Space leads off this week's blogs once again, with this submission from W.G. (thank you!) about NASA's recent decision to fund research looking for extra-terrestrial "megastructures." The story, though, lacks a certain "context" ... or does it? It's that question that's at the heart of today's high octane speculation, but first, the story:
According to the article, NASA - which had quit funding standard SETI type research looking for microwave signals = has jumped back into the business of searching for ETs by funding other types of searches for technological signatures:
We might find technosignatures, too. These are things like radio signals, or even megastructures; that is, artificial objects on a gigantic scale such as hypothesized star-sized supercomputers. Now, Supercluster reported in an article this week, NASA has quietly begun to fund the search for such alien megastructures for the first time in the agency's history.
Searches for biosignatures have been well funded for the last few decades. In contrast, technosignature funding has had an up and down history. In 1993, NASA famously killed a search program intended to find microwave signals that were artificial in origin. “That had a chilling effect for a couple decades,” said Steve Croft, a radio astronomer and leader of the Breakthrough Listen project at the Berkeley SETI Research Center. But there are signs of a thaw.
Since the end of 2019, NASA has awarded four grants to fund searching for technosignatures. In November 2020, NASA awarded a grant to Ann Marie Cody of the NASA Ames Research Center and Croft to survey the whole sky for anomalous objects that transit across stars. It is possible, however uncertain, that they and their collaborators will find artificial alien megastructures.
The rest of the article goes on to "tame down" what megastructures means, pointing out that the search is geared toward stars that dim with a periodicity that might indicate exoplanets passing in front of them, and so on.
But as one might suspect, I have a bit of high octane speculation to advance in this connection. Regular followers of this website or readers of my books know that I'm one of those who believes that NASA long ago ran into such "megastructures" right here in our solar system, and that they've been keeping a very tight lid on things. Two rather famous examples come to mind: (1) the "Face on Mars" and the whole odd array of "strange stuff" in the Cydonia region of Mars, and (2) the Saturnian moon Iapetus. Now, assuming that the "face" really is a Face, badly degraded over the aeons, it is an example of a "technosignature" and a "megastructure." One might add to this Martian inventory more recent "strange pictures" with "strange stuff" in abundance on that planet, to similarly strange pictures of strange stuff on the Moon.
Turning to the Saturnian moon, as I pointed out in my book The Cosmic War: Interplanetary Warfare, Modern Physics, and Ancient Texts, that "moon" has a very odd list of features that make it very "un-moon-like", such as three parallel ridges running along the length of its equator, apparently "straight" edges, and most weirdly, a more-than-passing resemblance to the "Death Star" of George Lucas' Star Wars movies. Assuming the moon itself is not an artificial structure - and I'm willing to entertain the idea - then at least the parallel ridges would seem to be some sort of "megastructure" and "technosignal."
So back to NASA: if you, the reader, like me, subscribe to the notion that we're looking at real indications of real "megastructures", then NASA's recent announcements that it's funding such research makes some sense, because despite its public pronouncements against things like the Martian Face - "it's just a trick of light and shadow" - their picture analysts have eyes and minds too, and can probably see the obvious, notwithstanding public statements to the contrary. This will create a climate of opinion to go looking for the source or sources of such engineering, for whomever may have "come here" and "built that."
And I suspect that, in looking at stories like this, we're really looking at the continuation of one effort, that began back when Viking photographed the Face, and Cassini photographed Iapetus.
To put it as bluntly as possible, it's a national, and planetary, security issue...
See you on the flip side...