Tuesday, September 28, 2010

That UN ET Ambassador Story...(UPDATE 9/28)

Speaking of The Outer Limits, we just heard an announcement that a special UN office is to be set to greet extraterrestrials should they make (public) contact:
Mazlan Othman, a Malaysian astrophysicist, is set to be tasked with co-ordinating humanity’s response if and when extraterrestrials make contact.

She will set out the details of her proposed new role at a Royal Society conference in Buckinghamshire next week.

The 58-year-old is expected to tell delegates that the proposal has been prompted by the recent discovery of hundreds of planets orbiting other starts, which is thought to make the discovery of extraterrestrial life more probable than ever before.
Is this more fodder for the zany "Weird News" columns? Could be. But given the closest star is four years away traveling at the speed of light, any kind of contact that would necessitate a special ambassadorship isn't necessarily the kind of event that gives me the warm and fuzzies.

The first ep that comes to mind here is "Second Soul," in which a special UN office was set up to deliver corpses to a race of aliens who needed them to reincarnated themselves (a fascinating twist on the walk-in concept). But as we discussed before, the idea of contact in The Outer Limits is usually a quiet and intimate event- and usually deals with shift in perception or consciousness. The implication being that aliens are always there- we just aren't evolved enough to sense them.

And then again, there are episodes like "Promised Land".

The larger issue here is that the pronouncements on aliens from the Vatican and the Royal Society don't seem to be a one-off. What this means for all of us I don't quite know, but it makes me just a teensy bit nervous. Maybe we are on the verge of a large-scale disclosure event. The only problem with that is that I can't game any scenario where that does you or I any good.

There are those who are paranoid that it could all be some false-flag Project Bluebeam scenario, but my feeling is that they aren't nearly paranoid enough. Hawking could be right- there could one day be some large-scale exodus of aliens fleeing a dying sun and have spent centuries traveling the cosmos looking for a new home. Which means evicting the previous tenants...

Unlikely? Sure. Off the table? No, of course not. If Hawking brought it up it's probably been bandied about in a back room somewhere.

Then again, we can all hope for a First Contact type of event, where a friendly, enlightened race of aliens drops by to help us get our act together and join the galactic brotherhood. Well, a First Contact event without the nuclear holocaust.

Either way, I'd say the best thing to do is to keep your antennae up and your ears low to the ground. It's always the sensitives (as well as the paranoids, to be blunt) who pick up on big changes first and I'm more prone to trust their instincts than the media or the UN. Keep in touch with dreams, flashes and syncs and trust nothing that can't be verified.

Then again, maybe it's all some kind of elaborate joke. M. Othman? That's gotta be a fake name.

UPDATE: Or is it? Check out io9's profile.

UPDATE: Looks like someone was telling tales out of school. The Guardian asks UN plan for 'alien ambassador' a case of science fiction?

Finally an email from Othman herself would have prompted our Martian to trudge back to his spaceship. "It sounds really cool but I have to deny it," she said of the story.
She "has to deny it." Very interesting choice of words.

She will be attending a conference next week, but she'll be talking about how the world deals with "near-Earth objects".

Which a giant mothership or two qualifies as. Is this all a bunch of hype or a leak of a story that wasn't meant to go public? Either way, it's more of the same media monkey shines dealing with this topic...

UPDATE: The press conference.

SYNC LOG UPDATE 9/28: In the comments I mentioned that "I just had a strange thought- what if the UN story was a plant to divert attention away from the National Press Club conference? That would be par for the course..."

Or maybe not- a friend chimed in on FB, pointing out that the Guardian debunking didn't go over so well at the time. It's been updated with this disclaimer:

This article is the subject of a legal complaint made by Jonathan Leake, science editor of The Sunday Times.

Leake? That's too good a name to be true. Especially for, you know, a story that might itself be a leak...

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