“We The People” was launched by the White House to provide “a new way to petition the Obama Administration to take action on a range of important issues facing our country.” The site enables anyone to create a petition about any topic.
One of the UFO/extraterrestrial petitions called on the White House to “Immediately disclose the government’s knowledge of and communications with extraterrestrial beings.” The other petition sought formal acknowledgement of “an extraterrestrial presence engaging the human race.” Both petitions were created on September 22, 2011, but of the two, the latter petition received nearly 6,700 more signatures–12,078.
Phil Larson, who works on space policy and communications at the White House Office of Science & Technology Policy, responded to these two petitions with the following statement:
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.
But as Alejandro Rojas pointed out when he wrote a story about the UFO/ET petitions, there may be evidence to the contrary. Rojas mentioned a Bill Clinton interview from Hong Kong in which the former President stated:
I did attempt to find out if there were any secret government documents that revealed things and if there were, they were concealed from me too. I wouldn’t be the first president that underlings have lied to or that career bureaucrats have waited out. But there may be some career person somewhere hiding these dark secrets, even from elected Presidents. But if so, they successfully eluded me, and I am almost embarrassed to tell you that I did try to find out.
In his response to the petitions, Larson added, “However, that doesn’t mean the subject of life outside our planet isn’t being discussed or explored. In fact, there are a number of projects working toward the goal of understanding if life can or does exist off Earth.” The examples he provided were SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence), NASA’s Kepler mission, and the Mars Science Laboratory.Stephen Bassett of the Paradigm Research Group is the individual who created the petition that asked for formal acknowledgement of an “extraterrestrial presence engaging the human race.” According to MSNBC, a response by a “low-level staffer” isn’t what Bassett was expecting from the White House. Bassestt reportedly plans to begin a new petition campaign.
When “We The People” launched, a petition needed to receive at least 5,000 signatures within 30 days to be eligible for a response from the White House. Both of the previously mentioned petitions achieved this goal. But due to greater-than-expected activity on “We The People,” the White House has amended the terms of participation, requiring new petitions to reach 25,000 signatures within 30 days.