≡ Menu

No Alien Visits or UFO Coverups, White House Says

Movie poster from 'Independence Day.' Credit: 20th Century Fox

The White House has responded to two petitions asking the US government to formally acknowledge that aliens have visited Earth and to disclose to any intentional withholding of government interactions with extraterrestrial beings. “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,” said Phil Larson from the White House Office of Science & Technology Policy, on the WhiteHouse.gov website. “In addition, there is no credible information to suggest that any evidence is being hidden from the public’s eye.”

5,387 people had signed the petition for immediately disclosing the government’s knowledge of and communications with extraterrestrial beings, and 12,078 signed the request for a formal acknowledgement from the White House that extraterrestrials have been engaging the human race.

“Hundreds of military and government agency witnesses have come forward with testimony confirming this extraterrestrial presence,” the second petition states. “Opinion polls now indicate more than 50% of the American people believe there is an extraterrestrial presence and more than 80% believe the government is not telling the truth about this phenomenon. The people have a right to know. The people can handle the truth.”

These petitions come from an Obama Administration initiative called ‘We the People’ which has White House staffers respond and consider taking action on any issue that receives at least 25,000 online signatures. Regarding these two petitions, the White House promised to respond if the petitions got 17,000 or more signatures by Oct. 22.

Larson stressed that the facts show that there is no credible evidence of extraterrestrial presence here on Earth. He pointed out that even though many scientists have come to the conclusion that the odds of life somewhere else in the Universe are fairly high, the chance that any of them are making contact with humans are extremely small, given the distances involved.

But that doesn’t mean we aren’t searching, there is just no evidence yet. Larson mentioned SETI (correctly noting that this at first was a NASA effort, but is now funded privately) keeping an “ear” out for signals from any intelligent extraterrestrials, with none found so far. He also added that the Kepler spacecraft is searching for Earth-like planets in the habitable zones around other stars, and that the Curiosity rover will launch to Mars this month to “assess what the Martian environment was like in the past to see if it could have harbored life.”

Regarding any evidence for alien life, all anyone has now is “statistics and speculation,” said Larson. “The fact is we have no credible evidence of extraterrestrial presence here on Earth.”

Whether or not this will appease or satisfy any conspiracy theorists or UFO believers is yet to be seen, but it is gratifying to see the White House respond in such a no-nonsense manner.

UPDATE: The Paradigm Research Group, one of the organizations sponsoring the petitions, has issued a statement saying, “As expected it was written by a low level staffer from the Office of Science and Technology Policy – research assistant Phil Larson. The response was unacceptable.”

See the petitions and the response at the WhiteHouse.gov website.

Hat Tip: NASA Watch


Nancy Atkinson is currently Universe Today's Contributing Editor. Previously she served as UT's Senior Editor and lead writer, and has worked with Astronomy Cast and 365 Days of Astronomy. Nancy is also a NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Slugsie November 7, 2011, 3:43 PM

    I’m pretty sure that even if the statement came from Obama himself, unless it said ‘Yes, here are the Aliens’ it would be dismissed as a coverup. There is little point in engaging with conspiracy theorists.

  • Anonymous November 7, 2011, 3:57 PM

    The problem with UFO sightings, is that many people automatically assume that it must be aliens. I’ve seen “donuts on a rope” but they were being left by a 747. I’ve seen sudden flashes in the night sky, but they coincided with satellite positions. I’ve seen fast moving aircraft, but I leave near an Air Force base.

    I’ve also seen tons of video “evidence”. 85% of the time it’s suggestively edited, or simply faked. The rest of the time it’s explained as a mundane object, such as an advertising blimp, parachuting flares (resulting from military training exercises), Venus, or contrails. Anyone remember that “rocket launch” that made headlines a few months ago? Very rarely do we see genuine, un-tampered video that cannot be explained.

    There is a tendency for people who “want to believe” to ignore these explanations because they are not exiting enough. To add more excitement, they then figure that the government (who can’t balance a budget or get simple bills passed) has organized a massive coverup. Yet many of these people who believe that aliens can travel hundreds of light years and arrive at just the right time to see us, (despite time dilation and causality issues) believe the moon landings were faked, or that aliens built the pyramids.

    Gullible people are easy targets for con artists and “witnesses” who write books based on their “accounts”. The truth is boring, and aliens sell. The media loves to “report” on “sightings” but they never follow up on a story that is solved. The rocket over LA story is a great example. Despite the fact that it has been proven beyond all doubt that it was a contrail left by an airliner, there are some who believe it was an ICBM launch. The Norway spiral was another good one. It has been proven and demonstrated that it was a rocket in a spin, there are some who believe it is some kind of gateway to another dimension.

