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From The Desk Of The Minister Of Foreign Affairs
by William Kitcher

The following is a translation by this government and associated parties of an apparent message found in a cylinder made of an unknown metal alloy, presumably from beyond our solar system. The cylinder is grey and battered, approximately 29.2 cm X 26.6 cm X 14.3 cm in dimensions, and was found near Oak Lake, north of Belleville, in eastern Ontario, Canada, by a seven-year-old boy, who gave it to his father, who subsequently turned it over to the federal government in July 2020. The message itself is a small (4.2 cu cm) glass-like multi-coloured marble with 804 indentations of various shapes and sizes.

We are still learning about the other qualities of the cylinder and the marble. For more specific details, please contact the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

This translation is not necessarily endorsed by all members of the project to decipher the message. Many symbols had possibly several meanings, and the most likely choices have been placed in parentheses. Many of the symbols were undecipherable, and only general suppositions were made as to their meanings, none of which are re-printed here for reasons of clarity. These parts are indicated by a straight line. Some liberties have been taken to preserve English grammatical structure.

"____ for the ____. (Before, by the time) you see this ____, it will be ____. In the (year, day, era) that we (expanded, became technological), we also (destroyed, polluted, exploited) our (water, air, soil, planet, galaxy). The results have been (catastrophic, extensive, minimal). From our vantage point (on an artificial satellite, above), we see that our world is ____. There are no (humanoids, settlements, plants) left, and the ____ of the ____ is irreversible. (We, Some of us, I) (think, feel, hope) that this message will find an (inhabited, other) world where ____ will be able to (live, die, kill). This message has been reproduced, and (28, 804, 8837) copies (have been, are being) sent throughout the (constellation, galaxy, universe). (We, Some of us, I) (intuit, believe, know) that there are (28, 804, 8837) places where (intelligent life, human life, some form of life) (exists, is). We have perfected the technology whereby we will know when the cylinder has been (found, opened, interpreted, within [.1, 5, 100] light-years of other life). By now, you ____. Your ____ (is, are) ____. We ____. We (hope, know) this message (has not been, is) (frightening, pessimistic, difficult to understand). It will soon be ____ for you. If we are not (present with, infiltrating, destroying) you, we soon ____. Our message is (completed, almost over, beginning). This is for your ____. Do not breed too many ____. Do not consume too many ____. Stop ____."

Would anyone with further information please contact the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Is there anyone out there?