Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Extraterrestrial First Contact: Staging an Intervention

I don’t think humanity is ready for First Contact with representatives of an alien civilization. But if aliens (or their artificial intelligence creations) care about the survival of human civilization, contact may have to happen soon, whether we are ready or not. We need a serious intervention.

Think of it like the TV show of the same name: Intervention. Humanity thinks it’s meeting one person to talk about something else entirely and when they walk into the room…blam, space aliens are there to stage an intervention. The head alien asks humanity to have a seat on the couch and the aliens go around the room and each one says how much they love humanity and lists the reasons they are worried about us: climate change, nuclear proliferation, superpower conflicts. The alien group leader says: “You have literally thousands of dedicated human scientists from prestigious institutions telling you about the dangers of climate change and you are still not listening. This will not end well.”

Then, if it follows with the TV show, humanity gets mad and threatens to leave the room. And then, eventually, humanity breaks down crying and admits that it has a problem. What happens next? Well, there is a good possibility our alien interveners would remind us that we have the technology and ideas needed to solve climate change on our own. We just have to get shit done- like, right now.

Okay, perhaps you are annoyed by my silly analogy. Sure, alien representatives may not give two damns about our future. They may even hope we go over the brink and leave them the planet. They may not even exist. I certainly don’t have evidence that they do. My point is that intervention would be a logical reason to say hello, even if aliens don’t think we are ready as a civilization to handle such an event. In the end, First Contact could provide the most valuable gift of all: a new perspective, one that is huge enough to get our asses in gear to solve our own problems.

Yeah, this is how I think, and I’ve done a bunch of thinking in this style. If you want to read more check out my book: “The Extraterrestrial Big Hello: A Guide for What to do When the Aliens Introduce Themselves.” It is available on Amazon worldwide.

Wednesday, September 8, 2021

NASA Doesn't Have a Plan and I'm Not Surprised

NASA Chief Bill Nelson admits the agency doesn't have even a simple plan for what to do if we encounter alien representatives in Earth atmosphere or in our Solar System. He made the admission on PBS Firing Line recently.

“Does NASA have a plan for what it would do if a UAP turned out to be a space alien?” host Margaret Hoover asked Nelson.

“No,” Nelson said, plainly.

And that's not a surprise. Just the act of creating such a plan probably would have led to congressional investigations and admonishments a few years ago. 

And now? If you haven't noticed, our human pants are on fire. Between COVID and Climate Change we have more than we can handle. This is the basic premise of my book: The Extraterrestrial Big Hello: A Guide for What to do When the Aliens Introduce Themselves.” I don't want to take scientists and world leaders away from the very important challenges presented by COVID and Climate Change. In fact, I would hope that we would pump 10 times the resources into dealing with both issues. Maybe 20 times. But, in the meantime, for those of us who are not actively fighting COVID and Climate Change, can we not find a few hours of time to pull together a basic contingency plan for alien First Contact? 

In the book, I propose spending just half the time and resources we waste on worrying about the British Royals. That's all it would take. Just half that amount of time and effort and we could create a basic plan for dealing with the very first elements of First Contact. And that plan needs to go way beyond..."why are you here?" and "are you going to eat us?" The plan would need to address: who leads such an effort? How is it organized? How do we prevent the most powerful nations from controlling such an event?

Anyway, the book is a collection of my thoughts on those matters, for anyone who might be interested. It's a really complicated and challenging subject when you spend the time to carefully consider it. I try to make my consideration something that anyone in the general public could read and understand. Academics seem a bit perturbed by my style in the book. My reply to that criticism is that First Contact would be an event for all humans. All humans need to know what they would be getting into. I am writing for all humans, not just academics. 

The Extraterrestrial Big Hello: A Guide for What to do When the Aliens Introduce Themselves.” It is available on Amazon worldwide.

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Extraterrestrial First Contact: The Human To-do List

Aliens may not want to say hello until we get our human act together. What could that to-do list for humanity entail? It’s all speculation on my part, but here are a few things I would consider important under current conditions:

-COVID-19 under control worldwide

-Internal governmental stability for all nations with nuclear weapons

-Stable relations between primary nuclear weapons nations

-Stable international relations overall

-No disasters requiring global response

Why would aliens care about such things? These major international issues go directly to the state of well-being of our civilization. COVID-19 response is requiring a great deal of focus and resources worldwide. It could be detrimental for humans to be distracted during such a crisis. Unstable international relations could create human conflict in the wake of an alarming announcement, such as First Contact.

