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DETROIT (AP) Ex-U.S. Rep. Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick of Detroit and six other former Congress members are presiding over hearings on the existence of extraterrestrials.

The 30 hours of congressional-style hearings kicked off Monday and are scheduled to run through Friday at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.

Those testifying hope to prove that aliens contact Earth and that the government is trying to keep it secret.

Kilpatrick tells The Detroit News (http://bit.ly/Y8HUMc ) she's been researching the topic and is looking forward to the week's activities.

The News says Kilpatrick, who is being paid $20,000 plus expenses, will chair the panel on Tuesday.

Kilpatrick is a Democrat who served in Congress from 1997-2011. Her son, ex-Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, is awaiting sentencing after being convicted on two dozen counts of corruption.

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Information from: The Detroit News, http://detnews.com/

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