Extraterrestrials Exist--Do People Actually Panic

For the longest time, (in movies and on television), governments find proof positive that exterrestrial beings exist, and are in fact present, here on Earth.

According to the standard story line, governments cover-up this fact because, if people ever found this out, there would be widespread panic, social order would would be disrupted and civilisation as we know it would come to an end.

Would people actually panic and civilisation end upon the receipt of this news of the existence of extraterrestrials?

It seems to me that after all these decades of people’s exposure to science-fiction stories of extraterrestrial beings coming to Earth, people would actually welcome these beings, rather than heading for the hills to await doomsday.

What are other Dopers views on this?

(My apologies if this has already been discussed here before.)

I would expect a RANGE of reactions, from full-out panic to paranoid suspicion to welcoming them with open arms to complete disbelief.

People riot and tear up shit when their sports team WINS.

ET is here ?

No telling what the hell some people would do.

I’m not really sure how I"d react. It’s not like I haven’t thought about it pretty frequently since I was a kid, but I think it’s one of those things I really can’t be sure about until it happens.

That said, I think governments, banks and energy corporations would panic. What if aliens showed up and said, “what’s with this fossil fuels stuff? Here, let’s show you how everyone can produce their own infinite energy. It’s easy! Oh, and while we’re at it, you do realize how simple it is to extend your life-span by at least a couple thousand years, right? Here, we’ll show you that too.”

I think the few people who control 95% of the world’s money and power would have a vested interest in maintaining the current status quo.

Nah, that’s just a preemptive cover-up for the cover-up. The real issue is that the government wouldn’t want to admit that we would be defenseless against an alien race with superior technology. So they’ve quietly let it be known that if alien contact is ever made, they’ll cover it up out of fear of wide-spread contact. They’re making sure all of their bases are, er, covered.

But there are those of us who know better… now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to get back to that tinfoil hat I’m working on.

They are already here. But do not panic, we – uh, I mean – they are simply here to observe.

Ya know, us being the visual creatures we are, I suspect it depends a lot on what these creatures actually look like. One thing if they look like Smurfs, another if they look like Teletubbies, yet another if they look like teddy bears, still another if they look like a plate of cottage cheese.

I’d panic if the Teletubbie mothership landed.

When I saw the original The Day the Earth Stood Still a few years ago, I was surprised that a flying saucer landing in Washington D.C. drew a crowd of curious and anxious but generally calm and well-behaved civilian onlookers. Apparently in 1951 they didn’t know they were supposed to run around screaming.

Actually, this is the reason I could never get behind the UFO-government-cover-up conspiracy theories. The military-industrial complex would love for there to be a verifiable extraterrestrial threat, as it would justify almost limitless spending and expansion of power.

I would be more pissed off at the cover up, especially if it turns out that after all these years there was a replacement for fossil fuels, and medical improvements/cures for common stuff/new body cloning or even something as basic as a synthesizer that we could shove garbage into and get nongarbage out [a perfect steak or lobster tail would be phenomenal, or a tailor made drug for my specific health conditions would be absolutely fabulous] that could be installed in every house. Teleporters at least locally in system would be great.

Hell, even just knowing for sure that there was other intelligent life out there would kick ass. Keeping it from us so the Communists wouldn’t find out and get access to their tech would seriously piss me right the fuck off. We are not little children that we need to be protected from the evil communist [fallen] empire. If sharing with them was the price for the cure for mankinds ills, it is reprehensible to keep it secret and out of our reach for something as stupid as political dogma.

I thought we just had a poll on this.

Ditto for stuff like NASA covering up the “Face on Mars”.

What the hell was that? Supposed to say wide-spread panic.

and to gather information for their cookbook.

(spoiler, in case you don’t get the reference:
The Twliight Zone episode where aliens have a book called “How to Serve Man”

Surely some of those stories would reasonably inspire panic.

Back when the world was only black and white things were much more peaceful and straight forward. Once it turned color in the 60’s things went to shit. Thats why we went to the moon, as it was our last shot at bringing black and white back to Earth. Obviously we failed.

Local jerkwads would break out the guns, & shoot on sight.

I know a guy who, despite being otherwise intellectually sound, believes that any and all aliens would have to be demonic beings. I’m pretty sure he’d freak out.

Sorta–it only had two options: run and hide, or accept with open arms. It was for individuals.

This one seems to be about society at large, and is shaping up into a much more nuanced discussion.

I wouldn’t panic but I would begin getting supplies and weapons just in case.

Contact ensues?