by M. Collins and William Moore

REPORTER: "And what planet (do the EBENS come) from?"

INTELLIGENCE SOURCE CODENAMED "FALCON": "(From) the Zeta Reticuli star group ... (there are) two suns together."

Q: "And is this the primary source of the alien visitors here?"

A: "Ahh, to the best of my knowledge, yes."

Q: "How long does the trip from Zeta Reticuli take....?"

A: "They can... do it in about 91 days."

Q: "How big is their home planet?"

A: "(The) EBEN'S planet is similar to Earth, but the air is a bit thinner and contains a higher proportion of Argon and Helium. Also, the average temperature is a bit cooler than here. They like our high mountain regions where the air is thinner and the temperature is cooler. They can't stand a lot of heat.

Q: "Now, can we get into describing the physical conditions and characteristics of the aliens?"

A: "(They are) creature(s) about 3'4" to 3'8" tall. Their eyes are extremely large, almost insect style (with) a couple of different inner lids....Their skin structure is extremely ahhh... it's a very elastic skin, and hard. Probably hardened from their sun."

Excerpted from interviews conducted with U.S. intelligence agent codenamed "Falcon" in March, 1984 and February, 1987.

Evidence gleaned from both the Betty and Barney Hill abduction case and from intelligence sources (including "Falcon", above) has suggested that the home of at least one group of supposed alien 'visitors" to Earth may well be the Zeta Reticuli system, a close pair of companion stars (two stars traveling together in the same direction at the same speed, as opposed to a double or binary star system wherein one star orbits the other) some 37 light years distant. Although this information is NOT scientifically provable, it can be used to test the hypothesis that Zeta Reticuli has all the ingredients (except for positive proof of planets) to support intelligent life at an advanced stage of development.

Star Map of the Southern Sky showing the location of Zeta-Reticuli (28k)

The prime source of information about these stars is L. DaSilva and R. Foy's paper "Zeta 1 and Zeta 2 Reticuli: A Puzzling Solar-Type Twin System", which can be found in Astronomy and Astrophysics (177, 204-216 <1987>).

The two stars, Zeta 1 and Zeta 2, are located in the southern constellation of Reticulum (the net) and are thus never visible to most of the northern hemisphere. Both are classed as old disk population II stars whose age is between six to eight billion years. There is every indication that both had a common origin and are part of a relatively near-by old moving group (or loose cluster) of stars which was first defined in 1958 and is known as the Zeta Hercules group.

Our own Sun has an estimated age of only five billion years and is classed spectroscopically as a G-0 star (yellow-orange dwarf). Zeta 1 and Zeta 2 are classed as G-2 and G-1 respectively, with luminosities ("L") of 0.7 and 0.9 (the Sun being L=l.O). This means that both Zeta 1 and Zeta 2 are very Sun-like and could well possess solar systems much like our own.

In their highly technical paper, DaSilva and Foy offer two very important conclusions about these stars which radically contradict earlier findings. These are that neither star is metal-deficient and that neither is a close binary (or double). Earlier evidence (published by Bonneau et al., 1980) identifying Zeta 2 as a very close binary turns out to have been mistaken (Bonneau and Foy, 1986).

The puzzling aspects of these "close" stars (.1 light year apart) center around discoveries of higher than expected gravity and ultraviolet output when compared to their apparently normal metal content (i.e. not metal-poor). The ultraviolet excess and kinematic (proper motion and orbit) data suggest that these two stars belong to the old population II stars as mentioned earlier; yet the apparent high gravity figure seems more typical of an unevolved, metal-poor condition. Since DaSilva and Foy's work resulted in strong confirmation of a Sun-like (or "normal") metal content for these stars, they began to look elsewhere for an explanation of the gravity paradox. The answer came with the discovery of an apparent overabundance of helium (twice as much as our own Sun) in the stellar photospheres. This, when worked into the calculations, not only explained the high gravity, but also accounted for the observed problem of the stars' high ultraviolet output but relatively low overall luminosity. Another effect of the helium abundance would be to slow the process of stellar evolution across the main sequence.

Additionally, it should be noted that Zeta 1 was one of the first stars ever to be used as a solar analog by astronomers. What might these findings signify as far as Zeta 1 and/or Zeta 2 possessing planets with advanced intelligent life? Let's make a list of the strong points which support this idea:

(1)Both Zeta 1 and Zeta 2 are solar, or Sun-like stars. (If one imagines a spherical section of our galaxy with a radius of 50 light years and centered upon our Sun, only one star out of every eleven contained therein will have Sun-like characteristics.)

(2) The previous objection that one and perhaps both stars appeared to be close binaries has now been swept away. Stable planetary orbits in the so-called eco-zone (i.e. close enough to the central fire to produce conditions conducive to life) are more probable around single stars than in binary systems. (It is for precisely this reason that our Sun's nearest neighbor, Alpha Centuri , is considered an unlikely candidate for life-giving planets even though the main star of that multiple system is a class G-4 sun.)

(3) Both Zeta 1 and Zeta 2 have an average age of between six and eight billion years. This makes them from one to three billion years older than our Sun and suggests that any life on planets associated with them could be much further along in its evolutionary process than we are.

(4) In many reported UFO abduction cases, the "visitors" have been described as having a thick epidermis and multiple eyelids. This is precisely the sort of adaptation one would expect for creatures who evolved on a planet whose sun had a high ultraviolet output. Curiously enough, these characteristics were also reported by the intelligence source codenamed "Falcon" as early as 1981.

On the negative side, it must be admitted that there is no direct observational evidence of planets around either Zeta 1 or Zeta 2. However, a Canadian group reported that a Jupiter-sized planet appears to exist in orbit around Tau Ceti, a Sun-like star only about 11 light years away. Those readers familiar with the Star Map (3k) developed by Marjorie Fish based upon information from the Barney and Betty Hill UFO abduction case, will recall that Tau Ceti was identified as one of the stars on that map.

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