Progress in the Search for
ASP Conference Series, Vol. 74, 1995
G. Seth Shostak (ed.), pp. 259-264.
FOR ALIEN ARTIFACTS ON THE MOON
ALEXEY V. ARKHIPOV
Institute of Radio Astronomy,
4 Krasnoznamenaya Str.,
Kharkov, 310002 Ukraine
The moon is an attractor of alien artifacts, Hence, the search for alien
artifacts on the moon (SAAM) is a promising unique project developed by the
Research Institute on Anomalous Phenom-ena(RIAP).SAAM activity and current
results are reviewed.
years, interest has grown among researchers in the search for traces of extraterrestrial
intelligence within the solar system. It has been shown earlier that within
the time of existence of our planet, approximately 10 stars capable of having
inhabited planets approached the Son to dis-tances within 1.5 pc (Arkhipov,
1994a). Such distances can be covered by space probes even at the present
day level of science and technology (Project Daedalus 1978.)
These researchers have chiefly concentrated on a search for artifacts which
are in orbit, on the Earth, or on asteroids. It seems that this list should
also include the moon (Graham 1990, Arkhipov, 1993a.)
THE MOON AS AN ATTRACTOR OF ARTIFACTS
As early as
the 1950s it was noticed that the moon was of great strategic importance
for military and weather forecasting observations of our planet. It
is reasonable to expect that intelligent beings that might have explored
the solar system were interested in the Earth as a unique planet having a
rare oxygen-containing atmosphere, and hence a biosphere. Thus, the natural
satellite of the Earth could be used as a convenient site for long term observations
Addtionally, there is a variety of other substantial arguments for placing
equipment for prolonged Earth monitoring on the moon rather than in orbit
or on the Earth (Arkhipov 1993b, 1994b):
- The maximum lifetime
of probes is at least doubled because the moon shields the device from meteoroids
- Electronic devices will
enjoy more stable performance and for longer times because the moon shields
equipment from half of the ionizing radiation.
- Stabilization of apparatus
- The mission is easily camouflaged.
- Lunar soil can be used
for life support and repair of equipment.
- The unfavorable atmospheric,
geological, and biological factors of the Earth are lacking on the moon.
be emphasized that because of these reasons, landing on the moon would be
for ET visitors a necessity rather than a convenience. The indisputable advantages
of the moon as an intermediate base for interplan-etary flights are clearly
demonstrated by the rise of interest of the USA and Japanese space agencies
in the moon (Burnham 1991). Thus, the moon should be an attractor of alien
THE UNKNOWN MOON
0.5 percent of the lunar surface has been photographed with a resolution of
1-10 m (Hansen 1970). But even the 1 m resolution photography can prove to
be insufficient for an artifact discovery. For example, a photograph taken
by Lunar Orbiter 3 shows the Surveyor 1 station on the lunar surface merely
as a light-colored boulder (Jaffe and Steinbacher 1970). Modern lunar base
projects (Shevchenko and Chikmachey 1989) contemplate placing manned modules
under the lunar surface to protect them from radiation and meteorites. It
is not improbable that our predecessors did the same billions of years ago.
Since that time traces of their constructions could be destroyed by erosion,
making objects hard to find. Indeed, the rock layer of 1-2 m must have
been broken during one billion years (Horz et al. 1975). However, a few centimeters-thick
layer of lunar re-golith is redistributed, i.e., “gardened” every 106
years. So, the search for any small artifcial imprints in the soil of more
than 107 years age is naive. In this manner
we can explore only about a fraction of a percent of the age of the lunar
But the main obstacle in the search for artifacts is the principle of
Occam’s razor which makes researchers regard a priori an artificial
object on the moon as a giant natural formation or as an image defect. A geologist,
for instance, will hardly identify a separately standing stone as a menhir
even in England, let alone on the moon. It is only a criminalist who can
dis-tinguish an artificially exploded crater from a natural one. But the
moon is usually studied by geologists, geophysicists, geochemists, and astronomers
accustomed to dealing with natural formations. All of this is enough
to suggest that the moon is practically untouched in terms of the search
for alien artifacts on its surface.
