This show compares the strange encounters of two men, one from Cleveland, Ohio and the other from Suffolk, Virginia, to see if there is evidence that they’ve had contact with extraterrestrials.
The cultural impact of extraterrestrial contact is the corpus of changes to terrestrial science, technology, religion, politics, and ecosystems resulting from contact with an extraterrestrial civilization. Although closely related to it, the study of the cultural impact of extraterrestrial contact is distinct from the search for extraterrestrial intelligence, which attempts to locate intelligent life as opposed to analyzing the implications of contact with that life.
The changes which actually result from extraterrestrial contact would vary greatly in magnitude and type based on the extraterrestrial civilization’s benevolence or malevolence, its level of technological advancement, and the level of mutual comprehension between itself and humanity. The medium through which humanity is contacted, be it electromagnetic radiation, direct physical interaction, or perhaps an extraterrestrial artifact, could also influence the results of contact. Incorporating these factors, various systems have been created to assess the implications of extraterrestrial contact.
The implications of extraterrestrial contact, particularly with a civilization far ahead of humanity technologically, have often been likened to the meeting of two vastly different human cultures on Earth, and in particular the Columbian Exchange. Such meetings have generally led to the destruction of the civilization receiving contact (as opposed to the “contactor”, which initiates contact), and therefore destruction of human civilization is a possible result of extraterrestrial contact. However, as the nature of extraterrestrial civilizations is unknown and no conclusive contact with any has yet taken place, it is impossible to say with complete accuracy what the result of contact would be.