Wow! Signal Revisited?

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Wow_signal

Image of the original printout and notation.

Piggy-backing on my visit to Area 52 an other interesting UFO story has caught my attention.

In 1977 Ohio State University Radio Observatory, known as Big Ear,  was in full operation. For its part in Ohio State University’s SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) project Big Ear searched for extraterrestrial radio signals. Back in those days the data gathered from the radio telescope was processed by a mainframe computer to be printed out. Each print out had to be gone over by hand. How archaic, right? I’m sure there is an app for that now.

In August of that year a man named Jerry Ehman was pouring over the printouts. He spotted the alphanumeric sequence “6EQUJ5”,  circled it and wrote “WOW!” in the margin. This would become to be known as the Wow! signal.

It may not seem very wow-worthy until you understand the significance of the find. At that time, scientists hypothesized that since hydrogen is the most common element in the universe and emits a signal at a frequency of 1420 megahertz, extraterrestrials may send out a signal similar to it. The idea was that extraterrestrials may think that other intelligent beings would recognize the signature of hydrogen thus recognize the signal as intelligent communication. The Wow! signal was significantly more powerful than previously recorded ones and lasted for a longer period, 72 seconds. Even more astonishing, it was very close to 1420 megahertz! Unfortunately the signal was never picked up again despite attempts to scan the area of space that it originated from. Big Ear was dismantled in 1998.

On the 37th anniversary of the Wow! signal an independent group of researchers led by Joshua P. Warren commenced the Arecibo Project and transmitted radio messages into space from areas around Puerto Rico. The messages included GPS coordinates and a request to appear there. They placed a live webcam to stream images from the GPS location. Several anomalies were captured, including a high-pitch tone that accompanied a saucer-shaped object. When the team examined the tone they found it to be acutely similar to the Wow! signal. The team has placed all of their findings at http://areciboproject.com and are requesting that others with expertise analyze the evidence.

I’m certainly not a video, audio, or UFO expert but the images are interesting. I’m going to try and keep tabs on this, I’m curious if other experts can verify the findings. If that’s the case, let’s just hope that whoever or whatever decided to follow the GPS coordinates on the footage (and in the future) is friendly. But in the words of Peter Venkman, the whole problem with aliens is you just can’t trust them. Occasionally you meet a nice one, Star Man, E.T., but usually they turn out to be some kind of big lizard!

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Area 52: Good, Sandy Fun!

Great Sand Dunes National Park and Reserve, Colorado

Great Sand Dunes National Park and Reserve, Colorado Photo by Joy Yehle all rights reserved ©

My visit to Area 52 was fun and restful. The first time I came here I was around 5 or 6 years old. I don’t know why I waited so long to come back!

The Dunes provide a beautiful foreground to the Sangre De Cristo mountain range. The scenery is striking at any time of the day but we were afforded some of the most spectacular sunsets Colorado has to offer.

Great Sand Dunes at sunset

Great Sand Dunes at Sunset Photo by Joy Yehle ©

The sand dunes provide a surreal landscape. Not somewhere you would want to be lost!

Great Sand Dunes National Park and Reserve

Great Sand Dunes National Park and Reserve

We rented some sand boards and sleds. The way down is awesome, the way up…feel the burn! Not just your muscles but the sand was hot, hot, hot! Fortunately, we could cool off in Medano Creek. The cool wet sand was perfect for digging, building, and generally being awesome!

Good Times at the Sand Dunes!

Good Times at the Sand Dunes!

As it got dark we turned our attention to the skies. It would have been pretty crazy if that cloud had actually been a mothership in disguise, but no such luck.

Sangre De Cristo Mountains Photo by Joy Yehle ©

Sangre De Cristo Mountains Photo by Joy Yehle ©

No Bigfoot, but the deer in the area are pretty darn friendly. This photo was taken without using the zoom. She was so quiet that the folks camping about 10 feet from her didn’t know she was in the bush!

Sneaky Little Visitor

Sneaky Little Visitor

The San Luis Valley is a reported paranormal hot spot. My mom’s family is originally from this area and I have heard the stories my whole life. I believe this may be what fostered my interest in the paranormal. I was slightly disappointed that I didn’t see Bigfoot, an UFO, an apparition, nor did I witness a vortex. But just slightly.

The paranormal rarely “works” on demand. It was quiet for us on this trip but who knows about the next?

San Luis Valley at Sunset

San Luis Valley at Sunset

As for now I’m going to enjoy the last few days of summer break because in seven days something really scary is happening…school starts!