Some of us out there believe with total certainty that aliens exist, others are still on the fence about it (or just don't care) and the rest of us are adamant that aliens have never and will never exist. But whether we personally believe in aliens or not is besides the point. The reality is we have to accept that there is a possibility of extraterrestrial life, no matter how unlikely we may think it is.
And because the possibility of the existence of extraterrestrial beings is a very real one, the United Nations and the United States Congress have set in place some laws that state what action should be taken in the event of alien contact and here they are...
1. Everyone Must Be Informed If Aliens Make Contact
In 1967, the UN created a treaty (commonly referred to as the "Outer Space" treaty) that was originally signed by the US, the UK and Russia but has since then accumulated 125 signatures. That's a lot of countries who agree that this treaty is the ideal thing to follow if we ever come into contact with aliens. Basically it just means that all of the countries who signed the treaty are obligated to inform the other countries if they discover anything that could be a danger to astronauts i.e. aliens.
NEXT: Here's a law protecting the rights and safety of aliens...
In 1953, "Metalaw" was proposed by Andrew Haley who was the US attorney and former vice president of the International Astronautical Federation. It was later expanded by an Austrian attorney called Ernst Fasan.
It stated that aliens should be treated just as humanely as humans would be, and that there should be equality between aliens and humans. If this equality between humans and aliens was to come under threat, either side would have the right to defend themselves, even if it meant harming the opposing side.
NEXT: Astronauts have to act as what if they meet aliens...
The Declaration of Legal Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space states that astronauts should be seen as envoys for humans when they're up in space.
3. Envoys In Space
So basically, astronauts have to be on their best behavior and represent us humans in the best way possible. If these astronauts did end up coming into contact with aliens, they would be expected to show the aliens respect, and avoid harming them in any way. We wouldn't want a threat of alien invasion on our hands!
NEXT: Aliens would have to do this just like any other US citizen...
According to 35 US Code § 105, anything sold by the US in Space would be treated the exact same as if it was sold in the US.
4. Aliens Would Also Have To Pay Taxes
And so that means that anything sold by the US to aliens in outer space would be no different to if it were sold to Americans in outer space. So essentially, aliens would be honorary US tax-paying citizens.
NEXT: Are we allowed to abduct aliens?
In 1950, the US military came up with the Seven Steps to Contact which entailed abducting aliens for further study...
5. Permission To Abduct Aliens
There's a great sense of irony about the fact that we're allowed to abduct aliens, when we've created all these sci-fi movies about the horrors of the abduction of human beings by aliens. It also seems to contradict Andrew Haley's "metalaw" which was all about ensuring that humans and aliens have equal rights. Being permitted to kidnap an alien and take them far away from their own planet doesn't sound very equal to me (unless they started it of course, then it would be totally fine.)
NEXT: We are hunting for aliens, here's how we do it...
The IAA SETI Permanent Committee searches for potential extraterrestrial life. They keep their eyes on changes in radio waves and micro waves, and that tells them if there are any alien transmissions...
6. SETI Experiments
Radio waves can also be used to communicate with aliens, which could be beneficial on both sides. These are known as SETI experiments.
NEXT: Who owns space? The aliens or us?
According to the UN's outer space, space is the "province of mankind" i.e. it all belongs to us humans...
7. We Own Space
That basically means that we as humans have total ownership of space, above any extraterrestrial beings out there. I'm sure if there are aliens out there, they've probably made a similar self-serving law. We all just tend to act in our own interests.
NEXT: Is any country allowed to have ownership of a particular planet?
The Outer Space Treaty also states that no human or country can colonize any planet, but if humans were ever to live on Mars what laws would they follow?
8. Laws On Mars
They would follow whatever the laws are from the country that sent them to Mars are. So, if NASA sent a bunch of people to Mars, they would have to follow US laws.
NEXT: The UN doesn't want you anywhere near these areas in Mars...
In Mars, there are certain areas that the outer space treaty forbids its signatories from contaminating...
