After decades of media depicting alien invasions in various forms from V to Independence Day to Mars Attacks to War of the Worlds to any 50’s sci fi movie, if a race of benevolent aliens did show up hovering over major cities offering us techological wonders what kind of a response would they get? Would we take them at thier word or would there be a huge outcry of “Forget That! I have seen this trick before!” and a shoot first and reverse engineer later attitude?
We would immediately respond by locking every single weapons system we had on them.
Every. Single. One.
Then, after that, we’d try negotiation, we’d open up diplomatic channels and as soon as we could translate eachother we’d tell them to move over an uninhabited area. Probably Antarctica or somewhere over the Atlantic/Pacific, all while keeping every single weapons system on earth aimed at them – including slingshots.
We’d work from there. I can’t imagine that there’d be any way we could actually damage the ships of a specie technologically advanced enough to build ships which defy the laws of physics as we know them. They’re hovering, so obviously they have massive energy sources, they probably have FTL travel and likely some sort of force-shield or deflector shield do prevent total destruction from running into a grain of sand at multiple times the speed of light.
That is, assuming, that’s how they got here, and not on some massive generational ship.
Chances are, any specie intelligent enough to do that would be intelligent enough to know better than to show up over populated areas of a (relatively) primitive culture. They’d likely send greetings of some sort from far out in space, beyond the orbit of the Moon, where they had some reasonable assurances we wouldn’t try to blow the shit out of them.
It may be good dramatically, but there’s no real reason for aliens to hover over US cities. They would contact us in space and later send a single ship down, probably to an area where there’s plenty of landing room.
Killer aliens would just nuke us from orbit or throw an asteroid at us.
Yeah, a truly peaceful species of aliens would be unlikely to try “gunship diplomacy” in the first place. That “hover a miles-wide spacecraft over major population centers” thing is hardly a universal sign of goodwill.
I think Independence Day got the general public’s reaction down pretty good. There would be a wild chaotic flood of people trying to leave the affected cities clogging up every road out. There would also be some people stagging massive “Welcome ET” parties on rooftops. Also churchs, synagogues, mosques, etc would be completely filled way beyond what they get even their holiest holidays. Ditto for bars, liquorstores, and brothels.
Unfortunate, as that’s the singularly worst possible response. The best answer is to welcome them in and give them everything they want, while learning as much as possible about their strengths and weaknesses. If you learn their true intention is evil, you may get an opportunity to save humanity if the aliens don’t know you are plotting against them.
Kill them and eat them. That’s the only way to get their mana.
Earth: Final Conflict handled this pretty realisticly. The Taelons only had one giant mothership which spent the series in a high Earth orbit. Instead of alien ships hovering over Earth cities there were embassies and consulate buildings that the Taelons built/grew after establishing diplomatic relations.
Yeah, like the Aztecs did for the Spanish.
Let’s face it, any race technologically advanced enough to have giant hovering spaceships is going to take over the earth whatever you do. I’d say let’s become a race of bootlickers. Maybe they’ll keep us around for amusement.
I, for one, welcome our new gravity-manipulating technology possessing overlords…
Well, I guess we know who not to invite to the resistance meetings!
I was going to say “Pilgrims” but you beat me to it.:smack:
Well, it’s not really that efficient in time or energy to keep going back and forth into orbit if most of your work is around New York City.
I suspect that a visitation by aliens would be completely unlike anything seen in the media. We tend to imagine fictional aliens as human-scaled creatures that for all intents and purposes are human (except they are green or blue or weaqr rubber suits or have a latex ass on their head). We imagine cultures more advanced but not particularly disimmilar from ours.
In reality, we don’t know what aliens would be like. They may have radically different physiological needs or thought processes. Not knowing those things, it would be impossible to guess what their motivations might be. For all we know, they just want to use the Earth as their #10 ball in a game of giant space pool just as soon they clean off all the strange green, grey and pink stuff stuck to the surface.
It would be the only way to be sure.
In order to get to the iconic “big-ass alien starships hovering over our major cities” picture, I think you need to have aliens who are neither ravenous destroyers of all life nor cuddly altruistic benefactors of humanity. It’s unlikely that aliens who have mastered interstellar travel and antigravity would require any resources unique to this planet, so economic motives are probably out. (“Economic motives” includes “being hungry”; for a number of reasons I can’t really see aliens in starships wanting to turn us into Big M’h’k[sup]TM[/sup] HumanBurgers.) Perhaps the aliens wanting to convert us to their religion (or to some not-quite-religious philosophical system) could justify the combination of domination but not quite outright hostility represented by hovering over our major cities in enormous ships. (Or some more subtle and alien aim, like wanting to encourage the human race’s “evolution to a higher plane of existence”, whether we particularly want to do so or not.) But something where they want to have us around (to save our souls or merge us into the Cosmic Overmind or whatever) but aren’t necessarily just interested in selflessly sharing all their technology out of sheer loving-kindness and the ineffable joy of getting to be our Best Friends Forever.
Obviously the correct thing to do is just wait for Superman to save us.
Yeah, like the Aztecs and the Spanish.
Well, yeah. It’s not as bad as just nuking us from orbit, but clearly giant alien starships hovering over our major population centers doesn’t really bode well. (Although Cortez had economic motives; just because the Spanish could cross the Atlantic in their enormous wind-powered canoes, ride on the backs of their giant tame deer, and hurl thunderbolts, didn’t mean they could just conjure up the pretty shiny yellow metal or the nice tasting food additives from thin air. Whereas starfaring aliens probably wouldn’t really need to do anything like set up molybdenum mines here on Earth, complete with enslaved humans to do all the work–even if they lacked the capacity to just atomically synthesize whatever elements they wanted in advanced nuclear reactors, mining asteroids would likely be more economical for a truly spacefaring civillization–and if they really liked ginger, they could just procure one sample, run it through the molecular analyzer, and start manufacturing as much of it as they wanted without having to bother giving us shiny beads and brightly-colored bits of cloth in trade for it.)
In dramatic fictional terms, of course, aliens just nuking us from orbit would be pretty depressing–like The Day After or Threads, with the added bonus of sheer helpless rage at the fact that we didn’t just fuck up and do this to ourselves–whereas the Spican Inquisition allows for neat-o plotlines involving brave human Resistance cells; treacherous human quislings; sincere human converts; aliens who’ve had a crisis of conscience and come to think that maybe there are many paths to the Cosmic Overmind, each with their own beauty and validity; etc.
Hmmm. I can think of one benevolent reason to do the hover-over-cities thing; they know that some massive disaster like a gamma ray burst or nearby supernova is about to hit Earth, and are shielding our major population centers because they can’t shield the whole planet. Hopefully they’ll also have human compatible food for when our croplands get fried.
Are you saying they don’t need to eat us, enslave us or steal our natural resources, so the reason they would be here is to convert us?
An interesting thought, but hard to argue about. My point was that Cortez and company brought priests to convert the Aztecs, but the main reason was monetary gain. And if they resisted, somebody like Torqemada tortured them until they loved Jesus.
Hard to argue this, since they are after all, alien, and we are making them up to our own individual concepts.
My concept would be that they weren’t like Star Trek with synthesizers, perfect technology and everything they need, but Galactica, running from something, eating algae and running out of gas.
Hope I’m not too busy that day.