UN to appoint outer space ambassador

October 1st, 2010 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

No this is not a a joke. The Telegraph reports:

A space ambassador could be appointed by the United Nations to act as the first point of contact for aliens trying to communicate with Earth.

Good to see they are focused on the vital issues.

Mazlan Othman, a Malaysian astrophysicist, is set to be tasked with co-ordinating humanity’s response if and when extraterrestrials make contact.

Mrs Othman is currently head of the ’s little known Office for Outer Space Affairs (Unoosa).

The 58-year-old is expected to tell delegates that the proposal has been prompted by the recent discovery of hundreds of planets orbiting other starts, which is thought to make the discovery of extraterrestrial life more probable than ever before.

Aliens who landed on earth and asked: “Take me to your leader” would be directed to Mrs Othman. …

She will set out the details of her proposed new role at a Royal Society conference in Buckinghamshire next week.

Well, there’s one cost saving I can identify. I wonder how many staff it has grown to over the years.

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33 Responses to “UN to appoint outer space ambassador”

  1. Roflcopter (446 comments) says:

    Dear U.N,

    Please appoint Helen Clark to a role within this organisation, and ensure she has a nice office on… hmmm… maybe Uranus?

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  2. East Wellington Superhero (1,151 comments) says:

    Bahahahahahaha.

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  3. lyndon (330 comments) says:

    IIRC This is kind of untrue. Possibly someone was proposing there be such a role but the idea of an appointment is widl extrapolation.

    Also, I gather UNOOSA is more concerned with stuff we put up. For example I think pretty much anything in orbit is in outer space.

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  4. James Stephenson (2,097 comments) says:

    Perhaps this is the perfect career progression for our very own “Member for Mars” Catherine Delahunty?

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  5. Fletch (6,154 comments) says:

    It says in her Wiki bio that she attended University of Otago in New Zealand on a Colombo plan scholarship, earning a BSc. (honors) in 1975

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  6. Origen (23 comments) says:

    “No this is not a a joke”

    Actually, it was a joke:

    http://www.odt.co.nz/campus/university-otago/129138/otago-graduate-not-alien-contact
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/09/28/3023924.htm?section=world

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  7. SteveO (77 comments) says:

    Possible Kiwi connection? Lubos Motl has this to say about her:

    “But after 100+ years of the existence of a school, she was given the first female physics PhD in Otago, whatever the place is, once the female reproductive organs became popular and worth rewarding over there. ”

    This from his blog at: http://motls.blogspot.com/2010/09/un-chose-earths-envoy-for.html

    However I haven’t seen that information repeated anywhere else and, anyway, it appears the Telegraph got the story wrong – the Guardian, for instance, is reporting that she denies everything (it isn’t clear whether she is denying having a degree from Otago). I think this is probably the first time I have ever believed something the Guardian says over the Telegraph.

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  8. DJP6-25 (1,315 comments) says:

    That makes perfect sense. Most of them live on some other planet anyway. After all, everyone deserves representation.

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  9. m@tt (613 comments) says:

    Oh how breathlessly exciting!
    Pity you didn’t do some fact checking before engaging keyboard David.

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  10. bustedblonde (138 comments) says:

    apparently it isn’t quite true…. http://roarprawn.blogspot.com/2010/09/major-tom-to-ground-control.html

    interesting to think that everyone thought it could be!

    alient grin and grip.. cant stopping laughing

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  11. Fale Andrew Lesa (473 comments) says:

    Hahahahaha

    UN expansion into space and they haven’t even performed here on earth? this has made my day, I can do this theology essay with a smile now.

    :D

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  12. Short Shriveled and Slightly to the Left (774 comments) says:

    Do the have October Fools in the Northern Hemisphere instead of April?
    It is exactly 6 months apart……

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  13. Brian Smaller (4,029 comments) says:

    So what is she going to say as the space being emerges from it’s ship?

    “Hey ET. I show you good time yes?

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  14. Short Shriveled and Slightly to the Left (774 comments) says:

    Damn it
    I should have read the comments first…….

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  15. jaba (2,097 comments) says:

    Major Tom

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  16. RRM (9,670 comments) says:

    The next best alternative appears to be that if they turn out to be hostile, Jeff Goldblum will hack their computer using the WiFi on his Win95 laptop and stuff them with some malware that he whipped up on his lunch break…

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  17. s.russell (1,580 comments) says:

    Actually, in the unlikely event that some aliens did come to visit, it would be helpful to have a co-ordinated response. I can just imagine the chaos of 357 different people all claiming to be world leaders and declaring war on each other over who gets to host the first cocktail party with the aliens….

