[Canonn Science Report] Generation Ship Thetis investigation.

7th May 3303
Nefertem system, planet 6A.

From: Commander M. volgrand.
To: Canonn Research Institute.

Subject: Investigation of derelict Generation ship Thetis.

Orbital and trajectory observations:

The generation ship is placed in a very low orbit of planet 6A, following a very circular orbit around it. This indicates an intentional stationary orbit maneuver before the crew perished.
Considering that 6A is located at about 2200ls from its parent star and that the Thetis travelled a relativistic speeds, most likely this maneuver was done in order to "stop" its movement inside this system, maybe planning for further orbital maneuvers later on. Being the Thetis a ship the size of an station, able to hold tens of thousands of human lifes, it is easy to assume that doing an orbital maneuver near an star may have been a risk that the crew was not willing to take.
As pointed out by one of my colleagues, it is as well possible that the Thetis' onboard computer emergency protocols made it to automatically establish an stable orbit as a contingency precaution.

Structural analysis of the ship:

Structural analysis shows no evidence of weapon impacts or other major damage. The presence of emergency lights over the structure are an indication that at least some energy is still being produced in the generation ship; even more, the hydroponic farms are still active and alive. This indicates that, at least, an emergency generator must be working inside the ship. A truly masterpiece of ancient technology.

Further analysis have not shown any evidence of catastrophic life support failure or internal sabotage. No poisonous products have been detected by my ship's scanners. No life signs have been detected aboard the ship.

Audio logs review:

The audio logs left by a communications officer relate how part of the population, and later the whole of it, succumbed to some sort of psychosis that made them kill their fellow colleages and families. According to the officer, this was originated in a "signal" that was originated in an "unhabited planet" the ship passed "15 light years ago". Hearing the audible sound of this signal would make anyone get into this psychotic state.

The 4th audio log shows a very rapid deterioration of the psychological state of the officer. She explains that has killed a man without knowing the real reason, and ends up saying that she "must silence them". The rapid psychosomatic and empathic deterioration may be an indication that the signal may have interfered somehow with the neurological sinapsis. However, I am no expert, and this information should be reviewed by expert neurologists and psychiatrists.

Signal origin triangulation:

Despite my best efforts it has been impossible to locate the originating planet. All systems within 15 light years towards Sol are actually inhabited already, meaning that either the signal source is not there, or it was there and has been hidden or destroyed.
Despite the most plausible theory is that the Thetis was already in orbit around Nefertem 6A when the disaster struck its crew, I must consider the possibility that the ship was still travelling when this happened. If that is the case, it is impossible to estimate the exact search area, which could range up to a 50 light years' radius. In any case, this is a very populated area of the bubble (being just over 50 light years from Sol) and I find it surprising that no other report of such... importance have been made since the humanity reached the capability to travel at faster-than-light speeds.

This leads me, once again, to the same conclussion: The original signal source is probably destroyed, if not intentionally hidden.

Recorded signal analysis:

The last audiolog seems to be a recording of the signal that has infected the Thetis communications systems. Despite the story recorded in the other logs, this sound seems to have lost the capability of affecting the mind of the hearer -it has not affected me the slightlest, neither the other many commanders that inspected the ship since it was discovered-. I cannot deny, however, that it makes me feel... unconfortable. I experienced some degrees of paranoia during my research, even coming to believe that something was aboard my ship. I recommend caution when further analysing this audio.

Find here my spectogram analysis.



I must request a further study on the Thetis. Whatever caused the death of the Thethis' crew, is something never observed before. I would like to request to send the recorded sound attached to this communication to our decryption and audio analysis experts for further research.

I'll carry on my efforts to try to locate the origin of the signal, if it is still out there.

Cmdr M. volgrand.
Lead Canonn Research Institute's science officer.


Additional files:


Main signal amplified, cleaned background noise.


Main signal cut, amplified background noise.
 
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Tinfoil hat time

It was the thargoids. It was an attack that started the chain of events that led to the war. It was a planet they were using to observe us.
 
