Scientists Warn Against Contacting Alien Life

Between now and the end of the month, select organizations in the American intelligence community will deliver a report to the United States Senate chambers. In it will be more information on what the government calls UAP — Unidentified Aerial Phenomena. An early report from the New York Times suggests the report will be inclusive of what UAP — or UFOS, in layman's terms — are, exactly. While the Times says intelligence officials reportedly found no evidence the crafts are piloted by alien life, they also found no evidence the crafts were of this planet. Either way, the chatter has started to shine a sense of legitimacy on the discussion of unidentified crafts that appear in the sky around the world.

Should they be piloted by beings not from Earth, some astrophysicists have suggested we not attempt to contact them. In a blistering new op-ed shared in the Washington Post, astrophysicist Mark Buchanan says the decision to contact extraterrestrials "could end all life on Earth."

"The search for aliens has reached a stage of technological sophistication and associated risk that it needs strict regulation at national and international levels," Buchanan writes. "Without oversight, even one person — with access to powerful transmitting technology — could take actions affecting the future of the entire planet."

The scientist sites SETI's John Gertz as a major proponent of a new regulation overhaul that would create a proper methodology in our attempt to contact alien life.

"What we need, he suggests, are laws and international treaties to govern more explicit contact attempts," Buchana writes of Gertz's thoughts. "Without prior broad agreement from some globally representative body, Gertz says, contacting extraterrestrials should be considered 'as the reckless endangerment of all mankind, and be absolutely proscribed with criminal consequences, presumably as exercised at the national level, or administered through the International Court of Justice in The Hague.'"

As he points out, virtually no laws are in place for those who attempt to make such contact through whatever experimentation or studying they undertake. Buchanan says that all needs to change — and fast, at that.

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"Both paths — listening for aliens or trying to call them — have reached the stage where they require broader public discussion, with an eye to developing sensible regulation," he concludes. "That’s going to take the efforts of leaders from many nations, presumably coordinated through the United Nations or some similar international body. It should happen now. Or soon. Before it’s too late."

Cover photo by Josh Brasted/Getty Images