Effects of alien visitation?

What if we learn that we are not alone in the universe? What would be the implications? Politically? Philosophically? Theologically? Religiously?
A congressional subcommittee met on June 26 to discuss issues surrounding unexplained anomalous phenomena (UAP) (formally referred to as “UFOs”)
I have always been a skeptic about UAP sightings. I have generally concluded that people who cannot explain what they see in the sky are too quick to conclude that they are witnessing craft flown or maneuvered by inter-stellar aliens. I was comfortable thinking that these people have simply seen too many science fiction movies and are desperate to make sense of what they see.
Not so fast. What I heard from the congressional subcommittee testimony is turning me from a non-believer to an agnostic. In other words, I remain curious.
At the hearings, three people gave testimony: David Grusch, former US intelligence officer; and two pilots, David Fravor and Ryan Graves.
Grusch testified that the government has conducted a “multi-decade” program which collected and attempted to reverse-engineer crashed UFOs. In a statement I found shocking, he said that federal agencies have recovered “non-human biologics” from some of the craft.
When Graves, an F-18 pilot, spoke, he reported seeing unidentified aerial phenomena off the Atlantic coast “every day for at least a couple years.” He added that UAP sightings were so common that they became part of daily briefs.
Fravor stated that the technology he witnessed was far superior to anything we currently have. He added that our current means of flight cannot duplicate the UAPs’ means of propulsion and maneuverability. (“UFOs back in spotlight as ‘surreal’ Washington hearing buoys believers,” The Guardian; "Analysis: Whistleblower testimonies did not change our basic understanding of UFOs,” PBS News Hour)
While I am surprised more coverage has not been devoted to these hearings, I am not surprised that government officials have been quick to discredit Grusch, Fravor and Graves. It’s as if we are being told, “Move along … there’s nothing to see here.”
I would argue that proof of alien visitation, whether flown by non-humans or pilotless, would be comparable to proof that the earth was no longer the center of the universe. This would change everything.
Concerning the implications of such a realization, I will only focus upon how organized religion would respond. This could challenge the legitimacy of religions that have thrived for thousands of years. If humanity is not the only intelligent species in the universe, then why would G-d, Jesus or Mohammad make separate and unique covenants with different peoples? Why would any higher transcendental power claim that Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism or Taoism represents the correct path? Why continue to practice the various and diverse Native American religions?
Proof of alien intelligent life could lead not only to a theological crisis, but an existential crisis for almost all currently practiced religions.
How would these organized religions respond? They could lock themselves in place and refuse to change. They could modify their core story, teachings, wisdom and identity to fit within an inter-stellar setting. Or they could fade away.  
That being said, learning about the existence of alien life/intelligence could radically affect in a positive way our spiritual identities. I would love to be part of a society responding to “first contact” with an alien race (providing that this race does not want to colonize us). Think of what we could learn about our place in the universe. We would not only be witnesses, but participants in the greatest chapter of human history.
I am especially curious about how Judaism would respond. Would we continue to be resilient? Will we embrace this new reality as an opportunity to grow? Or will we give up our Jewish identities to embrace a different form of spirituality? I have no idea. But I would love to be a participant in that process.
In the meantime, I hope that this story continues to be covered. I look forward to learning more about these UAP sightings and their implications upon the ongoing evolution of our religious identities.



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To me, the most fascinating aspect of this would be not how our concepts of religion would change (at first), but rather finding out what sorts of beliefs/religions the aliens had. We humans have inherited the territoriality/ingroup-outgroup instincts of our primate ancestors. What sorts of spirituality will these beings from another planet/solar system ascribe to? Since they are perforce way more technologically advance than we are, perhaps they are more "spiritually advanced" as well? Maybe they have figured it all out!
It seems likely that any being intelligent enough to undertake interstellar space travel must also question where they came from and what it all means... And they must have music of some sort. And poetry-- I would love to meet them!
They could certainly make themselves known if they wanted to, but probably figure that we as a species, are just not ready yet.

I wonder if they have pets...