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Thread: who would own a flying saucer that landed on Earth?

  1. #1
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    who would own a flying saucer that landed on Earth?

    it's a funny question that occurred to me just now.

    Would the laws of the US or Europe recognise an alien's legal ownership of their own space craft?
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    Existing law would be inapplicable to the situation. We'd need new laws.

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    I think the earthly authorities would have to defer to the record keepers on the home world - I mean, how do they know? Maybe it's a rental. Or maybe it's stolen. Or borrowed.

    But absence any reciprocal agreement with the alien's planet, I think the alien could be cited for not having an air-worthiness certificate or pilot's license. Assuming that the alien had not applied for these things somehow prior to arrival on earth.

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    I guess its not even clear if the alien would be recognised as an entity with the ability to own property.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    I guess its not even clear if the alien would be recognised as an entity with the ability to own property.
    There could be issues like that. I mean, what if it's a girl alien, and she lands in Saudi Arabia?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    I guess its not even clear if the alien would be recognised as an entity with the ability to own property.
    Well, maybe if it’s an alien corporation...
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    Quote Originally Posted by fullstop View Post
    I think the earthly authorities would have to defer to the record keepers on the home world - I mean, how do they know? Maybe it's a rental. Or maybe it's stolen. Or borrowed.

    But absence any reciprocal agreement with the alien's planet, I think the alien could be cited for not having an air-worthiness certificate or pilot's license. Assuming that the alien had not applied for these things somehow prior to arrival on earth.
    Communication with an alien mind would be massively difficult.
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    Curiously, SF might have something to say on this, if no obvious ship pilot or crew is noted. In District Nine, the alien spacecraft that appeared over South Africa, and did nothing, was taken over by the SA government and its incapacitated passengers moved into internment camps. All the amusing stories of a UFO crashing in New Mexico in 1947 end with the UFO being commandeered by the U.S. government.

    Unless the ship's crew is able to defend the ship, there is a realistic (IMHO) possibility the ship will be attacked and boarded and possessed by the nearest military force because, hey, it's an alien spacecraft full of incredible technology, first come first serve.

    Again, my humble and somewhat realistic opinion. Legalities come later.
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    Quote Originally Posted by fullstop View Post
    There could be issues like that. I mean, what if it's a girl alien, and she lands in Saudi Arabia?
    Please don't go there.
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    do the laws of flotsam and jetsam apply? Since it would be disputed as more likely man made, it might be flotsam although jetsam sounds more appropriate.
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    The importance of capturing high technology items is made clear in three incidents from the Second World War.

    1. the Mitsubishi Zero Japanese fighter that crash-landed on Akutan Island, Alaska, and was recovered by the U.S. in 1942, then used to create the F6F Hellcat and the Thatch-Weave dogfighting tactic.

    2. the "Bäckebo" Nazi V-2 test missile that crashed in Sweden, 1944, and was recovered and sent to England for study (not to mention the V-2s acquired by the U.S. and U.S.S.R. after WW2, used to generate ICBMs and space launch vehicles).

    3. the U.S. B-29 Superfortress bombers that landed in Vladivostok in 1944, their crews returned home while the bombers were reverse-engineered to produce the Soviet Tu-4 bomber.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger E. Moore View Post
    The importance of capturing high technology items is made clear in three incidents from the Second World War.
    Except those are all examples of two (or more) Earth nations at war with each other, capturing technology of their enemies. I don't see the relevance legally.

    I'm not even sure peacetime equivalents would be legally applicable.

    Maybe the most similar case would be two nations that did not know of each other and come into contact, for example when European explorers and settlers first met nation-states in the Americas or other parts of the world. However, those encounters were generally not decided by legalities, but by armed conflict, and were settled by who won. Depending on the capabilities of the visiting ETIs, the question not might be who owns the spacecraft, but who owns the planet Earth.
    "No sorry Earthians, you might think you own this planet, just because you were born here, but in fact it is now part of the Klorklan Star Empire. Sure, sure, take the case to your World Court... good luck with that <Klorklan laughter>".
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swift View Post
    Except those are all examples of two (or more) Earth nations at war with each other, capturing technology of their enemies. I don't see the relevance legally.

    I'm not even sure peacetime equivalents would be legally applicable.

    Maybe the most similar case would be two nations that did not know of each other and come into contact, for example when European explorers and settlers first met nation-states in the Americas or other parts of the world. However, those encounters were generally not decided by legalities, but by armed conflict, and were settled by who won. Depending on the capabilities of the visiting ETIs, the question not might be who owns the spacecraft, but who owns the planet Earth.
    "No sorry Earthians, you might think you own this planet, just because you were born here, but in fact it is now part of the Klorklan Star Empire. Sure, sure, take the case to your World Court... good luck with that <Klorklan laughter>".
    I agree with you. The law is not going to be much help. Well, unless salvage laws are considered, or an ordinance about abandoned vehicles being confiscated. ("Space aliens don't exist, those three-headed things are Disney audio-animatronics. Haul that saucer back to our lab in Roswell.")
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swift View Post
    Except those are all examples of two (or more) Earth nations at war with each other, capturing technology of their enemies. I don't see the relevance legally.

