Credit: AsteronX

A new study looks into the possibility of searching for black hole starships using very high energy gamma ray telescopes.

Louis Crane, a mathematician at Kansas State University, has authored – “Searching for Extraterrestrial Civilizations Using gamma Ray Telescopes” – and underscores the speculative thought that the object Oumuamua was in fact a probe sent to our solar system by an extraterrestrial civilization.

Artist’s concept of interstellar object1I/2017 U1 (‘Oumuamua) as it passed through the solar system after its discovery in October 2017. The aspect ratio of up to 10:1 is unlike that of any object seen in our own solar system. Image Credit: European Southern Observatory / M. Kornmesser

“The extremely improbable trajectory of this body, with its non-gravitational acceleration makes this suggestion plausible,” Crane observes.

Additionally recent work by the Kepler telescope seems to advocate that as many as one star in five in our galaxy has an earthlike planet circling it.

Special pattern of activity

“These facts make it seem more likely that our region in the Milky Way galaxy is inhabited by advanced alien civilizations some of whom are actively exploring interstellar space,” Crane senses.

A starship powered by a black hole or other very high energy source, would exhibit a very special pattern of activity. “Detecting this distinctive pattern should be feasible,” Crane explains.

Crane also feels that there have been “interesting potential candidates” already observed for black hole starships (BHSs), and tests to see if any of them are actual BHSs are not difficult to propose.

“If it is really true that black hole starships, or some similar high energy density drive ships exist,” Crane says, “they would play a more important role in the galaxy than would be apparent, because only a small number of their focused beams would reach us on Earth.”

The proposal of Crane’s paper is to examine the unidentified point-like very high energy gamma ray sources in the galaxy as possible starships.

Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA


Fermi paradox

As far as the existence of intelligent life elsewhere in the galaxy is concerned, Crane contends that there is really no reason to rule it out. Thus, there may be an answer to physicist Enrico Fermi’s question – Where is everybody? – the apparent contradiction between the lack of evidence and high probability estimates for the existence of extraterrestrial civilizations.

It might simply have been that they were rather hard to see, Crane adds, paradoxically because their emissions were too energetic.


The study is available online at:

One Response to “Black Hole Starships: New ET Search Strategy”

  • Edward Wright says:

    “Additionally recent work by the Kepler telescope seems to advocate…”

    You mean “indicate,” obviously.

    Sorry, former editor. 🙂

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