Sunday, December 29, 2019

NIDS and the "Day After" scenarios

"Day After" scenarios

This is another in a series of posts examining material on the former website of the now defunct National Institute for Discovery Science (NIDS - 1995 to 2004.) This post concerns the question of, if something big happens, how would people react to it? The "Day After" scenario.


Firstly, I draw upon the diaries of Jacques Vallee. In "Forbidden Science: Volume Four" Vallee tells of his time (1995-1999, this volume of his diaries ends in 1999) as a member of the NIDS Science Advisory Board (SAB.)

Diary entry dated 4 August 1996 (page 324)

Referring to a NIDS SAB meeting, Vallee writes:

"Another notion introduced at this meeting was that of The Day After. "What would happen if the government was to announce Alien intrusions? Has there been a 50-year program of indoctrination of earthlings?" Asked Bob. "Are we just along for the ride? Is this knowledge digestible? Would people bother to go to work the next day?"

10 January 1997 (p349)

NIDS SAB meeting. Vallee writes:

"...John Petersen presented alternative futures, using the tools of futurology, complexity theory, game changers, "day after" scenarios, wild cards."

12 January 1997 (p353)

At a private meeting with John Petersen and Steve Travino:

"Still certain that a major announcement is imminent, John Petersen keeps worrying about "the Day After." My idea for the Day After is simply to kneel in the dust and pray, just in case."

9 March 1997 (p359)

"Through the Institute, Bob Bigelow is channeling money to...(5) John Petersen's "Day After" scenarios..."

11 January 1998 (p402)

"Bob Bigelow just called, intent on briefing me about the part of the meeting that I'd missed. He proposes to sponsor two new studies on the subject of the social effect of an announcement of (1) a major asteroid fall and (2) the reality of UFOs as extraterrestrial craft.

"What would be the consciousness aspects in both cases?" he asks, reasonably enough. But he has a deeper agenda, an inner certainty that a dramatic development (spectacular display by the phenomenon or striking announcement by the government) will happen 'soon.'"

9 January 1999 (p439)

"Bob Bigelow is still fascinated with "Day After" scenarios. Standing before the full board...he went over the history of our efforts from the initial appeal to the military to the more recent idea of having our own contingency plan if it turned out, as he put it, that "we were cohabiting on the Earth with non-human entities that controlled our destiny."

NIDS website

Having read Vallee's diary entries on this topic, I then turned to the archived NIDS website. On this, I found the following relevant documents.

1. Roper Poll Survey on "The Day After Contact"

a. Press release on the NIDS Roper Poll June 7, 1999

* 2 pages dated 7 June 1999

* "What if we were confronted with undeniable proof that ETs exist and have been visiting Earth?"

* A nationwide survey by the Roper organization

* " out of four Americans think that most people would "totally freak out and panic" if such evidence were confirmed."

* "A 1960 report by the Brookings Institute and an internal RAND document from 1968 predicted profound social consequences if contact were confirmed."

b. Roper Poll Methodology

* A national cross section of 1,971 US men and women interviewed face to face in their own homes

c. Roper Poll Data

* 12 pages of raw data

* Lists the questions which the survey asked

* Has a number of tables breaking down the data in various ways

* Key question: "If you personally believed an announcement that an advanced extraterrestrial life form had  been discovered, to what extent would it change your lifestyle?"

2. Two NIDS "Day After" Surveys on Responses of the Public to Extraterrestrials: Comparison of a National Roper Poll with an Online Survey that Asked Identical Questions

* In 1999, NIDS contracted Roper to conduct a poll re response to extraterrestrials

* As a comparative exercise NIDS later asked the same questions on an online questionnaire

* This paper looks at the results of the comparisons

a. Survey results

* 9 pages of data

* Graphs, pie charts etc

* Shows the questions asked.

b. Take the NIDS Online "Day After Contact" survey

c. View the NIDS extraterrestrial Intelligence Survey Results

* This PDF file is no longer available on the server.

3. The Day After Contact: Forcasting Reactions to Extraterrestrial Life

* 6 page report authored by Albert A Harrison and Colm Kelleher

* Dated June 1999

* "Incontrovertible evidence of the existence of intelligent extraterrestrial life may qualify as one of the greatest discoveries in the history of human life. What will be the short-term and long-term effects of discovery on people, institutions and culture?"

My comment: In 2004, the NIDS website listed Albert A Harrison as a member of the NIDS SAB.

