With so much space travel and money spent to expand capabilities, as well as governments all over the world sending out signals to who knows what kind of alien civilizations, have world governments actually thought this thing through? The gringa understands the sense of adventure and curiosity that compels humanity to explore outer space and search for other life. However, does anyone really expect us to make contact with intelligent life anytime soon? Has there been any official policy or guidelines that mankind has decided we must prescribe to? After all, if they really are searching for extra-terrestrial life, surely they are planning for all possibilities, no matter how remote.
When NASA was planning its Apollo 11 mission to the Moon, the U.S. thought ahead to the possibility of alien contact that might result in astronauts bringing back home unknown, and potentially dangerous, pathogens. This led to the adoption of a federal law commonly called the “Extra-Terrestrial Exposure Law”, Title 14, Section 1211 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR). Basically, if any of the astronauts (or any Earthling for that matter) came into contact with a form of biological alien life, plant or animal, they were not allowed to touch it. Even if the alien was contained within an “atmospheric envelope” (the gringa supposes this means some type of spacesuit), the astronauts or any Earthling would be forbidden to touch even this protective “envelope”.
The gringa supposes the government didn’t really take the threat too seriously, probably understanding the strong, natural impulse of humans to be curious. Violation of the law only resulted in a maximum penalty of a $5,000 fine and possible jail time of up to one year. After quarantine, that is. The gringa would certainly risk a year in the slammer for a chance to touch or hug a space alien. Now, however, I don’t have to worry about such measures. In 1991 NASA determined the law served no purpose any longer so it is no longer in effect.
Now, the gringa has to wonder why the law now serves no purpose. Surely it is not because strange, possibly dangerous, contaminants have simply disappeared from all corners of every galaxy. So what is it that NASA knows that makes this law pointless? The gringa can only draw one of two conclusions:
- NASA knows that there is no possibility for life anywhere in outer space, or,
- NASA knows that mankind has already made physical contact with extra-terrestrials and it was no big deal by way of biological contamination.
And since this done-away with protocol of banned contact, little else has been done to outlaw human/space alien contact. In fact, the government seems to have gone another direction entirely.
UFOlogists frequently refer to what is commonly called the “Seven Steps of Contact”. They claim that in 1950 (3 years after the Roswell UFO crash incident) the military developed protocols for first contact with extra-terrestrials. It is a seven step process that includes the following:
- Intelligence gathering through remote surveillance (the gringa thinks satellites, International Space Station, sophisticated long-range satellites and probes).
- Covert visitation for the purpose of evaluating the ETs space vehicles, technology and weapons (ISS, space travel and top-secret military bases).
- If human capabilities were sufficient for defense, invite ETs for visits closer to Earth to evaluate potential for any hostility (ISS and top-secret military bases).
- Should no hostilities arise, escalate to brief touchdowns in isolated areas for exchange of biological specimens of plants, animals and human/ETs (basically, government sanctioned abductions of animals and humans in exchange for ET animals and beings. The gringa thinks: crop circles, livestock mutilations, etc., etc.)
- If all goes well, begin exposing presence with low-level approaches of spacecraft that would be visible to terrestrial observers to demonstrate existence as well as establish no hostile intentions.
- If exposure to the public went well, escalate exposure to as many terrestrial observers as possible.
- When ET presence is accepted as non-hostile and not disastrous, invite open communication and meetings.
Another interesting fact to point out. Eleven years after these guidelines were established, the first reported alien abduction occurred. Betty and Barney Hill, an inter-racial couple politically active in the Civil Rights movement, claimed they were chased by a UFO in New Hampshire. Although neither one had actual memories of an abduction, only of the chase, Betty began having nightmares and some memory fragments of an abduction that began to surface. Through psychiatric help, the couple eventually recalled their alien abduction experience. But did it really happen or were the pair hoping for a bit of celebrity status and media attention to help their cause?
With no witnesses to the event, credibility solely falls upon repressed memories resurfacing through hypnosis, which, of itself, is problematic. Mental health professionals now know that it is easy to “plant” suggested “memories” into a person’s mind. Also, consider that for years afterward Betty claimed to have had hundreds of UFO sightings. However, upon investigation, avid UFOlogists who really wanted the Hill’s claims to be true realized that Betty was a bit dense, or, perhaps, near-sighted. It seems she really couldn’t tell the difference between a bright streetlamp at night or a UFO.
There is also the fact that the area of New Hampshire at the time of the supposed high-speed UFO chase was actually well-populated. Had Betty and Barney truly been careening down Route 3 with a glowing UFO hot on their tail, surely someone in one of the several towns they would have raced through would have seen something. Surely a highway patrol, sheriff’s deputy or local police officer would have seen something and given chase as well. I mean, there were stop signs and traffic lights they would have had to have blown right through.
So, the gringa has rabbit-trailed enough. Back to the original question. Do government’s actually have protocols for making first contact? It seems that they don’t. And, although Barney and Betty’s alien abduction story may have been a hoax, surely the many thousands that are on record in any number of countries around the world can’t all be untrue. Perhaps the reason that there is no government on Earth at all concerned with what we should do in the event of meeting ETs for the first time is because first contact has already been made and it turned out to be no big deal. Well, stranger things have happened!
Image Credit: tvtropes.org