THE SAAM PROJECT
Ukrainian establishment now involved in SETI is the new Re-search Institute
on Anomalous Phenomena (RIAP). An interesting project “Search for Alien Artifacts
on the Moon” (SAAM) is being developed here.
The SAAM activity is the following
Methods of search for rare traces
of intelligence on the moon;
for an archaeological reconnaissance of the moon;
of reports concerning lunar transient phenomena (LTP)
1978) as part of a search for possible manifestations of extrater-restrial
scenario of interaction between human and non-human cultures on our satellite.
An LTP network of observers from Belarus, Russia and the Ukraine has been
formed for the SAAM project. There is cooperation with the American Lunar
Society and ALPO. Of course, LTPs cannot be regarded as evidence of artifacts;
rather they are only hints. Nevertheless, a list of possible SETI areas
on the moon would be used during some lunar missions of the future. The
first complex scientific analysis of this problem has been performed by
the author (Arkhipov 1994c.)
We cite some interesting, preliminary results below.
Recently the evolution of small
(1-10 cm) artifacts and optical surfaces on the moon has been considered by
the author (Arkhipov 1994d). For the first time, the theory of chaotic motions
of small objects by the shocks of weak meteoroids was constructed. The following
principles of lunar archae-ology could be formulated as a consequence of
and strange depressions only 10 years old (Shultz 1991) seem to be promising
sites for archaeological reconnaissance.
- Only big (> 1 m) ancient
artifacts could be found on the lunar sur-face.
of small (< 1-10 cm) artifacts is most probable in regolith layers at depths
of 10 m, and in craters especially.
- The original site of the
artifact usually is different from its discovery site.
- The excavation must be
done within a radius of = 1 km (to cover the dispersal area of non-rolling
artifacts at least).
- The old stand siteis localized
with high accuracy if the smallest and most dense artifacts are used.
LUNAR TRANSIENT PHENOMENA
phenomena of 20-60 minutes duration on the lunar surface appear to be possible
manifestations of artifacts on the moon. The reflection of sunlight from
a motionless lunar mirror would look like this. But the mirror area must
decrease exponentially from 1 km2 to only 1 m2
during ~3 105 years because of the lunar dust
cover (Arkhipov 1994d). Nevertheless there are reports (Arkhipov 1993b,
1993c, 1994c)of observations of reflection-like transient points in lunar
formations that a,re too old: Aristarchus, Gassendi, Furnerius, Stevinus,
etc. (Cameron 1978), Obviously possible natural mir-rors from the active
geological past of the moon (> 109 years ago) must be destroyed and covered
now (Arkhipov 1993b, 1994c, 1994d). But allow us to note that flat polished
surfaces are typical of our own space probes and satellites.
There are many reports (e.g., cases No. 74, 137, 140, 151, 152, 153, 312;
Cameron 1978) of nocturnal points of light on the moon. The long life-time
of these point phenomena (from 15 minutes to > 2 hours) and absence of
visible variability contradict all traditional explanations of nocturnal
LTPs (electrical discharges, luminescence of gas, meteor strikes; Robinson
1986). It is not impossible that some fraction of the nocturnal lights on
the moon could be artificial.
Of course, the “presumption of naturality,” a principal component
of current SETI programs, is ineffective in a search for camouflaged activity.
But the well-known intelligence scheme of provocation for responsive re-action
seems quite pertinent. The ®invasions” by Earth vehicles in certain
lunar regions stimulate a statistically significant, real, temporary increase
in the probability of LTPs there (Arkhipov 1994c, 1994e). The first impact
of Luna 2 and its booster on September 13, 1959 was accompanied by simultaneous
LTPs (flashes, dust clouds) from at least four distant sites (Fielder 1960).
The reports of those LTPs were confirmed. Moreover, a clear “invasion effect”
was also noted in Mare Tranquilitatis (1964-1969) and in the crater Gassendi
(1966-1967). Observational selection cannot be an adequate explanation of
this effect (Arkhipov 1994c, 1994e). That is why the “artificial” interpretation
of the “invasion effect” is worth discussion.
