by Richard Hoagland from EnterpriseMission Website PART I This Summer, precisely one year after a strange fractal “crop glyph” appeared in a field just outside the Chilbolton Radio telescope grounds, in Hampshire, England, another, even stranger glyph appeared (above). According to Darcy Ladd, Manager of the Chilbolton Radio Observatory, in an interview with Colin Andrews, the image appeared “suddenly on the morning of August 14th.” According to Mr. Ladd, “No unusual activity was seen that morning, in the field or [in terms of] aircraft overhead, etc ….” According to the Manager, Chilbolton does have security cameras, but they are not equipped for night vision surveillance. The cameras captured “nothing unusual.”
The image which confronted the Telescope personnel that morning bore a striking resemblance to the July, 1976 Viking image of the “Face on Mars” (below image) – right down to the appearance of asymmetry and “erosion” on the right hand side. Curiously (considering what was to happen next) this “Cydonia resemblance glyph” appeared just four days after our own publication of a provocative, new, comprehensive theory of Mars – our Mars Tidal Model Paper (that detail will become important later). Though first noticed by the telescope employees on the 14th, the Chilbolton “Face” was not reported (and NOT by the facility staff) until Sunday, August 19th.
Its announcement in England caused an immediate worldwide sensation on the Internet – not the least, because it struck many observers as a deliberate effort to remind everyone of the infamous Face on Mars. For one thing, the Face crop effort seemed to be designed to replicate the light and shading of the original Viking Cydonia image (below, right). The Face turned out, under a “Gaussian blur filter” (thanks to Paul Lowrance – below, left), to bear a strong resemblance to a somewhat primitive human face – not unlike the left hand side of the human/feline hybrid of the Face on Mars … if the Face’s erosion was removed. But, the Chilbolton glyph lacked a key feature of the Cydonia Face – the distinctive “platform” around the base. In place of this, however, it was obviously carefully placed within a frame (see above). Was this done to underscore its connection to the prior Viking pictures? But there were other, far more sophisticated aspects, which drew people to this glyph. The whole thing seemed to be made up of cells, which bore a striking resemblance to the half-tone “dots” used to create newspaper pictures, or the pixels of a digital image. These “pixels” were made up of a series of darker standing tufts of wheat, with the bright “pixels” created by the gently swirled down stalks between (below). The deliberately-created illusion in this glyph (below) -– that the lighting is coming from the upper left (as in the original Viking Cydonia frame), when in fact Steve Alexander’s aerial photograph was taken with the sunlight on the field coming from the lower right – is further testimony to the superb optical physics embodied in this effort. And, remember – -this was achieved in a waving field of wheat, not the most permanent medium to work with. And there was another “cute” touch: the Face glyph was placed in the field in such a way that the “tramline” scanned across the “nose” cuts it almost exactly in half – another subtle reminder of the dual-Face image at Cydonia? Yet there are other reasons to take this possible “Chilbolton-Cydonia” link seriously. As noted previously, precisely a year before the “Face glyph” was created in this English field, another glyph suddenly appeared (below). Michael Lawrence Morton, carrying on the work of Carl Munck (first presented by Richard C. Hoagland at the UN, in 1992), found a stunning “geometric matrix” connection between these two sites – the Chilbolton field and Cydonia. In fact, in decoding the location of the fractal glyph from the year 2000 (below), Morton determined an astonishing set of linkages on his grid system between Chilbolton and literally the Face on Mars itself. This array of circumstantial evidence has led us to conclude that the Face-glyph, appearing in the same field on August 14th, 2001, a couple hundred feet away from the 2000 glyph, may indeed have been intended as a “reminder” of the Cydonia Face (below).
But why there… and why now? Face/Glyph comparison by Andreas Müller
According to Manager Ladd, five days after the Face initially appeared, a second striking – and strikingly different – glyph suddenly materialized in the same field (below) – only a few hundred feet from the “Face.” But this second glyph, at first dubbed the “Persian carpet,” had a far more compelling story to tell than the mere appearance of “a “face.” Crop circle investigators in England quickly realized that this second glyph was a near dead ringer for a “SETI” (Search For Extraterrestrial Intelligence) message composed and transmitted from the Arecibo Radio Telescope in Puerto Rico in 1974 – 27 years before and thousands of miles away from this Chilbolton field (below, left). That original Message, conceived by Frank Drake, the late Carl Sagan, and a few other colleagues at Arecibo, contained information about the human race, our solar system, and our means of communication. Yet, after a second look, there were subtle but crucial differences between this historic SETI transmission, and the apparent “alien response” appearing at Chilbolton in 2001. The obvious question that’s been on everybody’s mind is: “Are these for ‘real,’ or a just clever hoax?” Since the first appearance of “crop circles” in England, in the early 1970’s, this question has hovered over every new appearance… now numbering in the literal thousands. Eventually, samples from “circles” compared with planets from unaffected fields, revealed puzzling physiological and molecular changes in “circle” crops that are simply impossible to attribute to “boards and chains.” But, since there are no scientific studies of the plants from the Chilbolton glyphs as yet, what other clues can be used to ascertain the probability that something truly remarkable has happened there?
James Deardorff, former Senior Scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, in Boulder, Colorado has attempted to calculate such odds. He begins by asking some very basic, common sense questions: [What is] the probability that hoaxers could: be creative enough to construct a new type of glyph like that, involving rectangular “binary units” in the “Arecibo” response, and no circles, repeatedly practice making the Arecibo glyph first, in some field(s), without these practice attempts being spotted from the air and reported actually carry it out, producing all those right-angle corners in the Arecibo-like pattern, without making any mistakes do it all in just a few hours overnight do it without showing up on the security cameras there, one or more of which looked out towards the relevant direction … do it without leaving undesired trampled stalks or stake holes, etc., behind, from having accessed the location along some tram line and laying out the surveying lines, etc., which would be necessary not claim credit for it afterwards and not offer to show skeptics just how they did it by being willing to quickly reproduce the same designs within a pristine area of a wheat field while under the watchful eyes of veteran crop-circle researchers. Concerning the probability of (a), we have, on a couple occasions, seen the handiwork of crop-circle hoaxers in a contest. Their patterns consisted of the same elements, and were of the same type, as in (genuine) preexisting crop-circle formations (circles, triangles, stars, and such). Very little creativity. Thus I would estimate the probability of (a) as being p(a) = 0.3 – possible, but not very likely. (Here, p=0 would mean no chance whatsoever it could be a hoax, and p=1 would mean absolute certainty it was a hoax.)
Concerning the probability of (b), since most of the crop-circle formations apparently do get noticed, including hoaxes, so would practice attempts be noticed and reported as either genuine or hoaxes. Surely several practice attempts would be needed in this case, and this would give away hoaxers’ final version unless they trampled down each practice attempt right away after making it, without being noticed. However, such trampled areas would themselves likely be noticed from the air and/or the perpetrators reported. I estimate the probability of such going unnoticed and unreported as less than 50-50, say 0.3.
Concerning the probability of (c), I notice that there are some 700-1000 right-angle corners of standing stalk involved, on a relatively small scale, in all those binary units of the “returned” Arecibo message. It would be difficult to generate even 30 of them without making a mistake – and once a mistake is made, with the wrong stems bent over to stay, they can’t be raised again. If the chance for error was only 0.5 (50-50) for each succession of 30 corner units, then the probability of making just one right-angle corner come out right is quite high, 0.9782. However, the probability of one or more persons continuing the process on 800 of them without botching any of the corners or trampling down the wrong spot would be this figure raised to the 800th power, which is only 2 x 10-8 = p(c). Concerning (d), the time to attempt to accomplish this would be on the order of 20 seconds to correctly emplace each of some 2 x (23 + 73) = 192 tall stakes around the periphery (64 minutes in all) two minutes to string each of 23 parallel “grid” lines (cords) lengthwise and one minute each for 73 shorter parellel lines crosswise (119 minutes in all) 2 minutes each to flatten stalks around the roughly 800 “binary units” of wheat to be left standing (this includes the time necessary to identify where to move to next without trampling the wrong area in the dark, and ducking under the various criss-crossing lines to get there – 1600 minutes in all) some 20 minutes for a couple of rest breaks 45 minutes to remove all stakes and cords and carefully exit without leaving access tracks behind in the field. This is some 31 hours, suggesting the need for a team of 5 or 6 people, each knowing what their specific tasks are. Since this seems possible, this consideration doesn’t rule either against the hoax or against the “real thing,” which means p(d) = 0.5.
Concerning (e): for a team of 5 or 6 people to do this at night would require a good deal of artificial lighting, along with walkie-talkies so that the head hoaxer could orchestrate the entire endeavor, directing each worker on where to step next or not to step. The odds are not good that such lighting would not have been detected when the security-camera video tapes were examined. Here I estimate p(e) = 0.2 that hoaxers could have done this without their night lights showing up.
Concerning (f), I believe that no stake holes were reported, but the probability that so many of them could have been filled in prior to the hypothetical hoaxing team’s departure without the disturbed ground being noticed and reported later, and similarly for no disturbances along any tram lines showing up on the aerial photos, suggests a low probability of hoaxers getting away with this aspect, say p(f) = 0.1. (Bear in mind that if hoaxers get to a genuine formation prior to serious crop-circle researchers, such hoaxers could deceptively make stake holes, leave behind some string and cigarette butts, etc.)
