"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 wrote in a blog post responding to the inquiries. "In addition, there is no credible information to suggest that any evidence is being hidden from the public's eye."
While Larson maintained that there was no irrefutable proof of supposed alien life, he continued to tick off programs that were being used to further our "understanding if life can or does exist off Earth."
One petition called for the "President to disclose to the American people the long withheld knowledge of government interactions with extraterrestrial beings and call for open Congressional hearings to allow the people to become aware of this subject through those whose voices have been silenced by unconstitutional secrecy oaths."
The second petition was more direct, asking for the White House to "formally acknowledge an extraterrestrial presence engaging the human race."
The White House's petition program has addressed various contentious issues. The marijuana legalization movement has had a strong presence, submitting eight petitions that together have garnered more than 150,000 signatures, some of which the administration has responded to.
In a recent response to one petition, Gil Kerlikowske, director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, rejected calls for the legalization of marijuana.
"We also recognize that legalizing marijuana would not provide the answer to any of the health, social, youth education, criminal justice, and community quality of life challenges associated with drug use," he wrote.
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