Author of SECTOR 64: Ambush

Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Recipient

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Plausible Alien First Contact (Part II)


Close-EncountersHow We’d Integrate Into a Hypothetical Galactic Government.

In Part I, I laid out the plausible alien first contact scenario that forms the backstory of my novel, SECTOR 64: Ambush. As promised at the end of that post, I’m back to postulate how things would pan out post-contact.

Given the premise that this alien species/society is extremely advanced and has been at the business of heading the galactic government for unknown millennia, we have to assume that this isn’t their first rodeo. They’ve initiated first contact with hundreds if not thousands of burgeoning societies across the galaxy. Through trial and error, they’ve perfected this process.

So when they stumbled into another race in a backwoods portion of the galaxy, galactic sector number 64, they made first contact. Once the contactees adjusted to the news, the galactic ambassadors briefed them on the two underlying facts of the galactic integration program:

  1. It is a decades-long program designed to streamline your society, governments, and economy for galactic integration.
  2. Secrecy is paramount. Why? The galactic government refined the process through thousands of iterations. During previous transitions, the political, economic, and social implications of premature disclosure regularly created unacceptable hardships on the integrating populations. If everybody knows of the transition, then all the time and energy invested in softening the socio/economic blow will be for naught. In short, disclosure defeats the purpose of a phased integration.

Here are the stipulations the ambassadors named for galactic integration:

  • The world’s governments must conform to galactic standards. In my fictional book, this ties into the gradual worldwide shifts toward an economic and cultural center. Examples include the collapse of the Soviet Union and subsequent Capitalization/Democratization of its member nations, the gradual transition of China away from strict communism, and the social reforms of the West.
  • The phased shift of economies away from a fossil fuel energy base. Our continued and growing fossil fuel dependence highlights the fictional nature of my scenario. Our economy is getting more, not less intertwined in them. In my fictional scenario, the galactic powers instruct Earth governments to push a phased introduction of alternate energy solutions.

Wait, are we talking fiction or reality?

This alien first contact scenario is merely the premise or backstory of my novel; it is not the meat and potatoes of the story.

Click here to read more about SECTOR 64: Ambush.

The Final Result

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Plausible Alien First Contact (Part I)


For the backstory of my novel, SECTOR 64: Ambush, I put forth an alien first contact scenario that my readers find very plausible, some even wondering aloud if this could be our current reality.

Let’s imagine that elsewhere in the galaxy a species elevated itself from the primordial soup a million years ahead of us. Making the most of that thousand-millennia head start, they master physics, achieve faster than light (FTL) travel, and populate thousands of star systems.

Always looking for burgeoning technological societies to bring into the galactic government, they populate the galaxy with a network of detectors designed to watch for certain markers thought to be key indicators, i.e.: unnaturally organized radio waves or light waves (laser beams) and unnatural fission reactions (nuclear detonations). Some, like radio waves, would probably just be annotated for future research. Others, like nuclear detonations, would require a more urgent investigation.

While they’ve mastered FTL travel and communications, their sensors are still limited to detecting occurrences at the speed of light. In other words, if a burgeoning society starts blasting radio waves or nuclear electromagnetic pulses (EMPs) across the cosmos, our curious aliens wouldn’t detect it until the wave traveled at the speed of light to the nearest sensor. Then it could use their FTL sub-space communication network to pass on the news.

To comprehend the logistics involved, we must have a full appreciation of the galaxy’s size. It’s a BIG galaxy. If our curious aliens only wanted to deploy ten million sensors, they would have to disperse them throughout the galaxy on a grid with one-hundred light-year spacing. The Milky Way is 100,000 light-years across and one thousand light-years thick. That means if you could travel across the entire width of the galaxy at the speed of light, the Earth would circle the Sun 100,000 times during your trek. (Note: these are external observations. The hypothetical FTL traveler would experience this time quite differently, but that’s a subject for a future blog.) Even if you could travel at an incredible 100,000 times the speed of light, an Earth year would pass in the time it took you to traverse the galaxy.