Concerning (g), I believe the chances are less than even that, if hoaxers had made such unique crop glyphs, they wouldn’t wish to claim credit for it (or them) within a couple weeks afterwards – after a goodly number of paranormal researchers had offered their opinions that the formations were not man-made. This hasn’t happened. So I would estimate p(g) = 0.4, with this value decreasing somewhat as time rolls on without any viable confession forthcoming.
… it turns out that there’s a mathematical way of combining individual probabilities on a yes-no type of hypothesis, in this case a hoax or no-hoax hypothesis, to arrive at an overall probability, P. That’s because probabilities p(a)…p(g) involve independent elements all bearing on the same question of hoax or no-hoax.
The simple formula is: P = M1/(M1 + M2)
where M1 = p(a)*p(b)*…*p(g) and M2 = [1 – p(a)]*[1-p(b)]*…*[1-p(g)], where the asterisks denote multiplication. Plugging in, we get: P = 7 x 10-11 That is – less than two chances out of 10 billion (U.S. billion). So why is the “hoax” hypothesis given any credence at all?
I read somewhere on the Internet that our 1974 Arecibo message contained a few mistakes, and that these were replicated in the agro-glyph, from which the conclusion was drawn by some person that it must be a hoax, since true aliens would surely(!) both know better and would tell us the truth and nothing but the truth. But aren’t the aliens visiting us the past 54 years known for leaving a few crumbs behind for negative skeptics to glom onto?
E.g., UFOs that look somewhat like airplanes except the navigational lights are all wrong and perhaps no wings, or black “helicopters” flying way too low and perhaps making no noise whatever, or crop-circle formations that start out simple and become more complex (as if hoaxers were teaching themselves), etc. Surely we have to allow that since they could be millions of years advanced over us in their evolution and science & technology, they could also be a bit smarter than us, and have a strategy of dealing with us that includes some feature(s) in their sightings/glyphs that will allow skeptics a way out from believing what they are incapable of believing without going berserk. Hence, if such “mistakes” were indeed present in the glyph, they do not support the hoax hypothesis any more than they oppose it, and do not enter into the above probability analysis. (If you include some item in the formula that has probability 0.5, it doesn’t alter the mathematical result. If interested in the formula’s derivation, you can find it at: http://www.proaxis.com/~deardorj/cumulate.htm)
Obviously, the answer one gets with such a probability analysis depends entirely on the individual probabilities estimated for the independent components of the hypothesized hoax. If you were to do it, your numbers would no doubt be different, yet still yield an outcome of very slim odds of success for a hoax, I’ll wager. But it is handy to have a formula by which you can obtain an overall probability estimate after the individual probabilities have been hashed over and agreed upon. Colin Andrews, an electrical engineer now living in the United States (after formerly working for local government in Britain), has for over 30 years attempted to scientifically understand the baffling “crop circle enigma.” Returning recently to the United States from a first-hand investigative survey of Chilbolton, Andrews reported the following observations: “… The ‘face’ and the ‘message’ at Chilbolton presented different clews [from the previous Milk Hill formation]. The farmer, at my request, when harvesting the field, lowered his harvester cutting boom to approx 1 inch above ground level. In my experience, this is an excellent method of finding underlay. What I found was VERY revealing indeed. Each pattern was set out first using a very accurate grid on which the designs were then formed or made. I will show photographs of the under lay later …. What we saw was a beautiful grid, all visible after the overlay of flattened plants had been cut and removed by the harvester. There is no doubt in my mind that we have a different hand at work in these last three designs and IF it is people, then they certainly have military style precision and even possibly technology. Too soon to draw conclusions but its certainly dammed interesting working through the increasing volume of data …” So, leaving aside for the time being just “who” might have done this, what can we discern from attempting to analyze the “glyph message” itself?
The original “SETI Message” (below, right) shows a variety of binary images (colorized here, for easier visualization) –- composed of “ones” and “zeros” –- meant to tell a story to any ET civilization intercepting it. To begin with, the digital “pictogram” (below, right) is the product of two Prime numbers: 23 and 73. This sets the “raster” of pixels – 23 across and 73 down. After (arbitrarily) assigning “black” to the “ones” and “white” to the “zeros” (below, left), decoding can begin The “zeros” and “ones” from right to left produce on the top line the decimal numbers 1-10 (representing the binary equivalents) On the second line are atomic numbers of the basic elements which humans thought (in 1974) made up the foundations of Life – hydrogen, carbon, nitrogen, oxygen and phosphorus Below that, the formulas for the basic chemical make-up of the five main molecules of DNA Then, a vertical depiction of the DNA double helix wrapped around a central binary spine designed to reveal that we have about 4 billion nucleotides in our own DNA Below that, a humanoid figure [which comes with a code (to the right] depicting the correct average height of human beings, as well as the 1974 population of the Earth (to the left)] Then, on the next line, a map of our entire solar system (showing Earth elevated above the line of other planets, indicating our own “inhabited” planet of origin) The last, curved symbol at the bottom of the array is our means of transmitting the Message: a schematic of the Arecibo radio telescope itself – complete with binary scale (below it) to communicate how large it is.
Here is how Sagan himself described the Arecibo Message, about four years after it was transmitted: “The decoded message forms a kind of pictogram that says something like this: ‘Here is how we count from one to ten. Here are five atoms that we think are interesting or important: hydrogen, carbon, nitrogen, oxygen and phosphorus. Here are some ways to put these atoms together that we think interesting or important – the molecules thymine, adenine, guanine and cytosine, and a chain composed of alternating sugars and phosphates. These molecular building blocks are put together to form a long molecule of DNA comprising about four billion links in the chain. The molecule is a double helix. In some way this molecule is important for the clumsy looking creature at the center of the message. That creature is 14 radio wavelengths or 5 feet 9.5 inches tall. There are about four billion of these creatures on the third plant from our star. There are nine planets altogether, four big ones toward the outside and one little one at the extremity. This message is brought to you courtesy of a radio telescope 2,430 wavelengths or 1,004 feet in diameter. Yours truly.’” In the crop glyph “response” that appeared a few days ago (below), there have been some changes made to the original Message. This diagram and comparison are kindly provided by Paul Vigay, the founder of Crop Circle Research in England. Paul actually walked the remarkable “Arecibo Response” glyph (as it has now been termed), and his tabulation of the standing and fallen tufts of wheat, corresponding to the binary “ones” and “zeros,” we consider the most accurate because of this literal “ground truth.”
So, what about those changes? To begin with, the first line – the decimal equivalents of the binary code – were unchanged. But the atomic numbers of the elements composing the basis of Life had been altered: silicon, an element with an atomic number of 14, was added precisely in the correct sequence – between oxygen (atomic number 8) and phosphorus (atomic number 15). This was a most curious and significant addition. However, additional work by other researchers – such as Dustin Brand, a software engineer highly familiar with binary coding who painstakingly compared both multiple aerial and ground photographs (below) to create a precise two-dimensional “grid” of the “Arecibo Response” – has revealed some basic errors in Paul’s original mapping and decoding. So, for the sake of completeness, we also reproduce Brand’s Chilbolton grid (below). So, what about those changes? To begin with, the first line – the decimal equivalents of the binary code – were unchanged from the Arecibo original. But the atomic numbers of the elements composing the basis of Life had been altered: silicon, an element with an atomic number of 14, was added precisely in the correct sequence – between oxygen (atomic number 8) and phosphorus (atomic number 15). This was a most curious and significant addition.
Because… in 1969, the late Ben Volcani – a renowned microbiologist at the Scripps Institution for Oceanography – discovered the crucial role of silicon in carbon based Life. His work and that of his colleagues (like Charles Mehard, also at Scripps, and Edith Carlisle in the early 1970’s at UCLA) showed that the presence of silicon is critical in a variety of terrestrial life forms, as well as human cell structure: for instance, in the binding of the cartilage and mineral aspects of bones. Without silicon, we would have rubbery, bendable skeletons – and probably couldn’t even stand erect in Earth’s gravity at all.
The point is, unlike the claim made by the current SETI’s Seth Shostak in his ‘Coast-to-Coast” radio debate with the author, that the presence of silicon in the response glyph is just “science fiction,” silicon is a crucial but almost unknown ingredient in the terrestrial “soup of life.” And it is a rock solid certainty that Drake and Sagan did not know this – otherwise, why exclude it from their own Message? Moreover, whoever created this glyph was clever enough to add this crucial but subtle difference.
