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Your one chance to reply to aliens

As part of the National Geographic Channel's "Chasing UFOs," everyone is invited to reply to a 1977 message known as the WOW! signal.

2 min read
National Geographic Channel screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

We have ceded our attempts to communicate with aliens far too often to Hollywood.

There, paunchy producers and pugnacious directors have portrayed aliens as scary, difficult people, not unlike certain recording artists and movie actors.

Now you have the chance to speak to aliens directly and offer a peace pipe, or at least a pipingly warm greeting.

For, as part of the National Geographic Channel's "Chasing UFOs" series, everyone is invited to reply to a message sent (maybe) by aliens.

Well, many believe that the WOW! signal was, indeed, sent by aliens in 1977. The 72-second signal was detected by Jerry. R. Ehman through the Big Ear radio observatory at Ohio State University. Ehman was working on a SETI project.

Because technology has moved a long way since 1977, the National Geographic Channel is trying to make things as easy as possible for you to send your personal missive to the great beyond.

You can, indeed, make your alien contact via Twitter.

Fox News tells me that any tweet with the hashtag #ChasingUFOs, sent between 8 p.m. EDT Friday (June 29) and 3 a.m. EDT Saturday (June 30) will be rolled up into a single message and sent out to the sky.

Kristin Montalbano, a spokeswoman for the National Geographic Channel, told Fox News: "We are working with Arecibo Observatory to develop the best way to encrypt the transmission."

She explained that the favorite method currently is binary code, or some kind of 1s and 0s sequence. The channel wants the message to seem sophisticated, you see. For it believes, as James Fox says on the video I have embedded, that the WOW! signal was "like a tweet from outer space."

Naturally, famous people have already been enlisted to the WOW! tweet-reply cause. I have embedded the contribution of Leila Lopes. She is not a rocket scientist, but she is Miss Universe.

Because aliens will surely want to know about the most beautiful people from our universe first.