Considering that this is a popular theme, at least in science fiction and occasionally in fantasy as well, what would be a realistic reaction from the general pubic in the event of contact with an alien civilization? I'm just fishing for ideas here. I recognize that there are a lot of ways that such an event could occur that would make a huge difference. How hostile are the aliens? How much more advanced? How different are they? But beside all these things there are likely quite a few trends that such events would have in common. That is what I would like to focus on. Regardless the nature of the invasion, what common reactions would be expected (especially those that might be overlooked at first but still have a big impact)? Even in a best case scenario (friendly aliens that are easy to relate to) if the contact event is public knowledge there will likely be certain universal reactions. It may be hard to say how people would act in an event that hasn't actually happened, but we can look to history and see events where one nation discovered another (usually with the more advanced nation doing the discovering, and rarely was the event good news for the people being discovered). In the highly globalized world we live in today, the Earth as a whole could be considered a nation in the sense that there is communication connecting nearly everyone. So how would people react? How wouldn't people react? What overall results could be expected?