You Couldn’t Make This Up Dept.: “The Alien Voices of Saturn”

In 2001 -A Space Odyssey, The book then leaps ahead a few million years from the mysterious origins of life on Earth to the year 1999, detailing Dr. Heywood Floyd’s travel to Clavius Base on the Moon. Upon his arrival, Floyd attends a meeting. A lead scientist explains that they have found a magnetic disturbance in Tycho, one of the Moon’s craters, designated Tycho Magnetic Anomaly One, or TMA-1. An excavation of the area has revealed a large black slab; it is precisely fashioned to a ratio of exactly 1:4:9, or 1²:2²:3²—that is to say that the thickness of the slab is exactly 1/4th of its width and 1/9th of its height. Such a construction rules out any naturally-occurring phenomena, and at three million years of age, it was not crafted by human hands. It is the first evidence for the existence of extraterrestrial intelligent life. Floyd and a team of scientists drive across the moon to actually view TMA-1. They arrive just as sunlight hits upon it for the first time in three million years. It then sends a piercing radio transmission to the far reaches of the solar system. The signal is tracked to Iapetus, one of the many moons of Saturn, where an expedition is then planned to investigate.

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