LIGO: Water water everywhere, but not a drop to drink.

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Michael Mozina
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LIGO: Water water everywhere, but not a drop to drink.

Unread post by Michael Mozina » Sun Jan 12, 2020 6:58 pm

It's worth noting that the 03 LIGO run has now found 50+ "signals" which LIGO claims are celestial in origin, yet they've failed to provide a single new example of a multimessenger event in 2019/2020. Thus far it's been signals, signals everywhere and not a drop of light (or neutrinos) to see.

While the 2017 mutlimessenger event seemed impressive even to a skeptic like me, it is still statistically possible that the one 2017 example of multimessenger astronomy was a statistical fluke, and a random coincidence.

I had hoped that my concerns about LIGO's biased and sloppy methodology would have been put to rest by now, but alas I'm more skeptical of their claims today than I've ever been. There's no particular or logical reason why *all* BBH merger events should *never* produce EM radiation that is visible on Earth, nor is there any logical reason why the none of the six or so claims about BNS mergers could be verified by visual support.

IMO this whole LIGO mess *reeks* of the Joseph Weber scenario all over again, only this time the "LIGO bars" cost 200+ billion dollars to build.

https://www.semanticscholar.org/paper/E ... fbf96907cc

In the paper that I wrote in 2017, I cited five specific *major* problems with LIGO's methodology, a bias in favor of celestial claims as to cause, including a lack of a veto method associated with all claims of celestial origins of signals, a fuzzy sigma figure that has no relationship to the *actual cause* of any given signal, no logical ability to distinguish between what LIGO calls "blip transients" and GW signals, etc.

I half expected that my concerns about their questionable methodology might be put to rest in 03, but unfortunately LIGO seems to have painted themselves into a scientific corner.

Joseph Weber claimed to have observed *hundreds* of gravitational wave events using his 'Weber bar" design, but when other individuals/groups tried to build their own device and replicate his findings, they could not. Virgo is the closest thing to a modern day equivalent of such an effort, but it's costs are orders of magnitude greater, and the results are certainly damning when you look at the 03 data.

Around 20 or so of the so called "signals" reported to the gracedb database during the 03 LIGO/Virgo run, which were originally categorized as being celestial in origin because they were picked up by multiple detectors (sometimes all three), were later "retracted" and later attributed to terrestrial sources. This seems to support my concern that it's virtually impossible to distinguish between a "blip transient" which might be observed in multiple detectors and a real GW signal. Furthermore, we can see by LIGO's new naming convention in 03 (adding letters to the end of signals), that "blip transients", which look extremely similar to gravitational wave signals, are *routinely* picked up on pretty much a daily basis. In short, LIGO has no logical method to differentiate between terrestrial blip transient events, and gravitational waves. The only way to correct that problem would be to add a veto "method" to their methodology that *requires* multimessenger support for celestial origin claims. We all know that's never going to happen.

It's also very telling that LIGO has reported 6 new binary neutron star mergers, and 45 or so BBN mergers, yet even with improved sensitivity and better triangulation potential, LIGO has yet to duplicate a single new instance of multimessenger support.

It took years for Joseph Weber's claims to eventually be debunked, and it was only possible by building additional detectors. In this case however, the detectors don't just cost a few thousands of dollars to replicate, they cost 200 billion+ dollars to replicate. The difficulty involved in debunking such claims has increased my many orders of magnitude. In this case, unlike the case with Weber, even when Virgo (or a LIGO detector) fails to detect a signal when the other two detectors do, they do not use that lack of detection to cast doubt on the LIGO claims, rather they handwave and make up excuses for that lack of detection. Admittedly, the Virgo detector isn't quite as sensitive as the LIGO systems, and it's orientation is different, but that's now being used an excuse to *not* attempting to "debunk" the celestial origin claims. Essentially no effort is being made to test the veracity of LIGO's claims, at least not yet. That may change as other detectors in India and Japan come online, but at the moment there's been no effort made to test the veracity of LIGO's GW claims. All we can therefore go by is LIGO (now terrible) track record at replicating multimessenger astronomy. They're 0 for 50+ in the 03 run of 2019/2020. If this trend continues, they'll be 0 for around 70 by the end of the 03 run in April/May.