Interesting approach to the analysis. [up]
Can you isolate and playback a selected frequency range? The waveform of the lower-pitched section (which you have labelled 1a, although this also continues for the length of the signal and through the regions labelled 2 and 3) resembles a voice pattern, to my eye (admittedly not an expert).
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Did this Generation Ship start its journey from Sol? (I have not read the logs yet, so my apologies if the starting point is given there). I suspect that some Generation Ships may have started their journeys from other systems, although I accept that the majority would have set out from there. As for the risks posed by the audio signal, subliminal messages are more dangerous if you don't notice them so be careful in your investigation.
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An artificial signal from an uninhabited planet need not be alien in origin - given then time they had been journeying by that point, could it have been from a human settlement founded after the development of FTL technology?
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Generation Ships are giving us plenty to think about! They certainly took some risks going out there and it seems to have been a dangerous galaxy, even without the human race having spread so far. o7
 
I wish my reports on the other generation ships were nearly as good as this one, but here's two things I've also thought about:

  • Incrementing numbers on each log, which subsequently turn to a simple rounded number, before becoming straight 0's on the final log.
I think this is a dating system used internally on the ship to keep track of the log's order and when it was recorded. As you can see in the 4th log, this number is very different to the prior, incremental, numbers. This makes me think that by the time of the 4th log, the speaker's mental state has deteriorated too much to bother keep an accurate date on the log. The final log's straight 0's is probably a default value, which would have to be manually configured by the person recording the log. As this log is evidently not recorded on the ship, this makes sense as to why it's all 0's.

  • A Spectogram might not be enough to study the audio.
I can't recall the name, but isn't there also a may to convert audio to images and vice-versa? It might be worth checking out more possibilities besides the Spectogram.

All in all, good work. Be careful when looking for that origin signal. If it does still exist and hasn't been hidden or destroyed, then I think it must be somewhere in the "bubble" of where Generation Ships have been found. The Thetis could of taken a huge curving flight from its origin, and we don't have any solid evidence to say that this Generation Ship took a straight line right from Sol.
 
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Interesting approach to the analysis. [up]
Can you isolate and playback a selected frequency range? The waveform of the lower-pitched section (which you have labelled 1a, although this also continues for the length of the signal and through the regions labelled 2 and 3) resembles a voice pattern, to my eye (admittedly not an expert).
.
Did this Generation Ship start its journey from Sol? (I have not read the logs yet, so my apologies if the starting point is given there). I suspect that some Generation Ships may have started their journeys from other systems, although I accept that the majority would have set out from there. As for the risks posed by the audio signal, subliminal messages are more dangerous if you don't notice them so be careful in your investigation.
.
An artificial signal from an uninhabited planet need not be alien in origin - given then time they had been journeying by that point, could it have been from a human settlement founded after the development of FTL technology?
.
Generation Ships are giving us plenty to think about! They certainly took some risks going out there and it seems to have been a dangerous galaxy, even without the human race having spread so far. o7
I am a bit busy this week but I will try. I was unable to hear any actual talking in the sound, but I'll play with different isolations to see if I find something.

Most likely, yes tey departed from Sol. The generation ships were launch before the FTL was invented, in theory, so I would assume that they came from Sol or, maybe, very nearby systems. I'll keep an eye for sublibinal messages.

That is one of my assumptions. While the sound signal and transmission affecting the user's mind made me think on the Guardians' ruins, my first bet is that whatever caused this disaster was human in origin.

- - - Updated - - -

I wish my reports on the other generation ships were nearly as good as this one, but here's two things I've also thought about:

  • Incrementing numbers on each log, which subsequently turn to a simple rounded number, before becoming straight 0's on the final log.
I think this is a dating system used internally on the ship to keep track of the log's order and when it was recorded. As you can see in the 4th log, this number is very different to the prior, incremental, numbers. This makes me think that by the time of the 4th log, the speaker's mental state has deteriorated too much to bother keep an accurate date on the log. The final log's straight 0's is probably a default value, which would have to be manually configured by the person recording the log. As this log is evidently not recorded on the ship, this makes sense as to why it's all 0's.

