Software star to search for ET

A SILICON VALLEY star has moved on in search of other galaxies. Joe Firmage, who made a fortune in software at 17, has decided to leave the corporate world and devote his life to the search for extraterrestrial intelligence.

"I've had explicit confirmation that the UFO phenomenon is in fact occurring," said Mr Firmage, now 28. "I'd like to be a part of this fundamental revolution in our society."

Mr Firmage, who made millions from his company when it was bought by the software giant Novell, says his life was changed by an encounter at his home in California. He saw a "remarkable being, clothed in brilliant white light", he said. He has already spent more than $3m in his search.

"There is truth to the UFO phenomenon, that is undeniable. The evidence is overwhelming from around the globe," he said.