I must say that I'm not surprised, but I'm disappointed. It would have been a real game changer in astronomy if LIGO's claims of a celestial origin of these signals were proven during the 03 run, but apparently that's not going to happen. Now what?

Aardwolf
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Re: LIGO: Water water everywhere, but not a drop to drink.

Unread post by Aardwolf » Fri Jan 24, 2020 12:50 pm

They supposedly already detected an average size BH merger 9 billion light years away. How sensitive do they need to be? The fact they can already detect that far means they should have detected thousands by now. My suspicion is that the extra sensitivity makes it much easier to identify any events as localised. It's likely all the previous events would have also been ruled out if they had the increased sensitivity, which makes much more sense considering GW's don't exist.

Michael Mozina
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Re: LIGO: Water water everywhere, but not a drop to drink.

Unread post by Michael Mozina » Sun Jan 26, 2020 11:50 pm

Aardwolf wrote:
Fri Jan 24, 2020 12:50 pm
They supposedly already detected an average size BH merger 9 billion light years away. How sensitive do they need to be? The fact they can already detect that far means they should have detected thousands by now. My suspicion is that the extra sensitivity makes it much easier to identify any events as localised. It's likely all the previous events would have also been ruled out if they had the increased sensitivity, which makes much more sense considering GW's don't exist.
It will be interesting to see what happens when the Kanga detector comes completely online. Unlike the other detectors, it's located *underground* and it should therefore be considerably less susceptible to noise of various types. It's also got a massively more sophisticated mirroring system which should also minimize noise. LIGO could easily end up with a scenario where Kanga simply isn't "seeing" the same blip transient "noise" as LIGO, and then what? They'll probably originally "assume" that there is something wrong with Kanga, when the real noise problem is with LIGO. LIGO doesn't even include a sophisticated Faraday cage feature to help eliminate EM influences.

Even if Kanga is susceptible to the same environmental noise patterns as LIGO, the better triangulation capacity should minimize the search area of all signals. If these are just environmental signals, they'll never again be able to duplicate another example of multimessenger astronomy. The odds of a "lucky coincidence* will decrease significantly as their "constraints" on the signal location are tightened.

https://klog.icrr.u-tokyo.ac.jp/osl/

Unfortunately it looks like it will be awhile before Kanga is fully operational. Apparently there is a frost problem, as well as an internal flaw in one of the recycling mirrors that wasn't picked up during testing. As I understand it, it won't be replaced until the 05 run, and only partially compensated for in the 04 run. Unfortunately it looks like it will be awhile before KANGA can be reliably used to verify or falsify any long distance LIGO signals.

Michael Mozina
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Re: LIGO: Water water everywhere, but not a drop to drink.

Unread post by Michael Mozina » Thu Feb 06, 2020 2:17 am

If this pitiful trend continues, the epitaph of the 03 run will come from the GCN circulars:

"No counterpart candidate..."
"No significant candidates...."
"No transient candidates......"
"No neutrino counterparts...."
"Upper limits from......"

That list about sums up every event to date.

Michael Mozina
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Re: LIGO: Water water everywhere, but not a drop to drink.

Unread post by Michael Mozina » Fri Feb 07, 2020 6:29 am

It's more than a little ironic that LIGO has hoisted themselves from their own petard, and painted themselves into a scientific corner.

Had LIGO's methodology been scientifically sound, and their claims about gravitational waves been correct, they'd easily have replicated many multimessenger events in 03. Instead they've had to publicly admit that many of their supposed GW signals in 03 were actually terrestrial in origin, demonstrating conclusively that so called "blip transients" are fully capable of showing up in multiple detectors at the same time. Essentially LIGO has conclusively and repeatedly demonstrated that their methodology is hopelessly flawed and woefully inadequate just as I pointed out *years* ago.

This is only going to get a lot worse before it gets any better. They've been awarded a Nobel prize already, and thousands of papers on gravitational waves have been published, so there is no easy way for the scientific community to admit their bush league mistakes in LIGO's methodology now, even when their own data sets demonstrate it.

