So, I created a fictional military organisation called the United Nations Extraterrestrial Response Unit (UNERU) as part of a planned trilogy of novels meant to take on a realistic XCOM, and on top of that, I realised: by the time the organisation is formed, 1975 Earth has been aware of the existence of the ETs since February of 1975 since they were detected as "Near Relativistic Anomalies" or NRAs for short, in the Inner Oort Cloud. My big question is: how would Earth's governments at the time react, especially with this background situation:

So, it is 1975 (this is the obvious part) and Earth is under attack by the Gdarje, a species that originated from a fictional moon of the real life HD 37124 c. The Gdarje (as far as they know), are the first interstellar society in the Milky Way, and have a small civilisation spanning 106.75 light years in diameter. However, this civilisation prior to WWI on Earth was divided into multiple nation-states, and station states before the Grand Hegemony of Fanghdar unified them politically (though they are still culturally split even after that period) and this lasted until the Cuban Revolution back on Earth. However, in 1961, three years into a civil war within the Hegemony, humanity makes the first recorded contact with extraterrestrial intelligence, initially under the belief that it was a Soviet experimental aircraft, starting after an air skirmish between Guatemalan P-51 Mustangs (all annihilated in the skirmish) and American F-4 Phantoms and the subsequent firefight that resulted in the recovery of the extraterrestrial spacecraft and subsequent cover-up of most of the evidence (except for some essentials such as a coilgun + power source, and some computer systems). This was the Flores Incident, and things changed for humanity. Shortly after the incident, the UN established the United Nations Extraterrestrial Investigation Committee (or UNETIC for short). The Bay of Pigs invasion was an even bigger failure, with Guantanamo Bay being lost to the Americans, and two years later, Kennedy had survived assassination. The American Civil Rights Movement became more violent as the Selma March devolved into the Selma Massacre, while American troops only deploy 150,000 to Vietnam; 309,000 men less than in our timeline, and Yugoslavia quickly fell into a brutal civil war between a Soviet-installed government, pro-Tito rebels and various independence movements for Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo. The Black Panther Party splintered into two: the moderates in the Black Panther Party and the more extremist Black Nationalist Front had emerged, and violent clashes with the KKK only grew fiercer. Vice President Agnew was caught in a scandal at Watergate, though Nixon in this timeline was never caught. Instead, he continues to be president as of 1975.

While all that occurred back on Earth, one of the survivors from the initial air skirmish prior to his demise was able to send an emergency transmission to the nearest colony on what we know in our timeline as Proxima b, and from there, a small group of religious extremists called the Army of the Chosen (basically, a sort of space Daesh) was able to receive the transmission, though by then, they already had plans to send a force to our Solar System. In 1967, the officially left on an 8 year trip to Earth, with Valkyrie-style antimatter engines as first stage, and the main spacecraft being a second stage.

Humanity first identified these spacecraft in the Inner Oort Cloud as what was initially term as "Near-Relativistic Anomalies" or NRAs for short on the 12th of February of 1975. After days of analysis, SETI finally confirmed that we were not alone in the Universe. They went public with their discovery (though the Flores Incident was still kept on a tight leash until mid-1976, by which the invasion had already been beginning to escalate), and after three months, UFO activity skyrockets, which leads to the signing of the Extraterrestrial Response Treaty on the 30th of June of 1975 and finally, UNERU (the United Nations Extraterrestrial Respnse Unit) is born. The day after that, the organisation is activated and thus the Gdarje War begins.

This is the part where I am going to ask: how do the governments in 1975 react to first contact prior to Earth's declaration of war four months later? I will deal with this as a series on the individual aspects of society reacting the extraterrestrial contact at the time. So, here is Part I.

More specifically: how do they handle the ETs themselves as they approach closer into our Solar System? How do they make sure the public does not enter into a panic? How would they prepare in the event that they turn out to be hostile (which they do four months later)?

