Sunday, January 17, 2016

UFOs and the 2008 Election

UFOs and the 2008 Election

The UFO subject finally got its 15 minutes of fame during the 2008 presidential election. It became an issue that most of the candidates had to face during the election. Not since 1976 had UFOs played such a key part of the Presidential election, when Jimmy Carter stood up in the campaign and mentioned the fact that he had been a witness to a UFO sighting. 

UFO Suicide

Usually in a presidential campaign the subject never comes up as experience shows that it does not appear to be a subject that will gain the candidate added votes. Most candidates would probably describe involvement with the issue as political suicide.
All one has to do is look back to the 1996 election where Jack Mabardy ran for President on a UFO platform to see what the issue can do to the candidate’s vote count.

In the 1996 Presidential election campaign Mabardy, a Massachusetts cab driver was a write-in candidate on the Republican ticket. He urged the US government to prepare for a full scale UFO invasion. His reason for not wanting to file formally was because "there are too many people on the ballot." [1]

“If a UFO ever landed,” Mabardy told CNN, “The situation would be complete chaos and I don’t think the local or state authorities would have the proper ability to deal with such a situation. I really have no idea if these people are hostile or friendly but I think we should really look into this. I think the American people should be trained and conditioned for this if the situation avails that these devices do land in a local shopping centre. We would have a complete chaos situation on our hands if we do not train the American people.”[2]

Asked about Mabardy’s run for the president and his UFO platform political commentator Howie Carr stated, “Jack Mabardy is about three bricks shy of a load. He’s just a crazy guy. I think it helps to have a few people like Jack Mabardy. It’s kind of quaint. You know you learn in High School civics that anyone can be elected president, but obviously not everyone can. Technically not everyone can, but some people believe it, and technically I suppose it is true. I’m glad to see him around. That doesn’t mean if I see Jack Mabardy coming down the aisle at the supermarket towards me, because I have see him, that I’m going to run the other way to get away from him, but it’s his right to run for President. God Bless him. It’s a free country.”[3]

In the end Mabardy didn’t win. In fact of the 96,277,634 votes cast Mabardy only picked up only one vote.[4] Mabardy made it on to CNN but The UFO issue he was promoting received no support.

Even the UFO community who frequently write articles complaining about their displeasure over politicians not dealing with the issue don’t ask the UFO question.  The reason for this is that most reporters sympathetic to the UFO issue and even a large number of UFO researchers do not want to “ask the stupid UFO question” or they are afraid of “embarrassing” their candidate thus costing them votes and possible victory.
A prime example of this occurred during the 2004 election when Democratic candidate 4-Star General Wesley Clark opened up the UFO issue himself while speaking during a Sept. 27, 2003 campaign event  in New Castle, New Hampshire, before about 50 people. Asked by Jay Buckley, a space shuttle astronaut, what he envisioned for America's space program Clark replied,

"We need to look at the realms of applied and higher mathematics.  I still believe in  E = mc squared.  But I can't believe that in all of human history, we'll never ever be able to go beyond the speed of light to reach where we want to go.  I happen to believe that mankind can do it.  I've argued with physicists about it.  I've argued with best friends about it.  I just have to believe it.  It's my only faith-based initiative."[5]

The media immediately attacked General Clark as a believer in space travel, even though he had only stated he believed on day mankind would be able to break the speed of light barrier.

Upon hearing the remark Grant Cameron sent out an e-mail to UFO researchers all over America encouraging them to ask General Clark the briefing question when he campaigned in their state. One of the replies that came back included a simply cryptic clue saying “A little bird says the General has been briefed on crashed flying saucers.”

This was an easy message to unravel. The little bird referred to one of a group of former intelligence officers and scientists who had been given the name the Aviary by 1980s UFO researchers Bill Moore and Jaime Shandera. Each of the high level people was given the name of a bird by Moore and Shandera so they could talk on the phone about their sources without using their names.

The message to Cameron came from a trusted researcher who was close most of the birds. Cameron knew who most of the birds were but never did discovery which one had outed Clark as having been briefed.

The inside lead that General Clark had been briefed inspired Cameron to send out a second e-mail laying out the importance of asking Clark the briefing question. People were encouraged not to ask Clark if he believed in UFOs or if he had ever seen one, as these were questions that Clark could easily walk around without saying anything significant.

The briefing question would be understood by General Clark. The reason for this is that Clark would know that an official government briefing would contain the best evidence gathered by US intelligence and would be the truth. The briefing question to Clark, therefore, was asking him if anyone at any point actually sat him down as a 4-Star General and gave him a briefing on the subject of UFOs. In other words – did he know the official truth on the subject that is being withheld from the public.[6]

The replies from researchers confirmed the fact that UFO researchers wanted an answer to the UFO mystery but most were not ready to step up and ask the difficult question or be seen as radical such as in other political and social movements that have had to struggle to get their issue hear or dealt with by the government.

Three of the replies actually declined to ask the question because “it would embarrass Clark” or they figured by asking the question they or a member of their family might come under scrutiny.[7] Some of the people replying were MUFON State Directors[8]. This surprising position by top researchers had the obvious consequence of allowing the UFO issue to die away and General Clark went on with his presidential campaign.

The briefing question did eventually did get asked of Clark just a couple days before the November 4 vote. By the time the question got asked Clark was already out of the race and was campaigning for John Kerry. On the evening Clark was asked the UFO question he was on his way to New Mexico which is often a stop late in the campaign because of the fact that the state is a swing state that could go Democratic or Republican.

Clark at the time was at the University of Nevada-Reno campaigning. David Rudiak, a long time UFO researcher, famous mostly for his research into the Roswell crash, was there at the same time doing business.

When Rudiak realized that Clark would be hosting a campaign rally for John Kerry later in the day, he decided to attend the lecture. He also decided to ask the General the question of whether or not he had received an official briefing on the subject of UFOs.

