Six former members of Congress have signed up for a week of congressional-style testimony on the existence of space aliens.
The hearings, which will occur this week at the National Press Club, will feature some 30 hours of testimony on the possible existence of extraterrestrials and be recorded for a documentary film. Around three dozen researchers and academics are expected to testify.
Participants will include ex-Sen. Mike Gravel (D-Alaska), and ex-Reps. Lynn Woolsey (D-Calif.), Rep. Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick (D-Mich.), Darlene Hooley (D-Ore.), Roscoe Bartlett (R-Md.) and Merrill Cook (R-Utah).
The event is being sponsored by the Paradigm Research Group, a lobbying group for alien research. According to the Detroit News, the organization is paying Kilpatrick $20,000 plus expenses for her participation, although the former congresswoman said she has always been interested in the possibility of extraterrestrial life.
"It's good to be here," she told the paper. "We're excited. I've been reading and watching, and so I'm looking forward to the week's activities."
"It's a huge universe out there," he said. "You have to be kind of presumptuous and arrogant to assume we're the only intelligent life in the universe."
Last year, the White House responded to a pair of petitions posted to the government's "We the People" petition site asking that the administration disclose whether there had ever been contact with space aliens. The White House has promised to answer all petitions that pass a set threshold.
"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," Phil Larson of the White House Office of Science & Technology Policy said in a statement. "In addition, there is no credible information to suggest that any evidence is being hidden from the public's eye.