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We should scour the moon for ancient traces of aliens, say scientists

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We should scour the moon for ancient traces of aliens, say scientists

Post  Admin on Mon Dec 26, 2011 8:57 am

We should scour the moon for ancient traces of aliens, say scientists

Online volunteers could be set task of spotting alien technology, evidence of mining and rubbish heaps in moon images

Prof Paul Davies and Robert Wagner at Arizona State University argue that images of the moon and other information collected by scientists for their research should be scoured for signs of alien intervention. The proposal aims to complement other hunts for alien life, such as the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (Seti), which draws on data from radiotelescopes to scour the heavens for messages beamed into space by alien civilisations.

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Searching for alien artifacts on the moon


The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) has a low probability of success, but it would have a high impact if successful. Therefore it makes sense to widen the search as much as possible within the confines of the modest budget and limited resources currently available. To date, SETI has been dominated by the paradigm of seeking deliberately beamed radio messages.

However, indirect evidence for extraterrestrial intelligence could come from any incontrovertible signatures of non-human technology. Existing searchable databases from astronomy, biology, earth and planetary sciences all offer low-cost opportunities to seek a footprint of extraterrestrial technology. In this paper we take as a case study one particular new and rapidly-expanding database: the photographic mapping of the Moon's surface by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) to 0.5 m resolution. Although there is only a tiny probability that alien technology would have left traces on the moon in the form of an artifact or surface modification of lunar features, this location has the virtue of being close, and of preserving traces for an immense duration.

Systematic scrutiny of the LRO photographic images is being routinely conducted anyway for planetary science purposes, and this program could readily be expanded and outsourced at little extra cost to accommodate SETI goals, after the fashion of the SETI@home and Galaxy Zoo projects.

► Alien civilizations may have sent probes to our region of the galaxy. ► Any mission to the solar system would probably have occurred a very long time ago. The lunar environment could preserve artifacts for millions of years. ► Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter provides a photographic database to search for artifacts. ► Searching the LRO database would make an excellent educational project

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Re: We should scour the moon for ancient traces of aliens, say scientists

Post  Admin on Sat Dec 31, 2011 3:46 pm

Progress in the Search for Extraterrestrial Life
ASP Conference Series, Vol. 74, 1995
G. Seth Shostak (ed.), pp. 259-264.


Institute of Radio Astronomy, 4 Krasnoznamenaya Str.,
Kharkov, 310002 Ukraine

ABSTRACT The moon is an attractor of alien artifacts, Hence, the search for alien artifacts on the moon (SAAM) is a promising unique project developed by the Research Institute on Anomalous Phenom-ena(RIAP).SAAM activity and current results are reviewed.


In recent years, interest has grown among researchers in the search for traces of extraterrestrial intelligence within the solar system. It has been shown earlier that within the time of existence of our planet, approximately 10 stars capable of having inhabited planets approached the Son to dis-tances within 1.5 pc (Arkhipov, 1994a). Such distances can be covered by space probes even at the present day level of science and technology (Project Daedalus 1978.)

These researchers have chiefly concentrated on a search for artifacts which are in orbit, on the Earth, or on asteroids. It seems that this list should also include the moon (Graham 1990, Arkhipov, 1993a.)


As early as the 1950s it was noticed that the moon was of great strategic importance for military and weather forecasting observations of our planet. It is reasonable to expect that intelligent beings that might have explored the solar system were interested in the Earth as a unique planet having a rare oxygen-containing atmosphere, and hence a biosphere. Thus, the natural satellite of the Earth could be used as a convenient site for long term observations of Earth.
Addtionally, there is a variety of other substantial arguments for placing equipment for prolonged Earth monitoring on the moon rather than in orbit or on the Earth (Arkhipov 1993b, 1994b):

The maximum lifetime of probes is at least doubled because the moon shields the device from meteoroids for 2 steradians.
Electronic devices will enjoy more stable performance and for longer times because the moon shields equipment from half of the ionizing radiation.
Stabilization of apparatus is simple.
The mission is easily camouflaged.
Lunar soil can be used for life support and repair of equipment.
The unfavorable atmospheric, geological, and biological factors of the Earth are lacking on the moon.

