The US military has acknowledged that UFOs or – as they like to call them – UAPs, are a real phenomenon that is currently being investigated.

In the wake of that shock news bookies, Paddy Power has drastically shortened the odds on a meeting between humans and extraterrestrials in the current decade.

They say the chances of an alien discovery this year have risen dramatically. They are offering odds as short as 20/1 (in from 200/1 before the Pentagon announcement), while their presence could be confirmed before the month’s end (50/1 – in from 500/1 yesterday).

They’re assuming that the people from the stars come in peace, although you can get odds of 500/1 for an all-out war between humans and aliens to take place by the year 2030. Quite how you’d collect on that is another matter though.

There’s always a chance that there could be a human agency behind the recent spate of UFO activity though.

And if that turns out to be the case who is a more likely candidate than space-obsessed billionaire Elon Musk?

Paddy Power is offering odds of 50/1 that the future Emperor of Mars (and husband of singer Grimes) steps forward to claim ownership of the mysterious drones.

The company is nevertheless offering odds of 7/1 that the existence of an alien civilisation is confirmed by 2030, and a quite tempting 20/1 that we get the confirmation by the end of this year.

If you fancy a long shot, you can place a 50/1 bet that the Little Green Men show up by the end of April.

Doom-mongers can have a 100/1 flutter on an interplanetary war breaking out by 2100, or for a more risky bet you can get 500/1 that mankind will engage in warfare with aliens by 2030.

While most high street bookies will be burned-out irradiated shells in the wake of an interplanetary conflict, the internet was originally designed to survive nuclear war so there’s a chance you can still collect your winnings online.

Spokesman Paddy Power told the Daily Star: "We were just starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel and hoping life will soon return to normal, so the last thing we need now is the fear of an alien invasion."

But, he added, "as long as any aliens entering the country adhere to the strict quarantine protocols, I’m sure we’ll be fine".

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