However, we have seen brief periods in recent history where we have met those objectives. Just go back to pre-COVID years, perhaps several years back to achieve the internal governmental stability point in the United States, and yet no contact. So, there could be other criteria for extraterrestrial representatives to consider that have not been achieved yet. Those could include the human ability to see out into the universe with greater clarity, and perhaps, an organized approach to solving some mysteries here at home. Here are a few ideas:

-James Webb Space Telescope operational (Projected 2022)

-Intentional use of high-tech equipment to investigate UAP (Galileo Project announced 2021 – this is the latest update from Dr. Loeb, who is organizing the effort)

-Joint international initiative to investigate UAP (Not yet)

That is, of course, my entirely human perspective. Alien representatives could also be waiting for yak mating season to begin in Mongolia. At least the next yak mating season is inevitable (July and August). The top portion of that list is questionable for human achievement. I do think that if extraterrestrials wish us well- meaning, they want to see humans survive our challenges and progress as a civilization- those extraterrestrial representatives would be concerned about the impact of First Contact and would take such matters into consideration. My list is probably off by a mile. But I would place a sizeable bet that if an extraterrestrial civilization is considering saying hello – they will have a list of some sort, perhaps much of it beyond our current comprehension.

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash


Thursday, July 29, 2021

Extraterrestrial First Contact: How Scientists Could Lead the Gatekeeping Effort

High information contact with an extraterrestrial civilization would provide many challenges for humanity. As usual, I am not suggesting that any such contact has occurred. I have seen no evidence that intelligent extraterrestrials even exist. However, on this blog I examine the issues that could be raised if the event does occur. I operate on the assumption that this hypothetical extraterrestrial meeting occurs in our Solar System, making high information contact possible, and that any extraterrestrial representatives we meet can communicate in at least one of the human languages, and have had time to research the basics of our society. I know those are a lot of assumptions on my part. Narrowing the topic is the only way to have this discussion.

In such a situation, human governmental leaders would need to take charge of diplomacy and communication. But there would be an important role for scientists, aside from the front end of operating observation and communications technology. High information means that extraterrestrial representatives share what they know about science and technology, to whatever degree. This would require a cautious approach by humanity. Not only could alien information be tough for us to understand, but it could cause major disruptions to human society. So, I have proposed in past blog posts that:

     A. Humans would need to go to school, starting with the alien basics, looking for commonalities as a starting point.

B.  Humans would need an information firewall with a system of gatekeepers to decide what information can be shared with the general Earth population.

I know this is a controversial proposal. Many people would call for unfettered access to alien information. I have two responses to that way of thinking. First, unless the aliens have already processed such communication, so that we can understand their information, it would not do us much good. We would have to develop ways of understanding what they are telling us. A small group of academics would need to be chosen in specific fields, to learn and synthesize. Second, alien information could undermine the foundations of human science. It would need to be handled carefully.

I want to go into more depth about how this could be done. I suggest that humans could utilize the non-profit organization, Science International, for building the framework for information review and dissemination. Science International is an initiative by three largest international science organizations:

International Science Council (ISC)

Forty international scientific Unions and Associations and over 140 national and regional scientific organizations including Academies and Research Councils.

The Inter Academy Partnership (IAP)

A global network consisting of over 140 national and regionals academies of science, engineering, and medicine.

The World Academy of Sciences (TWAS)

A merit-based science academy established for developing countries, uniting 1,000 scientists in some 70 countries.

These groups have each experienced several changes in the last 10 years. There has been a movement towards consolidation of international science organizations. Science International is the effort to connect the three largest organizations on joint projects. Initiatives thus far have included a program to help displaced scientists and a push for open data to aid in research. The development of a gatekeeping framework for alien information review would be a huge leap in responsibility for Science International. The entire structure of such a project would have to be created from scratch. Science International is simply a starting place for such an effort.

I propose that an independent panel be formed by the three organizations that make up Science International, with representatives from the major areas of science. The group should be independent of the United Nations, but in consultation with the UN and, in particular, the Secretary General and the UN Security Council. Science International should develop the framework with input from professional science organizations from across the globe. The final vote on the framework should be conducted in the General Assembly. Nations need to ultimately decide how things move forward. The goal would be to make such an organization as efficient as possible, and to avoid in-fighting and gridlock.

There would be many dynamics at work in such a situation. China, Russia, and the United States would probably try to control things, perhaps through the UN Security Council. Meanwhile, UN professionals would be trying to exert influence and grow their mission. Corporations and other groups would try to exert influence. It will be a cacophony of demands and requests. Science International would have to build a bubble of sorts to shut out that din.

The humans who are learning about alien information and making the decisions about how it should be shared would need to be carefully insulated from the rest of the world. Each representative would need to temporarily resign their professional positions and agree to decide matters objectively. They would need to be paid for their work and not receive outside money from any other group or organization. The potential for leaks and other types of corruption would be incredibly high. A great deal of effort would be required to keep the process free of influence from governments, corporations, religions, and other human groups.

Is that too big a job for an organization as new as Science International? Perhaps. It would be up to the three parent science organizations to provide the expertise, funding, and other support to build the new system from the ground-up. But Science International would be a great place for the process to start.