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    $\begingroup$ This question is too broad. It is opinion based and there are too many potential answers. Please edit the question so people can provide an incisive answer. $\endgroup$
    – Garto
    Jan 21, 2017 at 15:11
  • $\begingroup$ @Garto Alright. What are some suggestions? $\endgroup$ Jan 21, 2017 at 15:12
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    $\begingroup$ sighs Or I can just specify what aspects of society might be responding in a multiple part question series. facepalms Why did I not think of this earlier? $\endgroup$ Jan 21, 2017 at 15:14
  • $\begingroup$ @Garto? I fixed it. $\endgroup$ Jan 21, 2017 at 15:18
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Is the lore dump necessary? $\endgroup$
    – Faerindel
    Jan 24, 2017 at 12:52

3 Answers 3


There is way too much backstory here. The real salient points, I think, would be that this is in the middle of the Cold War, and the aliens would probably be viewed as one more proxy that the West and the East would via to control.

China, India and the Third World generally, was much less developed than it is now. Japan and S. Korea were at an early industrial stage of development decades behind the USSR and US.

Islamic countries in the 1970s were at a liberal peak in favor of Western leftist market socialism or Eastern one party communism, both of which emphasized secularism, only in the late 1970s did modern Islamic fundamentalism as a political movement really come into it own.

This also pretty much predates the important role that Evangelical Christianity would take in U.S. politics a few years later, and the growing belief that would solidify a decade later, that strict Soviet style communism was a failed experiment which the Soviet's would depart from radically and the Chinese would depart from incrementally.

Importantly, this happened before the U.S. or the U.S.S.R. realized just how world destroying a global thermonuclear war would be. Both sides felt like a large scale nuclear war was a survivable option and weren't nearly so adverse to it as current military officials are today.

Any treaty to face a common enemy would be tentative, full of skepticism, or loathe to share secrets. A lot of it would come down to the personalities of the U.S. and U.S.S.R. leaders, with everyone else following suit.

Technologies from the aliens, even if just one or two were adopted piecemeal, perhaps captured, could also revolutionize key aspects of the global economy (such as the OPEC oil dominance of a petroleum economy) far before their natural time.

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    $\begingroup$ Interesting. I really found this quite intriguing, though then again, they are starting phase 1 of humanity's subjugation and/or extinction three months later so..... $\endgroup$ Jan 22, 2017 at 3:00

You are giving the UN a hugely exaggerated role. The UN is not an organization which can do something; it lacks both the budget to do anything and the authority. Even more so in the 1970s.

The UN is essentially a place where there are ambassadors from all member countries, and they can discuss things; in general, they do only very preliminary discussions with any serious discussions taking place on a bilateral or multilateral basis afterwards, outside of the UN.

I may be more credible to have the International Extraterrestrial Investigation Committee and the International Extraterrestrial Response Unit as joint operations of NATO, ANZUS, Japan and the Warsaw Pact. NATO, ANZUS and the Warsaw Pact were the only international military organizations of importance at that time. Japan was already an industrial power, so it must be on board. China was very weak militarily (in real history it tried to attack Vietnam in 1979 and lost).

In 1975 the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Soviet Union was Andrei Gromyko, who by all accounts was a very intelligent person. (He was Minister of Foreign Affairs from 1957 to 1985, serving under Bulganin, Khrushchev, Kosygin and Tikhonov.) Have him persuade Yuri Andropov, who was Chairman of the KGB from 1967 to 1982, to co-operate with the West in the global interest of mankind. In 1975, the Chief of the General Staff of the Soviet Army was Viktor Kulikov, a man who had fought in the 2nd World War and had a long an distinguished military carreer; he understood the need to win the current war first and think about the peace later. (There may be a minor subplot concerning the outmaneuvering of Marshal of the Soviet Union Ivan Pavlovsky, the nominal CiC of the Soviet Army, who had directed the invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968, and may be counted on to oppose any alliance with the Americans.)

Generally, the military are quite efficient at getting things done when they are given a clear goal, unlike diplomats who often feel a need to solve all minute problems before moving. Since the alien ships approach at relativistic speeds, speed of execution is of the essence; leave the diplomats out and let the generals command.

