Part 2: Collateral
“…Isaac Newton was perhaps the greatest scientific genius who ever lived.” Carl Sagan, Cosmos.
As one of the more prolific science writers of all time, the late NASA astronomer Carl Sagan wasn’t the kind of guy to hold things in. Yet, there is compelling evidence that he harbored a deep secret. As a student of science history he would have been aware of the consensus opinion among scholars that the man he held up on the highest of pedestals, Isaac Newton, had searched in vain for a hidden Bible code. Sagan thought otherwise. He believed that Newton had, in fact, discovered a hidden code in the Bible and kept it secret.
Evidence will be introduced in this chapter that indicates that Carl Sagan discovered the code Newton found relatively early in his career and associated it with extraterrestrials. Not comfortable disclosing it to his peers in the space sciences, he left clues to finding it in his bestselling novel, Contact. Excerpts from Contact that support this stunning claim will be examined in detail. As you will see, Carl Sagan provides his readers with a strikingly accurate description of the 3x3 dimensional nature of the Last Supper, to the point where it can’t possibly be a coincidence.
When Contact was released in 1985 it became a worldwide bestseller and later made into a blockbuster movie starring Jodie Foster as the heroine, Ellie Arroway, a brilliant NASA astrophysicist who triumphs over misogynistic scientists and Christian fundamentalists to successfully fulfill her life goal of intercepting a radio signal from an advanced extraterrestrial civilization. I think Sagan chose the last name “Arroway” as a clue to what he was up to. An arrow is the universal sign for direction. The way it is pointed is the way you should go. Tying “arrow” in with “way” to make “Arroway” was Sagan’s ingenious way of conveying to the reader that Ellie is revealing a map that leads to the secret of the 33rd degree, the Sagan Signal.
With an attention to detail that defies blind chance, Sagan’s description of the alien signal that Ellie finds matches the metrics of the Sagan Signal to the letter. Following is a side-by-side comparison:
Prime Number Sequence
The signal that Ellie’s SETI team picks up on their radio telescope is a sequence of electronic pulses that they transpose into prime numbers, which are then converted into words:
A. “Now let’s take a closer look at those moving pulses. Assuming that this is binary arithmetic, has anybody converted it into base ten? Do we know what the sequence of numbers is? Okay, here, we can do it in our heads . . . fifty-nine, sixty-one, sixty- seven . . . seventy-one . . . Aren’t these all prime numbers?” – Ch. 4.
B. “EVIDENCE AMPLITUDES ENCODE SEQUENCE OF PRIME NUMBERS.” – Ch. 4.
C. “. . . there was no real information in the signals they were receiving, just tedious and repetitive prime numbers.” Ch. 5.
D. “But prime numbers aren’t difficult.” – Ch. 5.
E. “’No, look at it this way,’ she said, smiling. ‘This is a beacon. It’s an announcement signal. It’s designed to attract our attention.’” Ch. 5.
F. “But prime numbers are very specific, very artificial.” – Ch. 5.
G. “Maybe in a while the prime numbers will turn off and be replaced by something else, something very rich, the real message.” – Ch. 5.
H. “There were some short sequences of zeroes and ones – ‘words’ the analysts called them . . .” - Ch. 13.
Ellie and her team intercept a sequence of a few hundred prime numbers that continuously recycle. Initially, they detect no informational content, meaning they have a signal but no message.
This is similar to the Sagan Signal, where the grain, wine, and oil symmetry of the 46 sequences stand out in stark contrast from the text. But, as in Contact, there is no obvious message. In that sense, the sequences are a signal, a flag, to get our attention.
My experience is that when people first look at the Sagan Signal, they immediately see the symmetry in the sequences and their initial reaction is: Where’s the message? If there is no message, what’s the point? This is exactly the frustration that Ellie was feeling in Contact:
“She knew it was only a few days after receipt of the message, but she was at once exhilarated and deeply disappointed. After all these years, they had finally received a signal – sort of. But its content was shallow, hollow, empty. She had imagined receiving the Encyclopedia Galactica.” – Ch. 5.
After a brief celebration that they had made history by successfully detecting and confirming an alien signal, Ellie and her team set out to find the message that they are certain is embedded in the data. With additional testing and analysis, they eventually find it.
To draw a parallel with the Sagan Signal, I claim to have “intercepted” what appears to be a signal in the Bible that is not of human origin. The first order of business in checking the veracity of my claim is to do what the SETI team did – test the data to make sure that it’s a code. That’s job #1. Towards that end, I created the “Smoking Gun Challenge,” a global call to skeptics to test the data and prove me wrong. Identifying the encoder and retrieving the rich message the code contains will come after the sequences have been determined to be a code.
In Chapter four, Ellie says, “If any of you can think of any other explanation besides extraterrestrial intelligence, I want to hear about it.” Like the systematic process of elimination described above, this manuscript is dedicated to moving the Sagan Signal forward, from initial discovery of the sequences to final confirmation that they are a code. After the data has been independently tested by code experts and a broad consensus emerges that the sequences are a code, attention will then shift to attribution, who is responsible, and, finally, to the decryption of the encoded message.
This is Sagan’s first mention of the word “sequence” in his novel. The SETI signal is a sequence of prime numbers, a metric that is correspondent with the triadic word sequences in the Sagan Signal.
2. A Number Times a Number Times a Number
The primary characteristic of the Sagan Signal is its three-ness. The sequences are made up of three words. The Last Supper has three symbols across with three layers of symbolism deep - the 33rd degree. If my argument that Carl Sagan found the code and put clues to finding it in Contact is true, the signal that Ellie and her team found must also, in some form or fashion, exhibit a high level of three-ness.