Photo by Michael Dziedzic on Unsplash

Monday, June 7, 2021

Extraterrestrial First Contact: Support Science

The US government has provided insiders an advance look at their “bombshell” report on Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAP). Here is my summation of their findings:

There’s stuff happening in the skies around military operations and it’s not us, but it could be the Chinese or Russians. We don’t think it’s aliens, but honestly we have no evidence one way or another. We just have a bunch of unexplained sightings, some by very experienced military pilots, and confirmation with high tech military instrumentation. We have no idea what it means.

Thanks. Very helpful. We do appreciate the fact that you are owning up to your ignorance. That’s a level of honesty we don’t usually get from the military.

So, where do we go from here? Clearly, the Pentagon will need billions of dollars to study this issue. General Dynamics salespeople are probably reading every UFO book they can get their hands on, to prepare the project bids. That work will also be farmed out to the other usual suspects- Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, and Raytheon. The entire investigation will be kept top secret. It will take years of work by thousands of consultants and we will end up having to beg for public updates.

Meanwhile, even outside of the military industrial complex folks are battling for position. Understandably, the scientists who have devoted their careers to the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI) are not thrilled by the attention UAP have been receiving. SETI scientists have good reason to be concerned. If we become obsessed with UAP investigations, perhaps we won’t care anymore about SETI research? I agree that would be stupid. SETI research is important and it should continue to grow. But to ignore the UAP situation seems like a bad idea. The folks who say they believe UAP are natural or man-made don’t provide any evidence. And quite frankly, that’s just as dumb as the folks who claim UAP must be alien visitation, without any evidence.

I’ll be honest- I didn’t give a crap about UAP or UFOs until the New York Times articles on the subject came out in 2017. Luis Elizondo and his TV show, Unidentified, also grabbed my attention. Those reports contained the first evidence of UFO activity that seemed credible. Now I’m caught up in it like everyone else.

I have a simple suggestion for how to proceed: support science. We’ve been developing our scientific chops for hundreds of years now. Let’s keep on. We need a scientific study of UAP carried out by civilian scientists. Hell, NASA is even considering the subject. Bill Nelson recently spoke out about the subject and NASA has generously suggested that scientists working on NASA projects could consider UAP research. Not a very bold statement, but a nice first step. You have to remember- NASA is scared to death that politicians will turn their research into political fodder. Given their past experiences and our current political nightmare, that’s a realistic concern.

But we can’t turn our attention away from the amazing scientific work that is being conducted currently. Astrophysicists and astronomers are discovering new things about our universe in almost daily revelations. The discovery and confirmation of hundreds of exoplanets and an actual image of a black hole are just two of the revelations. We live in extraordinary times and that is due to the work of thousands and thousands of scientists, each working together, and arguing with each other, in pursuit of knowledge. Particle physics research continues to find new ways to baffle us. Scientists are trying to answer mysteries such as the nature of dark matter and the inner workings of quantum mechanics.

We need to support those scientists. We need to give them adequate funding and we need to better educate ourselves so we can share in their excitement when the next finding comes out. We also need to be educated enough to understand that findings may contradict each other. Some research may have weaknesses, leading to a debate. That debate is not a failure of science- it is science in action.

We need to better support SETI research. It is a partner in our human space exploration. You may say- why study far off star systems when the aliens may be here on Earth? For the sake of argument, let’s say alien technology is here on Earth - doesn’t that mean we need to know even more about where it came from and how aliens are communicating? Even if the aliens sit down and hold a news conference at the United Nations, we are going to want to have a better look at the universe around us and collect our own data.  

I know we have many serious challenges here on Earth. Climate change, nuclear proliferation, cybercrime, and biological hazards threaten to undo our human civilization. We need to pour resources into those issues - serious monetary, scientific, and industrial resources. But we also need to continue the exploration of the universe. We need to know how the material world is organized and what it encompasses.

So, where do we go from here? Support science. Support open inquiry. Continue to debunk conspiracy theories and falsehoods. Have an honest and open conversation about what we find. Don’t allow politicians and other leaders to turn these inquiries into political weapons. They will do that anyway, but we can call them out when they do, and punish them for such cheap maneuvers.

Support science. Support the incredible NASA missions underway as we speak. Humans have multiple vehicles driving around Mars, conducting research, as we speak. That’s pretty damn cool. And just wait until the James Webb space telescope is operational. These are just a few of things it will be investigating. Support scientists and keep an open mind. There is so much we don’t know. Let’s just add UAP to the list and keep on with the good work.

If you want to support SETI efforts consider a donation to the SETI Institute:

For more about these issues check out my book- The Extraterrestrial Big Hello: A Guide for What to do When the Aliens Introduce Themselves.” It is available on Amazon worldwide.