When it comes to jaunting about the Milky Way, your FTL travel would have to be SIGNIFICANTLY faster than the speed of light to be of any appreciable use. The reason scientist and sci-fi writers often employ worm holes is their hypothetical ability to fold space. Joining two points of space-time, like folding a paper in half, brings two remote points together, rendering interstellar travel as simple as stepping through a door.

Back to our first contact scenario. Because of the aforementioned galactic scale, our fictional aliens have quite a few (read: ten million) sensors spread throughout the Milky Way. One day, they receive a signal indicating that a nuclear device detonated on a planet in the remote portion of the galaxy identified as SECTOR 64. They discover the signal originated from a medium-sized rocky planet in a solar system only two light-years from the sensor. (That would be very fortuitous, remember our one-hundred light-year spacing.)

So our curious aliens fold space-time and dispatch a couple of scout ships to SECTOR 64. Arriving only a few days after their sensor detected the first nuclear blast, they arrive on the planet the locals (humans) call Earth, in a year the humans have designated as one thousand nine hundred and forty-seven or 1947. Because of the sensor’s two light-year distance from the planet, two Earth years have passed since their original nuclear detonations in 1945.

Our curious alien scouts travel to the only place on the planet where they detect nuclear weapons. It happens to be relatively close to where the first nuclear detonation occurred. The humans call the region New Mexico.

In 1947 only one nuclear-armed bomber squadron existed, the 509th Bomber Group based at an Army Air Corp Base known as Roswell Army Air Field (RAAF).

Yep, you guessed it. That’s near an infamous small town named Roswell, New Mexico.

In a tragic accident, one of the scout ships is knocked down by a surprisingly powerful thunderstorm. (Most planets they’ve explored don’t have such strong electrical storms—okay work with me here, that’s probably the biggest stretch for this scenario).

Finally, the surviving curious alien scout goes on to make first contact with world leaders of the day.

Read Part II of my Plausible Alien First Contact Scenario to find out about the decades-long program that our hypothetical galactic government would use to integrate us knuckle draggers into their society. Discover why it would be a secret program, even today, almost seventy years later.

Sound like an interesting backstory for a novel?

Check out my award-winning sci-fi novel, Sector 64: Ambush. Available as an ebook, audiobook, and paperback.

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Do Indie Authors Need Editors?


The Indie Publishing School of Hard Knocks

Do indie authors need editors? Read on.

I released my first book in 2011, a novella that briefly rose to the top of Amazon’s sci-fi charts. In 2013, it was a third prize recipient in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Awards. The novella, SECTOR 64: Coup de Main, garnered many five-star reviews, but rightfully, it also earned a few negative appraisals.

I sharpened my trade while working on book two of the two-book series, and it became apparent that my first effort did not deliver the polish and finish I initially thought. Essentially, I was that guy, the guy traditional publishers pointed at when berating the indie publishing world. If you did a Wiki search of the indie publishing stereotype, you’d likely have found my smiling mug at the top of the article. I never imagined I’d be that guy, but there I was, putting out a book that passed all the MS Word grammar checks, but nonetheless presented a myriad of amateur errors.

When I earned my military pilot wings, it was with the assistance of numerous professional instructors and extensive training. When I built my custom motorcycle, I sought out professional assistance, and now, building an airplane, I tap my pre-pilot history as a helicopter mechanic and the knowledge base of various professionals throughout the industry. However, when I finished my novella, I didn’t think I needed a professional editor.

I was wrong.

The Algebraic Curve

As I soon discovered, the road to literary excellence is an algebraic curve; it is a constant struggle to push the line of progress ever closer to that elusive goal. When authors go it alone, that curve takes exponentially longer to reach the same area code as the axis of perfection.

After a not insignificant amount of soul searching, I paid heed to those few negative reviews and read between the lines of some of the other, less glowing ones. I halted work on book two, reopened the source files for my first book, and hired a professional editor.