  • A Spectogram might not be enough to study the audio.
I can't recall the name, but isn't there also a may to convert audio to images and vice-versa? It might be worth checking out more possibilities besides the Spectogram.

All in all, good work. Be careful when looking for that origin signal. If it does still exist and hasn't been hidden or destroyed, then I think it must be somewhere in the "bubble" of where Generation Ships have been found. The Thetis could of taken a huge curving flight from its origin, and we don't have any solid evidence to say that this Generation Ship took a straight line right from Sol.
That is a very good observation, I was unable to find a convincing explanation for those numbers. However I come to think that the change in the 4th log may be data corruption caused by the unknown signal rather than a reflection of the officer's mental state. Normally a data system would be automated by the onboard computer, right?
However, the fact that the last log was not recorded on the ship may explain why it ends on 0000. Has this pattern been observed in other generation ships?

Regarding the spectogram: That's the only way I actually know, however we should have a look on your idea. I am not a sound designer, just a guy with a computer and some knowledge of music and sound effect.

I'll be very careful when looking for the origin of the signal. However you have a good point that the generation ship may not have followed an straigh line, which increases a lot the potential systems within 15 LY from the system.
 
Small update:

I tried to clean the bass and trebble from the signal. So far nothing has been found... neither my nerves. Damn, that sound is so creepy... o7 Frontier, brilliant sound design, as always.
 
Each ship we've found so far has a different, or no, method of dating the logs. The first Generation Ship, Lycaeon, used straight up dates based on Earth Time. These other ones are evidently later launched, one even talks about "Pirates" using "Super Cruise". According to ED lore, there were still some Generation Ships being launched even in the time when FTL technology existed. The problem I have with the possibility that this and other Generation Ships we've found is that they all use a much more conventional looking "main engine". I don't see how it would be achieving FTL speeds, unless there were internal components that affected how the engine operated, like a Frame Shift Drive, but FSD's weren't around when Generation Ships were going..
 
his sound seems to have lost the capability of affecting the mind of the hearer
More likely it was targeted at a specific experimental population that had been altered and or conditioned to respond to it over the course of multiple generations, and that the audio has never had any significant psychotropic effect, in and of itself.

Regardless, analysis of the audio to determine anything of it's origins or mechanism of influence is still warranted.
 
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More likely it was targeted at a specific experimental population that had been altered and or conditioned to respond to it over the course of multiple generations, and that the audio has never had any significant psychotropic effect, in and of itself.

Regardless, analysis of the audio to determine anything of it's origins or mechanism of influence is still warranted.
That is a very plausible hypothesis.
 
I just plotted an efficient route from nefertem to SOL, and found an uninhabited system at 14.86 ly (LHS 2069). I don't know if that's a valid approach, but I think I'll give it a look anyway.
 
The planet was uninhabited at the time of the generation ship, which was a long time ago. It's highly likely the planet is in an inhabited system now.
 
In the first audio log there is reference to a 9th generation child being born. A reasonable assumption is 25 years for each generation. This would give us a rough estimate of around 200 years plus or minus 25 for the time between launch and the events of the log. The first log also seems to indicate that the sounds were a recent phenomena. The phrase '15 lightyears ago' is confusing, is it a distance or a time?

It may be that the audio signal in itself is harmless, but the constant, relentless, repletion was the driving force for the psychologically damaging effects.

One possibility is that this was some kind of live fire test for a psychological warfare weapon and the generation ship was a hapless victim. In the same way that some serial killers target people at the margins of society, they know that the victims won't be missed. My gut feeling is that the signal was of human origin and not alien. It would seem unlikely that aliens would know enough about human psychology and generation ship communication systems to be responsible for such an attack.
 
