Volume 1 Number 1, January 2001
The YETI Story
The Search Begins
Inspired by SETI (Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence), YETI (Yearning for Evidence of Terrestrial Intelligence) is a loosely organized society of radio listeners tuned to the AM dial in search of signs of intelligent life, especially during talk shows. The seeds for the creation of YETI were planted years ago when the young Fred Herring acquired his first transistor radio, an Emerson portable. He liked the instant-on and the convenience of batteries, not to mention that it was only about six inches long and weighed less than five pounds, but he missed the glow of the vacuum tubes, especially late at night when he was supposed to be asleep.
Like most portable radios back then, Fred's had only an AM band. Ionospheric conditions in those pre-HAARP (High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program) days allowed Fred to receive nighttime broadcasts in his home outside Washington, D.C., from up and down the East Coast and as far west as Kentucky and Ohio. While "Cousin Brucie" on Boston's WBZ and the Grand Ol' Opry from WCKY in Cincinnati were standard fare, an occasional phrase or snatch of conversation from some unidentifiable station would drift in from the aether to fascinate the young Herring. Thus, early on, he was convinced that there was a source of superior intelligence "somewhere out there."
Remember that those were the technologically primitive days before digital electronics and the CC Radio. You could barely lock onto even a local station. Nevertheless, young Fred's nightly out-of-sight, out-of-mind excursions marked him for life, so it was no surprise that he would mature... well, make that "age" into the adult paranormal investigator known today for his far ranging quests for truth.
The next milestone in Fred's journey toward the creation of YETI occurred several years later when the adult Fred, who inadvertently pioneered the new genre of wacko talk radio, was interviewing a guest on his program broadcast from a remote island in the far western end of the Aleutian archipelago. Of course, being so remote made it difficult to obtain credible guests. The already infrequent flights were often disrupted by unpredictable weather changes and telephonic interviews were randomly scrambled by bursts of energy seemingly originating from somewhere in south central Alaska and playing havoc with the ionosphere. (Usually within a day or so of these bursts, Fred would receive a barrage of indignant late-night phone calls about the disturbance. Similar calls would be received by another talk-radio show operating out of Pahrump, Nevada. Intrepid YETI members would later be able to triangulate on the energy bursts and pinpoint them to the mysterious HAARP experimental installation about ten miles east-northeast of Gakona Junction, Alaska.)
That evening's guest, a self-proclaimed expert on the sasquatch or yeti, said with a straight face (granted, it was hard for the listening audience, if any, to see it) that after years of intense research he had not yet actually seen a sasquatch but he knew that their presence was marked by a strong odor. "More succinctly stated," he went on, "big foot equals big stink foot!" If ever there was an obvious tautology, that was it. This incident, along with on-going financial reverses, convinced Fred that he was not well serving the public, and shortly thereafter, he shut down operations.
The SETI Inspiration
From then on, in his spare time and with his extra money, in addition to whatever else was going on in his life, Fred set out in earnest to prove once and for all what he had believed as a youth, the existence of intelligent life on AM radio. The inspiration for YETI finally came when Fred heard about SETI, with its network of home computer owners pouring over radio telescope data to cipher out anything resembling an intelligent signal above the background noise of the cosmos. This led Fred to conceive of a network of loosely organized volunteer home-based commercial radio listeners with their antennas tuned to self-assigned frequencies on the AM band. YETI was born.
Starting with only a few listeners, YETI slowly but steadily increased its membership and impact. The enterprise was not without mishap, however. A near fatal tragedy was narrowly averted when Fred, after checking the latest log of reports, realized that one volunteer was locked onto the Horrid Storm Show, a nationally broadcast "shock jock." Fred called immediately, and it was only the persistent ringing of the phone that snapped the volunteer out of his involuntary spasms of retching.
YETI Today - New Venues, New Hope
With further experience YETI has become the fine-tuned investigative instrument we see today. If AM intelligence is ever present, YETI will find it. Hopes are high but the longer the search continues unrequited, the more some argue that this is proof itself of the nonexistence of AM intelligence. Fred's answer is to systematically expand the search into more countries, languages, formats, and venues.
For example, having extensively probed the political spectrum from pole to pole - radical to reactionary - YETI will shortly begin a survey of the extreme middle. Similarly, religious broadcasts from old church to new age are being finely combed, a seemingly daunting task given the huge number of AM broadcast hours collectively devoted to that venue. However, once the advertising, huckstering, and political posturing are filtered out, true religious content turns out to be almost as nonexistent as that elusive intelligence, but easier to monitor as a result.
