Next Stop, Intergalactic Tourists: Earth

If the idea that Earth may be teeming with tourists from other Galaxies seems odd, consider the interactions between the uncontacted tribes of Papua New Guinea.  In 2004 they were contacted for the first time, and already tourist treks are being organized to explore the region and make contact with the people once again.  It’s humbling to think these tribes which have existed without knowledge of the outside world are only now being made aware of an entire planet outside their scope of perception – and yet in some ways its comparable to how we may feel if we contacted aliens for the first time.

If you’ve never seen video of a previously uncontacted tribe making first contact with the outside world, it’s the closest thing we may have to the humbling experience felt by those who find themselves interacting with extraterrestrials.  Papua New Guinea is one of the last places in the world where groups of people still live who are largely unaware of the rest of the world – and they live so completely outside the radar of the rest of the world they were largely considered rumors or legends.  But a large number of these uncontacted tribes have recently reconnected with the rest of the world after hundreds or even thousands of years of isolation.

Of course in the case of alien first contact it would be humans connecting with another group for the first time altogether.  And it wouldn’t just be the era they were at technologically that would be different – in fact everything would be so completely different it would be a near Herculean task to even communicate without some technological assistance to translate – assuming the beings even used a language.

But when looking at the possible motivations a visiting alien race may have to not make official contact with the beings on the planet below, but still fly through the skies allegedly observing them, it bears a disturbing similarity to the uncontacted tribes and how explorers and even tourists are relating to them.  They observe, come in and interact with them, communicate and even examine them, and then leave just as mysteriously leaving no evidence behind so as to not corrupt the civilization they have visited.

And yet even this limited contact changes them significantly.  Tribes that once went naked will wear clothing often when they see others doing the same.  They study the tools visitors use and often will either mimic them or construct their own versions of them.  They will essentially reverse engineer the objects they observe just as we would.  And sometimes their entire tribe or civilization is dragged into the 21st century by changes to their environment.