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October 2022
 
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A Paper Trail

or

The Fermi Paradox Resolved?

by E. A. Moore




To whom it may concern:

The following selection of documents may serve to shed some light on a mystery that has puzzled cosmologists for more than a half century. The mystery was concisely framed in 1950 by the well known physicist Enrico Fermi when he asked the simple question "Where are they?" This was after he had thought a bit about a serious discussion, prompted by a recent spate of UFO reports, he had had with several colleagues. Their discussion focused on whether humans would ever observe actual physical evidence of extraterrestrials visiting Earth or its vicinity. Fermi and his colleagues reasoned that if the Earth is typical, then the age of the universe and its vast number of stars suggests that extraterrestrial life should be common. They decided that a multitude of advanced extraterrestrial civilizations was therefore likely in the Milky Way galaxy. But then Fermi wondered why evidence such as spacecraft or probes had never been seen.

Perhaps the following documentation resolves that paradox.

How I came into possession of these confidential communications is a subject of ongoing controversy. I have been repeatedly hounded by various governmental agencies bent on discovering my sources. I will, on principle, never divulge such sensitive and privileged information.

In order to make their content more accessible I have taken the liberty of having these missives translated into readable English. And because they seem to contribute to a better sense of the personalities of the various correspondents involved, I have made an effort to approximate the original fonts used and the individual formats of each document.

SJE, Archivist.





GALACTIC LEAGUE OF OCCUPIED WORLDS

Outer Systems Development Bureau

Grand Congress City, Niblaglob

GR 56.9 / 815 MFSLI / 27 Lenveeth

From: Chief Administrator, OSDB

To: RSQ, Undersecretary In Charge, Paperwork Processing Support Office, PICMA

Sir:

Although your Proto Intelligent Cultures Monitoring Agency is listed as a sub-department within the OSDB I was astonished and displeased to receive your memo. You are hereby officially reprimanded for circumventing normal channels of communication by addressing your appeal directly to me. There are many good reasons for the long established interdepartmental memo traffic protocols you so blatantly ignore. If you aren't aware of them you are to be doubly reproached.

And how you managed to have the memo end up on my desk without any of my clerical staff having seen it is a mystery to me.

However, I have gone to the trouble of briefly perusing your unsolicited and lengthy report. Which, by the way, I would say is simply adding to what you call the paperwork snafu. There well may be, as you claim, an excessive backlog of approved but shelved evaluations of potential candidates for eventual contact and invitation to apply for provisional membership in the GLOW. But so what? Even if such a backlog exists I don't see how that's any concern of mine. According to your job title you are supposed to be in charge of paperwork processing. So deal with it.

I will comment, however, that you seem unduly concerned on behalf of the quite primitive civilization you have selected as an example of neglect.

In any case, I am not the one to whom you should have addressed your nit picking and ill advised appeal. If you really want to pursue the matter, you might try redirecting your quibble to the Interdepartmental Coordinating And Reconciliation Council. Perhaps pestering them might help your cause, because until the long standing jurisdictional dispute between my department and the Intragalactic Communications Commission is settled my tentacles are tied.

L. Gyrgle

CA/OSDB





From The Nest Of RSQ: UIC/PPSO

Proto Intelligent Cultures Monitoring Agency

GR 56.9 / 815 MFSLI / 31 Lenveeth

To: BZ, Arbiter In Chief, ICARC

Re your Case #9457203: ICC vs. OSDB et al:

Sir:

Please advise as to when a ruling on this matter might be expected. I note that the dispute has been under adjudication for an inordinately long time, nearly .001 of a degree of galactic rotation.

The arbitrary freeze by the ICC of all outgoing infiniton pulse transmissions to various GL outer systems monitoring stations has disrupted for far too long the legitimate operations of this office and indeed, as I have been informed, of the OSDB as a whole.

We firmly believe that this communications blockade entails considerable risk to the future peace and security of at least one sector, and possible to the entirety of the GLOW.

A dangerous outbreak of militant adventurism by a certain chronically paranoid culture out there could be imminent. We have been monitoring for some time the rapid development of both war making and space faring technology by these over aggressive beings and are convinced they are capable of the most destructive kind of irrational behavior. Fortunately the ICC has not embargoed incoming communications from our monitoring outposts in that sector, so we have been able to keep track of this culture's perverse evolution.