Based on these
considerations, it must be concluded that:
So, the selenological approach
seems very promising for SETI. The work is quite contemporary in the context
of modern plans for exploration and colonization of the moon.
- The moon may be an indicator
of alien presence in the solar system and beyond during past 4 10’ years.
- Although the moon is the
best studied celestial body, it evidently has not been studied well enough
- There are some phenomena
on the moon which could be possible manifestations of alien artifacts.
- It must be expected that
alien artifacts, if they exist on the moon, are concentrated in the region
of the crater Aristarchus (lava tubes, noctur-nal lights, possible mirrors
etc. ), on the peak of the southern wall of the crater Malapert (the optimal
site for alien reconnaissance devices because the Earth can always be seen
there and sunlight is accessible about 94% of the time), in the crater Herodotus
(possible mirror), in the crater Gassendi (possible mirror, invasion effect),
in Mare Tranquilitatis (unusual depres-sions, invasion effect),etc.
- Arkhipov, A. V. 1993a,
“On the importance of nonclassical SETI,” The Observatory, 113, No.
- Arkhipov, A. V. 1939b,
“The Moon as attractor of alien artifacts,” Selenology, Journal of the
American Lunar Society, 12, No. 1, 6
- Arkhipov, A. V. 1993c,
“Unusual Ukrainian SETI Project,” Selenology, Journal of the American
Lunar Society, 12, No. 3, 8
- Arkhipov, A. V. 1994a,
“Astrodynamical aspect of paleovisitology,” RIAP Bulletin, 1, No.
- Arkhipov, A. V. 1994b,
“Search for alien artifacts on the moon: a justifica-tion,” RIAP Bulletin,
1, No, 2, 9
- Arkhipov, A. V, 1994c,
“Problem of search for intelligent life on the moon,” Institute of
Radio Astronomy, preprint No. 70, Kharkov (in Russian)
- Arkhipov, A. V. 1994d,
“Archaeological aspect of lunar explorations,“ Solar System Research,
28, No. 4-5
- Arkhipov, A. V. 1994e,
“Invasion effect on the moon,” Selenology, Journal of the American Lunar
Society, 13, No. 1, 9
- Burnham, D. 1991, “Return
to the Moon?,” Spaceflight, 33, No. 11, 370
- Cameron, W. S. 1978, Lunar
transient phenomena catalog, NSSDC/WDC-A-R&S 78-03, NASA (Greenbelt,
- Fielder, G. 1960, “Observations
related to the impact of Lunik II,” Nature, 185, No. 4705, 11
- Graham, F, G. 1990, “Anomalous
pixels in spacecraft multispectral images and the possibility of memento
artifacts on the Moon,” Selenology, Journal of the American Lunar Society,
9, No.4, 18
- Hansen, T. P. 1970,
Guide to Lunar Orbiter Photographs, NASA SP-242 (Washington, D.C.)
- Horz, F., Brownlee, D.
E., Fechtig, H., Hartung, J. B., Morrison, D.A., Neukum, G., Schneider,
E., Vedder, J. F., Gault, D. E. 1975, “Lunar microcraters: inplications
for the micrometeoroid complex,” Planetary and Space Science, 23,
No. 1, 151
- Jaffe, L. D., Steinbacher,
R. H. 1970, “Surveyor final report.Introduction,” Icarus, 12, No.
2, 152, Fig. 4
- Project Daedalus: The final
report on the BIS starship study 1978, Journal of the British Interplanetary
- Robinson, J, H. 1986, “Possible
causes of LTP,” Journal of the British As-tronomical Association,
97, No. 1, 12
- Schultz, P. H. 1991, “The
moon: dead or alive,” LPI Technical Report, No. 91-03, LPI (Houston), 45
- Shevchenko, V. V., Chikmachev,
V. I. 1989, Moon Base—the project of XXI century, VINITI (Moscow),