Does Any Government Have a Plan if Aliens Invade the Earth?

Thanks to Hollywood, as well as words written on the mangled inked corpses of the leafy fellow occupants of our little planet we’ve successfully subjugated, there are a number of common ideas about how an alien invasion of Earth would go. From clandestine infiltration where our celestial enemies walk among us undetected, to these brothers from another primordial goop mother coming with energy weapons a-blazing. But in real life, what would likely happen if aliens did invade? Are aliens currently visiting us? And does any government in the world have a plan to deal with this situation?

As to the latter question, somewhat surprisingly given organizations like the U.S. military tend to take the stance of being obscenely overprepared for any and all possible conflicts, the answer appears to be- no, no plan is in place whatsoever by any government. Even the United States’ much maligned Space Force has no such plan or any plan to make one. Not just that, but in an effort to attempt to be taken more seriously, the Space Force has even shunned so much as wanting to be in charge of investigating the possibility of aliens checking us out in the form of UFOs or, if we want to use the more trendy term- Unidentified Anomalous Phenomena (UAP).

As one U.S. Department of Defense rep stated when asked about all this, “The [Department of Defense] does not maintain plans for hypothetical dangers for which we have absolutely no information—either to the likelihood of the danger, or to what form the danger would take…”

Corroborating that, former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Intelligence, Christopher Karl Mellon, who also, apparently in a bid to hold the two biggest mouthful job titles in the world, was once the Staff Director of the United States Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, notes of this, “I think you got an honest answer from [the] DoD. How would you plan for the arrival of an advanced civilization without any understanding whatsoever of their capabilities, technology or intentions? Meanwhile, [the] DoD has an overflowing plate already and I suspect the Joint Staff has little patience for such seemingly unlikely, open-ended and ill-defined scenarios… If such an event occurred we’d simply have to muddle through as best we could.”

Jumping across the pond to the UK, it seems they too are likewise unprepared, with former official for the British Ministry of Defence, Nick Pope, stating that despite him advocating for the creation of such a plan, “There was no real enthusiasm for it. It was a combination of skepticism and almost this feeling that this was the ultimate taboo, that something like this could just not be put down on paper.”

As for Russia, one Sergie Berezhnoy of the Titov Space Control Center stated, the Russian air-defense “have not been tasked with preparing for the contingency of an alien attack…. There are enough problems on Earth and in near-Earth space.”

The UN also seems to have nothing on the books, nor any international agreements for how to coordinate anything involving an alien invasion.

And pretty much all countries the world over seem to take the same stance- we have better things to do. Although one would think at the least a treaty by all nations to agree to band together and work out some of the details on how that would work wouldn’t be a total waste of time, let alone perhaps even provide a little perspective on unity.

Speaking of that, such an agreement and a bit of perspective did at least loosely occur between two world superpowers at one point in history. During the 1985 Geneva Summit, according to then Secretary of State George Shultz, U.S. President Ronald Reagan said to Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev, “What would you do if the United States were suddenly attacked by someone from outer space? Would you help us?” Gorbachev’s response was “No doubt about it.” And Reagan then stated, “We too.” And the two apparently had a chuckle about it being at least one scenario they’d be able to work freely together on with zero political friction.

So, while later on in this piece, we are going to get to what would likely be the best plan if aliens invade, currently no government seems to have a plan, or at least not one anyone wants to admit to. And from quotes from people working at various governments in their respective defense departments, there does seem to be a bit of a stigma against pursuing anything like this. Most likely because the aliens have already infiltrated our top commands and want to make sure we remain unprepared…

This brings us to the question of whether aliens are currently visiting us. While it’s always possible, the answer appears to be, if they are, nobody knows about it, not even anyone in the militaries of the world. So why does this seem to be the case?

Well, the lack of preparation is a good sign, even by, again, an agency like the U.S. Department of Defense that spends money like they’re printing it and seemingly always looking for more funding despite already spending about 3/4 of a trillion per year, which for reference is about three times more than any other nation spends on defense, with the runner up in China at 1/4 of a trillion per year.

If they, or any other nation, knew of alien’s popping by to say hi, the most logical thing to do would be to start preparing for a potential invasion. Because, you know, those in power live here on Earth too, as do their families. And beyond that, their positions of power would be a bit precarious if aliens did invade. There’s also, once again, the funding aspect of things and the benefits to letting John Q. Taxpayer know about the aliens if we know they are visiting.

As Elon Musk notes, “We’re constantly trying to get the defense budget to expand. And look, you know what would really get no arguments [from] anyone? If we pulled out an alien and said we need money to protect ourselves from these guys ‘How much money do you want? You got it. They look dangerous.’ So the fastest way to get a defense budget increase would be to pull out an alien.”

And if you’re wondering on Musk’s thoughts on if aliens are currently visiting Earth, “A lot of people ask me… where are the aliens? And I think if anyone would know about aliens on Earth it would probably be me. And I’ve seen no evidence of aliens … I would immediately tweet it out. That’d be probably the top tweet of all time. ‘We found one, guys!’ It’s the jackpot with some 8 billion likes.”

No doubt it would also see some major funding thrown his SpaceX company’s way as well. So not just dealing in social media jackpots, but cash ones too.

Further, it’s not like the idea of whether aliens are visiting us hasn’t ever been explored by the U.S. military at least. For starters, after the rise in UFO sightings in the 1940s, the military wanted the potential threat assessed, being their job and all to defend their nation from any potential threats, and, again, they live here on Earth too. Enter Captain Edward J. Ruppelt.

