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The Why, What and Where of the WOW! Signal that was received by SETI

I intend to  publish the technical details allowing one to confirm my translation of the famous SETI WOW! Signal from 1977, and so I cannot include that information here, but I can offer answers to the questions above.

The SETI program at Ohio State University had been going on for some time prior to their success. They were listening for signals from the stars. In fact, the Guinness World Records Book lists Big Ear under the category of Longest Extraterrestrial Search, and includes photographs of the Observatory and the volunteer staff. Their entry in the Guinness World Records reads: “The longest-running full-scale SETI (search for extraterrestrial intelligence) project is the Ohio SETI Program at Ohio State University in Columbus, OH, which has searched the universe for extraterrestrial radio signals for 22 years, beginning in 1973.”

Dr. Jerry R. Ehman was one of the paid astronomers who lost his job at the observatory when federal funding was cut by the United States Congress. Actually all of the scientists except the Director, Dr. John Kraus, who was funded directly by the Ohio State Department of Electrical Engineering, lost their jobs. Dr. Ehman had been working at Ohio State as an assistant professor in electrical engineering and astronomy, and after he was let go, he stayed on as an unpaid volunteer to work on the SETI project that was underway.

His dedication paid off. On August 15, 1977, while going over a printout of signals received from the previous days searches, he noticed one group of signals that were so incredibly strong in intensity that they literally jumped off the charts. He had never seen a signal that strong before, it was nearly thirty times louder than the normal noise from deep space. He was so astonished that he used his red pen to circled that position on the computer printout and write his famous comment of “Wow!” in the margin, a name that has since been associated with this event. Out of the many “possibles” and “maybe’s” that SETI has uncovered in over four decades of searching, this is their best known evidence and the strongest candidate for an alien radio transmission yet received.

So that’s the why – why Dr. Ehman thought it worth a ‘WOW!’. It was received with an intensity of 30 Janskys, while other suspected signals from space clock in at a paltry 1 Jansky or less. He received a super strong signal. And not only was it incredibly powerful but in addition to being the highest power signal that the Ohio radio observatory had ever received, the Wow! signal’s spread was less than ten KHz out of the entire transmission frequency of 1420.4556 MHz – in other words, an astonishingly focused signal.

As to the what – I’ve published the answer to the question of what previously, but for the sake of completeness I will repeat that it translates to Da Fe, with da meaning to give, but since you have to have something in order to give it, it also means “to have”. Fe is a Spanish shortcut for “faith”. But rather than an indication of religious faith, they were telling us not to give up, to keep listening, and to “have faith in their desire to continue communications”. And continue them they did – only in the form of Fast Radio Burst Transmissions. I have also translated the FRB’s but that’s a story for another day.

But what I believe to be the most interesting question of all is the where. Nobody talks about the where very much at all – almost as if it is some verboten subject. However, if you read the full report by Dr. Ehman and not just the mainstream news commentaries on the event, you will discover that he does provide an accurate report on where the signal came from. And the ‘where’ has definite links to our own civilizations of ancient times, as we shall see.

What is the current scientific opinion regarding the specific location from which these signals originated? Soon after it was received, the signal was quickly determined to have originated in the constellation Sagittarius, more precisely about 2.5 degrees south of the fifth-magnitude star, Chi Sagittarii. Yet there was nothing of importance in that area of space; no planets, close stars, radio sources, or even debris near that location – nothing to indicate a platform from which the signal might have been broadcast. Unless, of course, that platform was moving through space, under power.

However, there must be something crucial to that location, because the signal that Karl Jansky received in 1932 also originated from within the constellation Sagittarius. In honor of Jansky, the unit used by radio astronomers for the spectral irradiance of radio sources is the jansky.

Karl Guthe Jansky (October 22, 1905 – February 14, 1950) was an American physicist and radio engineer who in April 1933 first announced his discovery of radio waves emanating from the Milky Way in the constellation Sagittarius. He is considered one of the founding figures of radio astronomy.

John D. Kraus, who, after World War II, started a radio observatory at Ohio State University and wrote a textbook on radio astronomy, long considered a standard by radio astronomers. The same radio observatory that the WOW! Signal was received at.

“In 1930 essentially all that we knew about the heavens had come from what we could see or photograph. Karl Jansky changed all that. A universe of radio sounds to which mankind had been deaf since time immemorial now suddenly burst forth in full chorus.” -John D. Krauss

Jansky died at age 44 in a Red Bank, New Jersey, hospital due to a heart condition. Historical reports from modern times report that he understood that he was listening to space noise or quasars, and this reminds me of the weather balloon explanation that we are familiar with. But in his reports in Radio magazines he went much further – he was of the firm opinion that it was very likely that he was receiving communications from space. And perhaps that led to his ‘heart condition’.

The constellation Corona Australis features an easily identifiable pattern of stars, arranged in an oval or horseshoe shape, which produces the distinctive outline of a crown. It is bordered by the constellations Sagittarius to the north and just east of Scorpion’s stinger. To our ancestors, Corona Australis was known as a circlet of stars near the forefeet of the centaur represented by the neighboring constellation Sagittarius. In fact, the ancient Babylonians and Greeks saw Corona Australis as associated with, and a part of, the constellation Sagittarius, also referred to as the archer in Greek mythology.

And perhaps you and I do have another clue in our possession. If you will recall from another of my posts on the geological creation of Earth, one portion of the translation mentions “the Bow”, as part of the answer this event.