    Decades ago, people just *Knew* there was life on Venus. It was commonly held, even among many in the scientific community, that it must be a warm, tropical planet. We landed probes there, and discovered it is a dead, hellish world. Most people used to think Mars was inhabited, and could even see canals, but space missions have shown Mars to be dead, cold desert. It very likely had a warmer climate and even oceans long ago, but not enough to sustain biology beyond microorganisms (if even that). So no Venusians, and no Martians. They now supposedly come from Zeta 2 Reticuli. I guess Alpha Centauri was passed up in case we ever get a good look at that system.

    It’s fine to believe in alien life, and alien civilizations. But when it comes to them visiting us, I’m skeptical. I want actual proof, not suggestive claims or empty hype.

  • Rubi November 7, 2011, 5:28 PM

    Why You Guys Talking About Cats And Dogs ? This Is About Aliens ! DUHHHH BRAW !

  • Rubi November 7, 2011, 5:30 PM

    HI , I AM RUBI ! 😀

  • Rubi November 7, 2011, 5:31 PM


    • William Sparrow November 8, 2011, 12:37 AM

      You are a jackass Rubi. Go somewhere else with your childish comments.

  • Befuddled November 8, 2011, 12:02 AM

    What people do not realize is that the White House could be just as in the dark on this subject as the rest of us. Very few presidents are debriefed on above top secret matters. In other words, how can the White House disclose what it has no knowledge of? The petition was a useless endeavor that was doomed to failure.

    Next time, petition the JCS at the Pentagon. They probably know a lot more than any White House cabinet. Politicians come and go….Generals and Admirals are in it for the long run.

  • William Sparrow November 8, 2011, 12:41 AM

    And the report is forthcoming, I suppose?

  • Anonymous November 8, 2011, 3:58 AM

    If this was from a low level staffer then its to be expected .Unless he or she has above cosmic security clearance.Thats all they will publically state.Now lets get the White House to get someone with real information to go public.

  • Anonymous November 8, 2011, 4:03 AM

    If you believe what the Government tells you does not exist then you know they know more then they are publically telling you.

  • thopter November 8, 2011, 9:59 AM

    There are many ways to interpret this…the White House could be speaking truthfully ( for once) with whatever questions were put forth..but with the ongoing intent to deceive. The truth of the matter could be they DO know the origin of the UFO’s (and it isn’t “extraterrestrial”)..for case of argument the government could know they are instead extradimensional..or even from within the earth.. making their first statement truthful and if in fact they know the origin of the UFO, this means the UFO’s are not unidentified to THEM, thus making their second statement a factual one as well..”no UFO coverup”. In both instances the answers to the petitions questions would be truthful..the problem would be the people are asking the wrong questions..allowing the White House to weasel-word it’s way around the issue.

  • Anonymous November 8, 2011, 10:40 PM

    As a retired Police Detective from the West Midlands UK, I would like to refute the statement made as above. After having conducted a resarch period of 15 years, into the question of the existence of UFO’s II have now published the first three Volumes of Haunted Skies whichcatalogue ona daily basis literally thousands of sightings of highly unsusal objects which from their overall performance and behaviour characteristics are not likelt to be man made. In fact these objects were even reported on in the 13th and 14th Century long before man was capable of flight. There isa vast difference between what the media spoonfeed us with as far as UFO documentaries go and the reality of what UFO’s are all about. I cant tell you what they are and where they come from, but they are here and have been for a considerable number of years.One thing is assured they wont go away! John Hanson.

  • Anonymous November 9, 2011, 7:36 PM

    president obama, go blow smoke up somebody else’s ass, we all know that they have visited earth and are tampering with our nuclear missiles; read UFOS AND NUKES BY ROBERT L. HASTINGS.

  • Sergio Castillo Lizano November 11, 2011, 12:31 AM


  • Anonymous November 11, 2011, 2:22 AM

    We are being visited. Fact. 25 years ago I witnessed a UFO and I guarantee it was not of this world. It paced three friends and I in my car for nearly 5 minutes before flying off into the distance. We could see it hovering several miles off, this was an extremely unnerving experience. After hovering for several minutes in the distance, the UFO shot off at an extremely high rate of speed. It was the classic silver, saucer shaped UFO, no visible windows, no sound, no light coming from it. Believe what you want, I have seen these things and they are not made by human hands.

  • Anonymous November 12, 2011, 2:07 AM

    This article reminded me of a quote from Calvin and Hobbes.

    “I think the surest sign that there is intelligent life out there in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us.”

  • Anonymous November 12, 2011, 2:09 AM

    This whole article and the comments I’m reading reminded me of a memorable line from Calvin and Hobbes.

    “I think the surest sign that there is intelligent life out there in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us.”

    Just some food for thought there.

    • Roger Overcash November 12, 2011, 7:47 PM

      So logical.
      Here is an off take quote of my own:

      How could aliens be so smart to get here and so dumb to let us know? Here lies the paradox; a lack of evidence means they do or do not exist. Evidence means someone is playing a joke.