SETI Cipher 2014

SETI Cipher Challenge 2014

DAY 5 - Media Forum
To post on the media forum e-mail your contribution to including your team name and password.
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Thank you all for a fantastic week ! Will the aliens be broadcasting again next year?

We are going to wrap up over the weekend and announce prizes on Monday afternoon.

Yours Exhaustedly,

SETI Cipher Challenge Team
Mission Control,
University of Southampton

Ultra Engima(3):

4 points

Nice Dynamite(3):

5 points

Nice Dynamite(2):

3 points

Team Mitchell(3):

2 points

The Fractals(3):

SETI - Created with Haiku Deck, presentation software that inspires
2 points

Team Mitchell(2):

4 points - Awwwww Thank you guys :)

Ultra Enigma(2):

South African media has gone wild since the announcement of the final message from aliens today. Today, the 18th of July is Nelson Mandela's birthday and a national holiday in South Africa. It is also really special because it is the first one where Mandela himself is not alive. Mystics and Sangomas (witch doctors) from Cape Town to Durban are saying that it is no coincidence that the last message from the aliens arrived today. "It is a sign from the ancestors," said Jabu Tshabalala, a Port Elizabeth based Sangoma, "just like Madiba bridged the gap between whites and blacks in South Africa, the ancestors want us to make peace with the aliens and live together in friendship. Graca Machel, Mandela's widow, claimed that it was such a tragedy that the great man died before now. "Tata would have loved to hear from aliens. He was actually an astronomer in his spare time."

While most educated scholars dismiss the claims, a few are suspicious. "What does it mean," said one, "that the first message arrived on the 14th of July, exactly 225 years after the French revolution and the last arrived on the 18th, the first Mandela Day without the man himself?"
2 points

Nice Dynamite(1):

Throughout the course of the last week, the aliens have sent us all kinds of messages. We have learnt that they are very intelligent – Probably much more than us. They know about maths, about amino acids, and about atomic structures.

In light of these new developments, scientists have started offering suggestions on what we should do with this new information. Many have encouraged contacting these aliens, though we still don’t have a firm method of contacting them. We could send out another signal in the same way, but we don’t know if we would be able to produce one strong enough to reach them with the same clarity that theirs have been reaching us.

Of course, we can always wait. If they have been watching us, they may be able to tell that we have been receiving their signals, and may attempt to make further contact with us. Maybe, they will try to travel to our planet. However, it would take them an incredibly long time to reach us, unless their space travel is much more advanced than ours. Though, of course, they could already be on their way.

The contact also raises questions as to whether or not there are more aliens out there. And if there are, will they be as friendly as these aliens seem? As intelligent? Even as close?

The missing plane has once again been spotted, this time at the Farnborough Air Show. One witness describes seeing a mysterious plane materialising with a figure sat inside it, before disappearing again ten seconds later.
1 point


Cygnus- a board game


First of all £20 million is handed to each player. The pieces start on 'funding from government'. Each person should roll both dice and the person with the highest score will start with the next go taken by the person to their left. On the first lap round the board (going clockwise) planets, stars, moons and nebulae are not allowed to be bought, but all other rules apply such as going to the repair station and picking up cards. The cards are in two piles labelled 'media' and 'government meeting', if you land on a square labelled either of these you pick up the top card from the relevant pile and do as the card instructs. If you roll four doubles, land on the 'machine malfunction' square or get sent via a card you must move your piece onto the square labelled 'fixing station'. You can then choose to pay to get out before you roll the dice on your next go, get a double and are free to leave or use a 'fixed piece' card you may have collected. You can try for a double three times, but on the third time if you don't roll a double you have to pay to fix your part. This costs £0.5 million. All payments throughout the game are made to the bank unless otherwise stated in the rules.

Every time you pass 'funding from government' you receive £2 million from the bank, but if you land on this square you receive £4 million. After the first lap around the board all squares can be interacted with. If you land on a moon, planet, star or nebula you have the option to buy it, which is done by handing the amount of money written on the square to the bank. You receive the information card in return which gives you information about developments you can make later on. If you land on a radio telescope square or a space station square you can also buy it, but they have different features later on. Landing on the fixing station has no punishments if landed on by rolling the dice, so you are free to move on on the next move without cost. Landing on the star gazing square has no consequences for any player, so it is just a safe square. You then carry on round the board taking turns until all but one country has been bankrupted.

If someone else lands on a property you have bought, they have to pay you the telescope viewing price listed on the information card for that square. If you manage to buy all the properties in one colour you can then choose to invest in satellites and later rockets for this planet, moon, star or nebula. When you have the set, but haven't yet invested in satellites or a rocket you can charge double the price of rent which is stated on the card. The individual cost of these is written on the information card. There cannot be a gap of two or more satellites on a group of the same colour. You buy four satellites for each, before returning these to the bank when you have purchased a rocket. You can have a maximum of one rocket on each square. If someone lands on your property while there is a satellites or a rocket on it they have to pay you the amount stated on the information card for that number of satellites/ for a rocket.

You can purchase radio telescopes if you land on them, however you can not place satellites or rockets on them. If someone lands on your radio telescope you can charge them the rent stated on the information card. If you own 2 you radio telescopes and a player lands on either one you can charge them the stated rent on the information card for owning two radio telescopes. This applies for owning three or four radio telescopes as well. Again, you can buy space stations, but you can't invest in satellites or rockets. Instead if someone lands in your space station you charge 0.1 times the roll of the dice they took to land on it (units of million pounds). If you own both space stations, times the number on the dice by 0.3.

