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120,000 Alien Signals Arrive to Earth Daily — So Where Are the Aliens?

Anyone who has spent time studying UFOs and pondered the possible existence of and possible visitation by extraterrestrials has undoubtedly hear of the Fermi Paradox proposed by the renowned physicist Enrico Fermi, who one day looked up at the billions of stars that these ETs could have come from – or even just sent us greetings from – and asked (paraphrased), “So, where are the aliens?” If Enrico were alive today, he’d probably make a visit to China, where a new radio telescope was put into operation last year and has already detected enough fast radio bursts from those billions of stars that astronomers estimate Earth is hit by 120,000 a day or more. If these are sent by intelligent civilizations … Enrico? “So, where are the aliens?”

Enrico Fermi

“We report three new FRBs discovered by the Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical radio Telescope (FAST), namely FRB 181017.J0036+11, FRB 181118, and FRB 181130, through the Commensal Radio Astronomy FAST Survey (CRAFTS).”

The latest edition of the Astrophysical Journal Letters reports that Dr. Niu Chenhui, co-author from the National Astronomical Observatories of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, discovered three new FRBs (Fast Radio Bursts) using the data from FAST – the Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical radio Telescope ) in southwest China’s Guizhou Province that just became operational last year. With its size, new technology and the collapse of Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico, astronomers looking for signs of extraterrestrial intelligence are going to FAST and coming away excited … and possibly frustrated. Excited because these signals were sent billions of years ago and are now being detected with a frequency that suggests they could hear 120,000 a day. Frustrated, because …

“More discoveries from FAST will thus help reveal the yet unknown origin of FRBs.”

Dr. Niu Chenhui’s paradox is similar to Fermi’s — if we’re seeing so many FRBs that could be created by intelligent life forms for billions of years … where are they?

The FAST telescope

“The phenomenon is a mystery to astronomy. We have clues about their origin but in reality we do not know well what it is. The information that the experts handle is that they are radio emissions. These radio waves constantly arrive from the deep Universe. They are like explosions that occur in the electromagnetic spectrum : a strong glow from a radio source is emitted for a few seconds very intensely.” (Google translation)

Aire Digital (Argentina) interviewed Dante Paz, a doctor in Astronomy and researcher at Conicet (The National Scientific and Technical Research Council) who was not part of the study, explains that FRBs are suspected of being created by intelligent civilizations because they are emitted in a very specific direction, as if being sent from an antenna. The intensity needed to travel billions of light years suggests equipment far greater that we can imagine, so most astronomer attribute them to natural phenomena with strong magnetic fields, like black holes, neutron stars or magnetars. However, those are also theoretical causes. Which brings us back to ETs. Which brings us back to Fermi.

“Where are they?”

Discoveries of FRBs are coming “FAST” and furious. Will we – and Enrico – see an answer soon? You may not be a brilliant physicist, but you can still be like Fermi – he hated paradoxes too.


Paul Seaburn is the editor at Mysterious Universe and its most prolific writer. He’s written for TV shows such as "The Tonight Show", "Politically Incorrect" and an award-winning children’s program. He's been published in “The New York Times" and "Huffington Post” and has co-authored numerous collections of trivia, puzzles and humor. His “What in the World!” podcast is a fun look at the latest weird and paranormal news, strange sports stories and odd trivia. Paul likes to add a bit of humor to each MU post he crafts. After all, the mysterious doesn't always have to be serious.
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