  • $\begingroup$ What about their NATO, ANZUS and Japanese equivalents? $\endgroup$ Jan 22, 2017 at 15:40
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    $\begingroup$ @FutureHistorian: I gave the names of the Soviets because, this being an English language site, it would be useful for many participants. Data and biographies about Western personalities are much more readily available. Then there are great social differences. In the SU, the Director of the KGB and the Chief the the General Staff were essentially autonomous actors with tremendous power; in the West, the armed forces were (and are) under much more political control than in the SU. $\endgroup$
    – AlexP
    Jan 22, 2017 at 20:58
  • $\begingroup$ Makes sense. At least this way, more English-speakers are aware of the relevant figures on both sides of the Iron Curtain. $\endgroup$ Jan 22, 2017 at 21:02

There would be the activation of the existing alliance structures, with the United States riding herd on NATO, SEATO, NORAD and political alliances like the OAS, and likely taking operational control of the Western response due to the much greater preponderance of resources and manpower the US government and military had.

On the other side, the USSR would take operational control of the Warsaw Pact, essentially mobilizing all of Eastern Europe. The Chinese, Brazilians, Indians etc. have not been developed to any great extent in this time period, so would not have anywhere near the resources or influence they have today.

The real crux of the matter is how the two super organizations see the threat from space? Given the rather obvious technological overmatch, it is quite obvious that whoever can access these technologies will be in a very positive position after the war. OTOH, given the aliens are approaching at relativistic velocity (which even in 1975 means everyone knows the aliens can destroy the entire planet), spies may be trying to find alien artifacts and scientists will be frantically trying to reverse engineer them, but the imminent and existential threat isn't the USSR or the United States, but coming at them from Space.

I would suspect that given what they are facing, the US and USSR will have a tacit agreement to put aside their differences until the threat is resolved, and it is also quite possible the two sides may agree to some sort of information sharing agreement, perhaps initially based on the idea that neither the US and its allies or the Warsaw Pact has a clear view of the entire sky all the time. Later this might evolve into more formalized information sharing on enemy activities, and perhaps coordinated actions against enemies in areas where neither side has a solid presence.

In areas where there is (or at least was) geopolitical rivalry, the so called unaligned nations might discover that neither the US or USSR has any time for them right now (except for swooping in to fight the aliens, recover battlefield intelligence then swooping out again), and you could see groups like OPEC and nations like India and China integrated into the fight. Given the huge mismatch between them and the "senior" powers, they may end up being resource pools to be exploited by whoever is closest (this may or may not work to the advantage of the USSR).

As for the UN, they can sputter and handwave and make important announcements, but since they have no money or resources of their own, they will be quite irrelevant to both the fight and eventually many of the nations of the world, who will be integrating ever more closely with their respective alliance structures.

  • $\begingroup$ /I would suspect that given what they are facing, the US and USSR will have a tacit agreement to put aside their differences until the threat is resolved/ right on. Plus in the backdrop of Cold War ramping up this is good. Nothing unites like a common enemy. Plus I am certain both sides would agree to rename the Gdarje something with more vowels. $\endgroup$
    – Willk
    Jan 24, 2017 at 16:08
  • $\begingroup$ "In areas where there is (or at least was) geopolitical rivalry, the so called unaligned nations might discover that neither the US or USSR has any time for them right now" -- Part of the de facto settlement of the Cold War was that both the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. stopped funding their clients in various proxy wars around the world. The proxy wars in Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Angola, Namibia, South Africa, and Ethiopia ended shortly thereafter. The governments of Afghanistan and Somalia fell. The Iran-Iraq War, Cambodian Civil War, and Lebanese Civil War also ended. $\endgroup$
    – Jasper
    Apr 17, 2017 at 16:20
  • $\begingroup$ Interestingly, the wars on the periphery of Pakistan and India continued. Baluchistan, Afghanistan, Kashmir, Nepal, Burma, Sri Lanka. $\endgroup$
    – Jasper
    Apr 17, 2017 at 16:20

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