Report - The NY Times 12/15/1960
The New York Times, Thursday, December 15, 1960
is warned to Prepare for Discovery of Life in Space - Brookings
Institution Report Says Earth's Civilization Might Topple
if faced by a Race of Superior Beings
Dec 14 (UPI) -- Discovery of life on other worlds could
cause the earth's civilization to collapse, a Federal report
warning was contained in a research report given to the
National Aeronautical and Space Administration with the
recommendation that the world prepare itself mentally for
report, prepared by the Brookings Institution, said "while
the discovery of intelligent life in other parts of the
universe is not likely in the immediate future, it could
nevertheless, happen at any time." Discovery of Intelligent
beings on other planets could lead to an all-out effort
by earth to contact them, or it could lead to sweeping changes
or even the downfall of civilization, the report said.
on earth, it added, "societies sure of their own place
have disintegrated when confronted by a superior society,
and others have survived even though changed."
the better we can come to understanding the factors involved
in responding to such crisis the better prepared we may
agency's 100-page report, prepared at a cost of $86,000
was for the space agency's committee on beings-in-space
studies. The members, headed by Donald M. Michael also recommended
further study of other space activities, including the symptomatic
and propaganda effects and the implications of communications
and weather satellites.
the question of life in outer space, the report said that
if intelligent or super-intelligent beings were discovered
in the next twenty years they would probably be found by
radio communications with other solar systems.
of such existence "might also be found in artifacts
left on the moon or other planets," it said.
attempt already has been made to contact outer space. Government
scientist at Greenbank, West Virginia used radio astronomy
in an effort to pick up signals that might have been beamed
by intelligent beings. They concentrated on a star about
fifteen light years away.
were sent from Greenbank were of a kind that would show
to anyone receiving on other planets that they were man-made
and not natural phenomena.