Life at the SETI Institute

Frank Drake: First Contact

In a recent conversation with SETI Institute Trustee, Dr. Frank Drake, we discussed the last 50 years of SETI research. Watch as Frank, for the very first time, describes his experience when he believed he discovered a sign of intelligent life in the universe!


  1. #1 Birger Johansson
    June 30, 2010

    Sorry for going off on a tangent again, a news item just arrived that makes the chances of finding complex life more likely. “Discovery of a complex, multicellular life from over two billion years ago”.
    This shows that multicellular life can emerge as soon as there is enough oxygen around. Unfortunately, this was a false spring, and multicellular life had to wait until the ocean became *permanently* oxygenated ca. 600 million years ago for life to really take off.
    Now back to the Drake comments.

  2. #2 skeptical alien
    July 2, 2010

    Amazing stuff. Im waiting for the day when that magic blurb of a headline appears on the morning computer web page; or ipad. ” Scientists worldwide; captivated by what appears to be an artificial signal from….” Im wondering if a good strategy would be to search a section of the galaxy that houses the _Oldest stars. That is no doubt where the stage has been set the longest for evolution to play out its destiny…..Radio, however; is beginning to show its age. As for optical; is it possible a narrowly focused beam might paint an astronomical object with its light; so that it can be observed from reflection; from a large number of vantage points. Keep searching; its just a matter of a few years until the big day…;-)

  3. #3 Frank Drake
    July 3, 2010

    “Skeptical Alien” is a right thinker! There are now efforts at several places to detect narrowly focused laser beams which could well be so bright, if just analogs to our own laser capabilities are used to transmit, that they can be detected reliably with very small, say one-meter and larger, telescopes. More such searches are planned, but are proceeding slowly for lack of funds.
    In the meantime, radio is not “old” yet. Any realistic appraisal of our past radio searches reaches the conclusion that we should not have succeeded yet. We believe we must make comprehensive searches of more than a million stars before a success is plausible.

  4. #4 Nader Ajluni
    July 3, 2010

    In conjunction with the search for extraterrestrial intelligence the goal of colonizing Mars and making it habitable is a good one. It could distract us from the current conflicts that seem to be consuming us. It would also inspire a new generation of scientists, physicians and engineers just as Apollo did when I was growing up.
    Is it possible that alien intelligence is watching to see if we are able to colonize another planet before they make contact?

  5. #5 skeptical alien
    July 4, 2010

    [i]Somewhere over the rainbow
    Way up high,
    There’s a land that I heard of
    Once in a lullaby.

    Somewhere over the rainbow
    Skies are blue,
    And the dreams that you dare to dream
    Really do come true.

  6. #6 A.L.N.
    July 6, 2010

    My research ended with the big bang and stymied back to the center of gravitational force applied to the mechanics necessary to determine the predominant position of the alter ego state of intelligence.

    July 8, 2010

    I dont have audio fecility on this computer and unable to follow the video. But sticking to the topic, following the well discussed reasons, biological species of higher intelligence will arise only in near-earth sige planets of sun-sized stars. With the rarity of the earth like oxygen bearing ecosystem and well-balanced protective environment existing over sustained geological periods, my estimate is that there will not be another intelligent civilisation within a radius of space containing around 100,000 stars. Perhaps even much more. Taking cue from our own example, once technology really takes off, a biological species will not take more than a few hundred or one thousand years of continuous progress from the lift-off stage to be giving way substantially to a non-biological artificial product (artificial species). In most cases these species are likely to lapse back into less technical levels from chaos and distruction. The chance of intercepting signals from such distances of space is extremely low (near zero) and even if intercepted will be likely from species already downgraded or extinct. Very rare examples of species who passes the test of Intelligence and cross over/evolve to the next stage of Artificial Intelligene, are not be dealing with us, unless they require our Earth for some urgent reason. The argument that highly intelligennt species are not likely to disturb our progress in isolation (as also intended by nature by putting brfore us the barrier of Speed of Light)is to my thinking very correct. Moreover Human Beings at this stage is not yet ready to cope with such an close contact…. Still I am all for SETI, if at all to prove me wrong. But if the contact is very intrusive or extensive, Humans will definitely loose its identity and its present drive to reach the frontiers of the Universe.

    Posted by: PRADEEP GOSWAMI | July 8, 2010 8:33 AM

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  8. #8 saç ekimi
    July 12, 2010

    Hi all;
    A fatal flaw was that they failed to have any representative posts ready to go up when the blog went live.

    Had they done so, and had the content been surprisingly acceptable, the reception might have been better.

    Instead we get this “Hi! Welcome to ShillBlog!” (crickets) and everyone, quite reasonably, expects the worst.

  9. #9 artı onsekiz sex
    December 12, 2010

    focused on design. How does the page look on the 3.5-in. screen? Were the buttons big enough that we could easily

  10. #10 Dahbu Dahbu
    March 6, 2011

    3-8 2011
    Dear Albert, Stephen, Neil, Michael and ALL you researchers:
    Following the time honored tradition of, our, acclaimed,
    Dr. Frank Drake, I humbly submit, the dahbu equation.
    { c e = close encounters} “WE LOVE YOU ALL”.

    ce-2-3-4th (x) 1910 to 2011yr. (-) reverse engineering
    1000 modern equipment 0

    (-) “lies”, all governments (x) errors {10%}
    100 % hoaxes

    (x) E.T. scanning capabilities / pollution sources.
    / nuclear destinations
    / nuclear and weapons stocks.
    / crime and murder.
    / planetary hostage reality.

    (x) world wide ufo acceptance = 65%

    1. First contact by E.T.’s, alien beings, ufo’s and uso’s
    happened ten’s of thousands of years ago.
    2. E.T. or ufo, deliberate contact, with US. gov. = impossible.
    3. Further ufo or E.T. contacts, affects upon religion = 0.
    They will continue to change, alter, revise, amend,
    interpret and re-interpret, their own tales and stories.
    4. Further contacts, impact, on the world, as a whole = 0.
    The world got the memo about ufo’s and E.T.’s, ten’s
    of, thousands of years ago.

    d. dahbu / 202- 710-3909 /

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