Nobel laureate economist Paul Krugman repeated his assertion this week that the United States could benefit economically if the government began pouring money into anti-ET defense in preparation for a possible alien invasion of Earth.
Even a faked war of the worlds scare might help, he suggested.
The Huffington Post reached out to some experts who share an intense interest in the idea that earthlings are not the only intelligent game in town -- or space.
We asked, If there were an ET threat and if the U.S. government were to suddenly rechannel its budgets into preparing an anti-alien defense, would that ultimately save our economy? Their responses varied, ranging from skepticism to enthusiasm.
Here is a sampling of their replies emailed to HuffPost:
"I assume the alien attack is a euphemism designed to gain public support for that spending effort. Therefore, my position would be that the alien invasion he proposes to prepare for is with the mythical aliens. They are Hollywood contrivances and conveniently always have fatal vulnerabilities that humans can exploit. The good news in that scenario is we both defeat the evil aliens, and in this case, restore our economy."
-- John Alexander, a retired Army colonel and developer of the concept of nonlethal defense at Los Alamos National Laboratory
"Any aliens that have the capability to come here and ruin our whole day by vaporizing Earth or terrorizing its hominid inhabitants, would be centuries -- perhaps millennia -- beyond our technical level. To spend effort preparing for such a lugubrious possibility would be like the Neanderthals organizing their society to defend themselves against the U.S. Air Force. That won't do them much good on the battlefield. But who's to say? Maybe it would improve the Neanderthal economy."
-- Seth Shostak, a senior astronomer at the SETI Institute and chair of the International Academy of Astronautics' SETI Permanent Committee
"With just a little nudge, Krugman could become 'the one' economist to present a feasible Space Age stimulus package that would change the entire war-based economy and mentality into a Space Age one. The Cosmos Culture truth gets officially acknowledged. They land -- by invitation! New roles for the military industrial complex, entrepreneurs, worldwide, with huge benefits and opportunities for ALL! Space travel, hotels, space hospitals, schools, labs, farms, industries -- tech and info applied directly to solving urgent problems of human needs."
-- Carol Rosin, aerospace executive, missile defense consultant and president of the Institute for Security and Cooperation in Outer Space
"There is no way to prepare for an alien invasion. These theoretical visitors would have overwhelming superior technology. What we should do is spend the dollars on something useful, such as an all-out commitment to colonize Mars within ten years. The ripple effect would be dynamic and the challenge would once again awaken our pioneering spirit!"
-- Fife Symington, a former governor of Arizona and Air Force officer, and witness to what he has called a huge UFO over Phoenix in 1997
"Do we know what practices would be effective in resisting aliens? Wouldn't the public have to be convinced, in all countries, that there is such a threat? When have the major nations on this planet shown they can agree on any military course of action? Earthlings are already spending a trillion dollars a year on things military. Where would the money come from? Krugman seems to be suggesting more lies are what is needed. How about everybody cutting their military budgets in half and feeding people instead?"
-- Stanton T. Friedman, a nuclear physicist who worked on classified programs for large companies and is an advocate of the idea that some UFOs originate from other planets
Watch Paul Krugman present his alien-defense idea on CNN in 2011: