Assume that there is an alien spacecraft (It is confirmed to be a spacecraft and not an asteroid or comet) which is entering the solar system. It is at that time detected by scientists and professional astronomers and probably by the large observatories around the world. At this point most governments would probably try to hush it up and hide it from their public.

However soon (As in a couple of years) the spaceship reaches just beyond the moon and is large enough to be seen with domestic telescopes. At this stage probably most f the humanity will notice something and there will obviously be reactions across the globe. What my question is that how do different people accept these turn of events and react to them. The different classes of people are:

  • Civilians
  • Economists
  • Political institutions across the world
  • Religious establishments
  • Terrorists
  • Most interesting Conspiracy Theorists

Edit: The aliens we speak have not made their intentions clear. It is just this fact that there is a big spaceship (as in Independence Day sized) presently near the moon and coming to the planet. Also I want to know more specifically about how it would affect and ordinary working person's life.


closed as too broad by James, Rob Watts, Hohmannfan, Josh King, Thucydides Jul 22 '16 at 22:07

Please edit the question to limit it to a specific problem with enough detail to identify an adequate answer. Avoid asking multiple distinct questions at once. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Hey Suhrid, this a really really broad question, it would take several books to go through all the information you are asking for. Please narrow what information you are looking for and add constraints that will help differentiate what makes a good answer. $\endgroup$ – James Jul 22 '16 at 16:09
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ "At this point most governments would probably try to hush it up and hide it from their public." umm... Why? What reasons would governments around the world have to hide this from the public besides "That's how they did it in the films"? $\endgroup$ – Annonymus Jul 22 '16 at 16:17
  • $\begingroup$ @Annonymus I agree you should establish motivation and thought process. Different governments will react to such a thing differently. I wouldn't expect Brazil, Russia, the US, and Turkey's governments to respond the same. Shoot, I wouldn't expect the US's two different political parties to respond the same. $\endgroup$ – Nex Terren Jul 22 '16 at 16:19
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @NexTerren yeah, that also gives yet another reason to not try to hide it, even if you could somehow gain from hiding it, all it takes is one outlier to spoil the secret, and everyone knows that you did try to hide it on purpose. $\endgroup$ – Annonymus Jul 22 '16 at 16:21
  • $\begingroup$ @Anonymus why would they cover it up? How about prevent the mass panic that will inevitably happen once people realize aliens have arrived on Earth!!! Mass panic in the city is bad enough mass panic worldwide is just disasterous. $\endgroup$ – Bryan McClure Jul 22 '16 at 16:36

First, hiding information about an alien item observable from earth is unlikely. Deep and far space observation is done for science purpose and not by the military, so the global policy is usually to share information. And a government trying to hide such information will lack a lot of credibility when it will become public. This is not an option for democracies.

Military people will get nervous, as the number of unknown factors of the alien menace are high, and the technology level is likely to exceeds earth's one. They are very likely to ask for specific budgets to be able to deal with space warfare (which is currently underdeveloped if existing at all) and nuclear weapons (which are the best we can do regarding destruction). There may be suggestion to create defensive systems around Earth: thios start with basic orbital explosions to create debris fields, but this is rather desperate as human satellites will be impacted.

Science guys will be excited ! What does alien biology or mathematics look like ? They are likely to try to propose a pacific Post-detection policy and try to understand as much as possible from all available information. But the fact that intelligent life exists already has lots of implications. Especially that if one alien life exists, there are probably lots.

Religious people may be at pain if their religion is human-centric, which is often the case. However, religious guys are used to manage inconsistencies between belief and reality since centuries, so they should be able to deal with it. Some people may see the aliens as [representatives of] gods and create new specific cults. But that's just because we have the ability to create weird cults anyway. Expect suicidal guys, fanatics, etc.

Politicians will lean toward the military as they are in charge of the defense of their citizen and countries. Some are likely to try to take advantage of the situation, like by establishing exclusive contact with the aliens, or try to have access to their technology first. Others will probably try to create big planetary global human alliances. From earth experience, the contact with a more advanced civilization usually brings no good to the less advanced one.

Globally, the economics will freeze with such a high risk pending : people will recover their assets and prepare for the worst : food, weapons. Police and army will ensure no panic appears and emergency state is likely. Expect lots of funny TV shows to keep people busy watching.


