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White House: No contact with aliens, but we're looking

By Dan Merica, CNN
updated 3:03 AM EST, Tue November 8, 2011
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The White House says extraterrestrials have not contacted the human race
  • The U.S. government says there's no evidence of life outside our planet
  • Thousands sign a petition asking for a government response on alien contact
  • Many Americans believe in an extraterrestrial presence

Washington (CNN) -- The White House position on extraterrestrials is now clear: aliens haven't contacted Earth, but that doesn't mean the U.S. government isn't looking for them.

"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," wrote Phil Larson of the White House Office of Science & Technology Policy in a blog post on the White House website.

The response went on to say that even though there is no proof that life exists outside Earth, "that doesn't mean the subject of life outside our planet isn't being discussed or explored," he said

The petitions were submitted through "We the People," a White House initiative that promises a White House response to any petition that can garner 5,000 signatures in 30 days.

This response by the White House satisfies the demands of two petitions, one of which garnered over 12,000 signatures.

That petition called on the White House to "formally acknowledge an extraterrestrial presence engaging the human race."

"Hundreds of military and government agency witnesses have come forward with testimony confirming this extraterrestrial presence," stated the petition. "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."

According to the White House, however, "there is no credible information to suggest that any evidence is being hidden from the public's eye."

But Larson indicated that a host of government agencies are working "toward the goal of understanding if life can or does exist off Earth," including the Mars Science Laboratory, SETI, the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence and Kepler, the NASA spacecraft.

And even though the White House was clear that there is no credible evidence that aliens have contacted earth, Larson did point out that the odds are in favor of extraterrestrial existence, but not contact.

"Many scientists and mathematicians... have come to the conclusion that the odds are pretty high that somewhere among the trillions and trillions of stars in the universe there is a planet other than ours that is home to life," wrote Larson. "However, that the odds of us making contact with any of them — especially any intelligent ones — are extremely small, given the distances involved."

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