White House: no life on Mars

The White House says it has no evidence that extraterrestrial creatures exist. The Obama administration made the unusual declaration on Monday, in response to demands on its website.

The site allows people to submit petitions to which officials must respond if there are enough signatures. In this case, more than 5,000 people signed a petition demanding that the White House disclose its knowledge of extraterrestrial beings. In response, Phil Larson, of the US Office of Science and Technology Policy, wrote that the government had no evidence life existed beyond earth or that extraterrestrials had contacted any humans.

He said many scientists believed that the odds were high that there was life somewhere among the "trillions of stars in the universe" – but that the chances of humans making contact with it were remote.