This storywas updated at 2:18 p.m. EDT.
When aliensfinally land on Earth and utter those five fateful words "Take me to yourleader," the United Nations will know just who to call. Or will they?
According tosome British news reports, the U.N. is set to appoint Malaysian astrophysicistMazlan Othman as the world organization's space ambassador for extraterrestrial contact affairs.
This wouldmake Othman the first point of contact if aliens ever reached out. But it seems there may be some confusion as to whether these reports are real.
In responseto an email inquiry by The Guardian, a U.K. newspaper, Othman wrote: "Itsounds really cool but I have to deny it."
Othmancurrently serves as the director of the U.N.'s Office for Outer Space Affairs,which is a branch of the General Assembly that is "responsible forpromoting international cooperation in the peaceful uses of outer space,"as stated on the official website.
The Officefor Outer Space Affairs was established in 1962 and is based at the UnitedNations Office in Vienna, Austria.
Earlier newsreports stated that Othman would have to present the position of ambassador ata scientific conference in Buckinghamshire, England next week. If the notion isapproved by the U.N. scientific advisory committees, it will move to theGeneral Assembly, according to Wired UK.
Wired alsoreported that at a recent lecture, Othman claimed that in the search for alien life lies the hope that "somedayhumankind will receive signals from extraterrestrials. When we do, we shouldhave in place a coordinated response that takes into account all thesensitivities related to the subject."
Othmanalready has a long list of accomplishments and honors, which include beingMalaysia's first astrophysicist, and the head of the country's nationalplanetarium. Her work as director of the Malaysian National Space Agency helpedlaunch the country's first astronaut, Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor, to theInternational Space Station in 2007, according to Wired.
Recently,famed British scientist Stephen Hawking stated that if intelligent alienlife forms do exist out in the vastness of space, they might not be thefriendly cosmic neighbors that we have been looking for.
"Suchadvanced aliens would perhaps become nomads, looking to conquer and colonizewhatever planets they could reach," Hawking said in April as part ofscience-oriented TV series. "If so, it makes sense for them to exploiteach new planet for material to build more spaceships so they could move on.Who knows what the limits would be?"
- Ten Alien Encounters Debunked
- Images - The Strangest Alien Planet
- How Should Earth Respond When Aliens Say Hello?