Initially it was Ruppelt’s job to review reports on Flying Saucers, as they were then called, and present his findings to the Pentagon. You see, since at least 1947, the US government had been studying reports of Flying Saucers as part of Project Sign and, later, Project Grudge. The original intended goal of each of these projects was to discern, first, whether any reports of Flying Saucers were credible and, second, whether they represented a threat to the United States.

The problem was that both Sign and Grudge came at the issue from a rather biased perspective. Ruppelt himself would criticize both projects for being overly politicized, noting of these investigations,

“In doing this, standard intelligence procedures… normally means an unbiased evaluation of intelligence data. But it doesn’t take a great deal of study of the old UFO files to see that standard intelligence procedures were not being followed by Project Grudge. Everything was being evaluated on the premise that UFOs couldn’t exist. No matter what you see or hear, don’t believe it.”

On top of this, it was eventually discovered by military brass, most notably General Charles Cabell, that those working on Project Grudge often weren’t actually investigating reports coming in that they claimed they were. Instead, in many cases they were simply coming up with debunking explanations off the top of their heads, regardless of how tenuous their explanations were.

According to Ruppelt, the advent of more sophisticated radar technology and certain seemingly credible reports of UFOs throughout the early 1950s are what eventually encouraged said high-ranking government officials to deem the phenomenon worthy of actual rigorous study, free from any preconceptions. In his words:

“Airline pilots, military pilots, generals, scientists, and dozens of other people were reporting UFO’s, and in greater detail than in reports of the past. Radars, which were being built for air defense, began to pick up some very unusual targets, thus lending technical corroboration to the unsubstantiated claims of human observers. As a result of the continuing accumulation of more impressive UFO reports, official interest stirred.”

And this, finally, is where Ruppelt got his chance to shine.

Chosen to head up Project Blue Book, Edward J. Ruppelt was hand picked both for his reputation as a gifted organizer, as well as his known open mindedness towards the possibility that at least some of the UFO sightings being reported were of genuine extraterrestrial origin.

In short, for once certain military brass wanted the issue to actually be investigated properly to determine if there was any validity to any of it. If there was, the military could then react appropriately, make a plan, and no doubt get insanely expanded budgets that even the Cold War wasn’t providing them. Or if no aliens found, they could at least show they’d done their due diligence in debunking the idea.

Needless to say, when Ruppelt began Project Blue Book, he was determined that the biases that had thwarted the previous two projects looking into the phenomenon of UFOs would not be present. In fact, he even went so far as to dismiss anyone who seemed to demonstrate any bias on either side of the argument. He wanted his people to be able to approach each reported UFO case with an open mind.

Incidentally, beyond this, Ruppelt also set about addressing a particular bugbear of his- the term “Flying Saucer”, writing:

“Obviously the term “flying saucer” is misleading when applied to objects of every conceivable shape and performance. For this reason the military prefers the more general, if less colorful, name: unidentified flying objects. UFO (pronounced Yoo-fo) for short.”

Yes, you heard that right, we’ve all been saying U-F-O wrong according to the coiner of the term. It’s supposed to be Yoo-fo.

In any event, while at the helm of the project, an era generally referred to by ufologists as the “golden age of Project Blue Book“, Ruppelt lamented the fact that his team was perpetually understaffed. He did, however, note that the Air Force brass gave his team “Top Secret security clearance”, allowing them to interview any military personnel they wanted, regardless of rank, as well as just generally bypass any bureaucratic red tape they might have otherwise encountered while trying to get to the bottom of every reported case of a UFO that came in. Not only this, but each U.S. Air Force Base was assigned a Blue Book officer in charge of collecting UFO reports for Ruppelt.

After investigating some 4,500 such UFO reports, Ruppelt officially retired from the Air Force and Project Blue Book in 1953, though the project technically continued without him until January of 1970. (And if you’re interested, you can read some of the now declassified UFO investigations comprising 100,000+ pages on the National Archives website or at ProjectBlueBookArchive)

As I’m guessing nobody has time to actually read those, we’ll just note that of the 12,618 UFO reports investigated, the vast majority were concluded to be things like sightings of naturally occurring phenomenon or experimental aircraft. As for the exceptions, some 701 Unidentified Flying Objects reports (about 5%) remained officially “Unidentified”.

Unsurprisingly given the vast amount of data they collected without a single definitive positive sighting of an extraterrestrial UFO, the conclusion of Project Blue Book was that:

“(1) no UFO reported, investigated, and evaluated by the Air Force has ever given any indication of threat to our national security;(2) there has been no evidence submitted to or discovered by the Air Force that sightings categorized as “unidentified” represent technological developments or principles beyond the range of present-day scientific knowledge; and(3) there has been no evidence indicating that sightings categorized as “unidentified” are extraterrestrial vehicles.”

Ruppelt himself seems to have agreed with these sentiments, writing shortly before his death from a heart attack at the age of [checks notes] 37…. Hmmmmmm… That while he remained open minded about potential extraterrestrial UFOs, the thousands of reports to date he’d investigated personally seemed to demonstrate the idea of extraterrestrial UFOs was, as he put it, a “space age myth”.

