WASHINGTON, DC — A GOP congressman raised some eyebrows at a recent hearing on Capitol Hill when he asked NASA officials about the possibility of an intelligent alien civilization on Mars just a few thousand years ago.

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, a Republican from California who has been in the news recently for his ties to the Russian government and some inflammatory comments, asked a panel of NASA experts testifying before the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology about the possibility of intelligent Martians living not long ago on the Red Planet. The video of the exchange is embedded below.

“You have indicated that Mars had, was totally different thousands of years ago. Is it possible that there was a civilization on Mars thousands of years ago?” Rohrabacher asked.

Kenneth Farley, who is a project scientist with the NASA Mars Rover 2020 mission, replied that in fact Mars would have been significantly different billions, not thousands, of years ago, and that there is absolutely no evidence that any intelligent life ever existed there.

Rohrabacher pressed Farley, asking him if he would rule it out.

“I would say that is extremely unlikely,” Farley responded.

While scientists are vigorously studying Mars for signs of ancient life, they are looking for very basic microbial life, not for human-like aliens.

Rohrabacher is very tied up with the Russians.   He denies the existence of climate change.  He also serves on several committees he seems particularly ill-suited for.

According to his website:

Mr. Rohrabacher is currently serving as Vice Chairman of the Science, Space and Technology Committee and has also served as a member of the Space and Aeronautics Subcommittee since he first entered Congress in 1989, presiding 8 years as Chairman. Even as a junior member on the minority side, he made a name for himself as a strong advocate of strengthening America’s technological leadership, especially in space and defense.

Where did these  people come from?  Why would someone serve on a science committee when they know very little science?

How on earth did we get to this point?



6 Thoughts to “Little green men, Russians, and Congressmen”

  1. Steve Thomas

    Some silly stuff can be said in congressional hearings. Whether it’s bizarre things rattled of by “experts” testifying on subjects where they lack expertise (remember Stephen Colbert testifying on immigration policy), or by dimwitted congressman and Congresswomen, who while managing to get elected, are not the sharpest tools in the drawer. Who could forget Congressman Hank Johnson grilling a Navy Admiral about plans to relocate Marines and Navy personnel from Okinawa to Guam, asking if the additional personnel might increase the risk of Guam capsizing. The Admiral smirked at the question, and the congressman became upset, because the Admiral wasn’t taking the question seriously.

    I’ve spoken to more than a few elected officials over the years, and find them to be as smart or dumb as the rest of us. People say dumb things all of the time. Elected officials are no different.

    1. They certainly aren’t. Look at the President. He manages to blather 10 stupidities an hour. The sad thing is, he doesn’t offset stupid remarks with something smart.

      1. Steve Thomas


        One could say the same of our previous Vice President.

      2. Robin Hood

        Steve Thomas,

        I don’t recall Biden giving a political speech to a Boy Scout Jamboree.

      3. If he had, I expect he would have emphasized citizenship and character rather than giving a political rally speech to children.

      4. Joe Biden put his foot in his mouth occasionally, some might argue a lot. That isn’t the same thing as using horribly poor judgement every time he tweets or opens his mouth. No comparison.

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