The White House formally denied the government’s knowledge of the existence of extraterrestrial beings on Tuesday, responding to a petition asking the information to be released.
Suspicions have long surrounded the United States government and the possibility it might be withholding information regarding interactions or any evidence of an alien presence having visited Earth.
Hundreds of UFO sightings are reported every year in the U.S. alone.
An initiative by the Obama administration has created the opportunity for any question the public has to be answered by a White House representative, as long as the question gets 25,000 online signatures in 30 days. Two petitions came up recently that asked the government to share any contact it has made with extraterrestrial beings.
One of the petitions revealed, “Hundreds of military and government agency witnesses have come forward with testimony confirming this extraterrestrial presence,” and pointed to polls that reveal that 80 percent of the population believes the government is hiding such knowledge.
This lead Phil Larson from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy to release a statement on the White House website, denying the government has any such knowledge to disclose.
"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. In addition, there is no credible information to suggest that any evidence is being hidden from the public’s eye,” said Larson in the statement.
However, he did not rule out the possibility of life existing somewhere beyond the Earth.
"Many scientists and mathematicians... have come to the conclusion that the odds are pretty high that somewhere among the trillions and trillions of stars in the universe there is a planet other than ours that is home to life," Larson added.
He shared that various government agencies are looking for potential clues and evidence that could help us in our understanding of how and where life could exist beyond our planet, such as the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, but he warned that due to the great distances involved, the chances of detecting intelligent life within our lifetime is slim.