Not Your Father’s World History Part 17:|
“The astrophysics community had to scurry...”
20 March 2006
S. Jocelyn Bell|
Curious Article No. 26:
There are a couple of lines of evidence we can follow that might ultimately lead
us to ETs, for real. One is the so-called Starchild skull owned by a family
valuing its privacy but earnestly promoted by an evolutionary revisionist named
On casual inspection it appears to have belonged to a child who suffered from
hydrocephaly and was cradle-boarded. The former is a disorder in which fluid
builds up inside the cranium and causes it to expand abnormally. The latter was
a common Amerindian practice which involved binding an infant’s head to a plank
to gradually flatten it for aesthetic purposes.
Many of the Starchild’s features, though, convinced Pye there was
far more to the story. He lent the skull for a year to Vancouver
craniofacial plastic surgeon Dr Ted J. Robinson, M.D. (Medical Council of
Canada/Royal College of Surgeons) who in turn invited two other craniofacial
surgeons and an oral surgeon, a dentist, three radiologists, two
ophthalmologists, a pediatrician, and a forensic odontologist to study the skull
and see if it might yield to a prosaic explanation. They found:
The skull is genuine and unaltered and carbon dates to 900 years ±40.|
Its bone thicknesses are less than half of normal, as is its weight.
Although its geometry is unprecedented (over ten standard deviations outside
the norm) the skull is highly symmetrical and elegant and does not resemble any
recorded human deformity.
The unremarkable sutures between the skull plates, along with other factors,
clearly rule out hydrocephaly.
There are no frontal sinuses or brow ridges and its eye sockets are less
than half the normal depth.
Within those sockets the optic nerves exited toward the bottom rather than
at the rear where they should in humans.
The skull’s brain volume exceeded an average adult’s by 15%, yet judging by
its dentition we’re looking at a child. Abnormal bulging at the skull’s sides
and other peculiarities helped to accommodate that larger brain.
The flattening at the rear of the head was natural and could not possibly
have been imposed by a cradle board.
The ear canals are unusually low on the head yet 50% deeper than
The skull’s floor supported the brain’s weight in an anomalous fashion and
the neck beneath it would have only been half the normal thickness.
The skull’s mitochondrial DNA indicates a male of an Amerindian mother, but its
nuclear DNA so far evades analysis and funding shortfalls have stalled
further progress. Pye speculates the skull may be that of a human/alien
hybrid. In view of the profound incompatibilities that would likely exist
between an ET’s DNA and our own, let’s be a little less sensationalistic and
suggest instead a genetically modified human. We perform GM ourselves to improve
crops and create glow-in-the-dark aquarium fish, but we certainly weren’t doing
it 900 years ago let alone with humans. So who was?
The other item relates to pulsars. These are celestial objects which
broadcast electromagnetic signals that typically pulse about once per second,
though they can be much slower or faster. Out of the 1500-plus pulsars known so
far the slowest pulses 0.083 per second (one cycle every 12 seconds) and the
A Belfast-born astronomy graduate student named Jocelyn Bell discovered
the first pulsar in the summer of 1967 under the direction of Dr
Antony Hewish with an antenna she and others built near Cambridge, U.K. At
81.5 MHz (about the frequency of television channel 5 in the U.S.) Bell found a
remarkably precise signal which pulsed every 1.339 seconds and which rose and
set with the stars, meaning it was hailing from outside the solar system.
The first thought occurring to Bell and Hewish was that the signal might be
artificial and so they dubbed it LGM-1 for Little Green Men. They anguished over
the heady implications of this but soon Cornell astronomer Tommy Gold came to
the rescue. He proposed that LGM-1 and its successors were not ET beacons
after all but neutron stars — several solar masses jammed into tiny globes
no more than 20 miles (30 km) or so in diameter and spinning like maniacs
— emitting narrow radio beams that sweep past our view to create the
pulsations. We call this explanation for pulsars the lighthouse model.
But as their instrumentation continually improved, observers documented more and
more complexities and subtleties within these signals. The astrophysics
community had to scurry to keep up and incorporate ever more byzantine
accessories into its lighthouse model to keep it afloat. Some pulsar features
simply defied explanation. Most hated to vent such heresies out loud but Carl
Sagan finally saw fit to revive Bell’s and Hewish’s original ET-related
inferences, at least for the sake of discussion.
Then in 2000 Dr Paul LaViolette published Talk of the
Galaxy in which he greatly expands on Sagan’s insights and asserts not only
that the lighthouse model should be put out of its misery once and for all but
that someone, somewhere, deliberately engineered pulsar broadcasts to appear as
non-natural as possible. Among other things, he points out:
The timings and shapes of the pulses averaged over periods of several
minutes are phenomenally regular, yet the timings and shapes of the individual
pulses can vary substantially. The lighthouse model shouldn’t allow
Quite a few pulsars subdivide their main pulses into many very fine
secondary pulses. These can be rapid, less than half a millisecond,
plus their rates can also oscillate with time.
A pulsar’s overall rate slows over time — measurably by as little as a microsecond
every two million years. But while doing so it can, without warning, flip back
to a quicker rate and resume its slowdown.
A pulsar can, in mid-cycle, cut its power way down and continue at a
drastically reduced level for minutes or weeks. It can then switch back on and
pick up exactly where it had broken off in the stronger transmission’s wave
Some pulsars have two or more transmission modes, each of which may have a
different wave shape, polarization, or other aspect. The pulsar can snap back
and forth between them.
The spatial distribution of pulsars is conspicuously non-random. Their
placements from our perspective favor the angle of a radian, which unlike a
degree is a culturally neutral unit. Also, mainstreamers assume pulsars result
from supernova explosions but their locations and those of supernova remnants
don’t mesh very well.
It seems we’re pretty darn lucky to lie within the narrow sweep of so many
of these signals. It’s as though we or someone nearby were meant to see them.
As Sagan himself said, turning an existing star into a pulsar should be similar
in principle to generating smoke signals with an existing fire and a blanket.
Attenuating that much of a star’s output, even such a tiny one, is beyond our
current means but not unreasonably so. There should certainly be others out there
who can do this easily.
Jocelyn Bell Photo: NMPFT/Syndication International/Science & Society Picture Library
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