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My impression is that, if the above is true, there may be more involved than simply the knowledge that intelligent beings exist on other planets, and that some are able to come here to observe us. I think that at this point in our development, most of the world's cultures could accept such information without catastrophic societal consequences. I conjecture that what is at stake has to do with the possibility that reality may be far more complex than our modern scientific notions of space and time and matter. Mystics might be quite happy with other levels of reality, but for civilization built around commerce and technology entirely grounded in physical reality, news of other realms that intelligences beyond our own may be adept at manipulating could be quite disruptive. Too great a shock to our collective reality could lead to chaos, and this justifiable fear could be a rationale for decades-long secrecy.