There are glimmers of hope out there. Several searchers have detected snatches of classical music on the band, not necessarily direct evidence of intelligence but sometimes accompanying more meaningful broadcasts. Of course, more often than not, the music is simply the lead-in to a commercial for a luxury car. (Oh, in case you were wondering, yes, we know sports broadcasts make up another large segment of the total AM radio log, but, again, we're talking about possible intelligent life here.)
"Counter Intelligent" Life Forms
Whereas the investigation has thus far failed to prove the existence of intelligent life, it has clearly demonstrated that there are what Fred calls "counter intelligent" life forms out there - as opposed to unintelligent or nonintelligent. By counter intelligent, he means beings or organizations whose actions threaten the advance or, if you prefer, evolution of intelligent or civilized life.
Until recently, this was a little recognized radio genre, identified if at all as a small subset of religious broadcasting. There have always been individuals or churches whose dogma or lack of same cause them to be labeled as "crackpot" or "fringe." However, according to Herring, this was erroneously thought to be a religious phenomenon, because that was the surface content of most of the messages or diatribes. In fact, Herring further asserts, the religious label stuck because that niche was the only venue allowing such over-the-line broadcasts, and their creators consciously or otherwise drifted into a religious context.
With the migration of most listeners and advertisers to FM and the subsequent lowering of AM broadcast costs, coupled with the loosening of public morals and FCC controls and the general drop in educational and behavioral standards, the crackpot fringe of the counter intelligent broadcast tree has made its way into almost all AM programming venues. Examples are available simply by touring the band for 10 minutes in any direction at any time, day or night.
At this point we might identify the shock-jock venue as another branch of the counter intelligent broadcast tree. Horrid Storm is noteworthy here only because he helped "nationalize" the shock-jock venue and because his program is so unnoteworthy otherwise. As with Storm the shock-jock niche appears to have been created and populated entirely by counter intelligent life forms.
Hate Broadcasting--Further Lowering the Bar
Another niche - one that has always existed but at a much smaller size - that has been greatly expanded by the growth of counter intelligent organisms is the hate broadcast. By organisms here we mean anything from individuals to organizations, single celled to complex, slimy to sleazy. Some of these claim national or international status, although this does not necessarily correlate with membership size. Some international organizations may have very few total members or one or two members in as many countries, while some local or state organizations may have memberships in the thousands. Why is this discussion relevant to the hate broadcast niche? Because for these organizations, broadcasting is intended to be a means not only of spreading dogma, but also to recruit, as opposed to the general talk show or even the shock-jock venue, where most programs are intended to be entertaining and occasionally informative, even if deliberately offensive. Of course, the bottom line is selling the sponsors' products or messages.
As for sponsors, the more focused, extreme, or radical a program becomes, the more shallow the pool of likely sponsors. In this regard most hate and fringe religious or political broadcasts must be self sponsored, relying on the parent organization, if any, for funding or on the contributions and purchases of the listening audience - again if any. Ergo, the common broadcast tagline, "Tapes of this or any other broadcast may be purchased for X dollars by calling..."
In AM talk radio, no particular organization, ethnicity, nationality, gender, sexual preference, race, creed, religion, philosophy, or political party seems to have the corner on counter intelligence, although all may feed at the same trough to some degree. Of course, the same is true for unintelligence. Now, if we could just find a glimmer of intelligence.
If you are interested in becoming a participant in YETI, send $10 for a tape of... Just kidding! Actually, to paraphrase Descarte, if you think you are a member, or rather if you think you want to be, then you are one. The next step? Simply select a promising "patch" of the AM band and tune in. Keep a log of of any even remotely intelligent broadcasts, noting the date and time, station call letters, frequency, city of origin, your location, etc. For your convenience you can use the form provided elsewhere on this page to record and report your hearings (as opposed to sightings).
But beware! You can quickly become overexposed to what is out there. Also, don't be fooled by infomercials masquerading as informative broadcasts. And remember, like TV, you can always turn your radio off!
The answer, of course, given the yeti's size and strength, is "as many as they like." However, we received the following from the anthropology department of the state university in response to posing this question:
You recently published the research question, "How many yetis does it take to screw in a light bulb?" We don't know, of course, because there haven't been enough credible sightings of yetis to determine if they know, or even care, how to screw in a light bulb, or, more basically, if they know what a light bulb is. In other words, before we could answer this question, there would have to be a sufficient sample size.
Even if we could gather the requisite number of yetis and get them to attempt to screw in a light bulb, the presence of paramedics would be necessary as the unknowing yeti would be just as apt to stick his or her finger in the socket as to insert the right end of the bulb and twist it in the right direction. Of course, there is the likelihood that the presumably powerful yeti would over tighten the bulb, break the glass, and receive a cut in the process. As the legal standing of yetis remains an open question, the experimenter may need to retain counsel in the event of a damage suit.