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Extraterrestrial First Contact: After the Pentagon Report - Five Things to do Now

It seems likely that the upcoming Department of Defense report about Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAP - more popularly known as UFOs) will just be broad confirmation of what they have already confirmed in parts- there are several  military sightings of UAP that cannot be explained. That doesn’t mean that UAP are the work of aliens. But barring some strange technological aberration in US military hardware or secret operations carried out by the Chinese or Russians, alien activity is certainly a possibility.

So, what the hell do we do next? I have five ideas.

1.      - A robust investigation of UAP with specifically designed instrumentation and cameras. Rather than picking up these UAP by chance, let’s go looking for them with the best gear we can put on planes and ships. 

2.      - A military and civilian partnership to examine activities in near Earth orbit, Earth atmosphere, and the oceans. This would mean the military working with astrophysicists, oceanographers, and others with specialized scientific training to examine UAP. Why astrophysicists? Some of the equipment and techniques they use to search for signals in far off star systems could be repurposed to search closer to home. Why oceanographers? Many reports of UAP involve objects flying into the ocean. A sea search strategy seems prudent. Many people are now calling for a science-based approach.

3.      - A summit between the United States, China, and Russia to discuss the phenomena.

4.      - Organization of a UN response group to take up matters of what should happen if First Contact with an extraterrestrial civilization occurs. They do not have a plan currently. The initial response plan could be organized by the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs.

5.      - The development of long-term international protocols for handling various types of First Contact, with the emphasis on managing interaction between humans and ETI. These protocols should ultimately be presented to the UN General Assembly for approval.

You will notice that this process does not stay confined to the US Military. I think keeping such an investigation top-secret would be a tremendous mistake. It would provoke China and Russia and leave other nations without a say in the matter. It could create increased political tensions for many years.

The search and planning efforts should be done with a fair amount of transparency. While some investigations would have to begin in secret, the process and results of these investigations should be shared with the world public.

First Contact with an extraterrestrial civilization would be an event for all of humanity to share, not only in watching it occur, but helping to determine the path forward. We need to take some basic steps now to prepare. It could happen this year or fifty years from now. It may never happen. But the impact of high information First Contact on the human civilization would be huge. It makes sense to do some sort of basic planning now.

That’s the topic of my new book: - The The Extraterrestrial Big Hello: A Guide for What to do When the Aliens Introduce Themselves.” It is available on Amazon worldwide.

Friday, May 14, 2021

CBS News Poll Shows a Change in Perspective

There is a major change occurring in how Americans perceive the possibility of intelligent extraterrestrials. A new CBS news poll this week shows that dramatically. In a 2010 poll, 47 percent of American surveyed thought there were intelligent extraterrestrials on other planets. In 2017, that number was 56 percent. The latest poll, taken in late March 2021, shows 66 percent. That's a big increase in the last 11 years. It reflects what we have been seeing in mainstream media coverage of the issue and the related question of UAP activity, better known as UFOs. The CBS survey also had interesting results when it comes to UFO questions. This may be primarily an American change in perception. But my gut tells me that other international surveys could show the same change in perception. Perhaps humans are ready for a Big Hello? And perhaps we need to talk about what happens next, after First Contact? That's the topic of my new book The Extraterrestrial Big Hello: A Guide for What to do When the Aliens Introduce Themselves.” It is available on Amazon worldwide.

Photo by Greg Rakozy on Unsplash

Thursday, May 13, 2021

Extraterrestrial First Contact: Why the Aliens Should be Polite and Say Hello

If aliens are in our solar system they should really say hello. Why? The paranoia caused by mysterious visits to Earth could cause serious problems for humans. What paranoia you say? The Department of Defense is expected to release a report about what they call Unidentified Aerial Phenomena. UAP is the new term for what has in the past been called UFOs. Some of what that report will contain has already been leaked. The Pentagon has confirmed that there are several instances of military sightings of UAP that cannot be explained. It seems unlikely the DOD report will say much beyond that, but that alone would be major news.

You can already see the change in media coverage of UAP in terms of tone and number of stories on the subject. The New York Times and Washington Post have been reporting on the military sightings for a couple of years now. In recent days, the New Yorker, NBC, NPR, and other established media outlets have joined in.

There are concerns that China or Russia could be responsible for these UAP, which is alarming from a military perspective. Many of the reports include descriptions of aerial maneuvers that no known human aircraft could accomplish. If humans have that technology the US Department of Defense is concerned, because they don’t. And if the activity is not human, but rather controlled by extraterrestrial intelligence, that raises huge questions: Who are they? What are they doing here?  Do they threaten our security?

All of that creates paranoia and not just for the United States. If China and Russia are not responsible for those UAP, it seems likely they would be quite concerned, as well. And what happens when humans are concerned about their security? Often knee jerk reactions. Ezra Klein has an interesting piece in the New York Times today that talks about those issues.

