Extraterrestrial Search “Going Just Fine” Without Extraterrestrial Interference
Berkeley, Cal. (SatireWire.com) – Scientists for SETI@home, the worldwide project that uses millions of personal computers to aid in the search for extraterrestrial life, said today they have recently rejected several offers of technical assistance from aliens, arguing that bringing in outside help would be cheating.
“We told the Martians this week the same thing we told the Jovians (from Jupiter) last week and those whatever-they-weres from Antares last month: ‘Thanks but no thanks,’” said SETI@home technical director Dr. Karl Webber. “This is really an Earth-based project, so it wouldn’t be right to go off-world for help. And frankly, I think we’re perfectly capable of finding extraterrestrial life on our own.”
Extraterrestrials from several planets, most recently Mars, have volunteered to join the SETI@home network, said Webber. The network, believed to be the largest distributed computing project in history, runs a screensaver program on personal computers that analyzes data from the Arecibo Radio Telescope in Puerto Rico. The data is then sent to SETI scientists to see if the telescope has detected signals that could indicate the existence of life elsewhere in the Universe.
Since May of 1999, more than 3 million volunteers have downloaded the SETI@home screensaver, but the project has so fair failed to yield the proverbial Eureka. Webber insists, however, that the program is making real progress, which could be threatened by outside interference.
“In building SETI@home, we have brought together peoples from disparate nations for a common purpose,” he said. “You start letting outsiders get involved, and you could destroy that sense of universal community we’ve achieved.”
SETI@home chief physicist Dr. Quentin Leetes, meanwhile, conceded his opposition was more personal. The Antareans, for instance, offered assistance with new search parameters and invited scientists to an intergalactic scientific conference on Priasma BK VII, an M-Class planet in the Betelgeuse system. But Leetes said the aliens were both arrogant and pushy.
“Honestly, the way they waltzed in here – or transported, really, but whatever – you’d think they were God’s gift to extraterrestrial exploration,” Leetes said. “And they start throwing out these crazy ideas, like we shouldn’t search for signals in the 1.4 GHz helium spectrum but should look in the hydrogen spectrum. We were like, ‘Yeah, right, what planet are you from?’”
As for the Priasma VII conference, “That was mostly a scheduling conflict,” Leetes added. “There was a NASA conference in Vegas that same week that we’d already signed up for.”
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