From his inputs as well as the feedback from various reviewers, I formulated a plan. In addition to its mechanics, my book’s characters needed further development. For instance, my main female character, Air Force Captain Sandra Fitzpatrick, plays a huge role in book two, but in book one, I had Sandy, an elite fighter pilot, sitting on her thumb while aliens attack.

With editorial assistance, I rewrote the entire story, fleshed-out the characters, cleaned up the writing, and threw some aliens at the West Coast, sending Sandy after them. Developing her storyline and character afforded me the opportunity to develop the other protagonists through her eyes.

The new material, characters, and scenes more than doubled the size of the original book. In the process, the 52,000-word novella grew into SECTOR 64: Ambush, a 108,000-word full-length novel.

See It on Amazon

Do Indie Authors Need Editors? Hell yeah!

The Path

Along the way, I filled my writer’s toolbox with techniques and tools that vastly improved my prose. For instance, once you have that sentence, paragraph, or scene just the way you want it, use your device’s text-to-speech feature to have it read said prose back to you. Echoing headwords stand out, and the computer will not glean over typos or missing words. Additionally, it highlights clunky sentences, the ones that require multiple passes for full comprehension, the ones that yank readers from a story like a stick jammed in the spokes of a speeding bicycle. When spoken aloud by your computer, a sentence that sounded perfect to your mind’s ear may suddenly sound clunky. This technique dramatically improved the flow of my writing, eliminating the literary tripping hazards.

Once I had the scene edited and flowing, I loaded it into Grammarly’s grammar checker as a final stopgap. It is a premium service and well worth the price. Over a period of months, the status of scene after scene cycled from Revised Draft to Final Draft, until finally, the last of ninety scenes crossed the finish line. Then, I handed my editors a vastly improved manuscript.

Before I started the rewrite, when my first editor went through the book, the errors were so ubiquitous, he was unable to do a granular editorial pass. It limited him to pointing out the basic mechanics missing throughout the manuscript and making general suggestions on character and story development. More than a year later—and due to scheduling conflicts, with a new editor—the process was painless. The manuscript progressed smoothly and quickly into a finished novel.

The final result has reviewers comparing me and Ambush to the industry’s heavy-hitters.

Dean M. Cole is without a doubt the next Dan Brown. Sector 64 is a book that you can’t put down.” — Amazon Reviewer

Even the hard knocking reviewers at Goodreads have awarded Ambush an average of 4.1 stars with over 70 ratings to date. (Coup de Main had 2.84—and still does, ouch.)

Audible published the audiobook version in November. Nationally recognized narrator Mike Ortego lent his voice to the project. You will know him as the voice from audiobooks and documentaries as well as commercials for Toyota, Kingsford Charcoal, Coke Zero, and more. As production drew to a close, Mike told me, “It’s been a joy to be a part of your fine book,” and “You got a great talent, bud,”—immensely rewarding sentiments from a nationally known professional.

In mid-November, AudiobookReviewer gave Ambush an across the board five-star rating.

SECTOR 64: Ambush was a highly imaginative action-packed apocalyptic assault on your mind.”—AudiobookReviewer

In December, IndieReader awarded it five stars and named Ambush a Best of 2014.

SECTOR 64: AMBUSH is an engaging book from the very first page to the final words of the epilog.”—IndieReader

…Not as I Did

Please forgive the horn-blowing. I only mention those accolades because they leave me asking: What if I had done it right the first time? Where would I be today if I had not rushed my manuscript to market, had not ruined a good story with an amateurish presentation?

I certainly would not be fighting the uphill battle of countering a bad first impression.

So, do indie authors need editors?

Hell yeah!

Do as I say, not as I did the first time. Learn from my mistakes.

Don’t be that guy or girl.

About the Author:

Dean M. Cole, a world traveler and commercial helicopter pilot, writes from locales as remote as Equatorial Guinea and romantic as Paris’ Champs-Elysées with his trusty sidekick and beautiful wife, Donna. A combat veteran, he flew Apache Attack Helicopters in the US Army’s First Cavalry Division.

