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White House: “Searching for ET, But No Evidence Yet”

That’s the title of an official statement published by Phil Larson of the White House Office of Science & Technology Policy. The Obama administration will formally respond to any petition posted and digitally signed by over 25,000 people on the "We the People" section of the White House website. One example of a recent petition ...

Matthew Lloyd/Getty Images for BBC Worldwide
Matthew Lloyd/Getty Images for BBC Worldwide

That’s the title of an official statement published by Phil Larson of the White House Office of Science & Technology Policy.

The Obama administration will formally respond to any petition posted and digitally signed by over 25,000 people on the "We the People" section of the White House website.

One example of a recent petition that got 248 signatures is "reform the care system for people with developmental disabilities to prevent additional tragedies." "List the Syrian National Council as a terrorist group" got 347 signatures as of this writing.

The White House’s official statement on extraterrestrial life, on the other hand, responds to two separate petitions with a total of 17,465 signatures. 5,387 for "Immediately disclose the government’s knowledge of and communications with extraterrestrial beings" and 12,078 for "formally acknowledge an extraterrestrial presence engaging the human race – Disclosure."

Here’s Larson’s response:

Thank you for signing the petition asking the Obama Administration to acknowledge an extraterrestrial presence here on Earth. The U.S. government has no evidence that any life exists outside our planet, or that an extraterrestrial presence has contacted or engaged any member of the human race. In addition, there is no credible information to suggest that any evidence is being hidden from the public’s eye.

Larson goes on to note that the NASA-started Search for ExtraTerrestrial Intelligence (SETI) continues, though it’s now privately funded. Also he reminds us that the Keplar spacecraft continues its search for earthlike worlds and that the aptly named Curiosity rover will soon troll the Red Planet.

One possible foreign policy angle here: the case for cooperation against extraterrestrials, as recently described by Paul Krugman to CNN’s Fareed Zakaria: 

There was a ‘Twilight Zone’ episode like this in which scientists fake an alien threat in order to achieve world peace… If we discovered that, you know, space aliens were planning to attack and we needed a massive buildup to counter the space alien threat and, really, inflation and budget deficits took secondary place to that, this slump would be over in 18 months…

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