Nations concerned about their safety could take measures to increase their military technology and resources. They could aim nuclear weapons into space. They could be so busy watching for aliens that they end up having conflicts with each other. You would like to believe that an extraterrestrial mystery would bring us together as humans and that nations would put more resources into scientific research to help answer these questions. But the military buildup seems inevitable in such a situation.

Malevolent aliens would be morons to reveal themselves in such ways before an attack. And if they have the technology to visit out planet, they are probably not dumb. Benevolent aliens might take such UAP actions in order to prepare us slowly for their existence. However, that is only helpful for so long. Now we are headed into a level of concern that could make humans even more dangerous than we already are. So, if aliens have been visiting, it’s time to say hello.

As I point out in my new book- The The Extraterrestrial Big Hello: A Guide for What to do When the Aliens Introduce Themselves” aliens would want to say hello to all humans at the same time. Making First Contact with one nation could make the event political and quickly turn it into an international relations problem. What should benevolent or at least neutral aliens do? I suggest a welcome to all humans at the same time using the news media and communications networks here on Earth. I explore a few ways to do that in the book. It is available on Amazon worldwide.

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Extraterrestrial First Contact: What Are They?

The media is buzzing with expectation over the US Department of Defense report on Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAP). It’s due in June, however several sources have said it could be delayed.

UAP are the military rebrand for UFOs. And the need for a new name is completely understandable. Humans have twisted the UFO concept in so many directions in the last few decades that it’s hard to take seriously. I have said before and will state again- I don’t believe that UAP are necessarily activity organized by an extraterrestrial intelligence. My reasoning is simple- no one has provided evidence of such. When there is evidence, I will revise my thinking. The recent UAP military leaks have been quite interesting, perhaps the most intriguing UFO reports yet. But UAP could also be Russian drones or advanced Chinese aircraft. And quite frankly- that’s what the military is most concerned about.

But what if the speculation about alien visitors turns out to be correct? What would we have to consider? I’ve been exploring those issues on the blog this month. Today, I want to look at the biggest question of all – if there is alien activity here on Earth- who are they? It’s pure speculation and there has been plenty of that put forth. So, I want to ask a more specific question: what are they?

Interstellar travel is not easy. There are vast distances between stars and galaxies. With our current understanding of physics, it would take an alien intelligence thousands of years to travel to Earth, even if they were from a relatively close star system and could travel at speeds much faster than our current science can support. It’s also a pain in the ass for biological beings to travel through space. Humans are planning for a manned mission to Mars- in our celestial backyard compared to interstellar travel. And yet considerations of cosmic radiation, space debris, oxygen, food, and water will make the manned Mars effort quite challenging. So, imagine what it would take for biological beings to travel light years?

So, this is my first proposal: If extraterrestrial intelligence has visited Earth or our solar system, it is likely to be in the form of an advanced probe, not controlled by on-board biological beings.

I agree with the astrophysicists who propose that any extraterrestrial intelligence we meet someday is likely to be controlled by some level of artificial intelligence and without any biological beings on board.

Why? It’s much easier. We already have human spacecraft traveling outside of our solar system. We’re using rovers to explore Mars, as we speak. It seems likely that if we decide to visit a nearby star in some future exploratory effort, we will send probes first. And who knows- maybe that is all we do? Maybe it’s all an alien civilization has done- send unpiloted probes out into the universe to explore?

Unpiloted alien drones would certainly help to explain the wild aeronautical maneuvers some pilots have reported with UAP. It’s tough to move biological beings around in advanced maneuvers due to the impact of G-forces to our bodies.

Such actions would not be an issue for a mechanical drone. The other question is why alien drone would be lit up and dancing around for fighter pilots to witness? The only reason to light up your aerial vehicle is to attract attention. Humans do it to prevent aircraft from running into each other. Perhaps an alien drone is lit up to prevent human aircraft from running into it? Or ETI could be trying to attract attention for some other reason- perhaps to prepare humans for revelation of their presence?

My second proposal: Such probes would have some level of operational intelligence. That could be powered by advanced programming. It is what we are doing on Mars with the Perseverance Rover. It is controlled from Earth, but only at times. There are times when it can act autonomously, such as picking out a target to study. It also needs to do complex activities while having no communication with Earth. That happened during landing and initial start-up sequences. That’s our best technology for a space probe in 2021. What will we be able to do in 2027? Or 2050?

Let’s then take the next leap- what would an advanced extraterrestrial civilization be capable of? The consideration of an advanced alien probe here on Earth becomes a little less crazy when you think of it that way. It could be a programmed probe. However, given the massive distances that commands would need to travel from another star system that also seems unlikely. With our current science, such messages would make many years. It seems more likely such a probe would have some degree of artificial intelligence.