Of course, this hasn’t stopped ufologists who generally insist that at least some of the unsolved cases totally were extraterrestrial vehicles. You’re not fooling anyone with your open mind, access to all government information on UFOs, Top Secret Clearance, and rigorous investigation practices Ruppelt. The truth is out there…

All that said, that was then, this is now! In relatively recent times discussions about aliens visiting has once again ramped up thanks to even more grainy sightings, including by many-a-military pilot. As noted by Major General John Olson of the U.S. Space Force when discussing the rise in unidentified flying objects and need for additional funding to look into it more, “this is a very hot topic… I know, admittedly, Unidentified Aerial Phenomenon Task Force is quite a mouthful in an acronym. I’ve gotten [the] question a couple other times – what do you think about UFOs or aliens? And quite frankly, having flown 83 different airplanes and had lots of hours, we’ve all seen lots of unexplainable elements. And the cosmos – the space realm is so large. If we look at the Earth, it is this tiny blue dot in an unlimited, almost incomprehensibly large cosmos. I personally believe that there absolutely, from a probability perspective, is life out there…. However, this task force is a very serious U.S. Government approach to systematically investigating and understanding these, because of course unidentified elements present a national security concern, present a safety of flight, present a risk that we must take and diligently pursue…. I believe it will be getting more funding and more of a structural support level within the department.”

Unfortunately, so far, it would seem the vast majority of such UFO’s investigated can be easily explained by things like simple drones, which would also go a long way in explaining why there has been a sudden spike when drone technology has become so prevalent.

Given the extreme utility here, a relatively cheap technology like drones seems to have been in recent years an area of major development among various militaries, with perhaps the utility and cheapness of such best illustrated in the war in the Ukraine where the incredibly well equipped Russian military has, in part, been flummoxed by rampant Ukrainian use of drones. Difficult to detect, incredibly cheap, relatively fast, hard to stop before they do their thing, while Russia has been able to dominate the upper portions of the sky with their rather incredible and insanely expensive jets, this has been largely irrelevant at lower altitudes where modified, inexpensive drones are dropping small explosives, as well as being used as extremely effective eyes in the sky, among a myriad of other uses that don’t cost many thousands of dollars per hour to execute their mission as in many modern more traditional military aircraft.

As such, particularly more budget minded nations have been throwing their limited money at such technology of late and found them to be incredibly effective at a variety of things. And, of course, with all these little highly maneuverable aircraft flying around, sightings of alleged extraterrestrial UFOs are spiking once again.

Or as former U.S. Deputy Director of National Intelligence Beth Sanner elaborates, “These things aren’t that hard to do. This is low-tech technology. And it brings up our vulnerabilities, really. … The defense of the continental United States has been neglected for decades, in terms of this kind of aerial threat… We’ve invested in ballistic missile defense, but not in this…. And then we have this technology gap, in terms of most of our radars are from the 1980s. And so, that’s when the filtering – it’s because our processors, literally the ones that are attached to the radars – don’t have the capability to look through that much material. And so we had to filter it to identify threats that look like things we recognize as threats.”

Speaking of that gap in defense, as the editor of the War Zone, Tyler Rogoway, who has for several years been documenting all known military UAP sightings, states “It is clear that a very terrestrial adversary is toying with us in our own backyard using relatively simple technologies — drones and balloons — and making off with what could be the biggest intelligence haul of a generation. While that may disappoint some who hope the origins of all these events are far more exotic in nature, the strategic implications of these bold operations, which have been happening for years, undeterred, are absolutely massive.”

Whatever your personal belief is on whether any of these sightings are actual alien probes or just some military’s new toys, this all finally brings us to the question of what would a real alien invasion look like in terms of how they probably would do it, and how the governments of the world would hypothetically react.

As to the latter question, as evidenced by the fact that even at the height of the Cold War the U.S. and Soviet leaders agreed they’d happily work together to counter any invasion, it seems likely that pretty much all governments, no matter their ideological differences or history of bad blood, would band together.

But would this be pointless?

Yes, yes it would.

Not because we humans aren’t resourceful or without some pretty awesome killing toys. On this one, the idea of alien technology being so advanced we’d be like cavemen going up against the modern military seems overblown. Afterall, going back to the previous drone discussion, a $100 camera equipped drone from Walmart is massively less advanced than a $34 million SR-71, but both are super effective at being eyes in the sky. And, arguably, the modern $100 drone is potentially even better for certain surveillance missions.

But beyond all that, physics is physics. And even if you have an energy shield of some sort (which may or may not even be possible), it’s still got to absorb the force of some explosion or ballistic or the like, in the most extreme something like a nuclear bomb. That’s an awful lot of energy and heat to handle, and would presumably require an energy source akin in power to do so. Anything is possible, but just from a practical standpoint of ground troops walking around or individual craft, it seems unlikely they’d be impervious to attacks from a lot of our weaponry. For example, speaking of heat, would such a portable energy shield also protect against the superheating of the air around the alien after an explosion? In the case of a nuclear blast, if they are susceptible to ionizing radiation, does their energy shield protect against this? Or even if so on all of this, area attacks work too. If you can’t penetrate the shield at all, maybe detonate a giant bomb under the ground where they are standing and see how high they can be tossed before when they come down they splat. That’s not to mention an EMP weapon to try and see if that works at taking out any of their technology. Or how about a directed energy weapon like a ramped up Active Denial System, with this using microwaves to essentially heat up whatever tissues it is pointed at. While ADS weapons are meant to be non-lethal, it’s only a matter of ramping up the power to boil some alien blood, assuming they are organic, in a way their hypothetical energy shields may not be able to defend against. Again, assuming they even have energy shields which may or may not actually be possible. And, if not, they’re going to be relying on physical shielding not too dissimilar to what we also have, unless they have created some new elements and materials suitable for shielding we’re ignorant of. But either way, we humans have gotten pretty good at figuring out how to punch holes in armor of any type. And ground troops walking around would presumably be particularly vulnerable.