I suspect that this charade will continue for another decade or so until enough detectors are online to finally demonstrate that this is nothing more than another Joseph Weber/BICEP2 scenario all over again.

Whatever signals they're actually picking up, they are nothing more than terrestrial noise. That's clear from the large number of presumed signals that were later attributed to terrestrial noise, along with their utter failure in 03 to produce even a single new example of a multimessenger event.

I'd have to assume at this point that the single event in 2017 was nothing more than "lucky timing" combined with enough ambiguity in terms of the signal direction to allow them to try to tie the two events together, even though they probably had nothing to with each other.

It's going to get much more difficult for LIGO to keep up this charade or get lucky" when Kanga is fully online because they won't be able to point at huge area of the sky and claim that the GW wave could have come from almost anywhere the way they were able to do in 2017.

I suppose however that it's still possible for them to get lucky again as long as they're limited to only a few detectors. The more that time goes by however, and the more detectors that come online, the more this charade will become obvious.

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JP Michael
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Re: LIGO: Water water everywhere, but not a drop to drink.

Unread post by JP Michael » Fri Feb 07, 2020 7:05 am

What happens when astronauts fart on the ISS?

Ask LIGO!

crawler
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Re: LIGO: Water water everywhere, but not a drop to drink.

Unread post by crawler » Fri Feb 07, 2020 8:48 am

Cahill wrote a paper re zener diodes all over Earth detecting a signal within seconds of one of LIGOs famous detections.
https://vixra.org/pdf/1603.0232v1.pdf

Weber's GW detector had little hope of working according to my understanding of LIGOs theory that solids resist being squeezed by a GW -- ie instead of Weber's cylinder suffering a longitudinal strain & hencely ringing, the cylinder would have resisted the strain (hencely little or zero ringing).

Michael Mozina
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Still nothin'....

Unread post by Michael Mozina » Fri Feb 14, 2020 8:36 am

Apparently the 03 run will end in a few months without much help from Kagra, and at the rate they're going, without a single new example of multimessenger astronomy.

I think the most telling revelation of the 03 run is found in the fact that a large percentage of their original so called "gravitational wave signals" were later reclassified as being terrestrial in origin, demonstrating conclusively that LIGO still has a serious "blip transient" problem as I suggested in my original paper. Not only was I right about the possibility that terrestrial "blip transient" signals could affect multiple detectors, they're evidently capable of affecting all three detectors at the same time. Worse yet, terrestrial "blip transients" apparently closely resemble gravitational waves in shape and duration.

What 03 has definitely revealed is that LIGO has a *serious* blip transient problem. They have no logical way to differentiate between ordinary (terrestrial) blip transients and actual gravitational waves. This definitely looks like the Joseph Weber scenario all over again. LIGO still has a ways to go before they catch up to Weber's claims about finding evidence of many *hundreds* of so called gravitational wave signals, but they're getting there, slowly but surely. It will probably take several more *years* of failed attempts at multimessenger astronomy before LIGO comes down off their high horse and admit to the fact that they have a serious credibility problem.

Michael Mozina
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Re: LIGO: Water water everywhere, but not a drop to drink.

Unread post by Michael Mozina » Wed Feb 26, 2020 10:16 am

Michael Mozina wrote:
Thu Feb 06, 2020 2:17 am
If this pitiful trend continues, the epitaph of the 03 run will come from the GCN circulars:

"No counterpart candidate..."
"No significant candidates...."
"No transient candidates......"
"No neutrino counterparts...."
"Upper limits from......"

That list about sums up every event to date.
As of today, LIGO is now 0 for 74 in terms of delivering on multmessenger astronomy in the 03 run, with 21 (28 percent) of the listed GraceDB signals later downgraded to environmental factors. The 03 run is scheduled to wrap up by the end of April.

On a slightly more positive note, Kanga just came online today, albeit with a reduced sensitivity level that makes it almost (but not quite) completely useless.

https://gwcenter.icrr.u-tokyo.ac.jp/en/ ... latestnews

Kagra set a new distance record of 234Kps on Feb 11th, but still well (several orders of magnitude) short of LIGO and Virgo sensitivity. Early problems with GW detectors are par for the course however. and Kagra should get up to speed by the 05 run in a few years. At the moment it's just another very expensive 200 million dollar hole in the ground. :)

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Zyxzevn
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Re: LIGO: Water water everywhere, but not a drop to drink.

