‘What would you do if we found aliens?’ survey asks

Will humans ever make contact with an advanced alien civilization? 

The quest to identify UFOs and even find intelligent life on other worlds has been heating up for decades … to no avail. But there are still plenty of spots and wavelengths where aliens could be hiding. So, what would humans do if we found concrete evidence that we are not alone in the universe? Turns out, there’s no real plan for how humanity would respond, let alone how we would deal with such a monumental discovery.

The U.K. SETI Research Network (UKSRN) wants to change that by asking Earthlings their views on the search for aliens and how they’d react to a discovery. The network announced the survey, which it said is the largest such survey to date, yesterday (July 1) during the Royal Society’s Summer Science Exhibition, according to The Guardian. [Greetings, Earthlings! 8 Ways Aliens Could Contact Us]

The online survey includes questions such as:

If we discover a signal from extraterrestrial intelligence, would you:

— Not care much about it?
— Just follow the news, comment?
— Interact on social media about this topic?

And this one: Some people think we should send messages into space even if we don’t receive a message first. What is your opinion?

— This is a bad idea. We should ban people from sending messages.
— There should be rules or laws about who can send messages and what they can say.
— Anybody who wants to send a message into space should be allowed to do so.

So, what are the odds we’d really need answers to these questions? To date, a lot of effort and money have gone into listening for alien signals. For instance, Breakthrough Listen’s team at the University of California, Berkeley’s SETI Research Center released 1 million gigabytes of datarelated to such a quest. The scientists had looked for anomalous pings in both radio and optical wavelengths emitted by 1,327 star systems. The result? None of those signals could be traced to anything other than human sources.

Just this month, the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) celebrated 50 years of looking for and studying UFO phenomenon. The nonprofit relies on volunteers to help find and identify these objects. Though the members insist that “we are not alone,” they have yet to spot conclusive evidence to support that claim.

Even the U.S. government has suggested it’s serious about investigating bizarre craft of unknown origin. In 2017, the Pentagon confirmed that a secret “UFO” office — called the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program — had spent $22 million over five years to study such baffling aeronautical reports. And even though funding ended in 2012, the program apparently remained alive.

More recently, declassified videos have shown U.S. Navy pilots talking about seeing UFOs that demonstrated unexplainable properties.

“Despite the fact that we [have] never detected a signal from extraterrestrial intelligence, this does not mean that it is never going to happen. What if it does?” Martin Dominik, an astrophysicist at the University of St. Andrews in the United Kingdom, told Live Science in an email.

“The SETI community are currently rethinking this issue in the wake of the spread of social media and fake news. If there are consequences for the wider public, the decision about where to go becomes a political one rather than a scientific one,” said Dominik, who is also a UKSRN member.

What have researchers learned so far from the survey responses?

“I do not want to release any data at this moment, because it would bias the views of those who are still to respond,” Dominik said.

Check out the survey and let the SETI group know what you’d do upon contact with extraterrestrial intelligence.

Trump’s opinion on UFOs: Nope — but you never know

Trump tells Tucker Carlson that he has not heard of the U.S. government possessing wreckage from a UFO, but that he has an ‘open mind’; reaction and analysis from journalist Nick Pope, who once investigated UFO sightings for the British Ministry of Defense.

Does President Trump believe the truth is out there?

Apparently not.

During an interview with Fox News’ Tucker Carlson, Trump, who has all our information about extraterrestrials and UFOs at his disposal, said he isn’t convinced UFOs exist.

But he’s keeping an open mind.

“Well, I don’t want to really get into it too much.  But personally, I tend to doubt it,” he told Carlson. “I’m not a believer, but you know, I guess anything is possible.”

Carlson was pressing the president on a recent briefing he had regarding the Navy pilots who reported seeing “strange objects” flying at hypersonic speeds and emitting “no visible engine or infrared exhaust plumes.” Last week, the Defense Department also held a briefingwith Senate Intelligence Committee Vice Chairman Mark Warner, D-Va., as well as two other senators as part of an apparent effort to communicate with politicians about naval encounters with unidentified aircraft.Video

“I mean, you have people that swear by it, right?” Trump mused.

“And pilots have come in and they said — and these are pilots that have — not pilots that are into that particular world, but we have had people saying that they’ve seen things.”

Carlson also asked the president about a claim made by a government official who said U.S. is in possession of UFO wreckage at a facility on an Air Force Base. Trump said he hadn’t heard about it but had seen the story covered on Carlson’s show.

“I don’t assume it’s correct.  But, I have an open mind, Tucker,” he continued.