Diamond Letters

TO: Bill Diamond                                                                                                                   April 25, 2021

       President & CEO, The SETI Institute                      


Mr. Diamond:

No organization in the world has done more to encourage citizen participation in the search for extraterrestrial intelligence than the SETI Institute. In reinforcing the boundary between science and pseudoscience, neither has any organization in the world done more to tutor the public about what science is, how it works, and why it is the best process we have for the objective determination of truth. I am proud to say that I am one of the millions who were mentored in the scientific method by the late Carl Sagan, one of the founders of the SETI Institute.

The purpose of this letter is to inform you of my putative discovery of an alien encryption in the Old Testament that has been provisionally confirmed by the investigative division of the Center for Inquiry. It is on the basis of that success that I formally request that the evidence, replicable and testable, be accepted by the SETI Institute for advanced testing and analysis.

In addition to the CFI investigation, what I call the Sagan Signal has been extensively vetted by mainstream scientists, scholars and skeptics. Notably, in every instance, my extraordinary claim has been provisionally upheld, and almost always by individuals and institutions highly motivated to falsify my hypothesis.

A complete record of the data and previous analyses are posted on my website: www.thesaganproject.org.  

Bill, I see the SETI Institute as the final stop in what has been a long and rigorous vetting process, and for that reason I respectfully ask that you accept my claim and evidence as a scientifically legitimate ETI candidate and proceed with an exhaustive and transparent cryptanalysis to either confirm or falsify my claim that the Sagan Signal is a cipher not of human origin.

My previous successes in the vetting process has given me high confidence that a SETI investment in research and analysis of the Sagan Signal will confirm Carl Sagan’s bold prediction in his NASA funded “Direct Contact” paper -  that ETs have visited Earth and interacted with humans in the ancient Near East.

Over the past decade, I’ve had positive exchanges about my research with SETI representatives Paul Shuch, Paul Davies and Katheryn Denning. Consistent with the SETI Institute’s culture and history of encouraging citizen involvement, all three were respectful and helpful.

Bill, I deeply appreciate SETI’s willingness to engage serious and independent thinkers like myself who advance extraordinary hypotheses supported by equally extraordinary evidence. I look forward to your response. Thank you for your consideration of this unusual request.

Finally, please note that in the interest of full transparency I have posted this letter on my website. All future correspondence between us will also be posted.


Don Zygutis


Addendum (Not included in letter):

SETI theorist Gregory Benford wrote the following about possible past aliens visitations:

“True, we have found no monoliths or other records of alien visits – at least, none we can seriously credit. But this may come from our lack of imagination, our inability to look in the right places. I think it is worth the time to seriously, dispassionately look into the possibility that intelligent beings may have visited Earth, or ventured into the solar system at some time in the distant past.

Thinking about this question in a systematic way is not easy. We are trained to believe that good, hard, no-nonsense thinking is the best way to attack problems. But here something different is needed – soft thinking, if you will. By this I mean the ability to speculate but remain within boundaries.

After all, any extraterrestrials who visited Earth possessed technology (and perhaps wisdom) far beyond our own. We should be properly humble about what such beings could do. This demands mental flexibility, to say the least.

It might well be that a race capable of journeying among the stars will possess a technology we could not even recognize, much less understand. Add to this the fact that these beings are truly alien, in all likelihood so completely strange that we could not even begin to count the ways they may be different – and the problem looks insoluble.

I don’t believe things are quite so bad. We needn’t guess every facet of a visitor’s behavior; we only need to check if they have left anything behind as a calling card. Such an artifact must be recognizably artificial. If it was constructed by an alien intelligence it should stand out – indeed, was designed to do just that. Even here there are limits, though.”

From: The QPB Guide to the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence.