Claim: Faraday Cage Experiment with radios contacts Non-Human Intelligence

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
I don't think the encoding of that image is particularly easy to recover without any prior assumption of knowledge of human cultures and communications schemes.
The image itself is just a rectangle plot for frequency over time. I don't think it's vastly anthropomorphic to expect aliens to extract it.

Actually understanding it (assuming it would be high fidelity, which is a big if) is a different matter. It's basically a high-tech prayer wheel.
 

Ravi

Senior Member.
I'm talking about the encoding of the image into audio.
The plot is made up of the frequency vs time vs amplitude. So it scrolls along.
A software converter can be made to transform image information (gray level or so) to freq and perform a fourier inversion so it becomes audio.

Quite a few artists have used this "trick" in their music. Aphex Twin for instance.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
The image itself is just a rectangle plot for frequency over time. I don't think it's vastly anthropomorphic to expect aliens to extract it.
I agree. The technology comes with digital audio and digital signal processing, which is why it wasn't being considered in the 1980s and before.
But you can actually download apps that display an audio spectrum like this for free (for the purpose of analysing audio signals), and while the default settings won't allow you to discern much detail, it will show an artificial structure that ought to prompt closer investigation.
If I heard this weird noise, I'd probably use an app like that tonfigure out what it's doing.

The problems are these:
a) aliens who don't use audio won't understand that it is. But you can retrieve the spectrogram from the radio frequency directly, without going through audio, if it's AM encoded, so that's a min minor issue.
b) aliens may not know how to decode FM, or FM decoding may have fallen out of use. That's a legitimate issue.

Aliens who have audio and can decode FM are probably listening to our radio stations anyway, and don't pay attention to low-powered walkie-talkies.
 

FatPhil

Senior Member.
b) aliens may not know how to decode FM, or FM decoding may have fallen out of use. That's a legitimate issue.
If they're aware of the expansion of spacetime, or of doppler shifts, then they will be aware of changes of frequencies. If all they think to themselves "the object giving off that near-constant tone is wobbling back and forth with a strange doppler shift" when they try and work out its relative velocity they'll quickly see that it's not motion, but an encoded signal that they'll just take as the next puzzle they need to solve. As long as Planet Earth is presented to them like an Escape Room, at least. We've already presumed that little green men will turn a message of period 1679 into a 23x73 2D pattern, so we're assuming they're problem solvers. This is just more of the same.
 

Mauro

Senior Member
Yeah I would not really worry on aliens being able to decode AM or FM (or one of the other many modulation schemes which exist). Even we puny humans can do amazing things with signal processing. But yeah, transmitting in CW (continuos wave, the most basic modulation scheme where the transmitter is turned on and off to send the message, as it happened with Morse code: one short pulse, pause, one long pulse, pause, etc.) is much better than AM and FM. Not only for the trivial decoding (of the modulation scheme), but notably because the signal remains intellegible over much, much longer distances.
 
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Solaris0121

New Member
I use the same Boafeng radio (F) used in the video ( I'm a licenced amatuer here in thevUK) - there are a few companies making them under the same brand. They are great for the money, but their front end is notoriously wide on receive and transmit, they can splash into adjoining bands quite a bit. The internals of the radios shown in this video might actually be all the same PCB boards) Some reasons the radio is making noise while the others are not -
1. It's more sensitive to receive than others due to quality control (which is not great at this price point)
2. Its squelch level settings are different to the others - they all receive a signal but the squelch only operates on this one while the others stay muted
3. Simplex and Duplex settings are different - these radio can be programmed to transmit on one frequency and receive on a different (offset) frequency for use on local antenna repeaters.
4. CTCSS/DCS codes are different on radio F than the others.

73's de 2e0ota.
 

bar-bar

New Member
The encoding is very simple but recovery in part depends upon prior knowledge of what might be encoded in a message. When you examine the reasoning of people who look at this with no assumptions about prior knowledge though (and in the case of Callimahos, someone who regularly dealt with material without tremendous prior knowledge) I don't know that that holds up particularly well. How can you tell whether the recovered graphical symbols are well formed or not without prior knowledge of what they're supposed to look like?

In some ways, I think morse may actually be easier to recover with zero prior knowledge because it's quite clear that the time domain is dominant and at that point it's just a matter of identifying word and symbol boundaries and then analyzing those (though again, some thought about how an alien intelligence might boot-strap meaning out of a series of symbols would presumably be helpful).

This is not about AM or FM modulation, that's quite easy to detect and is based upon the fundamentals of electro-magnetic radiation: there are only so many ways to manipulate a wave (manipulate amplitude, manipulate frequency, or manipulate phase). CW has all but fallen out of use here, but looking at the RF environment, it stands out

The point about power, of course, is likely more significant, though if one posits an extra-terrestrial intelligence far in advance of ours, technological questions about what kind of signal detection is possible become complicated and entirely speculative.
 

Mauro

Senior Member
The encoding is very simple but recovery in part depends upon prior knowledge of what might be encoded in a message.
Sure! I was careful to specify I meant the decoding of the modulation scheme, not of the message itself (which is a fascinating problem). CW is easier than AM or FM, and most of all it keeps a good signal-to-noise ratio much further. It has fallen out of use here because it's damn slow (intended as bitrate vs. transmission frequency).
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
The encoding is very simple but recovery in part depends upon prior knowledge of what might be encoded in a message. When you examine the reasoning of people who look at this with no assumptions about prior knowledge though (and in the case of Callimahos, someone who regularly dealt with material without tremendous prior knowledge) I don't know that that holds up particularly well. How can you tell whether the recovered graphical symbols are well formed or not without prior knowledge of what they're supposed to look like?
Callimahos's first requirement is that the signal must be distinguishable from random noise; this is a bar that the spectrogram encoding clears easily.

Making sense of the message then depends on the content encoded that way; we've already observed that EC6 is not particularly suited to that. I'd include a simple shape like "A" or "*" in a series diminishing in size so that the recipient would spot the big symbol in a crude spectrogram and then finetune the FFT (or equivalent) to bring the smaller sizes in focus. From then on, we have ensured a reasonably faithful reproduction of the transmitted image, and the "intelligence test" portion of establishing communications can proceed.
 
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