9. Stay Away From These Areas On Mars
These are areas with liquid water, volcanoes or caves... basically anywhere where there could be extraterrestrial life. In fact, even simply taking pictures of the regions with liquid water has been forbidden. So essentially, before contact with aliens is made, it should be avoided at all costs in the first place.
NEXT: Why was this controversial law repealed?
This law has actually already been repealed, but why? Well, after 1969 when it was passed, astronauts were forced into quarantine because there were fears that they might have caught something contagious and deadly while in space; something that extraterrestrial life forms may have infected them with...
10. Extra-terrestrial Exposure Law, 1969
When it became obvious that the law was redundant, as none of the astronauts who came back from outer space ever caught any nasty diseases, it was repealed.
NEXT: Has the US government had contact with aliens?
So while there are official laws in place related to the possibility of contact with aliens, some people think that the US government has been working with extraterrestrial beings for years...
11. The US Government And The Aliens
Phil Schneider, a former US Government Geologist and Engineer, apparently had classified information about the US government's relationship with aliens. According to him, the government not only knows that aliens exist, but are very much in cahoots with them. On the 17th of January, 1996, Schneider was found dead in his apartment, some believe he was murdered because of his claims...
NEXT: What was supposed to have happened in March 2017?
A lobby group called "The Disclosure Activists" announced something very startling in 2017. But did it have any credence?
12. Aliens Are On Earth?!
According to the Disclosure Activists, in March 2017, the world was supposed to come to an end and everyone in the world was supposedly going to be told by the world's governments that aliens exist, and have invaded Earth. Of course this ended up not happening, but still, it's early days...
NEXT: What does this UFOlogist think that the government is hiding?
UFOlogist, Steven Greer had a theory that the government was hiding something about aliens...
13. The Government Is Hiding Something
He says that aliens have come down to Earth many times and that the world's governments know full well that this was going on. This may seem very far-fetched but Steven Greer is by no means the only person to make such claims. Who would know better about such claims than the president... or a former president?
NEXT: What did this former president have to say about UFO files?
George Bush revealed that he saw UFO files on Jimmy Kimmel Live. And we were all left wondering if he knew something... anything... But if he does know something what could that something be?
14. George Bush
George Bush said he looked at US UFO files, and a lot of people believe he knows something important about aliens. Unfortunately, we were never able to find that out because he remained very tight-lipped about what he knew...
NEXT: What does Bill Nye, the science guy have to say about the topic of alien contact?
According to Bill Nye (you know the guy that hosted that kids' science show, (Bill Nye the Science Guy) the government is hiding the existence of aliens from us...
15. Bill Nye Thinks...
Bill Nye said extraterrestrial life has "gotta exist outside the solar system. I mean there’s 200 billion stars in this galaxy alone. Then you start talking about the hundreds of billions of galaxies. Hundreds of billions of galaxies, which in turn have hundreds of billions of stars, which in turn have tens of hundreds of billions — trillions — of planets. Come on!" And this guy's a science expert - he knows what he's talking about!
NEXT: What could the government be covering up?
Apollo 14 astronaut Dr. Edgar Mitchell claims that aliens do exist and that the government has been contacted by them a number of times...
16. Sophisticated Aliens
But for decades the government has tried to cover this up. He also said our technology is 'not nearly as sophisticated' as theirs and "had they been hostile", he claimed 'we would be been gone by now'.
NEXT: Are aliens indistinguishable from us?!
Paul Hellyer who was Canada's defence minister from 1963 to 1867 claims that governments across the world are concealing the fact that aliens live among us.
17. Aliens Live Among Us
He said they've been visiting earth for thousands of years, and that it's difficult to tell them apart. So essentially anyone you see on the street could be an alien - your neighbors, your friends, your partner.
NEXT: In how many years will we finally have contact with aliens?
In 2014, SETI astronomer, Seth Shostak stated that he believes we will come into contact with aliens in just 20 years time!
18. Alien Contact In 20 Years
“You probably have to look at a few million star systems at very high sensitivity before you score a success. We haven’t carefully examined anywhere near that number — a few thousand at most,” he said. And this, according to him, is why we haven't had contact with aliens yet, or have we...?