Rudiak posed his question just after Clark spoke as he stood around posing for pictures with attendees.

Q: Gen. Clark, when you were running for President, you said you thought mankind would one day fly faster than light and visit the stars. My question is, when you were in the military were you ever briefed on the subject of U.F.O.s?

At this point Clark looked down for a moment and shook his head, perhaps somewhat chagrined at being put on the spot or thinking how he should respond, but then looked at me and answered:

A: I heard a bit. In fact, I'm going to be in Roswell, New Mexico tonight.

Q: So you were briefed?

A: There are things going on. But we will have to work out our own mathematics. [9]

The answer given by Clark was very revealing. Although he did not get into details it did appear that he had been briefed. He linked Roswell into the question which meant that he knew the Roswell crash story and was tying it into a serious question on UFOs.

The mention of mathematics was also significant as Clark was not the first high level person to discuss mathematics into the discussion of UFOs.

In 1993 Ben Rich, the former Director of Skunk Works, which had developed almost all of the high tech planes used by the Air Force over the past 50 years was giving a lecture in 1993 to a group of engineers when he showed a slide with a disk on it. One of the people in the room Jan Harzan, senior project manager at Boeing, stated that Ben Rich then said the engineers working on the UFO problem discovered that one of their equations was wrong and it was corrected. Now they had the technology to take ET home.[10]

Another high level person who broached mathematics/UFO subject was a former Executive Secretary for the US Research and Development Board Dr Eric Walker.

During questioning from various researchers about UFOs Walker was very reticent to talk about the subject. He did, however, at one point suddenly bring up the following point related to the complex mathematics involved. The incident occurred during a March 8, 1990 phone interview with British researcher Henry Azedehdel.

Dr Walker   How good is your mathematics?
Azadehdel   As good as it could be for a doctor in physics, but why?
Dr Walker   Because only a couple people are capable of handling this issue. Unless your mind ability is like Einstein's or likewise, I do not think you can achieve anything.

The Democrats Take on UFOs

Because of the actions of the George Bush administration, the war in Iraq, and the collapsing economy, the 2008 election was the Democrats to loose. Everyone, including the UFO community, knew this and therefore the majority of the focus and questions related to the UFO subject were directed at the Democrats.

Richardson Faces the Music

Bill Richardson, the governor of New Mexico, and a former Secretary of Energy in the Clinton administration, ran on the Democratic ticket and was able to attract almost 6% of the Democratic support up until he pulled out on January 10, 2008  after a fourth place finish in both the Iowa and New Hampshire primaries. He threw his support to Barack Obama.

Richardson had many fans inside the UFO community because he had written the forward to a book called the “Roswell Dig Diaries” that dealt with a forensic archeological dig outside of Roswell New Mexico looking for new evidence for the mysterious 1947 UFO crash that had occurred there. In the forward Richardson wrote,

 "Clearly, it would help everyone if the U.S. government disclosed everything it knows. The American people can handle the truth -- no matter how bizarre or mundane. ... With full disclosure and our best scientific investigation, we should be able to find out what happened on that fateful day in July 1947."[11]

Bill Richardson was actually the first of the 2008 candidates to face the UFO question when he appeared in front of a standing room only audience on October 26, 2007 at Dell Inc. in Austin Texas.

Richardson had faced the UFO question in a query from the Washington Post in September 2007 but his spokesman did not reply.[12] It was a distinct change in tone from the forward to the Roswell Dig book.

In November 2007 Richardson made up for this disappointment when he made a campaign stop at the Dell Computer factory in Austin Texas. There waiting for him one employee who was preparing to ask Richardson a UFO question related to his statements about the 1947 Roswell UFO crash.

The UFO/Roswell question was put to Richardson by Brian Hamby, then a 41 year old security guard at Dell, who had asked “what Richardson would do about ETs if he is elected President,” when asked to provide e-mail questions requested prior to the Richardson visit.
This was not the first time that Hamby had been involved in Presidential UFO politics but the first time he knew it. As a high school student, Brian had actually been in the audience when President Ronald Reagan visited the Roswell Army Air Base in October 1982. Brian was a member of one of the many local bands that had been invited to play.[13]

There Reagan spoke in front of Hanger 84 where the 1947 Roswell aliens had supposedly been held just after the crash. During his speech for Apollo Astronaut Harrison Schmitt Reagan made a joking reference to ET, which was significant in light of his known interest in UFOs, and the fact that Reagan had just screened ET- The Extraterrestrial in the White House in the company of Director Steven Spielberg a couple months earlier. It was during that screening of ET that, according to two sources Reagan leaned over to Spielberg and stated “I bet there aren’t six people in this whole room who know how true this whole thing is.”

When he arrived at the meeting he noticed that microphones had been set up in the aisles, which meant the e-mail questions might not be used. Once it was confirmed questions would be taken from the floor Hamby went to the mike where he was third in line to ask a question.

In a written blog Brian described how hard it was to ask the question,

I was very nervous. I couldn't imagine it would be this easy to ask such a question. I looked around. I saw two agents standing near the door keeping an eye on Richardson. My heart was pounding out of my chest, and I tried not to focus on the room full of people-many co-workers unknown to me that were present, or what they might think of my question. 

I asked God to stop me if I shouldn't do this. Out of all the horror stories you hear about people stepping out like this, I was really afraid I was going into some kind of no man's land.

Finally came my turn. I looked nervously at Governor Richardson and then at my notes. It went something like this:

'Governor Richardson, thank you for coming. I am intrigued by some comments you made in a book regarding the alleged 1947 ET UFO crash. You said that you didn’t feel the government came clear with the truth about this incident and that you felt there needed to be a little more research into that. If you become President, are you going to do that? Is that one of your plans to look into that?

Hamby then apologized for asking the question as Richardson smiled back.

Hamby phrased his question this way because he figured the Richardson comments had been covered in the press, and therefore Richardson would be unable to walk around the question by denying he had anything to do with investigating the Roswell crash.

