small logo SETI League Press Kit

Clips and Quotes
A brief outline of SETI and history of The SETI League, Inc.,
as told through press clippings and quotations

Using sophisticated radio telescopes, scientists are expanding their survey of distant celestial bodies and listening hopefully for signals from intelligent life.
USA Today


That strategy is SETI, the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence. It consists of the use of radio telescopes to detect electromagnetic (EM) signals of potentially intelligent origin from beyond earth.
Popular Electronics


The acronym SETI was coined in the 1960s to describe the use of radio telescopes to seek out electromagnetic signals of possible extraterrestrial intelligent origin.
Radio Communication (U.K.)


Through studies of microwave measurements from outer space, SETI enthusiasts hope to determine whether or not there is intelligent alien life out there.
North Jersey Herald & News, Passaic, NJ


To this day no definite extraterrestrial signals have been recorded by the more than 70 radio searches undertaken.
Science News


Since 1993, when NASA's own ambitious SETI program was eliminated by Congress, the search has been carried out largely by two groups.


The SETI League was formed as a nonprofit corporation to help continue the project's research. Headquartered in New Jersey, the league has 400 members worldwide and is supported by membership dues.
Daily News, Conejo Valley, CA


. . . the unprepossessing building and dubious neighbourhood belie what goes on here. For the SETI League has one foot in New Jersey and the other foot on Alpha Centauri.
New Scientist


[SETI League president Richard] Factor began the non-profit league shortly after Congress killed funding for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's SETI program in 1993.
Daily Record, Morris County, NJ


"I got really mad when Congress killed SETI and the Superconducting Supercollider in the same year," said Factor. The Supercollider, with a price tag of $10 billion, was beyond his help. But SETI, he decided, could have been salvaged.
Huntsville Times, Huntsville, AL


The plan is to divide up the sky. Then, have a different volunteer monitor each patch for radio broadcasts from distant planets.
Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia, PA


We are at the very beginning of a systematic SETI program, covering the whole sky, the full radio frequency spectrum, etc. To me, this seems hardly the moment to give up. To search is key.
Carl Sagan, in Planetary Report


The SETI League needs astronomy or ham-radio buffs with satellite TV dishes, three to five meters in diameter.
Globe & Mail, Toronto, ON, Canada


Seth Shostak, an astronomer at the unrelated SETI Institute, says this is a viable effort. "There are analogs in conventional astronomy research where amateurs dominate, like searching for comets," he says.
Air and Space Smithsonian


The aim of Project Argus is to prove once and for all that intelligent extra-terrestrial life exists on other planets . . . by coordinating thousands of amateur radio telescopes.
Evening Gazette, Middlesbrough, Teesside, U.K.


[Executive Director Dr. H. Paul] Shuch is developing the hardware needed to conduct the search phase.
Williamsport Sun-Gazette, Williamsport, PA


Shuch himself, dressed in a grey suit and blue Star Trek tie, sits at a desk beneath "the flag of Earth" and strums a guitar. "I'm a cross between Tom Lehrer and Carl Sagan," he says. "I sing like Carl Sagan and I do science like Tom Lehrer."
New Scientist


"You never know!" [pioneer radio astronomer Dr. Frank] Drake says with a chuckle. "Shuch's plans are quite reasonable. It's not flaky stuff like the UFO people."
San Francisco Examiner, San Francisco, CA


Recent discoveries have confirmed many of Drake's assumptions. Within the past year, astronomers discovered several planets that orbit other stars. Scientists have found complex organic molecules floating in interstellar space. And NASA stunned the world with evidence that primitive life may have existed on Mars . . .
Science News


The interstellar medium is anything but an empty void. It is a veritable chemistry set.


Because there's no reason that the laws of physics or chemistry are different elsewhere, there might be billions of Earth-like planets circling sun-like stars. Most of the planets are older than the earth and so have had more time to spawn life.
Popular Electronics


Finally, with all the planets that are being discovered out there, the question of how many other intelligent civilizations populate them is being asked with renewed interest.
Natural History


"We seek to answer a fundamental question that has haunted humankind -- are we alone?" Shuch said. "What we seek is existence proof -- not contact -- simply to know if they are there. Because the knowledge of existence of any other civilization will profoundly change our view of our place in the cosmos."
Los Angeles Daily News, Simi Valley Edition


The Big Ear radiotelescope at Ohio State University, designed and built by [SETI League life member] John Kraus, W8JK, is home to the world's longest running SETI program.


The Ohio State Radio Observatory is scheduled to be shut down on Dec. 31, 1997, to make way for a golf course and housing development. But [SETI volunteer Dr. Jerry] Ehman and others in the SETI League are determined to continue the search. Why? Because the payoff, Ehman says, would be bigger than the mother of all lottery tickets.
The Institute, IEEE


Reading about SETI is fun, but many amateur astronomers and radio hams are deciding to get into the act. For a few hundred to a few thousand dollars, they are converting satellite TV dishes to backyard radioastronomy stations. One of these SETI hams may well become the first person to discover an alien civilization.
Mercury Magazine


[SETI League member Dr. Rachel] Tortolini says, "The dishes remind me of big flowers pointing their petals to the skies, waiting to receive whatever's out there. There's nothing between my dish and the end of the universe."


If you believe that there is intelligent life out there, it's time to put your satellite television dish where your mouth is.
Popular Mechanics


The league members sift through the background and foreground of radio signals coming from all directions in the universe. Their hope is to find a coherent message embedded in all the radiated noise.
Honolulu Magazine


"If there were thousands of amateur systems (there are only a few at present), and there were a few civilizations with transmitters a million or so more times more powerful than the typical transmitter, an amateur system might just happen on a detectable signal first."
Frank Drake, cited in Omni


"I believe that the most important thing that will happen in the new millennium ... will be the proof of extraterrestrial intelligence. While this will have many aspects of profound significance, nothing is more important in my estimation than the hope that this event will serve to bind together the peoples of planet earth and serve to emphasize the total futility of human conflict between groups and nations."
Robert Hawke, four times Prime Minister of Australia
cited in Predictions for the Next Millennium


The SETI League can be found at
Dallas Morning News, Dallas, TX


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