SECTOR 64: Ambush (Available on Amazon as an ebook and paperback. Find the audiobook on Audible, iTunes, and Amazon.)

It’s 2015. Friendly extraterrestrials JUST found us. So why have the enemies of these benevolent aliens HATED humans for millennia?

X-Files meet Independence Day when incredible events thrust Air Force Captains Jake Giard and Sandra Fitzpatrick into a decades-old conspiracy to integrate humanity into a galactic government. Then, the plan renders present-day Earth a pawn in an extraterrestrial civil war. Wading through looters and apocalyptic infernos, can Sandy save her family? Can Jake save humankind?

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Best Science Fiction Books of 2014


SECTOR_64-_Ambush_Cover_for_Kindle With IconsSECTOR 64: Ambush Named Best of 2014

As tweeted by the Huffington Post, my sci-fi novel, SECTOR 64: Ambush, made the Best of 2014 list as a top ten indie-authored novel in the grouped genres of science fiction, fantasy, and paranormal.

Over the last month, SECTOR 64: Ambush received several excellent appraisals from reputable review sites. Here’s what the critics are saying: – 5 Stars

“SECTOR 64: Ambush was a highly imaginative action packed apocalyptic assault on your mind. Take everything that you think you know about the current military, the knowledge that we are alone in the universe, and flip it upside-down. I will continue to listen to this series.” – 5 Stars

SECTOR 64: AMBUSH is an engaging book from the very first page to the final words of the Epilog. – 4 Stars

“Cole has a good thing going here … His descriptions of aerial battle and military procedure are accurately detailed and his knowledge of the aircraft themselves fascinated me … He created a couple of races of aliens, gave them their own histories and cultures and just made them outright interesting. His characters are realistic and believable as well. Sector 64: Ambush is a great read.” – 4 Stars

“Sector 64: Ambush is an easy, fast paced, unputdownable read of alien invasion and race against time to save the Human race.”hardcoverjacket_747x1076

This kindleunlimited title is available as a paperback, ebook, and audiobook.

Click the appropriate link to check out SECTOR 64: Ambush in your preferred format.






Amazon – Audible – iTunes


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Reptilian Aliens? Why Wouldn’t They Be?


People ask why writers often depict reptilian aliens, sometimes referring to it as cliché. While humans seem predisposed to fear reptiles and regularly equate them with evil (see: Garden of Eden), I think there is a fundamental and practical reason for casting reptiles as a viable intelligent alien species.

The vast majority of Earth’s vertebrate animals sport scales.

The one example we have of life’s diversity—the biosphere we call Earth—demonstrates that hair follicles are the anomaly, not scales. Of all the classes of animal that constitute this planet’s vast wealth of life, only mammals have hair follicles. Species falling within the mammalian class only constitute 5400 of Earth’s 60,000 vertebrates. That’s less than 10%. The percentage falls to 00.3% when you include all 1.5 million known animals.

What if no Earth-changing calamity took out the dinosaurs?

If not for a big ass rock knocking down their evolutionary tree 65 million years ago, dinosaurs would likely still rule this biosphere. Considering we mammals managed to progress from rodents to spacefaring homo sapiens in the intervening 65 million years, it’s interesting to imagine what the dinosaurs might have evolved into had said ‘big ass rock’ not ended their reign.

Now for the fun part, the part where I go off into one of my thought experiments, the part where I ask: ‘What if?’ (And, you probably respond: Well, IF my Aunt had testicles, she’d be my Uncle.)

Thousands of millennia ago, Velociraptors were already hunting in organized parties, a level of intelligence far ahead of the tiny mammals scurrying about their feet.

Imagine those Velociraptors continued to develop and evolve. Hell, I’ll even diminish (but not eliminate) their huge head start over mammals. Let’s suppose it takes this advanced dinosaur species 64 million years to do what base mammals did in 65 million years: produce a spacefaring species.