Interestingly, on the NIDS website is another "Day After Contact" survey. This was conducted in 1994, and undertaken by Victoria Alexander, for the Bigelow Foundation

* " would organized religion in the United States react to confirmation of contact with an advanced extraterrestrial civilization?"

* Mail out of survey to 1,000 randomly selected religious bodies in the continental USA

* 23% response rate

* "The theologians surveyed would not feel their faith and the faith of their congregation would be threatened."

c. Development of Questions and Analysis of Responses

Later articles

I found two later articles which build on the original Alexander Survey:

1. Levin, J. 2012. "Revisiting the Alexander UFO Religious Crisis Survey (AUFORCS): Is There Really a Crisis?" Journal of the Society for Scientific Exploration, Vol. 26, No. 2, pp273-284.

2. The Peters ETI Religious Crisis Survey authored by Ted Peters and Julie Froehlig (undated.) 

My comment:

As with the contents of the first two posts in this series, I hadn't previously, particularly paid much attention to the specific area of "Day After Contact" scenarios. I record my research her, for those blog readers who may have a deeper interest than myself.

Update: 2 January 2020

A correspondent sent me a PDF copy of missing file mentioned in 2c above. The text reads:

Two NIDS “Day After” Surveys on Response of the Public to Extraterrestrials:
Comparison of a Nationwide Roper Poll with an Online Survey that Asked Identical

In 1999 NIDS contracted the Roper organization to conduct a nationwide survey of
opinion that focused on the response of the public to extraterrestrials. The Roper
organization polled 1971 demographically balanced people and the results of the poll
were published in 1999. As a comparative exercise, NIDS subsequently asked the
identical questions via an online questionnaire. 2046 people who were demographically
uncontrolled submitted answers in the allotted time. There is widespread agreement that
Internet surveys, especially conducted on specialty web sites, are wildly inaccurate in
sampling public opinion. The purpose of this exercise was to evaluate the extent of the
difference in attitudes to extraterrestrials between the public at large and the visitors to
the NIDS web site. The actual wording of the survey questions can be found in the piechart
presentation. The complete statistics and some analysis of the 1999 Roper survey
can be found at:

Some predictable differences and some surprises emerged from this comparison:

• In response to question 1: “ETs landed and you could choose who should make
first contact?” a huge majority (86%) of the online responders chose either
scientists (42%) or a private organization that has planned for such a contingency
(44%). In contrast, only 49% of the public at large chose the scientists (29%) or a
private organization (20%). Fully 20% of the public at large preferred the military
to make first contact, while 4% of online responders preferred the military.

• In response to the question regarding “What are UFOs?” a surprisingly high
percentage of online responders answered “I don’t know” (41%), higher than the
public at large (32%). Equally surprisingly, exactly 25% of both the public at
large and the online responders answered that UFOs are alien spaceships. Given
the assumption that the people who visit the NIDS web site might have a greater
interest/knowledge of UFOs than the general public, it surprised us that such a
high percentage of the web site visitors answered that they did not know what
UFOs are. This may be attributed to open-mindedness. Further, since the words
“UFO” and “alien” are almost interchangeable in most media treatments of this
topic, it surprised us that such a low percentage (25%) of people in BOTH
surveys thought UFOs were alien spaceships.

• In response to the question: “If I believed that an advanced extraterrestrial life
form had been discovered, how would it change my life style?” 16% of Roper
nationwide respondents answered “Who cares”, while predictably, 2% of NIDS
web site online people answered “Who cares.”

• Question 4 asked how much the respondents trusted the US government to
disseminate information about advanced extraterrestrial life if they discovered it.
Both surveys indicated a large majority of respondents who did not trust the
government. A combined 71% respondents to the Roper survey said that the
United States government would classify the information, move to suppress
civilian sources from obtaining knowledge, or both. A combined 74% of the
NIDS web site respondents said the same thing. There was a significant difference
in the degree of suspicion between the Roper respondents and the online visitors:
only 23% of the Roper respondents said the government would classify AND
suppress, while 47% of the NIDS web site respondents said the government
would do both.

• A large majority (75%) of NIDS online responders were “fully prepared to
handle” undeniable evidence of the existence of advanced extraterrestrial life,
while only 32% of the general public were that confident.

• 25% of the public at large thought that others would “totally freak out and panic”
if undeniable evidence of extraterrestrial life were confirmed. Only 8% of the
NIDS web site responders thought this. NIDS web site responders displayed
either greater trust, greater confidence or greater complacency in their answers to
these two questions than did the general public.


  1. I have been patiently waiting for disclosure, still waiting and researching every day.


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