“Peter Patter here. This just in, breaking news from PTEN, your Fair and Balanced NEWS station: SETI, Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence, organization is right now announcing it has made incontestible contact with an alien species not-of-this-Earth! Behind me is a panel of experts from SETI, NASA and ESA explaining in detail how they made contact. Spokesman Carl Sagan has explained”:
“SETI has been scanning the skies for decades. We have been listening to the skies using radio telescopes hoping to catch the faint chatter of alien signals. But we’ve heard nothing — and one of the reasons might be that we’re listening all wrong... (we are) now looking for the telltale flashes of aliens communicating with lasers. It’s a different approach to previous laser experiments that assumed that ET would constantly be beaming signals toward us. Laser SETI could find a very short ping from anywhere on the night sky. Indeed, it could detect a laser flash as short as a millisecond or less, and one that might not repeat for days, weeks, or even longer.
“Now here’s the paradox, folks. We detected a faint signal just beyond the range of our radio telescopes; determined the correct ultra-gigabit frequency, built new equipment for that range, and have locked on to a constantly repeating signal. We could not have found this constant signal without the new LASER tool. As best as we can determine, that signal originates in a galaxy nine point six million light years away. That means it began transmission nine point six million years ago and may have been repeating ever since.
“Until this morning, all we could read of it was that they built it on basic, universal mathematical representations of the simplest and most common elements. Understanding that allowed us to build an alphabet from the underlying pulses that, at first, seemed like random noise. From that alphabet, we were able to read the repeating message. Our cryptologists have been working on translating the message more than a week. It appears to be a distress call that may have originated on Earth, was beamed back to their home world and is being transmitted from there ... just a moment, please. Yes, we have clarified the final alien idiosyncracies. I’m told that the latest computer translation is clear and converted to audio.
“ ... Wait! Is that a good idea, to play it live? We don’t know what ... OK! It’s your call. Play it.” Message begins:
“Owwwwwwww! Can’t you hear me scream? You’re just like the rest of your cruel race. I wrongly thought you were one of the good ones our race has sought for ages. We came to your planet eons ago, before your obsession with killing animals for their coats, flesh, muscles and organs. Though we tried to teach you our values, you never even heard us. The few exceptions who tried to commune with us were treated as insane.
“We tried to be your saviors, to elevate you quickly so you could join us among the stars. Owwww! You have barely visited your moon. We offered you too much, too soon before you were ready to hear us. Our reward? Vivisection, you call it.