If aliens ever land on Earth there will no longer be any confusion over who will greet them with the news the United Nations is set to appoint an astrophysicist to be their first human contact. Mazlan Othman is expected to be tasked with coordinating humanity’s response to an extraterrestrial visit, if ever required.
The 58-year-old Malaysian will tell a conference next week that with the recent discovery of hundreds of planets orbiting around other stars, the detection of alien life is becoming more and more likely.
Othman, currently the head of the UN’s Office for Outer Space Affairs (Unoosa), recently told fellow scientists that mankind needed to be ready to deal with alien contact.
‘The continued search for extraterrestrial communication, by several entities, sustains the hope that some day human kind will received signals from extraterrestrials,’ she 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.’
Plans to make Unoose the coordinating body for dealing with alien encounters are set to be debated by UN scientific advisory committees.
If the idea is backed it will then head to General Assembly.
Professor Richard Crowther, head of the UK delegation to the UN committee, admitted recently: ‘[Ms] Othman is absolutely the nearest thing we have to a “take me to your leader” person.’
In April though Professor Stephen Hawking warned that the alien contact, if it ever comes, may not be as friendly as has been hoped.
In a documentary, the 68-year-old scientist said he imagined aliens arriving in ‘massive ships’ and could try to colonise Earth and plunder the planet’s resources.
‘We only have to look at ourselves to see how intelligent life might develop into something we wouldn’t want to meet,’ he said.
‘I imagine they might exist in massive ships, having used up all the resources from their home planet. Such advanced aliens would perhaps become nomads, looking to conquer and colonise whatever planets they can reach.’
He added: ‘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.’