I still feel like the signals source might be out there and this might become another mystery to solve. I wrote this in another Thetis thread so I'll just copy and paste it over:

So lets say they recieved the message in a system about 15LY away from Nefertem. As AstroExplorer67 stated (quote down below), there is only one system which is so close and relatively aligned to Sol. LFT 698.
So Astro had the idea to check the third planet, first moon because of the binary code. I just got to the system but instead, I checked if planets lie between Sol and Nefertem because they literally said the passed the planet, 15LY ago - and indeed there is Planet 4 with its 6 moons. I like the binary theory so I will check out the third moon, now. (Checked an area for around 3 hours, nothing except a few data points and crates) but I will continue the search later on)

AstroExplorer67 original quote:
LFT 698 is 14.48 ly from Generation ship Thetis and 40.22 ly from Sol, almost inline between Sol and Nefertem. I checked it out, thinking that 000.0.00 in the last message meant the third planet, first moon system (a binary) where the transmission came from the second moon. No luck finding anything....
I also made a video about the ship if someone is interested in hearing the voices with nice visuals:
[video=youtube;cnjPIhk7c-Q]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cnjPIhk7c-Q[/video]
 
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Your theories all seem quite plausible. However, let me set up another one.

Those ships roam space for decades. In the case of the Thetis, I understand it was even more than 100 years. A ship crowded with People separated from the deadly void by a thin wall. This surely wasn't the first occurence some of them got mental, even if it wasn't to that scale.

In a tense athmosphere, there is not much needed for a "natural" mass psychosis if all conditions are met. Let's assume the ship had already survived several internal struggles which are unavoidable. Factions rise inside, much as you would expect it in a prison. Nothing distracts otherwise from this dull, never-ending journey.

Then suddenly, sensors record an obviously artificial (crafted) Sound coming from a planet. Fear rises from the unknown. Tinfoil theories sprout from everywhere, rumors as well. Then a (maybe unrelated) Event happens, like one can unfortunately happen in every Society: a murder. Maybe witnesses have even seen the murderer behave like crazy. Not much differently from those who went mental before, but there was this Event before, you know, that strange recording, everyone heard it through the voice-com.

Maybe the murderer had to be shot down by the security guards, so he didn't have a Chance the explain his deeds.

So the tinfoil-hats gather to admit that it was the recording that got this poor man crazy. And as everyone else heard it as well, it's a matter of time before someone else gets killed.

The clear-minded mission-leaders try to curtail the rumours in vain. People get even more suspicious of each-other as it was already almost traditionally the case.

The self-fulfilling prophecy is at reach. It doesn't take Long before someone kills someone else, aledgedly in self defence because that guy had a butter knife in his Hands and had a weird look on his face. This Event is enough confirmation for that tinfoil theory to most People, and such Events happen again and again, at an increasing rate as more People arms themselves and everyone seems to think it's better to kill preventively than to wait and see what's that guy's intent with this fork.

Eventually, only few are left. In the meantime, the theory is confirmed in the mind of everyone. No one doubts it anymore. No one thinks of a mass psychosis. Therefore People submit to their imaginary killing Impulse much faster. When the last People remain, they park the ship in the nearest available Orbit and leave a message to those who may find the ship one day. A message that in reality contains a false assumption.

The last inhabitant eventually dies of decrepitude or solitude, or a legit and understandable crazyness that makes him commit suicide.

Hundreds of years later, we find the ship and its message and start to look for a Signal that maybe was just statics from a decayed human probe sent out centuries before even the Generation ship was lauched.


Since the record doesn't seem to have much effect nowadays, I really tend towards this theory, even if it is much less... exciting.
 
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The planet was uninhabited at the time of the generation ship, which was a long time ago. It's highly likely the planet is in an inhabited system now.
If it was possible then to colonize the planet, why would the thetis fly past it? Maybe it needed to be terraformed, or the Thetis had precise instructions to fly by?
 
There are plenty of uninhabited planets in inhabited systems. Most ice worlds, for example. Since we don't know the configuration of the planets in the system, we don't know which kinds of barren, inhospitable rocks the Thetis might have cruised past as it transited an uncolonizable star system.

These generation ships were looking for Earthlikes, or near-Earthlike terraformables. Worlds which they could get out of their spaceship and live on pretty much as soon as they arrived. The specialized mining, industrial and high-tech colonies around non-Earthlike worlds which we see throughout Human space today would have come later, once cheap, reliable hyperspace travel made interstellar trade a possibility.
 
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