Are they watching us right now? It’s certainly possible; not probable, but possible. If so, what might they consider when trying to determine if and when they should make First Contact?
1. Revelation of the history
Have they been visiting Earth for many years, decades, or centuries? Or is this the very first trip? Are the UFO stories true? Are the alien abduction stories true? No matter what the case, human beings will want an honest reckoning of what contact has occurred previously and exactly what happened during that contact. There are too many wild stories out there for consideration. Perhaps all of the sightings and stories are false? The extraterrestrial greeting party will have to provide enough information to prove them wrong. If the stories are true they will have to provide some assurance that no unauthorized contact will occur ever again. Even with a full accounting, if previous contact has occurred it will be tough to build trust with human beings. If the tampering has involved medical testing or other forced scientific research on humans the revelation may be too much to overcome.
2. The nature of the President of the United States
No matter where First Contact occurs the government of the United States will be a primary concern for any visiting extraterrestrial group. The United States has the most advanced military in the world. How it responds to First Contact will be important. The President of the United States, as Commander in Chief, will bear much of the responsibility. Who is in that role will be critical. Can they handle the overwhelming scope of First Contact? Will they react dangerously? It would seem to have much to do with psychology and little to do with partisan politics, at least at the outset of First Contact. You would want a President with a calm response to crisis and an intelligence that could take in the enormity of First Contact and make rational decisions. Probably the best evidence of these abilities would be to evaluate Presidential Foreign Policy. Secondarily, an extraterrestrial group would also have to evaluate the Russian government and its leaders. They too have the military technology necessary to be dangerous in a First Contact scenario.
3. Will First Contact impede our development?
We have been evolving over the many centuries as beings and as members of an increasingly complex civilization. Would First Contact stunt this development? And if so, when would be an appropriate time to make contact? Scientific discovery could be the most important component of this consideration. Is there a point in our scientific and technological progress that would be best for First Contact? Is it too early? An explosion of new scientific information simply handed down to us could have negative consequences if we are not able to handle it properly. There is also the issue of sociological development. Are we ready as a civilization to handle First Contact? Is the United Nations powerful and organized enough to represent human beings? Should they wait until our world is more closely joined in government and culture?
4. Will our systems of world economy, world politics and world communication be able to handle the impact of First Contact? All of these would be severely stressed in a First Contact situation.
5. Can First Contact occur without creating panic, chaos and a dangerous response from individuals and governments?
6. What would we gain as a civilization from the revelation of First Contact? Would it help us or hurt us?
7. What would they stand to gain from First Contact?
This may be the most important consideration of all, at least from their perspective. Is this a scientific mission? A humanitarian mission? (pardon the language, whatever humanitarian would mean to an extraterrestrial) Perhaps it’s a business mission to find natural resources? It could be a process that has been established after many such First Contacts with civilizations across the Universe.