IS ET the Source of the Mysterious Fast Radio Bursts?


Graph from the New Scientist article


Posted by Paul LaViolette

April 11, 2015

Updated April 13, 2015

The answer to the above question, in my opinion, is very likely yes.

Over the years radio astronomers have been reporting that they have observed mysterious bursts of broad band radio emission, single pulses of extremely high radio brightness lasting as little as a few milliseconds.  Because they do not repeat astronomers have been unable to get a fix on their location, but the fact that the longer frequency radio waves from the burst lag significantly behind the higher frequency radio waves, they have concluded that they must be coming from very far away, even outside the galaxy.  This phenomenon is called dispersion and it is attributed to the interaction of the radio waves with electrons in the interstellar or intergalactic medium.  According to their estimates the bursts with the greatest dispersion should be coming from a distance of 5.5 billion light years.

The recent development is the finding that the dispersion measure, the amount of delay between the leading and trailing wavelengths of each burst, is quantized in multiples of 187.5!  This has some astronomers wondering whether they are of ETI origin.

Here are some links on this topic:




Interestingly, these fast radio bursts (FRBs) very strongly resemble giant pulses observed sporadically to come from radio pulsars.  Like giant pulses they are broadband radio bursts that are solitary bursts and very brief.  In the case of the Crab Pulsar, they can be as brief as a 2 nanoseconds.  The reason that these FRBs last a few milliseconds is probably because the great dispersion that they undergo.  Also like pulsar bursts they are very intense.  If you read the above news postings, you will hear speculation of these bursts requiring huge amount of power to be produced bordering on the output of an entire star.  This is because they have no idea how they are produced.  Assuming these bursts are produced in the same fashion as the giant pulse from a radio pulsar beacons, their high energy is illusory.  It is due to what is known as relativistic beaming.  In pulsars,  beamed signals would be produced by cosmic rays traveling toward the observer and producing a narrow beam of synchrotron radiation whose luminosity increases according to the 8 γ3 where γ is the Lorentz factor where typically can range from 105 to 106.  So you can see that luminosities can be magnified 1019 fold by this effect.  All that energy is being beamed directly at us.  Why, just chance?  No, it is because They are communicating with us.

One other similarity that these synchrotron radio bursts have with pulsar signals is that they are strongly circularly polarized.  Circularly polarized radiation, specifically, is produced when the emitting cosmic rays are traveling directly toward the observer.  QED.  Hence the extreme energy of the bursts.

Now for astronomers to be driven to such desperation to admit that one possible interpretation of these bursts is signals sent by aliens, the reasons must be quite important, What is at stake is none other than their cherished expanding universe theory and the notion of a Big Bang origin for creation.  For if these pulses originate from as far away as 5.5 billion light years in very regular distance increments, as astronomers suggest must be the case to explain the  incremental increases in their dispersion, then this presents a direct refutation of the expanding universe theory.  For 5.5 billion years ago the universe would have been about 55% of its present size and the burst distance increments proportionately closer together.  But they are not closer together, they are equally spaced, as the graph above illustrates.

The synchrotron beam hypothesis that I have proposed to explain radio pulsar signals can easily explain this effect.  I suggest that the signals originate from within our Galaxy, likely from an advanced alien civilization, and that the signal dispersion is artificially created.  It is so simple that we ourselves could do it and return their hyper dispersed signals to them in response, if we knew the exact location from where they originated.  By making sure that the beamed synchrotron pulse passes through a column of high pressure ionized gas, the longer wavelengths would become highly delayed and would give the illusion that they came from a great distance.  By doubling a tripling the pressure in the gas cylinder, incremental increases in the signal delay would be produced.

As an update to this posting, I have managed to get the sky coordinates assigned to these various bursts.  It turns out that they do not fall along the galactic plane, but instead along the ecliptic plane!  So these sources may be closer than we thought, they may be originating very close to the solar system.  Subhash Karbelkar notes this ecliptic correspondence in his 2014 paper entitled "Ecliptic proximity and clustering of fast radio bursts."  He compared their positions on three coordinate systems: celestial, ecliptic, and galactic and found that for 6 out of 7 FRBs, the ecliptic latitude coordinate is significantly less than the latitude coordinates when the FRB positions are plotted in the two other coordinate systems.  In fact, the FRBs with the second and third greatest dispersion measures (normally interpreted to imply extragalactic distances), in fact, have the lowest ecliptic latitude coordinate!  The FRB with the greatest dispersion measure (DM = 1628), however, does not make a good fit to either of these three coordinate systems.  But it does fall about 10° from the super galactic plane.  So, the true locations  of these events still remains a mystery.

