There has been quite a bit of buzz on the Internet about a National Security Agency document which implies that the NSA intercepted, and deciphered, signals from an extraterrestrial source. The fact that the document is located on the NSA's website makes the story a bit more intriguing than the typical UFO stories that we are inundated with on a daily basis. UFO believers have been quick to point to the document as proof that extraterrestrials exist and the government has known about them for decades. Although I believe that the universe is so vast that it is probably teeming with life, I'm not so sure that this document is the bombshell that others make it out to be.
First of all, the document in question was allegedly published in the NSA's Technical Journal. Many government agencies publish these types of documents, both classified and unclassified, to share information within their confines and with other external agencies. The document refers to an earlier volume of the Technical Journal, which is not shown, and herein may be the answer to the question. It is entirely possible that the code in question was merely an exercise or contest put out by the agency for its code breakers to solve, perhaps on the page after the one announcing who was bringing potato salad to the next agency picnic. For those that see this as implausible, take a look at the code sculpture that has been a focus of interest at the CIA's headquarters since 1988.
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