4 of the Wildest Contingency Plans the Government Has Cooked Up
“Be Prepared.” Excellent words to live by, whether you’re a Boy Scout, a simple citizen, or the U.S. Military. Like a subway rider descending into the enclosed tunnels after a particularly volatile dinner, it’s best to enter with a plan that, hopefully, you will not have to put to use. After all, that desperate plan might be the only thing preserving the integrity of your good jeans, or the safety of a nation. Even the most unlikely of occurrences still has a chance of happening. If and when it does, the unexpecting will experience the consequences.
In this vein, especially when you think about governments and the military, whose stated duty is to protect the people they serve, you’d much rather have a plan that sounds insane than be caught flat-footed when even the most outlandish variety of shit hits the fan. For example, recommendations for every roller coaster passenger to wear face and eye-protection in case of low-flying birds would be, reasonably, considered borderline insane. Yet, Fabio still got his nose knocked in by an errant goose, depriving the whole world of his romance-novel worthy mug. When the stakes are high, those in charge can’t risk having the face of the population caved in by an unexpected poultry visit.
Here are 4 of the wildest government contingency plans ever concocted.
Superintelligent Alien Invasion
Of course we’re going to talk about aliens here. The discussion of extraterrestrial life and any designs they may have on our dumb little monkey business down here on the blue marble is the ultimate “ok, but IF” argument. It’s kind of impossible to argue against the existence of extraterrestrial life because of its very nature. It’s like trying to prove a house isn’t haunted by exclusively looking through the keyhole. So, of course, a plan exists to quiet the Dan Aykroyds and Tom DeLonges of the world.
The most famous speculation on the outcome of discovery of alien life is known as the Brookings Report. Commissioned by NASA and published all the way back in the 1960s, the report lays out several consequences and possible outcomes of extraterrestrial contact. Most interesting, in my opinion, is the varied suggestions mostly relating to whether the aliens are smarter than us or not. Stripped of academic language, there’s a distinct message of “if they’re not superintelligent, we’re probably ok, but if not… it’s up to them.”
Far-reaching effects of such contact are covered, including everything from superintelligent aliens basically ignoring us as soon as they figure out we’re idiots, to this contact causing psychological breakdowns of those in the scientific and academic fields when faced with this inferiority. They also call out a common trope, saying that if there ARE more advanced species, there is no reason to think we’d be able to learn anything from them. After all, we discover new species all the time, and we very rarely then decide to try to teach them how to read.
Aliens Vs. Jesus
The second entry here comes in the same subject, but a very different government: that of the Vatican City, which is basically impenetrably weird to anyone that wasn’t raised the kind of Catholic where Satan invented condoms. In the same Brookings Report as above, they identify a pretty obvious problem: if alien species suddenly make contact, that’s going to be a big old clerical collar pull for the God-fearing. It probably won’t be as simple as adding an “Also, in a Garden of Eden far, far away” footnote to the Good Book.
So, the Vatican, in particular Jose Funes, the director of the Vatican Observatory, basically issued a plan on making Christianity work in case of an IRL E.T. situation. Thankfully for Jose and the Catholic Church in general, the Christian faith’s endlessly re-interpretable teachings and unrelentingly elastic goalposts come to the rescue again. A quick explanation that aliens would not disprove the existence of God, because after all, in God’s infinite creativity, who is to doubt that He Himself the Almighty may not have created the beauty of aliens? He even suggests that God may have become Jesus and saved Earth from sin, but alien races may have never messed up in the first place, so they might be even HOLIER than us. The Vatican mental gymnastics team remains undefeated.
Psychic Spy Wars
Our second-to-last entry is one I particularly enjoy, thanks to the very “well, shit.” nature of its origins. You see, around the time of the Cold War, the U.S. military received reports that the Soviet Union was doing experiments related to the use of extrasensory perception as an espionage tool. They thought they were going to have a normal meeting and then the intelligence community was like, “guys, they’re trying to read our minds over there.” I like to imagine this report being immediately met with laughter at those crazy Soviets’ expense. Followed by a period of dense, pregnant silence. Until finally, someone gathered the strength to ask: “They can’t, right?”
Hence, Project Star Gate was born, and the U.S. government began recruiting and training people who claimed to have psychic powers in order to combat the psychic spies that they didn’t THINK the Soviet Union had, but weren’t willing to bet on. It was all perfectly summed up by Rep. Charlie Rose in a meeting about the program: “It seems to me a hell of a cheap radar system And if the Russians have it and we don’t, we’re in serious trouble.” The CIA at one point even brought in famous psychic and the man who (allegedly) inspired the Pokemon Kadabra and Alakazam, Uri Geller. If the program had been successful, no spoon in Soviet Russia would have remained unbent.
Reversing Climate Change With Weather Control
The last plan I’ll cover here is one that’s extremely recent, and not surprising in what it’s trying to prepare for, but in the proposed methods. Climate change is a pretty clear and urgent problem for anybody with a more than tenuous grasp on scientific fact. Thanks to the surprisingly stalwart and EXTREMELY vocal opposition, though, it’s looking less and less like common sense is going to provide a solution. Instead, we jump from one conspiracy theorist favorite to another: weather control.
In July of this year, Biden signed a federal appropriations act that includes research into “geoengineering”, which in this case is a less mad-scientisty way to talk about altering the weather. Specifically, methods like using particles purposefully released into the stratosphere to reflect some of the sun’s rays back outwards, cooling the earth. Now, if that doesn’t sound all too comfy as a solution, there are plenty of scientists who agree with you. In fact, it was directly set up by the U.S. tanking a U.N. resolution against geoengineering only a couple years ago, presumably with this exact plan in mind. Is it a good idea? If it ever gets implemented, I guess you’ll have to ask your great-grandchildren.