Jodie Foster to Help Search for Aliens

Dennis Faas's picture

Jodie Foster was the star of Hollywood's 1997 science fiction film 'Contact', but encountering extraterrestrial life forms isn't just made for movies, it seems. Instead, it was recently revealed that the big-name actress is fully behind a project that seeks to prove that Earth is not the only planet boasting intelligent life.

According to a new report, Foster recently made a donation to the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) Institute based in California. It was an important move for the institute, which in recent years has faced steadily increasing funding cuts.

Donation Helps SETI Surpass Fundraising Goal

SETI is currently engaged in monitoring radio transmissions for evidence of alien communications. Last April, a lack of funds forced the organization to shut down operations, prompting a fundraising campaign with a goal of $200,000.

In the meantime, the organization's forty-two radio telescope dishes (called the Allen Telescope Array, or ATA) were out-of-service. (Source:

It's not known exactly how much Foster donated. Shortly after her donation, however, the fundraising total reached $223,000. Obviously, that's substantially higher than the goal and may be evidence that actress was very generous, indeed.

SETI Project to Resume in September

For her part, Foster hasn't been afraid to publicly voice approval of the project.

"It is good to go and we need to return it to the task of searching newly discovered planetary worlds for signs of extraterrestrial intelligence," the actress told the media, adding that the telescopes "could turn science fiction into science fact, but only if it is actively searching the skies. I support the effort to bring the array out of hibernation." (Source:

SETI plans to get things back up and running by next month. "We are so grateful to our donors," said the company's co-founder, Tom Pierson. "We believe we will be back on the air in September."

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