Aliens Announce Completion of Human Observation and Research Program

Platte Flats, Utah, June 29, 2166 -- Extra-terrestrials from the planet Koob in the star system Rigel Kentaurus announced today their 200,000-year program of observing and testing human life is now complete.

Koobian Holograph DeviceKoobian Holograph Device

The announcement is expected to come as a welcome relief to the millions of individuals whose generally unwilling participation in the program has long been met with ridicule, ostracism and flawed diagnoses of mental disorders.

"Paranoid schizophrenics everywhere are celebrating in the streets today," Dr. Ross Wolfe, a clinical psychiatrist with the Bellevue Hospital Center in New York, said. "For many of them, this announcement serves as a complete vindication that will finally release them from their dismal regimens of lithium, involuntary internment, and tawdry tinfoil hats."

For most non-paranoid-schizophrenics, however, the announcement came as a complete surprise.

"I always felt like there might be someone up there watching," Jared Sugar, a San Bernardino County skateboard repairman, said, "but I always thought it was probably God or the government or something. It's pretty freaking cool to know we've actually been being studied all this time by, like, really smart aliens. Do you know if they have a file on me?"

The aliens announced the completion of the research program by converting milk and juice cartons sitting on millions of breakfast tables around the world into short-lived holographic projectors that displayed an image of Iooiix Woop, a magenta Koobian who identified himself as a press spokesman for the Earthling Research Project on planet Koob.

"People of Earth," Mr. Woop reportedly said, "We thank you for your 200,000-year participation in HORP, the Human Observation and Research Program. We are pleased to announce that the results of our investigation have been satisfactory. The project is now concluded, and we thank you once again for your patience. This transmission device will now destruct."

The holograph cartons reportedly exploded some seconds following completion of the transmission, but a sufficient quantity of breakfasters worldwide survived to corroborate the event.

"The transmission was too brief for us to determine whether the Koobians were merely watching, or actually actively exerting an influence on human events and, possibly, development," Dr. Nermal Winejacket, a leading cosmologist with the Utah Space Ponderatory, said. "It seems they got started more or less when the first modern humans did, but nobody seem to have any idea what, if anything, they were up to. Now that they're gone, and considering we have no way to contact them directly, I'm afraid we'll probably never know."

While Mr. Woop's announcement has been viewed as positive on many fronts: confirming the existence of interstellar life; confirming that Earth holds some interest for same; confirming that technology exists in the proximate universe to cross interstellar distances; confirming that communication is possible between humans and extra-terrestrials; and so forth, the project's conclusion at the very moment of its revelation has left many Earth inhabitants with unexpected feelings of aimlessness and loss.

"The tragedy is probably most acute for that space-obsessed subset of those very people we used to call paranoid schizophrenics," Dr. Wolfe said. "Certainly, their diagnoses will be revised immediately and they are of course thrilled about that, but at the same time they've been robbed of a sense of purpose. All these years, they have been participating in a grand experiment that they alone knew about and that no one else believed in. Now they've been proved right, but the experiment, whatever is was, is over. So what the hell are they supposed to do now?"

"Come to think of it," Dr. Wolfe continued, "following Woop's announcement, it looks like we're all members of that subset."

By Ion Zwitter, Avant News Editor

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