The US Government Has A Seven Step Plan For What To Do If (And When) We Finally Make Alien Contact

Everyone likes to muse about what would happen if aliens finally officially landed on Earth. Would they come in peace? How would we respond? Well, lucky for us, the United States government has also thought about what might go down, and they've set up an official plan for what will happen when we make alien contact. And yes, this does include an alien invasion plan, just in case they are more advanced than us or hostile.

Although UFO sightings have been reported for centuries, the official plan on how to deal with alien contact didn't come about until 1950. The government figured out a plan of attack, so to speak. It has seven steps and looks at what we would do if we came across aliens, with a particular focus on what would happen if we found them living on another planet, though it can be applicable to extraterrestrials coming to Earth as well.

There are seven distinct steps for what the government would do if life from out there came to Earth. Facts about the seven steps to contact range from absurd-sounding to coldly logical. Whether or not you believe in aliens (or that they have been visiting Earth), it is still entertaining to consider the possibilities, or what would happen during first contact.

For those wondering does the government have a plan for alien contact, rest assured they do have one. Whether they have ever used it before, and if aliens have been messing with us for a while however, remains completely speculative.


  • First, We'd Do Our Research

    First, We'd Do Our Research
    Photo: Fire in the Sky / Columbia Pictures Television

    The plan begins logically enough with the idea we would have to feel out the room before making an approach. According to the plan, we would first do some covert surveillance on the species. We would want to see how intelligent they are, what they looked like, and what they sounded like. All of this would be done remotely.

    Through this, we could gauge whether or not getting closer would even be a good idea or if it would be best to leave these proverbial little green men alone and find ways of avoiding them permanently. 

  • Next, We'd Start Getting A Little Closer

    Next, We'd Start Getting A Little Closer
    Photo: Super 8 / Paramount Pictures

    Once we'd started gathering data and analyzing it, we'd take the step of getting closer. We'd get close enough to make covert visitations but would still not make contact by any sort of signals or physical contact. In other words, we'd be secret agents. Even with lots of remote surveillance, it would be difficult to tell if the alien society was one that could handle or want a visit from us. By getting closer, we could get more intimate data, more detailed ideas of what sorts of beings these are and how we should best interact with them.

    Even then, all this would just be data collection, which would carry over into the next step.

  • Then, We Would Make Sure They're Not A Threat

    Then, We Would Make Sure They're Not A Threat
    Photo: Alien: Covenant / 20th Century Fox

    Here's where things start to sound a little paranoid. We would then direct our research towards their military and technology. We'd look into their weapons, how those weapons were used, as well as their means of transportation. Do they have vehicles? Space crafts? Most importantly, are they hostile? 

    In the end, it's really about figuring out if they are more technologically advanced or better armed than us. If we found out their military technology was far superior to our own, the efforts to make contact might stop. 

    However, when you think about the fact this report was written in 1950, these concerns sort of make sense. World War II had ended just about five years earlier, and the Cold War was already happening. The government was a little on edge, to say the least. The government was concerned with the Soviets having more technology and firepower, and the idea of aliens potentially doing that too was bound to make anyone a little uneasy. 

  • We'd Try To Make Contact From Afar

    We'd Try To Make Contact From Afar
    Photo: harrysherwood68 / flickr / CC-BY-NC 2.0

    If things were going well, we would then take a shot at making some form of contact with them from a distance. There is a chance the extraterrestrials would reach out first, perhaps with radio signals or flashes of light. We might also have to send the first message and anxiously wait for a response. 

    There's no telling if we would speak the same language, so figuring out how to communicate would be key. Consider it like exchanging letters and being pen pals before actually arranging a meet up. We could let them know they'd be safe, and we'd want to make sure we know we'd be safe. We'd stay peaceful and try to find the best way to converse that we both understand there is no need for aggression. 

    That being said, we'd also check to see if they were planning to attack. These distant communications would be a check to see if we'd be met with military force or hostility. If we were, we'd know to back off and reassess our options.

  • Next, We'd Experiment With A Little Abduction

    Next, We'd Experiment With A Little Abduction
    Photo: MIKI Yoshihito. (#mikiyoshihito) / flickr / CC-BY 2.0

    So, you might think next we'd try sending a message, or try infiltrating their society or something. Instead, the plan said to do something that sounds like it's straight out of one of our own sci-fi movies. Once we figured out if they were hostile or not, the plan dictates the next step would involve collecting plant specimens from the alien world - as well as some creatures - for study and experimentation.

    After specimen collection, we would move on to collecting one or two of the intelligent species themselves. That's right, we would go about doing some non-harmful abduction. The intent would be to put them back once we were done, as if nothing bad had happened and kidnapping was a totally fine idea.

    Considering that alien abductions have been long talked about by UFO enthusiasts, the idea of us doing it to them first feels a bit counterintuitive.  

  • After That, We'd Let Ourselves Be Seen

    After That, We'd Let Ourselves Be Seen
    Photo: Arrival / Paramount Pictures

    Once we felt like we had a full understanding of the alien species, we would give the aliens a little fly-by. The intent here would be to get very close to the home planet, civilization, or group so the beings could get a good look at us. We'd want to be seen by the largest group of being possible, so that no one could ignore or deny our existence.

    Of course, while we did this, we would still be completely out of reach. No one would be able to reach us physically - or by any other form of contact - and then we would watch their reaction. If they became hostile or reacted poorly to our presence or attempts at contact, we would have to consider discontinuing contact efforts.