SUMMARY AND ANALYSIS 0F THE 2018 CFI INVESTIGATION OF THE SAGAN SIGNAL
In what is likely to go down in the history of science as a landmark study, in 2018, the Center for Inquiry conducted a ten month long investigation of the Sagan Signal. Certified in writing by CFI Challenge Coordinator, Dr. Lou Hillman, and CFI West Executive Director, James Underdown, this is, by far, the most rigorous and comprehensive analysis of the data yet conducted. The stunning result is the first corroboration of a theory of ancient alienism ever issued by a mainstream scientific agency.
Though internal records of the CFI investigation are being kept confidential, in a series of personal emails exchanged between CFI staff and myself, critical details on how CFI went about its work came to light. This is explosive inside information that appears to have been sent to me without either the knowledge or the consent of Center for Inquiry President and CEO, Robyn Blumner, or Committee for Skeptical Inquiry Executive Director, Barry Karr. How these two skeptic leaders will react to these disclosures is anyone’s guess. Will they take ownership of an investigation conducted within their ranks and under their governance, or will they equivocate? Time will tell.
This material is being released, not only to show proof of CFI’s investigation and confirmation of the Sagan Signal, but with the hope that, going forward, it will serve as a template for any ancient alien denier who disagrees with CFI’s findings and chooses to participate in my $5,000 Challenge to Skeptics.
When I submitted my claim to the CFI, I gave them a list of 46 triadic sequences that are scattered throughout the Old Testament. The CFI investigators had all of them in their hands, chapter and verse. They saw with their own eyes a deep and complex symmetry. It was direct evidence that demanded an explanation.
By accepting me as an official applicant in its $100,000 Independent Investigations Group Challenge, CFI officials were acknowledging that the Sagan Signal is an extraordinary product that is subject to independent testing. Out of a total of 54 instances in the Old Testament where grain, wine, and oil related words are in close proximity, in 46 of these sequences, the grain word appears first, the wine word second, and the oil word third, an 86% symmetry rating. How can that possibly be?
The goal of CFI investigators was to find the truth, and, ten months later, they conceded, in writing, that my alien bible code theory is true - a concession that didn’t come until after every imaginable falsification strategy had been exhausted.
Following are the debunking tactics employed by CFI researchers over the course of their investigation:
CFI’s first order of business was to run a frequency analysis to determine the odds of 46 out of 54 triadic sequences being a random coincidence. I had previously contracted this statistical probability problem out to a local mathematician, who came up with the astounding number of 10 to the 21st power, or one in ten billion trillion! Not surprisingly, CFI investigators never proposed random coincidence as a solution.
2. CFI then considered the possibility that the sequences might be an example of literary convention. In an email it stated: “. . . any sufficiently large collection of text can reveal many words, and those can be interpreted as the reader wishes.”
CFI is right. Within any large volume of text, one can expect to find repeated sequences generated by historical, cultural, linguistic, and religious influences, often without the respective author or authors even being aware of it.
Pursuing this strategy, CFI explored period literature, hoping to find at least one other example of identical or similar repeated sequences, and they came up empty. Previous skeptics, notably, Jason Colavito, have tried and failed to find such sequences.* Until proven otherwise, my claim that the Sagan Signal is unique in human literature is sustained. The CFI team abandoned this strategy and moved on.
3. The CFI investigators then asked me, point blank, if I artificially generated the symmetry:
“. . . can we assume that you are finding words or phrases by entering in a specific algorithm to the text of the Bible?”
In a return email, I responded:
“Unlike other Bible codes you may have come across, what I call the Sagan Signal is unique in that it does not require an intermediate process for extraction. The code is embedded in the surface text.”
In a follow-up email, a CFI researcher stated:
“I understand now that your code is different . . .”
The next two debunking strategies explored the possibility of the code being a hoax.
Email from a CFI cryptographer:
4. “I have no idea from a cryptographer’s point of view if what you are showing is indeed a ‘code,’ or a ‘substitution cipher. . ."
In this exchange, CFI was hinting that I perhaps took non-symmetrical words out of the biblical text and replaced them with words that created the symmetry.
This is a perfectly reasonable inquiry. Over the years that CFI has investigated sensational claims, many turned out to be hoaxes. In this case, CFI checked the most reliable versions of the Bible and discovered that the 46 word sequences that comprise the code appear in all of them.
CFI next advanced a similar charge.
In the same email:
5. “I have no idea from a cryptographer’s point of view if what you are showing is indeed a ‘code,’ or a ‘transposition cipher!"
This is also a reasonable inquiry. CFI suspected that I may have rearranged certain words in the Bible to create a symmetry that doesn’t appear in the original text. Here again, it was easy for CFI to eliminate this explanation. They simply went to the best and most reliable versions of the Bible and saw that there is no repositioning of words in the code.
Note that in both inquiries CFI cryptographers concede, in writing, that the 46 triadic sequences that comprise the Sagan Signal exhibit the necessary metrics and attributes to qualify as a code. In what had to be something of a Eureka! moment, CFI code experts came to the realization that the Sagan Signal is what I claim, a real code.**
Conceding that the sequences are a code, CFI cryptographers next focused their attention on attribution. Whose code is it? CFI countered my claim that the Sagan Signal was encrypted by aliens with a counter-claim: It has to be the result of human manipulation. In other words, a hoax.
