Dec 13, 2000 ROSWELL, NM
The SETI@Home project, a cooperative effort between thousands of people around the world to analyze radio telescope data from the Arecibo radio telescope announced today that it has decoded a message from outer space. The management of the SETI project has refused to release the contents of the message, stating national security concerns. In the absence of an official announcement, numerous rumors have surfaced, the two most plausible of which are as follows:
The theory which is supported by the greatest volume of leaks coming out of the SETI@Home project is that message consisted of a random pattern of sounds bearing an unmistakable resemblance to either terrestrial television static or the music of John Cage, depending on which version of the rumor you believe. Both versions indicate that the patterns of static clearly expressed the will of the aliens to vote for avoiding all contact with the human race. SETI management appears poised to contest the vote and is believed to be exploring all legal and quantum mechanical avenues for overturning the will of the aliens.
A rumor less widely circulated, but more credible based on the level of detail emerging is that the message was textual in nature. The following is a copy of the most complete version of the message we have been able to obtain:
"Inhabitants of the little blue dot over there, listen up. We've got some advice for you, and if you wanna avoid big trouble, you'll do exactly what we say. We've been watching you for some time, using machines that you'll need to evolve at least 37 more heads apiece before you'll have a rat's chance in the horse head nebula of understanding, and our analysis points to a few clear conclusions:
"First, by the time this message gets to you, you'll have developed enough primitive technology to hear it.
"Second, by then you'll have a semi-global network of your laughable little computers set up, and you'll be using it to try to find messages from higher life forms like us.
"Third, you won't have figured out how to generate electricity using macroquantile gluon inverse insertive inertial retrospin yet, so you'll be burning fossil fuels like a banshee in a pulsar trying to keep up with power the demands of all those computers. But when your northern hemisphere is in winter, you won't have enough power production capacity to keep yourselves warm, keep the lights on, and continue the search all at the same time.
"By now, you've probably burned enough fossil fuels to warm you atmosphere a few degrees and melt the ice directly above your north pole. Well guess what. It only gets worse. We'd fly by and pick you up when your planet becomes uninhabitable, but it turns out that disease you call dandruff is fatal to us, so we can't risk coming anywhere near you.
"So here's our advice. You've received the message. There's intelligent life out here. The matter is settled. Now turn off your computers and let all those poor old people turn the heat back on."
Separately, the SETI@Home project announced today that it will be expanding its program to search for radio signals coming from the southern hemisphere sky. Evidence emerging from the Sydney Olympics suggests that aliens to the south may be more friendly than those to the north.