Unread post by Zyxzevn » Wed Feb 26, 2020 3:47 pm

Michael Mozina wrote:
Wed Feb 26, 2020 10:16 am
On a slightly more positive note, Kanga just came online today, albeit with a reduced sensitivity level that makes it almost (but not quite) completely useless.
The LIGO "scientists" will probably use it to increase the statistical confidence of a signal.
What are the chances that its noise would be seen as signal too?
Especially with all the PhDs around that need to justify their wasted years.
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Higgsy
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Re: LIGO: Water water everywhere, but not a drop to drink.

Unread post by Higgsy » Wed Feb 26, 2020 8:19 pm

Michael Mozina wrote:
Wed Feb 26, 2020 10:16 am
Michael Mozina wrote:
Thu Feb 06, 2020 2:17 am
If this pitiful trend continues, the epitaph of the 03 run will come from the GCN circulars:

"No counterpart candidate..."
"No significant candidates...."
"No transient candidates......"
"No neutrino counterparts...."
"Upper limits from......"

That list about sums up every event to date.
As of today, LIGO is now 0 for 74 in terms of delivering on multmessenger astronomy in the 03 run, with 21 (28 percent) of the listed GraceDB signals later downgraded to environmental factors. The 03 run is scheduled to wrap up by the end of April.

On a slightly more positive note, Kanga just came online today, albeit with a reduced sensitivity level that makes it almost (but not quite) completely useless.

https://gwcenter.icrr.u-tokyo.ac.jp/en/ ... latestnews

Kagra set a new distance record of 234Kps on Feb 11th, but still well (several orders of magnitude) short of LIGO and Virgo sensitivity. Early problems with GW detectors are par for the course however. and Kagra should get up to speed by the 05 run in a few years. At the moment it's just another very expensive 200 million dollar hole in the ground. :)
I have to say that I agree with you, at least about some aspects of this. It is certainly disappointing that no detection has had confirmed EM counterparts in this run. There are not to be expected in BBH events, but should be detected in sufficiently localised and close BNS and NSBH events. Whether the detections in the current run meet those criteria I can't say, but I must say that the single detection in the last run that appeared to have counterparts has to be questioned as well, at least so far as identifying the EM signals as arising from the compact binary merger. If at the end of this run, there are no confirmed events with counterparts, then some hard questions arise. I can't imagine that the GW community is currently feeling sanguine.
"Why would the conservation of charge even matter?" - Cargo

Michael Mozina
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Re: LIGO: Water water everywhere, but not a drop to drink.

Unread post by Michael Mozina » Thu Feb 27, 2020 8:30 am

Higgsy wrote:
Wed Feb 26, 2020 8:19 pm
Michael Mozina wrote:
Wed Feb 26, 2020 10:16 am
Michael Mozina wrote:
Thu Feb 06, 2020 2:17 am
If this pitiful trend continues, the epitaph of the 03 run will come from the GCN circulars:

"No counterpart candidate..."
"No significant candidates...."
"No transient candidates......"
"No neutrino counterparts...."
"Upper limits from......"

That list about sums up every event to date.
As of today, LIGO is now 0 for 74 in terms of delivering on multmessenger astronomy in the 03 run, with 21 (28 percent) of the listed GraceDB signals later downgraded to environmental factors. The 03 run is scheduled to wrap up by the end of April.

On a slightly more positive note, Kanga just came online today, albeit with a reduced sensitivity level that makes it almost (but not quite) completely useless.

