After an intense search to track down the missing Beagle Probe signals have now reached the control room indicating that the Probe has landed into the hands of a significantly mercenary Martian contingent.
The Beagle Probe was launched by British scientists and after landing on Mars, failed to send a signal indicating that the mission was on course. The signal that has now been received lists several demands from Martians who have decided that the Probe is encroaching on their privacy and have refused to release it until the demands are met.
Amongst the list of demands, the Martians insist that the next probe to land on Mars must be carrying "A Paddling pool, already filled and three boxes of Star Bars."
The somewhat bizarre list of demands imply that for some time a Martian contingent has been watching the Earth and desiring many of the items that we take for granted but are unable to produce without mass industry and modern manufacturing methods.
The Martians are particularly interested in Chocolate and Bacardi products. They have also asked for a foot long hotdog and "one of those hats that claps".
Perhaps most controversially, the Martians have insisted that the demands be delivered by "Two Tarsiers, one of each sex and of breeding age"
The Tarsier is a primitive Indonesian primate with huge eyes. As it is registered endangered and would not be expected to survive the trip, it seems unlikely that the Martians will be satisfied.
Jeff Wayne, a spokesman from the British team has expressed initial astonishment followed by deep dismay at the Martians refusal to co-operate. "Well, the chances of anything coming from Mars were a million to one, they said. But now that we have established life exists in an intelligent form on the planet it looks certain that we will have to start some kind of dialogue, however I hope they are not too disappointed when we fail to deliver the full list of their demands.
A resolution has not been totally ruled out. A recently successful NASA expedition has also released a third Probe onto the surface of Mars. Although initially kept secret from the press NASA have announced that their Probe "Freedom Ranger" is well armed and fully trained to deal with such a Martian threat.
It seems that NASA's probe was armed with anti-tank missiles and a 40mm side cannon as well as rear mounted flame thrower and remotely operated Rocket Propelled Grenade launcher.
NASA have explained that they are ready for the threat and will not accept surrender from the Martians.
"This is very exciting indeed, now that we have officially established that life exists on other planets the race is on to obliterate it...."