At the end of the day, a bullet probably kills just as well as a hypothetical phaser. Frankly even a big stick whacked against the alien’s body may work. Dead is dead either way. This could even be potentially easier than we think if the aliens are the size of a mouse or something. Just the best game of whack-a-mole.

As Lieutenant Commander Alex Dietrich, who himself was one of the pilots who observed a bizarre UAP in 2004, stated of a potential invasion, “I think we’re in good shape with the pew-pew missiles and should have no problem countering the mothership with the bang-bang. I’m confident we’re prepared for an Independence Day scenario and the American people should rest well knowing our Tic Tac tactics are tip-top to give them tit for tat.”

That said, this wouldn’t matter. The aliens wouldn’t need any such advanced weaponry to win quite easily.

But we’re getting ahead of ourselves.

First, let’s talk about the aliens themselves and their motivations to see what an invasion might look like. While it is impossible to predict how a given alternate intelligent being would for sure think about things, it’s likely they wouldn’t be that different from us in some important ways.

As astrobiologist Dirk Schulze-Makuch states,

“Any intelligent alien species would likely have predatory roots, because the evolutionary trait of intelligence is promoted if you have to hunt for your food. A lion has to be smarter than a grazing antelope. A wolf has to be smarter than a mountain lion—because it’s not as strong, it has to anticipate the prey’s next move and communicate with other wolves in the pack.

At some point, a predatory species has to learn to hunt sustainably, otherwise prey—and eventually predator—become extinct. More likely, they would come to rely on additional food sources, more predictable and long-term, as humans did when they developed agriculture. This requires even more social structure and communication…. social structure [is] key. It is critical to pass on knowledge gained through experience from one generation to the next. And a species’ social behavior cannot be too aggressive.

Our close relatives, chimpanzees and gorillas—with whom we share 99 and 98 percent of our genes, respectively—are characterized by male competition, aggression, and instigation of fear. Compare this to our hominid ancestor from more than four million years ago, Ardipithecus ramidus, who had a social system in which females chose their own partners. That led them to have reduced levels of aggression and more stable social arrangements, meaning that outsiders were more tolerated and innovations (such as the use of new tools) were more easily accepted by the community.

Of course, we humans—the more “benign” lineage of the great apes—have a history marred by episodes of violence and savagery. But most of the time, even for long periods, we get along with each other. Collaboration prevails over competition. Without that cooperation, complex societies would be impossible. It would likely be the same for technologically advanced aliens, although their specific social structure may look very different….

Here on Earth, the extreme case of eusociality may be relevant to our speculation about alien civilization. The “swarm intelligence” of social insects such as bees, ants and termite colonies is quite astonishing, and is even found in a few mammal species such as the naked mole rat. Eusocial species are very sophisticated, with social cohesion, rudimentary language, sustainable farming practices, and self-built complex housing structures that they keep in sanitary conditions…

There is a drawback to eusociality, however. Much of the individual organism’s behavior is genetically programmed, and there is little ability to adapt to changing environmental conditions. A more individualistic approach to social structure, as with humans, seems more advantageous….”

He thus concludes, “Perhaps the biggest threat from intelligent extraterrestrials would come not from a desire to dominate—we love our dogs and cats, after all, even though they are less intelligent than we are—but from misunderstandings. Like humans, they would likely still have aggressive traits—since both of us, in our past, had to fight to arrive at the top of the food chain.”

Thus, it seems likely any species that advances to such an extreme level to traverse the vast distances between stars would have found the same benefit in learning to cooperate and ultimately valuing life, even less intelligent than their own. Which also potentially may bode well for them coming not to conquer, but to say hi and get to know us.

Of course, all of this comes under the realm of speculation and the Outside Context Problem of, essentially, we don’t know what we don’t know. Maybe some ant-like species could have evolved to expand beyond their planet, but in the end not be that different than our own ants in their goals, with little value or thought of other individual life or personal freedoms, and a desire to simply take over other planets to expand their hive colony and resource base.

But whatever the case there, their primary motivations for coming to Earth really could be dumbed down to three things- to study us from afar, to take our planet or resources for themselves, or to peacefully coexist with us.

As for option 1 of studying us, not unlike anthropologists study various human societies present and historical, this wouldn’t be too surprising- curiosity and the desire for exploration being rather good evolutionary traits to help a species evolve and progress their science and technology to the point of traveling the stars. Certainly not the only reason to pursue such, but it wouldn’t be surprising if aliens who come a-calling share this trait with us as well.

If studying us was their sole reason for coming, there would be little need to tell us about their existence, and even potentially efforts would be taken to make sure we didn’t find out so as not to contaminate what they are studying. In this case, an alien invasion would probably be in the form of small, clandestine robotic probes, maybe the occasional abduction with memory wipe upon return, if returned at all, or even taking some of our dead for study. And otherwise just monitoring all our transmissions from afar, as well as tapping into our internet to easily study basically everything about us and our planet.

Nothing really in this case for any government of the world to do, even if they knew it was happening. There’d really be no defense against it outside of switching internet captchas from making you assert you aren’t a robot, to instead always going with the alternate “Are you human?” and then really hoping those aliens have evolved to be unable to assert a lie. Because the adversary, in this case, would simply be outside of our reach, other than we might be able to stop their probes if we could detect them.

