Scientist Addresses the Perplexing,
Nonrandom Alignments of Pulsars
-May Indicate Intelligent Design
- 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
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: http://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.
* * * * * * *
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: http://www.etheric.com/LaViolette/Bio.html.
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
LaViolette's long list of "first
discoveries" include the following. He was first:
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):
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.
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
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.
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:
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):
LaViolette, P. A. "Evidence of high cosmic dust concentrations
in Late Pleistocene polar ice." Meteoritics 20 (1985):
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
Taylor, A. D., et al. "Discovery of interstellar dust entering
the Earth's atmosphere," Nature 380 (1996):323325.
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.
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.