“Live Long and Prosper….Hello…Anyone there?”

By Mark O’Neill

There’s an interesting discussion over at Universe Today about whether we would be told by governments if aliens were to contact us via SETI (Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence).

Maybe I’ve watched too many science-fiction movies but I’ve always had the impression that if an alien race were to pop in for a chat, we would know about it pretty much right away. I mean, look at that movie with Mel Gibson when he found an alien in his kitchen. Try covering that one up!

But Universe Today raises an interesting question – if an alien species were to contact Earth, would governments choose to tell us or would they keep it secret for the sake of their economies and political agendas? Would an alien message unite the world or cause absolute mayhem?

In this day and age of technology, can an alien transmission really be kept secret or can anyone with a transmitter pick it up?

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9 Responses to “Live Long and Prosper….Hello…Anyone there?”

  1. It would depend on the Alien society and whether they've moved to a stage where equal wealth distribution was the norm. If so, then yes, a governments certainly couldn't stop it. If they were still a top down society with strong class differences then more probably not, providing they had something to gain through dealing only with governments. Or probably more precisely; governmental organisations, á la X-files.

    Or maybe if they had no interest, they'd just let us all know for a laugh.

  2. I've never really thought about it. It's not like we'd believe anybody if a single person started ranting to us about alien contact, even if they did work in that field. I suppose it would be interesting to find out, but I doubt it'd be able to hidden. I mean, with large groups like NASA constantly working with space and there not being any swearing into secrecy you have to take to work there (and with its large number of employees) I find it hard that they would be able to keep it on the down low even if they wanted. Of course, NASA is just one group; there are tons of others around the world.

  3. i think anyone would be able to pick up the signal. if an alien race were intelligent enough to fly from another galaxy and find "intelligent" life on earth and try to communicate with us, they'd probably use the lowest from of communication available which would be something like radio waves or maybe even light waves… that'd be trippy. =P

  4. Why does everyone think that aliens would consider humanity intelligent life?

    We are a strange species, we voluntarily operate motorised vehicles when intoxicated and deprive our brains (and that of our unborn children) of oxygen through smoking.

    We still kill each other on the basis of some vague descriptions and the interpretations thereof of ancient books.

    The fact that we invented sliced bread does not make us intelligent, nor is the fact that CERN might be about to create a black hole right here on this planet.

    Face it, the only purpose we serve is to amuse higher life forms. We are the Truman Show.

  5. Even if the government(s) wanted to keep it classified, it defies belief that they'd succeed for long. Governments aren't all that smart, or effective. The knowledge would be bound to leak out sooner or later – either before the secrecy veil was put in, or afterwards.

  6. I think about it like the boy who cried wolf.

    We've been inundated with "proof" of extra terrestrial visitors from credible sources.

    In some cases entire cities or towns "encountering" E.T. phenomenon in sync.

    I'm not saying I believe those stories, but that's exactly the point.

    I feel like the only way we'd ever really know for sure, is if there was an alien trapped in our closets, or, if we were trapped in theres :

    An alien transmission, even if the public got hold of it, could probably easily be written off as an elaborate hoax…

  7. If it was about 40-50 years ago, I'd say we'd know because ham radio ops were common back then. There'd actually be someone listening to transmissions in their backyard. Nowadays…who does that? We all listen to online radio. Unless they get caught in our internets…

  8. Wouldn't it be quite unusual for a truely 'alien' race to recognize and wish to contact any of our 'official governments…? for what purpose, 'Trade?'….. a TREATY?……..currency exchange? I would hink any 'contact' would be quite beyond the prosaic, likely is already in place and is 'not ' along ofdficial channels, radio or otherwise.