A recent F.O.I.A. request may have given us a glimmer of hope that some regional authorities are actually examining one of the truly pressing issues of our current era. Now if I was writing this as one of the many news outlets that covered the discovery of the request, you’d assume there was a hint of disbelief or sarcasm in that last statement but there isn’t.
Why? – Because assuming life doesn’t exist elsewhere is these days along the lines of assuming we still live on the flat earth.
Put the doubts and the odd snigger [you’re not alone in feeling some discomfort about this issue!] aside for one moment and let’s consider why the staff at Glasgow’s regional government may well be ahead of everyone else in the civil authority system.
Firstly, the debate is now more or less done on the issue of life outside our planetary boundary. In the media and with friends meeting at a local bar, you struggle to find anyone holding a firm position that we’re a sole, unique [and thus rather arrogant] species. Secondly, the spread of networked media and youtube has allowed people to see over-whelming evidence of craft making constant visits, akin to ‘ET anthropological tourism‘, over every region of the earth. Both standard and night vision high definition cameras provide almost real time exposure to the phenomenon – especially via sites like Google, where this area rates second only to you-know-what in search popularity.
So Glasgow Council, having been wise enough to consider the possibility of these visiting intelligences appearing in the next 5 years, far from being kooky – I’d suggest have instead been eminently pragmatic. One could suggest of course it’s a little late, along with the rest of our representative structures who fail to grasp the urgency of such formal preparation. Additionally globally agreed policy in the form of the 1967 Outer Space Treaty suggests that civil structures are aware of and conform to issues of this nature.
Who Speaks for Planet Earth? Comments on the discussions of a recent committee at the Royal Society
At national and global level the issue of ET contact and what to do about it gets pretty complex to decipher. We have a bizarre quagmire of full-on disinformation, covert agencies obsessed with the whole process and most bog-standard politicians being either oblivious or too afraid for their career prospects to mention it. All this in the face of a recent disclosure that several US Presidents were deeply engaged with the extraterrestrial process, something that’s been discussed for decades outside the lime-light of the dominant media.
This issue refuses to go away of course – and most of us who’ve been watching things for a few years know it’s the biggest issue yet to be formally acknowledged. Part of that process of formal acknowledgement was forced onto the agenda in 2001 by the now multi-million viewed Disclosure Project and a current similar approach is under-way via the PRG’s Citizen Hearing.
In Britain – the last few years have seen the case of Gary McKinnon reach both front page news regularly and even a WhiteHouse discussion between Obama and the UK Prime Minister. A little more below the radar we’ve also seen meetings held at the Royal Society and in recent years several large scale global “preparedness” type events.
The tone of the submitted FOIA application itself summed up the significant interest in this area, which also led to the UK MoD having to stage-release its library of UFO files via the National Archives in the last few years:
“As mankind continues to advance and head out into the stars we are undoubtedly going to attract the attention of whatever lifeforms are out there. I’m curious to know what provisions have been put in place for our inevitable encounter.”
US Pilot ordered to shoot down huge UFO over UK: Military groups are repeatedly documented as stating these objects have ‘no defence significance’ ?
Glasgow City Council has released a highly detailed response as to how it would deal with an extra-terrestrial encounter and although the authority does not expect to contend with the issue during “the next five years”, a “warm and peaceful welcome” was said to await any non-hostile aliens.
Responding to a request under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act, the council told a curious member of the public that information on the authority’s provisions for an “inevitable encounter” was in fact not held.
But staff actually went to the trouble of reconsidering “the likelihood of the council making contact with aliens”.
In his near 1,000 word response, Dr Kenneth Meechan, the authority’s head of information governance, said that the legal framework regarding making contact with extraterrestrial life forms was “not entirely clear”.
The council considered itself “morally bound” by the principles set out in Outer Space Treaty of 1967. But this agreement was “silent on the question of making contact with extraterrestrials” and so the council would “in the unlikely event that it first detects signals from intelligent extraterrestrial life” seek to comply with protocols issued by the SETI Committee of the International Academy of Astronautics.
The UK government had however not included alien contact in its list of mandatory risks to be assessed under the Civil Contingencies Act and so the council had “not identified this as likely to happen within the next five years”.
Reassessing the likelihood of an encounter in direct response to the FoI request, the council said it continued to be of the view that it was unlikely to be the agency to make the breakthrough for several reasons.
Contact was most likely to be made through radio communication and the council did not own or control any radio telescopes. One of the authority’s secondary schools did however have a “large aerial of unknown providence”. “But if this is capable of acting as a radio telescope, we are not presently using it,” the council insisted.
If first contact was made through a landing on earth the council said on a statistical basis aliens were unlikely to “initially land in Glasgow”. “The council… covers around 0.008 per cent of the world’s population and 0.00003 per cent of the total surface of the earth/ 0.00012 per cent of the land area,” it said.
Nevertheless Meechan did say that Glasgow was a “vibrant and exciting city for visitors and has been awarded any number of accolades by national and international travel guides”.
“We are sure that any (non-hostile) alien visitors would want to include Glasgow in their list of places to visit, and we can assure them of a warm and peaceful welcome.”
Article: David Griffin MSc, UK Exopolitics Initiative – davID@exopolitics.org.uk
Sources: UK FOIA archive: http://www.foiman.com/archives/751 and http://www.publicservice.co.uk/news_story.asp?id=22132