Earth Dog Tags

image This is a cute idea: earth dog tags. "In case of alien abduction these dog tags may save your life. The crucial data an alien will need to get you back to Earth is die stamped into these dog tags." Plus, they come with a money back guarantee: "should you ever be abducted by aliens while wearing Location Earth Dog Tags and not returned safely to Earth you will be entitled to a full refund of the purchase price." But I think they should also sell non-Earth dog tags. You could give them to friends as a prank. Imagine the look on their faces when they get returned to Mars or Jupiter! (thanks to Stewart for the link)

Extraterrestrial Life

Posted on Fri Mar 25, 2005


Do they have little gold discs on them, with a message to the Universe from Richard Nixon, like on the Voyager Spacecratft? Dick to the Stars, as it where. Cosmic Dick. Stop me before I Dick again
Posted by Hairy Houdini  on  Fri Mar 25, 2005  at  06:21 PM
I'm sorry I put an extra "t" in "Spacecraft", but Dick was kinda "craft-T"... I told you to stop me, and now it's too late. Do they have these for Sun-Dogs, too? MoonDogs?
Posted by Hairy Houdini  on  Fri Mar 25, 2005  at  06:24 PM
BangBang Raoul's silver hammer came down on his head, BangBang Raoul's silver hammer made sure Hairy's Dead. Talk about a cosmic dick.
Posted by Raoul  on  Fri Mar 25, 2005  at  06:58 PM
I want one. Not because I believe in it, but because I think it would be fun seeing the looks I would get when someone asks me to explain what it is.
Posted by Winona  in  USA  on  Fri Mar 25, 2005  at  07:29 PM
There is an error in the picture of the solar system on the tags. They only show rings on the sixth planet, Saturn. But we now know that Jupiter, Uranus and Neptune have rings too. This might confuse the aliens and result in your being returned to the wrong solar system. Not good.
Posted by Captain Al  in  Vancouver Island, Canada  on  Fri Mar 25, 2005  at  08:15 PM
Take this seriously
I took something like this as no more than a hoax once
and look where the aliens dumped me :(
Posted by Sharruma  on  Fri Mar 25, 2005  at  10:02 PM
Don't forget to buy matching tags for your luggage to make sure it gets on the same flight.
Posted by Captain Al  in  Vancouver Island, Canada  on  Fri Mar 25, 2005  at  10:49 PM
Captain Al: Yeah but because they're not as readily visible as Saturn's (nowhere near that infact) they don't make a really good reference...
Posted by Soldant  in  Australia  on  Sat Mar 26, 2005  at  04:18 AM
Africa and Europe are the same continent, according to the picture.
Posted by John  on  Sat Mar 26, 2005  at  07:00 AM
Soldant, they are not as readily visible when viewed from earth-based telescopes. During a fly-by mission they become more obvious. That is how they were discovered. An alien civilization capable of interstellar flight would surely be able to detect their existance. Also, if our solar system is any example, it may be that all gas giant planets have rings and therefore the aliens would expect them to be there.
Posted by Captain Al  in  Vancouver Island, Canada  on  Sat Mar 26, 2005  at  11:58 AM
I have a tattoo of the Earth on my ankle. Maybe I should add the rest of the solar system, just in case--what if the aliens lost the dog tag?

And wouldn't an alien race with the technology to get here (and the courtesy to bring you back after the abduction) be organized enough to remember where they got you from?

Maybe I should get these tags for my dogs. Who knows if the aliens could read their microchips?! AAAGH! big surprise
Posted by hippievet  on  Sat Mar 26, 2005  at  02:14 PM
Captain Al, I think you'll find that they wouldn't be as good a reference point as the rings of saturn. Remember that the flybys had optical aid as they were probes, not humans, and we would (probably) be dealing with an actual life form. Now if they did have the natural optical ability to discern the rings, it might have been worthwhile marking them. Or they could use a technological way (like the probes) to detect them. However I'm willing to bet the tags were designed with easily discernable and obvious information in mind so that even the lowest of alien intelligence could figure out where the person came from, hence marking the rings of Saturn, the most obvious, instead of the sparse and faint rings of Juipter, Uranus and Neptune.

