Wednesday, April 06, 2011

The Betty Hill Star Map - Revisited, Again

I was reading an article by John A. Johnson in the latest Sky & Telescope (which suggests something about my eclectic interests) and was struck by his opening comments. He suggested that an alien astronomer searching for Jupiter-like planets would not be inclined to look at our solar system. And, he mentioned that if you were searching for small, rocky planets, then you would be more likely to find those orbiting dwarf stars.

What has this to do with us, you might ask.

Glad you did. See, back in the 1970s Marjorie Fish, in attempting to find the star system from which the abductors of Barney and Betty Hill originated, made a model of our section of the galaxy. She assumed, and I’m not sure that it was a bad assumption at that time, that those aliens’ home world would be close to us, galactically speaking. They probably didn’t come from a world across the galaxy, though when we begin to speak of interstellar flight, we really have nothing on which to base our assumptions. Once you have solved the problems of interstellar travel, the distances, however great, might not mean all that much. We just don’t know.

But I digress...

When Fish put together her model, she ignored the red dwarf stars because there were so many of them in the vicinity of Earth and they probably didn’t have anything interesting going on around them anyway. Astronomic thinking at that time suggested that dwarf stars wouldn’t have planetary systems. We now know there are planets circling many of these stars.

What all this means, simply, is that the Fish model, and the conclusion that some of the aliens originate from Zeta I and Zeta II Reticuli has been superceded by better information. The evidence that suggested this is no longer accurate. Fish needed to include those dwarf stars in her models.

Again, this isn’t a criticism of the work done by Fish. At the time she constructed her models and did her research, she had the best information available. In today’s world we know that some of her basic assumptions were wrong.

And I haven’t even mentioned that the newest star catalogs have revised the distances to some of the stars that she did use and that earlier information has been found to be inaccurate. In other words, some of the stars that she included in her survey are now outside the parameters that Fish set.

This means that we can no longer say, with any degree of certainty, with any degree of confidence, that the Zeta Reticuli system is the home of any alien race. Until this research is redone, we can no longer say that we know where some of the aliens originate. The evidence just is no longer there.


cda said...

"This means that we can no longer say, with any degree of certainty, with any degree of confidence, that the Zeta Reticuli system is the home of any alien race".

Yes, I agree. I would add that at no time, either when Fish wrote her article or now, could we say that Zeta Reticuli is, or ever was, the home of any alien race!

The same can be said of ANY star you care to name in the Milky Way.

Frank Stalter said...

FWIW, my understanding of our solar system's orientation within the galaxy is the southern hemisphere of Earth tilts towards galactic center which is where most of the stars are and Zeta Reticuli is only visible from the southern hemisphere.

starman said...

Frank I think you're right. IIRC the galactic center is in the direction of Sagittarius, pretty low in our sky. And Reticulum isn't visible here--too far south. Sure we now know red dwarfs have planets. I don't think it was formerly assumed they lacked planets, just habitable ones, since any planet close enough to get adequate heat would incur tidal locking. It may be true that the Fish interpretation is invalid. But that doesn't disprove the Hill case, or the ETH.

terry the censor said...

> that doesn't disprove the Hill case

No, but it is yet another bit of corroboration that does not actually support the Hill case.

I finished reading Interrupted Journey yesterday (in anticipation of the 50th anniversary). I was surprised how little of the much-touted evidence for the case is evidence in any meaningful way (the worst example are the famous shiny spots on the trunk which, as it turns out, were not photographed or even investigated by the investigators -- it's physical evidence that is actually complete hearsay).

From reading brief summaries of this respected case, I expected a whole lot more than 100% hearsay.

KRandle said...

Let me say this about dwarf stars. Fish ignored them because she thought there would be nothing near them that would interest a spacefaring race. We now know that such stars do have planets and those planets would most likely be small, rocky worlds rather than gas giants.

So, while their distance from their sun might not be sufficient for water to exist in a liquid state, and that there might not be intelligent life on them, there is always the possibility that there is something on them of interest. Maybe specific types of mineral deposits. Maybe some element essential for interstellar flight. I don't know.