In other words, what if during the first 64 million of the intervening 65 million years, Velociraptors developed into an intelligent earth-conquering species. Through utilization of superior intellect, opposable thumbs, and tools, they render the planet safe; free of the bigger more threatening species like T-Rex. Who knows, maybe they hunted them into extinction (as we likely did to the wooly mammoth). At the end of those 64 million years, they conquered gravity and put the first dino in space; one even famously referring to their astronauts as ‘Spam in a can.’ (A reference to a popular mammalian meat product.)

Now you say: “Dean, you’re missing a million years. The dinosaur’s evolutionary tree toppled 65 million years ago.”

You’re right. In my hypothetical scenario, our slow-to-develop Velociraptors conquered space a MILLION years ago. I think that is a conservative number. If we instead suppose they maintained their massive evolutionary head start, they might have conquered space tens of millions of years ago.

Where will humans be in a million years?

Back to the real world. If we don’t kill ourselves (and somehow survive Ebola), where will humans be in a million years? Perhaps the reptiles populating a nearby solar system will look up and see scale-free aliens descending on their world. After seeing our hairy heads, they will turn to their science fiction writers and apologize for calling their depictions of hairy aliens cliché.

Enjoyed my writing? Be sure to check out my new novel, SECTOR 64: Ambush.

Free Audiobook Sample:

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2014 Galveston Lone Star Motorcycle Rally


My ‘Choppers’

Many of my readers only know me as an author who flies ‘choppers’ for his day job, but you may not know I build and ride them, as well.

I finished the baby pictured above in June 2008. A few months later, she made her Galveston Lone Star Motorcycle Rally debut, and she’s still going strong in 2014. It’s almost time for this year’s rally. Look for Donna and me there November 7-9.

Save us a parking space … a really long parking space with plenty of turning room. That rake allows for the turning radius of a Mack truck … but it looks good doing it. Hey, I never said it was practical.

When you see that ten-foot-long yellow chopper with my beautiful wife, Donna, behind my ugly mug, give us a yell. If you can’t remember my name, just yell out, “Hey you, author!”

Hope to see you there.

Me and the Chopper on the Cover of the Houston Chronicle 2008 — Hurricane-Ike-Delayed Lone Star Rally

2008 Ike Delayed Lone Star Rally

Bike Stats:
Chasis: 2007 JSR Custom – Outrage
Suspension: Rear – None (Hardtail)
Front – American Suspension Inverted Forks
Wheels: Xtreme Machines – Burnt
330mm rear tire (WIDE)
Engine: Ultima 127 cubic inch El Bruto
HP – 140
Tq – 145 LB FT
Exhaust: Vance & Hines Big Radius

Parking a 10′ chopper can be a challenge.






The Night I Met Donna, My Beautiful Wife.

The Night I Met Donna, My Beautiful Wife.

Daytona Biketoberfest 2011 - First Place at the Broken Spoke Saloon

Daytona Biketoberfest 2011 – First Place at the Broken Spoke Saloon








Daytona Beach Biketoberfest 2011 - Main St.

Daytona Beach Biketoberfest 2011 – Main St.

Key West - 2012

Key West – 2012










Key West - 2012

Key West – 2012

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What’s Wrong With The Fermi Paradox


In a 1950 discussion with colleagues on the subject of the potential existence of extraterrestrial life, famed physicist Enrico Fermi asked, “Where are they?” Uttering those three words, Fermi forever tied his name to the issue as it came to be known as the Fermi Paradox.

fermi paradoxHis question is reasonable.

The Fermi Paradox lies in the contradiction between high estimates of the potential numbers of extraterrestrial civilizations, and the lack of evidence for or contact with said civilizations.

Considering the billions of years of galactic history predating humanity’s arrival and taking Earth’s life-development timeline as average, the age of the universe and its vast number of stars suggests extraterrestrial life should be common. Even using conservative numbers for the percentage of stars with planets and the percentage of those that will host life and so on, the number of technological galactic civilizations could easily be in the millions.