For more information on giant pulses, pulsar beacons, and ET communication using targeted synchrotron beams, I suggest you read my book Decoding the Message of the Pulsars or download my video entitled The Talk of the Galaxy.  Incidentally, there are only a handful of radio pulsars that exhibit the giant pulse phenomenon.  Of these the two pulsars that exhibit the most powerful giant pulses are the Crab Pulsar and the Millisecond Pulsar.  Interestingly, both of these are key pulsars that convey to us an important message about the Galactic superwave phenomenon.  The evidence for this is thoroughly documented in the above book and video references.

The map shown below from an article by Jolene Creighton shows that the four plotted FRBs (red stars) lie far off the galactic plane.

FRB imageIn November 2012, an FRB was recorded which was found to come from a position surprising close to the galactic equator (within two tenths of a degree, and just 5° of the Galactic anticenter at location, a key location designated in ancient star constellation lore as the direction toward which superwaves propagate; see paper by Spitler, et al, 2014.  Its location also comes within 3° of Beta Taurii which marks the tip of the upper horn of the charging Celestial Bull.  Its galactic coordinate location is given as approximately l = 174.95° ±0.06°, b = -0.22° ± 0.06°.  Its dispersion measure implies that it originates at a distance of about 7.3 kilo parsecs from us, or about 23,700 light years away.  Hence it appears to come from the outer region of our Galaxy.  (Note that research at Rensellaer Polytechnic Institute indicates that our Galaxy is 50% larger than previously supposed, giving it a diameter of ~75,000 light years, hence ~50,000 light years of galactic disc stars exist beyond the Sun's orbital path.  Incidentally, the closest pulsar to the location of this FRB lies about 2° of arc from its location.  But its close proximity to the ecliptic plane suggests that its source, like many of the other FRBs, may be quite local.

 New update May 8,2015
Posted by P. LaViolette

When I first read the recent paper by Hippke, et al. I had overlooked a very important point.  Namely that the first FRB discovered was the one that just happens to be the one "closest" to us having the lowest dispersion measure, the one at the far lower left in the graph above.  Furthermore the step interval that emerged as the subsequent bursts were received comes out to be just half of the dispersion measure of this first discovered FRB!

This point was noted to me by my friend Tom Valone of Integrity Research Institute, who has a keen interest in SETI and advanced space propulsion.  When I heard this, I was almost speechless.  Apparently, he had read this paper a bit more carefully than I had.  It was a very important point that was glossed over in the publication because the authors attempt to make this out to be an inexplicable phenomena of nature, sidestepping altogether the issue of extraterrestrial intelligence that just screams out to be taken account of.

The table below, which is taken from the paper of Hippke, et al. gives in the far right column the publication dates for the papers reporting each of these FRBs.


So here is the sequence as it unfolds.  In 2007 Lorimer et al. publish in Science magazine their discovery of the first of these FRBs, the one in the lower left of the upper diagram.  Then there is a lapse of five years, and suddenly within a span of three years, 10 more discoveries are published between 2012 and early 2015!  Did maybe ET phone home?  Do they maybe read Science magazine? 🙂  "Hey galactic network, earthlings have finally taken an interest in our first test burst and published their findings.  Now their eyes are open, let's give them something to puzzle over."

All the dispersion measures of all the subsequent bursts come in stepped values that are half multiples of this first detected FRB, as if this first one served as a reference for the subsequent ones.

One might also regard this as presenting us with a puzzle.  Note that one value appears to be missing from this sequence, one to the left of 010724 which would have a DM value half of 375, or 187.5.  Does this omission have any significance, or is it that they just have not transmitted it yet?  All this plus the fact that these bursts lie along the ecliptic plane, the plane in which planets orbit in our solar system, blatantly suggests that this message is meant for intelligent beings in our solar system!

Lately, interest in the ET angle has begun to skyrocket.  If you google search "FRB bursts ET" you will find 341,000 results.  Interestingly, this posting ranks 3rd place, just below New Scientist magazine and National Geographic magazine.  Astronomers have also have begun considering the SETI option.  For example, SETI pioneer Frank Drake recently left a comment on the National Geographic magazine website stating:

"Indeed, [...] it is a worthy speculation that the FRBs might be a “hailing” message from a distant altruistic civilization. For many years, SETI scientists have speculated about the possible design of a hailing signal — a signal which announces loudly the existence of another civilization, and possibly leads the receiving civilization to a radio channel bearing much information. Without knowing which stars might be the home of other intelligent civilizations, the sending civilization might well adopt a strategy of sending hailing signals to large numbers of potential ETI-supporting stars. To achieve maximum probability of discovery, the right strategy is to send a very narrow-beam, powerful signal. In this case, one can send to only one star at a time, and so the strategy leads to a paradigm in which the transmitting beam is steered to a large number of stars sequentially, leading to the signals being detected possibly as short bursts which may repeat after some long time period. So we should search for more FRBs!"

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