The calls are coming from inside the galaxy

Scientists in the United States and Canada are zeroing in on the source of some recently detected fast radio bursts emanating from outer space.  Until recently, all of these signals, which some have characterized as possible alien communications, were thought to have originated from indeterminate sources somewhere in the vast universe.  Now, however, scientists may have pinpointed the origin of at least some of the fast radio bursts, and the source is much closer than previously assumed.

“The calls are coming from inside the galaxy,” said Christopher Bochenek, a Caltech radio astronomer.  “We traced the bursts back to magnetars inside our galaxy.  Magnetars are basically powerful transmitters capable of projecting radio bursts millions of light years.  Fortunately, I was able to capture some of these transmissions with my homemade receiver.”

According to Bochenek, detecting radio bursts does not require pointing the latest high tech equipment at the stars.  “My antenna was constructed from a couple of my mom’s old cake pans, a busted tailpipe I found along the freeway, and some six pound test fishing line.”

Thus far, the communications have been a little unnerving.  “Initially, we’d get some radio bursts coming in, but as soon as I switched on my equipment, they’d hang up,” said Bochenek.  “Of course, it wasn’t long after that when the heavy breathing started.  Let me tell you something about alien heavy breathing, it’s pretty fucking weird.  Darth Vader’s huffing and puffing is tame by comparison.”  

Recently, sophisticated AI has been utilized to decipher the communications.  “We’ve had some success deploying AI to translate the fast radio bursts into human language.  The results have been somewhat unsettling.  For instance, one message translated, ‘We know what you did last millennia.’  But mostly we get requests like, ‘Can I speak to Harry Buttcrack or Ima Weiner.’  You’d like to think that we’re dealing with advanced alien intelligence here, but in all probability, we’re in communication with a being more similar to a human adolescent male,” said Bochenek.  “Still, I’ll keep pointing my cake pans at the sky until I find someone or something worth talking to.”         

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