My third proposal: An alien probe here on Earth, controlled by artificial intelligence, could be described in one of two ways- Smart or Sentient. Smart AI could have the capabilities to carry out all sorts of research activity on its own. Sentient AI would go a step further- it would have agency in decision making. What that means is a hotly contested subject here on Earth. I take it to mean the AI would be able to respond to advanced challenges, make changes to its mission based on local needs, and make original decisions, beyond programming, all with some type of self-awareness.

That’s about as far as I want to go with this speculation. There could be many reasons for why such probes would be on Earth, some better for human society than others. The amount of contact they have had with humans and how long they have been operating on Earth are other obvious questions.

I don’t think the upcoming DOD UAP report will discuss any of this. It is most likely going to raise more questions than provide answers. It could, however, be the catalyst for the military to investigate UAP with a proactive search using advanced technology.

And let me say one final thing on the issue of UAP. If some of the UFO reports turn out to truly be the activity of extraterrestrial intelligence it doesn’t mean that all UFO reports and allegations are true. Humans have tied such considerations into exaggeration, myth, and storytelling for decades. UFO encounters are also a common sign of psychological problems. And on the flip side- abduction reports could be true. It would be an important question if First Contact does occur here in our solar system someday. If we do find evidence of alien visitation, let’s react calmly and sort out the situation strategically.

My primary focus for this blog is what could happen if humans do make First Contact in the future. I examine those issues in my new book The Extraterrestrial Big Hello: A Guide for What to do When the Aliens Introduce Themselves.” It is available on Amazon worldwide.

Monday, May 10, 2021

Extraterrestrial First Contact: What to do about UAP?

The US Department of Defense is supposed to release a report this summer about Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAP) near US military operations. It is expected to outline a series of incidents in which experts could not determine the nature of the phenomena in question. That’s a fancy way of saying UFOs are back in the headlines, folks. I haven’t written much on this blog about UFOs. There are plenty of people who do work in that area and there is an abundance of books and articles about the subject.

I personally don’t believe that UFOs are operated by extraterrestrial intelligence for one primary reason – no one has ever provided clear evidence. When clear evidence is presented, I will consider it. However, there have been some strange interactions that are well-documented by both humans with aerial expertise (primarily military pilots) and high-tech instrumentation. Some of those encounters are said to be without explanation. That is what is expected to be addressed in the military UAP report this summer. Harvard astronomer Avi Loeb suggests that merely shuffling through old reports is not much of an investigation. In this opinion piece for The Hill, he calls for a scientific investigation using the latest astronomical technology- and not just searching hundreds of light years away for evidence of ETI- but also in our own backyard. It’s a logical next step.

So, let’s take a moment to consider the issue in a way that fits in with my area of focus- how humans would realistically respond to alien First Contact. Let’s say that the UFOs spotted by the military are indeed controlled by ETI. It seems likely that the only way we will know for sure is if they decide to reveal themselves and say hello. What should humans do in that scenario? I have a few ideas:

-Ask for a full accounting of all ETI technology in our solar system, specifying:

            -Exact locations

            -The level of interaction with human cyber networks: public, non-public, and secret.

-Ask for a complete withdrawal of all ETI systems from Earth.

-Ask for a full accounting of all interaction with humans and other life on Earth.

-State our intention, as humans collectively, to remain independent and have full agency over First Contact going forward.

-Demand alien non-interference in our governments and other institutions.

-Demand a pledge of alien neutrality in national conflicts and competition.

-Pull together space, military, and security agencies from many nations to work together to monitor ETI, including:

            -Physical presence in our solar system and on Earth

            -Cyber presence within human networks

-Set up an international response framework for immediate diplomatic needs.

-Work towards a more robust International framework to move forward with diplomacy.

-Listen to human public reaction and human public concerns.

-Consider human reaction on an international level and as a mechanism to instruct leaders on how to move forward.

-Be prepared for fringe groups and power brokers to use the situation to their advantage.

-Call out such actions as they occur so the public understands motivations behind fear appeals.

-Acknowledge legitimate concerns and provide a plan to address those concerns.

I explore these issues in my new book  The Extraterrestrial Big Hello: A Guide for What to do When the Aliens Introduce Themselves.” It is available on Amazon worldwide.

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Extraterrestrial First Contact: Culture Wars

Here’s a frightening thought: could a high information extraterrestrial First Contact event lead to extensive civil disturbance in America and other countries? That may sound crazy, but let’s review the current situation in the United States. Political divisions are not just pronounced, they’re volatile. The January 6 riot at the US Capitol is the most obvious example. 

There are many differences in the United States between the two major parties- Democrats and Republicans. But when you boil it down, the biggest conflict between the two parties is over change. In general, Republicans want the organization of American society to stay as it has been and perhaps even revert to past power structures. Generally, Democrats want things to change. Those "things" range from LGBTQ rights to political power for minorities. Economic transitions are also a big factor. The changing landscape for the American worker is of great concern for many Republicans. A 2020 PRRI survey, as reported in, “showed that 46%  of Republicans think American culture and the nation's way of life have changed for the better since the 1950s, compared to 62% of Democrats.” That may not seem like a big difference, until you consider what some of those folks on the right are willing to do to get their way. Denying the results of a Presidential election and storming the US Capitol are extreme measures.

