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White House Responds to ET/UFO Petitions 232

Posted by samzenpus
from the petitions-are-out-there dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The White House has responded to two more We the People petitions. These new inquiries ask the government to acknowledge formally that aliens have visited Earth. The response from Phil Larson of the White House Office of Science and Technology is: '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.'" I'm glad that's cleared up. Now our government can get back to important work like developing caffeinated jerky.
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White House Responds to ET/UFO Petitions

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  • I bet if the government was asked about any other super high security classified information, they would similarly deny it.
    • Re:yeah... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by tysonedwards (969693) on Monday November 07, 2011 @12:15PM (#37973920)
      The use of the phrase "no credible information" is going to drive the conspiracy theorists crazy for decades, 'cause aliens are incredible man! We want to see the incredible information!
      • Re:yeah... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by rtb61 (674572) on Monday November 07, 2011 @01:31PM (#37975160) Homepage

        More logically the phrase "no evidence" versus the more commonly expected "no knowledge". So perhaps no recovered alien vessels and no captured aliens versus no knowledge of unknown space vessels, presumably not operated by humans.

        Of course one need only look at the reply for marijuana versus say this story http://stopthedrugwar.org/speakeasy/2008/jul/23/significance_us_govt_cannabinoid [stopthedrugwar.org] which leads you to http://www.patentstorm.us/patents/6630507.html [patentstorm.us]. So the US Department of Health has a patent on what the US Government in turn denies is of any value.

        Then of course who could forget wikileaks and embassy cables, basically the US government lying all over the place, again and again and again.

        • by gtall (79522)

          " Then of course who could forget wikileaks and embassy cables, basically the US government lying all over the place, again and again and again."

          Really, take this acid test, write down everything you say about your place of employment for a year and then send it to your boss, your boss's boss, and shove it all the way up the chain of command. Information wants to be free, y'now.

      • They also said "outside our planet." That still leaves wide open the whole "ancient astronauts from Earth" camp. Better still, we now have a leading statement that provides additional credibility to the theory. Call us crazies will you? Hah! One day, we'll prove that the last ice age was caused by nuclear winter from our ancient ancestors. These aliens don't keeping telling us nukes are bad for no good reason. They lived through what could happen!
    • by scubamage (727538)
      Yeah, was anyone expecting anything different on this one?
      • by Arlet (29997)

        Seriously. Even if the government was withholding information, some silly on-line petition isn't going to chance anything.

        • by SomePgmr (2021234)
          What's important is the appearance of a transparent and responsive government.

          Of course that's no more true than it's ever been, but it's a brilliant show.
      • Re:yeah... (Score:4, Interesting)

        by MoonBuggy (611105) on Monday November 07, 2011 @12:30PM (#37974166) Journal

        Nope. What I'd like to see some more signatures on this one [whitehouse.gov], actually - not that I expect any tangible results, but it'd be at least mildly entertaining to see how they respond to it.

    • "Immediately disclose the government's knowledge of and communications with extraterrestrial beings"

      What kind of moron write a petition implying he undoubtedly KNOW THAT THE US GOV. had communication with extraterrestrial beings, no one can take a moron like that seriously.

      • Re:yeah... (Score:4, Funny)

        by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Monday November 07, 2011 @12:27PM (#37974112) Journal
        Ah, you underestimate the true conspiracy theorist's(don't let yourself be fooled by the plants) capacity for discerning the sinister complexity of the labyrinthine wheels within wheels...

        By craftily wording their inquiry as though it were merely a risible question about aliens, our petitioner has forced Them to reveal that there is "no credible evidence" to suggest that the US Government has communicated with extraterrestrial beings, such as the so-called 'astronauts' who participated in the moon landing hoax, or 'space probes' that allegedly disprove the Hollow Earth theory!
        • No, no. What this proves is that the aliens (or possibly the Illuminati - but trust me, I have proof) are so much in control of our government that they have taken all the evidence out of our government's hands. WHEN ARE YOU PEOPLE GOING TO WAKE UP AND SEE THE TRUTH?! They Live was a documentary!

  • by bobsacks (784382) on Monday November 07, 2011 @12:12PM (#37973876) Journal
    Kind of off topic - I was buddies with a guy in the air force that worked on the caffeinated stuff. He came to visit one time and brought some caffeine pudding with him. Hell of a drug.
    • A drug is a drug. Why are they using a shitty stimulant like caffeine. Why not use amphetamine it works much better?

