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About Time: First Contact Planning Revealed in FOI Request
“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.”

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

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Trackback URL: http://www.exopolitics.org.uk/news/2013/uk-regional-council-creates-alien-landing-plan/

Sources: UK FOIA archive: http://www.foiman.com/archives/751 and http://www.publicservice.co.uk/news_story.asp?id=22132 

By Jeff Peckman

Lousis Farakan speaking at the 2008 Saviors' Day Convention. He accepts UFOs as part of the core teachings of the Nation of Islam

Thousands are flocking to Chicago today for the Nation of Islam’s Saviour’s Day 2011 Convention this weekend. The four main conference sessions include a serious and scientific discussion on “The Truth About the Existence of Unidentified Flying Objects” at 2:15pm Central Time, February 26. The sessions will be web cast at www.noi.org.

The UFO session speakers include Jaime Maussan (Mexico City), Ademar Gevaerd (Brazil), Dr. Roger Leir (USA), Donald R. Schmitt (USA), Antonio Urzi (Italy), Fernando Correa (Mexico), and Steve Colbern (USA). This writer was invited to speak at the UFO session but had to decline.

The topic of UFOs is one of the more controversial beliefs within the Nation of Islam. But it is quickly getting more into the mainstream. The Chicago session follows similar meetings of influential and prestigious organizations and grassroots movements:

November 3, 2010, Initiative 300 was on the election ballot in Denver. It proposed to create an Extraterrestrial Affairs Commission in Denver and received worldwide news media coverage.

November 6-10, 2010, the Vatican held a conference on extraterrestrial life. One priest even declared he would baptize extraterrestrial beings.

January 22-25, 2011, the 5th Annual Global Competiveness Forum in Saudi Arabia held a plenary session of top UFO experts to discuss, “Contact: What We Can Learn from Outer Space”, originally titled, “UFOs and Innovation”. Former heads of state Bill Clinton, Tony Blair, and Jean Cretien also spoke at the forum which was attended and addressed by top executives from many of the world’s most innovative corporations and organizations.

February 13, 2011, a meeting of the 350 year-old Royal Society in London had no fewer than nine presentations on extraterrestrial life and its implications for various aspects of human life.Topics discussed at the Royal Society were:

  • The detection of extra-terrestrial life and the consequences for science and society
  • The evolution of organic matter in space
  • Predicting what extra-terrestrials will be like: and preparing for the worst
  • Extra-terrestrial life in the European Space Agency’s Cosmic Vision plan and beyond
  • The search for life in our Solar System and the implications for science and society
  • The search for extra-terrestrial intelligence
  • The implications of the discovery of extra-terrestrial life for religion
  • Fear, pandemonium, equanimity and delight: human responses to extra-terrestrial life
  • Discovery of extra-terrestrial life: assessment by scales of its importance and associated risks

February 20, the Associated Press reported that scientists had estimated there are at least 50 billion planets in the Milky Way galaxy, and 500 million of them are “not-to-hot, not-too-cold” where life could potentially exist.

The UFO and extraterrestrial themes are not limited to large conferences. An unprecedented number of feature length films about extraterrestrial intelligent beings are hitting the screens from March to June of 2011.

Is there something we should know?

About the Author

Jeff Peckman’s Extraterrestrial Affairs Commission campaign and “alien-in-the-window-video” press conference became global news in 2008. He advocates exposing government cover-ups of UFO’s and extraterrestrials. Mr Peckman recently filed paper to become a candidate for Mayor to the city of Denver to be decided on May 3, 2011. Website.

Michael E. Salla, Ph.D.

Kavli Royal Society International Centre. Venue of Oct 4-5 conference: "Towards a scientific and societal agenda on extra-terrestrial life." Photo: Royal Society
Kavli Royal Society International Centre. Venue of Oct 4-5 conference: "Towards a scientific and societal agenda on extra-terrestrial life." Photo: Royal Society

On Sept 26, I reported on a breaking story that at an upcoming Royal Society conference, the head of the United Nations Office of Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA), Dr Mazlan Othman, was to reveal how the UN was preparing to appoint her to be the First Contact liaison with extraterrestrial life. The story was first reported by Jonathan Leake, the Science Editor for The Sunday Times, and was picked up my multiple international mainstream media sources including the Sunday Telegraph and The Australian. The Guardian newspaper was eventually able to get in touch by email with Othman to confirm Leake’s story and she replied: “It sounds really cool but I have to deny it.” In addition to Othman’s email, when business opened on Monday, Fox News was able to get in touch with Jamshid Gaziyev, a UN spokesperson who described the story as “nonsense.” The question that remains to be answered is why did the Science Editor of a major British newspaper write about the UN appointing a First Contact liaison with extraterrestrials if there was no substance to it?

