This week’s show was with Dr. Abraham (Avi) Loeb, the Harvard astronomer who has caused a stir by suggesting that a strange object that was spotted in the Solar System was, in fact, an alien artifact. Given its attributes, he says that it was something manufacture more than ten thousand years ago. You can listen to our discussion here:
those interested, we did talk about the age of the artifact and the idea that
Dr. Abraham Loeb
would be others out there. Avi, in his book, and on the show, talked about astro-archaeology, which is searching for artifacts created by other intelligence species as a better way to discover other civilizations than SETI. These alien civilizations might be long gone, but their artifacts are still out there. He thought that they might be rare but not unique. He suggested ways for us to prepare for discovery of the next one, gathering additional data about it. You can find his book here:
I did mention a science fiction novel (The Rat Trap) that I had written, literally, decades ago about an alien race that sent out probes, searching for other intelligence races. They determined the level of development by the capabilities the civilizations exhibited. A race that had some form of space flight would be able to intercept their artifact and those that managed to penetrate into the craft, displayed a higher intelligence. It was, in one form, an intelligence test.
Although many had suggested that the artifact was associated with Vega, a star some 25 light years from Earth, that seems to have been a misunderstanding. Avi explains that situation and suggests that there really isn’t a good way to track the object back to its point of origin.
We also discussed whether a spacefaring race would be interested in the Earth. Avi suggested, given our propensity for tribal warfare, that we weren’t displaying much in the way of intelligence. I thought that any spacefaring race that found Earth would be interested in us from a scientific point of view, watching our societal evolution (or based on what has been happening, de-evolution). He thought they would wait until we were more enlightened.
Eventually, we did talk about UFOs and what he’d like to see in the way of evidence. In this case, he’d like to take the witnesses out of the equation and rely on instrumentality exclusively. I did mention the MADAR network to him but he seemed to want something that was much more sophisticated, which, I think meant something much more expensive and with the best equipment. He wanted all the data gathered by the instruments without any human participation.
We never did talk about the problems of interstellar flight, which I see as the major hurtle here. I do believe we had a very interesting discussion about the alien artifact, interstellar communication, and what we might expect in the future.
While I didn’t get all the questions asked, I think I did get answers to all of them. For example, one of them was about RF emissions from the artifact. Given his belief that it was so old and therefore didn’t hold any sort of crew, there wasn’t much chance of any sort of signal from it. But, of course, no one checked for any RF signal. However, it also seems that the next time this happens, they’ll be better prepared to observe it.
Next week, I’ll be talking with Don Schmitt. The plan is to look at the state of Ufology and where it needs to go.