One day nearly 20 years ago, Stephen Bassett realized UFO abductees needed a lobbyist.
He had spent four months working for the Program for Extraordinary Experience Research out of a modest townhouse in Cambridge, Mass., when he had the epiphany: He could continue his research with John Mack, the leading authority on the alien abductions, for the rest of his life — but it would never make a difference.
“It occurred to me that it wasn’t a scientific problem, but a political one,” he said. They could pile evidence of extraterrestrial encounters from the White House lawn to the moon, and no one would pay it any mind. What the issue needed was someone who could get the powers-that-be to listen.
The alien issue was really heating up in 1996, what with the summer blockbuster “Independence Day,” and Bassett worried someone else would get the same idea. So he quit his volunteer gig, piled his belongings atop his beat-up Mazda RX-7 and drove off to Washington.
“I get down there, and I file” the lobbyist papers, he recalled. “I’m the first one. Nineteen years later, I’m still the only one. I coulda taken my time.”
Bassett, a balding man with expressive eyes that seem to go from blue to green, has long had one goal: Get the government to admit it has been covering up proof of alien visits. […]