The crowd laughed but Richardson did not hesitate to answer. He replied. “Yah, look I have been in government, in the cabinet, and in the congress. I have always felt that the government doesn’t tell the truth as much as it should on a whole lot of issues. You know we have some national security privacy issues that should be more open. I have always felt that. And I did feel that – this is the Roswell aliens. He (referring to Hamby) was very polite. He didn’t say that. I remember asking, because I had my constituents ask me.

“I was the congressman so I said to the Department of Defense, Los Alamos Labs – What is this? What is the data you have? Oh, it’s classified. Well that ticked me off,” exclaimed Richardson. “That reflects what I said then.”

“I believe we have to find a way to open up our secrecy and privacy laws,” Richardson continued. “There are so many things that are classified, although I do respect the human beings right to privacy.

Richardson then pointed at Hamby. “What do you want me to do? Do you want me to open up all those files?

“Well,” said Hamby, “we know that Carter tried, and we know that Clinton worked a bit with Laurance Rockefeller on it. I was just wondering – a lot of people are afraid to look into it – I was just wondering…”

Richardson cut him off stating, “Sure I’ll work with you on that.” A thunderous applause broke out in the room.

The fact that Richardson had been told it was classified is significant as the official public US government position is that the government is not involved and they do not investigate UFOs.

Richardson then spoke to the audience explaining to them that Hamby had been polite referring them as ETs rather than aliens. Then he asked Hamby what he wanted Richardson to do. Hamby replied that “Carter and Clinton had tried to look into it a little bit and they seemed to be scared of this issue. Would he look into it and get it done.”

Richardson replied, “Well of course!”

After agreeing to help look into the secrets of Roswell, Richardson launched into how he thought secrecy had not been good for the country. “"I've been in government a long time, I've been in the cabinet, I've been in the Congress and I've always felt that the government doesn't tell the truth as much as it should on a lot of issues.

"When I was in Congress I said (to the) Department of Defense ... 'What is the data? What is the data you have?' "

He was told that the records were classified.

"That ticked me off. What do you want me to do? You want me to open up all those files. I'll work with you on that."[15]

The Roswell question sparked laughter from about 200 Dell employees. But the New Mexico Democrat, who was seeking to win his party's nomination for the White House, used the query to discuss the larger issue of government secrecy.

"I've been in government. I've been in the cabinet. I've been in the Congress," he said. "And I've always felt the government doesn't tell the truth as much as it should on a lot of issues." [16]

I thought that Richardson had really put himself way out there to admit publicly that the government had not been honest with him. He didn't have to say that today. And I thought that it was very appropriate that he made the comment that it was polite to refer to them as ETs rather than 'aliens'. I thought that was a very thoughtful call out.

Another thing I noticed is that even though some in the audience kind of snickered when I first began my question, everyone started to come to attention as I paraphrased Richardson's own book comments and especially as he explained his experience with the government denying a response to his inquiry. It got very quiet, and they even applauded his answer.

At the onset of my question he did seem to be taken back a little. But I thought Richardson came across very open and willing to speak to the audience and address seriously the question, and that he was able to offer some important, if brief, subtle education to the audience as to the importance of the issue and how we should perceive ETs, rather than 'aliens'.

Since I was not able to record the event myself, I was hoping to be able to get coverage of the event taped from the news that evening. Even though I was working, I had friends monitor the TV stations to see if it made the news. The only thing about the event that was broadcast on local news was that Richardson came to town and visited a few places and met with some people. Around midnight, I saw that it was covered by most of the print media, and for this I am ecstatic that I got to be part of the Disclosure Movement, asking a person in government about ETs, and that I helped to expand the awareness of the issue to others.

Richard also expressed concern for the environment and concern that the war should end immediately, noting that one of Bush's aides has recently stated that more troops would not solve the problem.

The UFO question answered by Richardson solidified the view that he was a firm believer in the validity of the UFO mystery such as the statement in made in his forward to a book dealing with the archeological dig that occurred on the sight of the 1947 Roswell UFO crash. In the book Richardson wrote of the lack of answers from the US government, “"the mystery surrounding this crash has never been adequately explained -- not by independent investigators and not by the U.S. government. ... There are as many theories as there are official explanations.”[17]

A couple days later, however, Richardson began to back off his apparent support for the UFO issue. Following tough UFO type questions put to Kucinich and Obama during the October 30th Democratic debate, Richardson faced the same question from MSNBC reporter

The Issue Ignites

The biggest UFO event in the 2008 presidential election centered around Ohio Congressman and Democratic contender Dennis Kucinich. Kucinich had been an outspoken congressman and was the presidential candidate that seemed best prepared to call a spade a spade.

The event began when actress Shirley MacLaine described a Kucinich UFO encounter in a book she had just released called Sag-ing While Age-ing.

[Kucinich] had a close sighting over my home in Graham, Washington, when I lived there … Dennis found his encounter extremely moving. The smell of roses drew him out to my balcony where, when he looked up, he saw a gigantic triangular craft, silent, and observing him … It hovered, soundless, for 10 minutes or so, and sped away with a speed he couldn’t comprehend. He said he felt a connection in his heart and heard directions in his mind.[18]

Days later, October 30, 2007, the democrats were holding a candidate debate at the Druxel University in Philadelphia.  At the time there were still 7 candidates vying for the Democratic presidential nomination. Mike Gravel had been banned from the debate saying that he did not meet the “polling requirements.”

Half way through the debate MSNBC reporter and host Tim Russert, turned to Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich and asked him the now infamous UFO question based upon what Shirley MacLaine had written in her book. It was the first time in 23 minutes that Kucinich had been asked a question.

RUSSERT: This is a serious question. The Godmother of your daughter Shirley MacLaine writes in her new book that you sighted a UFO over her home in Washington state, that you found the encounter extremely moving, that it was a triangular craft, silent and hovering, that you felt a connection to your heart and heard directions in your mind. Now, did you see a UFO?

