At 21:37 local time, on June 3, 2016, a radio array in Argentina suddenly received an unscheduled high-frequency burst transmission. The array was primarily used for researchers communicating with geosynchronous satellites to run experiments, so it was equipped to handle the sudden flood of information, if only barely. It took two blown fuses, a backup generator, and the local intranet server #2 with it when it arrived, 11.2 terrabytes of data.

The data was raw, and in a format that none of the staff there was prepared to decode. Thinking that it might have been an accidental data dump from a military satellite, they contacted NATO and surrendered the information in return for assistance in rebuilding their facility.

Of interest are the two following events, presented without commentary:

First: the Argentine facility never ran again. No matter how many parts were replaced, no matter how many times repairs were made, any channel through which the data had passed never worked again. Even a 100% re-install with factory sealed parts made no difference. It eventually had to be abandoned, and none of the installed parts would ever work when reinstalled elsewhere. Even the drives that had housed the data failed as soon as the transfer had been made.

Second: After eighteen months of work, NATO was able to decode the transmission. They had devoted considerable resources to it under the assumption that it was a Chinese high military code, but in that they were disappointed. The transmission was not traceable back to any orbiting satellite, nor did its trajectory indicate any nearby origin. Translated, the message read:

“You see, they say that every single star in the sky is a wish somebody made…human beings are so pitiful. They fill the simple reality of their world with poetry and false promises. They think WE are the ones taking their sanity away, but the truth is that we’re only completing the job that they started when they first began to dream.”

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