Paradoxically (for some), the coding of bases and sugars in the DNA section remained unchanged between both versions of the Message; significantly, the crop glyph version did NOT contain any references to “silicon.” Some critics have used this apparent inconsistency to attempt to invalidate the entire Chilbolton Message, asking, “If this is a valid communication of an alien DNA, why would silicon only be present in the atomic elements replication, and not in the associated sugars and bases as well?” Our answer: because the terrestrial criticality of silicon is NOT represented in our DNA – but in other proteins and enzymes making up the molecules of Life. Reading the original Arecibo selection, listing “hydrogen, carbon, nitrogen, oxygen and phosphorus” as applying ONLY to the DNA itself, is just too limiting – as the Scripps research now proves. It is our reading that whoever composed the “Arecibo response” at Chilbolton may have been gently trying to expand our 1974 biochemical awareness. And, in fact, Neal Sullivan – a Scripps graduate student at the time – demonstrated (simultaneous with Volcani’s work) that silicon is essential in the production of DNA-polymerase – an enzyme required for DNA synthesis in diatoms. And diatoms (which come in literally thousands of varieties – one of which is pictured below) are one of the photosynthetic marine organisms lying at the base of the food chain of all life on Earth. In 1997, Mark Hildebrand, a marine biologist at Scripps, announced a critical extension of Volcani’s work – isolation of the specific genes responsible for the role of silicon in diatoms. Hildebrand noted in the paper published in Nature on the new work, that the information learned also may be applied “to mammals, including humans.”
Moving on … In contrast to the apparently unchanged listing of sugars and bases in DNA itself from the original to the glyph version, the center vertical column – denoting (again in binary code) the total number of nucleotides in the human genome – has been changed in the crop version: there are significantly more nucleotides in the “alien” DNA. What does this mean? The difference has to be linked to another key change in this same section of the “message”: the twin DNA “double helix” strand depicted in the original, is asymmetric in the glyph; the left hand side appears to be a triple helix – as if communicating some key differences in the sender’s genetic make-up. But, another possibility also looms…
Last year, a US patent was issued to Enzo Biochem, Inc., of Farmingdale, NY. The Patent (#5,958,681) announced a new process for modifying DNA, a technique that calls for the addition of a third strand to the classic double helix, making it a temporary triple helix. The triple helix holds the desired new sequences in close proximity to and at a precise point in the original gene, long enough according to Enzo Biochem for “recombination, exchange or insertion to take place with a high frequency.”
Is this “triple helix” in the glyph trying to tell us that some “aliens” performed similar “genetic engineering” experiments on humans… some time in the past? This theory is consistent with the enhanced number of nucleotides in the “response” human DNA section (above the counterpart to the human figure in the Arecibo original); for this alteration in the crop glyph seems to refer directly to the humanoid figure depicted just below this crucial sequence. In place of the “human figure” in the original Message, a small bodied, big-headed figure – resembling a classic “gray” – has been carefully substituted in the glyph version… complete with a binary code denoting its apparent height (about 3.3 feet).
Or, if you can’t buy that idea, an alternative theory for this “altered” glyph DNA was posted recently, by an anonymous “research biologist.” “Many people have been speculating whether the new Arecibo crop pictogram in Chilbolton is a hoax or real. The purpose of this message is: to explain why the DNA part of that pictogram was altered from Sagan’s original to suggest a return message The central part of the Chilbolton pictogram shows that a DNA double helix as found on Earth, with 10 base pairs per turn, has been replaced on one side by a novel single-stranded helix with just 6 bases per turn [emphasis added]. I had to work hard for several days, to discover that the single-stranded helix with 6 bases per turn refers to 2′, 5′-linked RNA or DNA, as opposed to the normal 3′, 5′ variety. This is known to hardly any molecular biologist, and I found out only by making an accurate model. Since the chemical formula of the 6-base helix remains the same as before, I guessed that any difference might be one of stereochemistry: change the sugar-phosphate connection. A tiny single-digit change in the central “rod” of that pictogram, located between the two nucleic acid strands, may confirm such a change in stereochemistry once it is mapped accurately.
“In any case, there is no other plausible way of constructing a 6-fold helix as indicated. “Association of 2′, 5′ ligoribonucleotides,” Nucleic Acids Research 1992, vol. 20, pp. 1685-1690. This paper shows that 2′, 5′-linked RNA will form double helices, but prefers to remain single stranded. “Synthesis and biological activities of 2′, 5′-oligoadenylate,” Nucleic Acids Research 1995, vol. 23, pp. 3989-3994. This paper explores the use of 2′, 5′ RNA as an antiviral drug; it seems we have been exposed to such strange molecules in the past, and have evolved an interferon-RNAase L system against them. “2′, 5′ linked deoxyribonucleosides: thermal stability”, Nucleic Acids Research 1997, vol. 25, pp. 3310-3317. This paper shows that 2′, 5′ DNA will form a double helix with RNA but not DNA; hence any 2′, 5′ infectious agents would not be detectable by PCR. “Recall that origin-of-life experiments in the 1980’s [?] by Leslie Orgel, found that RNA would often polymerize into two different forms, namely 2′, 5′ versus 3′, 5′; and it was a mystery to chemical evolutionists why 3′, 5′ was favored on Earth. Note that many abductees [remember, the central figure in the “response” version of the Arecibo Message looks like a classic “gray”] remain ill with chronic fatigue, which generally includes a high level of RNAase L; just as if their immune systems have been activated by contact with 2′, 5′ RNA.
The clear implication is that 2′, 5′ RNA may represent an alternative system of genetic coding to 3′,5′ RNA or DNA as found on Earth; and that the makers of the Chilbolton pictogram wished us to understand that fact [emphasis added]. Whether a secret band of elite scientists could hoax such a result seems doubtful; since 2′, 5′ nucleic acids are mentioned rarely in the literature, and nowhere does it say that they form a single-stranded helix with 6 bases perturn, that I found only recently, by painstakingly constructing an accurate model.
“If the message is authentic, one must wonder whether it was sent by radio some time ago, yet not made public? Finally… let me suggest a ‘return message’ that could open communication rapidly. I suggest that you ask people all around the world to write the following in deserts, beaches, forests, crops, and on all frequencies of amateur radio: ‘2′, 5′ —6 ‘… ‘3′, 5′ — 10 ‘ Or simply ‘6 /10’ if they are lazy. But the full message is better …” If the single/triple helix DNA representation in the Chilbolton glyph seems confusing, it is no more so than the Arecibo Message itself. The intensive examination of Drake and Sagan’s original “binary message” by so many on the Internet has now turned up certain puzzling “errors” in the original 1974 Arecibo transmission. Most (but not all) of these seem to be concentrated in the coded description of terrestrial DNA.
DNA is one of a vast group of organic (carbon-containing) molecules known as “polymers.” The sub-molecules of DNA (monomers) are called “nucleotides.” The entire DNA polymer, comprised of varying numbers of nucleotides (depending on the complexity of the life form) is known as a “polynucleotide.” Each nucleotide in this polymer consists of a 5-carbon sugar (deoxyribose), a nitrogen-containing base attached to the sugar, and a phosphate group. There are four different types of nucleotides found in DNA, differing only in their nitrogenous base. These four nucleotides are given one-letter abbreviations as shorthand for the four bases: A (Adenine) T (Thymine) C (Cytosine) G (Guanine) Two spiraling strands of this polynucleotide – like two spiral staircases climbing around each other, with the bases as the “stairs” – form the well-known “double-helix” of DNA Model of a double-helical DNA. One chain is shown in green and the other in red. The purine and pyrimidine bases are shown in lighter colors than the sugar-phosphate backbone. (a) Axial view. The structure repeats along the helix axis (vertical) at intervals of 34 Å, which corresponds to 10 residues on each chain. (b) A schematic “ribbon” representation of an axial view of DNA. (Courtesy of M. Meselson and F. W. Stahl) (c) Radial view, looking down the helix axis.
Some investigators have now claimed to have discovered serious errors in the binary coding of several of these crucial monomers in DNA in the original Arecibo Message. They insist that “mistakes” seem to have been made in the basic binary codes for Deoxyribose, Adenine, and Guanine. Deoxyribose (below) has five Carbon atoms, but the binary coding for it in the Arecibo transmission shows seven carbon atoms. Similarly, Adenine has five carbons (below, left), but it’s binary designation in the Message shows only four. Guanine (below, right) contains five carbons, but in the original Drake/Sagan Message there are again only four carbon atoms shown. Because of bonding, within the polynucleotide DNA molecule itself (as opposed to it in isolation) Adenine contains only four hydrogen atoms (two attached to a nitrogen and one each attached to a carbon) – but, remarkably, the Arecibo Message illustrates it with five hydrogens. What gives?!
These, if true, would not be trivial genetic errors. Their discovery in the original Arecibo transmission, after 27 years, would be simply inexplicable. Without knowing that these sequences were supposed to be describing molecules bonded in a polymer called “DNA,” it would essentially be impossible to rectify the apparent “errors” in the Message with that structure.
Now, if you’re claiming to send the genetic code of the life forms on your own planet to a completely alien species (which may have a genetic code based on molecular sequences completely different from what we know as “DNA”, such repeating nucleotide errors would simply make it impossible for any alien recipients to successfully unscramble your genetic code, let alone the basis of that code. Yet this was supposedly a key objective of the entire 1974 Message: to send accurate genetic information about the human species, if not the foundations of all Life on Earth, into deep space…
These investigators, on finding these perplexing “fundamental errors,” have gone on to claim that Drake and Sagan “deliberately included such mistakes” as a means of “catching hoaxers.” Hoaxers? For a radio transmission aimed at a globular star cluster some 26,000 light years distant?! Just who could possibly successfully “hoax” any received radio response? And when… in 50,000 years!?
To borrow a recent phrase from Seth Shostak (of the SETI Institute), this whole idea simply “fails the baloney test, as Sagan would put it.”
