It was called 'The Contact Project' advertised as a series of mock alien transmissions (9 in all) to be used as an exercise for scientists around
the globe to work on decryption techniques for alien radio transmissions. Some have stated that they believe the messages to be real and that the
project was using the internet users as a sort of "computer cluster" while duping them into thinking it was a game. Somewhat hard to believe that
the government would allow an actual alien message to live on the net.
Speculations aside, here are the 9 messages in their entirety along with a link to where I found the site archived:
The Contact Project
Original Message (30-Jan-95):
Second Message (2-Feb-95):
Third Message (7-Feb-95):
Fourth Message (17-Feb-95):
Fifth Message (24-Feb-95):
Sixth Message (1-Mar-95):
Seventh Message (9-Mar-95):
Eighth Message (14-Mar-95):
Ninth Message (1-Apr-95):
The original message consisted of 571 "characters", a long pause of 17.71 seconds, then a repeat of the sequence. The characters are here arranged
by pitch. There were 19 unique tones in the original message, here labeled A through S. A is the lowest tone, and S is the highest. Each tone lasts
about 0.492 seconds. The entire sequence, including pause, took 298.61 seconds, or about 4 minutes and 59 seconds.
In the second message, there are 18 new characters, for a total of 37 characters used so far. The new characters are represented by the letters "T"
through "Z" and "a" through "k". T is higher in pitch than S, and so on. This message is 874 characters long. Again, each tone takes 0.492
seconds, and the pause is 17.71 seconds between repetitions. The message length is 447.67 seconds, or 7 minutes and 28 seconds.
The third message is the longest so far with 1514 tones for a message length of 12 minutes, 42.5 seconds (762.5 seconds). Again, each tone is the
standard length, as is the pause. We should come up with names for these time units. There are 25 new characters, for a total of 62 used so far.
The fourth message is shorter again, with 515 tones for a message length of 4 minutes and 31 seconds (271.06 seconds). Again, each tone is the
standard length, as is the pause. There are six new characters, for a total of 68 used so far. In order of pitch (lowest to highest), the new
characters are: %!#@$*
The fifth message is shorter, with 413 tones. There are three new characters, in pitch order (low to high): :^~
The sixth message is slightly shorter, with 407 tones, for a message length of approximately 3 minutes, 38 seconds (including pause). There are five
new characters (from low pitch to high pitch): ;?[
The seventh message is even shorter, with 351 tones, for a message length (including pause) of about 3 minutes, 10 seconds. There are three new tones,
in order: -+] (for a total of 79 characters used so far).
The eighth message is long again, with three new characters: \./ (in order). A total of 82 characters have been used so far.
The ninth message is the shortest yet, and uses no new characters.
The message is being broadcast on a wavelength of 21 cm, the so-called "magic frequency".