So, withstanding the multitude of UFO sightings, where’s the hard evidence that would surely be visible in the form of spacecraft or probes if the galaxy teamed with life.

There are several gaps in this logic, one being that all UFO sightings are either hoaxes or misidentified natural phenomenon. The US Air Force’s Project Blue Book found a small percentage “inexplicable by contemporary technology.” If even one sighting were real, the paradox evaporates.

However, for argument’s sake, let’s say every UFO sighting in history has been terrestrial in origin. What are the other holes in the argument?

One is the Zoo Hypothesis. Essentially it postulates that earth-space is a sanctuary. Much like a wildlife refuge, it is to be left unmolested and unaltered by external cultures and technologies, allowed to develop on its own course and of its own volition. Under this hypothesis, alien ships could be observing us now. As long as they remain undetected, they could pursue their anthropologic aspirations utilizing their advanced technology.

Fermi’s paradox evaporates at the very idea that aliens could inhabit local space undetected by our current technology.

Undetectable spaceships? Sounds like paranoid conspiracy theorist fodder. Maybe not when you consider how close we are to realizing that ability.

Humans, barely a century from our first forays into the air and mere decades since first breaching our atmosphere into local space, are already pondering invisibility cloaks rendered through the employment of metamaterials. While that century’s hundred years seems like a long time on a human timescale, it is less than a blink of the eye on a geologic timescale, even less on an astronomic timescale.

Another paradoxical hole arises when we review the assumption that we would see an uncloaked ship.

Most of us grew up in the space and information ages. We believe we know what’s out there and surely must know what is in our solar system. In this time-lapse computer animation produced by Scott Manley, we humans look like cavemen shining our light of discovery upon our solar neighborhood. Watch the video. You’ll be amazed at how little we knew about our solar neighborhood a few years ago, much less in Fermi’s time.

The rendered asteroids are mostly 100 meters or larger. By the end of the animation, there are roughly half a million asteroids. Current scientific estimates place the number of asteroids 100 meters or larger at half a billion. That’s billion with a B. Meaning there are a thousand times more football-field-sized asteroids than have been found to date.

In other words, in 2014 scientists believe roughly 499.5 million sports-arena-sized asteroids remain undiscovered in our neck of the solar system. 

In that light, how much water does Fermi’s 1950 assertion hold. Even 64 years later, we can’t say there aren’t (potentially cloaked and potentially smaller than a football field) alien ships visiting.

All things considered, it doesn’t seem like much of a paradox.

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Overpopulation and the New Space Age


As popularly depicted in several recent fiction offerings, we face a coming crisis. Over the last several decades, we’ve added a billion people to the world’s population every twelve years. Considering our economy, stock markets, and corporate valuations are growth based, this is great news for our retirement nest eggs. However, at some point in the next hundred years, the irresistible force of growth will smack into the immovable wall of earth’s finite resources and real estate.

Dan Brown’s new present-day thriller, Inferno, revolves around a mad scientist’s deranged solution for overpopulation. Matt Damon’s Elysium portrays a future where the ‘Have-Not’s are left to struggle in the squalor of a dystopic overpopulated world while the ‘Have’s take to living in a utopian orbital Halo-like ring world.

While Inferno’s fictional mad-scientist assumes additional resources will not avail themselves in time to prevent catastrophe, Elysium envisions growth’s substantial economic force leading to off world development. I believe the latter is the likely outcome.

In simplest terms, a reduction in growth creates a recession while a contraction generates a depression. We all suffer during those economic downturns. The stagnation of permanent zero growth would create economic chaos. Elysium’s dystopic vision not withstanding, when the forces of continued growth collide with earth’s limited resources, I believe it will be in our children’s (or their children’s) best interest to look to the stars.

It will also be in the corporate world’s best interest. More than any other factor, I believe the forces of capitalism will take us to the stars. It won’t happen tomorrow, next year, or even in the next several decades. However, at some point in the next century, the negative inflationary forces of improving technology and the need to continue growth will render large-scale space habitation an affordable option, propelling us across the solar system and eventually to the stars.

