Nick Pope, who probed the mysterious phenomena for the UK’s Ministry of Defence (MoD), also believes we may be on the verge of finding out the truth about if we are alone in the universe.
Mr Pope told The Sun Online that mankind making contact with or being visited by aliens would be the most “amazing, paradigm busting moment in human history”.
But it would also be a moment of “fear and panic” that could pit the world’s nations against each other.
Just as we have seen with the way the world reacted to the pandemic, with no unified response and instead of a disparate mix of strategies, first contact could be global chaos, he warned.
“If that is the response to something relatively known, we’ve had pandemics before, what would be the response to something truly new and different?” Mr Pope told The Sun Online.
He acknowledged the view is “pessimistic” – but warned some people wouldn’t able to handle the new reality of man’s place in the cosmos.
And just as we have seen throughout the pandemic and the war in Ukraine, social media would also play a major role with some people perhaps even refusing to believe mankind had made contact.
“Given the current geopolitical situation, I wonder whether it wouldn’t further polarise us,” said Mr Pope, who was speaking to us ahead of the UK premiere of his TV show Indistinguishable From Magic for BLAZE’s UFO Week.
The show probes what first contact would be like for mankind.
He went on: “People react as individuals and social media puts a fundamentally different spin on things.
“Many people would be saying ‘fear the evil aliens’, while others would be encouraging us to reach out to new space brothers and sisters.”
And perhaps one of the biggest hammer blows to mankind should we make contact with aliens would be to all the world’s religions.
He speculated we could encounter a new raft of alien religions challenging our belief systems – with the space civilisation wanting to convert us to their faith.
Or the aliens could be on the other side of the spectrum, a hyper-advanced race who have dismissed all faiths as “primitive superstitions”.
Mr Pope told The Sun Online: “Either way it would be the biggest culture shock for religions that they have ever encountered.
“It would shake them to their very core – it could destroy them. It would fundamentally change the nature of human society.”
Other consequences of first contact would see a “dogfight” and “desperate scramble” between nation-states over how exploit alien technology in a “new space race”.
And we would have to overcome challenges such as how best to communicate with aliens, trying to work out if we could decipher their language, and who would act as Earth’s spokesman.
Contrary to Hollywood, I don’t think we could fight off any alien invasion – so fingers crossed they do come in peace.
First contact would be a moment of “supreme danger and supreme opportunity” for Planet Earth.
Alien civilisations that come into contact with us who have travelled across the void would be vastly more advanced than mankind.
So we should be hoping that the beings are peaceful and there are no misunderstandings, he said.
“Contrary to Hollywood, I don’t think we could fight off any alien invasion – so fingers crossed they do come in peace,” Mr Pope told The Sun Online.
“We are a primitive society whose primary activity is tribal warfare.
“I just hope if we encounter aliens we can get beyond that, it would be the greatest opportunity in human history.”
Mr Pope, who worked to investigate UFOs for the MoD in the 90s and worked in Whitehall until 2004, has long called for further disclosure on UFOs.
And it comes as discussions about aliens and mysterious craft have moved from the fringe into the mainstream.
The US is now taking reports of UFOs seriously with a new Pentagon office after a string of sightings close to US warships which were captured on video.
US lawmakers have also signed into law that classified reports on the objects – now more commonly referred to as Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAP) – must be briefed out to them.
Defence insiders, intelligence officials, senators and former presidents have all gone on record admitting there is unexplained something in the skies.
It is a step change on a topic that was once totally dismissed by Washington.
Mr Pope told The Sun Online: “It’s completely gone from fringe to mainstream.
“Like an iceberg, a lot of it is visible – but a lot of what is going one is done behind closed doors, highly classified, and deeply compartmentalised.”
And he suggested this flurry of activity in the US is “almost as if its building up to something”.
Mr Pope said: “The point in which government can’t keep a secret anymore is when they say they can’t keep the lid on it, they better get this out there before the lid blows off.
“Its best to get ahead of the narrative.”
And he is keenly awaiting the announcement of the first results from Nasa’s new James Webb Space Telescope, which is currently combing the stars for life.
**By Henry Holloway