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Former members of Congress hold weird faux UFO hearing in Washington, after the price is right

 
retrtrynhhg
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05/01/2013 05:06 AM
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Former members of Congress hold weird faux UFO hearing in Washington, after the price is right
WASHINGTON — What are a former U.S. senator — and five former House members — doing in a place like this?

The former lawmakers, including former Sen. Mike Gravel (D-Alaska), listened with “open” minds and full pockets for several hours Tuesday at a simulated congressional hearing taking testimony that extraterrestrials “are here.”

“I came here being very skeptical, but I also recognize that I don’t know much about it,” said former Rep. Darlene Hooley (D-Ore.)

The six are being paid $20,000 each, plus expenses, by a group called the Paradigm Research Group, which insists UFOs are real and the government has been covering up their existence.
Mike Gravel, former U.S. senator for Alaska, was one of the six former members of Congress who attended a fake hearing on UFO.
AL Grillo/AP
Mike Gravel, former U.S. senator for Alaska, was one of the six former members of Congress who attended a fake hearing on UFO.

RELATED: UFO BUFFS BEAM UP TO WELL-PAID EX-POLS

The group’s executive director, Stephen Bassett, told the Daily News that he initially contacted 55 former members of Congress with an offer of $10,000, among them former Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio), who famously recounted a UFO citing. After few responded, Bassett said he doubled the pay. That helped, he said.

The six former lawmakers are not exactly grilling witnesses in the faux hearing, being held at the National Press Club building. They spent the first two days of testimony asking questions that assumed accounts of UFO sightings from panel witnesses were true.

Witnesses Tuesday included retired U.S. Air Force members recounting first- or second-hand experiences with unidentified objects between the late 1960s through 1980 at U.S. nuclear facilities in England and western states. The sightings are cited by believers as evidence of alien interest in nuclear arms.
Former U.S. Rep. Darlene Hooley of Oregon expressed reservations in attending the hearing, but still accepted the $20,000 to attend.
AP
Former U.S. Rep. Darlene Hooley of Oregon expressed reservations in attending the hearing, but still accepted the $20,000 to attend.

The members "swear-in" witness, announce "recesses" and assume other trappings of actual congressional hearings, minus staff and power. In the process they effectively act in a film produced by Bassett's nonprofit, Paradigm Research, that will use the footage to mimic an actual hearing.

The result is a motley crew. Gravel is best known for a long-shot presidential bid that made Kucinich's look moderate and pragmatic. Former Rep. Lynn Woolsey, (D-Calif.), 75, who said she was teased for being among Congress' "most left, progressive members" before retiring in 2011, on Tues. had noticeably slurred speak and struggled to complete some sentences.

Former Rep. Carolyn Kilpatrick, D-Mich., who chaired the hearing, lost a 2010 Democratic primary while her son, former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, was in prison for corruption. Former Rep. Roscoe Bartlett, (R-Md.) last year lost a race in which he linked federal student loans to Hitler's rise.

Former Rep. Merrill Cook (R-Utah) lost a 2000 race and later campaigns after some aides called him depressed and delusional. "Merrill has taken up permanent residence in whacko land," his ex-chief of staff said in a 1998 email to fellow aides.

Woolsey said she wouldn’t have joined real UFO hearings while in Congress. But as ex-members, “we don’t have a lot to lose,” she said.

[link to www.nydailynews.com]
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05/01/2013 05:47 AM
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Re: Former members of Congress hold weird faux UFO hearing in Washington, after the price is right
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