At some point during the Cold War Earth experienced one or more failed alien invasions. Both the US and USSR had to face down this alien threat, and acted accordingly.

Established facts about the war:

  • They managed to get around FTL limitations by employing surface-side wormholes
  • The two world powers managed to ultimately stop the invasion by disabling the wormholes by brute force; pushing the aliens back into the wormholes and blowing the other side up with a nuclear payload.
  • One (if not the only) reason the two sovereign powers succeeded is was the aliens underestimated the humans, and the humans were able to muster simple numbers in a rapid response to overwhelm the attacks.
  • Alien stragglers were meticulously hunted down and cleaned up.

Any other details concerning the invasion the answers can fill in as they see fit, including if there was any cooperation (whatsoever) between the US and USSR. To clarify: any unstated details about the invasion(s) and the aliens are fair game.

So both the USSR and America had to deal with this invasion, and thankfully did. As it so happens, both came to the same conclusion: the people of Earth shouldn't know. Why? The 'why' is immaterial. The decision was made, and the governments set to work making it happen.

The question becomes: How did America and the USSR perform this massive coverup? What elements can be introduced to account for this? Preferably the answers use actual historic events such as the Korean War, the Vietnam War, or the Middle East Conflict.

  • $\begingroup$ You know, there was a game... 2k.com/games/the-bureau-xcom-declassified which sounds a lot like your premisse. According to ingame dialogues they managed to cover up the whole stuff, but only because it was... well... early 60s? No internet. You should look up this entertaining but somehow shallow game if you are in that topic (btw. , they only had one russian spy in their group, so its not identical to your scenario) $\endgroup$ Aug 22, 2016 at 9:59
  • $\begingroup$ This is a whole lot like Stargate. $\endgroup$
    – RonJohn
    Jun 12, 2019 at 0:22

3 Answers 3


Before the Cold War began, aliens attempted their first invasion. This would have been around the end of WWII, over Germany. The aliens actually struck Berlin and shredded most of the Nazi party. The Battle of Berlin was actually the first battle against the aliens. Hitler's body was never found because the allies didn't kill him - he had already been taken out by the alien invaders.

The allies (notably the Russians and the Americans) swept up the alien forces, threw them back into their wormhole, and used this nifty new bomb the Americans had, to destroy the wormhole. The atom bomb had been in planning since the first signs of unfriendly alien inspection in the 1940s and was, in fact, not ready to be used as a bomb.

To destroy the wormhole, a pilot crew had to fly a transport plane full of plutonium and uranium into the wormhole and start the chain-reaction by hand. The aliens, being smarter than your average muskrat, had opened a wormhole over Japan as well, though this hole had been closed after the alien forces were dropped. Hiroshima and Nagasaki were hotbeds of alien forces, so the US scrambled to put together more atom bombs. They succeeded and obliterated both cities which, along with the clean-up in Germany, destroyed all evidence and killed all witnesses of the alien invasion.

Most of Europe was in tatters, the rest of the world didn't know about the alien attack and the US and the USSR were the only countries equipped to handle the assault and clean-up. Because tensions between the two countries had been high, the governments could not openly declare an alliance without explaining to their people that aliens were invading.

After two Great Wars, neither side was eager to inform the people of an alien invasion, so both sides kept the deal on the hush-hush. Because the USSR was closer to the epicenter of the invasion, it naturally reached out to protect the shattered Europe from the predicted second attack.

The media in the US spun this as an act of Communist aggression, which the US government embraced and encouraged, creating public support for a build-up of the only weapons known to be effective against the aliens: nukes.

“It must be the policy of the United States, to support free peoples who are resisting attempted subjugation…by outside pressures.” (Harry Truman) - Not exactly a lie, but let's look at the subtext. The USSR took its cue from the US and began pushing anti-US propaganda, also building up an arsenal.

Meanwhile, both sides were hunting down the remnants of the alien forces, most of which had fled Germany and Japan by this time. The governments identified these fugitives as Nazi scientists, thus giving the people an explanation for why soldiers were tearing around South America, shooting people no one had ever heard of. Most of the following "proxy wars" between the USSR and the US were actually missions to roust pockets of the alien army.

The Bay of Pigs was actually a covert operation aimed at an alarmingly caffeinated group of aliens attacking the coffee fields and was a total success. Unfortunately, the Cubans had no idea what was going on, so the surviving forces were captured, leading to a Russian-attempted rescue mission.

Due to a few crossed wires, the US publicized the mission's cover (placing nukes in Cuba). This almost destroyed the entire cover-up as Pres. Kennedy was forced to issue an ultimatum and the Russians were forced to turn back.

What people don't realize is that nukes in Cuba was actually the US's idea to protect its southern flank in case of another alien invasion. We also wanted to place weapons in Canada, but they refused. In short, no missiles went to Cuba, however, the 'missile crisis' created enough of a diversion to spring the Bay of Pigs survivors, so no second attempt was made.

As years passed without another attempted invasion, both the US and the USSR began to reduce their nuclear stockpiles to reduce the risk of accidental discharge. Eventually, the USSR fell apart, ending the Cold War and the US/USSR alien task force alliance. At that point, the US began to drastically cut back its weapons because the new Russian government knew nothing of the alien war and, the Cold War guise having been so effective, we feared the new government might actually take it seriously.