      • Um. The Air Force uses "go pills" all the time. But why would they not always be looking into alternatives?
        • Because caffeine is such a shitty dirty buzz. No stimulant is good but amphetamine is a much better choice than caffeine. Ive taken both and caffeine sucks.

          • by smelch (1988698)
            Right, right. I totally take your word on what sucks and what doesn't, because Sonic Youth is a good band.
  • It's just the probe speaking.
  • Mmmmmmm, Jerky.

  • People are bothering the White House with this type of bullshit and Congress is voting to reaffirm our national motto. Can we just call a do-over and kick everybody out of office and start over?

    • by cdrguru (88047)

      You misunderstand the function of the government. If we wanted an "efficient" government we would have 100x the laws we currently have. The government would be able to pass new funding resolutions, new laws, new regulations on the content of food, etc., etc., etc. and they woudl be able to do this very very quickly. Hundreds of news laws each week.

      Instead, what we have is a system that is designed to provide gridlock, obstructionism and anything but efficiency. The very notion of a bicameral debating so

    • by jythie (914043)
      The problem is, the people in office are a product of how people think and vote. They only do exactly what will allow them to keep their jobs... if you kick everyone out and hold elections you will end up with the exact same types of people in office again, because voters have not changed.
    • by kiwimate (458274)

      In reverse order...

      Can we just call a do-over and kick everybody out of office and start over?

      Well, duh, yes, of course you can. It's called an election. You don't have to vote the incumbents in, you know.

      However -

      People are bothering the White House with this type of bullshit

      Sounds like you are targeting the wrong group of people and what you really want is to kick the entire country out of voting privileges and start over.

      • by Dracos (107777)

        Well, duh, yes, of course you can. It's called an election. You don't have to vote the incumbents in, you know.

        Elections stopped working years ago. It's time for an Article V convention.

    • by Hatta (162192) on Monday November 07, 2011 @02:14PM (#37975708) Journal

      Here, go vote on some more important petitions:

      Meta-petition [whitehouse.gov]
      99declaration.org [whitehouse.gov]
      Snarky petition [whitehouse.gov]
      E-Parasite [whitehouse.gov]
      Marijuana petition Part II. [whitehouse.gov]
      Reverse marijuana petition [whitehouse.gov]
      YAMP [whitehouse.gov]
      I like this one. Bet it doesn't last long. [whitehouse.gov]

  • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Monday November 07, 2011 @12:17PM (#37973960) Journal
    We warmly welcome any further inquiries concerning matters distant from pressing issues that make the questioner look slightly insane for doubting us!

    In fact, just in the spirit of openness, we voluntarily announce that neither we, nor the British royal family, are Pod People, or Reptoids from Delta Reticulon Minus. If you have any further requests for information or policy change that we can easily dismiss as being outside the window of political consideration, please let us know.
    • In fact, just in the spirit of openness, we voluntarily announce that neither we, nor the British royal family, are Pod People, or Reptoids from Delta Reticulon Minus.

      Of course the British royal family are none of those. They're werewolves.

      • There is absolutely nothing sinister about the abnormally high specificity of my spontaneous candor. In particular, there are no such things as "Reptoids from Delta Reticulon Plus" for us to definitely not be.
  • Area 51 Syndrome (Score:4, Insightful)

    by k6mfw (1182893) on Monday November 07, 2011 @12:18PM (#37973970)
    This is one place government officials do not discuss, do not acknowledge it exists, etc. Yet there is this immense desire by people wanting to know what's going on at this place. This gives opportunity for creative people to say there are space aliens freeze-dried from the Roswell crash. OK, prove them wrong. You can't, only thing that can be done is debate among different groups. Unless US govt declassify the area, permit tours, photos, etc. but until then Area 51 remains a good place for conspiracies, movie plots, whatever.
    • by Soilworker (795251) on Monday November 07, 2011 @12:26PM (#37974094)

      Even if there is no alien in area 51 they still have new technology, missile and stuffs that you don't have to see.

      If I don't want you to come at my house to see inside It must be because I have a trapped alien in it.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Greystripe (1985692)
        So what exactly are you doing with this trapped alien and did it come in peace?
        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by Anonymous Coward

          ... and did it come in peace?

          Well, originally, yes.

    • Re:Area 51 Syndrome (Score:4, Informative)

      by mister_dave (1613441) on Monday November 07, 2011 @12:27PM (#37974110)

      I watched a (UK TV) documentary by a defence journalist [google.co.uk] a year or so back, where he suggested that the whole UFO business dating back to Roswell was a dis-information campaign by the USAF to disguise their new product testing - now Area 51. I thought he made his case well.

