Native Americans provided NASA with a cryptic message to take to the moon. See Example( s )
Collected via e-mail, 1995
When NASA was preparing for the Apollo project, they did some astronaut training on a Navajo Indian reservation. One day, a Navajo elder and his son were herding sheep and came across the space crew. The old man, who only spoke Navajo, asked a question, which the son translated: "What are the guys in the big suits doing?" A member of the crew said they were practicing for their trip to the moon. The old man got really excited and asked if he could send a message to the moon with the astronauts. Recognizing a promotional opportunity for the spin-doctors, the NASA folks found a tape recorder. After the old man recorded his message, they asked the son to translate. He refused. So the NASA reps brought the tape to the reservation, where the rest of the tribe listened and laughed, but refused to translate the elder's message to the moon. Finally, NASA called a official government translator. He reported that the moon message said: "Watch out for these guys; they've come to steal your land."
This bit of humor referencing the displacement of Native Americans by European settlers and the U.S. government’s abrogation of numerous treaties
permanently reserving tracts of lands to various tribes was included in a 1987 Western Folklore article about “Native American Views of the Space Program” and has been a frequent entry in Internet joke lists since 1995. It’s a clever “turning the tables” joke, with the Navajo outsmarting government interlopers on their land by nearly sneaking a subversive message onto a moon mission and, in some versions, extracting a payment from the NASA men to provide them with a translation of the cryptic quote that only they can understand.
The mentions of scientific projects and government agencies (e.g., Apollo, NASA) and a bit of truthful background (Apollo astronauts did train at various sites in Arizona, including a Navajo reservation) has led numerous readers to inquire of us whether this anecdote is a “true story.” Although this item might possibly have earlier antecedents as yet unknown to us, it appears to have originated with a joke Johnny Carson included in his