In both instances, CFI’s hoax theories were debunked. By default, that leaves my alien bible code claim confirmed on both counts. One, it is a code, and, two, it was encrypted by extraterrestrials!
As the investigation continued, and CFI growing ever more desperate, it advanced another theory.
The next email I received stated:
6. “Does your code work in the original Hebrew or Aramaic?”
Once again, this is a fair question, and one easy to answer. CFI checked to see if the sequences appear in the original languages, and they do. Another debunking strategy proposed, another debunking strategy eliminated.
The next inquiry:
7. “Was this code written by a clever man that was writing the Bible?"
After admitting that the Sagan Signal is an ingeniously designed product, CFI cryptographers answered their own question by acknowledging the Bible’s multiple authorship:
“We know the Bible was written by men, right? Some estimate as many as 200 different authors . . .”
8. This was followed by the suggestion that the code might have been encrypted into the Bible by a secret Jewish cabal, what CFI called a “clever construct of man.”
In pursuing this line of inquiry, CFI found no evidence to support it.
To summarize, in strategies 3-8, CFI cryptographers concede that, diagnostically and forensically, the sequences are, without any doubt, a code. That settled, the focus of the investigation shifted to the question of who did it. With further research, CFI concluded that it wasn’t me, it wasn’t the Jews, and it wasn’t God.
The sum of all the falsification strategies that CFI pursued over the course of its ten month investigation led to two conclusions. First, the evidence is direct and overwhelming that the 46 grain, wine, and oil sequences are a code, and, second, there is no reasonable possibility that the Sagan signal was concocted by humans.
If CFI researchers are right, and I believe they are, the Sagan Signal is the long-sought smoking gun evidence that scientifically confirms the theory of ancient alienism.
Looking back, CFI investigators engaged extraordinary evidence that they admit they can’t explain away. For the first time in its history, the Center for Inquiry, staffed by some of the best skeptics in the world, and supported by professional cryptographers, confirmed an extraordinary claim. The rule that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence had been fully satisfied. Unless and until proven otherwise, the Center for Inquiry’s investigation into the Sagan Signal formally establishes ancient alienism as a scientific fact.
Unfortunately, tainting the investigation was a $100,000 prize that the Center for Inquiry promised to award me if my claim was sustained. The Sagan Signal was confirmed, so I should have won the prize money, right? “Not so fast,” CFI officials said after completing their investigation. It’s not enough that the Sagan Signal is real, and that it was encrypted by aliens, it needs something more. It needs to be predictive. It needs to DO something, like issuing a prophecy of a cataclysmic event, perhaps a major earthquake or volcanic eruption. Ten months after CFI’s investigation was launched, and after admitting in writing that the sequences are an alien bible code, I received the following notice:
“If your ‘code’ can predict the future, you WILL WIN our challenge! If it can not, there is simply no value in the code as far as we can see, and thus not a viable candidate for our challenge.”
No “value” in a confirmed alien bible code? In what might be the most ludicrous statement in scientific history, CFI chose to ignore what it conceded in writing: That science now has in its possession incontrovertible proof of extraterrestrial existence - direct evidence that SETI organizations around the world, supported by government tax dollars and wealthy philanthropists, have spent billions of dollars and decades of years trying to find.
As avowed champions of transparency, Robyn Blumner and Barry Karr owe us an explanation. Unable to debunk the Sagan Signal, the organization they co-manage has both a moral and professional responsibility to inform the world that a spectacular discovery of potentially great consequence has been investigated and confirmed. For the CFI to refuse to make any announcement of discovery or to release any investigative details is unacceptable. What the hell is going on?
For the record, I would have willingly and happily forfeited any claim to the prize money if CFI had honored the following request I sent to them at the close of its investigation:
“From your latest correspondence it appears that IIG may have completed its investigation of my Bible code claim and that, consistent with IIG’s policy of full transparency, a final report of all research and analysis conducted by IIG in-house and by outside experts is now available to the public. Over the past decade, in my personal vetting efforts, I have interacted with a number of scientists, academics, and skeptics who have expressed a keen interest in my research. Would it be appropriate if I were to contact these individuals and let them know that such a report is available upon request? Of course, I would also like to have a copy.”
CFI never responded. I asked for transparency and I got stonewalled, which is why this website has been created. Evidence can be suppressed, but it can never be destroyed. The Center for Inquiry, in its war against pseudoscience, is supported by thousands of scientists and technical experts from all over the world, talented men and women of integrity who stand ready to assist in any investigation. I want to know, and I suspect that the world would like to know: Who were the literary experts, the cryptographers, and the statistical probability experts involved? Give us their names, their credentials, and, most important, a written report of their research.
Anyone with even a modicum of common sense would have to agree that CFI’s confirmation of the Sagan Signal warrants advanced testing by the SETI Institute, by NASA, by the National Science Foundation, and other elite agencies, both in the United States and around the world. For the CFI to cavalierly walk away from what appears to be a historic discovery - that it investigated and verified, is, in my opinion, more than scientific malpractice, it borders on criminal negligence.
*For additional information on these and other tests conducted on the Sagan Signal, I refer you to my website: www.smokinggunchallenge.com, Chapters 6 & 8
**To learn more about codes, ciphers, cryptanalysis and cryptography, I highly recommend The Code Book, by Cambridge professor, Dr. Simon Singh, 1999.