KUCINICH: Uh, I did. And the rest of the account. It was an unidentified flying object, OK? It's like, it's unidentified. I saw something. Now, to answer your question. I'm moving my, and I'm also going to move my campaign office to Roswell, New Mexico, and another one in Exeter, New Hampshire, OK? And also, you have to keep in mind that Jimmy Carter saw a UFO, and also that more people in this country have seen UFOs than I think approve of George Bush's presidency.

RUSSERT: Actually, four ...

KUCINICH: And so, wait. We're just getting started here.

RUSSERT: No, no. We have about 14 percent of Americans who say they've seen UFOs. I'm going to move ...

KUCINICH: What was the percentage?

RUSSERT: Fourteen percent.

KUCINICH: What was that percentage?

RUSSERT: Fourteen.

KUCINICH: Thank you.[19]

Kucinich had very little chance to win the Democratic nomination. After the UFO question his chance to win dropped to zero. A couple months later, January 24, 2008 Kucinich withdrew from the presidential race. He later endorsed Barack Obama, and openly stated that he would like to serve in cabinet. He was not picked or considered for any of the positions, unlike many of the others in the October 30 democratic debate who went on to join the Obama White House team.

The UFO community loved the Kucinich UFO question and the media attention that it initiated. Some media outlets, like the Sacramento Bee, were less impressed that UFOs had become a topic of discussion. They wrote, “When Dennis Kucinich's UFO sightings and Edward's $400 haircut gain more headlines than their health care plans, something is clearly wrong. “ Fox News chimed in “Dennis Kucinich’s UFO Comments Prove He’s Nuts.”[20]

The UFO question led to a whole furry of UFO talk in the media. Former Alaska Senator Mike Gravel, who had faced his own UFO question, was very unhappy about Russert hitting Kucinich with the UFO question.

"Once again Russert assumed his role as the establishment's Hatchetman. Last debate, he sandbagged me with the bankruptcy question. This time he clocked Dennis with the UFO. When is Russert going to ask Hillary about the billing records or the cattle futures during a debate? Russert is America's most overrated journalist (Wolf Blitzer's a close second) ..." [21]

In the post debate interviews other candidates were questioned about their view of UFOs by Chris Matthews, MSNBC reporter. Nobody was taking the bait.
Bill Richardson who was still a contender in the Democratic race had formally been pro – UFO. He had openly agreed with Brian Hamby in Dallas that UFOs were worth looking at and that he would help look for the missing Roswell UFO crash files. He had also as Governor of New Mexico written the forward to a book on the Roswell crash. Now after seeing what had just happened to Kucinich on National TV Richardson went south on the issue.

Matthews: Being from New Mexico and being the governor of that state, do you believe in UFOs? It’s an odd think to ask. I wouldn’t ask except Dennis Kucinich, candidate for President and US congressman tonight said that he saw a UFO. Do you think that’s credible, or is that disqualifying for a president candidate to say you’ve seen UFOs?

Richardson:  You know, I’ve never seen one. You know Roswell New Mexico is the hotbed of UFO, and I promote UFOs as a tourism issue, but there is no credible evidence.

Matthews: I’m talking about Roswell. If you have to be a booster for UFOs in your state.

Richardson: No No the fact is, the federal government has not come clean on that issue, and it should, but no I have never seen one and I doubt of their existence, but I admit I am the governor of the state. I push the tourism promotion side like Billy the Kid 2. I’m also trying to bring tourism to my state.

Matthews: WAIT A MINUTE. WAIT A MINUTE. STOP THE MUSIC ! STOP THE MUSIC GOVERNOR ! Are you saying that the United States government is covering up the existence of a UFO sighting in your state? You said the government hasn’t cleared this up. What are they hiding you say about a UFO?

Richardson: No they haven’t. They don’t produce documents Chris. They should just get it all out. There’s a known history about this stuff.

Matthews: What is your belief that they are hiding?

Richardson: If they released all documents. Look I don’t believe there are UFOs, but the government has not handled this over the years. That’s a historical fact. It’s like on every issue – the energy issue – the papers of Secretary Cheney. They over classify everything. There’s too much bureaucracy. But we do in Roswell have a tradition of a UFO museum. It’s a tourist attraction, and I don’t think there is any credible evidence that there is, but the government would help their case if they just declassified all the papers.

Matthews: You know, with all respect governor, I think I am seeing a battle between the anti-evolutionary party and the pro-UFO party developing here. This is a little odd. (Laughing) I’m sorry. I’m just kidding.

Next to be grilled on the UFO question was Senator Joe Biden who had been one of the participants of the debate. Matthews raised the Kucinich UFO question with him minutes after the debate was over.

Matthews: Let me go to a Kucinich. I was struck tonight by Dennis Kucinich who is not in the front running for the office of the President of the United States – perhaps unluckily – I don’t know but tonight he has said that he has seen a UFO. We then had governor Richardson come on this show and Governor Richardson said the federal government is operating in ways that breed suspicion – there’s a conspiracy to keep us from seeing UFOs, or knowing about their existence in New Mexico. I’m asking you, do you agree – do you believe in UFOs? It’s an odd question but there seems to be a pattern here.
Biden: I’ve never met Dennis Kucinich, and I don’t know Governor Richardson. No, look, I don’t think there’s UFOs and I don’t think the government – What the hell – heck are we talking about. This has gone down – this has gone down hill really quickly.
Matthews: No It started going down during the debate.[22]

Kucinich left the debate but not the question of UFOs. The next day during a campaign appearance in Ashville North Carolina he was against asked about UFOs. This time Kucinich was ready and he handled the subject like many politicians before him – by using humor to avoid a direct answer.

Tim Russert asking me that question – just think about it. They didn’t call me for the first 23 minutes – right? And they sure don’t want to hear about attacking Iran, and was against the war from the beginning, and is for a “not for profit” health care system – but we know what they wanted to talk about.

