"The American public has a right to learn about technologies of unknown origins."

Across the Aisle

Warring Democrats and Republicans have set aside their differences on one very strange topic: aliens — and no, not aliens in the sense of people from another country, but hypothetical beings from another planet entirely.

US Senator Chuck Schumer, who has never struck anybody as a particularly wild-eyed conspiracy theorist, introduced legislation this month which would require any information on "Unidentified Anomalous Phenomena (UAP)" to be publicly disclosed.

Lest that dry-sounding neologism "UAP" throw you off the scent, Schumer is very much talking about the possibility that the government secretly knows something about non-human visitors.

"For decades, many Americans have been fascinated by objects mysterious and unexplained and it’s long past time they get some answers," he said in a press release. "The American public has a right to learn about technologies of unknown origins, non-human intelligence, and unexplainable phenomena."

Bill Fold

Schumer, as majority leader, lent the bill further gravitas with the co-sponsorship of Republicans including Florida Senator Marco Rubio.

As wild as the bill sounds, it's not entirely out of step with a general enthusiasm for the disclosure of any secret alien files that might exist that's struck Washington lately. In 2021, for instance, the government released a somewhat underwhelming report on 144 unidentified flying objects that officials said they couldn't definitively rule out as "atmospheric events playing tricks on sensors or crafts piloted by foreign adversaries," as The Washington Post reported at the time.

And that's without getting into a former intelligence worker who came out publicly this year to claim — without evidence, it's worth noting — that the government has secretly recovered otherworldy spacecraft and even the bodies of dead aliens.

If it all sounds a little nuts, you're not alone. Occam's razor dictates that bills like Schumer's are just a way to ingratiate themselves with voters by aligning with a popular concept — although, if the government really does have any knowledge of alien intelligence, we have to admit that would be pretty cool.

More on aliens: Scientists Want To Use AI To Hunt For Aliens On Mars

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