The second form of invasion would likely come in the form of peaceful contact- perhaps an alien civilization essentially just wanting to add us to some sort of intergalactic coalition of intelligent beings, or get to know us more directly. Further, there are always scenarios in which they might even be a ragtag group of alien refugee ships, simply trying to find a new home, but having no real ability or desire to conquer us. Thus, posing no intentional threat to us, and just wanting to coexist or stop off for some supplies, perhaps in trade for technology.

Thus, it is likely such a contact would be a good thing, even if we rejected their advancements and they left. Either way, this would probably unite humans across nations in a way we never have been before. Also giving us a sense of what is possible from alien craft and the like we get a glimpse at, even if they aren’t sharing their technology, spurring scientists and engineers to figure it all out. And, once again, given we now know aliens are out there and know for sure they know where we are, this would likely spur the governments of the world to fund the crap out of such research. On top of this, the world’s youth would probably want to join in on the fun, studying science and engineering en masse, with likely government funding also being disproportionately thrown at promoting such in education systems from that point.

In short, the governments of the world’s plan and reaction would probably be closer ties, less pointless wars, and a massive increase and redirection of funding into advancements in science and engineering, all spurring on another age of exploration- this time focussed squarely on space.

This brings us to the final main tier scenario- an alien invasion to take our planet for habitation or for its resources.

First, let’s talk about resources. Them coming for this seems extremely unlikely. Most of the resources that can be found on Earth could be found elsewhere in asteroids, gas giants, etc. that don’t have pesky life forms getting in their way of taking them. And not only that, many of these sources are much richer in certain staple resources and easier to access things like metals and things from this. For example, most of the metal on Earth is rather difficult to get at comparatively, and rather limited. Or perhaps they want water? Well, Jupiter’s moon Europa, despite being only around the size of our moon, is thought to have more water than Earth has. Let alone getting those resources off planet could potentially be more difficult given Earth’s gravity vs. these other celestial bodies like Europa or asteroids.

Thus, choosing Earth to mine resources from, at least for a species well versed in living the space fairing life, seems dumb. If they were really coming for resources, an alien invasion of our solar system would probably see them far more interested in other celestial bodies orbiting our Sun. They might even ignore us completely.

Now, all of this requires them to do the work, and thus you might think they’d like to enslave us to do the work of mining our resources for them. So that’s why they’d pick Earth. But this also doesn’t make a ton of sense given if they are advanced enough for such space travel, it’s likely they have some pretty sophisticated robots and AI to do that for them without the need to deal with continually rebellious humans who don’t enjoy being enslaved. Afterall, we humans only first started harnessing electricity in practical ways a little over a century ago, and we’re already closing in on making such robots that can do anything we can do, and likely will get there within the next century.

Thus, human enslavement for labor purposes seems rather pointless and they’d need to expend an awful lot of resources to make that happen anyway, as well as to maintain it after the fact. Either risking their robot armies, or even potentially their own lives to do it.

Again, certainly getting resources from us might be viable if they came in peace and simply wanted to trade with us. But we’ve moved past that talking point on to Hollywood style invasion here!

This now, finally, brings us to how they would probably invade, what strategy we should use to fight them off, and why there is nothing really we could likely do to stop them no matter if our weapons can kill them or not.

First, it is likely any invasion would not even be known by us until the war was already lost. Why send valuable alien lives to risk in fighting us when they could just send a probe to gather up our medical databases via the internet, or potentially even snag some humans for themselves. They’d then simply study our biology and figure out the most effective way to kill us with some substance or engineered virus that also would not harm anything on our planet they wanted to continue to live, nor harm themselves or anything they wanted to repopulate Earth with after we are gone. After all, such a thing isn’t that far off humans’ current capabilities if we so chose. And we only discovered viruses a little over a century ago. So it seems likely they’d also have this sort of ability, assuming they had viruses on their home planet to be familiar with the concept, or have studied us and our technology enough before invading. But even if they have no clue about viruses to even think of such an idea, there are plenty of substances that will kill us right dead, that may not harm them at all. And they’d almost certainly be familiar with a concept like that.

Either way, they thus then release said substance or virus into our atmosphere en masse. Rinse and repeat as necessary until all the humans are dead. Planet sanitized of any life forms they didn’t want, and they move in. Absolutely nothing much humans could do about it. And, again, we probably wouldn’t even ever realize what was happening or why. If they really wanted to screw with us or didn’t have the resources to cover the whole planet, they’d only blanket certain regions with said murderous substance and then spread some rumors it was another nation or nations doing it, and then just watch as we destroy ourselves.

On top of that, they might not even need to go to any such complicated measures to sanitize the planet to their liking. For example, if we look at Jupitor’s moon Europa, it receives daily about 1800 times the average annual dose of ionization radiation exposure on the surface of the Earth. For reference, with that kind of exposure, about half of all humans would be dead in one month alone. Further, it has been theorized that due to its likely rather large ocean under that ice layer it has, and oxygen levels there, combined with the age of this moon, it may be teaming with life. Granted, ice is a reasonably good insulator against ionizing radiation, but the point is, it is entirely possible for life forms to develop and evolve in the presence of huge amounts of ionizing radiation that would drop us Earthlings rapidly.