But it is critical that we be allowed to inform these creatures of the existence of GLOW. This simple expedient is nearly always effective in deterring wayward cultures from becoming outright menaces. The standard limited offer to join the GLOW almost invariably does the trick.

Anything you can do to help in this matter would be greatly appreciated.

Yours,

RSQ: UIC, PPSO/PICMA

PS: I append a note detailing some unofficial information I have gleaned regarding the private lives of certain individuals directly involved in this case. You might find this background useful in your deliberations.

(Archivist's note: The addendum mentioned above has apparently not survived.)





GLOW

INTERDEPARTMENTAL COORDINATING AND RECONCILIATION COUNCIL

GR 56.9 / 815 MFSLI / 42 Lenveeth

To: K. Jomjii: Chairlady In Chief/ICC

From: BZ, AIC, ICARC

CC: CA/OSDB & UIC, PPSO/PICMA

Esteemed Madam:

Certain extenuating information has been brought to my humble attention regarding your commendable commission employing infelicitously obstructive tactics that regrettably may be having a less than propitious effect on the beneficial functioning of another admirable branch of GLOW governance.

I refer specifically to the inhibiting of possibly efficacious communications between the OSDB and one or more of its furthermost monitoring outposts.

I have been informed of a, shall we say, somewhat peculiar personal relationship that once existed between yourself and the Chief Administrator of the OSDB, one that sadly turned acrimonious some while ago. I apologetically suggest that this unfortunate argument ought not to be getting in the way of smooth and efficient interactivity between two worthy branches of our glorious GLOW bureaucracy. I therefore most respectfully urge you to make an effort to resolve this private dispute.

However, in the expectation that an amiable resolution may not be forthcoming in the immediate future, I hereby modestly invoke this tribunal's enjoining authority and without prejudice order your commission to permit the transmission of at least one communiqué from the OSDB, or its delegates or assigns, to a recipient of their choosing.

This directive is to be implemented ASAP.

Conciliatorily Yours,

BZ, AIC, ICARC





INTRAGALACTIC COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION

900th Floor, The Tower, ICC Park, Nibliglob

GR 56.9 / 816 MFSLI / 9 Sfrit

To: L. Gyrgle: CA/OSDB

From: K. Jomji: CIC/ICC

You *#%(Archivist's note: The foregoing is a best effort transcription of a portion of an almost unreadable hand written memo. The remainder of the body of the message was illegible.)

I hate you!!!!

K.





GLOW Interdepartmental Qmail

From LG., CA/OSDB

To KJ., CIC/ICC

GR 56.9 / 816 MFSLI / 11 Sfrit

My Dear Little Kitkins,

Now, now, there's that fiery temper again. I didn't out us, but I'm pretty sure I know who did. And I'll get him, you can be sure of that. I'm sorry this happened, but you really can't blame me. I'm sure you'll think better of me once you've had time to reconsider and calm down. Just remember what a really good thing we had going. I certainly do.

BTW, I'm free next Ferifrac afternoon, how about you?

Always here for you,

LG.





GALACTIC LEAGUE OF OCCUPIED WORLDS

Outer Systems Development Bureau

Grand Congress City, Niblaglob

GR 56.9 / 816 MFSLI / 12 Sfrit

From: Chief Administrator, OSDB

To: RSQ, Paperwork Processing Support Office, PICMA

You are hereby notified of your dismissal from your current position, effective immediately. You are charged with insubordination, incompetence and troublemaking. You are additionally forthwith demoted to Junior Janitorial Assistant and transferred to the Department of Sanitation Sewage Treatment Facility in East Congress City.

The OSDB security officers delivering this notice will escort you from the premises and see to your transportation to your future work place. They are authorized to wing-cuff you if you offer any resistance.

By Order Of

L. Gyrgle: CA/OSDB





Grand Congress City Department Of Sanitation

GR 56.9 / 816 MFSLI / 27 Sfrit

To: K. Jomjii: CIC/ICC

Madam:

You don't know me, but I know quite a lot about you. Unless you do as I ask I am prepared to make public a great many more lurid details about your various erotic escapades and involvements with a number of other depraved officials of the GLOW bureaucracy. I ask only that you meet with me to discuss a painless way for you to avoid such revelations. It's up to you. Reply to this qmail within three fracfracs – or else!

