What is Project Badger?
Project Badger is the name of
the STI Institute's research project to search for terrestrial intelligence.
The name derives from the mythological European animal which digs itself into
How does Project Badger search for terrestrial
We have cable TV and watch it in the hope of seeing some sign of intelligence
Why do you think "Terrans" will broadcast in
the microwave frequency band?
This is the band most suitable for microwave popcorn. Discovering evidence of microwave popcorn would be certain proof of intelligent life.
Has Badger detected a signal from "Terrans"?
We have discovered a number of what appeared to be signals - the strongest was named "L!VE TV" by researchers, but no actual intelligence was carried on the signal.
Why can't we just send a car out to look for signs of intelligent life on Earth?
It's simply too much effort, besides, petrol is expensive.
What happens if you do detect a signal?
The first thing to do is to confirm that its truly terrestrial.
Remember, with tens of millions of aliens broadcasting it's hard to be clear that
the signal is really from earth. STI picks up signals frequently. An important
test to verify that a signal is truly terrestrial would be a confirming
observation at another television set.
Once an artificial signal is confirmed as being of terrestrial intelligent
origin, the discovery should be announced as quickly and as widely as possible.
A Declaration of Principles Concerning Activities
Following the Detection of Terrestrial Intelligence, endorsed by
no international space organizations, describes how to make such an announcement.
The STI Institute has no plan of action that resembles the Declaration of
Principles. There will be secrecy, and indeed getting the word out quickly
is not that important, as there would not really be an urgent need to have astronomers world-wide
monitor any detected signal, 24 hours a day.
What happens if you don't detect a signal?
We are just scratching the surface of what a modern search can do.
Failure to find a signal wouldnt prove that were the only thinking
beings on Earth. After all, absence of evidence is not evidence of
Giving up so soon would be like deciding there is no toy in a pack of cereal because
you can't see it on the top when you open the packet.
How much does Project Badger cost?
Badger costs between 40 and 50 new pence per year.
Where are the STI Stations Located?
All around planet Earth. See the Locations Page.
How long have you been looking
for terrestrial signals?
A couple of weeks now
Who else is carrying out searches?
Dunno. Don't care.
Has any STI search found anything?
No confirmed, artificially-produced terrestrial signal has
ever been found. However, all previous searches have been limited in one
respect or another. These include limits on staff, attention span,
types of channel the equipment could detect, and the number of Television Stations
watched. For example, while there are hundreds
of channels on our cable service alone, less than a twenty have been scrutinized
with high sensitivity.
Many STI searches have found unexplained signals, but unless a signal can
be found repeatedly and confirmed by other watchers, it wont meet
the stringent requirements set by scientists for a true detection.
III. Background and Rationale
Why do STI at all?
We were bored. Lay off.
What do other scientists think of the
search for terrestrial civilizations?
We have not told them - we are afraid they might laugh at us.
Do the recent discoveries of extrasolar
planets and possible microfossils from Mars affect your research?
No - why would we care about space?
IV. STI, Education and Public Outreach
How can I contact the STI Institute?
It is best not to.
How can I get information about the
STI Institute and Project Badger?
This web site is it.
Does the STI Institute have public
events or tours?
Not often. There isn't actually that much to see. You can get a
reasonable feel for what is involved by watching your brother watch TV.