What I wish I would have said if I had thought about it a little more was – I saw a UFO. I don’t know what it was. It was a UFO – hello. (lots of laughter  and clapping in the room) And I didn’t get an messages, but what I should have said – what I should have said is “Ya Tim it spoke to me and said take me to your leader, and I said ‘Well, not this guy -  he doesn’t like illegal aliens.’ (lots of laughter and clapping) But the truth of the matter is there is a lot of attempts to trivialize the campaign that will change the country.[23]

Others like his wife Elizabeth came to Dennis’s defense about the UFO sighting and its becoming an issue in the campaign. In an interview with the Robert Fleischer Elizabeth made the following comment;

We haven’t actually had that discussion (Dennis’s UFO sighting). Dennis didn’t reveal that story. Something happened 25 years ago with some friends that he was with and one of his friends actually wrote about it in her book about the experience. So Dennis tried not to talk about it publically because it was something that he had just decided to stay off of. UFO is unidentified flying object so it could be an alien craft or it could be something else.

Well you know I think Ronald Reagan and President Carter – both of them said that they saw UFOs. I think it is a very arrogant position for the human race to think that with the multitude of planets and stars that are out there that we should be the only place in the universe that has life.

Asked if she thought the government would ever disclose the truth on UFOs Elizabeth stated;

I don’t know. My understanding of that is I don’t need the world to believe or disbelieve in aliens. It’s just not even anything that I worry about or anything. I would suggest though that if governments did start to understand or want to make public that there may be extraterrestrial life or if they have evidence to show – I have a cynical mind that it would be used as a means to weaponize space, to create more fear, to create more control through government control as opposed to liberating the human experience in understanding that there is life elsewhere. Do you see I think it would be used negatively? I keep it out of my consciousness. It doesn’t matter any way.[24]

Both Dennis and Elizabeth Kucinich defended Dennis’s UFO sighting by referring to the fact that Jimmy Carter has openly admitted to seeing a UFO, so CNN went to Jimmy Carter and asked him about the Kucinich’s statement and his own UFO encounter. Carter laughed at the new political election controversy over UFOs. He then stated;

Well a UFO is an unidentified flying object and when I was back as a peanut farmer and the head of a Lion’s club in southwest Georgia I and about 25 others saw something in the air that changed color, and was round, and came and left. We couldn’t figure out what it was. It was unidentified as far as we were concerned. I think it is impossible in my opinion – some people disagree – to have space people from other planets or other stars to come here. I don’t think that is possible. [25]

Another person who came to Kucinich’s UFO defense was Shirley MacLaine who had started the whole controversy with her reference to the Kucinich sighting in her book. Asked if she was surprised about Kucinich’s admission of the sighting MacLaine told host Ty Ray at KVOS in Washington state were the sighting took place, “No, he tells the truth. He may be the only Presidential candidate telling the truth. He tells it about everything. [26]

Asked by Jeff Trachtenburg, the book publishing reporter at the Wall Street Journal if she realized that by putting the UFO story in the book at Kucinich would have to address it. Shirley replied;

It never even occurred to me. I didn’t know that he was going to run for president. I certainly didn’t know Tim Russert would bring it up. What on earth made him do that. We were deciding what to do about it. I see his solution was to ask for the impeachment of Cheney.[27]

Asked by Trachtenberg if she had heard back from Kucinich since the debate Shirley replied, “Sure, we talk all the time. I’m the godmother to his daughter.

Matt Lauer at the Today Show asked Shirley if she had been cheering from the sidelines when Russert asked the question and Kucinich took it on. Shirley said yes and added;

“It was terrific that a Presidential candidate admitted it. If they had asked Bill Richardson he would have admitted it too because he is the Governor of UFOs in New Mexico.”[28]

Lauer then challenged Shirley reminding her that most people roll up their eyes when a presidential candidate starts talking about UFOs. He then asked Shirley how far are we from the point where a presidential candidate can bring up the subject of UFOs without someone wanting to give him a breathalyzer test. Shirley responded,

“If my book works – maybe a year. It’s time. Many countries have released their files. Argentina has, Brazil and France. Let’s do it.”[29]

Asked by CBS news if she was satisfied with Kucinich’s response to the UFO question Shirley replied;

I thought it was very brave of him, although I think he is the only candidate telling the truth so why should it be brave to tell the truth honestly in this country? We should have more of it. I think it was very well done. I liked his humor when he said he was moving his campaign headquarters to Roswell, New Mexico. He did say it was unidentified. I say that it is identified. 

Two months after the UFO debate question Kucinich was still getting UFO questions from the media. In an appearance on the WJR radio in Detroit in January 2008 Kucinich was still be asked about UFOs and the debate.

Host: I want to ask you because I have the opportunity about this UFO issue, and I think the way you handled it in the debate – it didn’t come across well, but I thought you had a great line about Roswell and the campaign office there and all of that. They tried to make light of it, but here’s what I would like to ask, “Shirley MacLaine wrote in her book that you sighted a UFO over her home in Washington.

Kucinich: That’s true.

Host: You found the encounter moving.

Kucinich: That’s true.

Host: It was a triangular craft silent and hovering, you felt a connection to your heart and heard directions in your mind.

Kucinich: Now. Well everything up to a point is true. That is poetic license that my dear friend Shirley took and I don’t know where she got that from but…

Host: You weren’t hearing voices?

Kucinich: No come on – listen

Host: She said it.

Kucinich: I’m looking you right in the eye and I’m telling you not a chance and I love her dearly – but not a chance. But I will tell you this – that I later learned after this story surfaced that 40 million Americans have seen things in the sky that they couldn’t identify. I also learned that President Reagan and Jimmy Carter at one time or another had seen unidentified flying objects. So it just might be that seeing one is a prerequisite for being President.