What I also find interesting is that they define Pluto as a planet on this dog tag. That's pushing it a bit far, since I'm on the side of Pluto being a large KB object instead of a planet. In saying that if they were going to include something as insignificant as that they may as well have thrown in all rings, the astroid belt, Oort cloud, and every other piese of misc crap too.
Posted by Soldant  on  Sun Mar 27, 2005  at  05:19 AM
I still think it is a mistake to leave the rings off Jupiter, Uranus and Neptune just because they are not normally visible from inside Earth's atmosphere. That would be a sure sign the creatures who drew the picture were not very advanced. (And parts of Neptune's rings have been photographed from Earth.)
Also, the fact that Uranus' rings, like its axis, are tilted almost 90 deg gives another clue about which solar system you originated from. So the 7th planet should be a circle with a vertical line through it. It's part of our cosmic fingerprint.

You may have a valid point about Pluto. However, parts of the dog tag were taken from the plaque on the two Pioneer spacecraft:;.html#plaque

The plaque was designed by Carl Sagan and Frank Drake. They chose to include Pluto and leave out the asteroid belt, comets, etc. I guess if that's good enough for them, it's good enough for me.
Posted by Captain Al  in  Vancouver Island, Canada  on  Sun Mar 27, 2005  at  12:15 PM
I'd be more concerned with the pulsars.

If they can reverse-engineer the pulsar map, firstly by removing the estimated speed of light delays to the point of origin that they are guessing we forgot to remove (as a pulsar's rate decreases over time), and secondly by adding their own delays (from wherever they are), and thirdly by judging the overall delays (by the decay of the ultrapure U-238 sample included on the cover), and fourthly by reversing the motion of all pulsars and the POI, and fifthly actually figure out which pulsars are referenced (assuming they figure out the timescale too, and the fact that the U-238 was included as a timestamp), then they have to figure out that the numbers are rates of pulsing and *not* distances (the distance measurement is pretty useless, since we don't know it very well anyway).... if they can do all that, how hard do you think it will be for them to decide we were primitive enough to only see rings around one of the four gas giants? (That may all sound complex, but really it is much harder than that even)

You might find this interesting: Reading the Pulsar Map

Also, the main problem with video signals (other than monochrome) is that any life not from earth (and much on it too) most likely can't see colors the same as us, either in number of colors or peak Hz. A tri-color signal would be bad enough, one of our monitors/tvscreens could end up as visually useful to them as a heater or tanning lamp is to us.

No, that didn't have much to do with the topic, just random conjecture. There is a video signal on the record though.

I think it is in monochrome.
Posted by Splarka  on  Sun Mar 27, 2005  at  03:28 PM
Captain Al I'm trying to track down an out-of-print book that had a CD duplication of the Voyager golden record. Also I think that the people who made the tags don't understand much of the information anyway and, like most things, shoved it on there for a quick sale.

Splarka: Isn't it in colour? At least, that's what the info on this site seems to suggest:
Posted by Soldant  on  Sun Mar 27, 2005  at  06:00 PM
Soldant, I still have not figured out how to locate Earth using the pulsar map even after reading the link posted by Splarka. I'll just have to trust that our crack team of scientists did a good job.
Maybe the dog tag company can sell copies of that Voyager CD. Then if someone is abducted while listening to their Walkman, they can just hand it over to the aliens.
Posted by Captain Al  in  Vancouver Island, Canada  on  Sun Mar 27, 2005  at  07:12 PM
'Due to circumstances beyond his knowledge or control, Victor Quanducci was suddenly ejected from the Universe like a watermelon seed, and never heard from again.' -B.Kliban. (He only left his shoes behind, on the sidewalk). Doesn't anyone remember that "Dog tags" come in PAIRS? One goes around your neck, and the other one gets secured to or inside your right boot, if you're going into combat. The theory being that if you're hit with an arty shell, or step on a large mine, your foot will probably be left, and may be the only thing left to identify your remains. Oh, and right-handed people who step on a mine, are 3 times more likely to do so with their left foot. Pretty thought.
Posted by stork  in  the spiracles of space  on  Sun Mar 27, 2005  at  07:43 PM
Besides, even if you believe in alien abduction -If they're smart enough to find and abduct you, and supposing they even WANT to return you, wouldn't they already know where?
Posted by stork  in  the spiracles of space  on  Sun Mar 27, 2005  at  07:46 PM
Hmm, there are 20 (of the ~115) in color, apparently. Suddenly my previous rant is topical.

