HOUSTON—Marking a momentous leap forward in humankind's understanding of the universe, NASA scientists announced today they had received a radio transmission confirming the existence of intelligent, extremely condescending life in a galaxy nearly 13.8 billion light-years away.
According to officials at the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center, the message arrived several days after researchers sent a signal to the recently discovered URFy-32924369 galaxy. Members of a highly arrogant alien species responded, saying it was "nice to finally hear from [our] quaint planet" and that it "certainly took [humanity] long enough."
The extraterrestrials explained they had intercepted NASA's transmission using their "far superior technology," because they did not want to "wait the intervening billions of years to receive a simple message from a species working within the laughable constraints of the speed of light."
"We were extremely excited to have made contact with this highly advanced form of life, but it quickly became clear they're pretty big jerks," said NASA scientist Raymond Morrison, referring frequently to a 24-page transcript of the interstellar transmission filled with patronizing language and backhanded compliments. "After telling us they hadn't exactly been holding their breath waiting for us to figure out how to make contact with our 'charmingly simplistic devices,' they informed us they had studied our planet millennia ago but decided it was 'too hopelessly primitive to be worthwhile.'"
According to NASA, the alien species described Earth's 78-percent nitrogen atmosphere as a "decent start," and said mankind had "come a long way in the past century, relatively speaking, considering it took [humans] a full 4 million years to walk upright."
Scientists have expressed mix feelings about the landmark event, noting that while the thrilling discovery of intelligent alien life signals the dawning of a new age in our ability to answer fundamental questions about the very nature of existence, they had not expected an extraterrestrial species to be so dismissive of virtually every aspect of human life.
"We sent them very peaceful, welcoming messages, and they responded by saying it was 'marvelous' that the human race had managed to sustain itself for so long without having made any noteworthy advances of any kind," Morrison said of the aliens, who described the physical appearance of humans with the phrase "interesting-looking, would be the most polite way to put it." "I mean, they weren't threatening us in any way, but they didn't have to be such pricks about everything."
The contemptuous transmission casually discounts centuries of human achievement, with the aliens saying they could not believe mankind still deals with issues of disease and overpopulation. The message then goes on to openly mock humans' "pathetically short life spans."
"When we sent them examples of our very best cultural offerings, they said they 'rather enjoyed the amusing little tinklings' of Mozart and the 'adorable scribblings' of Rembrandt,'" said Morrison, adding that his team will no longer transmit samples of music and art for the aliens to belittle. "They then said they could completely understand how our incredibly low intelligence and level of evolutionary development would allow us to enjoy such 'low-caliber' sensory stimuli."
"They were absolutely relentless," Morrison continued. "I personally feel pretty terrible about myself right now."
The NASA scientists noted, however, that the tone of the discourse changed dramatically after the aliens were sent images of a man jumping from ramps while riding a Kawasaki Jet Ski.
"For some reason, when they saw this footage, we received a barrage of messages saying 'Hold on a second, what is that ?' and 'Please, tell us everything about this Jet Ski,'" said Morrison, later reading several more excerpts from the transmission, among them, "How fast can the Jet Ski go?" and "Is the man riding the Jet Ski a king on your planet?" "They are evidently completely mesmerized by Jet Skis, and have offered us anything we want in exchange for the technology."
At press time, NASA had received a transmission from the alien species in which they apologized for their earlier messages, saying they had "greatly underestimated the Keepers of the Jet Ski."