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White House: Government Has No Evidence Of Extraterrestrial Life

We're pretty sure these guys are in costumes. (2004 file photo from Comic-Con Convention in San Diego.)
Sandy Huffaker
Getty Images
We're pretty sure these guys are in costumes. (2004 file photo from Comic-Con Convention in San Diego.)

This probably isn't going to satisfy many of those who think of The X-Files as a documentary series, but the Obama administration has now put the White House on record as saying the government doesn't have any evidence of life "out there."

And the Obama team doesn't believe anything's being hidden from us.

"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," space policy aide Phil Larson writes this week on the administration's We the People website.

"In addition," he says, "there is no credible information to suggest that any evidence is being hidden from the public's eye."

One might wonder: Why did the White House think this question needed to be answered?

Well, the We the People site offers folks a chance "to petition the Obama administration to take action on a range of important issues facing our country. If a petition gets enough support, White House staff will review it, ensure it's sent to the appropriate policy experts, and issue an official response."

And The Associated Press says more than 5,000 virtually signed a petition asking that the government "acknowledge an extraterrestrial presence engaging the human race." So, Larson responded.

By the way, after initially saying it would respond to petitions with 5,000 or more online signatures, the White House has since raised the bar to 25,000.

(H/T to NPR's Julia Bailey.)

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Mark Memmott is NPR's supervising senior editor for Standards & Practices. In that role, he's a resource for NPR's journalists – helping them raise the right questions as they do their work and uphold the organization's standards.