The Voyager record contains about 20 color pictures, and at first it might seem a mystery how these could be extracted from 16 levels of gray. This picture of the solar spectrum is the first color image on the record, and someone recovering the image would note that it is actually recorded on the record three times in succession, with only the gray levels being different between the three recordings. The black absorption lines extending through the rainbow pattern are distinct for any G2 star like our own sun. A civilization familiar with solar spectroscopy should be able to recognize this as the red, green, and blue portion of a solar spectrum. They should then realize that the color image can be reconstructed by making a composite of the three images, one on top of the other, with the 16 shades of gray being interpreted as 16 shades of red, green, or blue in each layer of the image.

How *would* an alien civilization be expected to see such a picture. Imagine an alien race giving us a picture recorded in 4 EM spectrum colors, two in microwave, one in ultraviolet, and one in gamma (and maybe a few extra sonic wavelengths, they could have sonar in their foreheads).


Actually, don't.

Makes my head hurt.

As for the sounds, similar problem. Though it is hard to imagine a species that can't detect sonic vibrations at some level or other.

As for the map. Any civilization that could reach us could probably find us via the map, and probably not forget where we came from. However, if the kidnapped aliens/specimins in "Flight of the Navigator" had such tags, the ship wouldn't have needed to get the backup copies of its star charts from the kid.

Most of the images used on the record (reproduced in black and white), together with information about its compilation, can be found in the book Murmurs of Earth: The Voyager Interstellar Record by Carl Sagan, F.D. Drake, Ann Druyan, Timothy Ferris, Jon Lomberg and Linda Salzman (1978), ISBN 0394410475 (hardcover); ISBN 0345283961 (paperback). A CD-ROM version was issued by Warner New Media in

Is that the CD you mean? if it is a CD version of a book it might not have the audio samples, however.

I think something fun would be to duplicate the record as close as possible, mail it to Nasa, with a slightly degraded sample of U238 (some U234 Th230, Ra226, and Pb206), and a note: "Sorry if am giving late you this back. Translation delays and if time travel nonaccuracies. Thanks you great full for music, became tops hit chart million future in years your. Dick Clark says hi."
Posted by Splarka  on  Sun Mar 27, 2005  at  11:08 PM
Captain Al I wouldn't worry about it, I didn't even bother trying to figure it out.

Splarka that's the one I was on about. As for the life thing yeah, it's a difficult situation, especially when you look at the larger idea of searching for life. We can only comment on what we can see here on Earth, but out there life could exist in places humans could never tread.

Oh well. In any case if someone gets abducted I'm willing to bet they're screwed anyway. I mean what's the point of picking someone up and putting them back down, if not for some sort of moral reason? And if the aliens don't have any sense of that, then we're really messed.
Posted by Soldant  on  Mon Mar 28, 2005  at  02:30 AM
Y'all need to stop watching so much T.V.
Posted by Maegan  in  Tampa, FL - USA  on  Mon Mar 28, 2005  at  11:36 AM
Soldent: The dog tag company must be in a dilemma. They want a product to appear useful (remember it's just a prank) but they are selling it to customers, most of whom probably don't even know how many planets there are. Borrowing pictures off the Pioneer plaque is the most practical way.

Of course we all agree, if a someone ever did get abducted, the abductors would likely know where to take them back to. However, if they handed the job over to an apprentice...
And if they had to be taken away, I'm sure they would end up in the cage for future biological experiments. Why waste fuel returning them?

