For details, contact: Paul LaViolette, Ph.D.
Alexandria, VA - Since 1967, astronomers have been receiving and cataloging very precisely timed radio pulses coming from sources they call pulsars. They have long assumed these to be natural sources, exotic spinning stars that emit laser-like radio beams that sweep through space much like lighthouse beams. However, astrophysicist Dr. Paul LaViolette has found strong evidence indicating that these beacons may instead be of intelligent origin. He presented some of his findings at the January 2000 Meeting of the American Astronomical Society in Atlanta, Georgia.*
LaViolette has discovered that a large number of pulsars are positioned so as to call attention to specific locations in the Galaxy that have symbolic significance from the standpoint of an extraterrestrial communication being targeted to our solar system. For example, one arrow-like grouping of pulsars is seen to extend along the galactic equator with its distal tip terminating at a point that lies one-radian of arc from the Galactic center.** This benchmark is particularly significant from the standpoint of Galactic ETI communication since the one-radian concept has a unique meaning within the context of plane geometry, a universal language that should be known to advanced civilizations throughout the Galaxy, and since it marks out an arc length equal to the distance from the center of the Galaxy to our solar system. It would be reasonable for an ETI communication to convey a knowledge of the Sun's distance from the Galactic center if the message was meant for us. As if to provide further emphasis, the fastest pulsing pulsar in the sky, the Millisecond Pulsar, is found to closely mark this one-radian location. The probability of this happening by random occurrence is only one chance in 10 raised to the 4400th power. Lending even further weight to the ETI interpretation, LaViolette has discovered that this pulsar and a nearby pulsar which happens to be the second fastest pulsing pulsar in the sky, both make highly improbable geometrical alignments with this key location.
Also there is the interesting finding that among young supernova remnants, the two that lie closest to our solar system -- the Vela and Crab supernova remnants, are marked by two very unusual pulsars. The Vela and Crab pulsars happen to be the brightest and most luminous of all pulsars in the sky and also share a number of other unusual characteristics that occur very rarely in pulsars. This is particularly noteworthy when we realize that pulsars are only rarely found associated with supernova remnants. Our curiosity is further aroused when we discover that the
Crab pulsar is very closely flanked by another pulsar (PSR 0525+21) and that these two and the Vela pulsar all share the very rare phenomenon of period glitching, found in only two percent of the pulsar population. Glitching is a phenomenon in which the period of a pulsar, which normally slowly increases at an exceedingly steady rate, suddenly decreases in length, only to afterward resume its former steady increase. Furthermore these three "marking" pulsars are found to have very similar glitching behaviors which distinguishes them from all other glitching pulsars. The probability that the Crab pulsar and its closest neighbor PSR 0525+21 should both share these unique glitching characteristics and also be located so close together in space is very small, less than one chance in 10 raised to the 127th power. As an even more unlikely coincidence, the Crab pulsar happens to have the shortest pulsation period of all known glitching pulsars, while PSR 0525+21 happens to have the longest pulsation period. The plot thickens when we realize that these two unique pulsars lie very close to the Earth's ecliptic plane (just 1.3 degrees from its nearest sky position) and also make precise alignments with respect to it. These and other unusual "coincidences," described in his new book, The Talk of the Galaxy (Starlane Publications, 2000), have led Dr. LaViolette to conclude that pulsars must be beacons of intelligent origin used for interstellar communication and possibly also for navigation.
Pulsars are generally recognized as having the most highly ordered and most complex radio signal sequences of any phenomenon known to astronomy. These unusual characteristics set them apart from all other stars in the Galaxy. As LaViolette points out, communicating extraterrestrial civilizations would want to make their signals complex and highly ordered to ensure that their transmissions were not mistaken as coming from a natural stellar source. LaViolette contends that the radiation beams that pulsars send out do not rotate as has been conventionally thought, but are instead stationary. The pulsars that are visible to our radio telescopes would be those that happen to be targeted on our solar system's general locale. He suggests that their highly regular flashes and complex signal ordering are produced through intelligent modulation of their beam's intensity and direction of polarization.
More significantly, through their seemingly purposeful geometrical alignments, pulsars appear to be conveying a coherent message. LaViolette finds that it is referring to a catastrophic cosmic ray volley that passed our solar system around 14,000 years ago and that is presently traveling outward away from the center of our galaxy. He explains how this message conveys the present location of this volley and the approximate date it had passed our solar system. Astronomical data and polar ice core records corroborate the reality of this event. Since the passage of this event would have affected many civilizations in the Galaxy, it is logical that it would be chosen as a topic for ETI communication.
* Lecture given in Session 33. Abstract posted under Session 58 at: https://aas.org/archives/BAAS/v31n5/aas195/12.htm
** One radian defined: If we mark off a length along the circle's circumference that has the same length as the circle's radius, then the angle that subtends this arc, as measured from the center of the circle, is one radian. It takes a total of 2p radians to completely circumscribe a circle. Consequently, one radian will equal 360° divided by 2p, or about 57.296 degrees.