      • Pretty much. Area 51 is a government run airport that they use to test various new systems and even new aircraft. I seem to remember something I read about the stealth planes being tested there before the programs were acknowledged. I'm sure they still use Area 51 to test all the new secret whiz bangs and gizmos they put on the planes. Being an airport in a remote area away from prying eyes makes it pretty good for that kind of work.

        I'm pretty sure that if there are alien space craft anywhere here, they

        • by k6mfw (1182893)
          >nondescript warehouse in Cleveland or St Louis

          Hanger 18 in Arizona? Probably not, that state is very anti alien.

    • I don't know how much you know about Area 51 but my impression is that many top secret military aircraft were and are developed and tested there. Why would the government want to declassify that? I remember some UFO conspiracists saying that UFOs were triangular in shape not round as evidenced by what he saw flying out of there. Years later the government acknowledged the stealth fighter and the stealth bomber. There are rumors that a Mach 5+ spy plane code named Aurora is being developed there. I woul
    • by timholman (71886)

      Unless US govt declassify the area, permit tours, photos, etc. but until then Area 51 remains a good place for conspiracies, movie plots, whatever.

      It wouldn't do a bit of good. Even if the U.S. government declassified every object and scrap of paper from Roswell and Area 51, and showed that there was zero evidence of alien visitation, the conspiracy theorists would just claim that the "real" evidence was still hidden or had been destroyed.

      Trying to prove to a conspiracy theorist that aliens aren't visitin

      • I was watching a documentary on Fort Knox. In the late 70s there were all sorts of conspiracies that the government had moved/spent all the gold. Finally, the fort allowed some Congressmen and a TV crew inside the facilities to personally inspect the vault which was stacked full of gold. Then the conspiracists said no one was watching the fort the next day when a caravan of trucks took the gold away. Of course they had no photos of said trucks but it shows you people who really believe are not swayed by
    • by ildon (413912)

      Even if they had tours etc. the conspiracy theorists would just say they moved them somewhere else and cleaned it up after the fact. You can't satisfy these people.

    • by Kjella (173770)

      Unless US govt declassify the area, permit tours, photos, etc. but until then Area 51 remains a good place for conspiracies, movie plots, whatever.

      Then the conspiracy theorists would say it's been scrubbed clean and everything moved to an more secret facility. In fact, why are they trying so hard to prove it didn't happen if it didn't happen? That's why you have to ignore them, because the more evidence you give that it didn't happen the greater the proof it's a cover-up. Just forcing the government to acknowledge they're there and pose questions that "need" answering is like lighting a flare. I particularly remember the crop circles, that the same nu

    • Nobody denies Area 51 exists. It's famous for reasons other than the alien business; it's usually known in the Air Force as Groom Lake or Dreamland, and it's where they test all the new and experimental aircraft.

      The F-117 was flying there for ten years or so before the Air Force actually admitted its existence. They never denied that they had things they weren't telling us about, though.

  • According to polls (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dkleinsc (563838) on Monday November 07, 2011 @12:18PM (#37973972) Homepage

    14% of Americans think they've seen a UFO. An additional 20% haven't seen one, but believe they exist.

    Somewhere around 10% of Americans approve of the job Congress is doing.

    This says something about the United States, although I'm not sure exactly what.

    • Because I've certainly seen a UFO. I mean, it was probably just a plane or a helicopter and sometimes just a refraction of insects in the light from my glasses, but I seens thems, I'm sure.

    • by chemicaldave (1776600) on Monday November 07, 2011 @12:25PM (#37974070)
      It says two things. 1) People are willing to lie in surveys to feel special, and 2) The rest of America doesn't disapprove of Congress as a whole, just the other party.
    • by gshegosh (1587463) on Monday November 07, 2011 @12:29PM (#37974144)
      78,32% of Americans believe any made up numbers.
    • Well, it suggests that ancient near-eastern science fiction writers are still holding up pretty well compared to contemporary science fiction writers, since the figure for Americans who believe in angels is 55%, fully 16% higher than UFOs...
    • by RazzleFrog (537054) on Monday November 07, 2011 @12:31PM (#37974188)

      90% believe in a god, 55% believe they are protected by guardian angels, 54% believe in psychic abilities, 41% believe in demonic/devil possession.

      People believe in a lot of really dumb things.

      • 90% believe in a god, 55% believe they are protected by guardian angels, 54% believe in psychic abilities, 41% believe in demonic/devil possession.

        People believe in a lot of really dumb things.

        I believe I'll have another beer...

    • People in the U.S. are very cynical when it comes to believing UFO claims. We have by far the greatest number of non-believers.

