Even though it is Jimmy Carter who famously had a UFO sighting, Bill Clinton seems to be the one who talks the most about them, and he is open to the idea of extraterrestrial visitation. He has a long history of association with the UFO subject and Area 51 that spans back throughout his presidency.
UFO buffs, and reporters, where poised at their televisions last night, ready to find out if Jimmy Kimmel would keep his promise when the other night he said he would ask Clinton about UFOs when he came on the show. Kimmel kept his promise, and in typical Kimmel fashion, in a light hearted and funny way. However, he did get some interesting and heartfelt comments from the former president.
Kimmel brought up the subject by saying that if he were president he would immediately go find out about UFOs. He said, “I probably wouldn’t even finish the oath. I would run to the White House. I’d demand to see all of the classified files on the UFOs because I want to know. I want to know what has been going on. Did you do that?”
Clinton replied, “Sort of.”
Clinton said he began looking into it at the beginning of his second term, during the 50th anniversary of the alleged Roswell UFO crash. Kimmel was surprised he waited so long. Clinton also said he looked into Area 51.
Clinton says there was a sci-si movie that about an alien being held in Area 51. So he says he first had people look into Area 51 to find out if there really was an alien down there. He says he found out it was a secret base, and that the people who worked there even had to wear special clothing, but that they were dealing with secret stealth technology, not aliens.
As for Roswell, he says he knew they were going to receive “zillions” of letters about it for the anniversary, so he had all of the Roswell papers reviewed. Clinton didn’t get into the results of that inquiry before Kimmel’s next question, but we do know from previous comments that Clinton says he found no evidence of aliens at Roswell either. More on the later…
As soon as Clinton mentioned he had the Roswell files reviewed, Kimmel asked, “If you saw that there were aliens there would you tell us?”
Clinton replied that he would, to which the crowd clapped. He then said:
What do we know now? We know we live in an ever expanding universe. We know that there are billions of stars and planets, literally, out there, and the universe is getting bigger. We know from our fancy telescopes that just in the last two years more than 20 planets have been identified outside of our solar system that seem to be far away enough from their suns and dense enough that they might be able to support some form of life. So, it makes it increasingly less likely that we are alone.
Kimmel suggested, “Oh, you are trying to give me a hint that there are aliens.”
Clinton replied, “No, I am trying to tell you I don’t know, but if we were visited some day I wouldn’t be surprised. I just hope it’s not like Independence Day the movie. “
Finally, Clinton embarked some sentiments, similar to those given by Reagan in the 80s and repeated several times, that if there was an alien threat that humans would need to unite and forget our petty difference. He noted that was the point behind the Independence Day movie.
Clinton’s UFO History
Clinton wasn’t kidding when he says he looked into UFOs during his presidency. In fact, a story that would make Kimmel proud was printed in a book by Clinton’s friend William Hubbell.
Hubbell was a friend of the Clintons from Arkansas, and was actually indicted for fraud in the Whitewater scandals. Before his indictment he was assigned to the Attorney General’s office as the Associate Attorney General. Hubbell wrote in his book Friends in High Places:
Clinton had said, ‘”If I put you over at Justice, I want you to find the answers to two questions for me,” Hubbell recounts. “One, who killed JFK. And two, are there UFOs?” Clinton was dead serious. I had looked into both, but wasn’t satisfied with the answers I was getting.
In a speech he gave in Belfast in Northern Ireland in 1995, Clinton brought up Roswell. He said, “I got a letter from 13-year-old Ryan from Belfast. Now, Ryan, if you’re out in the crowd tonight, here’s the answer to your question. No, as far as I know, an alien spacecraft did not crash in Roswell, New Mexico, in 1947. And, Ryan, if the United States Air Force did recover alien bodies, they didn’t tell me about it, either, and I want to know.”
Someone else who wanted to know was Laurence Rockefeller. Laurance, one of the Rockefeller heirs, worked diligently during Clinton’s administration to fund research into UFOs, and to get official government information released.
Laurance, who passed in 2004, was by no means a black sheep of the powerful Rockefeller family. He held a seat on the New York Stock Exchange, and was the founding trustee of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund for forty-two years. He was a venture capitalist who was involved with, among other things, the rise of the computer era. He helped shape history, and before he passed he wanted the public to be informed about UFOs.
