New Frontiers in Science is an online journal that examines unexplained and controversial scientific phenomena. NFS publishes research and theories outside currently accepted scientific paradigms. In this issue, NFS takes a step back and examines the debate between mainstream SETI research, UFO investigations, and the Search for Extraterrestrial Visitations (SETV). An exciting new research area related to the study of pulsar signals is also outlined. Access to articles in previous issues is provided through the NFS Archive .

Vol. 1, No. 4 (Summer 2002): The search for extra-terrestrial intelligence and UFOs


SETI, SETV, and UFOs

Gerry Zeitlin

The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) might logically appear to be a middle ground between serious UFO research and the mainstream scientific communities, where science and UFO interests meet. SETI and UFO researchers see matters quite differently, however. SETI identifies itself as a scientific enterprise and excludes UFO data and research from the sphere of scientific legitimacy. In other words, SETI believes it is in the mainstream. For their part, UFO researchers dismiss SETI for its refusal to recognize the massive and widespread body of experience of the UFO. The Search for Extraterrestrial Visitation (SETV) has roots in early SETI postulations of the possibility that ET civilizations could be sending probes into our solar system, and in the UFO community that believes it is seeing crafts of extraterrestrial origin. Ways in which SETV can facilitate greater cooperation between SETI and UFO research are discussed that could lead to much greater human understanding of a vitally important subject.

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UFOs: A Challenge to SETI Specialists

Stanton T. Friedman

Major news media, and many members of the scientific community, have taken strongly to the radio-telescope based SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) program as espoused by its charismatic leaders, but without the support of any evidence whatsoever. In turn, perhaps understandably, they feel it necessary to attack the idea of alien visitors (UFOs) as though this were based on tabloid nonsense, instead of on evidence—far more evidence than has been provided for SETI. One might hope, vainly I am afraid, that they would be concerned with The Search for Extraterrestrial Visitors (SETV). I would hereby like to challenge the SETI specialists, members of the scientific community, and the media to recognize the overwhelming evidence for and significant consequences of alien visits and to expose the serious deficiencies of the SETI-related claims.

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Are Pulsar Signals Evidence of Astro-Engineered Signalling Systems?

Invitation to a Collaborative Study

Gerry Zeitlin

In his recent book, The Talk of the Galaxy, Dr. Paul LaViolette shows how new high-resolution recordings of pulsar signals reveal features that are inconsistent with the long-standing "neutron star lighthouse" pulsar model. LaViolette argues compellingly that the interesting and quite intricate behaviors of pulsars fit much more easily with a model of an extraterrestrial intelligence (ETI) beacon carrying information. Section 1 summarizes LaViolette's key points and describes the need for follow-up studies. Section 2 describes a multi-layered and multi-disciplinary program of research aimed at examining and testing LaViolette's assertions, and if the results merit, continuing with a search for information content in the pulsar signals.

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Approaching the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) Strategically

A Proposal to Identify and Assess Strategic Alternatives to Microwave SETI

Scot L. Stride

There are several competing hypotheses relating to the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI). These hypotheses mainly take the form of stated assumptions. Only a few are formulated allowing for any reasonable falsification. Propositions must be constructed so gathering the necessary empirical evidence can test their predictions. Most SETI hypotheses do not contain theoretical predictions based upon any existing observational evidence. Presently, in the face of no solid evidence, none of the competing hypotheses can be summarily dismissed. Nonetheless, certain SETI approaches have dominated even though their assumptions are no better than others are. The fundamental objective of the SETI is to collect factual observational data that can be used to verify that ETI exist. To this end, searching for ETI must be approached with a well-formulated strategic plan. Clearly there exist strategic alternatives, and some rank higher than others. In the drive to discover ETI, there is too much at stake to squander resources on ineffective strategies. The strategic alternatives must be ranked so that our finite resources for the SETI can be allocated properly. This paper examines how the microwave strategy came to dominate the SETI, and why this strategy must be challenged. It also examines our strategic response to finding ETI, and proposes a method to objectively compare the alternatives in order to make the right choice.

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