Mr Pope told The Sun Online: “It’s completely gone from fringe to mainstream.
“Like an iceberg, a lot of it is visible – but a lot of what is going one is done behind closed doors, highly classified, and deeply compartmentalized.”
And he suggested this flurry of activity in the US is “almost as if its building up to something”.
Mr Pope said: “The point in which government can’t keep a secret anymore is when they say they can’t keep the lid on it, they better get this out there before the lid blows off.
“Its best to get ahead of the narrative.”
“Contrary to Hollywood, I don’t think we could fight off any alien invasion – so fingers crossed they do come in peace,” Mr Pope told The Sun Online.
“We are a primitive society whose primary activity is tribal warfare”.
“I just hope if we encounter aliens we can get beyond that, it would be the greatest opportunity in human history.”
He speculated we could encounter a new raft of alien religions challenging our belief systems – with the space civilisation wanting to convert us to their faith.
Or the aliens could be on the other side of the spectrum, a hyper-advanced race who have dismissed all faiths as “primitive superstitions”.
Mr Pope told The Sun Online: “Either way it would be the biggest culture shock for religions that they have ever encountered.
“It would shake them to their very core – it could destroy them. It would fundamentally change the nature of human society.”
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