When I head about Gliese 581c (the newly discovered extrasolar planet in the "habitable zone" of the red dwarf Gliese 581, 20.5 light years away) I thought that it would be a wonderful experience to go and have a squiz of my own. Then I thought that if somehow I dicovered a completely usuable (but mysteriously unrecovered) alien craft and offered paid spots to NASA and other exploritary organisations that would be a great job!
But then I thought, if that did happen wouldn't the Yanks try to take said ship? Or would my own government try to claim it? What would be my legal rights in that sort of situation? No (offically) recognised point of produce or original owner to speak of, would slavage rights come into it? It's an intriguing proposition.
And, an afterthought, what would the rights and responsibilities of visiting extrterrestrials be? People can't go anywhere without a passport from a recognised government or province etc, visiting Aliens couldn't exactly apply for the neccessary visas before they came~
What's the public's thoughts on those two issues?
Some how... I doubt you would have any rights in the matter. Except possibly about revealing the location. I get the feeling that as soon as Government knew.. You wouldn't be on the chain of "who they have to ask for permission."
Legally you would have salvage rights to said ship if recovered in international waters or in space
expect it to be confiscated immediately with no financial compensation due to "Interests of National Security"
Ahh yes, but I live in Australia and I could kick up a right awful stink about that much more safely than I could in the states, so the Aus government would have to recognise my legal position and i'd be stupid to go to them first without giving my claim enough inertia to withstand something like confiscation~
espacially considering that the original owners probably wouldn't step up to make a claim~
I'm pretty sure the entire world would try to take it, and some idiot would blow it up if they couldn't have it. If someone did discover a alien spacecraft, it would cause worldwide panic. So chances are, you'd be silenced, the ship would be taken, and shoved in some bunker somewhere until the day the aliens come to take it back, enslaving the human race and eating us for dinner, or spraying us across the landscape, like in War of the Worlds :p EDIT: Nooooo its post jumping again
You might not get to make a stink....