One panelist theorized that the ones who don’t look humanoid visit Jupiter instead. (Eric Draper/AP)

“Eye-opening, huh?”

As conversation-starters go, this is the Citizens Hearing on Disclosure equivalent of “So, what do you do?”

I nod. “I have a lot to Google,” I say.

This is true. Majestic 12. Project Mogul. Chem Trails. One thing leads to another. It’s like the conspiracy equivalent of Netflix Recommends.

“If you liked UFO Disclosure, then you will also enjoy Agenda 21!” UFOs are just the gateway drug. The rabbit hole goes as deep as you want it to go.

The first three days of UFO hearings have been…interesting. The Citizen Hearing on Disclosure is not a real congressional hearing. For a stipend of $20,000, six former members of Congress are sitting at the National Press Club and listening to 30 hours of testimony about UFOs. All of this is being filmed for a documentary.

If you don’t already believe in UFOs, this might not be the place to start. The event reminded me of trying to climb into an M. C. Escher painting. Once you’re climbing up the never-ending dream stairs, you can keep going in a circular movement forever. We know about Roswell because we know about the Majestic 12 because we know about the alien harvest of animal organs from our national parks. We don’t know what was in the crashed spaceships because what was in the crashed spaceships would change the whole world order, which is how we know what was in the spaceships, because they would tell us what was in the spaceships if what was in the spaceships didn’t change the whole world order, so we don’t know what was in the spaceships, and so on. The stairs go around and around and around.

But to get on the stairs in the first place, you have to make a leap. Maybe you saw something. Maybe you read a book. The panelists were not interested in that leap. Pretty much everyone in the audience had already made it. They had come in from out of state. They applauded. They booed. They were vocal. They knew that aliens were out there. They knew that the Government was Keeping Things From Us. They were irate that the two people in tinfoil hats had been used to represent the whole gathering.

The trouble with spending several days talking to conspiracy theorists is that at a certain point you start to sound like a conspiracy theorist. The media has been covering all this up for decades, apparently, in a coordinated effort with the CIA people on the staff of every media organization to suppress information. (Ours is named Jim. Just kidding, we don’t have one. Please don’t cite this for decades as evidence that the Post admits, then denies, the presence of a CIA staffer!)

The activist Stephen Bassett observed that this subject is a third rail for media and public officials. “You can be gay and have five wives and you can do anything and get out of the closet on it and it’ll be no problem but this… watch out, your career’s on the line. The social opprobrium attached to this issue was launched in 1953… little green men ha ha ha ha ha.”

“It’s not just the government doing the embargo,” he adds. “We are doing it because we have been brainwashed to laugh at it.”

At a certain point it became impossible to argue.

Daniel Sheehan, a panelist, suggested that the Pope and the Queen of England be the first to tell us (“they’re the same age”) although “If they were to make an announcement that indeed UFOs are visiting…the younger generation would push for an earthling orientation.”

“Unless we change directions we’re likely to end up where we’re going,” enigmatically quipped Steven Greer, of the Disclosure Project.

If you listen to Greer’s testimony, you get the sense that he has done practically nothing for the past decades but run into senior government officials in hallways where there are no cameras.  (“And wrapping up my almost 3 hour meeting with the CIA director, he looked at me squarely in the eyes. He said, ‘DR GREER how do we disclose that of which we don’t have control over?’ And I said ‘YOU GET CONTROL OVER IT.’”) He explains that this all comes down to the sinister control of the Masters of the Universe with their petro-dollars. Obviously, they would wish to suppress the wonderful alien technology that allowed us to end our dependency on oil and gas and save the planet. “DO WE REALLY HAVE A FREE MARKET IF WE’RE SUPPRESSING THIS SORT OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY?” thunders Greer. “NO WE DO NOT. WE HAVE A MANAGED MARKET BENEFITING THE MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE… AT GOLDMAN SACHS.” There was wild applause.

An Air Force colonel now in his 80s, Richard French, claimed to have been responsible for covering UFOs up. “I’d say it was swamp gas. Anything we could come up with to convince the general public. At that time there was an average of about three a week ufos… I went down there observed ‘em just regularly.”

“Why is it now that you’re at the table?” asked former congresswoman Carolyn Kilpatrick.

“PROBABLY IT’S BECAUSE I’M IN MY 80s,” French said.

And that was just the first day. Subsequent days included picking over the Roswell evidence, questioning the government’s explanation, and trying to account for why such superior beings would have crashed (on purpose, to introduce themselves in a non-threatening way? Radar interference?).

Former Senator Mike Gravel, known for tossing a rock into a pond during his ill-starred run for president, was in his element. He noted that “extraterrestrials are not anti-biblical… if you read the book of Job” and that “It is the height of human arrogance to think that we are… the only sentient human beings that can think.”

How exactly we deal with the Alien Presence is less clear. A real congressional hearing? UN commission? Special emissary on behalf of the Children of Earth? All of the above? None of the above? There seemed to be a general consensus that we will have to yield some sovereignty to the United Nations. Then again, maybe it’s a theological question.

“It’ll come probably through religious communities, that altering of consciousness with regard to an angelic realm,” explained Daniel Sheehan. He added, “Coming to grips with the full import of the theological reality…is what undergirds all of this…for each of us to realize that we are incarnated in a material form but that there are other vibrational frequencies at which there are other dimensions of reality going on at the same time.”

Okay.

” I can’t think of an intelligent question I can ask to the intelligent testimony we just had,” said former Congresswoman Carolyn Kilpatrick on Monday. “I think today’s whole experience has been one of intelligence… higher than normal in today’s society.”

Alexandra Petri writes the ComPost blog, offering a lighter take on the news and opinions of the day.