If ET turns up at NASA's doorstep bearing that invitation, it is in for a surprise. Instead of getting a handshake from the head of NASA, it will be handcuffed by an FBI agent dressed in a Biosafety Level 4 suit. Instead of sleeping in the Lincoln Bedroom at the White House, the alien will be whisked away to the Department of Agriculture's Animal Disease Center on Plum Island, off the coast of New York's Long Island. Here it will be poked and probed by doctors from the National Institutes of Health. A Department of Energy (DOE) Nuclear Emergency Search Team (NEST) will tow away its spacecraft.
Skeptics often ask why UFO sightings seem to take place only in remote locations instead of on busy city streets. Perhaps ET knows what earthlings have in mind when it lands.
As far as the U.S. government is concerned, that discussion started and ended more than 40 years ago. Regardless of how the world's astronomy community might want to handle first contact, Uncle Sam has ideas of his own. And they rest on the assumption that ET is first and foremost an illegal alien.