UFO conspiracy theorists will no doubt be drooling over this one. The White House has made a point of denying any contact with extraterrestrials and says it has no evidence of their existence, USA Today reports. "There is no credible information to suggest that any evidence is being hidden from the public's eye," Obama administration official Phil Larson wrote on the White House website. "However, that doesn't mean the subject of life outside our planet isn't being discussed or explored."
For anyone still buying this—and one French UFO expert probably isn't—here's a rundown of the US government's official means of contacting ETs:
- SETI. The Search for ExtraTerrestrial Intelligence has telescopes aimed at the sky to overhear alien chatter.
- Kepler. This NASA spacecraft is searching for Earth-like planets in the temperate "Goldilocks" zone of a far-off solar system that may be inhabited by... who knows what.
- The Mars Science Laboratory, Curiosity. When launched, this rover will dig up rocks and soil on Mars to see whether the planet could have been inhabited.
Larson says the odds favor extra-terrestrial life, but cautions that "the odds of us making contact with any of them—especially any intelligent ones—are extremely small, given the distances involved." (Click to see one way to practice speaking with aliens