https://gwcenter.icrr.u-tokyo.ac.jp/en/ ... latestnews

Kagra set a new distance record of 234Kps on Feb 11th, but still well (several orders of magnitude) short of LIGO and Virgo sensitivity. Early problems with GW detectors are par for the course however. and Kagra should get up to speed by the 05 run in a few years. At the moment it's just another very expensive 200 million dollar hole in the ground. :)
I have to say that I agree with you, at least about some aspects of this. It is certainly disappointing that no detection has had confirmed EM counterparts in this run. There are not to be expected in BBH events, but should be detected in sufficiently localised and close BNS and NSBH events. Whether the detections in the current run meet those criteria I can't say, but I must say that the single detection in the last run that appeared to have counterparts has to be questioned as well, at least so far as identifying the EM signals as arising from the compact binary merger. If at the end of this run, there are no confirmed events with counterparts, then some hard questions arise. I can't imagine that the GW community is currently feeling sanguine.
I can't help but feel like this is turning into 'cry wolf' scenario, where astronomers are making a concerted effort to attempt to verfy LIGO's claims/signals with multimessenger support, only to be repeatedly disappointed. That has to be frustrating. Sooner or later they're going to lose interest if no such support can be found for any new signals.

The O3 run also verifies my initial concern that LIGO has a big problem when it comes to ruling out 'blip transients', and distinguishing between blip transients and gravitational waves. 21 of the first 74 signals from 03 were later attributed to environmental processes, and many of those were signals were observed in multiple detectors. That doesn't bode well for LIGO or LIGO's methodology IMO.

Since I'm a big fan of GR theory, I'd love to be convinced that LIGO scenario this isn't another Joseph Weber fiasco playing out again, but alas I can't shake that feeling, especially after the 03 run and the numerous signals that have since been attributed to environmental causes.

Higgsy
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Re: LIGO: Water water everywhere, but not a drop to drink.

Unread post by Higgsy » Thu Feb 27, 2020 2:41 pm

Michael Mozina wrote:
Thu Feb 27, 2020 8:30 am
I can't help but feel like this is turning into 'cry wolf' scenario, where astronomers are making a concerted effort to attempt to verfy LIGO's claims/signals with multimessenger support, only to be repeatedly disappointed. That has to be frustrating. Sooner or later they're going to lose interest if no such support can be found for any new signals.
I'm not sure it's crying wolf - all the neutrino and EM observatories that respond to GW candidate events, do so because they choose to do so. In many cases it is a completely automated pipeline.
The O3 run also verifies my initial concern that LIGO has a big problem when it comes to ruling out 'blip transients', and distinguishing between blip transients and gravitational waves. 21 of the first 74 signals from 03 were later attributed to environmental processes, and many of those were signals were observed in multiple detectors. That doesn't bode well for LIGO or LIGO's methodology IMO.
Well to be fair, almost all those retractions (not all, but almost all) happened within minutes or at least on the same day of the canidate being announced, and the reason given most often was that the background was non-stationary in one of the interferometers at the time. This is what happens if you do physics in the public gaze, like in a circus tent. Hardly anyone else is brave enough to do this and we should commend them for it. Also, it is a huge cultural change from O1 and O2 when they were very secretive as regards work in progress.

I am very far from being ready to say that the signals that were not retracted are, in general, not GW signals. Given that the FAR for some of the signals is only a day or two, it is to be expected that a small number of non-retracted candidates are, in fact, of non-GW origin. My biggest concern is around BNS or NSBW candidates with a long FAR and no counterparts.
"Why would the conservation of charge even matter?" - Cargo

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Zyxzevn
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Re: LIGO: Water water everywhere, but not a drop to drink.

Unread post by Zyxzevn » Thu Feb 27, 2020 3:24 pm

Michael Mozina wrote:
Thu Feb 27, 2020 8:30 am
That doesn't bode well for LIGO or LIGO's methodology IMO.
I think their mechanisms and statistics related to noise reduction are just too theoretical.
With each mechanism, they introduced new noise sources, some of which unknown or correlated.
And with each statistical trick they moved from possibility to cherry-picking.

It would take many years to deconstruct all the errors that they made in their system.
But in some observations the errors show up clearly. Like the one with 10+ echoes in it.

In radar technology we had similar problems. A flock of birds could look like an invasion.
Another radar or an unexpected reflection would create ghost planes.
And with the ability to verify the observations independently,
it took many years to develop a system to counter the problems.
Most radars now use variable frequencies (like chirps) and different detectors simultaneously.
And it still can go wrong.
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Michael Mozina
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Re: LIGO: Water water everywhere, but not a drop to drink.