It should be emphasized that because of these reasons, landing on the moon would be for ET visitors a necessity rather than a convenience. The indisputable advantages of the moon as an intermediate base for interplan-etary flights are clearly demonstrated by the rise of interest of the USA and Japanese space agencies in the moon (Burnham 1991). Thus, the moon should be an attractor of alien artifacts too.


Only about 0.5 percent of the lunar surface has been photographed with a resolution of 1-10 m (Hansen 1970). But even the 1 m resolution photography can prove to be insufficient for an artifact discovery. For example, a photograph taken by Lunar Orbiter 3 shows the Surveyor 1 station on the lunar surface merely as a light-colored boulder (Jaffe and Steinbacher 1970). Modern lunar base projects (Shevchenko and Chikmachey 1989) contemplate placing manned modules under the lunar surface to protect them from radiation and meteorites. It is not improbable that our predecessors did the same billions of years ago. Since that time traces of their constructions could be destroyed by erosion, making objects hard to find. Indeed, the rock layer of 1-2 m must have been broken during one billion years (Horz et al. 1975). However, a few centimeters-thick layer of lunar re-golith is redistributed, i.e., “gardened” every 106 years. So, the search for any small artifcial imprints in the soil of more than 107 years age is naive. In this manner we can explore only about a fraction of a percent of the age of the lunar crust.

But the main obstacle in the search for artifacts is the principle of Occam’s razor which makes researchers regard a priori an artificial object on the moon as a giant natural formation or as an image defect. A geologist, for instance, will hardly identify a separately standing stone as a menhir even in England, let alone on the moon. It is only a criminalist who can dis-tinguish an artificially exploded crater from a natural one. But the moon is usually studied by geologists, geophysicists, geochemists, and astronomers accustomed to dealing with natural formations. All of this is enough to suggest that the moon is practically untouched in terms of the search for alien artifacts on its surface.

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Xenology Research Institute, 8256 Scottsdale Drive, Sacramento, California 95828, USA.

The Artifact Hypothesis states that an advanced extraterrestrial intelligence has undertaken a long-term programme of galactic exploration via the transmission of material artifacts. An attempt to verify this hypothesis experimentally, the search for extraterrestrial artifacts (SETA), is proposed to detect such evidence in the Solar System by telescopic, radar, infrared, direct probe, or other available means.


Current scientific interest in the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI) is motivated by the recognition that the technology for interstellar communication is now available. In recent decades many searches for interstellar radio beacons and signals have been proposed and actually conducted. The two principle assumptions in all such efforts are that (1) advanced extraterrestrial intelligence exists in the Universe, and that (2) these intelligences are presently attempting to locate, examine, or possibly communicate with us.

A previous paper argues that interstellar spacecraft are generally preferable to electromagnetic wave propagation for extrasolar exploration and communication. Further, recent objections to the existence of extraterrestrial intelligence based on the Fermi Paradox are invalid because they are based on the unsupported assumption that ETI or their artifacts are not now present in the Solar System. Our ignorance of potential evidence of ETI in the Solar System is not generally appreciated. (As in Ref. 9, it is conceded that
the UFO controversy and terrestrial sightings have no direct relevance to the present observational question).

In view of these results, and in order to subject the Fermi Paradox to needed experimental testing, I offer the Artifact Hypothesis:

A technologically advanced extraterrestrial civilisation has undertaken a long-term programme of' interstellar exploration via transmission of material artifacts.

If the hypothesis is correct, then unless the programme has only just begun, some evidence of this extraterrestrial exploratory activity should be apparent within the confines of the Solar System and thus could be detected by a suitable observational effort. On the other hand, if testing by observation disproves the Hypothesis, and if the arguments for physical probe superiority are regarded as conclusive, then the case for the nonexistence of ETI based on the Fermi Paradox becomes far more compelling.

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