I think that they're wrong. I think if we were really faced with certain proof of the existence of ET (like a flying saucer landing on the White House lawn), things would pretty much go to hell in short order. The view that things would be just fine (a few hiccups, perhaps, but we would adjust quickly) is informed by an educated, middle to upper class, very Western way of looking at the world - in other words, guys like Stan. Unfortunately, the vast majority of the planet's population is not educated to the degree someone like Stan is, and they're not members of the middle or upper classes, and they don't live in the relative comfort (both physical and ideological) of postmodernist and largely secular Western society.
The view of people like Stan that we're ready for the knowledge of ET's existence (should ET exist and be here) is also at odds with human history, where every time an advanced society came into contact with a less advanced society, there was chaos, with the end result that the less advanced society suffered greatly as a result of that contact.
I think Stuart Miller, in a recent post at his blog Alien Worlds Magazine, hits upon the more likely outcome. Here is an excerpt:
My opinion is that there would be substantial elements of world wide hysteria which couldn’t be ignored, for it would inevitably impinge on the calmer elements. The most un-endearing quality within the psyche of the human spirit is arrogance. Our world is full of strutting little despots, be it militarily, politically, administratively, the religious realm, or even in our personal lives. People full of their own self importance and power, without humility or empathy, who would seize the opportunity to terrify and manipulate. Martial law in some quarters would be a real possibility. After all, this would be an event of a life time. [Full article here]Bingo - and as Stuart notes later in the column, this is what would probably happen if we just got a signal from SETI. It would be far worse if ET was actually here, and even worse again if ET was hostile.
Guys like Steven Bassett talk about a "paradigm shift" should the "truth embargo" ever be lifted. They're absolutely right, but for the wrong reasons. They see a sunnier future for humanity - a leap into a brave new world, where we would happily walk hand in hand with our space brothers and sisters, and all would suddenly be fine on Planet Earth.
Like Stuart, I see a different result, because I've spent years studying the world and its people, not as we might like them to be, but as they actually are. If the "government" is really covering up the "truth" about an ET presence here on Earth, I say "good - keep it up". Because as I look around, the truth is that we're not ready for it. We're not even close. And to reveal it now would be as disastrous as it would have been sixty years ago - perhaps more so.
We don't need alien "gods" to come down and solve all of our problems - we need to solve them ourselves. Only then, when all people are capable of seeing the world like Stan Friedman sees it will we be ready for First Contact, with any ET species, either here or "out there".
If ET really does exist, and is smart enough to get here from there, and is as benevolent as some people think, then I'm pretty sure they see things the same way I do, and that's why they choose not to reveal themselves. And if they aren't that benevolent, and resemble more an ET version of Cortez, then eventually we're all screwed, aren't we?
Does this mean that people should stop investigating UFO cases? No. Does it mean people should stop writing and talking about UFOs? Of course not. Because at the moment, the idea of ET UFOs are like the idea of God - maybe they exist, maybe they don't, who can say? You can believe if you want, or not. You can believe in one type of alien, or another, or none at all. You can explore other theories if you want. You can ignore the whole subject, as the vast majority of people do. You can even pretend that you're practising "citizen diplomacy" with aliens if you want. To each their own.
You can even pester the "government" for the "truth", but you'll find that it's a pretty futile slog, because they either don't know the "truth" (which is the far more likely answer, in my opinion), or, if they do and the truth is "ET is here", they aren't going to reveal it, for the reasons outlined above.