Presidents and UFOs

Presidents and UFOs

E Pluribus Unum: Out of many, One is what it says on the Seal of the President of the United States of America. Traditionally the phrase is meant to express that out of the many colonies that formed the nascent new country a single nation was born. In a more modern context it could be interpreted equally to mean that out of many cultures and beliefs the people who form a nation are derived. In the context of this article it could also be said that out of many in power there is one we presume to have answers. Even out of many who have held the office, the one currently in office should be in possession of the answers so many of us would like to hear. The question is; What do we really know about UFOs?

There have been a number of US Presidents who have addressed the UFO issue and it makes you wonder. Twelve Presidents have held office in what we will call the UFO Age, that period of time during which UFOs have been both figuratively and literally on the radar of the population of the Earth. During that time the United States has evolved from a partner to other nations in attaining peace from threats, to a parent scolding others for threatening actions and seemingly falling back again to a partner who must work with others in place of imposing rules upon them. Still the question of whether or not there is a larger threat, or greater parent hangs over our heads. Yet whenever a question faces the world at large there are few if any who do not turn to the United States for their knowledge, their influence, their protection, or for someone to blame so IF there are UFO secrets to be had, and there almost certainly are whether they be to prove or disprove, it seems likely those secrets reside within the borders of the United States at the very least.

Which brings us back to asking “What does the President know?” It is a facet of short term thinking to believe that the office of President gives some sort of ultimate power when it comes to running the government, when in truth it is a temporary posting lasting just four to eight years, at least during the time frame of the UFO Age, while those who keep the wheels turning, or I guess put on the brakes in some regards, have longer careers that are not dependant upon current office holders. If there is a secret to be kept, a secret that has implications far beyond the immediate state of affairs of any nation who do you tell? If you are one of the secret keepers a person who has a short term agenda would not be on that list. So far several Presidents have announced an intent to learn the truth of the UFO phenomenon, but none have done carried out that intent, at least so far as to inform the public.

Let’s start at the beginning.
Two events mark the start of the UFO Age; those being the Kenneth Arnold sighting at Mt Ranier on June 24th 1947, and the Roswell crash(s) of July 1947. Harry Truman as Vice_President to Franklin Roosevelt assumed office in April of 1945, following the death of Roosevelt, and so became the first US President to be faced with the real potential of contact with beings from another world here on Earth.

On the heels of the end of WWII, with the United States in possession of atomic weapons and striving to “improve” their capabilities, and many other nations scrambling to attain the same power and amid the international political turmoil of the post war era, the Cold War was born. As were the CIA, and NSA, both created by Harry Truman in response to a need for centralized information gathering and reporting. Is it a coincidence that in this time of the rule of suspicion that we first encounter the UFO phenomena as an aerial threat? Or a threat of invasion? The CIA was created in 1945, in 1947 the first reports of UFOs manifest. The NSA was formed in 1952. On July 19th of 1952 a Washington DC air traffic controller spotted a group of objects passing through the Capital airspace.

The 1952 Washington D.C. UFO Incident

A few minutes before midnight on Saturday, July 19, 1952, an air traffic controller at National Airport in Washington, D.C., noticed some odd blips on his radar screen. Knowing that no aircraft were flying in that area –15 miles to the south-west of the capital

The following clip is very short and is Truman commenting on the incident.

Some have taken this as acknowledgement by Truman that UFOs exist. I suspect they are hearing what they want to hear, because all that can be confirmed from such a short clip is that he states the topic is discussed. From its earliest days, the UFO phenomenon was looked at as a potential threat to national security so it would naturally have been discussed. Many nations view it in this way, most have dismissed UFOs as a threat since there has never been an attack.

No answers are apparent, but the search for them begins with Truman. Project Sign, a precursor to Project Blue Book was established in 1947 to begin investigations of UFOs by the Us Air Force. In 1948 Sign became Project Grudge which seemingly had a mandate to debunk rather than investigate UFOs. At the very end of the Truman administration, Grudge was dismantled and Project Blue Book finally established.

During Truman’s tenure in office, in fact at the time of the Roswell incident there was one man who would have been certain to be involved at the heart of the events. Truman’s Army Chief of Staff was his successor to office, General Dwight Eisenhower.

Eisenhower is possibly one of the most directly involved Presidents with UFO lore. As Supreme Commander of Allied Forces in Europe during WWII, Eisenhower was certainly appraised of the “Foo Fighter” phenomena during the war and is said to have discussed how to address the issue with Winston Churchill, thus setting the stage for the international cover-up. Not long after having entered office in 1953, Eisenhower died.

Or so the press said.

