Did you receive a Date of Departure certificate?
Do not be afraid. The certificate you have received is the result of someone trying to frighten you but don’t let it get to you. Once you learn the backstory you will realize you shouldn’t put too much weight on your official Date of Departure. I will try to explain it all but, unfortunately, I have to be purposefully vague for reasons you will soon understand. I should be able to release more information as time goes on.
How it started.
The whole idea for Date of Departure started back in the mid-to-late 1970’s (I know the exact year) when a group of kids won a regional science fair project. There were 5 or 6 of them and they each won scholarships, a trip to a regional NASA office (where I worked) and received some other local recognition. My team leader at the time, who is now deceased, decided to throw in a last-minute prize to try and further impress this group of young winners. His idea was having a group photo, along with their names, digitized and sent into space.
Like most of those in leadership, he did not put much thought into how to make this happen. Instead, he relied on me to work out the details of the process. As a new technician, I still took this task seriously and tried to stand out from my peers due to the budget cuts going on at the time. I used a unique format for the time and converted the image and names as instructed. I asked my leader where I should transmit the photos and he told me to get creative. I plugged in some specific coordinates, ones I found ironic, and sent the package containing the image and names of the photo. No harm, no foul.
How it progressed.
Almost 8 years after I sent the photo up, an off-duty cop came up to the office asking some questions. Apparently, all 5 or 6 of these kids in the photo disappeared on the same night back in the 80’s. They were in their mid-20s at the time, and several had moved from their hometown, but all seemed to have vanished. They called me into an office and asked me a few questions, due to some of my past indiscretions, but I did not think much of it at the time. The top brass sent the cop home, but he was so persistent they ended up filing a trespassing warrant on him. I did not hear or see from him after that.
I was fired back in early 2000 and well past the age to get hired on as a new technician for the newer private companies but still too young to push carts at Walmart. I worked at several jobs below my worth for a few years but continued to pursue a job in my field. Rejection after rejection took its toll on my mental health and I began to drink more, amongst other things, to help me cope. It was around 2010, give or take a few years, that I had what alcoholics call a moment of clarity. I could create a website and charge people to send photos and names of people in the same format and to the same coordinates as those students back in the 70’s. I have done some research and I know exactly how much time passed between the transmission and their actual disappearance. I can now assign official Dates of Departure and sell corresponding certificates to be shipped to a provided address. If you receive one of these certificates, someone you know has requested I send your information up as described previously. I have provided this service and assigned you your very own official Date of Departure. Doesn’t this sound fun!
I will try to answer a few of the most common questions in the FAQ section.
NASA students departures.
More cases coming soon!
More cases coming soon!
Send someone off the planet is coming soon!
Personalized DOD certificates.
Personalized DOD merch is coming soon!
Personalized DOD t-shirts.
Personalized DOD mugs.
I do not believe you will vanish in the same manner as those poor kids. I am only selling the thrill that goes with receiving your very own Date of Departure associated with their disappearance.
I do not filter through all the requests I get to determine if they are a repeat ‘traveler’. I will send up everyone I get, except for those on the exceptions list, each time even if they have been sent up before. I cannot even imagine what happens if you get sent up twice. Who knows? Maybe, you will reappear on the date of your second certificate.
No. Due to principles outside of my control, the calculation for the Date of Departure starts the day the transmission in sent. I cannot expedite and I do not delay submissions, unless I am busy doing personal things.
Group photos can be submitted but only one name per certificate can be submitted at one time and is required to be the name of someone in the photo. You can use the same photo multiple times, but I only allow one name per photo at a time.
I have an exceptions list I maintain. Some of those on the exceptions list are those I refuse to send up out of respect. Others on the list are too valuable for single fares and are offered on our Community Fare page. You can contribute to their Date of Departure and get a certificate or other various merchandise showing that you contributed to their departure.
I am naturally a private person so I try to stay private. Also, I am not sure how people will respond to this novelty business I derived from my past experiences. I have seen some people do some crazy things. Lastly, I do not want people to attempt to send in my image and information. I have filters to prevent that from happening but better safe than sorry.
As with anyone in business, I have to protect my proprietary information as it prevents competition as well as needless inquiries into the nature of my business.
I am working with a third party consultant to help me set up avenues for other merchandise that showcases your official Date of Departure. These items are expected to include shirts/sweatshirts, count down key chains, coffee mugs and other items. You will need to have your official Date of Departure certificate which will contain your unique number which will be needed to purchase official Date of Departure merchandise through an upcoming version of the website.