The Kucinich backpeddling was an attempt by him to give out the impression that he had been involved in some small UFO sighting and that Russert and the rest of the media were taking it out of context. The fact is that Kucinich was much more involved and the sighting much more dramatic than he was letting on.

Daniel Sheehan was Kucinich’s chief policy advisor when Kucinich made a run for President in 2004. After Kucinich was outed during the debate about his sighting at Shirley MacLaine’s house, Sheehan told Coast to Coast AM host George Noory about a second later UFO connection that Kucinich had not made public.

I was the chief policy director to Dennis during his 2004 presidential campaign and drafted his policy positions. In fact the very first time that I met Dennis I was introducing to him a United States Air Force Colonel who had been witness to a major UFO incident and since Dennis chaired the House Aeronautics Administration Committee – I brought the man to him – he was from the State of Ohio (where Kucinich has his seat) and allowed him to present to Dennis the information that he had about this UFO incident and that is how I met Dennis. Because of his openness and candor about this issue I was among the people who helped talk Dennis into running for the Presidential election in 2004.[30]

Kucinich also failed to tell the full details of the sighting and his reaction to the UFO sighting that had occurred at Shirley MacLaine’s house some 25 years earlier. The story broke on Page 1 of the Wall Street Journal two months after Kucinich was questioned on UFOs in the debate.[31]

Kucinich was staying at the actresses home writing his memoirs after losing reelection to a second term as mayor of Cleveland where he had been the youngest mayor ever elected in America. There were actually three witnesses to the event. Paul Costanzo, Ms. MacLaine's assistant personal trainer and bodyguard, Costanzo’s girlfriend and Kucinich were the three witnesses.

Costanzo saw the light first but thought it was a helicopter. Kucinich looking through binoculars thought it was not. As the three watched in the binoculars the light broke into two and then three objects which moved to within 200 yards of the three just beyond the swimming pool in the back yard.

What they saw was “three charcoal-gray, triangular crafts.” According to Costanzo it was "larger Cessna, smaller than a jet.”

Constanzo’s girlfriend remembered “each triangle having red and green lights running down the edges, with a laser-like red light at the tail." Costanzo remembered  “white lights, but no tail."

The “trio heard a quiet, throbbing sound, nothing like an airplane engine,” and just as MacLaine had written in the book Costanzo reported, “ a feeling of wanting to communicate something, but I don't know what.”

Most importantly the Wall Street Journal reported that Kucinich had suggested after the sighting “that each memorialize what they'd seen by jotting down their impressions and drawing pictures.” According to MacLaine Kucinich took notes and promised to find them for the newspaper. (a later check with the reporter revealed that the notes were not forthcoming)

Kucinich was still in the presidential race when the story ran. He did not contribute to it telling the paper, "I don't have any comment."

Republicans Take UFO Questions Too

Most of the UFO questions in the 2008 election campaign were directed at the Democrat contenders, probably because most voters saw the elections as the Democrats to lose. As many figured they would soon be in power, it was important to find where they stood on the issue.

Mike Gravel

Mike Gravel, the former two term Alaskan senator (1969-1981) was the first Republican to face the UFO question.

Candidate Gravel was a man who had an intelligence background and who believed in openness in government. Gravel had served in the U.S. Army (1951-54) and as special adjutant in the Communication Intelligence Services and as a Special Agent in the Counter Intelligence Corps. While a state senator in Gravel became famous for releasing the Pentagon Papers, an official government study that outlined what Gravel referred to as “the lies and manipulations of successive U.S. administrations that misled the country into the Vietnam War.” Gravel was so determined to have the people know the truth on the issue of the Vietnam was that he stood in the Senate chambers and read into the Senate record 4,100 pages of the 7,000 page Pentagon Papers document.[32]

He was asked by Disclose TV if he would work to release all UFO information if elected President. Gravel replied, “Yes, I will. I don’t say that I believe it, but I’m just as curious as the next person.”[33]

Just after Gravel answered the question, his wife who was standing right beside him added some important information. She stated that her girlfriend had a UFO connection. “You’re not going to believe this,” Whitney Gravel said, “but my girlfriend’s son just bought the site where the spacecraft crashed at Roswell.”

Mike Huckabee

One of the new Republicans to take the UFO question during the 2008 campaign was Mike Huckabee who faced the question by the media just after Kucinich took the UFO question in the Philadelphia democratic debate.

Huckabee was a former Governor of Arkansas who actually defeated Bill Clinton for Governor. In the 2008 primaries Huckabee finished second in the Republican race to John McCain.

The question to Huckabee was simple – Did he believe in UFOs?

Huckabee, also a former minister was quick with his reply, “ No I don’t. I’ve never been on one. Me and Shirley MacLaine aren’t tight. I believe in G.O.D. Not U.F.O.”[34]

Mitt Romney

Romney, a business CEO entered the 2008 republican nomination race as one of the favorites. He was asked if he believed in UFOs during a campaign stop in Cleveland, the home of Dennis Kucinich.  His answer was simple and direct, “I'm afraid I do not believe in extraterrestrials visiting earth.”[35]

Rudy Giuliani

Rudy Giuliani only faced the question on aliens once during the campaign. Looking back there was no indication that Giuliani had any interest in UFOs or outer space, so when he took the question it was interesting to see how he would handle it.

The question came to Giuliani during a campaign stop in Exeter, New Hampshire from a young boy sitting in one of the front rows. The question dealt with an alien attack, and Giuliani who was Major of New York during the 911 attack seemed prepared to answer. Giuliani, however, stated that this was the first time he had faced the invading alien question.

The tiny unidentified boy asked, "If (there's) something living on another planet and it's bad and it comes over here, what would you do?"

