Mankind has been searching the universe for signs of alien life for more than half a century. So far, the search has yielded no sign of ET. Yet there has been much debate in the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) community about the protocols to follow if — or perhaps when — contact is made. How should the discovery be announced? Would the public react with panic, wonder, or an apathetic shrug of the shoulders? Of course, many feel that this has already happened, and that the government has covered it up. Given the international collaborative nature of modern science, this is highly unlikely. Still, it’s revealing to look at some past moments in history when we thought that alien life had been discovered, if only to see how we reacted at the time.