It's against the law for Americans to have contact with space aliens-Fiction!
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?
A real example of the eRumor as it has appeared on the Internet:
EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL EXPOSURE LAW
Already Passed by Congress
On October 5, 1982, Dr. Brain T. Clifford of the Pentagon announced at a
press conference (“The Star”, New York, Oct. 5, 1982) that contact between U.S. citizens and extra-terrestrials or their vehicles is strictly illegal.
According to a law already on the books:
(Title 14, Section 1211 of the Code of Federal Regulations, adopted on July
16, 1969, before the Apollo moon shots), anyone guilty of such contact automatically becomes a wanted criminal to be jailed for one year and fined
$5,000. The NASA administrator is empowered to determine with or without a hearing that a person or object has been “extraterrestrially exposed” and
impose an indeterminate quarantine under armed guard, which could not be broken even by court order.
There is no limit placed on the number of individuals who could thus be
The definition of “extraterrestrial exposure” is left entirely up to NASA
administrator, who is thus endowed with total dictatorial power to be
exercised at his slightest caprice, which is completely contrary to the
According to Dr. Clifford, whose commanding officers have been assuring the
public for the last 39 years that UFO’s are nothing more than hoaxes and delusions to be dismissed with a condescending smile: “This is really no
joke, it’s a very serious matter.” This legislation was buried in the
1,211th subsection of the 14th section of a batch of regulations very few
members of government probably bothered to read in its entirety, the
proverbial needle in the haystack, and was slipped onto the books without
hus from one day to the next we learn that, without having informed the
public, in its infinite wisdom, the government of the United States has
created a whole new criminal class: UFO contactees.
The lame excuse offered by NASA as a sugar coating for this bitter pill is
that extra-terrestrials might have a virus that could wipe out the human
race. This is certainly one of the many possibilities inherent is such
contact, but just as certainly not the only one , and in itself not a valid
reason to make all contact illegal or to declare contactees criminals to be
jailed and fined immediately.
It appears the primary effect of such a law would not be to prevent
contact, it would be to silence witnesses. If enforced, the law would
prevent publication of contactee reports except under cover of anonymity,
and unleash a modern inquisition in the Land of the Free. However, it is
unenforceable, so obviously absurd and unfair that the public will refuse
to accept it. The citizens of the United States will greet it with a
resounding Bronx cheer and laugh it out of court, forcing it to be
It should be replaced by clearly worded legislation, not open to
interpretation in a multitude of different ways, humanely relevant to the
contingency of E.T. contact, debated and passed by Congress openly instead
of slipped through “under the table” without the public being informed.
According to NASA spokesman Fletcher Reel, the law as it stands is not
immediately applicable, but in case of need could quickly be made
applicable. What this means is that it is ambiguously worded, so that it
can be interpreted either one way or the other, as the government desires.
It is certainly not a coincidence that Dr. Clifford held his press
conference during the period when the popularity of the film E.T. was at
its peak. As E.T. portrayed a type of extraterrestrial that was benevolent
and lovable, the inference is that the press conference was intended to
discourage attempts to communicate or fraternize with UFO occupants.
However, instead of having the intended effect, it backfired, causing
public furor. There may be some relationship between this fiasco and the
next semi-officially endorsed attempt to deal with the subject of
extra-terrestrials, the TV film V, which was featured with repeat
performances and maximum publicity by major networks worldwide. The aliens
portrayed in V are the most horrifying and repulsive nightmares imaginable,
who are defeated thanks largely to a CIA hit man specializing in covert
operations, the tough guy with the heart of gold who with the aid of the
handsome hero saves the human race. This is obvious and transparent
propaganda, designed to do what the government’s widespread use of
dis-information, and Dr. Clifford’s press conference about the absurd lemon
of a law already on the books failed to do: squelch attempts to communicate
or fraternize with UFO occupants.
One way to avoid widespread panic at the announcement of the news that we
are under surveillance by nonhuman intelligent beings with a technology far more sophisticated than our own is to point out that this situation is
nothing new, but has literally been going on for millennia.