THUMP. THUMP. THUMP. A clean, crisp signal cuts through the static and noise of space. When you've spent years listening to the sounds of the cosmos, you get used to hearing weirdness, but Mike Webster knows this is no ordinary signal. It's not a pulsar or a black hole, it's not interference, it's something different, something logical, something with purpose. As part of a three man astronomy team crammed into a car kitted out with all manner of stellar studying equipment, Mike is reluctant to jump to grand conclusions about his little discovery, and secretly transmits a response to the signal. Pointless, he knows, even if it was from intelligent life, it'd take thousands of years for his response to reach them and thousands more for them to reply. But when he does receive a response just hours later, his scientific understanding, and that of his fellow scientists, is shaken. Could this be genuine? Is there more to decipher from the message? How could a reply come so quickly? Before ...
What if mankind's most extraordinary discovery was made by three ordinary men.
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Did You Know?
Directors Elliot and Zander Weaver have feet and hand cameos throughout Cosmos. Including brake and gas pedal close ups and key turning when starting the car engine. See more
When they first arrive and Roy gets into the back of the car and pulls down the hatch, there is no condensation on the window and it is clear, but when the camera shifts to the inside view the window is fogged on the outside with the window wiper showing it has been used. See more
I figure there's two types of scientist Mike; those that look down at Earth trying to figure out what's going on here, and then there are those who look up to space searching for the answers out there. But they're both really looking for the same thing: Who are we? What are we? What does all this mean?
Performed by Charles Fulton, Recorded by S. R. Cowell, 1939
W.P.A. California Folk Music Project Collection.
American Folklife Center, Library of Congress See more