In fact, these apparent “errors” in the Message are explained quite simply: they come from the fact that these nucleotides are NOT “free molecules” (as these investigators have erroneously assumed) – but are bonded in the larger DNA molecule itself. If their amalgamation into the DNA polymer is properly deduced (from other aspects of the binary), the apparent “missing atoms” in these “isolated” nucleotides is completely understood.
A real potential problem was discovered by Chris Joseph, who noted that the entire original Message was filled with “binary inconsistencies and counter intuitive symbolization.” Not only did the binary notation change without warning from line to line (below), but interspersion of non-binary graphical elements – such as the “humanoid figure,” the “solar system line,” and the “curved schematic of the Arecibo telescope” – added, according to his assessment, “non-mathematical symbols which would surely puzzle any genuine aliens who happened to receive this particular transmission.” Talk about “mixing your metaphors” … A far more serious problem is the addition of “silicon” to the list of elements in the glyph. As noted previously, one can’t help wondering – based on Ben Volcani’s and his colleagues’ work – what happens if you now insert silicon directly into those “erroneous” nucleotide sequences?
At least one investigator – Dustin D. Brand – has already published a remarkable answer to such musings: a plausible “alien” DNA chemistry, based on a careful tally of the information in the glyph, utilizing a silicon-oxygen tetrahedral molecule in place of the phosphate in our DNA (graphic, below). His fascinating analysis, in part, reads: “Molecular DNA Structure The formulae for the molecular structure that make up every single DNA strand remain identical to the human template, with one exception. In Alien DNA, the Phosphate ->Deoxyribose (Sugar) Hydrogen Bond is replaced with a Silicon Oxygen 4 (Tetrahedron) -> Deoxyribose (Sugar) Hydrogen Bond. This is directly connected to the Aliens inserting Silicon in its proper place in the Atomic Numbers Grid. This indicates knowledge of the Deoxyribonucleic Acid strand, and the basic fundamental properties of life on earth. The exact formulas for the molecular DNA structure that form each link in a DNA strand are as follows. Deoxyribose C5OH7; Adenine C5H4N5; Thymine C5H5N2O2; Phosphate PO4 (in Human DNA) – Silicon Oxygen SiO4 (in Alien DNA); Cytosine C4H4N3O; and Guanine C5H4N5O. The molecular structure of the DNA is demonstrated by the repeating pattern of DeoxyRibose and Phosphate (a Nucleotide) or Silicon Oxygen 4 on both the right and left hand sides of the templates. The Molecular DNA Bases each form a NucleoSide with the Deoxyribose, and then a Base Pair with each adjacent Base. The Alien DNA change is evident in the Binary ->Decimal conversion of the Alien DNA Data, which = 4,294,966,110 DNA Sequences or links or base pairs. This is a + 524,288 from the human DNA number which is 4,294,441,822. The human genome project currently estimates 3.5 Billion Base Pairs or links in human DNA. This is an interesting fact because in 1974, and according to Frank Drake and quotes by Carl Sagan, we sent our human DNA base pairs number indeed as about 4 billion – NOT 3 billion. Again, in the Alien DNA, this number actually increases from 4.2944 Billion which we sent to 4.2949 Billion. The point is, had we wanted or intended to send our DNA Base Pairs or Nucleotides number as 3.5 Billion, we would have ….” Why did Sagan et al. think (in 1974) that “our” DNA consists of about 3 billion more base pairs (4,294,441,822) than the entire genetic community at large acknowledged at the time? And, why did they apparently choose to send that “erroneous” information into space in their historic Arecibo Transmission?
Before we open that very significant can of worms, let’s complete our tally of the differences between the Arecibo original and the Chilbolton “answer glyph” ….
Below the line containing the distorted “gray alien” figure in the glyph, lies the “solar system” code – also NOT in binary, but as a simple line schematic. From right to left, the glyph version also has a “sun” and two “inner worlds” (below). This is followed by three elevated icons, indicating that three worlds in the sender’s “solar system” are/were inhabited. One of these is, in fact, not a “pixel planet” like the others but a blank space surrounded by four black pixels at right angles. Then, outside this elevated group, lie two larger “twin” planets, followed by two smaller “twins.”
This is another controversial aspect of the “message in the wheat.” Does this “alien solar system” represent a different star and planets… “theirs?” Or, is it in fact, our own – but at a different time… the past?!
Again, leaving aside for a moment the sticky question, “Who sent this message – genuine extraterrestrials, or humans?,” we are tending to believe at this point that the “altered solar system” depicted in the glyph refers in fact to this one… but sometime before 65 million years ago. There are several reasons for this inference.
First, it would be extremely coincidental to also have two inner planets, counterparts to Mercury and Venus, in our first “alien” communication of another solar system. Recent studies of more than 60 extra solar systems have revealed, with only a couple of quasi-exceptions, NONE which even begin to resemble our own. The second reason for believing this is our own system, lies in the “twin planets” in the glyph. Since Pluto is thought by many astronomers now to be either an escaped moon of Neptune or merely an errant member of the so-called “Kuiper Belt” of outer solar system asteroids (which at one time wandered too close to Neptune and has been captured in a peculiar “resonance pattern” with that planet), if the depiction of the system is from before this “escape/or capture event,” then the remaining outer planets should correspond to the two “twin outer planets” in this solar system – Uranus/Neptune, and Jupiter/Saturn. And that is what we find in the glyph: two pairs of outer ‘twins’ – minus an errant moon, “Pluto.” A first impression of this schematic might be that these three elevated “inhabited” planets in the glyph correspond to “Earth,” “Mars” and “Jupiter.” The four dark “pixels” at right angles to the “Jupiter icon” would then correspond to the Jovian moons – Io, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto. The major problem with this initial interpretation is the “missing Pluto,” and the outer “twins.”
An alternative interpretation is that this line represents this solar system with additional, now missing members… including an unknown fourth and fifth planet, the latter orbiting where the current asteroid belt resides. As noted earlier, the timing of this glyph is startling – and highly “suspicious.” In our recently published “Tides” paper, the original fourth and fifth planets have been destroyed. This destruction then releases Mars (a satellite of one of these former worlds) to become a new “fourth planet” on its own.
This identical scenario eerily seems to be depicted in the Chilbolton glyph. Why? And… why NOW?
It is the explosion/collision of the fourth and fifth planets 65 million years ago which, in our model, result in the literal vaporization of the bulk of these two planets, and the few orbiting fragments we see as current asteroids. Of course, such a catastrophe would have been devastating to any life/populations of these former worlds (depicted in binary in the glyph as “upwards of 12 billion”). In such a horrific scenario, these catastrophic events might have triggered a desperate attempt to survive by sending refugees to Earth (the only inhabitable planet remaining in the solar system). So, is the glyph trying to tell us that an effort was made to implant the dying populations genetic code in terrestrial life forms here on Earth – thus accounting for the inference of “genetic engineering” higher in the glyph… ultimately resulting in ourselves?
Leaving aside further speculation on this delicate subject for a moment, the final section of the glyph “response” appears – in place of the Arecibo Telescope in the original – to be the Chilbolton crop formation from one year ago (below)… with some important “differences.” Again, the initial impression might be, “this is our technological means of making the glyphs… the counterpart to your ‘electromagnetic radio wave transmissions’ …” But, we suspect there’s more ….
If you compare the 2000 formation with the 2001 “schematic,” you’ll note some significant alterations. In place of the central “dot and double ring” formation in the 2000 Chilbolton crop circle (below), the center in the “Arecibo Response” is another blank “pixel” – surrounded by four dark “pixels” at right angles… exactly like the last “raised planet” in the solar system line above it. Coincidence? Or, someone’s means of telling us that these two things somehow are “connected?” It has been our supposition for some time that the exquisite array of real “crop glyphs” (denoted by altered molecular compounds, physiological changes in the plants, the appearance of rare radioactive isotopes, etc.) have been created by the technological application of some form of Hyperdimensional Physics to the living plants. This suspicion has been reinforced by peer-reviewed papers scientifically documenting these mystifying phenomena, published by among others, Dr. W. C. Levengood (“Anatomical Anomalies in Crop Formation Planets,” Physiologia Plantarum 92:356-363, 1994; “Semi-Molten Meteoric Iron Associated with a Crop Formation,” Journal of Scientific Exploration, Vol. 9, N0 2, pp. 191-199, 1995), and Dr. Eltjo H. Haselhoff.
Our suspicion that these phenomenon were associated with Hyperdimensional Physics began with our discovery of the same geometric and mathematical information in the “crop glyphs,” as we had decoded at Cydonia and published many years ago in “The Monuments of Mars.” This theoretical connection was backed up years later by our discovery of the experimental work of physicist Bruce DePalma. As we have written elsewhere, HD Physics above all is a physics of rotation. DePalma’s decades of remarkable experiments in basic science specifically focused on “anomalous rotation”… and its associated anomalous energy production. But it was at a Tesla Society Conference in the 1980’s where DePalma first publicly described some remarkable rotational experiments involving living systems – and where the potential “connection” between his earlier work – and the production of “crop circles” – came together. Correspondent Jerry Decker describes DePalma’s fascinating biological discoveries: “DePalma also showed one of his original suspended gyroscopes which showed a distinct variation in the weight and movement of a spinning mass long before the Japanese experiment which gained so much publicity. Bruce told of one of his experiments which used grass as a gravity detector [emphasis added]. He built a mount above a rotating phonograph turntable which held a pie pan with earth and grass seed. When the turntable spun, it caused the grass to grow higher. A large weight was added to the turntable, the grass grew even higher as if the gravity in the area were somehow reduced.
