The Arrival Synopsis
In 1959, two scientists came up with a way to get at the truth. Philip Morrison and Giuseppe Cocconi suggested creating a national SETI (Search For Extraterrestrial Intelligence) program, supposing that intelligent beings across the galaxy might be trying to communicate with us via radio signals - but the only way for us to know for sure was to listen.
For decades, SETI research remained on the fringes of science, with eccentric and offbeat visionaries having to beg off-hours time on observatory or government radio telescopes. Some rigged their own antennae systems in backyards and on rooftops - hoping not to miss what has become known in the SETI lingo as the "shockwave," the signal that will prove once and for all we are not alone and thus change the very foundations of human beliefs and earthly ambitions.
In 1991, NASA joined in the search. For the first time in human history, earthlings began a large-scale, official SETI exploration at the Jet Propulsion Lab in Pasadena using its Deep Space Network equipment. High power radio dishes began to sweep the cosmos listening for the slightest hint of unusual wave noise. Nothing significant was heard.