Unread post by Michael Mozina » Thu Feb 27, 2020 4:57 pm

Zyxzevn wrote:
Thu Feb 27, 2020 3:24 pm
Michael Mozina wrote:
Thu Feb 27, 2020 8:30 am
That doesn't bode well for LIGO or LIGO's methodology IMO.
I think their mechanisms and statistics related to noise reduction are just too theoretical.
With each mechanism, they introduced new noise sources, some of which unknown or correlated.
And with each statistical trick they moved from possibility to cherry-picking.

It would take many years to deconstruct all the errors that they made in their system.
But in some observations the errors show up clearly. Like the one with 10+ echoes in it.

In radar technology we had similar problems. A flock of birds could look like an invasion.
Another radar or an unexpected reflection would create ghost planes.
And with the ability to verify the observations independently,
it took many years to develop a system to counter the problems.
Most radars now use variable frequencies (like chirps) and different detectors simultaneously.
And it still can go wrong.
Your noise reduction concerns/criticisms are true of course, but I think I did a pretty good job in my 2016 paper of picking out the worst 5 mistakes in LIGO's methodology.

https://www.semanticscholar.org/paper/E ... fbf96907cc

The two most problematic methodology problems for LIGO relate to the fact that they cannot adequately differentiate between what they call "blip transients" and gravitational waves, and they made celestial origin claims the de facto "default" of all signals. Between those two core problems, it's impossible to know if any of the signals they're picking up are terrestrial in origin, or celestial in origin.

For *many years* LIGO has been routinely observing an environmentally produced signal which they refer to as a 'blip transients" in individual detectors, in the same frequency range, and with the same basic signal shape and duration as gravitational waves. To this day they cannot isolate their cause. They know that they're environmental noise because prior to their upgrades of 2013-2015 they'd only ever seen them in a single detector at a time.

However, in that round of upgrades, they improved the sensitivity of their detectors by 10 fold (100 fold in terms of volume space), and they were still in the 'testing" phase when they received their first supposed "signal". Due to those significant improvements in sensitivity, it was logically possible that they might observe "blip transients" in more than a single detector at the same time, but they optimistically chose to "assume" that such a thing could never happen, and they "assumed" that any signal in that frequency/duration range that affected both detectors in the allotted 10 millisecond window must necessarily be celestial in origin. That was a *huge* mistake, and it's haunted them ever since.

The other devastating problem in their methodology is the fact that they effectively made celestial origin of signals the 'default' by never applying any type of veto method to any of their celestial origin claims of cause, as they had done with every other potential cause of environmental noise. For instance, LIGO went to great lengths to setup many "vetoes" which were designed to look for EM field influences, earthquakes, etc which were intended to try to determine if any given signal (noise pattern) might be due to to those known and demonstrated environmental causes of noise. If they had also applied the same logic to celestial origin claims as to cause, they would have had a consistent and fair methodology, and the possibility of having signals that fell into an 'unknown origin' category if they could not isolate the actual cause of any given signal.

Instead, LIGO elected to apply *no* veto process to any claims of celestial origin, and effectively eliminated a category for "unknown cause". The net result is that if LIGO couldn't determine the cause of the signal in question based on the input from external veto hardware, they simply 'assumed" that the signal must necessarily be celestial in origin. So long as any signal appearing in multiple detectors fit the basic "merger pattern", they simply 'assumed' it was a gravitational wave.

Consider the implications for a moment. *If* their sensitivity upgrades made it possible for "blip transients" to be picked up more than a single detector, such blip transients would be assumed to be celestial in origin, and immediately categorized as gravitational waves. That's essentially what's happening now. Their sensitivity upgrades made it possible for terrestrial signals like blip transients to picked up by multiple detectors, and since they applied no veto methods for celestial origin claims, every blip transient that is picked up by multiple detectors is erroneously identified as a gravitational wave.

The 03 run has actually demonstrated this problem about 21 times now. 21 times their automated processes sent signals to the GraceDB database which their automated methods attributed to gravitational waves, which then had to be re-categorized by hand. Many if not all of those 21 re-categorized signals were picked up by multiple detectors. Some of them had very significant "FAR" ratings too. That's about a 28 percent failure rate in their automated methodology right off the top. It also serves to demonstrate the fact that environmental noise can and routinely *does* affect multiple detectors within the same 10 millisecond window. That's a giant red flag with respect to blip transients.