“Another experiment using a similar technique was to mount the pie pan holding the earth and grass seed directly onto the spinning turntable.
“As the turntable spun, the grass grew higher than normal and slightly in TOWARDS the axial shaft of the turntable, this EVEN THOUGH THE PAN AND THE TURNTABLE WERE NOT PHYSICALLY CONNECTED. When a weighted mass was added to the spinning turntable and pie pan, the grass grew at a definitely increased angle towards the axial shaft of the spinning mass ….”shaft of the spinning mass ….” These experiments effectively demonstrated the remarkable effects of simple rotation on living systems … which began our own attempts to model the effects of a potential Hyperdimensional technology on biology … a technology which (among other things) might be able to create “crop glyphs.”
If DePalma’s experiments demonstrated the natural flow of some kind of “unknown energy” into living plants, “gated” only through rotation, what did the 300-foot wide, 2000 crop glyph (composed of rotated wheat!) then signify? Was someone attempting to communicate – in the virtual shadow of a large, terrestrial “electromagnetic device” (the radio telescope at Chilbolton) – that the physics which could create a genuine crop glyph was based on “their” equivalent of “electromagnetic radiation?” And, why was the same glyph now carefully placed at the bottom of the “Arecibo Response” in precisely that same location in the field? And why did this small replica appear to contain at its center exactly the same 90-degree arrangements of “pixels” as the planet in the solar system line above it?
Was the “sender” of this “Arecibo glyph” attempting to illustrate schematically a deep connection between the Physics which can create a genuine crop glyph… and the same physics which can cause entire planets to explode?!
These are still in large part “educated guesses” – especially the interpretation of the “solar system,” the potential communication of “genetic engineering,” and the true nature of the “alien being” depicted in the glyph. At the very least, the sudden appearance of these two remarkable formations in the field at Chilbolton – an archaic, human-looking “face” deliberately reminding us of our own evolutionary past… and Mars, followed by an eerie “response” to the 27-year-old Arecibo Message – finally seems to be a not-so-subtle-attempt at direct communication of critical information about US – as many of us have noted, a startling departure from any previous “crop glyphs” of the past 26 years. The key question is, of course: from whom?
Thirty years ago, Eric Burgess and I were fortunate enough to be in the right place, at the right time, to suggest to Carl that the first spacecraft from Mankind destined to escape the solar system – Pioneer 10 – carry an historic “Message from Mankind” (below). Carl kindly acknowledged that genesis in SCIENCE, March 1972. Three years later, Sagan and Frank Drake created the second “message” to be deliberately sent into the Galaxy – the now famous Arecibo radio transmission of 1974.
Then, in 2001 – 27 years after that original radio transmission – an “answer” suddenly appeared in a wheat field in central England … Having had this experience with “interstellar messages,” it is my opinion – based on a careful review of all the evidence presented above – that the Chilbolton glyphs are NOT an “alien answer” to the original Arecibo transmission of some 27 years ago (or, even to their deliberate rebroadcast from a Russian Radio Telescope facility two years ago. Colin Andrews’ first-hand report from Chilbolton (above) certainly supports this theory. I also believe, however, that they ARE an important, new “communication” from “someone” who wishes us to consider (at this crucial moment in our history – 2001 …) some very new important information about the entire field of “extraterrestrials” – and who has known what… and for how long.
So, if they weren’t made by “ETs” – who did create the Chilbolton glyphs… a literal “stone’s throw” from a 1960’s British radio facility, sitting on MOD (Ministry of Defense) grounds? Who indeed …. How about… “someone in the black intelligence community”… also equipped with HD technology, capable of making “genuine” crop glyphs?
There are elements here which make me want to say “Folks, we’ve been through this before: remember EQ Peg ..?”
In late October of 1998, a dramatic website suddenly appeared – describing the ostensible discovery (by an anonymous “amateur radio astronomer”) of a genuine SETI radio signal coming from a faint northern star called “EQ Pegasi.” At first, even the BBC became excited; about a month earlier, on September 17th, the major non-profit California SETI research team – the SETI Institute’s “Project Phoenix” – had reported a previous signal from this same star, using borrowed time on the 1000-ft Arecibo telescope… Within minutes however (according to the SETI Institute) it was concluded that the September 17th Arecibo EQ Peg signal (at 1210 MHz – megahertz) was merely “interference.”
Now, a month later, EQ Peg was back!
In a couple days after the original October 26th posting, the story leaked that the “amateur radio astronomer” was actually a British engineer named “Paul Dore,” and that he worked for “a major British aerospace company.” Over the next few days, a remarkable drama played itself out electronically around the world – with some folks believing the “Dore” discovery was real, others instantly dismissing it as a hoax. Additional “amateur” confirmations were soon posted on the “Dore website, only later to be removed because they proved to be outright hoaxes – using stolen identities of real amateur astronomers elsewhere in the world! Meanwhile, “Dore” hinted in his own e-mails that he was about to hold “a major press conference” on November 4th, complete with two professional radio astronomers – who had apparently confirmed his observations “at a large European radio telescope observatory.”
On November 3rd, a major non-anonymous research facility – the Australia Telescope Compact Array (ATCA) – independently posted its November 2nd observations of EQ Peg. Despite observations with the ATCA’s six 22-meter “dishes” of a whopping big signal (below) at 1451.8 MHz (megahertz), Dr. Ray Norris, who conducted the observations, dismissed it as “mere satellite interference.” He based his dismissal on two facts: the signal was NOT on the original frequency posted by “Dore” – 1453.1 MHz; and, the source picked up by the ATCA array was “several degrees away from EQ Peg.” Since the standard SETI paradigm is that “ET” will “phone from home ,..”, the idea that the source could be moving and changing frequency (which would imply it was close-by, and decelerating… toward Earth) was simply unthinkable. On the same day (November 3rd), “Dore” suddenly cancelled his press conference, claiming a, “visit by British and American intelligence authorities had convinced him that he had actually picked up a secret satellite transmission ….” Simultaneously, another Britisher – claiming to be the REAL “Paul Dore” – popped up on the Internet, vehemently claiming that the entire affair had been a hoax… with HIS stolen identity … and that we’d done it!!
This strange sequence of events then caused the SETI Institute’s Seth Shostak (who had made the original September 17th erroneous EQ Peg observations) to post a detailed timeline of the whole affair – including my small role (see below) – and his reasons for concluding that the latest story involving EQ Pegasus was in all likelihood “merely a hoax.”
Alerted early on by the fact that one half of EQ Peg’s celestial coordinates are “19 hours, 56 minutes” north Declination (“19.5” anyone ..?), our take both privately and publicly (on Art Bell’s “Coast to Coast” for instance) was that we all had been subject to some kind of “extremely sophisticated ‘black’ agency intelligence operation.” That possibly, a group of “insider” dissidents – who wanted to get key information made public, either as a “test” of our reactions to an imminent SETI contact… or as a means of “leaking” real information on an imminent hoaxed “landing of an incoming interstellar probe” -– had staged the entire “Dore Affair” simply to “blow the cover” on the operation. This assessment was based, in part, on independent “inside” information I had been given from a DOD source months before, regarding just such a bizarre scenario. After “Dore’s” sudden cancellation of the November 4th press conference, which not only mentioned direct involvement of both British and American intelligence agencies, but also made curious references to “bad weather,” we posted a detailed “decoding” of his rambling e-mail… with some surprising results.
Remarkably, everyone who attempted to seriously probe into the EQ Pegasus affair was either immediately tarred with the “hoax” brush themselves, or promptly (after beginning their investigations …) claimed it was simple “interference” and not worth scientifically pursuing. Both radio professionals and amateurs alike (the SETI League, for instance) exhibited a remarkable lack of curiosity over the details of this “detection” – even after ATCA’s independent confirmation of “something” intriguing out there – and promptly also refused all further discussion of the signal. I even had a trusted friend and senior radio astronomer (formerly under contract to NASA on a major planetary mission), refuse further contact with me… after he made a few exploratory phone calls to other colleagues on the subject (I’d quietly asked him for information on any additional NASA or professional radio astronomy confirmations of the EQ Peg signal, apart from Australia).
Then, just when it couldn’t get much weirder … the entire “Dore” website disappeared, replaced with a site containing the logo of the National Security Agency… and MY initials at bottom! Shortly, that page disappeared, to be promptly replaced with another… this one sporting three upside down flags (universal symbols of “distress”) … with my initials still in place (click below image). It’s still there … In the end, it seemed that we had all been involved in some kind of bizarre “intelligence” operation. And, at least part of it seemed to have specifically targeted Enterprise… But – to what end?