It may be reasonable to assume that given their alleged habitat, on the fringe of civilization in areas frequented by hunters and fishermen, yetis may already have experienced glass in the form of beer bottles, although the advent of the metal beverage can about half a century ago may be a mitigating circumstance. Nevertheless, wine, whiskey, and other alcoholic beverage bottles would be just as plentiful today as 50 years ago.
In order to accurately determine how many yetis it takes to screw in a light bulb, a rigorous experiment should be designed, funded, and carried out. Since yetis are assumed to have some intelligence - after all, they are intelligent enough to avoid detection - a double blind experiment is preferable. Just how one would find a single blind yeti, let alone two, is a good question, and even if one did, what need they would have for a light bulb is still an open issue, but, with enough funding...
[If you're still reading this, then YOU might have a problem recognizing intelligent conversation and might not be a likely candidate for membership in YETI (Yearning for Evidence of Terrestrial Intelligence). Nevertheless, read the following recruitment blurb and decide for yourself. It's free, it's easy, and it contains no nitrites, sodium, or cholesterol. - ed.]
Why should I join YETI?
The bottom line - IT'S FREE! Just kidding. No, it really is free, but that's not the bottom line. You should join because it is an opportunity to make a unique, positive contribution to the collective search for truth.
What kind of "truth" are we talking about here?
As Mike Jaffe once said, "All things are relative; all relatives are things; my relatives took all my things!" (See Quotations from Chairman Mike.) We're talking about relative truth here. Hopefully, you're already aware from our home page that YETI is searching for evidence of intelligent life on the AM radio band.
Who determines what is intelligent life and what is not?
In YETI you do, you and the millions of other members anxiously monitoring their selected portions of the AM band. OK, thousands of others... make that hundreds... tens? Look, if you join now, not only will you become a charter member, you will also double the membership.
Tell me again just what I'm supposed to be doing...?
Select any part of the AM band and listen for evidence of intelligent life. If you detect it, even the faintest suggestion, fill out the convenient form below and let us know.
Why AM radio?
AM radio is particularly challenging and daunting because, with the migration of music and most other genres to FM, and the resultant availability of AM frequencies, AM has become the mecca for cheap talk radio (cheap-talk radio, too).
I've never listened to AM radio. Is it safe?
Good question! Five minutes of listening to the typical AM talk-show host and his listeners may not only convince you there is no intelligence involved, but, more importantly, it could damage your own ability to make reasonable or intelligent decisions about anything, for any reason, forever. So, once again it's time for a fishy warning from the Sturgeon General:
WARNING: The Sturgeon General has determined that AM radio listening may be hazardous to your health.
Having said this we take no responsibility for the mental, physical, or spiritual health of our members.
Hold it right there! I thought you were trying to persuade me to join?
And possibly open ourselves up to a lawsuit? Listen, when you're a non-profit (as opposed to not-for-profit) organization like we are, you can't afford a good lawyer. Heck, YETI can't even afford a pro bono lawyer!
Take a hike!
OK, so it looks like we've lost another potential member. Maybe we need to look in a new direction. Say! I bet there's a market for advertisements on the Internet that pop up unexpectedly on top of your browser window. We'll call them "pop-up windows" and make sure they're for obnoxious and annoying products nobody needs! What fun! Everybody will love them and...
Think you've heard an indication of intelligence on the AM radio band?
Fill in the following form and submit it to YETI:
Date, time, and duration of hearing:
Weather/atmospheric conditions at the time, if known:Radio station call letters, location, and frequency, if known (if not, approximate answers):
Your location, if known (if not, why not?):
Description of contact contents:
[Yeah, we know it's a dummy form, but who's the dummy for thinking this whole YETI business was for real, anyway? If you really want to communicate with the nut behind YETI and the rest of this website, use the Contact page or direct email. - ed.]
Fred Herring has begun to question the desirability of encouraging SETI, NASA, and others to search for evidence of intelligent life elsewhere in the universe. Fred puts it like this:
Maybe it's time we rethink this whole extraterrestrial search business. After all, if they're able to contact us or even reach us across the vastness of space, chances are they're not only more intelligent than us but better armed, too. Wouldn't we feel pretty silly if we went to all the trouble to attract aliens and then exposed ourselves to subjugation, at best, or annihilation, at worst?
Therefore, rather than searching for intelligent life elsewhere in the universe, I propose the following:
Searching for compassionate life elsewhere in the universe
And while were at it, we could profit just as much from encouraging compassionate life here on earth.
OK, folks, there you have it. Remember, you heard it here first, straight from the source's mouth.
Unless otherwise noted all content Copyright © 2001-2019 David Mudrick, All Rights (and Wrongs) Reserved; contact us for permission to use any of it.