High information extraterrestrial contact has the potential to be the most radical change in human history. While polls show that people are generally accepting of the concept of extraterrestrial intelligence, I have not seen any surveys that ask about high information first contact and the prospect of cultural change. What would people fear? Losing the same things they are worried about losing now: culture, power, and position. 

Those fears could be exacerbated by extraterrestrial contact. And some of the concerns would be quite reasonable. Humans would have to be careful in such a situation to make sure that a technologically advanced alien culture did not supplant our human cultures. That could happen even if the extraterrestrial visitors are benevolent. And it’s not just a cultural risk. A tsunami of new scientific information could destroy the foundation of our sciences.

I am using the United States as the primary example here, just because it is the situation I am most familiar with. However, I would imagine conflict could occur in countries across the planet. There may be different underlying fears nation to nation, some based in religion, but the result could be the same- a chaotic debate, perhaps turning violent.

So, what could we do to prevent extreme reactions? I think the most important remedy would be listening. It would be ridiculous to assume that there is a “right way” and a “wrong way” to view extraterrestrial contact. We should have a public dialogue to discuss concerns and opportunities. It must start as an open forum and then world leaders need to take that input and develop a plan for moving forward. Such a worldwide discussion has never been undertaken in human society. It would have to be led by the media in each country and then progress to an international level. The discussion shouldn’t just involve politicians and civic leaders. One would hope that the media would undertake surveys to find out what the public is thinking in each nation. Perhaps those surveys could be combined to establish a snapshot of the international perspective. The leaders of powerful nations would not only need to listen to their own people, but ultimately concerns from other nations. Fringe groups would likely try to steer the debate in the direction of their choosing through radical, and perhaps violent, actions.

In the end, decisions on how to move forward would probably have to be carried out in the United Nations. Does that mean that the United Nations should control First Contact diplomacy? No. The United Nations General Assembly can be a process body to carry out the decisions of the nations. It is simply the only body set up to handle such international decision-making. UN involvement would likely be another flashpoint for some groups. It’s important to realize that the only way for an individual nation to be represented in First Contact decision-making is through a common body and the UN is the only common body on planet Earth that represents the great majority of nations. A nation, deciding that it didn’t want to participate, would be relinquishing power to other nations. That would be a big mistake.

Am I being too negative about these challenges in the wake of First Contact? I might have had a more reserved prediction for conflict a few years ago. Not now. Not after what has occurred in the United States and other nations in recent years. We are primed for a huge disaster if we don’t listen to each other and make sensible decisions in the wake of extraterrestrial First Contact. We didn’t do a very good job handling the international effort required to combat COVID-19. Let’s hope we learned a few lessons from the experience.

I explore these ideas in my recent book: The Extraterrestrial Big Hello: A Guide for What to do When the Aliens Introduce Themselves.” It’s available on Amazon worldwide.

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Extraterrestrial First Contact: Thresholds

Are humans ready for high information contact with an extraterrestrial civilization? The question can be asked and answered from one of two different perspectives- our perspective and their perspective. There is the question of whether we humans think we are ready for contact with intelligent aliens. Then there is the question of whether intelligent aliens think we are ready for such contact.

I have no evidence that aliens exist anywhere in the universe, let alone in a location near enough to Earth to allow for high information contact. The point of this exercise is to consider humanity from an alien perspective. Since we have no idea how such aliens might think, we have to consider humans- in particular the organization of human society and the state of our science and technology.

Let’s think like an alien researcher that has been examining our solar system and human society. We need to assume that they wish our civilization well. That means they don’t want to harm our human society or our planet. Hostile aliens are, of course, a very reasonable possibility. That scenario provides different questions to be asked, outside of my area of focus.

Let’s start with some basic ground rules to help define our discussion. We will assume that:

-A group of alien researchers has spent time studying humans.

-They understand that contact with humans could lead to problems for us.

-They have been waiting for certain criteria to be met.

-They won’t make contact until those criteria are met.

This isn’t an original idea on my part. Gene Roddenberry thought of it when he wrote the Star Trek series in the 1960s. The Prime Directive, also known as General Order 1, prevented Star Fleet personnel from interfering in the development of alien civilizations on their home planets. The purpose was to prevent disturbance to the alien culture.

So, what if Roddenberry was correct in his overall concept- just not in predicting that humans were the society being protected from outside influence? If there is a threshold of criteria to be met before contact occurs, what might that criteria be?

