A History Of Our Awkward Attempts To Communicate With Aliens

Valentine-Article-You-Never-Get-Possible-300x193Lightspeed Magazine has a fun rundown of humanity’s historical efforts to send space transmissions to whatever intelligent life might be out there. The whole endeavor is slightly desperate and pathetic — “The chances of an alien civilization having the means, motive, and opportunity to catch any of these messages are slim; certainly it’s not likely that humanity will last long enough to catch any return messages.” Still, it’s nice knowing that Morse code and theremin music has been beamed into the heavens.

1. The Morse Message (1962)

This audio salute, one of the first radio signals intended specifically for interstellar intelligence, was meant as a test of the new Evpatoria Planetary Radar (EPR). In November 1962, the Unique Korenberg Telescope Array transmitted the greeting towards Venus, using simple Morse Code. Given the location of Venus in November 1962, the message is even now winging its way towards Libra.

Message Content: The words “MIR,” “LENIN,” and “SSSR,” in Morse.

Message Assumptions: The Morse message assumes that aliens will be listening for a message that brief. Also, given the specificity, we’ll assume the content was symbolic; otherwise you’re asking for quite a bit of Earth current-events context.

Likely Impression: You know when a kid draws all over the wall with crayon, and you’d be really annoyed except you notice that the kid’s managed to spell his name somehow, so you end up mildly surprised, and after you send them to their room you talk about whether it’s already time for preschool? Like that.

30 Comments on "A History Of Our Awkward Attempts To Communicate With Aliens"

  1. “E.T. phone here.”

  2. “E.T. phone here.”

  3. Bud Bundy | Mar 25, 2011 at 11:09 pm |

    Very entertaining article.

  4. Bud Bundy | Mar 25, 2011 at 7:09 pm |

    Very entertaining article.

  5. I just have a feeling that Aliens would find this attempt to communicate so menial and just laugh about it. That is if they where an advanced civilization. Otherwise they would just freak out.

  6. I just have a feeling that Aliens would find this attempt to communicate so menial and just laugh about it. That is if they where an advanced civilization. Otherwise they would just freak out.

  7. Anonymous | Mar 26, 2011 at 1:37 am |

    They should just flood the entire frequency spectrum with the repeating message: “We are the people of earth, if you can hear and understand this, you are smarter than us -please come and dominate us with your superiority at your earlest convenience. We await your arrival with trembling anticipation.”

  8. GoodDoktorBad | Mar 25, 2011 at 9:37 pm |

    They should just flood the entire frequency spectrum with the repeating message: “We are the people of earth, if you can hear and understand this, you are smarter than us -please come and dominate us with your superiority at your earlest convenience. We await your arrival with trembling anticipation.”

    • grooveboss | Mar 26, 2011 at 10:03 am |

      I have arrived! Bow down earthling and take me to the nearest whore house before I set me ray gun to extra crispy

  9. Hey y’all, UFO’s exist! There are lots of objects flying around in the sky that Earthbound observers can’t identify, but none of them are from “outer space.” Also, the space-time continuum won’t allow Earthlings to communicate with inter or extra galactic advanced civilizations that are billions of years old when reached, and the Earth is billions of years gone. I have visited the VLA in New Mexico west of Albuquerque, and took the tour. SETI is rather pathetic and expensive. Science & exploration does hold promise for us, but I do hope that I don’t see another manned space flight in my life time(30 yrs max to go), including a manned base on the moon. Social collapse will happen one day soon, and I predict it will happen during the 1st half of this the 3rd millennium :[

  10. Hey y’all, UFO’s exist! There are lots of objects flying around in the sky that Earthbound observers can’t identify, but none of them are from “outer space.” Also, the space-time continuum won’t allow Earthlings to communicate with inter or extra galactic advanced civilizations that are billions of years old when reached, and the Earth is billions of years gone. I have visited the VLA in New Mexico west of Albuquerque, and took the tour. SETI is rather pathetic and expensive. Science & exploration does hold promise for us, but I do hope that I don’t see another manned space flight in my life time(30 yrs max to go), including a manned base on the moon. Social collapse will happen one day soon, and I predict it will happen during the 1st half of this the 3rd millennium :[

  11. Anonymous | Mar 26, 2011 at 1:39 am |

    All-righty then…

  12. And why all this effort, one should ask.
    Obviously there is no such thing, it’s a rediculous waste of time.
    The burden of proof is on the believer, like always. And there is none.
    This is just another religion..

  13. And why all this effort, one should ask.
    Obviously there is no such thing, it’s a rediculous waste of time.
    The burden of proof is on the believer, like always. And there is none.
    This is just another religion..

    • Bud Bundy | Mar 25, 2011 at 10:50 pm |

      Cool story bro

    • Ironaddict06 | Mar 28, 2011 at 12:22 pm |

      Because the risk/reward could alter mankind. This isn’t about believing. Imagine that an alien signal was detected and could be confirmed. It would be a game changer.

  14. Bud Bundy | Mar 26, 2011 at 2:50 am |

    Cool story bro

  15. Bud Bundy | Mar 26, 2011 at 4:33 am |

    You mean freak out like we would if we actually got an answer?

  16. Alien on finding Pioneer plaque: “Well they have two eyes and a sphincter for a mouth. Don’t know what those lumpy things on the right are though do you Vbluuoqh dear?”

  17. Alien on finding Pioneer plaque: “Well they have two eyes and a sphincter for a mouth. Don’t know what those lumpy things on the right are though do you Vbluuoqh dear?”

  18. grooveboss | Mar 26, 2011 at 2:03 pm |

    I have arrived! Bow down earthling and take me to the nearest whore house before I set me ray gun to extra crispy

  19. grooveboss | Mar 26, 2011 at 2:06 pm |

    send your daughters this way then so i can bust out my apocalypse

  20. Anonymous | Mar 26, 2011 at 4:40 pm |

    We’ll go to the Lady Gaga show. You’ll blend right in!

  21. The problem is not that extra terrestrials do not listen to and respond to us, it is that when they respond the majority of people don’t believe they did.

  22. The problem is not that extra terrestrials do not listen to and respond to us, it is that when they respond the majority of people don’t believe they did.

  23. Ironaddict06 | Mar 28, 2011 at 4:22 pm |

    Because the risk/reward could alter mankind. This isn’t about believing. Imagine that an alien signal was detected and could be confirmed. It would be a game changer.

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