UN ‘to appoint space ambassador to greet alien visitors’
Mazlan Othman, a Malaysian astrophysicist, is set to be tasked with co-ordinating humanity’s response if and when extraterrestrials make contact. Aliens who landed on earth and asked: “Take me to your leader” would be directed to Mrs Othman.
She will set out the details of her proposed new role at a Royal Society conference in Buckinghamshire next week. Mrs Othman is currently head of the UN’s little known Office for Outer Space Affairs (Unoosa).
In a recent talk to fellow scientists, she said: “The continued search for extraterrestrial communication, by several entities, sustains the hope that some day human kind will received signals from extraterrestrials. “When we do, we should have in place a coordinated response that takes into account all the sensitivities related to the subject. The UN is a ready-made mechanism for such coordination.”
Professor Richard Crowther, an expert in space law at the UK space agency who leads delegations to the UN, said: “Othman is absolutely the nearest thing we have to a ‘take me to your leader’ person”. The plan to make Unoosa the co-ordinating body for dealing with alien encounters will be debated by UN scientific advisory committees and should eventually reach the body’s general assembly.