Giuliani took a few seconds to reply as he and the audience laughed, "Of all the things that can happen in this world, we'll be prepared for that, yes we will. We'll be prepared for anything that happens.” [36]

John McCain

John McCain, a prominent US Senator, has often been associated with UFOs because he was the Arizona Senator at the time of the famous Phoenix Lights incident where a large triangle object was seen flying over the Phoenix area.[37]

McCain replied to questioning about the long standing UFO cover-up during a news conference when he was running for president in 2000. He had just defeated Bush in the important New Hampshire caucus and was making the phrase “I will never lie to you” a part of his campaign. Ufologists familiar with the Phoenix Lights incident decided to ask McCain about UFOs.

When asked about UFOs, McCain actually raised the Phoenix Lights episode in reply to the question and McCain said that it had never been fully explained, adding  that he had looked into the incident.

It’s always of great interest to me. I think it’s of great interest. I would point out to you that there was a case a couple years ago in Arizona of lights that were seen over Arizona and that has never been fully explained.” [38]

Then forced by pressure from then City-Councilwoman, Francis Barwood (plus numerous other citizens asking questions), Sen. John McCain looked into the cause massive UFO seen over Arizona on March 13, 1997.

In a reply to one of his constituents McCain described what  he had done to investigate and what he was told.

McCain was seen as a possible UFO supporter because he had in his career as a Senator called out many of the pork barrel spending bills and spending corruption in defense contractors working for the US defense department. These actions showed that McCain would not be afraid to take on the powerful UFO cabal believed by many to be controlling the UFO secrecy.

Late in the 2008 campaign McCain did bring up the UFO issue and it would have been one of the most positive pro UFO statements every if it had been said at a different time and place. McCain was slipping in the polls as the presidential election vote neared. McCain was doing a campaign stop in Roswell, New Mexico the night before the election. The reason for the visit to Roswell is that New Mexico is a swing state that has had a very close vote in the past. McCain was there hoping to pick up the state’s 5 electoral votes.

A couple days before a tabloid magazine called the Weekly World News had published a story stating that Plod, an alien that had been predicting the presidential victors since George Bush in 1988 had just changed his mind on who would win. He had originally picked Barack Obama as the winner of the election, but was now calling for McCain to win despite what the polls were saying.

During his campaign rally speech, McCain suddenly referred to the alien endorsement knowing that most in the Roswell audience would be sympathetic to the alien reference.
McCain accepted the endorsement stating, “By the way, I have been here to Roswell before and I know about the alien landing. And I am pleased to announce that I have received the alien endorsement…and I am proud!”[39]

McCain went on to lose the election, but not before the Weekly world News raced to the stands with a new story about the McCain acceptance of the alien endorsement. The in the article they stated that “the Alien has not released an official response, but insiders believe he is elated at McCain’s warm acceptance.”[40]

John Edwards

John Edwards, a US Senator from North Carolina was one of the favorities to win the 2008 democratic nomination. He was also a favorite when he ran for the 2004 democratic nomination and ended up as the Vice-Presidential nominee on the democratic ticket with Massachusetts Senator John Kerry.

Edwards was also a person who many in the UFO community thought would be an ideal candidate to support the UFO issue. Steven Greer for example placed Edwards as the second best candidate behind Dennis Kucinich on the UFO issue, adding that ‘one of Edwards close friends was a disclosure project witness.”[41]

A key member of the 2008 Edwards campaign was Daniel Sheehan who had worked on two UFO/ET studies for Jimmy Carter. Asked just before the February 5, 2008 Super Tuesday, where 24 states were scheduled to hold primaries and caucuses, Sheehan was asked by Coast to Coast AM radio if he had brought up the UFO subject yet with Edwards. Sheehan replied;

“I have talked to one of the people (on Edwards staff) about the issue of UFOs, but I don’t believe he has probably spoken with John about it. I just had a meeting with John about three hours ago. We were much more focused on the specific issues going on out here right now, but I will have that conversation with him as soon as he gets the nomination which will probably be – he will have it rapped up about February 5th or so.”[42]

Hillary Clinton
As is pointed out in the Clinton chapter, Hillary Clinton appeared to have had an interest in UFOs, as well as other paranormal subjects.

Her dealing with the UFO issue during the 2008 campaign, however, was the classic political avoidance of the issue. This silence is understandable because Hillary wanted to be president in the worse way, and it had been a dream of hers from childhood to be the first female United States president.

Because she had a UFO background, she knew the damage that the issue could do to a political campaign and how few votes would be gained by raising the issue. It was for this reason that Dr. Steven Greer called Hillary “Steven Greer described Hillary Clinton as the least likely to support the UFO issue.” Greer had briefed Clinton CIA Director James Woolsey on the subject and was providing UFO material to many people inside the Clinton administration. Greer stated Hillary was a poor UFO candidate because she “had a pass (while First Lady in the Clinton administration) at it and didn’t do anything.”[43]

The first time her campaign had to face the issue was when she was faced with a question from Dana Milbank at the Washington Post. He questioned the campaign Clinton campaign about putting an end to the "government-imposed truth embargo on the facts confirming an extraterrestrial presence." Hillary’s spokesman Phil Singer provided a dismissive reply stating "Let me check in with the mothership."
This was really the only time Hillary faced the question which was very strange in that Hillary had such a documented UFO interest.

Part of the reason for the lack of questions to Hillary has to be traced back to the reluctance of the media to deal seriously with the subject. This was clearly shown when the first 14 Freedom of Information requests were released by the Clinton Library in early November 2007. Many of the first requests that were released by the 6 archivists who had been working on requests since the first FOIA filing were made in January 2006 were on UFOs.

The reason for this is that FOIAs work on a first come first serve basis and Grant Cameron had filed around 100 UFO related FOIAs early in the process. These many requests were based on information obtained in 2000 when the Clinton administration released 1000 pages related to the Rockefeller UFO initiative.