Human Criteria:

Most Likely to Have Been Met

Reach of instantaneous global communication networks

Public understanding of basic concepts of extraterrestrial intelligence

Governments accepting of possibility of ETI

Close to Meeting

Understanding critical concepts in advanced physics

Development of SETI research

Tools to find extraterrestrial life 

Tools to find extraterrestrial intelligence 

Space exploration

Ability to send spacecraft outside of the solar system

Ability of humans to track incoming spacecraft and surveil solar system

Mechanism for international cooperation between governments

Acceptance of ETI by largest institutional religious sects

Most Questionable in Meeting

Acceptance of ETI by groups with high level of cultural conflict

Acceptance of ETI by groups with high political conflict

Acceptance of ETI by fringe religious groups

Global cooperation between nations

Stable governments for those with nuclear weapons 

Intelligent extraterrestrials could also have criteria for themselves to meet:

Criteria for Aliens to Meet

Preparation of humanity for acceptance of ETI introduction

Need for intervention in human society

That final question is the big one: why would aliens feel the need to introduce themselves? Perhaps they think we are on the brink of discovering them through our scientific research? Or they could decide that we need help in sorting out our many challenges? Or perhaps they have completed their preparation for the introduction, by flying objects through Earth skies for many years?

I could go into many related discussions, such as the Zoo Hypothesis and Fermi Paradox. For more on those concepts, take a look at previous blog entries and check out my new book: “The Extraterrestrial Big Hello: A Guide for What to do When the Aliens Introduce Themselves.” It’s available on Amazon worldwide.

Monday, April 19, 2021

Special Promotion for Readers: A Free Amazon Kindle Edition of My New Book

Special promotion for readers of this blog: get a free Amazon Kindle edition of my new book from Monday, April 19, 2021-Thursday, April 23. If you like it, consider leaving a review and sharing it with your friends and colleagues. It’s available on Amazon worldwide.

 The Extraterrestrial Big Hello: A Guide for What to do When the Aliens Introduce Themselves 

If humans do make contact with intelligent extraterrestrials, what do we do next? We have no freaking idea. You have lived with the Hollywood fantasy for so long that you have probably never considered how extraterrestrial contact might really happen. I’m not saying it has occurred or even that it will occur. My point is that we humans have not spent much time considering the idea beyond the bright lights and enormous alien eyes. Ah, but you say- clearly the US government has a plan? Nope. But the United Nations, they have considered such things, right? Not really. And besides, considering how our human governments handled COVID-19, do you really want them deciding extraterrestrial diplomacy behind closed doors? I’m going to make a radical suggestion: all humans have a right to know about First Contact and hear from alien representatives. That’s right- an Extraterrestrial Big Hello for the entire planet. Amazon.

Thursday, April 1, 2021

The Upcoming US Government Report on UFOs

Many people are anxiously waiting for the latest US government report on UFO sightings. It's due in June, but lawmakers say there is a good possibility it will be delayed. I don't think anyone expects major revelations...beyond the fact that the US government has no idea what is causing interactions between pilots and unknown, perhaps autonomous, objects. And that is what UFO sightings are...interactions with humans on the simplest level. I don't know what it all means beyond that. But I do know that if aliens say hello, we humans are not ready for it. Perhaps it's time to consider such a scenario....and do it in a way that is thoughtful and grounded in reality? Critical thinking is going to be essential going forward.

I've tried to touch on some of these challenges in my new book. I don't expect to become a bestselling author. I'm fine with exploring these ideas with just a few of you. Anyway, it's available on Amazon, worldwide, if you would like to join me. It's called "The Extraterrestrial Big Hello: What to do if the Aliens Introduce Themselves."

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

New Book Out Now: The Extraterrestrial Big Hello

I've been writing this blog for 11 years now. I have taken some of the ideas formulated here and added to them for a new book on the subject of extraterrestrial First Contact. It's called "The Extraterrestrial Big Hello: A Guide for What to do When the Aliens Introduce Themselves." It's available on Amazon worldwide in Kindle and Paperback formats. It is entirely in English.

Here's the pitch:

You have lived with the Hollywood fantasy for so long that you have probably never considered how extraterrestrial contact might really happen. I’m not saying it has occurred or even that it will occur. My point is that we humans have not spent much time considering the idea beyond the bright lights and enormous alien eyes. Ah, but you say- clearly the US government has a plan? Nope. But the United Nations, they have considered such things, right? Not really. And besides, considering how our human governments handled COVID-19, do you really want them deciding extraterrestrial diplomacy behind closed doors? I’m going to make a radical suggestion: all humans have a right to know about First Contact and hear from alien representatives. That’s right- an Extraterrestrial Big Hello for the entire planet.

If you read it, consider providing a review on Amazon and recommending the book to your friends. It's self-published. I don't have much of a chance, competing with the big book companies. If you think this subject is important- help me get the word out. And thanks for reading the blog.

Here's the link to the book on Amazon USA. If you live in another country, simply put "The Extraterrestrial Big Hello" into the search bar for Amazon in your country.