It was the night of August 15, 1977. Majority of the astronomers at The Ohio State University had left, except for one. Jerry Ehman was observing the several levels of computer displays, monitoring equipments, oscilloscopes and notational real-time information in front of him, sourced live from the giant Radio Telescope scanning the sky continuously. They have been observing space for over 40 years, to track clues of extraterrestrial intelligence. They scanned each portion of the skies every moment in hope of receiving something. Everything seemed to be normal and fine until that one defining moment on August 15.
All the graphs in his display monitor shot up and the buzzer alarms started hooting. The early warning system sent a loud distress signal. The detection sensing printers immediately started engraving the receiving signals. The digital converters began displaying the signal at a ferocious pace. The crisis response system was standing by. Jerry Ehman jumped out of his seat and gathered composure. He took the emergency reporting system microphone and shouted into it what would be his life’s most important lines, “Mission director calling all stations. Ground control stand by for an important announcement. Declaring mayday, mayday, mayday. Narrowband Signal received possible detection of intelligence. Trying to revert, over.” With raising pulse, he took a print out of the radio signal that said “6EQUJ5” and marked the words “WOW!” with dark red ink besides it.
The copy of the original hand written sheet of the Wow! signal by Jerry Ehman.
On extensive study of the signal by researchers, it was found to be a narrow band radio signal of 1420 MHz frequency that seemed to have originated from a constellation near Sagittarius approximately 200 light years from us. Preliminary reports suggested that this particular area in space was completely void of any planetary existence. But error margins for scanning a region 200 light years away from us were very large. Repeated attempts were made by the astronomers to scan the same particular area in space by the very same system that had received the earlier signal. But all attempts failed to detect any new incoming radio waves of this strong magnitude. Further reports suggested that the possible extraterrestrial signal lasted exactly 72 seconds, with intensity peaking in the centre and falling on either side. Several attempts in the following months failed to register any extraterrestrial evident signals, putting the researchers in an obnoxious situation.
Possible Conclusions: 1. The 1420 MHz signal is very unlikely to be sent by a human origin source as this range of radio waves are reserved for deep space communication and all earth related radio communications work at lower frequency bandwidths. So a human hand is ruled out.
2. The signal was found to have transmitted by an extremely powerful 2.2 Giga-watt transmitter, very much advanced to any transmitter present anywhere on earth. That concludes further that the signal, if originated from an extra terrestrial source, must have come from a civilization that is scientifically more advanced than us. This was a very serious and worrying discovery.
3. The signal had to travel 200 light years from its source to reach us. In other words, it had to travel 200 years to reach us, a phenomenally large amount of time. Thus our response signal too would take 200 years to reach back at them, making a delay of 400 years between communications. So the reply, if it will ever come, could take further 200 years, giving us no concrete evidence as of now.
4. We on earth, discovered radio waves in 1867. Since the Wow signal reached us in 1977, it would have started it journey in 1777, 200 years behind. This means that a highly established radio emitting system was discovered almost 100 years before us by the possible extra terrestrial civilization.
5.Such a large frequency signal cannot be emitted naturally. The probability that it hit the earth questions whether the signals were purposefully transmitted in this direction, by anybody who accurately knows of our existence.
6.The WOW signal message “6EQUJ5” may be interpreted differently by the source as our notational language may differ from theirs. Hence even after analysis of the signal, it remains a question whether it was a search message or a threat.
7.Due to the high directionality of the signal towards earth, an analysis was also done considering the Russian cosmonauts who were lost in space, a theory that is secretly still classified by the Russian Government. It is highly possible that the astronaut group is trying to make a possible contact with the earth by some technological help that they may have received from another civilization An independent study on this is possible. Efforts are underway to emit reply radio signals, but have not offered any substantial evidence until 1990. In 2012, thousands of encoded twitter and celebrity messages were beamed to that very same area in space near Sagittarius constellation, expecting a weak possibility of a reply.
That unknown amplified signal: The WOW! Signal may still be that mysterious window towards knowing presence of extraterrestrial intelligence that man has been so dearly in search for. Though there are several unaccounted and fictional extraterrestrial evidence that has come up from around the world, this WOW! Signal offers us the only real and recorded instance of a possibility of someone who may have tried to contact us, purposefully or accidentally. The original manuscript on which Jerry Ehman wrote “WOW!” is still preserved in The Ohio Historical Society. Even he never knew, that one eventful night in his life could open such a big mysterious window into the unsolved, THE UNKNOWN AMPLIFIED WOW SIGNAL!
The original encoded 72 second audio footage of the radio wave Wow signal that was recorded by the Radio Observatory at Ohio, USA
Jerry Ehman, the receiver of the suspected extraterrestrial Wow signal
Researched, compiled and written by Vishnu Chandrasenan.
The meaning of life is enhanced beyond limits when our own inspiration manages to change the life of at least one soul on this planet. I constantly perceive to achieve the same. I warmly welcome you to my blog, a place where I strive to see the multitude of meanings of this beautiful life that God has given us...