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Listening For ET at Mt. Shasta
By Bill Knell
It may be no accident that a remote volcanic valley area near Mt Shasta, California, was chosen as the home for a new array of 350 radio telescope dishes used by SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence). The area on and near Mount Shasta has a well-earned reputation for being a place where extraterrestrials may be visiting our planet.
It is standard operating procedure to build radio telescope arrays as far from civilization as practical. The Hat Creek Radio Observatory is thirty miles from Shingletown, California and a long way from any large cities. Shingletown is a tiny town with a few shops, a bar and restaurant. It's also a place where unexplained triangular lights, glowing orange orbs and unidentified disc-shaped objects are frequently seen.
Mount Shasta is the cone of an extinct volcano and part of the Cascade Mountain Range in Northern California. It rises to over 14,000 in height and is located near the California-Oregon border. Stories of UFO and Bigfoot sightings mix with a long held belief that a vortex or space-time doorway lies somewhere on or near the Mount.
Tunnels run deep into Mount Shasta. The Rosicrucians say the tunnels were used by the Lemurians, survivors of the sinking of the continent of Mu over 12,000 years ago. They also claim that the people of Lemuria still live deep in the bowels of the Mount. Some UFO researchers claim that the U.S. Government allows Aliens to use a facility deep inside or under Shasta as an earth base.
Archeologists tell us that the Mount Shasta area has been inhabited by humans since as early as 2500 B.C. They claim that the first inhabitants were Native Americans who considered the Mount to be a sacred place and their center of creation. Since that time, over one hundred different religious organizations and new age groups have claimed the Mount as a sacred place, powerful cosmic power point or landing zone for ETs.
The Hat Creek Radio Observatory is being funded by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen. Rick Forster, one of the few astronomers who believes other life forms exist out there and is actually interested in contacting them, is helping to prepare the dishes for use. He says, ""It's nuts to think we're alone... It's just a matter of looking in the right direction, at the right time, at the right frequency, with the right algorithm."
Frank Drake recently visited the new facility. He was one of the founders of the original S.E.T.I. program and created the Drake Equation. That mathematical formula alleges to identify the number of alien civilizations with which we might be able to communicate and the numbers are staggering. Some researchers have used the Drake Equation to calculate that over one million alien civilizations in the Milky Way Galaxy may be sending out some sort of signals that S.E.T.I. can detect.
The Hat Creek Radio Observatory will allow S.E.T.I. to search for ET signals in a much broader range. The 350 dishes will combine to form a huge radio telescope that will make the most of present-day technology. Jill Tarter is one of the driving forces behind the program. When funding for the government's version of S.E.T.I. was cut, she connected with radio astronomers worldwide to help establish the S.E.T.I. Institute so that the work would continue.
Tarter, now sixty four years of age, has been listening for ET for over forty years. She became the model the Jodie Foster character of Ellie Arroway in Contact, the film based on Carl Sagan's novel. As Director of S.E.T.I.'s Research Department, Jill Tarter is heavily involved in the Hat Creek project. She says, "If we find a second technological civilization, we will know there are many." Let's just hope they're friendly!
Secrets from Mt. Shasta - By Earlyne Chaney
Dr. Richard C. Boylan's Books