Around three dozen researchers and academics are expected to testify on the existence of space aliens at the National Press Club this week, in an event sponsored by the Paradigm Research Group, a lobbying group for alien research.
Participants will include ex-Sen. Mike Gravel (D-Alaska), and ex-Reps. Lynn Woolsey (D-Calif.), Rep. Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick (D-Mich.), Darlene Hooley (D-Ore.), Roscoe Bartlett (R-Md.) and Merrill Cook (R-Utah).
The Citizen Hearing on Disclosure aims to prove that alien contact with Earth has already occurred, and that there is a government effort to cover it up. Detroit News reports that Kilpatrick will be paid $20,000 plus expenses to preside over the hearing.
"I've been interested for a while," Kilpatrick said, before adding she intends to hear all the evidence before coming to any conclusion. "I'm waiting to hear."
Bartlett said he's pleased this private panel can do the work of investigating possible extraterrestrial contact. He said that he never saw any evidence of a UFO conspiracy during his time in office, but that he keeps an open mind.
"It's a huge universe out there," Bartlett said. "You have to be kind of presumptuous and arrogant to assume we're the only intelligent life in the universe."
The event runs April 29 to May 3 and is free and open to the public. Hearing organizer Stephen Bassett and his group will film the hearing and put segments of it in a documentary called "Truth Embargo," planned for release in early 2014. Basset hopes the testimony will compel Congress to open an investigation.
Last year, the White House responded to a pair of petitions posted to the government's "We the People" petition site asking that the administration disclose whether there had been contact with space aliens.
"The U.S. government has no evidence that any life exists outside our planet, or that an extraterrestrial presence has contacted or engaged any member of the human race," Phil Larson of the White House Office of Science & Technology Policy said in a statement. "In addition, there is no credible information to suggest that any evidence is being hidden from the public's eye."