Lynn Woolsey, phone home.

The former North Bay congresswoman is one of six former members of Congress taking testimony at a public hearing this week at the National Press Club on what the U.S. government really knows about extraterrestrial life.

Yes. Really.

"The Citizen Hearing on Disclosure of an extraterrestrial presence engaging the human race will attempt to accomplish what the Congress has failed to do for 45 years -- seek out the facts surrounding the most important issue of this or any other time," according to the hearing's website: www.citizenhearing.org.

Also plumbing the final frontier's mysteries this week are former U.S. Sen. Mike Gravel, D-Alaska; and former Reps. Roscoe Bartlett, R-Md.; Merrill Cook, R-Utah; Darlene Hooley, D-Ore.; and Carolyn Kilpatrick, D-Mich.

The multi-day hearing, which started Monday and ends Friday, promises testimony from about 40 researchers, military officials and other witnesses. It's being live-streamed in English and Spanish -- but it's viewable only after paying a $3.80 subscription fee.

The event was organized by the Paradigm Research Group -- a UFO conspiracy-theory group in Bethesda, Md., founded by activist Stephen Bassett, which invited the former lawmakers to use their House- and Senate-honed skills in interviewing witnesses.


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In November 2011, the White House answered a pair of petitions seeking disclosure of information on extraterrestrial life -- including a petition launched by Bassett -- by stating that "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. In addition, there is no credible information to suggest that any evidence is being hidden from the public's eye."

Woolsey, 75, retired last year after 10 terms in the House. She was succeeded by Jared Huffman, D-San Rafael.

Josh Richman covers politics. Contact him at 510-208-6428. Follow him at Twitter.com/josh_richman. Read the Political Blotter at IBAbuzz.com/politics.