Mock congressional hearings on the alien presence hidden behind government denial?

Former U.S. Rep. Roscoe Bartlett is so there.

Extraterrestrials will be the subject of intense scrutiny next week as Bartlett and five other former members of Congress preside over 30 hours of testimony just blocks from the White House.

The Citizen Hearing on Disclosure is the project of the Paradigm Research Group, which works "to advocate in all ways possible for an end to a government imposed truth embargo of the facts surrounding an extraterrestrial presence engaging the human race," according to its website.

Bartlett, who represented Frederick County and much of Western Maryland, says he doubts that space aliens have dropped in on Earth. Moreover, in his 20 years in office, he never got wind of a massive government conspiracy to conceal such visitations. However, he said he has an open mind about testimony to the contrary.

"It's a huge universe out there," he said. "You have to be kind of presumptuous and arrogant to assume we're the only intelligent life in the universe."

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