For decades scientists and others have speculated about the 'Fermi Paradox': in a galaxy with billions of stars, and a Universe with billions of galaxies, where are the ETs? Why haven't we seen them...why haven't they contacted us?
The answer is simple, and easily tested. The real question for those speculating about ETs is NOT whether you believe the following explanation, but rather: Do you want to know if it's true? Can you say 'Yes' or 'No' to the question in the experiment below?
In a zoo hypothesis ('Prime Directive') variant, the first phase of Contact began when humans reached a particular technological level--nuclear weapons, and rockets which would soon travel in space. The ETs made their presence known, rather bluntly in some cases, to the governments of major nations--especially to the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. (Russia), and in particular with respect to nuclear weapons--and to millions of people around the world.
While nearly all 'UFO sightings' are nonsense, or easily explainable natural phenomena or human technology, there are many which clearly represent the presence of other advanced technological intelligences.
They haven't forced 'acknowledgement' of their presence--e.g., with a dramatic daylight appearance over major cities--because (except for a 'Final Warning', e.g., as in the original TDTESS,) willfully forcing acknowledgement of an ET presence on a primitive civilization is a hostile and destructive act, and contrary to their metaphysical understandings.
Honoring their policy required many thousands of difficult and uncertain judgements as to when and how they might appear, based on the ability of our civilization to deny the blindingly obvious.
In the era of universal cell phone cameras, significant appearances before groups of humans are no longer possible, since such appearances would force acknowledgement.
They have a better understanding of our civilization than we do, and they know of the experiences of many other civilizations. Some of the ETs are quite capable of communicating in images and in our languages the story of Life of the Universe, and they're ready to begin the next phase of Contact as soon as one or more sovereign entities (nations) take responsibility for beginning the process.
Only a sovereign can take responsibility for initiating this process, because only a sovereign can take responsibility for the consequences. In the next phase of Contact, we will have access to enormous amounts of information from the ETs.
The ETs have honored their faith, and done their job by 'knocking on our door' tens of thousands of times.
The first step is to openly ask, and invite open answers ('Yes' or 'No'!) from the SETI/METI scientists, and the astrobiologists at NASA, etc., to the question below.
The second step is to ask NASA (or an element of another nation's sovereign):
"Would you welcome an undeniable appearance, or even a brief open message (in optical Morse Code), from ETs who have long since 'found us', and are willing to begin the next phase of Contact?"
The next phase of Contact will begin when one or more of the sovereigns of our world welcome it.
Some scientists might argue that we've already sent messages, on spacecraft and by radio, and no one replied. But why would they have replied? They know the messages were not intended for them--ETs who have long been here--and were sent by, or with the acquiescence of governments, elements of which have known with absolute certainty of the ET presence since long before NASA was created.
>Why should we do this 'experiment'?
It's a simple and obvious experiment which costs nothing and can be done right now. Isn't it a bit hypocritical to spend millions and billions of dollars searching for ETs we'll never have a useful conversation with--because they're bugs, or many light years away--and then to refuse to try an experiment that could begin a conversation with intelligent ETs who may already be here?
There are 'good' reasons for opposing Contact, and thus for answering the question with a 'No', or saying 'No' by ignoring or evading the question.
But, if scientists won't consider and/or NASA won't sanction this experiment, then they should understand that they--and we--are making a huge wager on the future of our civilization: that we're more likely to survive and prosper in the coming years and decades by ignoring the possibility, however slight it may seem, of learning of the experiences of other rapidly advancing pre-singularity civilizations--like ours in many ways. What happens to civilizations who refuse to learn from the 'Mistakes of the Past'? Do we want to know? Do you want to know?