On February 20th, 1954 Eisenhower disappeared. During a golfing trip in Palm Springs, on the evening of the 20th, one of the most followed and reported upon men in the world, the man with his finger on the proverbial “button” vanished. News reports said he had died of a heart attack, but were later amended to state he had chipped a crown and made an emergency trip to the dentist. The next confirmed record of the President’s whereabouts are at a church service the next morning.

Only two months later the UFO community began to report that a motorcade entered then named Muroc Field, now known as Edwards Air Force Base. Though no UFOs were reported at that time in that area, it is claimed that this was the first of three meetings Eisenhower carried out with various alien visitors. No records exist to support the dental visit, but then neither do any records exist to support the visit to the airfield. At least none that have been released to the public. Former State Representative from New Hampshire, Henry McElroy Jr claims to have seen documentation of Eisenhower’s meetings and knowledge of the outcome.

But you might think that some one would have mentioned if the President paid an unexpected and unexplained visit to a military base. There are protocols and security measures normally taken and would cause a certain amount of turmoil if they were circumvented.

Following Eisenhower to office is John F Kennedy, and the story of UFOs and the President gets a little darker a little murkier, and a lot weirder. If there is one public figure who has done more to set Americans on the path to space, to stir our imaginations about exploring outward I cannot think of his name. While it obviously took the work of many, many brilliant innovators and the hard work of thousands, and the courage of a few who would risk their lives on a complete unknown, little of what became the Space Program could have been achieved on the scale that it was without the full participation of the government. And that it did on the orders of John F Kennedy.

There are multitude rumors of Aliens that reside on the dark side of the moon. Aliens who have made known to the Earth that they do not want to be intruded upon by our coming there. Either the supposed treaty that Eisenhower is claimed to have signed did not include this prohibition, or that restriction came afterward. Why would a US President make it a decade decade long race to get there if he knew we should not be doing so? According to a member of Eisenhower’s National Security Council, Philip Corso, Both Bobby and John Kennedy were briefed.

So then it becomes an even stranger story when claims are made that President Kennedy was assassinated for his request for government files about UFOs. A mere ten days before Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, he is rumored to have requested CIA files on UFOs because of his concern that UFO sightings were being reported in Russia, and at the height of the Cold War he was concerned that such events could be mistaken as provocation by the United States, according to an article in the Daily Mail.

Kennedy was followed in office by his Vice President, Lyndon Johnson.

Johnson had a strong interest in space exploration. Russia’s achievement of launching Sputnik had both a chilling and inspiring effect on many people of that time. As a Senator Johnson served on three space related committees

* The Investigating Subcommittee of the Committee on the Armed Services.
* The Special Committee on Space and Astronautics.
* The Senate Committee on Aeronautical and Space Sciences.

And in these roles was in a position to field certain correspondence with the public.

However, Johnson had his hands full with the Viet Nam war and little time to spare for the subject of UFOs. While the 60’s was a time of many UFO sightings, it cannot be forgotten that it was also a time of a great deal of psychedelic drug use.

The most that can be said for Johnson on the UFO issue is that he signed into law, the Freedom Of Information Act, which has done little more than fuel the fires of conspiracy more than break open the rumored log jam of UFO files in government hands.

At the transition of Mankind from a terrestrial being to space faring one, Richard Nixon takes the office of President. It was the culmination of nearly a decade of trial and error that brought mankind to the surface of our nearest celestial neighbor. And in all that time, from the supposed signing of an alien interplanetary treaty by Eisenhower in 1954, to July 20 1969 when Neil Armstrong set foot on the surface, the aliens supposedly observing us from the dark side of the moon never made a peep about our obvious intentions. Well, it can be supposed they were not there yet, or were not yet nervous about our presence, and that is what the conspiracists will say.

Nixon’s Presidency saw a key change in government policy that hints at conspiracy, and one other event that remains a head scratcher to this day. Project Blue Book, established under Harry Truman, is dismantled and according to the UFO community, all investigations are taken over by the CIA and various industries related to the intelligence community with profit rather than research motives.

The other story that remains high among UFO lore is that Nixon showed his golfing buddy and drinking companion, Jackie Gleason, to a secret location at Homestead Air Force Base where alien bodies were kept under wraps.

If you can pardon the robot voice and poorly mixed music at times here is the story.

Also notable on the topic of UFOs, it was Nixon who mandated the further exploration of space, initiating the Space Shuttle program and setting our sights on Mars, while at the same time being in office for the last trip to the moon; Apollo 17 in December of 1972. So for those who believe that we stopped going to the moon as a result of alien intervention, clearly it would seem they had no such objection to our travel to Mars.

Nixon’s presidency, rife with scandal, ended in ignominy with his resignation from office in August of 1974 for the criminal activity of several of his supporters leading up to and during his re-election campaign. This left Vice President Gerald Ford who served out the remainder of Nixon’s term as pretty much a Lame-Duck executive. Despite an early interest and supporter of investigations into UFO phenomena as a congressman, Ford took no action as President in regards to UFO issues.