There are now unmistakable overtones of this infamous 1999 “EQ Peg Affair”… surrounding the current 2001 Chilbolton glyphs. First: the location is essentially at a government-contracted facility – dealing specifically with “radio communications” and with “weather”… both key subjects of the EQ Peg soap opera two years ago. Second: the latest “alien communications in the crops” once again involves the Arecibo Radio telescope, just as the whole EQ Peg scenario actually began with Arecibo’s detection of a false SETI signal in September of 1998 (for, if it had not been for the initial Arecibo “false alarm,” it is highly doubtful that mainstream media – including England’s own BBC – would have been so quick to spread the second report of an EQ Peg SETI signal a month later …). Third: Enterprise research once again seems to be involved – this time, the appearance of these two glyphs pointing suggestively toward Mars… and a previously unknown chapter in our solar system’s history… a chapter we had just unveiled in our latest “Tides Paper.” Which – given the extraordinary optical sophistication and execution of this communication in the wheat (below) – raises once again the specter that, if this is NOT a bonafide “ET Chilbolton signal,” the only other likely source (because of the need for high technology) is once again our friends in the intelligence community …. For years there have been rumors regarding the viability of such “exotic” technologies under the intel community’s control. What is lacking, of course, is any proof (we’re awaiting results of crop sample analyses of the Chilbolton glyphs – which would provide evidence of such “high-energy” manipulation of the crop – even as we write …).
If it is “intel agents” (and NOT “ET”) – this, of course, brings us back to the crucial question: why? If the eerie similarity with “EQ Peg” (including the repetitious accusation once again that Art Bell and I “somehow” hoaxed these glyphs ourselves!) is accurate, our analysis leads now to two possible motivations for an “intel community” involvement in the glyph’s appearance – either separately or combined: to seed important new information, regarding our own solar system history and our evolution, into the general population – from a “dissident” faction of that intel community. Information known only to a few… and until now censored from the rest of us. The contents and timing of the glyphs – immediately after publication of our new Mars Tidal Model – would suggest that this “someone” wanted more attention paid to the possibilities raised by that new model, to underscore our own collective heritage on Mars.
to highlight the increasingly inconsistent events surrounding the original “Arecibo Message” – “who’s” known “what”… “when.” As independent researchers have poured over that original Message and shared their insights across the Internet, it has become increasingly obvious that “something” (though not what some have claimed) was curiously wrong with its construction, 27 years ago. These real “errors” now center on the representation in the binary code of the number of nucleotides in the human genome, as it was known and published by the scientific genetic community in 1974. Remarkably, these fundamental “errors” have apparently gone unrecognized and unchallenged for over a quarter of a century–
Until the “Arecibo Response” glyph suddenly appeared in the Chilbolton field.
There were, however, prior clues …
On the 25th Anniversary of the original Arecibo Transmission in 1999, one of the participants, Donald Campbell, now a Cornell University professor of astronomy, but a research associate at the Arecibo Observatory at the time, said “It was strictly a symbolic event, to show that we could do it.”
And earlier, Carl Sagan himself noted (only four years after the historic Ceremony), “The Arecibo message was clearly not intended as a serious attempt at interstellar communication, but rather as an indication of the remarkable advances in terrestrial radio technology [emphasis added].” Not intended as a “serious attempt” …?
That’s not what everyone’s believed (certainly those involved in SETI) for the last 27 years! In fact, many of those present at the actual Ceremony on that afternoon of November 16, 1974 took the event VERY seriously, according to Harold Craft, Cornell’s current vice president for services and facilities, who was also physically at Arecibo in 1974. Said Craft, “We translated the radio-frequency message into a warbling audio tone that was broadcast over speakers at the Ceremony. When it started, much of the audience spontaneously got up and walked out of the tent and gazed up at the telescope …” And Frank Drake, Director of Arecibo when the Message was transmitted, described the scene in “Murmurs of Earth” this way: “… It took 169 seconds to send, and as the warbling of the message changed to the steady tone that marked the end of the message, the emotional impact on many of the audience was evident – there were tears in many eyes and sighs to be heard. Brighter than the fires of our own sun, the message was on its way …” Because of this conviction, that the Real Era of Interstellar Communications had begun that afternoon, in the wake of the Arecibo Message an entire Paradigm was born – convincing professionals and laymen alike around the world that if “extraterrestrials” existed, their ONLY means of interstellar communication with us (or us with them) would be via the “practical” long distance technology of “radio.”
So, was the “Arecibo Response” at Chilbolton really designed to reveal (through the world-wide attention it would bring) some important “curious inconsistencies” regarding “Mankind’s first Interstellar Radio Transmission?” And, was that in turn designed – after almost 30 years – to make us ask some hard questions about the larger nature of “SETI” itself …?
The more researchers probe into the original Message (remember, prompted solely by the appearance of its “answer” at Chilbolton), the more we find that simply does not fit with a previously presumed “careful, thoughtful composition” 27 years ago… Take, for example, the original scientific paper on the event written by “the staff” of Arecibo (but actually by Drake and Sagan) – which has now come under its own scrutiny, after 27 years. This key description of the historic experiment was duly published after the Transmission, in 1975, in the prestigious peer-reviewed scientific journal, Icarus. Carl Sagan not only was one of the paper’s authors … he was also the Editor of Icarus at the same time – a fact which shall become highly significant in a moment.
In this Icarus paper, there is a familiar (by now!) reproduction of the digital “ones” and “zeros” of the original binary Prime (below, left). Right alongside it (below, center, in this slightly modified version) was a black and white “cartoon” of the same “23 by 73 pictorial digital message.” But—
The “cartoon” – which had by then circulated around the world in newspapers, television and magazine coverage -– contained several fundamental errors. The most obvious, the central “spine” – denoting the number of nucleotides in human DNA – was missing a critical “0” (below, center). Compared to the actual binary signal that was transmitted (below, left), this represented a specious increase in the number of nucleotides in the human genome of over half a million – a not insignificant error. And, that transmitted binary nucleotide number (below, left) – representing 4,294,966,110 base pairs – was in and of itself also extremely curious… as you will see below. Given the nature of the peer-review process – let alone the fact that one of the paper’s key authors was the journal’s Editor – such a set of obvious “mistakes” is puzzling. Oh, yes, and this wrong “cartoon” (representing the binary message) was also printed in Icarus backwards… from the actual transmission sequence of the original binary code (above, left and far right). In light of Carl’s extensive biological background, these repeating “errors” are unfathomable. Given his dual position as the Editor of the major scientific journal which published the paper, they are simply inexcusable. Sagan wrote his first published scientific paper, “Radiation and the Origin of the Gene” (1957) while still an undergraduate. As documented by one of his biographers, Keay Davidson (“Carl Sagan: A Life,” Davidson, Keay; 1999), Sagan completed this important paper with guidance from Nobel Prize-winning geneticist H.J. Muller of Indiana University, for whom Sagan worked one summer as a lab assistant. According to Davidson, “The paper was published in the journal Evolution, an auspicious venue for a 22-year-old researcher still a few years shy of his doctorate.” Years later, in the “Message Construction and Transmission” section of the Arecibo Icarus paper, the “staff” would note, “… valuable suggestions for improvements [to the Message] were given by a number of people, but particularly by Carl Sagan. “ Recollected Drake, “He knew more about biology than any astronomer I’d ever met, and was fast making a never-before-heard name for himself as an ‘exobiologist.'” Which makes these redundant “biological errors” in the Message even more perplexing ….
Prior to his highly visible involvement in SETI research, Sagan had been a vigorous proponent of actual interstellar travel and visitations (as opposed to merely radio searches of deep space)! In 1963, he wrote (and had published) a landmark paper on the subject [“Direct Contact among Galactic Civilizations by Relativistic Interstellar Spaceflight,” Planetary and Space Science 11 (1963): 485-98], which proposed sending humans to other stars and (long before Zecharia Sitchin) suggested similarly that aliens might have actually visited the Earth sometime in the past. In fact, this was the first paper he sent to me (RCH), after I initially called him at Harvard for some advice in 1964 …. It was one key reason why Eric and I, years later, took our idea for a “message” on Pioneer 10 – destined to be the first physical emissary from Mankind into the Galaxy –- to Carl, that historic afternoon in November 1971.
But there are other aspects of Sagan’s diversified background which may give us important new perspectives on how these “Arecibo errors” might have taken place: his now-documented early recruitment into the so-called “black world” of high-level military space intelligence.
According to Davidson’s biography: “… a turning point in his [Sagan’s] career came when he won the two-year Miller Fellowship at the University of California at Berkeley, starting Sept 1, 1960. Berkeley was perfect. It had many distinguished departments, especially Astronomy. It thronged with the right people, especially Nobelists and future Nobelists: Melvin Calvin, E. O. Lawrence, Glenn Seaborg, Emilio Segre, Edwin McMillan, Luis Alvarez, Owen Chamberlain …. “In the fierce competition for the Miller Fellowship, Sagan needed an ace, something truly distinctive, something that would make the Miller judges sit up and take notice. So he decided to confide to them information that he was required by federal law to keep secret. He revealed his research at a Midwest institute on the remote detection of lunar nuclear explosions. He must have known the risk he was taking. The information was classified; he had previously cautioned Muller [his Nobel mentor at Indiana University] not to discuss it with others. After all, the cold war was still ‘hot,’ and Washington did not look kindly on the leaking of nuclear information. But the risk was worth taking if it would get him to California [emphasis added].