A couple interesting effects that were not mentioned in previous answers:

There would probably be a significant group of people who deny the existence of aliens even in the face of evidence. Just look at how many people do not believe we actually landed on the moon. There may even be "denial" cults that form.

One thing that would immediately happen which most fiction does NOT mention is the instant technological leap that would occur as soon as humanity KNEW for a fact that faster than light travel IS possible. As soon as you know something can happen, it becomes a lot easier to develop it. Who knows what the mere theoretical knowledge of FTL travel might do to telecoms? How does FTL interact with time (as in, if we plot out a curve base don Einstein's relativity theory, we find that time becomes a relative factor at different speeds; hence, why not time travel?) Just looking at the design of the ship in a telescope would give Earth engineers tons of ideas. Power sources, structural design, etc. After WWII, German designs for high speed jet fighters revolutionized US and Soviet designs just by looking at how they had tilted the wings back at an angle to stabilize the craft at near-mach speeds. Who knows what you might learn by looking at the physical design of a huge FTL spaceship. This obviously doesn't count the incredible advance in metallurgy/materials technology that we could get by doing nothing more than hitting the surface of the ship with a spectroscopic analysis (which I believe can be done from Earth, as we might do to the surface of the moon using telescopes and lasers).

There would be cultural phenomenon. Fads, trends. After airplanes were made reasonably common, they became this overwhelming fad in the 1920s. You had airplanes in wallpaper designs, stylized airplanes zooming on magazine covers, etc etc etc. People were crazy for anything aerodynamic and with wings. In the 1950s, we went nuts for rockets and fins because we had just orbited the first man around the planet. I could see anything related to the aliens creep into music videos, movies, games, etc etc. It would be a global obsession for a good decade or so at least.

Politically, it would be chaos. Politicians who led countries (most of which, around the world, remember, are actually tyrants who can do pretty much whatever they want) would scramble to get an advantage. Every single one of them would be desperate to communicate first and cut a separate deal with the aliens before anyone else in hopes that they get supertech their rivals don't have. This would be such an overwhelming need (remember, even if YOU don't want to do this but you live anywhere near someone who does, you HAVE to in order to defend yourself) that there would be a HUGE space race to GET TO THE ALIENS before everybody else. We would not wait for them to get here, we would CHASE them from across the solar system where they would be bombarded by 80 different petty dictators in barely-bolted together space shuttles trying to communicate (and get a better deal first). I predict that given the state of geopolitics today, SEVERAL small, brushfire wars would break out as mid-sized nations tried to sabotage one another's rushed space efforts.


People would be divided as how to approach to these aliens. Some will say we should prepare armies and arm the civilians, some would go and say we should welcome them. Some will say that the earth is doomed and we should be ready to submit to our alien overlords. There will be a lot of panic.

I would think economy would slow down similar to the eve of big events.

Politicians would take sides much like civilians and would try to push their agenda. Most religions already have what to do in case of an alien contact so I would think that nothing will change about them.

Terrorists may try to prepare for the meeting day so that they could cause more suffering.

Conspiracy theorists will tell everyone that they were right all along and would probably find an even less plausible theory about aliens. They would use the recent event as they are right about everything. It could be that this ship actually belong to humans from the past or from the future time traveled to present.


Civilian:one word panic. Give how Hollywood has portrade aliens post of the public will probably be search for a place to hide from the "invaders".

Economic. Until we know for certain that the aliens came in peace then the stock market would stop. You don't make plans for the future if aren't going to have one. If the aliens do come in peace then they would be a lot of competition to over who could trade with the aliens.

Politics: this one would be the most changed and hard to predict. I suspect that the world powers would want to put a up a united front. That doesn't mean that they were form a united earth government (at least not right away). But the world would be more United then it is today.

Religion establishedments. The various religious leaders would search there holy books for any reference to aliens or anything that could be interpreted as aliens. Once that was done the would published an some sort of official reaction to the aliens. In movies and TV religious leaders always want to fight the aliens. In reality I think there would be equal number of religious leaders that would want to convert the aliens to those wanting to fight them. The people would probably whatever official stance of there religious leaders.

Terrorist: probably claim the whole thing was a hoax perpetrated by the West in a plot to take over the world.

Conspiracy: how many conspiracy theoriest already think that aliens are secretly running things. They probably just continue to think that except for this time people would actually listen to these conspiracy theorist since there is at least a possibility now that they might be right.


Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.