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Power spectral density estimation is often employed as a method for signal detection. For signals which occur randomly, a frequency domain kurtosis estimate supplements the power spectral density estimate and, in some cases, can be employed to detect their presence. This has been verified from experiments with real data of randomly occurring signals. In order to better understand the detection of randomly occurring signals, sinusoidal and narrow-band Gaussian signals are considered, which when modeled to represent a fading or multipath environment, are received as non-Ganssian in terms of a frequency domain kurtosis estimate. Several fading and muitipath propagation probability density distributions of practical interest are considered, including Rayleigh and log-normal. The model is generalized to handle transient and frequency modulated signals by taking into account the probability of the signal being in a specific frequency range over the total data interval. It is shown that this model produces kurtosis values consistent with real data measurements. The ability of the power spectral density estimate and the frequency domain kurtosis estimate to detect randomly occurring signals, generated from the model, is compared using the deflection criterion. It is shown, for the cases considered, that over a large range of conditions, the power spectral density estimate is a better statistic based on the deflection criterion. However, there is a small range of conditions over which it appears that the frequency domain kurtosis estimate has an advantage. The real data that initiated this analytical investigation are also presented.