note.
According to Greer, the space communications have caused a major stir at SETI, which hunts for intelligent life in outer space.
"They have had numerous extraterrestrial signals," Greer said, during the radio broadcast. "They were apparently searching in a spectrum or in an area . . . where they hit the mother lode. The signals were so numerous that they began to have their systems externally jammed by some sort of human agency that did not want them to continue receiving those signals."
And where did Greer get this fantastic information? Apparently, from a well-known source within SETI.
"This person, if I were to say who he is, almost every one your listeners would probably know the name," Greer said.
Bell's Coast to Coast show is famed for dealing with matters that many would consider far from reality. The radio host has enjoyed a phenomenal career discussing ghosts, UFOs and things that go berserk in the night with an eclectic set of guests. But it's worth noting that Bell, who only hosts the show on the weekends now, and regular host George Noory often break stories such as the Dubai ports deal well before the national media.
That's not the case this time around, according to SETI.
"There's been nothing like that at all," said a spokesman, who described Greer, as "the bane of SETI's existence."
Greer runs a SETI rival, if you will, called CSETI and often claims that SETI is withholding evidence of alien life from the public. His comments triggered a torrent of e-mails and phone calls to hit SETI today, according to the SETI spokesman.
In this particular instance, the fine people at SETI seem a bit more tethered to the reality spectrum. Greer, after all, relied almost exclusively on hearsay in his discussion with Art Bell. In addition, Greer claimed that members of SETI were in on some type of conspiracy to keep alien life secret while at the same time being attacked by a third party trying to block alien signals from SETI. That's an awful lot of maneuvering - most of which makes little sense.
That said, technophiles should enjoy guessing who Greer's secret source might be.
Back in the day, SETI had serious backing from one of HP's early employees - Bernard Oliver. Over the years, the organization has received funds from such Silicon Valley institutions as NASA Ames, HP, Sun Microsystems, and the Gordon and Betty Moore foundation. Microsoft co-founder and space buff Paul Allen is also a major SETI backer.
Sun's CTO Greg Papadopoulos is the current Chairman of SETI. Could aliens be responsible for Sun's recent sales spike? Let us know. ®