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My wife recently came across an article on a British website, telling of how in December we started to receive VHF signals from outer space, namely the transmissions of Earth televisions shows bouncing off some astronomical object or objects light-decades away.

Of course this could also be re-transmission by an advanced civilization vis-a-vis the movie Contact, thus starting an extra-solar pen-pal relationship.  After all (in my opinion), what natural phenomenon could reflect something at such a precisely focused angle to be readable from that distance?

But most importantly, lost episodes of Doctor Who were now being recorded by the BBC, a notion irresistable to believe for true fans. 

There’s only one problem: this was an April Fool’s joke from 2009.

Yes, it was not a signal but a prank that traveled through time and space.

I’ve written about this more than once, how jokes, misquotes, and urban legends are passed around and become new again every few years.  Some of us have seen different incarnations of various speeches half a dozen times, each time attributed to someone else and changing the date to a couple days ago.

My fear is that what we are projecting out into space WILL come back to us, and by that I do not mean electromagnetic signals, but a galactic reputation for short memories and gullibility.