If you land somewhere where you have to pay more money than you have in your hand you have to take action so you don't become bankrupt. You can sell any satellites or rockets on your planets, moons, stars and nebulae for half the price you bought them for or you can mortgage some of the planets, moons, stars and nebulae. On the back of each information card there is a price you get for mortgaging it. If you choose to mortgage it you have to place it face down and can no longer collect rent from it. You can not mortgage it if it still has satellites or a rocket on- first you have to sell these off. If you then make more money you can unmortgage it for the mortgage price plus ten percent. If you have mortgaged all your information cards, have no money and are required to pay something, then you are bankrupt and out of the game. All you information cards remain mortgaged and are passed to the person who bankrupted you.


The counters the players play with: are metal, enamelled flags on poles to represent the space race taking place all over the word as it is proven that there is alien life. The countries used are some of the most powerful in the world: the USA, China, Russia, the UK, France and Germany.

The investments that can be made: satellites and rockets can be bought to show the development as the countries expand and explore space. They start off with looking through telescopes from the Earth, then send four satellites to the area before a rocket carrying humans goes to land or orbit the place.

The dice: one die has the numbers 1,1,2,3,5,8 on it- the first 6 digits of Fibonacci's sequence, and the other has 3,1,4,1,5,9- the first six digits of pi.

The stars, moons, planets and nebulae: it starts with the moon as the least valuable and ends in the planet HD 185269 b as the most valuable. This is because the moon is easiest to get to and HD 185269 b is the goal as it contains life.

They are categorised into different sets by colour: silver - groups Mars and the Moon as they are relatively easy to get to and are close to Earth. yellow - groups Jupiter, Saturn and Venus as they are slightly further away and harder to get to (Venus has a dense, hot atmosphere). blue - groups Neptune, Mercury and Uranus as these are the remaining planets in our solar system and are furthest away. purple - groups three of Jupiter's moons: Ganymede, Io and Europa as these are quite large and there is water on Europa, and there is the possibility of life on it. red - groups stars: the Sun, Epsilon Eridani and Betelgeuse which are three of the most famous stars, but are a challenge to get to as they are incredibly hot and so we need to develop technology further to cope with more intense heat. dark blue - groups nebulae: Orion, Crab and Rosette light green - groups some of the most likely planets to be habitable. There are several habitable planets whose names start in Kepler or Gliese and are followed by numbers, so they have been grouped generically as Kepler and Gliese. Another habitable planet is Tau Ceti. dark green - groups star HD 185269 and planet HD 185269 b as this is where life has been found to exist, so everyone wants to research it more thoroughly, and HD 185269 b is the only known planet orbiting HD 185269.

The radio telescopes: there are four of the most famous ones, including one in the UK and one in South Africa, as these are a major part of detecting signals, especially those of the aliens on HD 185269 b.

The government meeting and media: these can both have positives and negatives as space programs are expense and need a lot of funding to carry on going, so the government can cut the budget or increase it, while the media can get sponsorship and either criticise or praise the work the astronomers are doing, changing popularity with the public.

5 points

The Fractals(1):

Powered by emaze

4 points


A breaking news report about the last of the alien messages transmitted by radio.

2 points

The Turing Machines(2):

Leaked footage of the CIA's attempted to send in spy to the aliens to infiltrate their plans.

And this is what returned

1 point


A pilot challenge by the Southampton University brought children between 14-18 years together to crack imaginary alien signals. What they did bot know was that these signals were not in fact imaginary. These signals have been stumping scientists for a few months before they decided to open a challenge. The SETI cipher challenge. This was they concluded the only way to decode these foreign transmissions without creating international panic. The creatures now called "Piggies" appear to be harmless.

The scientists are now getting ready to inform the rest of the world about their discoveries. Yes the children won't get any credit. except a few vouchers to keep them from complaining.
1 point


As scientists from around the world have their heads down trying to figure out these signals for the past few days, some countries feel that they are being overlooked.

One country that particularly feels ignored is Germany, as their newspapers react badly: "Marsmenschen kontaktieren unsere Welt, aber wo ist Deutschland? Noch in Rio."

Germany returns from their triumphant glory in the World Cup, but they realised they have been left in the dark.

Some papers are talking about how the other countries spear-heading this programme do not fully trust the Germans. Some other tabloids believe that if they (Germany) learnt important or dangerous information from the transmissions, all the other countries think that they might use this selfishly to their advantage.

It is clear that not everyone has forgiven Germany for their past mistakes, or maybe some people or sobbing over their defeat in the World Cup, but we are still unsure whether these signals are a threat to humanity or not. Since these past transmissions have shown that the aliens could harbour knowledge about the human race, this is not the time for intra-planetary disputes, but the time for true perseverance and determination.
1 points


From across the stars
Comes a strange message
All in binary
Somewhere in Cygnus is where it is from
One zero zero one
Is what it reads

Who is sending transmissions?
From over 150 light years
With encoded information
Are we not alone?

On the first day came pi
Fibonacci the second
Inside was hidden
A lot more data

We're the Lunartics
Exploring the cosmos
The alien code

So who's out there?
Let's bridge the gap through space
And welcome a brand new race

Atomic orbitals
The knew about it all
Seems that they have found another way
For synthesizing
Heavy metals

On the fourth day we received
A protein chain
It was quite complicated
Looked like Earth DNA

So they sent us a picture
Doesn't look that great
Wonder what it means
Is it a self-portrait?

We're the Lunartics
Exploring the cosmos
The alien code

So who's out there
Let's bridge the gap through space
And welcome a brand new race

4 points


Plagarised Image- removed.
0 points

Team Mitchell(1):

5 points


4 points

Ultra Enigma(1):

Our response to the aliens:

2 points

Turing Machines(1):

2 points


Removed - plagarised image

0 points

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