The anti-alien preparations are still in place, and every so often, a new pocket of aliens rears its head, but the US mostly flies solo. The War on Terror is actually a cover to allow the US to take out both individuals and groups of supposed terrorists (actually the residual aliens and perhaps their human supporters). Maybe Russia is getting back into the battle? Going into Syria with us?

In short, massive cover-up began as a fortuitous accident and both war-weary sides just went with it, using the other country as an excuse for their anti-alien operations.

If you're not totally set on the idea that the USSR and the USA actually did repel the aliens, it would be pretty easy to back up a story in which the aliens were able to infiltrate both governments and gain control.

Perhaps the reason the Cold War never turned into a Real War was that the aliens had control of both sides. The build-up of nuclear weapons could be a plan on the part of the aliens; use the human technology to destroy the human defenses.

The whole mutually assured destruction thing might have thrown a wrench in their plans because the other humans in the war councils wouldn't let the Cold War turn into a real war. The several times that it almost did could be attempts by the aliens to reclaim the situation.

After the Cold War ended, the two sides, working together, launched a series of pointless, high-casualty wars intended to weaken and destroy the humans' two largest super-powers before launching their own invasion.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Hi, Aziri, welcome to Worldbuilding SE. That was a creative scenario for the USA & USSR handling alien invasions. I edited your answer with paragraphs to make it readable. This was a breathtaking entrance. Have fun here. $\endgroup$
    – a4android
    Aug 20, 2016 at 1:46
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Thanks. I hope it wasn't too long and convoluted. Once you get an idea, you kind of have to run with it, you know? $\endgroup$
    – Aziri
    Aug 20, 2016 at 5:04
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    $\begingroup$ It does happen. Sometimes more so than others. You simply rewrote the geopolitical history of the last 70 plus years with added aliens. You must have had fun with it. Expect to see more from you. $\endgroup$
    – a4android
    Aug 20, 2016 at 10:12

I'll go at this from the opposite direction.

The USA and USSR cooperated to fight the aliens not because of any particular love or respect for each other, but because they would much rather rule the world than let someone or something else take over from them.

The reason for secrecy is to prevent notional allies from getting ideas such as "they're distracted, so we can do what we want", or "Let's use the alien tech to leapfrog past them and take over" or even "They've used up all their power against the aliens, so they can't stop us anymore".

Now in any really realistic scenario, they would probably decide that once the aliens have been defeated they should formalize their power and rule the world together in a CoDominium (and in some ways the Cold War did resemble that).

This could also be used to explain the various bushfire wars that were fought throughout the world after the Second World War. If the Aliens had landed on Earth using wormholes, they may not have had the ability to completely control where they were touching down. Alternatively, they can only bring small amounts of stuff through the wormholes, so want to avoid paces where the Superpowers could quickly mass forces. Wormholes in SE Asia, Southern Africa, parts of South America would answer either of these conditions, and so bushfire wars were ignited to cover the insertion of forces into places like Namibia, Afghanistan or Bolivia to deal with the problems.

To answer the final question of "why have we not benefitted from the alien invasions", the primary reason would probably be that the alien technology is so far advanced that we are not able to reverse engineer it. The USSR eventually went bankrupt due to the expense of maintaining their half of the secret CoDominium, supplying troops and equipment to stamp out alien invasions and trying to reverse engineer alien technology. President Ronald Reagan gave tantalizing hints during his Administration (in this scenario, maybe trying out the idea of allowing the news of the invasion to be released).


You have a few options for why.

1) The US didn't want the USSR to look like heroes for repelling the invasion as this would undermine their anti-soviet propaganda and vice-versa.

2) The nations had used up a large part of their army and nukes fighting the aliens and didn't want to admit this for fear that the other side might attack them. Especially for the USSR as they had less nukes to start with an relief mainly on bluffing.

3) Each side was trying to reverse engineer alien tech and didn't want the other side to know. This is similar to the attempts by the US to keep nuclear bombs secret during the research phase.

4) They are holding onto the knowledge so that when morale is low later on they can reveal that they beat the aliens renewing confidence in the army.

5) Each side would have to reveal that they spied on the other if they revealed information on the aliens. The US particularly tried to avoid being caught spying on the USSR and when they were caught, such as with long range spy plane U2, they tried to deny it. This was because spying made the US appear to be sneaky and evil in the world's eyes. The US may have discovered the aliens by spying on the USSR and don't want to admit this.

Most of these could be covered up fairly easily. Most of Russia was unexplored forest and stuff at the time with armies hidden in some areas so creating a special anti-alien squad wouldn't be hard. Russia, and to a lesser extent America, had heavy media censorship and could easily pass it of as a military exercise or something. The US had enough secret bases to also do this assuming aliens didn't attack populated areas. After all, who believes Deep South farmers when they talk about aliens.

Option 2 using up nukes and armies would be harder to cover up although the USSR has a real life solution. They used to only use about 20 planes in their parades and just fly them round a few times so it looked they had more. Do the same with armies and you will be fine. Release the names of the dead slowly and cover it up by invading Vietnam and claiming you had very heavy losses.

Option 3 could be covered by claiming the new inventions had been created by something along the lines of the Manhattan Project and using similar levels of secrecy. What the heck just continue the Manhattan project for that matter.

  • $\begingroup$ These are great whys but the question is about how. $\endgroup$
    – Ranger
    Aug 19, 2016 at 22:05
  • $\begingroup$ @Nex Terren I should have read the question more carefully. Is that better? $\endgroup$ Aug 19, 2016 at 22:16

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