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by Charles Lear
It was recently announced that the radio telescope in Arecibo, Puerto Rico, the world’s largest until 2016, is beyond repair and will be demolished. It is an icon of modern astronomy on par with the Very Large Array (seen in the movie “Contact”) located in New Mexico, and the news has stirred an emotional response among many. For UFOlogists, the Arecibo telescope holds a special significance. It was from this telescope on November 16, 1974, that the first, scientist approved message intended for extraterrestrial intelligence was sent. It consists of a series of binary numbers that code for a graphic giving basic information about the chemistry of life on earth, human DNA, human form, and the telescope itself. The message was designed by Cornell astronomy professor Dr. Frank Drake, with input from others including Dr. Carl Sagan. If anyone ever responds, there are many out there listening, from radio astronomers to those specifically searching for extraterrestrial intelligence. But, there are those who believe the call has already been returned……

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