The lawmakers include former Senator Mike Gravel and former Reps. Roscoe Bartlett, Meryill Cook, Lynn Woolsey, Carolyn Kilpatrick, and Darlene Hooley.
Paradigm Research Group
is a UFO advocacy and lobbying group formed in 1996 to pressure the US government to disclose classified information about UFOs and alien/ET visitations and presence on Earth. According to the group's website, it "advocate(s) in all ways possible for an end to a government imposed truth embargo of the facts surrounding an extraterrestrial presence engaging the human race."
NY Daily News
reports that witnesses who testified at the hearing on Tuesday included retired U.S. Air Force members who gave detailed accounts, both first and second-hand, of ET and UFO sightings at US nuclear facilities in England and North America.
However, the fact that the lawmakers were paid to listen to the testimonies impugns the credibility of the hearing. The objectivity of the former lawmakers, after having received $20,000 (plus expenses) from a UFO advocacy group to sit for hours taking testimonies that ETs are among us, has been questioned.
NY Daily News
asks in apparent bewilderment: "What are a former U.S. senator — and five former House members — doing in a place like this?" and comments, skeptically: "The six former lawmakers are not exactly grilling witnesses in the faux hearing... They spent the first two days of testimony asking questions that assumed accounts of UFO sightings from panel witnesses were true... The members 'swear-in' witness, announce 'recesses' and assume other trappings of actual congressional hearings, minus staff and power."
The executive director of Paradigm Research Group, Stephen Bassett, said the group initially contacted 55 former members of Congress with an offer of $10,000. One of the former lawmakers the contacted was Rep. Dennis Kucinich
(D-Ohio), who once gave an account of a UFO sighting.
Bassett set the group had to double the offer to $20,000 to stimulate interest.
The session held on Wednesday morning at the National Press Club, Washington, was attended by 55 or 60 people. Paradigm Research Group said it will be featuring the sessions in an upcoming documentary it is producing. The faux hearing will be part of the film.
reports that Basset said the event expected to cost $600,000 is being funded by a wealthy Canadian donor Thomas Clearwater.
The "Congressional Committee"
NY Daily News gives a sketchy but revealing background information on the lawmakers at the hearing:
[Senator] Gravel is best known for a long-shot presidential bid that made Kucinich's look moderate and pragmatic.
Former Rep. Lynn Woolsey, (D-Calif.), 75, who said she was teased for being among Congress' "most left, progressive members" before retiring in 2011, on Tues. had noticeably slurred speak and struggled to complete some sentences.
Former Rep. Carolyn Kilpatrick, D-Mich., who chaired the hearing, lost a 2010 Democratic primary while her son, former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, was in prison for corruption.
Former Rep. Roscoe Bartlett, (R-Md.) last year lost a race in which he linked federal student loans to Hitler's rise.
Former Rep. Merrill Cook (R-Utah) lost a 2000 race and later campaigns after some aides called him depressed and delusional. "Merrill has taken up permanent residence in whacko land," his ex-chief of staff said in a 1998 email to fellow aides.
According to ABC News
, UFO experts at the event asserted unanimously that the US government was covering up of relevant information about ET and UFO phenomena.
Peter Davenport, director of the National UFO Reporting Center
, delivered eyewitness accounts of UFOs that were able to perform feats beyond what human technology can accomplish, such as hovering motionlessly and changing direction more quickly than can be readily explained by known laws of physics.
The sightings include one in McMinnwille, Tenn., 1995
and another in Phoenix, 1997
. In both cases, several people reported sighting UFOs hovering in the sky. The Phoenix sighting involved an "'unimaginably' large craft hovering over the city."
: "I have no explanation for a craft that can hover motionless above Phoenix for five minutes."
Peter Robbins, a researcher and lecturer, recounted well known cases such as the Rendlesham Forest Incident
in the UK involving US Air Force personnel who gave accounts of sightings.
, a former UK police officer, told the panel: "I now have over 425 cases involving over 940 British police officers. Over 70 percent of these cases are multiple-witness-officer cases."
Linda Moulton Howe
, a journalist, presented bizarre evidence of ET experiments on livestock
with slides showing horses and cattle with various forms of mutilation believed to have been caused by "high heat" equipment, presumably alien laser equipment.
According to ABC News
, Howe said: "Ranchers have seen the glowing discs put beams down. Ranchers have seen the animals rise."
When former Rep. Lynn Woolsey asked why ETs would be interested in cow and horse body parts, Howe said: "I think it involves, on a more sophisticated level, what we are beginning to do in our science with cloning. The agencies of the U.S. government, the CIA... they've all been studying this. They have more data than I do."
The "Congressional Committee" speaks
The lawmakers expressed cautious reservations about the evidence. The evidence of ET animal mutilations
are especially perplexing.
reports Bartlett said: "I'd have to be pretty arrogant to think that, out there in this huge universe, there isn't some civilization more advanced than ours."
Cook wondered aloud: "Isn't it a leap to say, 'UFOs exist,' and then say it's E.T.? Is it the only explanation?"
Kilpatrick said sympathetically: "What you all have unveiled is there's something out there, we're not alone."
Mike Gravel, former Democratic Alaska senator, was more forthcoming in support of UFO conspiracy theory. He said: "We don't know, but the reason we conclude it's extraterrestrial is because there's no explanation of the phenomenon of all these sightings."
He accused the US government of "keeping this information from the American public and the people of the world... There's no question that there's something going on that's not explainable."
reports Gravel said he believes that the White House is hiding the truth about "extraterrestrial influence that is investigating our planet."
He said: "It goes right to the White House, and of course, once the White House takes a position,'well there's nothing going on'... it just goes down the chain of command, everyone stands toe."
Gravel cited the accounts by former military officers such as retired Air Force Capt. Robert Salas
, who claim UFOs have disabled nuclear weapons.
The senator continued: "The smoking gun of the whole issue, which is when they saw hovering space craft in Wyoming and South Dakota over the ICBM missile silos that the missiles couldn't work... What we're faced with here is, in areas of the media, and the government too, an effort to marginalize and ridicule people who have specific knowledge."
He denied that his statements were influenced by money he had received. He said: "This is an opportunity which I've taken to focus on this issue for an entire week and the preparation I made in coming to it, for my enrichment that's very important."