When Orson Welles gave his suspenseful 1938 War of the Worlds radio broadcast, it caused a perhaps overblown but nonetheless real panic among Americans who mistook it for news reportage. And while “invaders from Mars” laying waste to the world now seems fanciful, scientists are worried that a similar broadcast in the future could be relating a real alien invasion — and not just across our porous southern border.
At issue is what could be called SETI 2.0. As the Express explains:
Leading figures from the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (Seti) have recently proposed beaming powerful radio messages to parts of the galaxy where life may exist.
The “active” form of search — known as Messages to Extraterrestrial Intelligence (MetI) — will be deployed to Earth-like planets in the hopes of receiving a response from alien lifeforms.
But this has caused concern among other scientists who say that it might not be exactly the response we want. The paper continues:
Critics fear that sending signals out of our existence could lead to visits from not-so-friendly extraterrestrials intent on destroying the human race.
They also suggest that the proposal goes against the principles of Seti — which are about listening rather than transmitting — and argue that the plans are being conducted by a group of close-knit enthusiasts who have not informed the wider public.
FK – Beaming the entire net out there would certainly be considered a threatening gesture and might possibly cause Galactic War 10,354.