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EDITORIAL: Earth To Schiff

Published: 07-21-95
For a state with such a small population, New Mexico has managed to elect congressmen with a knack for gaining national, international -- and perhaps even interstellar -- recognition.
Republican U.S. Sen. Pete Domenici is a national political figure. Democratic U.S. Rep. Bill Richardson has garnered international attention as a diplomatic troubleshooter. And now Republican Rep. Steve Schiff is receiving notice for his work on space aliens.
"You've got to be known for something," he told the Journal's Leslie Linthicum, "but I'd rather it be the crime bill." Ah, but the crime bill will never be as interesting to as many earthlings as the Roswell incident.
What really crashed outside Roswell in 1947? Was it most likely an Air Force research balloon? Or was it -- not of this Earth? Schiff pushed for answers from the Air Force.
Of all the members of Congress, why would Schiff -- a button-down, conservative lawmaker -- become involved in such an out-of-this-world topic? Maybe it's because the former district attorney likes to get to the bottom of mysteries.
He certainly can't be accused of dropping an issue because it's controversial. Even though he runs the risk of being regarded as Congressman Moonbeam, he's sticking with a topic that invites a certain amount of ridicule from more skeptical earthlings.
Who knows? Maybe someday there will be an even bigger task awaiting the congressman who boldly went where most of his colleagues wouldn't -- into the jaws of perhaps the most famous UFO controversy in U.S. history. If space aliens touch down in Washington one of these days, they'll certainly want to talk to someone with expertise in extraterrestrials. And who better to handle that daunting task than a member of the U.S. House of Representatives -- Steven H. Schiff, R-N.M., U.S.A., third planet from the Sun, Milky Way galaxy.

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