It's official: there are no aliens in the closet, White House insists

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THE WHITE House says it has no evidence that extraterrestrial creatures exist.

The Obama administration made the unusual declaration in response to a feature on its website that allows people to submit petitions which administration officials must respond to if enough people sign on. In this case, more than 5,000 people signed a petition demanding the White House disclose the government’s knowledge of extraterrestrial beings. More than 12,000 signed another petition seeking formal acknowledgement of an extraterrestrial presence engaging the human race.

In response, Phil Larson, of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, wrote that the US government has no evidence that life exists outside Earth, or that an extraterrestrial presence has contacted 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,” he wrote.

He did not close the door entirely, however, on a close encounter of an alien kind, noting that many scientists and mathematicians believed that, statistically speaking, the odds were high that life existed somewhere among the “trillions and trillions of stars in the universe”.

The odds that humans might make contact with non-humans are seen as remote, however.

This is not the first petition to force the White House to engage on an offbeat topic since the “We the People” web page was inaugurated.

Various petitions demanding legalisation of marijuana have gathered more than 100,000 names, to which the White House argues that marijuana is associated with addiction, respiratory disease and cognitive impairment, and so legalising would not be a good idea.

When launched, the White House promised to respond to any petition that offered 5,000 or more signatures within a 30-day period. This threshold has now been raised to 25,000 signatures. – (AP)

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