small logo Guest Editorial

Not The First Global Message to ETI
by Alexander L. Zaitsev (alzaitsev_at_gmail_dot_com)

In a recent Guest Editorial about interstellar messages, Dr. Doug Vakoch wrote:
But never have those messages truly represented all of humanity. On 15 May [2009] that will change as the SETI Institute launches a project to collect messages from people around the world.
Dr. Vakoch should be well-informed about the following past projects:
  1. Richard Braastad's (USA) activity on collecting messages from people around the world before Cosmic Call 2003 Transmissions

    ... personal messages from thousands of people in over 50 countries were included in Cosmic Call 2003. These messages were submitted, primarily through e-mail, to Team Encounter's offices in Houston, Texas where the messages were prepared for transmission. The personal messages included text, still image, audio and video files. Any analog messages submitted by Team Encounter members were transformed by Team Encounter into digital format. All told, the personal messages were organized into 24 electronic folders and, in total, represented 220 megabytes of information. It was clear that for their radiation into space the transmission rate of 400 bauds would not be sufficient - bit-by-bit transmission of such a large amount of information would take more than 50 days of transmission time. Therefore, we transmitted the personal messages at a rate of 100 kbauds. As a result, we spent a total of approximately 11 hours transmitting the Personal Messages in Cosmic Call 2003.

    Future researchers should find the Personal Messages quite interesting. We consider these messages as being a unique expression of creativity by Terrestrials from around the world at the boundary of the second and third millennia. We shall mention only some of the 24 Personal Message folders:

    • HellotoETI (This folder contains all files of the Web site - currently hosted at - created by Canadian futurist Allen Tough)
    • Flags of the World (Contains the flags of 282 states and some international organizations)
    • DavidBowie (Contains the song "Starman" by world renowned rock musician David Bowie)
    • KFT (Contains music and images of KFT, a rock band from Hungary)
    • Crimea (Contains the flags of Crimea and Evpatoria, the Evpatorian insignia, and a photo of the 70-m EPR dish)
    • Ukrainian Pictures (Contains the drawings and pictures of Ukrainian schoolchildren which were delegates to an international education forum [iEARN-2002] in Moscow. Also contains the emblem of the radio message created by an Evpatorian schoolgirl, Katya Karpushkina - the winner of a competition devoted to the 2500 year anniversary of Evpatoria)
    • NewMexicoMemorial (Contains the text of a resolution passed by the New Mexico state legislature in 2003 designating the second Tuesday in February as "Extraterrestrial Culture Day" in New Mexico, and that the resolution, "be transmitted into space with the intent that it be received as a token of peace and friendship")
  2. Oli Madgett's (U.K.) activity on collecting messages from people around the world before AMFE-2008 Transmissions
    The messages were to be selected through a competition hosted by Bebo, in which more than 12 million Bebo users were invited to join. They were to be selected later through a web vote. An advanced third party application was developed for the AMFE project, which was integrated in Bebo's social network environment. Using this application, its users submitted text messages and pictures and drew images, which were translated into a binary format.[3] Originally, an idea of interstellar radio message composition by the public, which are using special web site, was suggested by Alexander L. Zaitsev in 2002 in his abstract Project METI@home: Messages to ETI from home
We therefore welcome the SETI Institute into that small group of organizations that has developed interstellar messages based upon input from people all around our planet.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in editorials are those of the individual authors, and do not necessarily reflect the position of The SETI League, Inc., its Trustees, officers, Advisory Board, members, donors, or commercial sponsors.

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