      I believe Mexico and Russia are at the other end of the spectrum. Very few people in either of those countries doubt that aliens are the cause of most UFO outbreaks.

      I think public perception in the US is changing, though. For example, the former governor of Arizona has admitted that he did cover up what he knew about the 1997 Phoenix lights [wikipedia.org], and has now revealed that he and his

      • Ignorance and idiocy is a worldwide occurrence. In the US our neighbors seem to prefer believing in religious bullshit and in Russia and Mexico I guess it is alien bullshit. It just means we have to work harder on all fronts to fight this type of stuff and not encourage it.

      • by mosb1000 (710161)

        The thing about UFOs is that the first word is "unidentified". If you don't know what an object is, and you see it in the sky, you have no way of knowing how big it is or how far away it is, or how fast it is moving. Lacking this information leads to further uncertainties as to the identity of the object.

        I've seen objects in the night sky that I couldn't identify. I'm sure most people who watch the sky have. That doesn't mean that I wouldn't be able to identify them i I had more information.

    • I saw a UFO, until the baseball hit me in the head. I just don't approve of congress bailing out the already rich baseball players, and then refusing to prosecute them. If *I* threw a baseball at someone's head I'd probably get in trouble.
    • by DarkOx (621550)

      It says its easier to imagine on the billions of little chemical interactions required to give rise to complex life forms, could and have occurred some place else, or that God an omnipotent being exits and created a second group of intelligent beings take your pick. After all that you have to imagine those people were able to solve the seemingly impossible challenges of physics get from where they are across the vast cosmos to come here.

      You know what now that I think on it a little bit that is all way more

    • by danlip (737336)

      Almost everyone has seen a UFO, which is to say they have seen something in the sky they could not identify. That is all that UFO means. That doesn't mean that most of those people believe they have seen an extraterrestrial space ship. We really need a different word.

    • I saw a UFO while staring at the sky one day several years ago. That is to say, I saw something, and I don't know what it was. Given apparent distance, size, and motion characteristics, I can't match it to any known technology, physical effect, or biological creature. In fact, its behavior was unreal enough to make me doubt it was anything mundane. That doesn't prove that it's otherwise, and any suspicions I have that it could have been something alien are just that, suspicions.

      Skepticism can coexist wi

    • by tlhIngan (30335)

      14% of Americans think they've seen a UFO. An additional 20% haven't seen one, but believe they exist.

      UFOs aren't really that interesting in the general sense. Even a meteor that shows up is counted as a UFO until it's identified. (As such, there's preally tons of UFOs). In fact, in the dullest sense, there's probably UFO "events" on a daily basis until NORAD gets a plane in the air and actually sees what it is.

      Now, extraterrestrials, that's more interesting than UFOs (which aren often just manmade flying v

  • Evidence for life (Score:2, Interesting)

    by doconnor (134648)

    "The U.S. government has no evidence that any life exists outside our planet"

    The U.S. government does have some evidence life exists on Mars. There are the fossils in the Martian meteorites, and the controversial results of the Viking life detection experiments plus our understanding of how quickly life appeared on Earth and its ability to adapt to conditions like Mars currently has, by living in the rocks.

    While I won't claim there is enough evidence yet to concluded that there is life on Mars, there is mor

    • by AdamJS (2466928)

      I think they were just being frank.
      Or Phil, in this case.

    • I think we can assume he was referring to sentient life...

      [rolleyes]
    • by Arlet (29997)

      It's close enough. I doubt the petitioners were interested in possible bacterial life on Mars anyway.

    • by medv4380 (1604309)
      You're just nit picking now. Those are things that are all available to the public and from the science community they are still debating what those really mean (well some people). The petition was clearly intended to address those people who believe in aliens actively visiting the earth, and that the government is covering it up. Which is pointless because to those people any answer other then "yes there are aliens visiting use" only fuels the thought that the government is covering it up.
    • Wouldn't fossils mean that life "existed" and not necessarily that life continues to exist?

      I think they also were talking more specifically about intelligent life.

  • Check it out here: That Mitchell and Webb Look - The Aliens [youtube.com]

    The idea the government would keep aliens secret is incredibly stupid. Their reasons were:

    a. Keeping secrets is fun.

    b. To avoid having the government get blamed for something they are not responsible for - by doing something bad that would actually make them responsible.

    c. It's the sort of thing that governments generally do.

  • by DarkOx (621550)

    has no evidence that any life exists outside our planet

    I think we spent huge piles of tax dollars in order to get all excited that there was evidence of both water and bateria on Mars?