Signed: Anonymous.





INTRAGALACTIC COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION

900th Floor, The Tower, ICC Park, Nibliglob

GR 56.9 / 816 MFSLI / 35 Sfrit

To: My Darling Mystery Extortionist

Grand Congress City Department Of Sanitation

Dearest One:

Well, that meeting sure didn't turn out as either one of us expected, did it? I so wish you would tell me who you really are. I find it hard to believe that a magnificent specimen of grace and endurance like you should be stuck away in a menial job in a sewage treatment plant. How do you keep all that glorious plumage clean? Oh, those silky feathers!!! How they turned me on, especially when you did that spectacular thing with your tail! I guess I didn't give you much chance to explain why you wanted to blackmail me, but now I realize that your display was actually an expression of anger. Well, I was angry too, of course, but as we both discovered, passion is passion no matter its provocation. And of course now I imagine you aren't so keen to spread the word about my admittedly hyperactive sex life.

Anyway, I look forward to another tryst with you when you've had a little time to recover.

By the way, about that message you so vehemently wanted clearance to transmit, I've decided to allow it. That is I'll give the order if I can count on seeing you again. Often.

Your smitten Kitkins.





GLOWNET IPMAIL

GR 56.9 / 816 MFSLI / 4 Drith

To: LGMIC, Post #873, System Q-5118208

URGENT! URGENT! URGENT!

IT IS IMPERATIVE THAT YOU TAKE THE ACTION DESCRIBED BELOW WITHOUT DELAY. DO NOT RESPOND TO THIS IPMAIL. THIS WILL BE THE ONLY MESSAGE YOU WILL RECEIVE REGARDING THIS MATTER. AFTER RECEIPT OF THIS DIRECTIVE NO FURTHER CONTACT WITH YOU BY IPMAIL WILL BE POSSIBLE FOR AN UNKNOWN PERIOD OF TIME.

URGENT! URGENT! URGENT!

You are directed to immediately forward to the appropriate authorities on the planet you are monitoring one standard provisional invitation to apply for admittance to the GLOW. Follow the usual first contact protocols, but additional precautions are advised in this particular case. For reasons that should be obvious to you, under no circumstances should you risk revealing the location of your monitoring outpost. I suggest a cautious procedure of patching into the subject planet's primitive digital web but using an untraceable reply link.

Signed: RSQ: GCCDOS/ECCSTF

On behalf of Chief Administrator, OSDB





http://www.un.org/en/contactus/

To: Secretary General, United Nations of Earth

From: Outer Systems Development Bureau

Galactic League of Occupied Worlds

Subject: Invitation to apply for provisional membership

Dear Sir:

Our monitoring records indicate that your species has attained a more or less dominant position among the many life forms populating your planet. You are also congratulated for having developed a rudimentary level of technology. These two factors suggest your civilization may qualify for provisional admittance to the Galactic League of Occupied Worlds (GLOW).

If you wish to initiate the application process, please so indicate below.

____ Yes, we would like to pursue this option. Please provide further information.

____ No thank you, we are not interested at this time.

Yours truly,

Director, OSDB/ GLOW

Reply To: http://www.lgm.eto/pob/





http://www.un.org/dpr/cd/wb/

To: Admin., DPR netfiles

From: Communications Director, Department Of Public Relations, UN

Re: Attached email

Hi, Bill

This message is obviously another ridiculous hoax. I'm so tired of getting these! As with all the others, consign it to that special digital trashcan you created. In other words, delete the damn thing!

Thanks,

TL


(Archivist's Note: This concludes the presentation of all known documentation pertaining to the specified subject)


THE END


© 2013 E. A. Moore

Bio: E. A. Moore is a retired architectural designer and has worn at various times several different hats as a writer.  He has written for radio and television, is a published and regularly produced playwright, and has had poetry and a number of stories published in literary journals and science fiction magazines. His last two appearances in Aphelion were A Second Coming & The Mulligan Box.

E-mail: E. A. Moore

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