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Australian Ham Operator Receives SETI Award
For more information contact: Dr. H. Paul Shuch, Executive Director
(201) 641-1770, or email info_at_setileague_dot_org

For Release After 28 March 1999, Please

 thumbnail LITTLE FERRY, NJ.., 28 March, 1999 -- The SETI League, Inc., leaders in the privatized Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence, has awarded its highest honor to an Australian radio ham who has been a pioneer in the amateur search for intelligent life in space. Noel Cedric Welstead, callsign VK4AYW, today received the coveted Giordano Bruno Memorial Award for contributions to amateur radio astronomy.

Welstead is credited with building the first amateur SETI observatory in Australia (and probably the first such station in the Southern Hemisphere). He volunteered early on to serve as The SETI League's regional coordinator for Eastern Australia. In that capacity he has given numerous radio, TV and newspaper interviews, spoken about SETI at civic organizations, and hosted a SETI League wine-and-cheese reception at the January 1998 "SETI in the 21st Century" Conference at University of Western Sydney, Macarthur. He also most generously hosted The SETI League's executive director, who visited Australia to present an invited paper at that Conference.

Noel was the first amateur radio astronomer to observe and report the phenomenon which Project Phoenix scientist Dr. Jill Tarter has dubbed "wigglers," and was the leader of the SETI League team which first traced their origin to computer-generated radio frequency interference. He founded the SETI Research and Community Development Institute, an Australian nonprofit corporation dedicated to coordinating amateur SETI activity in his region, and has developed a most impressive Australian SETI website, at One of that organization's first accomplishments was to secure the donation from the Commonwealth Scientific & Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) of a surplus sixty-foot radio telescope, which is now being prepared for amateur SETI use.

SETI scientists seek to determine through microwave and optical measurements whether humankind is alone in the universe. Since Congress terminated NASA's SETI funding in 1993, The SETI League and other scientific groups have been attempting to privatize the research. Experimenters interested in participating in the search for intelligent alien life, or citizens wishing to help support it, should email to join_at_setileague_dot_org, check the SETI League Web site at, send a fax to +1 (201) 641-1771, or contact The SETI League, Inc. membership hotline at +1 (800) TAU-SETI. Be sure to provide us with a postal address to which we will mail further information. The SETI League, Inc. is a membership-supported, non-profit [501(c)(3)], educational and scientific corporation dedicated to the electromagnetic Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence.

P.S. Tearsheets are always appreciated. Thank you.

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