It won’t happen overnight. Barring a huge leap in technology, or the discovery of new physics that open paths to the stars, we won’t leap directly from our current forays into low earth orbit to interstellar travel. However, as the Samoans populated the Pacific’s scattered islands, humanity will likely spend the next thousand years spreading about the solar system. Through terraforming the inner planets or deploying Elysium style ring worlds, or both, our growth will continue until we’ve completely tapped the solar system’s resources. At that point, we’ll truly reach for the stars.


While vast, the Sol system’s resources are finite. Knowing that, we will have long ago identified nearby star systems ripe for human immigration. We already possess the ability to detect the atmosphere of nearby extra solar planets. Hubble recently detected the blue atmosphere of a gas giant orbiting one of our neighbors. In the coming decades, we will almost certainly gain the ability to directly observe some of our galaxy’s 100 billion earth-like planets.

While most, if not all of these events, will take place after we’ve moved on, our current outer space efforts are allowing us a glimpse of the universe our descendants may inherit when our socioeconomic model gets caught between a rock and a hard place.

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Will We Find ET in the Next 20 Years?


If ET phoned over the summer he would have received the embarrassing I-didn’t-pay-my-phone-bill message stating ‘The planet you are calling has been temporarily disconnected.’ In April the SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) Institute shuttered the Allen Telescope Array due to budgetary woes. Thanks to the SETIStars initiative and generous donations we’re back to listening for that call.

In a recent Popular Science article SETI director, Seth Shostak, said he believes we’ll detect alien life in the next twenty years. He lists a few ways he thinks this may come about. Last but not least he mentions SETI’s improving technology and its anticipated ability to search a million star systems over the next twenty years.

He touched on the idea that an alien race might detect the radio signals we’ve been emitting for decades and send a reply. Minimizing the possibility he pointed out that only a few tens of thousands of stars have been exposed to our transmissions.

If one employs conservative/pessimistic numbers in the Drake Equation then life is probably too rare and scattered about to expect a reply anytime in the next several thousand years. However, if you plug slightly more optimistic values into the equation you see a galaxy teaming with life.

This later scenario presents exciting possibilities, and is an area I think warrants more consideration.

Given the relatively slow speed of light (relative to the size of the galaxy anyway) only a tiny fraction of the galaxy may know we exist. Arguably the most powerful unnatural radio signals mankind ever sent out were our aboveground nuclear detonations. Considering the speed limit of 186,000 miles per second, that energy has blazed across the galaxy and covered a whopping 66 light-year radius in the intervening 66 years. That’s a bubble of information roughly 122 light-years across.

Big huh?

Not really, it’s only 3/100,000 of 1 % (0.000003%) of the galaxy.

Hard to visualize? Imagine you shrunk the galaxy down to the volume of the Superdome. Now imagine you’re up in the nosebleed section. At that scale picture a four-foot-wide beach ball at mid-field. That sphere, a few centimeters over a meter, would represent the 122 light-year bubble of stars exposed to the energy waves emitted from the planet in 1945. It’s unlikely anything outside of that beach ball even knows we exist.

Our galaxy is not as boxy. The Superdome’s interior volume is roughly as tall as it is wide, or 1:1. With a 100:1 width-to-height ratio our galaxy is 100,000 light-years across and only 1,000 light-years thick. Now imagine trying to see that four-foot sphere from a mile away instead of the upper-deck. And remember, if you’re not in that bubble all you hear from its center point is cosmic white noise.

Knowing how small the portion of the galaxy is that may know of our existence, consider this: every day that sphere’s radius grows, its surface grows exponentially. In other words the potential pool of star systems learning of our existence is growing daily, and at an ever-increasing rate.

Complicating the issue is the time a reply takes to reach us. If a civilization decides to beam an instant reply it will take just as long for us to receive it as our signal took to get to them.