Jimmy Carter followed Ford as president and is notable as the first man to hold that office to have reported witnessing a UFO.

In 1973 Carter said:

“There were about twenty of us standing outside of a little restaurant, I believe, a high school lunch room, and a kind of green light appeared in the western sky. This was right after sundown. It got brighter and brighter. And then it eventually disappeared. It didn’t have any solid substance to it, it was just a very peculiar-looking light. None of us could understand what it was.”

Speaking in a 2005 interview, Carter states:

“all of a sudden, one of the men looked up and said, ‘Look, over in the west!’ And there was a bright light in the sky. We all saw it. And then the light, it got closer and closer to us. And then it stopped, I don’t know how far away, but it stopped beyond the pine trees. And all of a sudden it changed color to blue, and then it changed to red, then back to white. And we were trying to figure out what in the world it could be, and then it receded into the distance.”

The sighting is said to have had a personal impact on Carter and his perception of UFO and UFO sightings. During his 1976 election campaign, he is said to have told reporters that, as a result of it, he would institute a policy of openness if he were elected to office, saying:

“One thing’s for sure, I’ll never make fun of people who say they’ve seen unidentified objects in the sky. If I become President, I’ll make every piece of information this country has about UFO sightings available to the public and the scientists.”

Despite his earlier pledge, once elected, Carter distanced himself from disclosure, citing “defense implications” as being behind his decision.

But an investigation of the incident reveals that Venus was prominent in the sky that evening, and in the part of the sky where the sighting occurred. Other witnesses approached years later either expressed no special recollection, or attached no importance to the sighting and Carter himself has expressed his lack of belief in alien visitation. There is a story that President-elect Carter (not yet in office) is said to have conferred with the CIA Director on the issue of UFO investigations and was rebuffed with the excuse given that the information was on a “Need To Know” basis. Carter himself reports that this never happened and he personally knows of no government cover-ups.

Perhaps there will be more on this later as the CIA director in question was future President George W Bush. Bush was replaced as CIA director upon Carter assuming the office. Carter’s years in office were largely dominated by sky-rocketing oil prices, repeated peace negotiations in the Middle East and at their closing the Iran Hostage Crisis which though resolved by Carter and his state department, for mid east political reasons those hostages were not physically set free until after Carter’s successor, Ronald Reagan took office.

Ronald Reagan has a UFO sighting story of his own. According to How Stuff Works

One night in 1974, from a Cessna Citation aircraft, one of America’s most famous citizens saw a UFO.

There were four persons aboard the plane: pilot Bill Paynter, two security guards, and the governor of California, Ronald Reagan. As the airplane approached Bakersfield, California, the passengers called Paynter’s attention to a strange object to their rear. “It appeared to be several hundred yards away,” Paynter recalled. “It was a fairly steady light until it began to accelerate. Then it appeared to elongate. Then the light took off. It went up at a 45-degree angle-at a high rate of speed. Everyone on the plane was surprised. . . . The UFO went from a normal cruise speed to a fantastic speed instantly. If you give an airplane power, it will accelerate-but not like a hot rod, and that’s what this was like.”

A week later Reagan recounted the sighting to Norman C. Miller, then Washington bureau chief for the Wall Street Journal. Reagan told Miller, “We followed it for several minutes. It was a bright white light. We followed it to Bakersfield, and all of a sudden to our utter amazement it went straight up into the heavens.” When Miller expressed some doubt, a “look of horror came over [Reagan]. It suddenly dawned on him . . . that he was talking to a reporter.” Immediately afterward, according to Miller, Reagan “clammed up.”

Reagan has not discussed the incident publicly since.­

But this is not the only encounter with UFOs that Reagan is said to have had. According to Shirley MacLaine, who in the 1980’s apparently found fertile ground for sowing her fringe ideas,

According to MacLaine, Reagan confided in ‘I Love Lucy’ star Lucille Ball about the eerie encounter, which took place when he was on his way to a party in Los Angeles with wife Nancy.

Ball told her that a UFO landed and the alien emerged telling Reagan to quit acting and take up politics.

Well, it doesn’t get more reliable than that. If true, the event could not have had a huge impact on the young Reagan. He became active as a supporter, first for the Democratic party (this is Hollywood after all) he later changed to the Republican party as a result of the influence of his second wife, Nancy. Still it was not until 1966 that he received the nomination for Governor of California.

