The United Nations (U,N.) has named Malaysian astrophysicist Mazlan Othman to be the official ‘greeter’ should aliens from another planet land on Earth in their UFOs. Some might argue that the job should handled by a politician, such as the President of the United States, or Russia, China or the European Union. Even the Pope of the Catholic Church may be a suitable choice. But Mazlan Othman has gotten the job. Why not, she is already the director of the United Nations Office of Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA).

372049 02: An alien doll hangs out a car window in downtown Roswell, New Mexico July 1, 2000 as part of the annual UFO Encounter, which runs through July 4, 2000. The annual festival stems from a mysterious crash northwest of Roswell in 1947. The Army initially said it was a UFO crash, but quickly backed off that report. The Pentagon has since said it was a top-secret balloon crash, but UFO enthusiasts don''t believe that story, which gives rise to what has become known as the 'Roswell Incident'. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Newsmakers)

Professor Othman is no stranger to space issues. She oversaw the Malaysian national space program, as well as the training and flight of Malaysia’s first astronaut. Her role as director of UNOOSA includes studying potential issues involving aerospace technologies, as well as what to do if a large asteroid or comet were discovered to be headed straight for Earth. Her U.N. colleague from the UK, Professor Richard Crowther, says that “Ms. Othman is absolutely the nearest thing we have to a ‘take me to your leader’ person”.

The United Nations has dealt with the notion of potential contact with aliens before. In 1977, NASA launched two deep space probes, Voyager I and II, which would eventually fly beyond our solar system after exploring the major outer planets of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. On board both probes was a gold-plated record containing the sounds of Earth, such as various music, samples of languages and a message from then UN Secretary General, Kurt Waldheim.

Mazlan Othman will be delivering a speech next week at a conference of the Royal Society in Buckinghamshire. She believes that “first contact” with extraterrestrials is more likely now than ever before. Numerous scientific programs are actively involved, ranging from orbital space telescopes such as NASA’s Kepler satellite which has found hundreds of new planets, to various SETI projects using radio telescopes to listen for cosmic messages.

Some see UNOOSA as the real-life version of ‘M.I.B.’, the super-secret organization of the “Men In Black” movies which handles worker visas to E.T.s. The Outer Space Treaty of 1967 defines the role of UNOOSA, a major one being to protect Earth from any alien contamination. The possibility of a extraterrestrial bacteria or virus, such as that depicted in the thriller “Andromeda Strain” could be devastating. As well as the reverse, too, should aliens visit us and then drop dead from our microbes.

One person who may not envy UNOOSA director Mazlan Othman and her new job as the U.N.’s official alien and UFO greeter is another astrophysicist, Stephen Hawking. He has recently made statements that if aliens did come to Earth, they would probably come with hostile intentions. Most likely to raid Earth for it’s resources. Perhaps they would come to steal our atmosphere, as in the Mel Brooks spoof, “Spaceballs”? Let’s hope that the ‘Force’, or the ‘Schwartz’, is strong with Mazlan Othman. But as seen in the video below, aliens may have already visited Earth in UFOs.

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