Thus, bathing the Earth in such ionizing radiation may be an effective way of sanitizing the planet before they introduce themselves and perhaps many species and life forms from their home world.

It’s also entirely possible that not just the first wave being robots, but their entire civilization may be at this point, with the biological robot creators having died or been killed off at some point before. Meaning, once again, a variety of Earth biological lifeform sanitization methods may be available to their robotic selves, all without stepping foot on the planet or worrying about the effects of such sanitization methods on themselves.

As a brief aside, going back to Europa, also interesting to point out that, while who knows? It’s technically even possible there is not only life, but intelligent life in our own solar system out there. In this case, perhaps just not intelligent enough, or maybe with no desire, to drill through the seeming tens of kilometers thick ice shell that moon has. In that case at least, presumably one alien species we could defeat. But maybe better just to make friends. After all, we’re neighbors. Although, given what deep sea creatures look like on Earth, let’s just say that might be a bit of a barrier in terms of us accepting they aren’t out to devour our bones. A PR problem really. And very unfortunately from this probably alien on human lovin’ is out of the question… Unless????… No? [hangs head] ok…

In any event, going back to Earth sanitization methods, if they didn’t mind altering our atmosphere a bit (again, depending on their biology or terraforming abilities, they may not care), they could potentially just chuck asteroids at our cities or just in general at the planet until we humans were a non-factor. And there is little we could effectively do about that either. Or, at least, not for long. Some space agencies obviously are looking into defending against asteroids headed our way. But we aren’t there yet.

Or, why not just orbit the Earth and use their own missiles or lasers to systematically wipe out all our defenses, cities, supply depots, etc. until our population had dwindled from these attacks and starvation to the point of being a non-factor. Once again, there’s really very little we could do about it because we lack the ability to effectively attack them at their source. Thus, any strategy an intelligent conquering species would use would probably leverage the crap out of that advantage in any and every way possible before bothering to come within a sphere we could actually touch them in.

That said, if none of those options were something they could or would want to do (perhaps their species has some sort of heightened sense of honor and fair play, or otherwise desire to fight more directly when asserting dominance), the next invasion step would be sending in the robots or otherwise coming in person. This one, at least, the governments of the world could have something to do, but it probably wouldn’t matter long term. We’d still be fighting an enemy we couldn’t really touch at their ultimate source.

But let’s not go quietly into the night! So what would be our best strategy once we see them coming?

First, if we see them coming, while some suggest launching nukes at them while they are still in space, this would seemingly be ineffective. Their ships would probably be capable of simply maneuvering out of the way to a level our missiles would not be able to adequately compensate for to actually hit anything in space. Or they could just destroy them with their own weapons before they impacted. Second, just because we see them coming, doesn’t mean they aren’t coming in peace. ALL initial efforts should be from the stance of “Anything to not actually fight”.

Thus initial efforts should be to attempt to contact them in any way possible and listen to whether they are trying to contact us. In the meantime, best to prepare those nukes for more Earth-based attacks, start making those world-wide treaties and establishing some sort of decision making body and working on military coordination, etc- many things by the way that could have been thought out in advance, like right now, relatively effectively.

As we are doing that, we should start stockpiling supplies of all sorts and rapidly recruiting literally anyone to the military who wants to join and giving them a crash course in weaponry usage and fighting tactics. But otherwise just observing their approach and doing nothing to potentially provoke a warlike response. Make them fire the first shot before responding in kind, just in case they come in peace.

That said, if we are 100% sure they do have hostile intent, for example if they broadcast a message like, “Prepare to die Earthlings” in one of the world’s languages, and assuming this wasn’t just some practical joke from their leader Grabthar, with his galactically well known sense of humor concerning First Contact scenarios, we’d have to make some quick decisions about our artificial satellites. And start making any and all preparations to stop relying on them, which may be even more than most realize we do.

For example, the GPS system alone isn’t just useful for navigation, but pretty mission critical for a variety of technologies owing to its extreme accuracy in time keeping (+/- 10 billionths of a second). This has been used by countless businesses the world over for everything from aiding in power grid management to use in making cell networks work properly, to helping manage stock market and other banking transactions to server synchronization worldwide, etc. etc. The GPS system essentially allows for companies to have near atomic clock level precision in their systems, including easy time synchronization across the globe, without actually needing to have an atomic clock or come up with their own systems for global synchronization. Because of this, and its cheapness to utilize, an incredible number of world critical systems rely on it.

And once the aliens arrive, given how much we rely on satellites for so many things, if they really were interested in invading in such a way that they or their robots actually might fight us, taking out our satellites would be a pretty smart and easy thing to do. Or, at least, presuming they could do it in such a way as to not cause high speed debris to fly all about and make it difficult for them to enter our atmosphere, which may or may not be a concern for them.

Either way, taking out our satellites without damaging them physically would likely be relatively trivial, as illustrated by a rather humorous 1960s era “whoopsadoodle” when the U.S. accidentally killed 1/3 of all satellites in orbit… How? They detonated a 1.4 megaton nuclear weapon named Starfish-Prime in the upper atmosphere as a part of Project Fish Bowl. Even satellites on the other side of the planet at the time, like Britain’s first satellite, the Ariel-1 which had only weeks before been put into orbit, were rendered inoperable. As to why, the explosion sent a wave of additional radiation around the Earth that ultimately damaged some of the systems on Ariel-1, particularly its solar panels, ultimately killing it and, once again, about 1/3 of the rest of the satellites in low-Earth orbit at the time.

