Stick with us on this. There is now a preponderance of evidence to suggest that maybe — just maybe, with an infinitesimally small chance of happening — that President Obama will suddenly release secret files proving that aliens exist.

Exhibit A:
Former Clinton Chief of Staff John Podesta is returning to the White House.

At first glance, Podesta signing on with the White House isn't terribly suggestive. Having worked as chief of staff to President Clinton from 1998 to 2001 and as head of the Obama administration transition team after 2008, he's no stranger to the executive branch.

That is, until you read this piece from Slate's Dave Weigel. "Ever since he left the White House," Weigel writes, Podesta has "wanted public disclosure of what we know about alien life." Weigel points to a speech at the National Press Club in 2002, a clip of which is at right. "It's time to find out what the truth really is, that's out there," Podesta says. "We ought to do it, quite frankly, because the American people really can handle the truth."

Again, this is a guy who was chief of staff to the president of the United States for three years. Do you think that a guy who has access to that level of information and also has an interest in UFOs isn't going to poke around a little? It reminds us of the repeated line of questioning from Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon on the NSA's surveillance activity. He knew that the NSA was hiding something and did what he could for it to come out. Until Edward Snowden, nothing happened. Now a skeptic of the official UFO story is headed back to the White House.

Exhibit B:
The CIA admitted that Area 51 exists

Earlier this year, a Freedom of Information Act request filed by George Washington University's National Security Archive revealed that Area 51 does exist, and was originally used as a base for long-distance reconnaissance flights.

[The CIA and Air Force] asked the Atomic Energy Commission to add the Groom Lake area to its real estate holdings in Nevada. AEC Chairman Adm. Lewis Strauss readily agreed, and President Eisenhower also approved the addition of this strip of wasteland, known by its map designation as Area 51, to the Nevada Test Site. The outlines of Area 51 are shown on current unclassified maps as a small rectangular area adjoining the northeast corner of the much larger Nevada Test Site.

Exhibit C:
Over the weekend, Obama began speaking about Area 51.

Time's Zeke Miller spotted an interesting comment in the pool report from Sunday's Kennedy Center Honors event in Washington.

“Now, when you first become President, one of the questions that people ask you is what’s really going on in Area 51,” Obama quipped at a reception honoring the awardees. “When I wanted to know, I’d call Shirley MacLaine. I think I just became the first President to ever publicly mention Area 51. How’s that, Shirley?”

That's sort of true. In 2005, Clinton obliquely referred to the area, but not by name, as pointed out by OpenMinds.TV. (!) Here's what Clinton said:

I actually had so many people in my own administration convinced that Roswell was a fraud, but this place in Nevada was really serious, there was an alien artifact there. So, I actually sent someone there to figure it out, and it was actually just a secret defense installation, alas, doing boring work that we just didn’t want anybody else to see.

Sure it was, Bill. Can we guess who was sent to investigate?

Exhibit D:
NASA is revising its planetary research strategy.

At the same time that the pieces are falling into place at the White House, NASA is "restructuring" its planetary research and analysis. Science magazine reported on the change:

… 12 of these narrower current program areas will now be replaced by five thematic categories: emerging worlds, solar system workings, habitable worlds, exobiology, and solar system observations. Green says these themes were identified as fundamental areas of inquiry in the National Academies’ 2010 decadal review of planetary sciences.

A revamped focus on "habitable worlds," just as Podesta walks up the White House's front steps and the government starts talking publicly about Area 51. It's almost too perfect.