Splarka: Sending an aged sample of radiactive material to NASA or JPL would be a waste of a good joke. They are not as gullible as some other organizations. Now if you sent it to a UFO researcher, you could create a whole new field of pseudo-science! And of course, NASA would be accused of a coverup. Oh the possibilities!

By the way Meagan. I don't have a TV. Haven't owned one for years.
Posted by Captain Al  in  Vancouver Island, Canada  on  Mon Mar 28, 2005  at  12:27 PM
We're really taking a shot in the dark if we assume that extraterrestrial life forms find things primarily by visual information, when even here on earth there are probably more organisms relying on chemical cues (scents, for example), gravitation, magnetism, temperature differentials, air or water currents, and other methods (surely including some we don't even know about) than those that are principally dependent on sight. And that's just on one small planet.
Posted by Big Gary C  in  Dallas, Texas  on  Mon Mar 28, 2005  at  01:18 PM
It does look as though the dog-tag designers have lost track of the Mediterranean Sea somewhere.
Besides, the way I read the map, it says I belong somewhere around Tennessee, when I'd really much rather be dropped off in the Riviera or Tahiti, or even Berlin.
Posted by Big Gary C  in  Dallas, Texas  on  Mon Mar 28, 2005  at  01:21 PM
Big Gary C- it's a combination of infrared/Kelvin, plus some Kirlian Bioauras. But, don't you worry about it. There's no such thing as extra-terrestrials. Be happy and consume
Posted by Raoul  on  Mon Mar 28, 2005  at  01:45 PM
Obviously this keychain is from the future when Africa and Europe have drained the Med. and merged to form the most Kick-Ass country in the world, Afrope! When they finally invaded America in search of WMD's they became the sole surviving super-power on Earth. All hail our Afropian masters.
Posted by Charybdis  in  Hell  on  Mon Mar 28, 2005  at  02:34 PM
Captain Al said...

"Also, the fact that Uranus' rings, like its axis, are tilted almost 90 deg gives another clue about which solar system you originated from. So the 7th planet should be a circle with a vertical line through it. It's part of our cosmic fingerprint."

Shouldn't that be a circle with a "horizontal" line through it? That would then indicate that the 7th planet had the almost 90 degree tilt as opposed to a circle with a vertical line which would seem to indicate the norm. The line would represent the axis of rotation would it not? So it should be a horizontal line to indicate Uranus' radical alignment / rotation. So your maps might not get us home either? smile As long as they don't charge for shipping and handling though it might be fun trip! wink
Posted by Mark-N-Isa  in  Midwest USA  on  Mon Mar 28, 2005  at  04:27 PM
MNJ, the line represents the orientation of the rings so it would be vertical.
Let's hope we never have to find out if it would get us home. The trip would be fun until you ended up in the galactic lost-and-found bin.
Posted by Captain Al  in  Vancouver Island, Canada  on  Mon Mar 28, 2005  at  08:14 PM
Mark-N-Jen: If it was going by the position of the rings in a visibility sense, then it would be as Captain Al said. Here's another thing: what defines up and down in space? From one angle Uranus might look like saturn, and the others look strange. Humans know what they are supposed to look like from our prespective, but finding home from this thing wouldn't be overly easy.

And that line with the people... damn. I'm going to end up somewhere in South america, I just know it wink
Posted by Soldant  on  Tue Mar 29, 2005  at  01:25 AM
I agree with adding some sort of rings to the other gas giants, or at least Jupiter. Although Jupiters rings cannot be seen from Earth, they are visable when looking at Jupiter from the opposite side. The rings are mostly just dust particles and can be only seen when looking in the direction of the sun, rather than away from it the way we see Jupiter from Earth. It's much like being able to see the little dust particles floating around the air when looking directly at a light bulb. If the Aliens were in the outer solar system past Jupiter and looking towards the sun, they might get confused that there are no rings shown in the picture of Jupiter when they can clearly see rings. That is of course assuming that the aliens can see at all...
Posted by Razela  in  Chicago, IL  on  Wed Mar 30, 2005  at  04:17 PM
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