Mankind being completely alone in the universe makes far less sense to former Rep. Lynn Woolsey than contemplating the possibility that someone (something?) else might be cruising around the infinite vastness surrounding our home planet.
And while she never imagined the dizzying tales launched her way in early 2013 during a self-styled “hearing” on extraterrestrial affairs would ever crop up in a presidential race — as White House hopeful Hillary Clinton discovered earlier this winter during a swing through New Hampshire — the California Democrat urged prospective leaders to open up about exopolitics.
“I think it would be a good idea for a new administration, whoever may be running it, to come clean about what they know,” Woolsey, who remains intrigued by cosmic concepts, told Roll Call.
The former lawmaker staked out her position on extraterrestrial affairs during her 10 terms in the House and tenure on the Science, Space and Technology Committee. It wasn’t until after retiring in 2012, however, that Woolsey wound up playing devil’s advocate during the weeklong Citizen Hearing on Disclosure.
That’s when Stephen Bassett, executive director of Paradigm Research Group , paid a handful of congressional alumni — a bipartisan group that included Woolsey, former Reps. Roscoe G. Bartlett, R-Md., Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick, D-Mich., Darlene Hooley, D-Ore., Merrill Cook, R-Utah, and former Sen. Mike Gravel, D-Alaska — to digest hours of testimony by witnesses claiming to have experienced close encounters of varying degrees.
“This is the perfect subject to prove how disclosure in some instances are impossible and how threatened people feel when they have information that our government doesn’t want out. And I find that appalling,” she shared with event organizers once the exhaustive exhibition wrapped.
Woolsey said she hasn’t thought too much about the project in the years since, mostly because it’s somewhat overwhelming.
“There’s so much to learn,” she said, noting that exopolitical activists have approached her about joining their cause. Woolsey explained that she declined to take the plunge because she knew she wouldn’t be satisfied with only scraping the surface.
“I would have to become an expert,” she said of her inclination to fully commit to new challenges.
Oddly enough, Clinton appears to be in the same boat.
Bassett has for years pressed the former first lady to divulge anything and everything about alien visitors that she or President Bill Clinton would have had access to in the Oval Office.
“The people have lost patience with ‘in loco parentis’ government that treats them like children and candidates with long lists of issues they can’t discuss because it is not convenient to their campaign or the people ‘can’t handle the truth,’” Bassett charged in an open letter to her presidential campaign published online last spring. (He blasted out the exact same missive in 2008 while Clinton was serving as the junior senator from New York.)
While 42 made light of the situation — in early 2014 he assured late-night host Jimmy Kimmel there are no little green men stashed in the Nevada desert — Hillary Clinton mostly avoided the topic.
Until a few months back.
In December, she told the Conway Daily Sun she is open to shining a light on intergalactic relations.
“Yes, I’m going to get to the bottom of it,” she assured journalist Daymond Steer, the same reporter who’d quizzed her about UFOs back in 2007, when he circled back to his original line of questioning.
Bassett never came up.
Instead, Hillary named campaign adviser John Podesta — who has publicly expressed a desire to get his Fox Mulder on — as the driver behind this unexpected campaign detour.
“He has made me personally pledge we are going to get the information out,” she told Steer, adding, “Maybe we could have, like, a task force go to Area 51.”
Wandering into uncharted territory doesn’t sound that absurd to Woolsey, particularly since unconventional candidates and fantastic promises appear to be carrying the day this election cycle.
“The public has said they’re sick and tired of politics as usual,” she commented. “This is an interesting year.”
Contact Rojas at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter at @WARojas. Related: Trey Radel Sticks His Nose Back Into Politics Charlie Gonzalez Determined to Save Congress From Itself The Continuing Education of Elton Gallegly From ‘This Town’ to Music City Former Rep. George Radanovich Keeps Crushing It See photos, follies, HOH Hits and Misses and more at Roll Call's new video site. NEW! Download the Roll Call app for the best coverage of people, politics and personalities of Capitol Hill.