LAS VEGAS -- Those who take seriously reports of unidentified flying objects and infiltration by aliens from space need to mark Tuesday through May 3 on their calendars.
Event organizers expect as many as 40 witnesses, many with military or research backgrounds, to testify before former members of Congress on what might occur if extraterrestrial beings engaged the human race.
The force behind the event is Stephen Bassett, a lobbyist who specializes in extraterrestrial phenomena. He is also executive director of the Paradigm Research Group in Bethesda, Md.
Organizers, frustrated by the lack of political interest on UFO-related topics, have adopted the motto: "If the Congress will not do its job, the people will."
That's why they are pursuing something that could have the look and feel of a congressional hearing, even if the topic of aliens has no chance to replace issues such as sequestration and gun background checks at the top of Washington's agenda.
These are the six ex-members of Congress who have agreed to participate:
* Former Rep. Roscoe Bartlett, R-Md. (1993-2013) -- As a scientist and engineer, Bartlett held patents on life support equipment used by military pilots and also worked on research and development programs for NASA.
* Former Rep. Merrill Cook, R-Utah (1997-2001) -- Cook, who sat on the House Banking Committee, received perfect ratings from the National Taxpayers Union and National Rifle Association and a 96 percent rating from Americans Against Government Waste.
* Former Sen. Mike Gravel, D-Alaska (1969-1981) -- Having enlisted in the Army and served as a special agent in the Counter Intelligence Corps, Gravel led an effort to end the military draft in the United States. He also helped release the Pentagon Papers that revealed secrets about U.S. conduct in the Vietnam War.
* Former Rep. Darlene Hooley, D-Ore. (1997-2009) -- Hooley opposed the use of military force in Iraq but advocated disruption of financial foundations used by terrorists following the 9/11 attacks. She also focused on veterans' health care as a member of the House Veterans' Affairs Committee.
* Former Rep. Carolyn Kilpatrick, D-Mich. (2003-2011) -- Kilpatrick was the first African-American woman to have a seat on the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense, and she also served on the United States Air Force Academy board.
* Former Rep. Lynn Woolsey, D-Calif. (1993-2013) -- As co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, Woolsey opposed the war in Iraq. She also advocated greater use of renewable energy.
One star witness is expected to be former astronaut Edgar Mitchell, who became the sixth man to walk on the moon as a member of Apollo 14 in 1971. After retiring from the Navy, Mitchell founded the Institute of Noetic Sciences to promote the nature of consciousness as it relates to cosmology.
Among other prominent witnesses expected to appear:
* Richard Dolan -- The author of "UFOs and the National Security State: Chronology of a Cover-Up 1941-1973" has written extensively on aliens and what their presence could mean for human civilization.
* Stanton Friedman -- A nuclear physicist with both U.S. and Canadian citizenship, Friedman worked on classified nuclear aircraft, fission and fusion rocket projects and has lectured on flying saucers at more than 600 colleges nationwide.
* Paul Hellyer -- A former deputy prime minister and national defence minister in Canada, Hellyer has said publicly that he believes UFOs are real. He also has called for a space preservation treaty to ban the weaponization of space.
* Nick Pope -- Formerly employed in the United Kingdom Ministry of Defence, Pope participated in his country's Air Force briefings during the Persian Gulf War. He was also assigned to research UFO cases, including incidents where the witnesses were pilots, military personnel and police officers.
The hearing will be aired live over the Internet in both English and Spanish for a $3.80 fee, and will be filmed as part of a planned documentary to be titled "Truth Embargo."
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