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Thread: NSA FOIA Case 41472: Possible Alien Message?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2006

    NSA FOIA Case 41472: Possible Alien Message?

    Has anyone else seen or heard about this? I found a news article while browsing Google news.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    You are presumably referring to the two extraterrestrial messages written by Howard H Campaigne.
    These were first released in 2004, and (although it is not made entirely clear) these messages appear to be hypothetical test messages, created as a cryptographic exercise by Dr Campaigne 'to test the reader's ingenuity'.

    Unfortunately the part where Dr Campaigne makes the hypothetical nature of these messages explicit seems to have been lost.

    see this blog post analysing some of those links for some insight into the material which has been released here

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    so he came up with a "what if" scenario, proposed a possible solution, but never documented the scenario as "what if"?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    No, I think it is more complex than that. The first paper by Campaigne refers to another, equally hypothetical exercise by a certain L. Callimahos, so it seems that this work was one of a sequence of cryptographic exercises by various people.

    If we could see this work in context it would be quite obvious that it was one of several exercises which may have been devised to demonstrate the difficulties faced by someone attempting to decode a real alien message.
    It seems to me that Campaigne has made the exercise a little too simple by assuming that the hypothetical aliens have more in common with humans than may in fact be the case.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    I visited the link at and was disappointed there wasn't more information available regarding this document beyond a brief summary.

    What would be your cite where this stuff is a thought experiment rather than something real? Genuinely curious. Wouldn't the government release all information pertaining to this document or are they simply following the letter of the rules to stir something up in the woo-woo community?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    What would be your cite where this stuff is a thought experiment rather than something real?
    The information is presented in two documents, and it is instructive to read both of them. Note that neither of them were classified as secret, which indicates very strongly that they are innocuous.
    The first one
    which was published in the NSA Technical Journal Vol XI no.2, and refers to a previous message in the NSA Technical Journal Vol XI no.1, by Mr Lambros D. Callimahos which 'discussed certain aspects of extraterrestrial intelligence and included several messages to test the reader's ingenuity.' The article by Dr H.H. Campaigne 'offers additional communications from outer space'.
    is a key to help decipher Dr Campaigne's messages.

    From which I conclude that the NSA Technical Journal published a series of speculative articles concerning extraterrestrial communications, and various contributors were submitting encrypted messages which could be deciphered by the reader 'to test their ingenuity'. Because the first article, by Lambros Callimahos, is missing, it is not entirely clear that the messages 'offered' by Dr Campaigne are hypothetical, but reading the articles themselves it seems very likely that they are.

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