Mr. P.J. shared this article, which raises as many questions as it answers, and Carl Sagan Contact fans will have a field day with this one:

47 year old television signals bouncing back to Earth

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Joseph P. Farrell

Joseph P. Farrell has a doctorate in patristics from the University of Oxford, and pursues research in physics, alternative history and science, and "strange stuff". His book The Giza DeathStar, for which the Giza Community is named, was published in the spring of 2002, and was his first venture into "alternative history and science".


  1. marcos toledo on April 17, 2016 at 11:41 am

    There is a story of a Texas television station rebroadcast three years after it went of the air. But that had to have been done by a outside party not of this Earth officially.

    • Curious Cat on April 17, 2016 at 8:31 pm

      Interesting story–thanks marcos!

      Snopes.com says this is also a hoax:


      Still very intriguing nonetheless, and quite reminiscent of this more recent story!

    • Scooter-Fishwick on April 18, 2016 at 4:21 pm

      BBC April Fools day joke. Lame BBC very Lame.

  2. goshawks on April 16, 2016 at 8:58 pm

    Aside from April Fools, this does raise a question: Do natural objects have any way of ‘bouncing back’ radio/television signals? In the physical order of things, this would take a planar to minutely-concave shape. Perhaps magnetic fields could work.

    For instance, could we get a ‘bounce-back’ from a shallow crater of some moon in our Solar System? The floor of the crater would have to be of the right material(s) to reflect the wave, but hey…

    • WalkingDead on April 16, 2016 at 10:03 pm

      The propagation of RF waves is dependent on the type of antenna from which they emanate. Dish antenna are directional, standard full wavelength or partial wavelength antenna are omnidirectional. As the wave travels, it spreads and the signal strength weakens. The chances of receiving TV signals from 47 yeas ago due to reflections are pretty much nonexistent because the signal strength would be so attenuated it would just be part of the background noise.

      While RF signals do bounce off things like the ionosphere, metallic objects, etc. it can be frequency dependent at times.
      Shorter wavelengths would pass through some objects which would reflect longer wavelengths, etc. Any nearby object in space, such as a moon, has the opposite curvature needed to reflect a signal with any strength as it would tend to attenuate the signal strength by dissipating the wave from its curved surface.
      As signal strength fades due to distance traveled, the fidelity of the signal could be corrupted by the environment it passes through, further degrading the signal.

      So, if we do start receiving signals like this, it means someone out there is transmitting them back at us and, most likely, has access to the original source material.

      • goshawks on April 17, 2016 at 1:29 am

        I agree with your last sentence. I wonder what Tesla was picking up?

        Since signal strength falls off with the square of distance, I limited my question to this Solar System. For moons in this Solar System, I also limited my question to shallow craters, which would provide flat-to-slightly-concave reflecting surfaces. This would keep the signal from being diffused.

        Of course, the reflection-path direction would be subject to the vagaries of moon rotation and to Earth-moon geometries. That is probably the greatest obstacle to receiving any ‘bounce-back’ signal on Earth. I was simply musing on the possibility that it could happen at all…

  3. WalkingDead on April 16, 2016 at 7:09 am

    Fake BBC news website hosted on rimmell.com Search results on BBC: http://www.bbc.co.uk/search/?q=47%20year%20old%20television%20signals%20bouncing%20back%20to%20Earth yield nada. I call shenanigans.

    • WalkingDead on April 16, 2016 at 7:10 am

      It was an April Fools prank by BBC News. Rimmel.com is just hosting a mirror of it because the original was taken down.

      April 1, it was a joke. How are people not getting this?

      • Robert Barricklow on April 16, 2016 at 1:02 pm

        Reminds me of:
        Life is a dream for the wise,
        a game for the fool,
        a comedy for the rich,
        a tragedy for the poor.

      • Curious Cat on April 17, 2016 at 3:34 am

        Actually, I remember reading something similar to this in a book by Charles Fort years ago. I don’t have access to the physical book and I’m not certain this was all he said on the subject, but here is a quote I found online from Wild Talents (could it refer to the Van Allen Belts??):

        “…see the newspapers of Aug. 20, 1925. According to data collected by the Naval Research Laboratory there is something, somewhere in the sky, that is deflecting electro-magnetic waves of wireless communications, in a way that is similar to the way in which sound waves are sent back by the dome of the Capitol, at Washington. The published explanation is that there is an “ionized zone” around this earth. Those waves are rebounding from something. More was published in the newspapers, May 21, 1927. The existence of ‘a ceiling in the sky’ had been verified by experiments at Carnegie Institution. Sept. 5, 1930—a paper read by Prof. E. V. Appleton, at a meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science. The ‘ionized zone’ is not satisfactory. The subject is as puzzling as it is fascinating, and no decisive answer to the problem can be given at present. From Norway had been reported experiments upon short-wave transmissions, which had been reflected back to this earth. They had come back, as if from a shell-like formation, around this earth, not unthinkably far away.”

        Of course, this reflection did not involve a delay of years as in the hoax story, but to someone who had read the above, it might sound plausible.

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