Last month a team of radio amateurs with AMSAT-DL were able to successfully transmit and receive their signals after bouncing them off the planet Venus. This is the first successful amateur earth-venus-earth (EVE) transmission. They transmitted HI in morse code. With their signals traveling over 100 million kilometers and having a round trip delay of approximately five minutes, it was hardly QSK. Nevertheless, such an accomplishment certain qualifies them for Big Gun status. To prove that their successful transmissions were not a fluke, they repeated the tests the next night.
It turns out that they may not have been the only ones listening to their signals.
Late last week, an unusual thin metallic plate was discovered on the doorsteps of the station used to conduct the tests. The plate was oddly iridescent and unidentifiable as any common metal such as aluminum or steel. It was extremely light weight, almost impossibly so for its size. Upon further examination, the AMSAT-DL team members found its surface was extremely hard and they could not scratch or mar it with any tool they had.
But the real surprise came when they attempted to examine it under an ultraviolet light. Suddenly a hologram appeared on the top of plate, as if projected from within the plate. It was almost like a scene out of the original Star Wars, except there was no Princess Leila image. The hologram displayed a sequence of cryptic runes followed by a playback of the AMSAT-DL EVE transmission in morse code, followed by more cryptic runes. At a loss for the origin, let alone the meaning of the device and its message, one is led to the possibility that this may be an SWL QSL from Venus itself. But that begs the question, how do you QSL?