A. “Every bit of information, every dot and dash – if you want to think of them that way – is identical to what it was in the last block of data. Now we analyze the total number of bits. It’s a number in the tens of billions. Okay, bingo! It’s the product of three prime numbers.” – Ch. 5.
B. “Suppose that large number is the product of three smaller numbers; it’s a number times a number times a number. So there’s three dimensions to the message.” – Ch. 5.
Out of the blue, Ellie declares that the decryption algorithm of the Contact code is the product of three prime numbers, creating a dimensional construct. This matches the three dimensional nature of the Last Supper.
3. Polarization Modulation
The next metric of the Sagan Signal that Sagan reveals is the modulation of the sequences. A modulated signal is a highly technical feature. Finding it in Contact almost guarantees that the alien code Ellie and her team find is a muted reference to the modulated sequences in the Sagan Signal.
A. "Do you know that Drumlin thinks there’s another message in the polarization?” – Ch. 5
B. “When a wave of light comes at you – visible light, radio light, any kind of light – it’s vibrating at right angles to your line of sight. If that vibration rotates, the wave is said to be elliptically polarized. If it rotates clockwise, the polarization is said to be right-handed; counterclockwise, it’s left-handed.” – Ch. 5
C. “Anyway, by varying between the two kinds of polarization, you could transmit information.” – Ch. 5
D. “Well, the Vega signal looks as if it has polarization modulation.” – Ch. 5
E. “It’s as if you’re flipping a coin. Of course, you expect as many heads as tails, but instead you get twice as many heads as tails. So you conclude that the coin is loaded or, in our case, that the polarization modulation isn’t random; it has content . . . Oh, look at this. What the computer has just now told us is even more interesting. The precise sequence of heads and tails repeats. It’s a long sequence, so it’s a pretty complex message, and the transmitting civilization must want us to be sure to get it right.” – Ch. 5
Modulations in the alien signal radio waves allow for the efficient storage of large amounts of information. This bears a remarkable resemblance to how the words: bread, wine, and oil in the Last Supper are “modulated” in the Old Testament by using different words from the same three genres. These irregularities, if you want to call them that, convey information without destroying symmetry. In fact, they significantly add to the symmetry, making the code argument all the stronger. To illustrate, consider the triadic sequence: dog, cat, and horse. If we add the modulated sequence: canine, feline, and equine, we change the words but preserve the symmetry. Add another modulated sequence: bark, meow, and whinny, well, you get the idea.
4. Writing Under Writing Under Writing
The final clue that Sagan gives us is when Ellie discovers that the alien signal they intercepted has a dimensional quality to it – just like the Newton Bible Code.
A. “Mr. President, sorry to be late, but I think we’ve just hit the cosmic jackpot.” Ch. 6.
B. “In classical times, thousands of years ago, when parchment was in short supply, people would write over an old parchment, making what’s called a palimpsest. There was writing under writing under writing.” Ch. 6.
C. “This signal from Vega is, of course, very strong. As you know, there’s the prime numbers, and ‘underneath’ them, in what’s called polarization modulation, this eerie Hitler business. But underneath the retransmitted Olympic broadcast, we’ve just uncovered an incredibly rich message – at least we’re pretty sure it’s a message. As far as we can tell, it’s been there all along. We’ve just detected it. It’s weaker than the announcement signal, but I’m embarrassed we didn’t find it sooner.” Ch. 6.
D. “This is something much deeper and much richer. It appears to be, for the first time, information they’ve generated.” Ch. 6
Ellie discovers that the code is three prime numbers across, but that’s too little to go on to extract any information it might contain. There had to be another layer of complexity, and she found it. Using ancient writing as an analogy, she discovered that the three prime numbers across had three levels of depth (writing under writing under writing), an exact description of the Last Supper.
Here we need to pause and take note of where we are at. The prime number sequence, the three numbers across, the modulations, the palimpsest – I submit that these four technical specifications in the Contact signal are compelling evidence that Carl Sagan found the code that Isaac Newton found, making his novel a lasting endowment to the world on how to solve the mystery of the 33rd degree.
The Alien Connection
“It follows that there is the statistical likelihood that Earth was visited by advanced extraterrestrial civilization at least once during historical times.” Carl Sagan, the Stanford Paper.
Sagan passed along his clues to the Newton Code in a novel about SETI intercepting a radio signal from extraterrestrials. This raises the question: Did Carl think that the author(s) of the Newton Bible Code were visiting aliens rather than deities?
We know from his writings that Sagan was convinced that if empirical evidence of past extraterrestrial visitations exists, it would most likely be found in ancient writings like the Bible. Sagan was an accomplished Bible scholar. His encyclopedic knowledge of Scripture not only impressed guests at cocktail parties but intimidated professional clerics who dared to engage him in debate.
In both the novel and from his personal convictions it’s obvious that Sagan, a life-long atheist, was convinced that it was aliens, not gods and goddesses, who created the Newton Bible Code. In effect, Sagan transposed the science of the 17th century into 21st century terms, attributing the code, not to deities, but to highly evolved beings from outer space who possess god-like knowledge and power.
How did Sagan find the code? There is no evidence that Sagan was a Mason or that he picked up clues to the code from the Masons. However, as a student of science history, he would have known about the Newton scale, a temperature measuring system invented by Newton where water freezes at zero and begins to boil at the 33rd degree. There was no scientific reason for Newton to choose the number 33 as the boiling point of water. It could just as easily have been 50, 100, or some other number. That he chose a number that is identical to the highest degree in Freemasonry cannot be a coincidence. There is a strong possibility that it was the 33rd degree on the Newton scale that led Sagan to the code.
To summarize my feelings at this point, I defer to English scientist Richard Dawkins, who wrote:
“When large numbers of these slightly improbable events are stacked up in a series, the end product of the accumulation is very, very improbable indeed, improbable enough to be far beyond the reach of chance.” The God Delusion.