Wednesday, May 23, 2012

New Plot Twists for SETI

Once upon a time there was a girl named Eleanor, "Ellie", Arroway who liked to look at the stars and imagine intelligent life beyond the planet. Ellie grew up to become a gifted SETI scientist who finds strong evidence of extraterrestrial life, and is chosen to make first contact. As always, we find a link to the Nazi Program and virtual reality.


    Encouraged to explore as a child by her late father (David Morse), Dr. Eleanor "Ellie" Arroway (Jodie Foster) is a gifted scientist, searching the stars for signs of intelligent life. She is working for the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) program at the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico. She listens to radio transmissions in hope of finding signals sent by extraterrestrial life. Government scientist David Drumlin (Tom Skerritt) pulls the funding from SETI because he believes the endeavor is futile. After 13 months of soliciting funds in vain, Ellie gains backing from billionaire industrialist S. R. Hadden (John Hurt), who has been following Arroway's career and allows her to continue her studies at the Very Large Array (VLA) in Socorro County, New Mexico.

    Four years later, with Drumlin pressuring to close SETI, Arroway finds a strong signal repeating a sequence of prime numbers, apparently emitting from the star Vega. This announcement causes both Drumlin and the National Security Council, led by National Security Advisor Michael Kitz (James Woods), to attempt to take control of the facility. As Arroway, Drumlin and Kitz argue, the team at the VLA discover a video source buried in the signal: Adolf Hitler's welcoming address at the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin. Arroway and her team postulate that this would have been the first significantly strong television signal to leave Earth's atmosphere, which was then transmitted back from Vega, 26 light years away.

    The project is put under tight security and its progress followed fervently worldwide. U.S. President Bill Clinton and Drumlin give a television address to downplay the impact of the Hitler image, while Arroway learns that a third set of data was found in the signal: more than 60,000 "pages" of what appear to be technical drawings. Government specialists unsuccessfully attempt to decode the drawings, which Hadden later decodes. He explains that the pages are meant to be interpreted in three dimensions, which reveals a complex machine allowing for one human occupant inside a pod to be dropped into three rapidly spinning rings.

    The nations of the world come together to fund the construction of the machine at Cape Canaveral on top of Launch Complex 39. An international panel is assembled to choose one of ten possible candidates to travel in the machine (including both Arroway and Drumlin). Although Ellie is one of the top selections, Palmer Joss (Matthew McConaughey), a panel member whom Arroway met in Puerto Rico and had a brief romantic encounter with, notes her lack of religious faith. Ultimately, the panel selects Drumlin. On the day of testing the machine, a religious fanatic (Jake Busey) destroys the machine in a suicide bombing, killing Drumlin and everyone else onboard. After the destruction, however, the mysterious and secretive Hadden reveals to Arroway that a second machine is hidden in Hokkaido, Japan, and that Arroway will be the pilot.

    Small Moves

    The music [1:29], the eye [1:56], when Ellie gets to Vega,
    the ocean (collective unconsciousness, reality, grids)
    all speak of Z - Thus Spoke Zarathrustra
    It's all a hologram ... to be continued elsewhere ...

    Arroway, outfitted with several recording devices, is locked into the Japanese machine pod and dropped into the rapidly spinning and rotating rings and disappears. When the pod travels through a series of wormholes, she experiences displacement and can observe the outside environment. This environment includes a radio array-like structure at Vega, as well as signs of a highly advanced civilization on an unknown planet. She finds herself in a surreal beachfront landscape similar to a picture she drew as a child of Pensacola, Florida, and a blurry figure approaches that becomes her deceased father. Arroway recognizes him as an alien taking her father's form and she attempts to ask numerous questions. The alien deflects her inquiries, explaining that this journey was just humanity's first step to joining other spacefaring species.

    Arroway considers these answers and falls unconscious, finding herself on the floor of the pod; the machine's control team is repeatedly calling for her. She learns that from outside the machine it appears the pod merely dropped through the machine's spinning rings and landed in the safety net. She insists that she was gone for approximately 18 hours, but her recording devices show only static. Kitz resigns as national security adviser to lead a congressional committee to determine whether the machine was an elaborate hoax designed by Hadden, who has since died. Arroway is described as an unwitting accomplice in the hoax; she asks them to accept her testimony on faith. Kitz and White House Chief of Staff Rachel Constantine (Angela Bassett) together reflect on the fact that Arroway's recording devices not only contained static, but contained 18 hours of it. Arroway and Joss reunite, and Arroway receives ongoing financial support for the SETI program at the Very Large Array.

May 23, 2012

Queen of SETI retires from research   MSNBC - May 23, 2012
The real-life astronomer who inspired the central character in Contact, the book and movie about the search for extraterrestrial intelligence, is retiring from her research post at the age of 68. But that doesn't mean Jill Tarter is giving up on the SETI quest. Instead, she's focusing on the search for funding for the non-profit SETI Institute. For most of the institute's 28-year history, Tarter has been serving as director of the Center for SETI Research as well as holding the Bernard M. Oliver Chair for SETI. "I've worn two hats," she explained. A breakthrough came in 2007 with the dedication of the 42-antenna Allen Telescope Array in Northern California, a facility funded with $25 million in seed money from software billionaire Paul Allen and matching funds from other contributors. The SETI Institute partnered with the University of California at Berkeley to operate the array, and it looked as if the search for alien signals was finally on stable footing. That didn't last long, however. Lots of interesting twists are in store for the SETI quest.

Must watch...

This all seems timed (set up) for a reason. Nothing is by accident. One of my all-time favorite films is Independence Day starring Will Smith. I watched the DVD so many times it got warped and I had to replace it. I also memorized all of the lines in the script. I don't believe in those aliens but this year something gets revealed. Tick tock. Director Roland Emmerich also did the films Stargate and 2012. As ti Spielberg's connections in all of this. Spielberg has known for decades and is the reason he created films such as ET and the miniseries Taken explaining everything. There is truth in sci-fi and truth in mythology.