Over the next five days, former members of the Air Force, former astronauts and UFO researchers and historians will gather in Washington to testify before six former members of Congress on an alleged government cover-up of alien contact with the human race. The former lawmakers participating will receive $20,000 each as well as paid expenses for listening to the testimony, according to event organizers.
Congress has not held an official hearing on extraterrestrials since 1968.
Stephen Bassett, who heads the Citizen Hearing Foundation, an advocacy group putting on the event, blames a "truth embargo" in place since the Cold War for why Congress hasn't taken up the issue.
"There's a catalogue of over 3,500 pilot sightings [of extraterrestrials]. But [the pilots] are not allowed to speak publicly by the Air Force," Bassett tells Whispers.
"And there will be a panel of individuals [this week] who worked at nuclear bases in the 1960s, when a craft came over their base and shot all their missiles down."
The hearings, which are taking place at the National Press Club, will begin with the history of extraterrestrials and then move on to subjects like "nuclear tampering," government documents on extraterrestrials, and what happened at Roswell, N.M., the 1947 site of an air debris crash on a ranch – which some believe was a UFO incident.
Some 36 percent of Americans believe aliens have visited Earth, according to a June 2012 survey by National Geographic. Nearly 80 percent think the government has kept information from the public about UFOs.
In 2011, a petition on the White House's We the People website asked President Obama to "formally acknowledge an extraterrestrial presence engaging the human race." The White House responded that there was "no evidence" that life exists outside of Earth or that any information was being hidden from the public.
Former members of Congress participating in the five-day hearings include former Sen. Mike Gravel, D-Alaska, best known for reading the Pentagon papers on Vietnam into the public record, former Rep. Lynn Woolsey, D-Calif., who had among the most liberal voting records before retiring in 2012, and former Rep. Carolyn Kilpatrick, D-Mich., who represented Detroit for 14 years before she lost her seat in 2010 after legal troubles surfaced surrounding her son.
The three members were not immediately reachable for comment on the event.