According to the Telegraph, Mazlan Othman, a Malaysian astrophysicist and current head of the UN’s Office for Outer Space Affairs (Unoosa), is “set to be tasked with co-ordinating humanity’s response if and when extraterrestrials make contact.”
Aliens who landed on earth and asked: “Take me to your leader” would be directed to Mrs Othman.
She will set out the details of her proposed new role at a Royal Society conference in Buckinghamshire next week.
The 58-year-old is expected to tell delegates that the proposal has been prompted by the recent discovery of hundreds of planets orbiting other starts, which is thought to make the discovery of extraterrestrial life more probable than ever before.
The deeply head-scratching part of this is that, supposedly, under the Outer Space Treaty on 1967, “UN members agreed to protect Earth against contamination by alien species by ‘sterilising’ them.” Yes, yes, welcome to Earth, happy you got here in one piece and all that, it’s just that, well, please step into my office and put your feet–are those feet?–in these nice cold stirrups.
Yes, just forty or so years ago, sensible people in suits were formulating this as policy. I marvel at human weirdness.
I also wonder what Othman’s business card looks like.
10 thoughts on “Take me to your vet, no, your leader”
To be fair, if I was a hostile xenospecies– or contacted a hostile xenospecies– biological warfare would look like a LOVELY option. “Oh, hey, since our biologies are radically different, there isn't really much of a chance of the SUPER FLU crossing over. Haha oops I wiped out stupid humans, now I have access to their sweet, sweet habitable planet.”
I have a notion that aliens would be so very alien that neither they nor us would know the other was there. They could be here right now…
They could be here right now… Yes! Slime mould is my number one candidate, because it thinks without a brain.
What a lovely thought to start the week. I have a hunch that those who have visited have fled as quickly as possible until we quit breaking everything.
@wordsofbarret – I couldn't agree more. In regards to the post…my god that's sad that our first thought is destruction. What about what we could potentially learn? Anyway, isn't it kind of besides the point? Theres no sign that this is something that would happen in the near future. I hope she has a side job or role she can fulfill in the meantime…
Great post, tho. :)
This scenario was covered in the movie “Sphere.” In that movie, the Dustin Hoffman character was paid by Washington to create a team that would respond to any alien contact. He thought it was a big joke and just wrote down the names of his friends. Years later, he was appalled when they were all summoned to investigate/meet an alien object.
I'm sure, like in every business, it was really the lowly intern who wrote the Outer Space Treaty and he was 100% inspired by comic books.
Scary, isn't it, the amount of policy draughted by babies? But they seem to be getting serious now (at least about this).
As long as you don't say “Belgium” to them…
I wonder why the head of that UN body is from a country that has hardly any space research – one astronaut does not a space agency make.
I just hope we DO meet some freakazoid silicon aliens, so we can just SHARE. “Oh, hey, methane death world for us is your paradise planet? GREAT! We'll just take this one with ice & oxygen on it, & call it even? What is that, oxygen is a dangerous corrosive? Oh, true, sweet! You don't want it? Nice.”
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