The military has been searching for intelligent life in outer space for far longer than previously suspected.
A telegram from 1924 was recently uncovered by the blog Letters of Note. In the note, the secretary of the Navy instructed the United States Navy to listen for radio transmissions from the planet Mars.
The telegram states that Mars may attempt to communicate via radio with planet Earth between the 21st and the 24th, and it asks cooperative Naval stations to monitor the airwaves.
Letters of Note explains that on August 22nd of 1924, Mars was a mere 55,777,566 km away —the planet's closest opposition since 1804. It appears that the secretary of the Navy thought conditions might be good to receive radio signals from any little green men on the big red planet.
Sadly, nothing but radio static was uncovered. But the search goes on.