    I'm not even sure peacetime equivalents would be legally applicable.

    Maybe the most similar case would be two nations that did not know of each other and come into contact, for example when European explorers and settlers first met nation-states in the Americas or other parts of the world. However, those encounters were generally not decided by legalities, but by armed conflict, and were settled by who won. Depending on the capabilities of the visiting ETIs, the question not might be who owns the spacecraft, but who owns the planet Earth.
    "No sorry Earthians, you might think you own this planet, just because you were born here, but in fact it is now part of the Klorklan Star Empire. Sure, sure, take the case to your World Court... good luck with that <Klorklan laughter>".
    yes I agree; the law comes down to ability to enforce.
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    Let's talk turkey. Is an extraterrestrial alien being, not born of Earth and demonstrably not a human being, entitled to protection under human law?

    No.

    https://www.theverge.com/2015/4/21/8...hts-first-time
    Chimps got (briefly) the right to habeas corpus, but it was retracted in 2015.
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    Quote Originally Posted by WaxRubiks View Post
    yes I agree; the law comes down to ability to enforce.
    Actually, I think it is even more than that; there is no applicable law to which all parties agree.
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    What if the alien was defecting and seeking asylum? (Never mind how we could protect it. )



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    Aren't you all a little quick in discounting the option that the saucer-folks might decide that they own us? (You know, intergalactic bypasses and such).
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    Quote Originally Posted by slang View Post
    Aren't you all a little quick in discounting the option that the saucer-folks might decide that they own us? (You know, intergalactic bypasses and such).
    yes, I thought of that later...the law is really set by people who can enforce it, at the end of the day. It's a dynamic situation, whereby local law enforcement may apply at one stage, and galactic law another...
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    I think a big issue is whether the alien is recognized as a person. If they are, then I think it could be argued they could be treated like non-ET aliens, ie with the right to hold property. But even if it isn’t, I think the situation could be akin to a non-human animal. They don’t have any right to property but generally speaking we let them keep the stuff they have because it’s not really our business to take something away, unless it is dangerous or something we own.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Jens View Post
    I think a big issue is whether the alien is recognized as a person. If they are, then I think it could be argued they could be treated like non-ET aliens, ie with the right to hold property. But even if it isn’t, I think the situation could be akin to a non-human animal. They don’t have any right to property but generally speaking we let them keep the stuff they have because it’s not really our business to take something away, unless it is dangerous or something we own.
    Exactly my point about the chimps.
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    It's wise to treat beings with respect if they can *bleep* you up.

    Obviously, anyone with interstellar travel capability could *bleep* humans up*. Best not give them a reason to, such as stealing their property.

    *That's understating it. 100 tonnes hitting Earth at a substantial fraction of c would make Earth's supply of nuclear bombs look like a fart in comparison.
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    I think it is quite simple:

    Aliens would not immediately be recognized to have legal rights. A lot of people would insist that they must - and eventually they probably would - but the delay would certainly be taken advantage of by:

    If it landed in occupied territory (i.e. anywhere on land), it would be claimed by that country.
    If it landed in international waters, the craft would fall under salvage. It would belong to whomever got to it first.

    If claiming it were impossible (perhaps because it was impervious, or otherwise protected itself), it would be treated as hostile. (I don;t think they'd fire on it, but they'd certainly make sure they *could* if they needed to).

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    Remember: just because we want to like them, and them to like us, does not mean the governments of the world can afford to treat it as anything other than a potential global threat. And at the same time, the greatest treasure trove to ever befall mankind.

    Playing nice with the aliens, when it comes to such a threat or such a treasure is not what many world governments could do well. "Respecting" the aliens can be considered tantamount to bowing before them. Many may wish to assert dominance from day 1, at any cost.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveC426913 View Post
    I think it is quite simple:

    Aliens would not immediately be recognized to have legal rights. A lot of people would insist that they must - and eventually they probably would - but the delay would certainly be taken advantage of by:

    If it landed in occupied territory (i.e. anywhere on land), it would be claimed by that country.
    Not if I were the president it wouldn't. It would be treated with respect unless it did something hostile. I would ask the FBI to ask them what the purpose of their trip was and if they needed any assistance.
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    If it landed- the aliens would own it. If it crashed- whatever country it crashed in would own it. It be like "hey guys.. hey little alien guys yall alive? Hey yall awake? *snap snap* hey yall alive? *nudges with foot*.." okay boys their dead load it up.

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    Quote Originally Posted by slang View Post
    Aren't you all a little quick in discounting the option that the saucer-folks might decide that they own us? (You know, intergalactic bypasses and such).
    Hitchhikers guide to the galaxy ?

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    We could also be a bit more egocentric about the whole situation, no? How about the first time planet Earth landed on a UFO?

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    What would happen if it landed on a border like the US- Canada border and the alien who would investigate?
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    Me thinks the alien would be doing the investigation ;-)

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