“What would be the upside in making open contact with earthlings for an advanced extraterrestrial race?”
Pets? Slaves? Inter-species concubines?
I don’t know and I don’t really care much, since I don’t think there are any alien races out there. I think we’re it.
Not to belittle you, but do you have any inkling of the astronomical odds against that being the case?
Try to wrap your head around this....there are around 100 billion stars in the average galaxy. Scientists are now finding that nearly all stars have planets of one type or another - many with the same density as ours (which indicates the presence of water).
There are more galaxies in the known universe than all the grains of sand on every beach on earth.
I know it's an impossible task, but just try to conceptualize 100 billion stars for every last grain of sand on this planet. EACH of them with planetary systems.
Heck, just try thinking with the fact that there are 100 billion suns in our own galaxy, MOST of them with planetary systems. That's 100 billion chances for life to develop in some place other than here. Look at the sheer numbers involved with this for a while, and you'll realize why the scientific community no longer asks the question "if" there's life beyond our planet, but "where" it is.