Researcher Grant Cameron, who runs the website HillaryClintonUFO.net, was able to retrieve documents through the Freedom of Information Act that showed Rockefeller was soliciting help from Hillary’s staff on drafting a document to President Bill Clinton in 1995. The title of the document was Lifting Secrecy on Information About Extraterrestrial Intelligence as Part of the Current Classification Review.
The Clintons never did publicly involve themselves with Rockefeller’s quest for UFO truth, but like he told Kimmel, Clinton did make his own inquiries. Another time when he discussed his Area 51 and Roswell investigation was after his presidency in Hong Kong in 2005.
Clinton took part in a Q and A session with an audience for CLSA Asia-Pacific Markets, a large independent equity broker and financial services group. The moderator asked Clinton if there was a list that was passed from president to president with a list of secrets like “’Where is Jimmie Hoffa?” and “What really happened at Roswell?” He added, “Is there something for us to look forward to that will be released that will make the National Inquirer required reading?”
Clinton chuckled, and although he wasn’t asked about it, his answer mostly referenced Area 51:
Well, I don’t know if you all remember this, but there was actually, when I was president in my second term, there was an anniversary observance of Roswell. You Remember that? People came to Roswell, New Mexico from all over the world. And, um… and there is also a site in Nevada where people were convinced that the government had buried a UFO and perhaps an alien deep underground, because we wouldn’t allow anybody to go there. And um… I can say now, because it has now been released into the public domain, 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.
This wasn’t the first time Clinton referenced Area 51. He was forced to do so in 1994. Due to the burning of unknown chemicals at Area 51, several civilian contractors got sick and two of them died. Five of these employees, who remained unnamed, and the families of two of the deceased sued the US Air Force and the EPA in 1994.
The Air Force had a difficult time denying the existence of the base to the media, while at the same time acknowledging the law suit existed. Because of its secret nature, the Air Force said they could not reveal the chemicals that were being burnt at the base, and President Clinton reinforced this decision with a Presidential Determination which exempted “The Air Force’s Operating Location Near Groom Lake, Nevada” from environmental disclosure laws. Thus, the victims’ case was dismissed due to a lack of evidence. The determination requires being reviewed and renewed every year, and every president since Clinton has done so.
The determination did not include the name Area 51, because the name of the base was officially classified until recently. In fact, President Obama had the honor of being the first president to speak the name of the base. Clinton’s appearance on the Jimmy Kimmel may, in fact, be the first time he has uttered those words in public.
Clinton’s UFO Buddy
Johh Podesta was Bill Clinton’s chief of staff and aided in Obama’s transition into the White House in 2008, and is currently a White House advisor. He is also known to be a sci-fi enthusiast, and has been involved with efforts to get the government to disclose all it knows about the UFO phenomenon.
Podesta served on Clinton’s staff from 1993 until Clinton left office. His final position was as Clinton’s Chief of Staff. He has remained influential in politics through a liberal think tank that he founded called the Center for American Progress.
It has always been known that Podesta is a big sci-fi buff. He made headlines during his tenure in the White House when he had an X-files themed birthday party. He was especially keen on that TV series. For a man at his level to have an interest in sci-fi is not that unusual. However, the depth of his interest in UFOs was revealed when he spoke at a press conference at the National Press Club asking the government to release its secret files on UFOs so that scientists can determine the nature of the phenomena.
In 2002 the Coalition for the Freedom of Information headed by journalist Leslie Kean, along with the Sci-Fi channel (now SyFy), held a press conference at the National Press Club in Washington D.C. to address the issue of secrecy regarding the subject of UFOs. At that meeting Podesta stated, “It is time for the government to declassify records that are more than 25 years old, and to provide scientists with data that will assist in determining the real nature of this phenomenon.” He made this comment in front of several major media representatives in attendance. The video can be seen below.
Clinton by far, more than any other president, has demonstrated the biggest presidential interest in UFOs. Every time he has talked on the subject he has left open the possibility that there could be more to the subject than we know. It seems he has been open to the idea of alien visitation for some time, even before it was cool. And yes, it is now very cool to believe in aliens.