Stephen P. Maran
Astrophysicist: NASAís GSFC 1969-2004
Project Scientist: Orbiting Solar Observatories
Co-I: Hubble Space Telescope GHRS & STIS Instruments
Press Officer: American Astronomical Society 1984-2009
Author: Astronomy for Dummies (Wiley)†

How will humanity first discover ET Life?
Best guess: Technosignatures
My gut feeling is that we will first learn of intelligent 
extraterrestrial life not through a great advance in instrumental 
sensitivity, coverage, or a lucky choice in search target.††
I think so much has been done already, considering the apparent 
abundance of extrasolar planetary systems, that we need to 
take seriously the possibility that a galaxy-pervading 
civilization as posited in Fermiís thought experiment, 
may exist and communicate, but the communications 
(which could well be in the frequency bands that SETI is searching) 
have been deliberately designed to resemble natural galactic noise 
rather than to be distinguished from †noise.††
That is, extraterrestrial communications may exist for purposes of 
an extraterrestrial civilization that deliberately 
avoids making contact with other civilizations.

Detection will finally occur when analysis of SETI data 
is enhanced with a brilliant new method for identifying 
artificial signals that are meant to resemble natural 
radio (or other frequency) noise.† Somewhere, there 
is a mathematically inclined person who will devise such a method.

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