Profile: fafoosh

Personal background
My dad is a retired air traffic controller, so I grew up listening to him and his buddies tell tales of UFOs. That piqued my interest early on in extraterrestrial life, and resulted in me sticking my nose into every book and TV program that focused on UFOs, extraterrestrial life, and science fiction. Close Encounters of the Third Kind remains one of my favorite movies (OK, don't laugh!). OK, so some of it was fantastical, but it encouraged an active imagination and frequent wondering about life on other planets. At one point in my life I considered becoming an astronomer and even took an astronomy class at university. I have my parents to thank for my curiousity and interest in the universe. I also have to thank my brother (an avid amateur astronomer) who turned me on to SETI@home, and keeps my interest in all things involving space alive (thanks for all those links!).

Today I am an archaeologist (yes, really!) living and working in the eastern United States. It's an interesting dichotomy -- stuck in the past during the day, and firmly rooted in the future and the universe in the evenings (and occasionally on the weekends too!). I always wondered what the draw --towards UFOs, extraterrestrial life, and the like -- was for archaeologists. I haven't figured that one out yet, but am still working on it!

Thoughts about SETI and SETI@home
I do believe there is extraterrestrial life out there. I think that in our solar system, that life may exist as single-cell organisms. Further out in the galaxy, and other galaxies, I believe there is intelligent life. And yes, I believe the earth has been visited by extraterrestrials, though I remain a skeptic about the exact nature of the visitations. I think there are some very compelling accounts about extraterrestrial encounters, but the scientist in me remains skeptical.

When and how will we discover ET? I can't even begin to fathom what this would be like, though I do hope that it occurs in my lifetime!

I like the idea of transmitting a beacon into space, though I suppose there is some inherent danger. This is new territory, and we have no idea what may find us! However, fear should not stop us from trying to make contact. I say, forge ahead and reach out into the unknown!

I run SETI@home because I hope that in some small way I am able to contribute to the quest for extraterrestrial life. I hope that in some small way I can make a difference. Failing that, it keeps my computer from getting bored. :-)
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