On the following page is a drawing that indicates the location where Dr. Ehman and his fellow scientists believe the ‘Wow!’ signal originated from. I have used an image from antiquity to illustrate the association between these two constellations, as it is very clear that Corona Australis was held to be a component part of the constellation Sagittarius.

I’ve placed an arrow with the number one, near the location where the scientists tell us the signal originated from, in the heart of the constellation Sagittarius. We also find the referenced “bow” of Sagittarius marked with an arrow and the number two, and in front of the heart of the centaur beast we find the small constellation called Corona Australis, whose Latin name means the Southern “Crown.” (Corona means crown, and Australis refers to southern, or those areas of the globe located in the southern half.)


Origin of WOW! Signal


Non-followers of established religions can skip the next paragraph, but for the rest here it is:

Revelations 6:2 “And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer.” Bible scholars tell us that this is a clear reference to Sagittarius in our Milky Way, and to Corona Australis, or the Southern Crown. Our image from antiquity includes the rider of the horse, the “Bow,” and the “Crown” that he wore to conquer. The conquering part bothers me a bit.

A very ancient tablet of knowledge, written using Cuneiform symbols, provides us with additional facts regarding this particular constellation. Enki (later known as Ea), a god in Akkadian and Babylonian mythology, was held to be the deity associated with crafts, water, intelligence and even the creation of man. He was also linked with the southern bank of constellations called the “Stars of Ea.” These were considered to be his personal stars of power and influence. And Corona Australis is believed to have represented the constellation recorded on Babylonian tablets as MA.GUR, representing one of the fifteen “Stars of Ea.”

Next we have the disingenuous contribution from our traditional translators of Sumerian.

The constellation of the Southern Crown, which some of our Sumerian scholars have translated as “the Cargo-Boat,” is written as “MUL MA2 GUR8” in Babylonian Cuneiform. Why don’t we see what we can uncover on our own, without the help of our scholars, regarding the true meaning indicated by that phrase?

When we research the meaning of the designation MA2.GUR8, we find scholars referring to this as indicating a boat, a bark, a cargo boat, a barge, etc. These are neither straightforward nor honest translations, and they are not related to the intended meaning of that phrase in English. Most professional Assyriologists know better, so this is intentional and not accidental.

In looking up MA2-GUR8 (I use the website of the University of Pennsylvania most often), the actual cuneiform glyph assignment for that term, we need to look way down towards the bottom, below the barge and other “friendly” definitions supplied to us.

Looking further down the page in the definitions, we find that these symbols pertain to a “geometric figure,” which is getting closer to the true meaning, and then, on the final line, we see that it is derived from the Sumerian and Akkadian word “magurgurru.” And when we look up the word magurgurru, we find that it means “Ark”. Yes, the same word with the same meaning as the craft used by Noah from the Biblical tales. And it can have no other meaning, because we find it in the Babylonain Epic of the Flood, and this chronicle is believed to have inspired the Biblical account of Noah’s Ark.

Just to be very clear that the meaning of the word Ark, as found in the Sumerian tablets, relates to a life-saving construction similar to that built by Noah, in the Sumerian Epic we see a stanza that explains: “That ship shall be a magurgurru (giant boat or Ark), and its name shall be ‘Preserver of Life’ (litteraly She that preserves life).” And in the Sumerian account of the worldwide flood or deluge, we see that a word which might be rendered as “great boat” or “ark” in the Sumerian text is the identical word which is used in an early Hebrew (Semitic) fragment of the Deluge story.

Does the definition of “cargo-boat,” supplied by many scholars, seem realistic or even honest? Is there a reason why we are not being furnished with the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth?

What is significant about the Sumerian and Mesopotamian god Enki, later known as Ea, and his assignment of the Southern Cross to the group of stars that supposedly were his source of power?

Enki was portrayed as a wise and resourceful god. In many myths, he stands as protector of human kind against the sweeping cosmic powers of his more ethereal brothers. When Enlil decides to sweep the earth clean of humans by sending a great flood, it is Enki who first advises his human servant how to build a craft that will save him and his family, and later, when the wrathful Enlil discovers that humans survived his punishment, it is once again Enki who persuades the other gods to relent on totally destroying humanity.

Please understand that these stories from ancient Sumerian cultures, and the ideas surrounding the various accomplishments of the pagan gods that the people of that period idolized, are presented as a possible connection between Enki and the Southern Crown constellation. They are not meant to reflect, intrude upon or influence any of your personal religious beliefs or values, or my own for that matter, in any way.

Enlil was also linked in the Sumerian records as a member of the Anunnaki, sometimes called “the Shining Ones,” a council of gods and goddesses that some connect to the Watchers, or Watchmen, who were assigned the task of watching over humanity on Earth. These Watchers are referred to as the Nephilim, in the Old Testament portion of our Bible, and there is a great deal of reference to their being the fallen Angels of God, as well.

So here we have the interesting prospect of an ancient reference to the Crown constellation as constituting part of the fifteen stars that supposedly gave power to the Babylonian god Ea (Enki), who was known in myth as the creator god of man and the god of intelligence. Is this just a another happy coincidence? Or could this incorporate the additional significance that our most ancient civilizations connected Corona Australis to the home planet of those who may have looked after our species during its history?

If our memory of a Great Flood was from an even earlier memory of the Waves in Space, and the Ark was our recollection of being packed, along with animals and plants, inside a craft for replanting on Earth, could the “WOW!” signal from someone near Sagittarius or the Crown represent an urgent message that we should hold tight, that they are indeed coming for us after all? Perhaps it’s not very probable, but it does seem to be something that we cannot rule out entirely – without further evidence that is.