To be clear, those indications point to the mere possibility of microbial life, not, as Space.com puts it, of “intelligent organisms.” Nevertheless, Farley’s comments were enough to pique the curiosity of one member of the subcommittee, California Republican Dana Rohrabacher.
Requesting a minute to bring up what he called “the most important thing,” Rohrabacher asked, “You have indicated that Mars … was totally different thousands of years ago.
According to a document about that attempt, publicly available via the Central Intelligence Agency’s Reading Room site, McMoneagle says he saw evidence of ancient Martians, who had slipped into hibernation as a buffer against the planet’s increasingly inimical conditions.
That’s silly stuff, but, hey, the information is out there and Rohrabacher was just asking questions!
I reached out to Rohrabacher’s spokesman, who simply told me, “Because of his position on the space committee, [Rohrabacher] not infrequently gets inquiries about this from far and wide.