The Extraterrestrial Lobby

Stephen Bassett is very excited. Bassett is the United States’ only lobbyist dedicated to extraterrestrial issues, and his world has been rocked in the past couple of weeks.

I hope that this is only just the beginning. This is the biggest news story in history.

After presidential candidate Hillary Clinton discussed the possibility of human-alien contact (and of digging through government files to see what we know) with Jimmy Kimmel, Bassett was interviewed by The New York Times for his take on her comments. If nothing else, Bassett seems to be getting some of the attention he desires.

Bassett takes his work very seriously. Currently, he says his job is to “get disclosure now from [President] Obama,” according to an interview with Bassett by Pacific Standard. (“Disclosure,” I just learned, is an E.T.-aficionado buzzword that means “formal acknowledgement of the extraterrestrial presence by heads of state.”) If Bassett can’t get disclosure out of Obama before the end of his term, he believes he can drum up enough pressure on Clinton to ensure that she addresses the issue.

“Secretary Clinton will not get to the White House without going through the extraterrestrial issue,” said Bassett, according to a profile of him in Mother Jones.

Bassett hoped to exert the same pressure on then President-elect Obama in 2008. Phil Plait expressed his disdain for Bassett’s work at the time in a blog post for Discover. Obama has since laughed off E.T. conspiracy theorists like Bassett.

Bassett and other die-hard believers are likely to be disappointed again. The overwhelming lack of evidence for terrestrial visitation from otherworldly beings would indicate that there is nothing for Clinton (or any other presidential candidate) to expose when elected. But all of the attention to his cause is likely to gain Bassett some like-minded collaborators to keep pressing the issue.

I don’t expect them to stop any time soon.

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