It's essentially impossible to determine if any given signal is caused by a blip transient or a gravitational wave. A logical fix for that problem would be to impose a 'veto' method for claims as to celestial cause, and to allow for signals to fall into a category of 'unknown cause" if the cause could not be determined. For instance, a logical veto method for celestial signals would be to impose a requirement that they be supported by multimessenger astronomy. If an EM or neutrino counterpart occurs at the same time, and in the same location as predicted by LIGO, there is a much greater likelihood that the signal in question is celestial in origin. If no multimessenger counterpart can be found, the signal should fall into the "unknown origin" category since no identified source can be isolated.

The net result of that change would be to ensure that all signals are identified, or simply categorized as unknown in origin. Such a change in methology would create the possibility that an 'invisible' (to EM and neutrino counterparts) gravitational wave would "slip through the cracks", but it also prevents blip transients from erroneously being categorized as gravitational waves. The question then becomes: "Is that an acceptable trade off"? The answer depends on whether you'd rather error on the side of caution, or error on the side of false alarm.

Their current methodology errors on the side of false alarm, and produces a "cry wolf" potential. Each unidentified signal is now "assumed" to be celestial in origin, causing every astronomer to drop whatever they are doing and go looking for gravitational wolves with the *assumption* that it's a wolf. What's happened now is that every time that a potential signal is received, it's automatically assumed to be related to some type of merger process, and everyone goes looking for the wolf. Sooner or later folks will figure out that the blip transients aren't gravitational wolfs, but until then it's one demoralizing wolf hunt after another, after another, and paper after paper that pretends that blip transients are actually gravitational wolfs.

Things would be different if LIGO had spent the time to hunt down the actual cause of blip transients and taken serious steps to eliminate them. Since they did not do that, they have created a scenario where pretty much any signal that cannot be identified is assumed to be a gravitational wolf and the methodology errors on the side of false positives. That's a crappy methodology. A better methodology would error on the side of caution, and even by those cautious standards, LIGO has isolated one event that probably (or at least possibly) could be a gravitational wave. None of the rest of the events in the GraceDB database that haven't already been attributed to terrestrial sources can be logically attributed to anything with any certainty. They remain "unknown" in origin.

Eventually astronomers will get sick and tired of hunting for gravitational wolfs every time a blip transient comes along and they're realize their problem, but at the moment LIGO has implemented a horribly flawed methodology that misidentifies blip transients as gravitation waves.

That's really the core problem with LIGO's methodology at the moment. Keep in mind that BICEP2 had the same problem in their methodology, but since some of their claim was based on independent data (Planck data specifically), an external team could (and eventually did) find their problem.

In this case however, the entire claim as to cause is based *strictly* upon LIGO data, so no external team can find their error directly, and the error simply goes unresolved. That's pretty much what happened with Joseph Weber. Nobody could really "disprove" his claim without building and testing his claim with their own "Weber bars". Eventually that happened, but only years later, and only after he claimed that something like 300+ signals were gravitational waves. In the Joseph Weber case, a *lack* of a signal in an external team's equipment was used to falsify his claim. In this case however, when Virgo doesn't see the same signal they *assume* the problem is related to Virgo in terms of it's orientation and or sensitivity limitations and the blip transient problem goes unresolved. It's also *much* more difficult for any external team to build a "Ligo bar". Instead of an external team needing to invest a few thousand dollars, and few months to build the hardware to "test" Weber's claims, now an external group has to spend upwards of 200+ million dollars, and spend *years* putting together the detector just to have any hope at all of verifying or falsifying LIGO's claims. Only governments have that kind of funding and in such situations there's strong pressure to get a good return on the investment. Spending two to three hundred million dollars to falsify LIGO's claims isn't a "good investment" strategy. Who benefits? Ultimately the public would benefit, but is it really worth 200 billion dollars to demonstrate that there's a blip transient problem in LIGO's methodology?

This problem could go on for years if not decades at this rate.

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