An artists rendering of an alien space ship. Shutterstock.

Astronomer Suggests the Wow! Signal Was Produced by Alien spacecraft

An astronomer has presented a study suggesting that the Wow signal was caused by power leakage from an alien spacecraft.


One of the most famous “alien” signals in the history of space exploration is, without a reason of a doubt, the so-called WOW Signal discovered in 1972 by astronomer Jerry Ehman.

The signal owes its name to the letters WOW penned down by the astronomer after identifying the signal. To date, and after coming across a plethora of other “signals” from space, the WOW remains the most captivating for astronomers.

A recent paper suggested that the infamous signal originated from a star called 2MASS 19281982-2640123, located in the Sagittarius constellation some 1800 light-years from Earth.

However, that is just another theory that tries to explain what Ehman spotted back in 1972.

But what if the WOW signal is not of natural origin? What if the WOW signal is, in fact, evidence of alien technology, just as many astronomers had initially thought?

Now, a new theory proposed by another astronomer suggests that the WOW signal may have been caused by alien technology, more specifically, by a “power leaving from a power beam propelling an alien probe.”

The theory brings back memories of when the signal was first discovered and the many alien-related theories that followed, but with a new, refreshing twist, one that is now more acceptable than ever.

Speaking of alien probes, what if ‘Oumuamua, the mysterious object that visited our solar system a few years back, was, in fact, one such alien spacecraft?

This “controversial” theory is proposed by no other than the astronomy department chair at Harvard, professor Avi Loeb, whose book about the curious object only recently hit the stores.

Wow! signal produced by an alien spacecraft?

An image of the Wow! Signal. Image Credit: Public Domain.
An image of the Wow! Signal. Image Credit: Public Domain.

The new theory is compelling. It changes the way we look at alien signals, specifically the most famous one we’ve ever received, and offers a more compelling hypothesis for Loeb’s ‘Oumuamua ET proposition.

In an interview with “Centauri Dreams,” plasma physicist James Benford explains his paper presented for publishing in the Journal Astrobiology and reveals why he believes there are arguments in favor of the WOW signal being created by an alien craft.

The Wow! could have been leakage from an interstellar power beam. I propose that this class of radiation, which is not widely understood, can explain the Wow’s observed features! signal,” writes Benford.

To explain why he believes the Wow signal is of an artificial, alien origin, Benford asks us to look at the Wow signal’s three parameters: the power density received, the signal’s duration, and its frequency. Benford reveals that these three and a potential fourth parameter are tell-tale signs of the signals’ alien origin.

The Wow signal was very, very strong. In fact, it is the strongest signal intercepted to date, and as revealed by astronomers, its peak is 32 times the signal-to-noise ratio of the observations.

When the signal was intercepted, the Big Ear telescope was fixed in rotation with the Earth (, and as revealed by author Robert H. Gray in his book the Elusive Wow, “the amount of time it took the Wow! to pass through the antenna’s beam closely matches the expected transit time for celestial sources.” The Wow Signal took about 38 seconds to pass through the antenna’s beam. This means that we don’t know how long the signal lasted, just that it was on as the antenna rotated past.

Thirdly, the Wow! Signal was at 1.42 GHz. The 1.4-1.427 GHz band is protected internationally, which means all emissions under that band are prohibited. This tells us that the signal did not originate from any human-made technology, and it did not originate on Earth.

The fourth and least looked-into parameter is the so-called revisit time–how long it takes for the signal to repeat, the interval until the signal is seen again. To date, we haven’t found a repeating Wow signal.

However, the fact that the signal has not been repeated can be seen as a tell-tale sign of its true origin.

“The Wow! observation has never recurred. I take this absence as a clue to its origin,” explains Benford.

“If the Wow! was driving a probe to a star, that star was at that time far from the direction of the beam. Earth could accidentally receive the leakage from the beam since stars move relative to each other. So leakage radiation from star probe launches using the Wow! Beam will not be seen again from Earth. This fits the non-observations to date,” the researcher explains.

According to Benford, a solid case can be made for the Wow signal being explained as alien technology, mostly because we are already in the process of developing such a spacecraft ourselves; the Breakthrough Initiative is already working on laser-powered spacecraft that will be sent towards Proxima Centauri in the near future.

Curiosmos’ Take

I believe that the case made by Benford is not only plausible but refreshing as well. I welcome researchers such as Benford and Loeb, who I see as true modern scientists, unafraid of proposing theories and hypotheses that others might look away from.

I find Benford’s explanation for the Wow signal a welcoming and stimulating proposal, especially because the ” power beaming explanation” could account for all four of the Wow Signal’s parameters.

The idea that the Wow signal was produced by a beam leakage from an alien spacecraft is even more interesting because it tells us that we should start looking for such signals more frequently. As explained by Benford, “such interstellar power beams would be visible over large interstellar distances. All-sky surveys in both the microwave and laser could detect more power beam leakages.”

Benford’s idea of the Wow signal, coupled with Loev’s theory on interstellar object ‘Oumuamua, makes me believe that we are not alone in the universe now more than ever.

Further reading; Centauri Dreams

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Written by Ivan Petricevic

I've been writing passionately about ancient civilizations, history, alien life, and various other subjects for more than eight years. You may have seen me appear on Discovery Channel's What On Earth series, History Channel's Ancient Aliens, and Gaia's Ancient Civilizations among others.

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