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Dr. LaViolette is an interdisciplinary scientist who has achieved world renowned for his discoveries in cosmology, ice core analysis, systems theory, and field propulsion.
His accomplishments are summarized in the Marquis issue of Who's Who in Science and Engineering and may be viewed at the following webpage:
He has authored four books: The Talk of the Galaxy, Earth Under Fire, Beyond the Big Bang, and Subquantum Kinetics, and also has edited a book of essays by systems theorist Ludwig von Bertalanffy. In addition, he has published numerous articles in respected scientific journals such as: The Astrophysical Journal, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Earth, Moon and Planets, and Eos to name a few.
He received his BA in physics from Johns Hopkins University, his MBA from the University of Chicago, and his Ph.D. in systems science/astronomy from Portland State University. He currently is president of the Starburst Foundation, a scientific research institute.
LaViolette's long list of "first discoveries" include the following. He was first:
a) to suggest that cosmic rays can travel long distances through our Galaxy at close to the speed of light following rectilinear trajectories, later validated by observations of cosmic rays coming from X-ray pulsars Cygnus X-3 and Hercules X-1.
LaViolette, P. A., Ph.D. dissertation, Portland State University, Portland, Oregon, 1983;
LaViolette, P. A. "The terminal Pleistocene cosmic event: Evidence for recent incursion of nebular material into the Solar System." Eos 64 (1983): 286;
LaViolette, P. A. "Cosmic ray volleys from the Galactic Center and their recent impact on the Earth environment." Earth, Moon, and Planets 37 (1987): 241;
Marshak, et al. "Evidence for muon production by particles from Cygnus X-3," Physical Review Letters 54 (1985): 2079;
Dingus, B. L. et al. "High-energy pulsed emission from Hercules X-1 with anomalous air-shower muon production." Physical Review Letters 61 (1988): 1906.
b) to predict that high intensity volleys of cosmic ray particles have traveled directly to our solar system from the core of our Galaxy triggering major shifts in Earth's ice age climate, later confirmed by ice core beryllium-10 data.
LaViolette, P. A., Ibid., 1983, 1987;
Raisbeck, G. M., et al. "Evidence for two intervals of enhanced 10Be deposition in Antarctic ice during the Last Glacial Period." Nature 326 (1987): 273.
c) to demonstrate the occurrence of a global warming event at the end of the last ice age, subsequently confirmed by polar ice core studies.
LaViolette, P. A., Ibid., 1983, 1987;
LaViolette, P. A. Earth Under Fire (Alexandria, VA: Starlane Publications, 1997);
Steig, E. J. et al., 1998. "Synchronous climate changes in Antarctica and the North Atlantic." Science 282: 92-95.
d) to discover high levels of cosmic dust in polar ice and to predict the recent entry of interstellar dust into the solar system, confirmed ten years later in the 1993 Ulysses spacecraft observations.
LaViolette, P. A., Ibid., 1983, 1987;
LaViolette, P. A. "Elevated concentrations of cosmic dust in Wisconsin stage polar ice." Meteoritics 18 (1983): 336;
LaViolette, P. A. "Evidence of high cosmic dust concentrations in Late Pleistocene polar ice." Meteoritics 20 (1985): 545;
LaViolette, P. A. "Anticipation of the Ulysses interstellar dust findings." Eos 74(44) (1993): 510-511;
Grün, E., et al. "Discovery of jovian dust streams and interstellar grains by the Ulysses spacecraft." Nature 362 (1993):428430;
Taylor, A. D., et al. "Discovery of interstellar dust entering the Earth's atmosphere," Nature 380 (1996):323325.
e) to disprove the expanding universe hypothesis by showing its inability to consistently fit cosmological test data.
LaViolette, P. A. "Is the universe really expanding?" The Astrophysical Journal 301 (1986a): 544-553;
LaViolette, P. A. Subquantum Kinetics. Alexandria, VA: Starlane Publications, April 1994.
LaViolette, P. A. Beyond the Big Bang. Rochester, VT: Inner Traditions Intl., 1995.
f) to show that the jovian planets conform to the lower main sequence stellar mass-luminosity relation. His prediction that brown dwarf mass-luminosity values should also conform to this relation has now been verified twice.
LaViolette, P. A. International Journal of General Systems, 11(4) (1985). Special Issue on Systems Thinking in Physics featuring: Part III -- "The cosmology of subquantum kinetics," pp. 329 - 345;
LaViolette, P. A. "The planetary-stellar mass-luminosity relation: Possible evidence of energy nonconservation?" Physics Essays 5(4) (1992): 536-544;
LaViolette, P. A. Ibid., 1994, 1995.