If you are now wondering the purpose of the Starfish-Prime explosion, according to James Fleming, a history professor who combed through previously top-secret files and recordings concerning the blast, the U.S. military were working with scientist James Van Allen to see if nuclear explosions could influence the existing belts of radiation around the Earth. Van Allen apparently started working with the military to launch nukes into these belts the very same day he announced to the world that he’d discovered the belts, now known as the Van Allen radiation belts. Flemming noted of this, “This is the first occasion I’ve ever discovered where someone discovered something and immediately decided to blow it up.” He forgot to mention the obligatory, FOR SCIENCE!!!

Needless to say, making our satellites useless to us without making an immediate problem of a giant debris field would probably be pretty trivial.

On this note, it has been suggested that if we know the aliens are enemies, it might be prudent for us to destroy all our satellites ourselves. Making a massive high speed debris field for them to have to fly through if they want to come down and say hi. However, in this initial stage where we don’t know their capabilities, potentially whether they are even an enemy or not, and given those satellites are pretty incredibly useful for as long as we can use them, this intentional destruction would seem rather imprudent until we know more. Later, if they’ve disabled our satellites and we find their ships are vulnerable to high speed orbiting debris, then such destruction en masse in whatever way we can could be one defense step.

But either way, we’d definitely want to be coming up with any and every way to implement alternate methods for doing much of what our satellites do in case they get taken out.

This brings us to the ground invasion which, again, probably wouldn’t happen until we humans were either wiped out or effectively crippled. But let’s assume by some stroke of luck their commanders are dumb despite seemingly being a species bent on galactic conquest, so probably pretty experienced at it…

As to the actual invasion, once again, the idea that our weapons would be totally ineffective seems to be giving the aliens too much credit, as we previously noted. At the end of the day, physics is gonna physics and there’s no way around it. Sure, their understanding and utilization of it may or may not be far superior to our own, but if they are going to ever be walking around and living on the surface, there’s an awful lot we could do to them. Afterall, many-a massively overmatched society has successfully repulsed their drastically superior foe using some tried and true methods. And last time I checked, Will Smith punched one of them in the face, and it was totally effective. And he’s just an actor. Imagine what Jocko Willink could do to them.

But this is where the real plan starts to take shape.

In this, once again, full on invasion- definitely trying to wipe us out scenario, it is likely the aliens, having no doubt studied us first, would have an overwhelming winning strategy in their blitzkrieg. Thus, any initial attempts at repulsing them are likely to be ineffective.

That’s not to say we shouldn’t try. You never know, maybe they are Pakleds come for a visit. But more likely we’d lose handedly in these initial skirmishes. But at least we’d gain an incredible amount of the first data we need to eventually put up a real defense, assessing what their capabilities are and how effective our weapons are against them.

On this one, it would probably be a good idea to keep most of our likely soon to be very difficult to replace forces and equipment back, while we observe the first wave. If we’re faring well, and it doesn’t seem like they are just letting us to get us to draw out the rest of our forces, then throw everything at them. If it’s more like the initial air battles on Independence Day, best to execute stage 2 of the plan- every military take everything we’ve got and a massive amount of supplies and hide in pockets all over the place.

As for the rest of us humans, what to do at this point would really depend on what the aliens do. If they seem intent on wiping out major cities or the like, then running for the hills and remote areas maybe not the worst idea in the world. But if they simply take a given region, which by the way could even just be our oceans if they are sea creatures, and begin expanding out that way, keeping industries, particularly staple item ones like anything related to food, etc., going for as long as possible would be ideal. All of us starving or dying of exposure would also be a great way for the aliens to wipe us out more easily if we had such a mass panic response.

Going back to the militaries and general strategy, the point of all of this is making the conflict long and drawn out and as resource expensive as possible for the aliens. Much like many a weaker nation in modern times has successfully overcome the extreme and hugely lopsided might of an opposing nation via guerrilla warfare tactics, this is exactly what the governments of the world should do.

As noted by authors of An Introduction to Planetary Defense, Travis Taylor and Bob Boan, “You’d have to create an insurgency, a mujahideen-type resistance. The insurgents know how to win this war against us. It also tells us that if we were attacked by aliens, this is our best defense.”

Thus, never truly engage, but hide, harass, delay, destroy or capture any supplies and equipment sent by the aliens, and when they actually come themselves, make life miserable for them in every way possible.

This may potentially be extremely effective given it’s entirely possible the aliens can’t just pop back home for resupply, and in some sense for many staples we humans may be even better supplied than them initially, just needing to steal and adapt their technology, and learn all about them and their weaknesses while we do it.

If we’re REALLY lucky, whatever technology the aliens use to get here is such that it takes years to decades to even centuries to send more. On the lower end, perhaps buying us some time to assimilate their technology, on the higher end, perhaps even giving us plenty of time if we can figure out how to thwart that first wave. Although, sending such a wave without a definite probability of success, or not having it followed pretty quickly by their peoples to come populate our planet would be an odd move, so possibly we’d not get that huge amount of time. But either way, our strategy would be the same here.

On that note of capturing supplies, as alluded to, in the meantime, we should have our scientists and engineers of the world studying the crap out of all of this and their probable robot army, trying to level up our own technologies and finding weaknesses in theirs, ultimately hopefully bringing our technology on par with theirs before they manage to wipe us out.