“The risk paid off. On March 7, 1960, William R. Dennes, chair of the executive committee for the Miller Institute for Basic Research in Science, informed Sagan that he had won the two-year fellowship starting in September 1960 …” had by then circulated around the world. From this we learn that Sagan, a) was involved in high-level classified research from his earliest academic years b) would apparently not hesitate to use this classified information – even at the risk of breaking federal restrictions – if it would further his own career c), he could apparently get away with it! This last point is crucial for what we’re going to explore now ….
Let’s think the “unthinkable” for a moment: Given this history, and Sagan’s previously documented eager enthusiasm for actual interstellar travel (as opposed to simply sending signals …), were these “mistakes” in the 1974 Arecibo transmission… actually carefully designed… and by Carl Sagan?! Did Sagan subtly, deliberately – through his “improvements” – clandestinely place classified information in the Arecibo Message (as well as its later publication in Icarus)? Was this his own “message to the future”… to ultimately reveal to History that he – Carl Sagan – knew some extraordinary “secret,” not generally known to the scientific community or public… a secret that, among other things, one day would also demonstrate the ultimate hypocrisy of SETI?
Was Carl – long before the mysterious appearance of a sophisticated “message” at Chilbolton in 2001 – trying to tell us something about real communication with “aliens,” known only to a few in 1974… including Sagan?! This question is not as outrageous as it might seem.
According to Drake: “Carl knew I was constructing this [Arecibo] message, and since he was very interested in it, he volunteered to be a proxy extraterrestrial. So one day we went off to the campus faculty club and had a long lunch while I silently laid out the rough drawing of the message in front of him …. He had a few suggestions for improvements, but the message worked. I felt full of confidence this time as the computers at Arecibo went to work constructing the commands needed to control the radio transmitters [emphasis added] ….” From this first-hand account, by the then-Director of Arecibo himself, we learn that Sagan was the last person Drake consulted… before coding the actual Message into the Observatory’s computers. So, what were those last minute “improvements” that Carl suggested at that luncheon?
I’d be willing to bet that one of them entailed the total number of nucleotides in human DNA ….
If you carefully examine the central “human genome” section of the original Message, you will count a little over 4 billion nucleotide sequences coded there [by whom? Drake, when recently questioned on this point (see below) said “from a standard biology text”]. Yet, in 1974, the commonly accepted number of these base pairs was “about 1 billion” (see also Francis Crick’s comments, below). In fact, this identical (wrong) number of base pairs is written in the text of the Arecibo Icarus paper (click below images): “… there are some four billion such pairs in a single human chromosome.” Here, then is an undeniable historical record of “multiple, redundant errors” in Mankind’s First Deliberate Interstellar Radio Message – in the original Transmission; in the scientific paper’s authorship on that Message… and in its final editing.
What was going on?!
Proof that this was not a “one-time error” came quickly… and from Sagan himself.
A few months after the November transmission of the Message, Drake and Sagan in May, 1975 co-authored an article in Scientific American titled “The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence.” In the original magazine (as opposed to the web version) an illustration of the famed Arecibo Message was used (below). It carried the same binary “mistake” – “four billion nucleotides in the human genome” – originally transmitted in November, 1974… and another “pictogram” version of the same erroneous comparative diagram published in Icarus itself. The fascinating aspect of this diagram is that, while the binary is clearly wrong (too many nucleotides for 1974)… the black and white “pictogram” claiming to represent that binary version is even “wronger!”
The digital version (bottom, right), as we have mentioned, encodes 4,294,441,822 base pairs in the human genome; the “cartoon” version (bottom, left) curiously illustrates 4,294,966,110 base pairs… 524,288 more. Four years later, in 1978, in an article in Smithsonian Magazine Sagan would again personally reiterate this curious DNA mistake: “… these molecular building blocks [in the Message] are put together to form a long molecule of DNA comprising about four billion links in the chain [emphasis added].” Remarkably, in the same time frame (1978), Sagan also published the previously mentioned “Murmurs of Earth” – the official history of the creation of the “Voyager Records” (the spacecraft messages that physically followed the first Pioneer Plaques out of the solar system on Voyagers 1 and 2). In Chapter 2, authored by Drake himself and titled “The Foundations of the Voyager Record,” the former Director of Arecibo would write about the nucleotides incorporated in the Arecibo Message: “That DNA is important to us is clear. Of equal importance, a large number placed within the DNA molecule [in the Message] tells of the number of nucleotide pairs, or code bits, in the typical DNA molecule …” And Drake illustrated this “large number” (which, significantly, he didn’t describe further) with the same wrong (too large) binary number used in the original Transmission and in the original Icarus publication (below, left). But, for the first time, it was at least paired with a consistent black and white “pictogram” representing that same wrong number (below, right). A logical inference from this pattern of events is that Drake left the biological aspects of the Message strictly up to Sagan (“He knew more about biology than any astronomer I’d ever met ….”) – only insisting on a consistency between the binary number transmitted and the pictorial version printed in his Chapter. In every other representation of the Message controlled by Sagan, the preceding, inexplicable inconsistency was faithfully maintained… for over six years.
So, what was Sagan up to?!
If these had simply been one-time “stupid mistakes,” either in the original Message or in the original Icarus “Message paper,” you would have thought that Sagan himself (as Editor!) would have eventually caught them. Instead: he again reinforced that key wrong number – “4 billion nucleotides in the human genome” – in repeated publications that he authored. And, he also repeatedly published – in Icarus and in all subsequent articles – the bizarre, contradictory transmitted binary data side-by-side with the wrong “pictogram.” This forces us to consider the “unthinkable”: that the erroneous encoding of “four billion nucleotides” in the original Message, its repetition in the Icarus paper… and in every subsequent book or article that Sagan wrote or edited about this subject, from 1974 on… was NOT an “error”… but was part of a carefully calculated plan …. But to accomplish what?
In 2000, Celera Genomics (a private biotech corporation founded in 1998) finally announced at a major White House ceremony (along with the 16-year government-funded “Human Genome Project”), preliminary results for this long-awaited number: from actual DNA sequencing, there now appear to be approximately 3.2 billion nucleotides in human DNA… and counting… This, though far above the official estimates in 1974 (see below) is only 75% of the number that Sagan coded in the Arecibo transmission in 1974. Other current estimates now place it as high as 3.5 billion nucleotides… with a still existing “twenty percent error.” So, the eventual totally sequenced number of actual nucleotides in the human genome (they’re not done yet!) could ultimately reach Carl’s “magic” number of 4.29 billion!
Twenty seven years after the Transmission, in the “Arecibo Response” glyph appearing at Chilbolton in 2001, the “alien DNA” (above the clearly “alien” figure) is pictured as being composed of “4.2949 billion base pairs”… only about half a million more than the precise number Sagan digitally coded in the original Arecibo Message in 1974! But – the “alien” base pair number is exactly equal to the conflicting “erroneous pictogram” that Sagan insisted on publishing over and over and over again.
Obviously, he wanted us to pay special attention to that contradiction… and the “alien DNA number”… which has now mysteriously reappeared in an English wheat field, in 2001.
So, the crucial questions now become: Why did Sagan deliberately send the wrong “human” base pair number into space in 1974… a number fully 25 percent larger than that recently-announced, but still remarkably close to the actual “3.2 billion base pairs in human DNA” and counting …? And, why did he illustrate that “erroneous” digital number (in 1974) with another, even-more-in-error “pictogram” in Icarus and elsewhere? And finally, why is the “Arecibo Response” glyph – appearing 27 years after all this happened – now less than 0.0001 percent larger than the “human base pair number” Sagan transmitted toward M-13 in 1974??!! I mean, there are only two possible explanations for Carl’s otherwise incomprehensible, repeated “mistakes” in this sequence of events surrounding the Arecibo Message: outright stupidity… or… deliberate “covert actions” – based on key “inside information” that Sagan deliberately wanted to call to our attention… at an “appropriate time.” From personal experience, I can vouch for the fact that Carl was NOT a stupid man. Which only leaves the “double agent” explanation ….
But, of course, this raises its own profound and extraordinary questions: Where did Carl acquire – over a quarter century ago – such potentially accurate information on the human genome, when no one else in the biological community (see below) could possible know that precise number? Did Sagan – as he had demonstrably done before (when classified information was critical to his agenda) – deliberately use the Arecibo Ceremony as a clandestine means of transmitting a secretly-known human DNA code into space, in hopes of provoking a deliberate response from those out there who already possessed that code?? And finally, was he trying to tell us that a genuine “alien” genome – perhaps the most important to the human species other than our own, because “they” have had the most to do with our own evolution on this planet – was only slightly larger than our own… in fact, closer to us than even chimpanzees or gorillas? And, if that’s the explanation… where did he get his “alien” genetic information??!! Can you say… Roswell? Leaving aside Sagan’s precise “source” of this astonishing information for a moment, Seth Shostak – Carl’s “heir apparent,” in terms of carrying on the SETI “myth” – seems now to have taken a page or two from Sagan’s “double agent” play book ….
Certainly, Shostak’s misleading public comments re the “Arecibo Response” at Chilbolton, if not his own contradictory actions regarding the original 1974 Message (see below), have only deepened suspicions regarding SETI’s decades-long lack of serious scientific interest in real “messages” ….