When the media became aware of the fact that many of the first UFO releases from the Clinton Library involved UFOs many of them jumped to do stories. This included Andrew DeMillo at the Associated Press, Fox News, and Libby Copeland at the Washington Post. All three media outlets interviewed at length Grant Cameron, who had filed the FOIAs. Each was told that about the Rockefeller Initiative to the Clinton White House on UFOs. Each was also told about the role that Hillary Clinton had played in the Clinton administration response to Rockefeller’s UFO overtures. Each was provided the two key documents from the Clinton administration which showed clearly the fact that Hillary had helped edit a letter on UFO disclosure to the President, and that all information to and from the White House and Rockefeller was being relayed through Hillary’s first lady office.

All three media outlets did a story, but all failed to document or question the UFO interest of Hillary Clinton who was now a key contender to become the next president of the United States.

Although Hillary did not face a direct question on UFOs she did bring up aliens herself on a couple of occasions. The first occurred during an early campaign stop during the Iowa caucuses.

There’s so much we can do if we work together as a world. Now remember that movie Independence Day where invaders were coming from outer space and the whole world was united against the invasion? Well why can’t we be united on behalf of our planet, and that’s what I want to do – to get more and more of our people to understand that and get involved to protect our environment.[44]

Like the UFO background of Hillary Clinton, the alien invasion remark went unnoticed by the media.

The second unprompted reference to aliens came when Hillary was a guest on the Ellen Degeneres show in September 2007 just as Hillary was beginning the campaign. Hillary starting talking about people thinking she was an alien. She stated, “Oh, I guess that I am some sort of creature from an alien world I suppose.”[45]

The strange think about the comment is that this is not the first time it happened. When she and Bill were in the White House there were a number of speeches where particularly Bill made reference to the fact that people were trying to make him and Hillary out as aliens.

Barack Obama
The final candidate who had to deal with the UFO issue was Barack Obama who surged to the front of the pack of candidates with his message of hope and change.

The UFO community was prepared for change, and quickly raced to back Obama.
The reality, however, was that Obama was doing nothing significant to indicate he was sympathetic to the UFO issue or even interested. One example of this was the first time his campaign was faced with the issue when Washington reporter Dana Milbank from the Washington Post questioned the Obama campaign about putting an end to the "government-imposed truth embargo on the facts confirming an extraterrestrial presence." Bill Burton, an Obama campaign spokesman replied, "We're more focused on lifting the government-imposed truth embargo on issues like the war in Iraq.”[46] Milbank did not follow up.

[1] First-In-The-Nation Presidential Primary By Hugh Gregg

[2] Oval Office Underdogs: UFO Defense Secretary -

[3] ibid
[5] General Wesley K. Clark on UFOs: In a short encounter, Gen. Clark drops some hints about UFO reality,
[6] Cameron had asked the briefing question of Vice President Dick Cheney in 2001 and knew how effective the question was when put to a person in a possible need-to-know position.
[7] General Wesley Clark: UFO Expert?
[8] The MUFON (Mutual UFO Network) is the largest UFO research organization in the world which has state directors for ll of the 50 American states.
[10] Linda Howe, “ET Technologies and Time Travel Technology” The story was also told personally to Grant Cameron by Jan Hartzen at the 2007 MUFON Conference in Denver Colorado
[12] Dana Milbank ”There’s the Red Vote, the Blue Vote…and the Little Green Men Vote, The Washington Post, September 18, 2007
[13] E-mail -  Brian Hamby to Grant Cameron, June 28, 2008
[14] Brian Hamby, “I asked Bill Richardson about ETs and he Answered.” Brian C3 Hamby, October 27, 2008
[15] April Castro, “Roswell incident not explained to Richardson's satisfaction” Associated Press, October 26, 2007
[16] Wayne Slater, “On Texas stop, Democratic candidate Richardson criticizes government secrecy” Dallas Morning News, October 27, 2007
[17] Mike Mcavennie, William H. Doleman, Thomas J. Carey, Donald R. Schmitt, Bill Richardson, “The Roswell Dig Diaries” 2004
[18] Shirley MacLaine “Sag-ing while Age-ing” Atria Books 2008 Page 144.
[19] Democratic Debate, October 30, 2007, Philadelphia Pennsyvania.
[20] John Gibson, Dennis Kucinich’s UFO Commenst Proves He is Nuts” Fox News October 31, 2007,2933,307117,00.html
[21] Mike Gravel Blog, November 1, 2007
[22] Close Encounters of the Politically Absurd Kind
[23] “Dennis Kucinich in Ashville on the UFO Question”
[24] Elizabeth Kucinich on Her Husbands UFO Experience
[25] Jimmy Carter on CNN re UFO Sighting

[26] Shirley MacLaine Appears On KVOS TV

[28] Shirley MacLaine with Matt Lauer 11/7/2007
[29] ibid
[30] Daniel Sheehan, Coast to Coast Am radio show December 13, 2007
[31] Michael M. Phillips, ‘What Kucinich Actually Saw” Wall Street Journal January 2, Page 1
[34] Mike Huckabee Press Conference
[35] Mark Naymik, “Romney Lands in Cleveland” The Plain’s Dealer Ohio Political Log November 2, 2007
[36] UFO Casebook Files, “Giuliani will Be Prepared for Alien Attack”
[37] A number of websites tell the story of the Phoenix lights. Once o the best is
[39] Update:McCain Accepts Endorsement” Weekly World News November 4, 2008
[40] ibid
[41] The Disclosure Project Witnesses were a group of high ranking and prominent people that Dr. Steven Greer interviewed with the help of Laurance Rockefeller funding related to their UFO involvement. Dr. Greer claimed that the list of these type of witnesses totaled close to 500 from around the world. Greer comments about John Edwards were made in a conversation with Art Bell on the Coast to Coast AM radio show on March 31, 2008.
[42] Coast to Coast AM Radio interview of Daniel Sheehan, December 16, 2007
[43] Steven Greer interviewed with Art Bell on the Coast to Coast Radio show March 31, 2008.
[44] Hillary Discusses Effects of Alien Threat
[46] Dana Milbank ”There’s the Red Vote, the Blue Vote…and the Little Green Men Vote”, The Washington Post, September 18, 2007

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