AP 05/25 02:24 EDT V0549 Copyright 1994. The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. WASHIN

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AP 05/25 02:24 EDT V0549 Copyright 1994. The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. WASHINGTON (AP) -- Going where no congressional critics have gone before, a supermarket tabloid contends that 12 U.S. senators are space aliens. And many of them are "admitting" their otherworldly origins. "At last the cat is out of the bag, although this isn't exactly the way I intended to tell my family and friends," Sen. Bennett Johnston, D-La., told the Weekly World News newspaper for an article in its June 7 edition. "It's all true," it quotes Sen. Phil Gramm, R-Texas, as saying. "I'm amazed that it's taken you so long to find out." Spokesmen for both senators on Tuesday confirmed the quotes given to the newspaper, which was open about its intentions when it contacted Senate offices several months ago. "They called us up and said, 'This is real tongue-in-cheek and we're doing this for fun," said Tom McMahon, spokesman for another alleged alien, Sen. Howell Heflin, D-Ala. Others named as space aliens are Sens. William Cohen, R-Maine; Dennis DeConcini, D-Ariz.; Christopher Dodd, D-Conn.; Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va.; John Glenn, D-Ohio; Orrin Hatch, R-Utah; Nancy Kassebaum, R-Kan.; Sam Nunn, D-Ga.; and Alan Simpson, R-Wyo. The final five "came out of the alien closet two years ago," the paper quotes author and UFO specialist Nathaniel Dean as saying. But Simpson spokesman Charles Pelkey remained mysterious about his boss' status. "We've got only one thing to say: Klattu Barado Nikto," Pelkey said. That was an alien code from "The Day the Earth Stood Still," a 1951 science fiction movie about a robot-aided alien who lands in Washington and warns of the dangers of war. Director Robert Wise provided his best guess Tuesday of how to spell the words, adding, "Don't ask me what it means, because I don't know." Gramm spokesman Larry Neal, asked where in the universe the senator is from, cracked, "It's Remulak in our case. I don't know where the other guys are from." Recognizing that Gramm's alien status could impede his presidential aspirations since American presidents must be natural-born U.S. citizens, Neal later backtracked, saying Gramm was born here but his parents came from Remulak. Cohen was cagey. The newspaper said he admitted being an alien but spokeswoman Kathy Gest said he actually said, "It is preferable to be a space alien than a space cadet." Heflin said his "parents were heaven-sent," but did not say whether he was an alien. Hatch spokesman Paul Smith said the senator "can't afford to talk about it because (fellow) aliens are watching his every move." But Dodd expressed relief "that all this is public," said spokesman Marvin Fast. And DeConcini spokesman Bob Maynes confirmed that the chairman of the Intelligence Committee told the paper he was "quite distressed" that his "cover has been blown." Although the senators took the story in good humor, some constituents don't get the joke. Two years ago, when Kassebaum humorously confirmed her "alien" status, "we got phone calls and letters from people who were terribly upset by it, and in fact believed there was some truth to the reports," said spokesman Mike Horak. "You'd never think that people take this seriously," he said. "Wedged between a story on Dracula's skull found and a man rusting like a '47 Buick, you would think there would be some skepticism."

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