    If the White House can't get basic facts strait about recent and very public scientific develops, why should we take the rest of their response seriously. Its not like this is Slashdot we are talking about here with its lack of editing, these are professional publicity people who don't make mistakes and obvious omissions.

    • by Nevynxxx (932175)

      Or put another way, if they can't even get their basic facts straight, how in the world can they keep up a multi-year, multi-party, lie involving hundreds, if not thousands of people?

  • by ZouPrime (460611) on Monday November 07, 2011 @12:33PM (#37974224)

    After hand-waiving away the cannabis legalization and the software patent petitions, it would have been amazing to see the White House answers this one candidly. "After seeing such public pressure on the matter over decades, this administration has decided to come clean with the Martians and our contacts with them."

  • by Oswald McWeany (2428506) on Monday November 07, 2011 @12:38PM (#37974298)

    You want proof there are no ETs on earth?

    Look at the defense budget.
    Now look at NASAs budget.

    NASA's budget is tiny in comparison. Clearly the US sees other countries as much bigger threat than the anal-probers from outta space. Either that or they feel that a little humiliation for the drunk rednecks that spot them is acceptable.

    If we had discovered aliens do you really think we'd be slashing science spending and space exploration costs?

    Do you really think the US would be the only country to know about them and that all 200+ nations on earth are collaborating together to keep us in the dark.

    It is ludicrous. The one way you know that aliens have been found and secretly being kept away from the public is when the government starts putting higher priority on space funding and NASA's budget starts rocketing upwards instead of getting cut further and further each year.

  • by Lev13than (581686) on Monday November 07, 2011 @12:49PM (#37974472) Homepage

    To sum up TFA:

    1. Aliens are almost certainly real. Those who refuse to believe in the likely existence of extraterrestrial life either refuse to acknowledge or cannot comprehend the vastness of space and (especially) the vastness of time.

    2. UFOs are absolutely real. There are lots of instances where people legitimately see objects in the sky that they cannot identify/classify.

    3. UFOs are absolutely not aliens. Those who believe that aliens have visited earth either refuse to acknowledge or cannot comprehend the vastness of space and (especially) the vastness of time.

    • by kiwimate (458274)

      You missed a key point from the MSNBC article.

      Larson stressed that the facts show 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.

  • Gotta say it takes some cahones for the administration to maintain a site like this. On the first page of open petitions are "We demand a vapid, condescending, meaningless, politically safe response to this petition. [whitehouse.gov]" and "Stop Lying [whitehouse.gov]." I give Obama points for efforts like this, even though some of the petitions I see there are valid enough to make me detract even more points. I highly doubt this site will continue to exist in future administrations.
  • There are folks who think the technology of microwave ovens was given to us by aliens. But then, esp. in the US, we have the worst math and science ed among the general populace of any industrialized nation.

    The reason I know there's been no contact is that there have been *zero* amazing breakthroughs in the last century. We can look at every bit of original research that led to all technological advances.

    Had we actually had contact with aliens, even if they didn't give us technology, there would have been s

  • The U.S. government has no evidence that any life exists outside our planet

    Honestly, they're lying from the get go on this. Haven't we established without a doubt that there is life outside of Earth in our own solar system, in the very least, with one celled organisms?

    All they had to do was say "no evidence of intelligent life" and they would be good to go.

    • by Arlet (29997)

      Haven't we established without a doubt that there is life outside of Earth in our own solar system

      Have we ? I thought there was still plenty of doubt.

  • Seriously, if there were aliens so advanced they invented rapid interstellar travel technology, what could they possibly want with Earth? Maybe just to observe us to document our evolution and culture? Sort of alien anthropologists/zoologists?

    There's seriously nothing of value on earth, resource wise, which they shouldn't be able to collect a billion other places in the Universe. No, they don't want slave labor - high technology manufacturing, even here on earth, is far better than slave labor, and we are p

  • I know that the answer to the UFO question is that we, as a country, have never had any real contact with aliens in America.

    There is no possible way that a government as inefficient, inept and corrupt as ours could have kept alien encounters secret for nigh on 60 years. Records get hacked. People talk. Politicians use secrets to leverage each other. Opportunists leak information and sell out what they know. People make death bed confessions. There is absolutely no way that something as significant as

  • All they have to do is pick the wackiest petitions to respond to. They issue polite rejections or denials of the petitions. From there they make petitioners all look like wacka-dos. From their they can issue rejections of reasonable petitions that refer to serious issues with the same tone that implies insanity of the petitioners.

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