Sunday, 1 September 2013

More about Signals from Space

A sort-of-sequel to my post about the signals from Mars.

It’s not often that something happens on an internet forum that is worth remarking about to other people, but just today my attention was brought to something that I thought I’d like to share.

Someone posted a link to an article from the National Security Agency Technical Journal which describe how to decipher a number of extra terrestrial messages discussed in a previous issue.

The person from the forum wanted to know if it was true. Well, the site was certainly real, and the article definitely seemed to be talking about messages from outer space. It was hard to believe, but it seemed to be genuine.

I took a look through the list of declassified articles on the site, and soon found the answer. The "extra-terrestrial messages" began in an article where a writer, Lambros D. Callimahos, discussed what a message to an extraterrestrial intelligence might look like: what universal codes could be used.

Following this, the Callimahos offered a few examples as puzzles and then in the next issue Howard H. Champaigne added some more. The article above, that had caused all the confusion about the NSA decoding extraterrestrial messages, was in fact the key to solve the puzzles.

It was interesting to see how a solution page to a puzzle could be so confusing: it was written in a dry style with no indication of its less-than-serious subject and also some joker in the NSA had slipped the word “UFO” into the url. It had me fooled for a while.


Callimahos, L.D. “Communication with Extraterrestrial Intelligence”
Champaigne, H.H. “Extraterrestrial Intelligence”
Champaigne, H.H. “Key to the Extraterrestrial Messages”

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