Now here's a bit of news to would raise FBI agent Fox Mulder's "conspiracy" flags almost immediately: the United Nations is gearing up to elect an Earth ambassador that will communicate with aliens when they arrive from outer space. If approved, the role will initially be filled by 58-year-old astrophysicist Mazlan Othman, the current head of the UN's Office for Outer Space Affairs (Unoosa), and not the U.S. president as seen in many alien invasion movies.
"The continued search for extraterrestrial communication, by several entities, sustains the hope that some day human kind will receive signals from extraterrestrials," Othman said. "When we do, we should have in place a coordinated response that takes into account all the sensitivities related to the subject. The UN is a ready-made mechanism for such coordination."
But when aliens do arrive, would Othman be the first contact, or the first meal? A recent documentary by Professor Stephen Hawking suggests that alien visitors would arrive like nomads in massive ships, their intent not on peace and galactic harmony, but to colonize and plunder the planet's resources after depleting their own back at home.
"We only have to look at ourselves to see how intelligent life might develop into something we wouldn’t want to meet," he said. "It would be 'too risky' to attempt to make contact with alien races. If aliens ever visit us, I think the outcome would be much as when Christopher Columbus first landed in America, which didn’t turn out very well for the Native Americans."
But it may be too late. If the UN is considering the position for an Earth ambassador, an alien fleet may well be on its way, possibly ticked off over the noise generated by humans shooting radio transmissions into space.