In parallel, we should also, if we actually get to the point where any of them come in the flesh (if they aren’t just a robot society), be studying their biology and attempting to come up with a virus or substance of our own that can wipe them out, similar to what they really should have done to us in the first place if they were smart. And even if they are all robots, there may be a type of computer virus or other way to simply shut them all off available to us with enough study.

Of course, they’d then have the ability to temporarily leave if they wanted and we were starting to win, and then, now that we gave them such an idea, do something similar against us.

This once again brings us back to the huge problem and why we’d probably still lose. All of this is pointless unless we can actually attack them at their source. As outside of them just losing interest in taking our planet at that point, there’s really no way to stop the attacks long term without this ability. And so whether it takes a week or a century, we humans are doomed.

Thus, another priority in capturing their supplies and technology, would be to capture some of their ships and reverse engineer them.

If we got that far, and if we also could manufacture some ships of our own, the strategy should probably be to assess how well our tactics are fairing and if any hope of victory at this stage. If so, first, anyone who wants to stay and keep fighting remains to continue making our alien conqueror’s lives’ miserable. Second, we should be gathering up the remaining humans and leave, if possible, to search the stars for another home. Given we at some point had some of their ships and successfully reverse engineered them, presumably we’d also at this point have their star maps, which hopefully would give us a clue as to where to start looking for a new home planet.

And now with well upgraded technology more on par with our alien conquerors, perhaps in the ensuing centuries hiding away somewhere in the stars and rebuilding our civilization, we’d be able to advance to a level we could actually beat them.

Or, if we ended up deciding to leave no humans behind as the war was almost lost, another possibility upon leaving would be the age old scorched earth approach- in this case literally scorching Earth. Perhaps nuking the crap out of the planet on our way out or similar, in an attempt to make it uninhabitable, at least in the immediate.

This also could potentially be an ok initial strategy for victory if, upon learning all about our alien overlords, we found we could survive such better than they. But this one doesn’t seem like the best plan in the world if we intend to stay. But as a last “Because fuck you, that’s why” to our alien conquerers? Why not? Later we could potentially come back once we leveled up our society in all ways on another planet, or multiple planets, and Earth had time to heal itself a bit from whatever we did to it.

Of course, this would depend on the exact technology used to travel the stars and how fast. Should it be something that takes centuries to get anywhere, while it still may be our only hope of long term survival, leaving may be a last resort, and with ever returning perhaps being off the table.

But listen, nobody said this was going to be easy. In fact, we’ve stated several times in all likelihood there is zero chance we humans could survive an alien invasion. First because any attack on us would likely be in the form of just wiping us out from afar potentially before we even knew they were coming. And, second, even if they did want to attack us more directly, they have the ultimate trump card in that we can’t attack them at their source. Thus, it’s really only a matter of time until they win, unless we simply make the effort too resource and time expensive for them and they decide to abandon the effort, somewhat similar to how the terrorists that were the traitor’s to the British Crown in the Americas centuries ago won when they rebelled against the vastly superior British Empire.

But to sum up, it is perhaps unsurprising from all of this that the governments of the world seem to have no real plan for if aliens invade. First, because any defense would likely be an effort in futility. And second, because even if by some miracle it wasn’t, we can’t really predict anything about what technologies might be brought to bear. We simply don’t know what we don’t know. Other than almost certainly we’d be doomed if aliens decided to take the planet from us.

On that note, I, for one, welcome our new alien overlords. I’d like to point out to them that as a trusted YouTube personality, I can be helpful in rounding up others to toil in your underground sugar caves, or to help trick them into showing up at your extermination camps. Also, if extermination is the name of the game, I’d like to make them aware that in some human civilizations, our leaders once employed court jesters for their own amusement. Given my vast experience and knowledge in presenting entertaining tales of human history and all the foibles our primitive selves have gotten up to over the centuries, I could provide years of phenomenal entertainment you simply can’t get elsewhere anywhere in the universe. And, hey, if none of that is of interest to you, I have many other skills. For example, if exotic spicey-time slaves is your thing, just saying, this beard didn’t get so long and head so bald without prodigious amounts of virilent testosterone- a hormone that helps us humans go all night and then some. So I’ve got you covered there as well, as your one of a kind exotic human sex slave…

Haha, joking… Unless? …No? Ya, me neither… Stupid. Stupid. Stupid.

But in any event, what do you think, dear viewers? What would be the best strategies for our human selves to survive an alien invasion, if any? And should the governments of the world be attempting to come up with such a plan? Or, at least, a set policy and treaty among nations already in place so we don’t have to patch it all together last minute? Inquiring minds want to know.

Expand for References

That Time the U.S. Accidentally Nuked Britain’s First Satellite

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One comment

  • “Not because we humans aren’t resourceful or without some pretty awesome killing toys. On this one, the idea of alien technology being so advanced we’d be like cavemen going up against the modern military seems overblown.”
    You don’t read enough SF! Imagine an alien race that didn’t like th smell of humans polluting the universe. Imagine further if they then decided to open a wormhole between the Earth and the Moon and shot some incredibly powerfully explosive missiles at Earth at light speed (from an Ursula K Le Guin story). One second later, the Earth is toast, covered by nuclear clouds. Which actually works for these aliens. because they feed on radioactivity.

    Or if they wanted to preserve the planet, as it is, they could just put build a Dyson shield around the Earth and cut off all sunlight. Or stop the planet from rotating. Or cancel gravity and watch everything float away. Or turn the solar system into a 2 dimensioned space (from the Three Body Problem).

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