What if 33 years ago, back when that bubble was the size of a basketball, a relatively advanced civilization in our galactic backyard received the signal and blasted a return message our way? We’ll receive it thirty-three years later (today). Therefore, any instant replies beamed in the last 32+ years are still en route.

That’s all if they decide to reply immediately. Considering the signal they received was a nuclear detonation they may want to listen for a while. After a few decades of I Love Lucy, Gilligan’s Island, Cheers, Seinfeld, and Lost they decide ‘what-the-hell let’s say hello to our wacky neighbors.’

Side note: I often muse over the idea that somewhere there’s an alien race agonizing over who shot JR as they painfully wait for the next season of Dallas to reach their planet. Who knows, there may even be a cultural niche of Elvis Presley fans on some remote rock (there’s some bad news heading their way circa 1976).

People and politicians often ask, ‘Why should we spend money listening for aliens? It’s not like they’ll balance the federal budget for us.’ That’s tantamount to a five year old asking, ‘Why should I go to school? There’s nothing they can teach me.’ Setting aside man’s innate curiosity and our desire to answer the burning questions: ‘Are we alone?’ and ‘Is there anybody out there?’ there are more practical reasons to search.

In regards to social and scientific development we are likely babes in the Galactic woods. Any data gathered from alien contact would probably be more enlightening than Pythagoras’ Theorem. Spanning decades, it would be an inefficient discussion, but we most certainly would be the prime beneficiary of that interaction. Thus a tiny-tiny-tiny-miniscule investment (relative to GDP) lands us invaluable knowledge.

In Carl Sagan’s Contact aliens send us blueprints for a wormhole generator. But saving that, what if they merely said ‘Hello, here’s the perfect mouse trap,’ or ‘free energy and the cure to world hunger,’ or whatever.

I for one am glad we’re paying our phone bill again.

Click here for more information about, or to donate to SETIStars.

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Retribution: Book Two of Sector 64 Now on Amazon and KindleUnlimited


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Retribution: Book 2 of Sector 64 Now Available for Pre-Order!

Reserve your copy of Retribution today!

No charge until Feb 1 release.

**Exciting Conclusion to the Sector 64 SciFi Duology**
**Sequel to Ambush—IndieReader Best of 2014**

Retribution: Book Two of Sector 64 Now on Amazon and KindleUnlimited!

It’s 2015. Air Force Fighter Pilots Jake Giard and Sandra Fitzpatrick saved the world … twice!

But that was yesterday.

Following the apocalyptic events of Ambush, Jake must board and somehow control the advanced alien fleet of huge ghost ships before they start falling into the Atlantic.

Yesterday, Captain Sandra Fitzpatrick found out she’s pregnant. Then she helped save the world. Tomorrow, if she can keep her condition a secret (even from Jake, the father to be), Sandy may lead space fighters into combat.

If Jake and Sandy prevail, can Earth’s ravaged militaries master the fleet’s technologies? Can today’s naval forces adapt now outdated tactics to the limitless battlefield of space?

On the newly settled Argonian colony world of Chuvarti,  scientist Remulkin Thramorus watched the enemy vaporize his entire family along with every man, woman, and child. As the world’s sole survivor, Remulkin joins the ravaged Galactic Defense Forces en route to Galactic Sector 64. Will Remulkin find peace, or will his thirst for vengeance destroy him?

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After the battle for Chuvarti, the GDF’s Supreme Commander needs to find out what happened to the fleet he sent to Earth space. However, with an unknown spy threatening to tip the balance and the remainder of the enemy fleet on the move, it’s a race against time. The Galactic Defense Forces must get to the Sol System before the enemy’s main force. But if they do, what happens when the GDF discovers Earth’s militaries operating their ships?

As the Milky Way’s two most powerful armadas loose their engines of destruction over present day Earth, the remnants of humankind must rise from the ashes like a Phoenix.

With the fate of the galaxy in their hands, can Jake and his ragtag team make a stand?

Click the link to reserve your ebook copy of the exciting sequel to the award-winning scifi KindleUnlimited novel.

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