Summary of eRumor:
This message says that a law already passed by Congress makes it illegal to have contact with a space alien and establishes penalties for anybody who does. It specifies Title 14, Section 1211 of the Code of Federal Regulations.
Several things to say about this story.
First, the section of the Code of Federal Regulations that it is referring to is Title 14, Chapter V, Section 1211. Title 14 is the part of the code dealing with aviation and space and sections 1211 through 1299 specifically regulate the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).
Section 1211 was added in 1969 when the U.S. would be bringing a space vehicle and astronauts back to earth from a mission to the moon. The section was designed to protect the earth from any contamination that may have been picked up during the trip and did not specifically describe contact with alien beings or UFO’s. The wording from Section 1211 part 100 says, ” NASA policy, responsibility and authority to guard the Earth against any
harmful contamination or adverse changes in its environment resulting from personnel, spacecraft and other property returning to the [earth] after landing on or coming within the atmospheric envelope of a celestial body…” There is no mention of alien beings or vehicles.
Section 1211 was taken out of the Code of Federal Regulations in 1991. An announcement in the 1991 code says that the section was removed “…since it has served its purpose and is no longer in keeping with current policy.”
A complete reading of the regulation makes it clear that it applied to any manned or unmanned space mission that lands or comes within the “atmospheric envelope of a celestial body.” That would apply to anyone who has been into space, not all American citizens. It didn’t prohibit contact with extraterrestrials. It merely specified what regulations would affect a mission’s return to earth to protect us from space contamination.
Also, although the government has denied that there have been known contacts with extraterrestrial beings or vehicles, there has never been, to our knowledge, a governmental position that there could not be. The NASA Origins Project, for example, includes the search for any life outside of our planet. According to NASA, the project is designed to explore two questions: Where do we come from and are we alone?
Summary of eRumor: