img_2906 The Truth is Out There Panama The Expat Life

You don’t have to live in Boquete long to discover that we have a true renaissance man in our midst. An engineer by training, Ben Schuetz spent some of his early career in the employ of Mt. Palomar and Wilson Observatories, where he caught the bug to someday be involved in astronomy. In 1997, he and his wife Joan retired and took off on a 44′ trawler, spending almost 10 years as full-time live-aboard cruisers in the Caribbean. Although John and I only spent a bit of time in the Caribbean when we were cruising aboard our sailboat, it’s almost certain that our wakes crossed somewhere.

Fast-forward to 2006, when Ben and Joan came to Boquete and built a beautiful home that they now operate as a bed-and-breakfast. But Ben’s real passion is the optical telescope that he designed and built himself, right down to the control systems and software. Ben’s telescope is one of a handful scattered around the world that are part of the global Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) and Messaging Extraterrestrial Intelligence (METI) network.

I had been planning a blog post on Ben’s SETI work for a while but my friend By Edgington beat me to it. By did a super job of  capturing Ben’s quest to identify that elusive laser pulse that just might prove we’re not the only sentient beings out there.

Marlin (Ben) Schuetz’s 20 inch optical telescope at the Boquete Optical SETI Observatory, Boquete, Chiriqui Panama Ben Schuetz is a man on a mission. He’s searching the universe for an elusive signal, a laser pulse directed at Earth from another civilization, the Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence. This SETI endeavor is the Holy Grail of many […]

via SETI en Boquete — mebeinpanama


  1. Shannon Barisoff Reply

    Hey, so glad you are loving your new life! Funny how things turn out! I know you had some heart issues, John, but guess who just had open heart surgery!!!! ME! Seems 5 of my arteries were beyond repair so they had to open me up and do a bypass last Tuesday! I went home on Saturday! Modern medicine is amazing! I’m doing really well, and they want me to be their poster woman for the heart unit at Hoag hospital! So, it hasn’t even been a week and I am up and at em! I am off work for about 6 – 8 weeks, depending, but you know me….probably 6! Can’t drive for 3 – 4 weeks, so I will be depending on the kindness of others! My son is here from Colorado and he is my driver, assistant, etc., for right now and then I am hoping my granddaughter will step up to the plate and move in for a couple of weeks, but we will see.
    I love getting the posts, you make me feel like I am part of it and the pictures and your commentary are wonderful!
    Miss you guys!

  2. I am impressed: retired, sailing and building a telescope! That’s living an awesome life.
    I just read an article of Stephen Hawking and billionaires from Russia run a project to search the life outside of the Earth – who knows, in twenty years from now, it is all confirmed!

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