Nov 08 2011
The Obama White House has created a website called We the People in which anyone can write a petition for information from the administration. The current rules state that a petition has to achieve 150 signatures within 30 days to appear on the publicly searchable database, and then must reach 25,000 signatures within 30 days in order to trigger a response from the administration. This second threshold was just increased from 5,000. The two UFO petitions combined garnered 17,000 signatures, but I guess it beat the increase to the higher threshold.
UFO conspiracy theorists have been claiming for years that the US government has been hiding extensive knowledge of contact with aliens. The alleged crashed saucer at Roswell New Mexico is just one famous example. The conspiracy claims include the claim that the government maintains a secret facility, Area 51, in which they examine recovered alien craft, and that they are attempting (and perhaps even succeeded) to reverse engineer alien technology. Many claim that a shadow organization exists within the government, or perhaps is even transnational, such as the Men in Black, who swoop in and suppress any hard evidence of aliens when encounters occur. Some also claim that the government is in contact with aliens and is collaborating with them.
Over the years there have been many freedom of information (FOI) requests for government documents concerning UFOs and aliens. None of the disclosed material has ever contained evidence of spacecraft or aliens. But they often contain redacted material that further fuels conspiracy theories.
There is no credible evidence that aliens are visiting the earth, or that the US government, or any other government, has any contact or knowledge of their existence. The recent disclosure by the Obama White House is consistent with that conclusion. They write:
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.
The statement is unlikely to change the mind of any conspiracy theorist or UFO believer. The obvious reason is because – if you believe in a conspiracy, then of course the conspirators will not simply admit to their involvement and to the existence of a conspiracy. That is the core problem with conspiracy thinking; it quickly becomes a closed belief system. The conspiracy theorist can always claim that any lack of evidence for the conspiracy was, of course, hidden and suppressed by the conspirators. Any evidence for an alternate explanation was planted by the conspirators. Therefore there is no evidence, or lack of evidence, that can be brought to bear against the conspiracy theory. It is immunized from refutation, immune to evidence, and completely sealed-off. There is therefore no way out of the conspiracy, once you have fully bought into it (except to recognize what I just explained).
There is therefore little doubt that UFO conspiracy theorists will shrug off this statement from the Obama Administration with little difficulty.
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