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  18. CJD (334 comments) says:

    The United Nations is staffed by a bunch of [expletive] socialist morons who should just [expletive] off in my view. World government-very appealing for a liberal like myself

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  19. CJD (334 comments) says:

    s.russell “helpful to have a co-ordinated response. I can just imagine the chaos of 357 different people all claiming to be world leaders”

    ??? Wanna buy some share in Brooklyn Bridge?

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  20. adze (2,009 comments) says:

    In related news, the UN space defence organisation appointed 25-star general Zap Brannigan as their representative…

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  21. Kris K (3,570 comments) says:

    RRM 2:07 pm,

    The next best alternative appears to be that if they turn out to be hostile, Jeff Goldblum will hack their computer using the WiFi on his Win95 laptop and stuff them with some malware that he whipped up on his lunch break…

    I have always suspected that Jeff Goldblum was an agent for MOSSAD …

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  22. Kris K (3,570 comments) says:

    To the person who set up UNOOSA:
    “U need a NOOS Around your neck”.

    Almost as pathetic as the inappropriately named UNHRC.

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  23. TCrwdb (246 comments) says:

    As my colleague noted, they should choose Helen. Nothing like familiar face to greet friendly aliens after a long trip…

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  24. labrator (1,849 comments) says:

    We need to set up a booth just outside out atmosphere to ensure any visiting aliens have accounted for any carbon they may have deposited/consumed whilst on earth. Since an ETS only applies between countries and not between planets, we’d need to ensure that they leave with exactly the same amount of carbon as they arrived with. That is of course provided they’re not here to destroy the planet to make way for a new hyperspace expressway.

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  25. jaba (2,097 comments) says:

    I think Chris Carter is an alien, how else could he disappear from his office without using the door. Some say he climbed out a window BUT I refuse to belive a MP would do such a bizarre thing

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  26. Fale Andrew Lesa (473 comments) says:

    Personally, I think George W Bush should be the VERY FIRST to engage with any alien species. I imagine that they would get on like bread and butter.

    :D

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  27. CJD (334 comments) says:

    Of course the UN is keen to find alien life forms-just more independent territory that they can meddle in. Instead of aspirations to be one world (socialist) governement, they could govern the universe.

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  28. Rex Widerstrom (5,330 comments) says:

    As long as they don’t come to Australia, where Gillard will rush down the pier to launch a gunboat and order them all to Christmas Island for detention and refugee processing.

    They’ll then remain there for years, being desultorily interrogated by ASIO occasionally, building a simmering resentment against Australian society, before being quietly granted visas and allowed to live here anyway, by which time they’re so pissed off that even the peace loving ones will have made plans to blow up the Harbour Bridge.

    And at the next election, Gillard will be saying “Weee wull toin back the saucers…” And enough idiots will believe her…

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  29. Fletch (6,154 comments) says:

    If violent aliens came to NZ we could just send the Waihopai Three to them, holding hands and brandishing daisies to put in the barrels of their ray guns.

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  30. joana (1,983 comments) says:

    I thought Auntie Helen was the outer space Ambassador..

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  31. sbk (310 comments) says:

    just wondering…would ET hold customary title ?…,he must have../conquered “the outer reaches” before man and hence…

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  32. GPT1 (2,106 comments) says:

    I want that job. I think I could do it with a minimum staff. Say 2 or 3.

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  33. wikiriwhis business (3,883 comments) says:

    Obviously an American space grab.

    As soon as there are inhabitants on the moon the CIA will be there creating havoc.

    Bureaucracy will be tremedous and the Greens will be harrassing the people doggedly.

    The Catholics will put another Vatican city up there and prey on everyones finances

    Everyone will be under FBI juristiction and there will be an IRS office.

    Will be a huge cash cow. Turnover of inhabitants will be a regualar rollover as over taxation will see inhabitants sent back to earth and new suckers launched back up.

    Politicians will be given huge tax breaks to escape the constituents they have fleeced for years.

    Major reason its taking s long is because people have to forget how hard Astronauts had to train to be aprt of the space programmes. The “right stuff’ was all crap. The wealthy go to Russia and take space flights any time they want.

    The US complained bitterly about that.

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