First let’s begin with what Leake wrote in his September 26 story, “If Mars attacks, she’s our leader“:

… the UN is set to select an obscure Malaysian astrophysicist who is head of its little-known Office for Outer Space Affairs (Unoosa). Mazlan Othman will describe her potential new role next week at a scientific conference at the Royal Society’s Kavli conference centre in Buckinghamshire.

The conference Leake is referring to is titled: “Towards a scientific and societal agenda on extra-terrestrial life” scheduled to take place on October 4-5. The conference webpage says: “With a mix of invited talks and panel debates, we particularly look into the detection of life, the communication with potential extra-terrestrial civilizations, the implications for the future of humanity, and the political processes that are required.” This is what Leake went on to say about what Othman was set to announce at the conference:

She will tell delegates that the recent discovery of hundreds of planets around other stars has made the detection of extraterrestrial life more likely than ever before – and that means the UN must be ready to co-ordinate humanity’s response to any “first contact”.

What was the basis for Leake’s comments about Othman’s upcoming talk? This is what he wrote:

The Sunday Times has obtained a recording of a talk Othman gave recently to fellow scientists in which she said: “The continued search for extraterrestrial communication, by several entities, sustains the hope that some day humankind will receive signals from extraterrestrials. 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 co-ordination.”

From the recorded talk, it’s safe to conclude that Othman believes that the UN ought to “have in place a coordinated response” to the discovery of extraterrestrial life. Leake goes on to write:

As director of Unoosa, she has developed policies on issues raised by advances in space technology, such as how humanity should respond to the discovery of asteroids and comets found to be on a collision course with Earth. The same thinking lies behind her proposals for dealing with the discovery of alien life.

So what proposals is Leake referring to here? He doesn’t explain what these are and how he learned of them, but he nevertheless elaborates on what the UN is planning.

Her plans to make her department the co-ordinating body for dealing with alien encounters will be debated by UN scientific advisory committees and should eventually reach the body’s general assembly.

In contrast, according to Gaziyev, the UN spokesperson, Othman’s forthcoming conference presentation would: “discuss the problems posed by “space debris mitigation, near-Earth objects (asteroids) and the coordination mechanism for the use of space technology in the United Nations system.” That’s surprising given the theme of the conference and the panel Othman was set to appear on: “Extra-terrestrial life and arising political issues for the UN agenda.” It is sensible given the alleged recorded talk by Othman that Leake said the Sunday Times has and he cited, that Othman is at the very least interested in the UN having “in place a coordinated response” to the discovery of extraterrestrial life. Is the UN playing damage control on what Othman was likely to discuss at a Royal Society conference addressing exo-political issues confronting the UN with the inevitable discovery of extraterrestrial life?

Of course, we know now that a UN spokesperson dismissed the First Contact ET liaison story as nonsense, as did Othman. So the question is why did Leake publish a story that both Mazlan Othman and the UN would quickly repudiate? Why did he write about Othman’s “proposals for dealing with the discovery of alien life” and her “plans to make her department the co-ordinating body for dealing with alien encounters.” Did he infer, fabricate or was he tipped off concerning these “proposals” and “plans”? Was he acting alone or was he acting on behalf of others in preempting or sabotaging what Othman was planning to say at the upcoming Royal Society conference? There is a lot of mystery behind Leake’s initial report given his very responsible position as the Science Editor for a major UK newspaper.

Whatever the answer to the above questions and unsolved mystery behind Leake’s initial report, one thing is clear, leading scientists from around the world will travel next week to the Royal Society to discuss the political and social consequences of the discovery of extraterrestrial life. Most importantly, Othman will be there to provide insight into the role of the UN in coordinating international responses to the issues being discussed. Perhaps she’ll focus on space rocks hitting the Earth as the UN spokesperson said. Or perhaps she’ll open up and discuss the UN having “in place a coordinated response” to the discovery of extraterrestrial life as Leake suggested. We’ll find out shortly. While the conference is now filled,, I’ve been informed by organizers that sessions will be digitally recorded for audio and video release through the Royal Society website.

Further Reading

United Nations to appoint official for First Contact with extraterrestrial life

Princeton University astrobiology certificate explores potential for extraterrestrial life

Galaxy is rich in small Earth-like planets

Stephen Hawking launches exopolitics debate

Is 2010 the year of discovery for extraterrestrial life

Princeton University astrobiology certificate explores potential for extraterrestrial life

© Copyright 2010. Michael E. Salla. Exopolitics.org
Permission is granted to include extracts of this article on websites and email lists with a link to the original. This article is copyright © and should not be added in its entirety on other websites or email lists without author’s permission. For permission please contact: drsalla@exopolitics.org

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