The space probe “Voyager 2”, which left Earth in 1977 and is the only NASA spacecraft to pass Uranus and Neptune, sent mission control bizarre messages in an unknown language 33 years after its send off, it has emerged.
And conspiracy theorists have jumped on comments said to have been made by a NASA scientist in a series of videos that are doing the rounds online.
Voyager 2 was around 15 billion km from Earth, when the message was sent back.
According to Physics Astronomy, NASA expert Kevin Baines said: “At a distance of about 15 billion kms from Earth, the probe suddenly started sending data in a language which they could never understand.
“Something or someone changed the communications system of the space probe Voyager 2.”
Voyager 2 has also visited Jupiter and Saturn.
Mr Baines reportedly said subsequent analysis found a component in a binary code system was changed from 0 to 1.
He added: “The assessment of the other systems, the Voyager team could not find any defect. Only one system was changed.”
It was argued that such a specific change to the computer system suggested the probe had been tampered with.
NASA reportedly explored the possibility that someone had hacked the spacecraft from Earth.
However, the real reason for the anomaly was never confirmed as the probe was so far away, research was inconclusive.
German academic Hartwig Hausdorf believes the Voyager was taken over by extraterrestrial life.
He told the German newspaper Bild: “It seems almost as if someone has reprogrammed or hijacked the probe – thus perhaps we do not yet know the whole truth.”
Conspiracy theorists have accused NASA of a cover up after keeping details of the incident hidden since 2010.