The point is, Fish's rejection of the dwarf planets was arbitrary and can no longer be supported by the astronomical evidence. Because of that, the survey should be reaccomplished.

I'm not sure that the location of the constellation is of relevance here. I have a huge star chart of the whole sky and while Reticulum is below the horizon from our vantage point in North America, it is on my chart.

Just some random thoughts.

starman said...

I wonder, is it possible that red dwarfs appeared on the alien map, but were so relatively inconspicuous that Hill noticed only the brighter ones?

Anonymous said...

I find it extremely odd that anybody would take seriously any supposed information provided by alien psychic kidnappers to their victims.

The non-kidnapping aliens do not even provide sufficient cogent evidence for their existence. Why then should the kidnapping type suddenly blurt out the 'real' spot where they actually come from.

For all we know the aliens may be crossing dimensions from completely different universes. 'Zeta Reticuli' is just another code version for 'Mars' or 'Venus'. It is what the brainless earthlings expect to hear so that is what they are provided with.

The reassessment of astronomical knowledge over the past 50 years also demonstrates the complete futility of using standard scientific knowledge to even attempt to explain ET phenomena.

starman said...

It's quite likely the "non-kidnapping" aliens provided ample proof of their existence in 1947, accidentally, but it was all confiscated. And the kidnappers of '61 didn't give anyone their point of origin, since the map is subject to interpretation. Even if Zeta Reticuli is where they're from, showing a map didn't prove anything. To this day we're still unable to verify if there is an inhabited planet around Zeta 1 or 2.

Lord Balto said...

The "Hill Star Map" is a map of New Hampshire and Vermont, just as one might expect in a dream that occurred during a trip through New Hampshire and Vermont.

starman said...

Awful weird...I suppose with all the towns and cities appearing on so many maps, you could produce something like the Hill map almost anywhere.

purrlgurrl said...

Of course, if the Hills weren't kidnapped by aliens, the star map has never been evidence of anything anyway.

I believe the Hills experienced a traumatizing event (as evidenced by their behavior after the trip), but what that event really was we can never know. The alien imagery in their dreams might simply have been masking a terrifying terrestrial experience.

starman said...

"...what that event really was we can never know."

Why not, if it was "terrestrial" or prosaic, we probably would've solved this long ago.

purrlgurrl said...

Starman, not really. If they found the event so frightening or humiliating that they couldn't bring themselves to speak about it or report it to the police, and could only deal with it through disguised dreams, well . . . even something as mundane as an assault couldn't be proved. Unfortunately the truth of what happened to them followed the Hills to their graves.

starman said...

Sounds completely absurd. These were educated people; surely they could deal with something prosaic, however traumatizing. The idea that a robbery or assault could cause dreams of alien abduction is far less plausible than a real event of that kind. Had it been really prosaic, Simon would've figured it out. Or the perpetrators ( or someone who knew them) would've come forward. And they saw an unusual craft, with beings, prior to the missing time. There was even a report of the craft being seen on radar.

Daniel Transit said...

Another interpretation of the Star Map was published in Canadian UFO Report Vol.2 No.6, 1973. Quote:

The small connected bodies may be local stars, or even planets, and the large bodies may be the two suns of Epsilon Bootis, the same home base identified by Duncan Lunan.

Windrunner said...

thanks for post

Mr,Bean said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Bill M said...

That last sentence is the speculation of fools. The sheer number of habitable worlds orbiting scores of stars allows for possibilities in the tens of thousands of alien life in our galaxy alone.

KRandle said...

The point is that the speculation that the alien visitors originated on Zeta I or Zeta II Reticuli, is flawed. The information used to come to this conclusion is based on outdated information, though it was the best that Marjorie Fish had in the 1970s. And, it seems there are very few planets in the inhabitable zone of the stars that have been scanned... and finally, the real problem is the vast distances in space, not to mention the problem with all that hydrogen floating around out there.

Nope, the last sentence is making it clear that what was once solid information is no longer as viable as we all thought. Until there is some actual evidence, then all we have is speculation based on the bias of those speculating.