According to a National Geographic survey, 77 percent of all Americans “believe there are signs that aliens have visited Earth.” About 1 in 12 Americans believe they’ve seen a UFO at some point or another. Now, a declassified document written by Robert Oppenheimer, an American theoretical physicist, and Albert Einstein, a German theoretical physicist, discusses our “Relationship with inhabitants of celestial bodies.”

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The document is somewhat enigmatic. A total of only six pages in length, it references Extraterrestrial Biological Entities and how we should react to their presence. The document reads, in part:

“Relationships with extraterrestrial men presents no basically new problem from the standpoint of international law; but the possibility of confronting intelligent beings that do not belong to the human race would bring up problems whose solution it is difficult to conceive. In principle, there is no difficulty in accepting the possibility of coming to an understanding with them, and of establishing all kinds of relationships.

The difficulty lies in trying to establish the principles on which these relationships should be based. In the first place, it would be necessary to establish communication with them through some language or other, and afterwards, as a first condition for all intelligence, that they should have a psychology similar to that of men.

At any rate, international law should make place for a new law on a different basis, and it might be called “Law Among Planetary Peoples,” following the guidelines found in the Pentateuch. Obviously, the idea of revolutionizing international law to the point where it would be capable of coping with new situations would compel us to make a change in its structure, a change so basic that it would no longer be international law, that is to say, as it is conceived today, but something altogether different, so that it could no longer bear the same name.

If these intelligent beings were in possession of a more or less culture, and a more or less perfect political organization, they would have an absolute right to be recognized as independent and sovereign peoples, we would have to come to an agreement with them to establish the legal regulations upon which future relationships should be based, and it would be necessary to accept many of their principles.

Finally, if they should reject all peaceful cooperation and become an imminent threat to the earth, we would have the right to legitimate defense, but only insofar as would be necessary to annul this danger.”

The message they were trying to communicate is pretty clear. They feared that disclosure of alien beings could shake up society far too severely. It’s not proof that governments know about alien beings. It is an indication that if they do, they may keep it a total secret from society, at least as long as they can.

“We cannot exclude the possibility that a race of extraterrestrial people more advanced technologically and economically may take upon itself the right to occupy another celestial body. How, then, would this occupation come about?

The idea of exploitation by one celestial state would be rejected, they may think it would be advisable to grant it to all others capable of reaching another celestial body. But this would be to maintain a situation of privilege for these states.”