Evidencing not one whit of scientific curiosity in the striking, inexplicable, geometric figures appearing literally around the world for the last thirty or so years, Shostak instead has repeatedly (and seriously) misstated the facts concerning the “crop glyph phenomenon” in general, and the appearance of the Chilbolton glyphs in particular – both in recent media interviews and in print. From vastly understating the total number of mysterious glyphs world-wide, to completely disregarding the presence of highly significant and completely inexplicable “molecular markers” and “anatomical anomalies” in the majority of “real” circles – evidence for the application of some type of high technology, “high-energy phenomenon” to the standing crop in the process of the creation of the glyphs – Shostak has maintained the illusion that ALL are “simple hoaxes,” casually done by “college kids.” And in so doing, he has attempted to perpetuate the myth – successfully launched at Arecibo 27 years ago – that the ONLY means of valid communication with another intelligence is through interstellar electromagnetic messages.
Yet, Dr. Shostak – responsible for the SETI Institute’s “public outreach” program – has curiously perpetuated the identical errors in his “debunking” article on Chilbolton that Carl Sagan allowed in Icarus 26 years ago; in his recent rote “defense” of the current radio SETI paradigm, combined with his casually dismissive commentary on the Chilbolton glyphs, Shostak (for some reason) ironically chose the same, erroneous “four billion nucleotides” (and the “alien” version at that!) in the backwards “cartoon” that Sagan used so many years before (below). Is Dr. Shostak trying to send us his own “message?”
Further, when informed of this error personally by Dustin Brand (in a recent phone conversation), Shostak has done nothing to remove the erroneous “cartoon” – which he is still representing on the SETI website as the real Arecibo transmission of 27 years ago. In fact, a couple days after his conversation with Brand, Shostak authorized another article on the SETI website, featuring again the same mistaken, “alien” visual version of the 1974 Transmission. Frank Drake is the current Chairman of the Board of the Shostak’s SETI Institute. When Brand attempted to contact Drake directly, to ask him some key questions about these curious “inconsistencies” in the original Message, Drake did not respond. Instead, he had Shostak act as a go-between. When asked how Drake (or whomever) had arrived at the “four billion nucleotides” transmitted in the original Arecibo Message, this was when Shostak said Drake simply told him, “We consulted a standard biology reference on the subject.” The problem is… there were no “standard biology texts” from this time frame, which specifically assigned “4 billion nucleotides” to the human genome!
For, in 1962, James Watson, Francis Crick (and their research associate, Maurice Wilkins), shared the Nobel Prize for the discovery of the precise nucleotide structure of DNA. In a press interview after his acceptance speech in Stockholm, one of these “fathers” of DNA, Francis Crick himself, explained: “DNA is a polymer. That is to say it has a regular, repeating backbone with side groups called ‘bases’ projecting at regular intervals. However all the bases are not the same, there are four kinds of them and the genetic information is conveyed by the precise order of the different sorts of bases along the DNA. In other words, the genetic message is written in a language of four letters. Incidentally, the total length of the message for man is not short, it is probably more than a thousand million letters long [emphasis added].” In 1968 – less than six years before the Arecibo Message was designed – James Watson, in his classic work describing his and Crick’s discovery of DNA, “The Double Helix,” reiterated this same number … “a thousand million (a US billion) ….” Given these clearly authoritative references, it has been a real mystery trying to identify what “standard DNA reference” – with the much higher number that was Transmitted – Drake could be “remembering” ….
Curiously, six years after the Transmission, in 1980, Sagan himself would publish (in a book called “Cosmos” – from his immensely popular PBS TV series of the same name) a new number for this crucial aspect of human DNA. In Chapter 2 of “Cosmos,” Carl would suddenly “recant” his previous assertion regarding the “four billion base pairs” in the human genome, this time clearly agreeing with Crick’s statement in 1962: “Human DNA is a ladder… a billion nucleotides long …” Later on the same page, however, he would carefully blur the issue, noting, “… This major influence on the function of the blood – so striking as to be readily apparent in photographs of red blood cells – is the result of a change in a single nucleotide out of the ten billion in the DNA of a typical human cell [emphasis added].” Clearly, he was not only now providing a conservative range of possibilities (as opposed to the two precise numbers he had previously published), Sagan was now attempting to camouflage his previous, too-accurate assertions. This raises the question: “who” finally tumbled to what he had been doing for the previous six years, forcing him to ultimately appear to support the “conventional” genetic view …? For, later in the same volume, Sagan would reproduce another version of the Arecibo “cartoon” – this one in color, but without the accompanying binary data – and, for the first time, this one would be the correct representation of the binary message actually transmitted… the one that now appears on the official Cornell University website. The one that Frank Drake for some reason still refuses to exchange for the erroneous “alien” version on the current SETI website ….
It would certainly appear, from all this, that the creators of the “Arecibo Response” glyph at Chilbolton – whoever they may be – had a well-developed sense of humor… in both their choice of a human interstellar communication to finally “answer” (Sagan’s mysterious “hidden Arecibo Message”)… as well as in their location for carrying it out: in the virtual shadow of an example of the REAL quarter-century “hoax” for practical interstellar communications – a “primitive” terrestrial radio telescope!
One more item: The original Arecibo Message took only three minutes to transmit towards the globular star cluster, M-13 – a collection of over 300,000 stars located about 24,000 light years away in the constellation of “Hercules.” With intense scrutiny now focused on the contents of that message, and the discovery that some kind of “hidden agenda” apparently went into its construction (What did Sagan say, “… clearly not intended as a serious attempt at interstellar communication …”?), it’s only logical to also ask “What about the destination? How was M-13 chosen as the target for this “scientific slight-of-hand?”
A little research turned up the fact (again, from Sagan himself) that the Message was transmitted on the afternoon of November 16, 1974. The ostensible reason for choosing M-13 was that it would pass almost directly overhead at that time of year, at the time of the planned Arecibo Telescope “upgrading and resurfacing Ceremony” (the ostensible reason for the Transmission in the first place). Arecibo’s “dish” is a 1000-foot diameter spherical metal reflector, lying fixed across a water-carved limestone valley (a “karst”) in northern Puerto Rico. Being immobile, it can only view the sky passing almost directly overhead (below). Observations of (or transmissions to) stars and other objects from Arecibo depend on the Earth’s rotation to bring its targets into view across the span of one full day. Specific experiments thus have to be timed for a brief two-hour period (plus or minus ~20 degrees) out of every 24 hours – when these objects pass close to the zenith “pointing” of the movable “feed” of the otherwise fixed reflector. A bit of further research indicated that, beginning at 12:56 PM on November 16, 1974, for two brief moments… M-13 stood precisely 19.5 degrees away from the zenith of the Arecibo Telescope (below) …. In between, starting a few minutes later, from 1:11 PM to 1:13 PM local time, Regulus – the “Heart of the Lion” in the constellation of Leo, symbolizing Mars and Horus – was just setting in the West. Thus, the Arecibo Ceremony itself (and the hurriedly created and transmitted “Message from Mankind”) was, in hindsight, obviously carefully carried out in direct compliance with the ancient Egyptian rituals that we’ve discovered in so many other space activities… between 12:56 and 1:13 PM, that key afternoon.
With its Ritual transmission toward M-13 (Messier 13 – M13, NGC 6205 – also called the ‘Great globular cluster in Hercules’)… at 13:13 that afternoon (on a string of “Hyperdimensional 13’s …”), the “facade of SETI” was successfully begun.
No wonder there were “hidden messages” encoded in its contents: it was obviously designed from the beginning as another aspect of the Ritual – to successfully “capture” the hearts and minds of anyone interested in true interstellar conversations… as the ONLY “practical” (but totally controllable) means of Mankind’s ultimate “connection with the stars“….
Which Sagan (and now, someone at Chilbolton) obviously thought should ultimate be exposed ….
Finally, we’ve noticed something else that’s interesting: the first “formal” Message actually delivered into space was on Pioneer 10, launched in the Spring of 1972. A few months later – in the first growing season after launch – the first modern crop circles began to appear in fields across the British Isles …. Slowly, over succeeding decades – and now in over 70 countries around the world – they have escalated into the thousands, and in a dazzling array of increasing mathematical, geometric, and esthetic complexity and visual sophistication. Until…, the Chilbolton glyphs appeared – and completely shattered all preceding patterns for such “messages.”
Shortly after the successful launching of the first interstellar Message that Eric and I suggested (aboard Pioneer 10), Carl published “The Cosmic Connection: An Extraterrestrial Perspecive” in 1973. In it he wrote, “The greater significance of the Pioneer 10 Plaque is not as a message to out there; it is as a message to back here [emphasis added].” And later, he would add: “In the deepest sense, the search for extraterrestrial intelligence is a search for ourselves [emphasis added].” It seems he meant that… literally.
In the short run, it does not matter whether the Chilbolton glyphs are “genuine” extraterrestrial communication… or… the product of an extremely sophisticated “intelligence agency operation” using the same physics (below). It’s 2001… and “someone” is obviously attempting to communicate “something” extremely important… on the “disclosure timeline.” The Message – in this unfolding year of the “awakening” of Humankind – is truly ramping up.
Return to Carl Sagan Return to Richard Hoagland Return to Contact and Contactees Return to The Chilbolton ‘Arecibo Message’
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