UFO disclosure activist Stephen Bassett released the names Tuesday of three of the reported five former elected officials scheduled to participate in the upcoming Citizen Hearing on Disclosure. An email distributed by Bassett stated, “Former Congresswoman Carolyn Kilpatrick (Dem, MI), Congressman Merrill Cook (Rep, UT) and Senator Mike Gravel (Dem/Lib, AK) have agreed to sit in Committee for a Citizen Hearing at the National Press Club in Washington, DC, April 29 to May 3.” The email added that additional committee members would be announced later.
Asked to comment on such issues as if the three are being financially compensated and to what extents, Mr. Bassett informed 'Orlando Paranormal Examiner' that the former elected officials are receiving compensation for their participation. The disclosure activist added that the terms of compensation are “private.”
Former Congresswoman Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick made a career of serving her home state of Michigan. Her long political career as a Democrat came to an end in 2011 after her son, former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, was repeatedly sent to prison for multiple charges including corruption, racketeering and obstruction of justice. Her former spouse was also indicted and found guilty on a related charge.
Republican and Independent former Congressman Merrill Cook represented citizens of Utah. The son of a scientist, he is a businessman and father of five.
Alaska Democrat and Libertarian former Senator Mike Gravel is no stranger to controversial topics, having previously addressed UFO disclosure. He also served in military intelligence on his way to elected office and spoke out on such issues as illegal U.S. military activity in Laos and Cambodia. He defended the actions of Private Bradley Manning, a young soldier who became widely known for providing classified information to Wikileaks.
Former Senator Gravel became involved in much less popularly accepted controversy when he agreed to take a position with a group dedicated to pursuing truth surrounding the September 11 incidents. The group eventually accused the former Senator of poor ethical behavior in his handling of funds and his manner of departure from the organization. He reportedly wrote in response that he was reluctant to take the leadership role, was pushed into the position and should never have worked with what they called the Citizens 911 Commission.
Comments were requested from the three former officials on such topics as terms and motives for participating in the Citizen Hearing on Disclosure. No responses were immediately received.
Doubt has been cast on the activities of Stephen Bassett due to such circumstances as once claiming to be aided by a significant financial donor yet declining to reveal their identity. Further doubts were raised surrounding Bassett's failures to identify all five former members of Congress reportedly taking part in the mock hearing, as well as the financial terms of their participation.
Bassett's activities and judgment were further called into question during his legal battles with Suzanne Taylor, the producer and director of 'What on Earth? Inside the Crop Circle Mystery.' Ms. Taylor reportedly allowed Bassett to stay at her home, loaned him money and supported his activism until he later sued her for defamation and requested financial settlements. A California judge ruled on the side of Taylor, apparently resulting in Bassett filing additional complaints in Maryland, each of which have now been either dismissed or dropped. Taylor indicated the ordeal was distressing and cost her both time and money.
Many critics have expressed concerns that the Citizen Hearing lacks the capacity to achieve measurable results. The stated goals are not feasible, they argue, particularly given the selected strategy of providing testimonies to former lawmakers.
Bassett's supporters nonetheless express great enthusiasm about attention being given to the subject of UFOs and an alleged extraterrestrial presence. They are eager for the hearing to commence and for production of its related film, 'Truth Embargo,' to proceed. Bassett has achieved hero-like status in certain circles, representing the hopes of members of a demographic long starved for their beliefs to be shared and validated.