There exists text of a supposed briefing given President Reagan regarding the issue of UFOs, alien life, Roswell and what we know. I will not post it as this article is quite long enough already but you can read it at UFO Digest HERE. Suffice it to say I consider this to be wholly fictional as there is reference to the surviving alien, or EBE as referred to the report, from the Roswell crash originating from the Zeta Reticuli binary system, and current observations of that system in the search for extra solar planetary bodies reveals nothing. Add to that reduced likelihood of a life supporting planet in a binary system and there being no substantiation for this report and it fails to impress me as anything other than fanciful.

The story of that briefing aside, it becomes important to remember that Reagan’s Vice-President and successor to office is the same George Bush who was CIA director for the last year of the Nixon/Ford administration, and gave Jimmy Carter his transitional briefing on the current state of intelligence, and was the man who either told Carter he had no need to know, or if we believe Carter on the subject, simply said there was nothing to hide. Either answer posing as a red flag to the UFO community at large. During his years as Reagan’s Vice-President Bush maintained close ties to the CIA.

As President, George Bush remained closed mouthed about the topic of UFOs as one might expect of a CIA Director and assumed member of the equally questionable MJ 12 group, so at this point a small bit of backtracking is needed for clarity. MJ 12 is the name UFO conspiracy theorists give to a high level organization mandated by Harry Truman to investigate the Roswell incident and all subsequent credible UFO/alien encounters. Why he would do this when he had already established the foundations for Project Blue Book is the among least of the debatable points.

The name MJ 12 comes from a single document unearthed in 1985 in the National Archives dating back to 1954 regarding a change of schedule for a planned meeting of top officials. Examination of this document reveals that it is not formatted properly for an official government document, and that the typewriter that generated it did not exist until 1961. Nevertheless, MJ 12 has become deeply ingrained in the lore of UFOs and will likely never be released. So we move on.

That George Bush was largely silent on the issue of UFOs might have been taken as a lack of information, as with other office holders, except for his involvement with the CIA, and for this conversation I found at Bibliotecaplyades (Yeah, I can’t pronounce it either)

The incident occurred on March 7, 1988, during a trip to a George Bush for President Rally in Rogers, Arkansas. George Bush was about to go into a building to meet with reporters when a UFO researcher approached him by the name of Charles Huffer. In the days before 911, Huffer and his tape recorder were allowed to walk up to the Vice-President and ask him the UFO question all the conspiracy buffs had wanted asked for years.

“Mr. Bush, Mr. President,” asked Mr. Huffer (in the excitement of the moment Mr. Huffer called him President). “Will you tell the people the truth about UFOs?”

“Yeah,” replied Bush. Then realizing what he has just said Bush added, “If we can find it, what it is. We are really interested.”

“You’ll have it, you’ll have it.” said Huffer. “It’s in there. (I meant it would be in his briefing when he became President) Declassify it and tell us, ok?”

“OK,” said Bush, ” alright, yes.”

Bush then entered the building where he met with the local Arkansas press. Huffer remained outside waiting for Bush to come back out. When he did emerge from the building, Huffer his tape recorder running told George Bush,

“Going to hold you to that promise.”

“Alright,” replied Bush.

“OK,” said Huffer, “you’re going to get it.” (I meant the UFO information)

“Why don’t you send me some information about it? ” asked Bush.

“Naw,” said Huffer, “you’re a CIA man. You know all that stuff.”

” I know some,” replied Bush. “I know a fair amount”

Because Bush came to office on the heels of the dissolution of the Soviet Union, and during a time of forming bonds across the old Iron Curtain, the fires of conspiracy were now being fueled with gasoline as there began an era of cooperation between the CIA and KGB. Or at least a time of cordial communication. This cooperation of course was immediately taken to include a sharing of UFO/Alien contact information, opening up the Soviet vaults presumed to be brimming with alien contacts heretofore unknown to US UFOlogists. Of course this also opened up an entirely new market for ever increasingly sophisticated hoaxes as who can reliably confirm reports taken from Russia, and in UFO conspiracy terms that translates to: who can reliably deny them?

Bush served only one term, and was followed into office by Bill Clinton and few transitions of office were more notable for change over of party power than this one.

Clinton expressed a curiosity about UFO issues, and says he asked about them, but otherwise there is little to say of his involvement beyond the video below echoing one of the statements offered at the start of this article…

That statement being that government secrets are often, and perhaps by necessity controlled by career bureaucrats and not often shared out to transitory politicians.

Clinton’s Presidency, like Kennedy and Nixon before him was riddled with controversy and scandal, but in his case, none of it involving UFOs. Perhaps the public having “The X-Files” as an outlet served to appease them on the issue for Clinton’s term. It is also worth noting that during Clinton’s terms in office we saw the boom of the internet and previously unparalleled access to information that is still growing today. The people no longer look to the offices of power for secrets when they can sate themselves with daily revelation from their arm chairs.

Karl Marx said:

“Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, just as it is the spirit of a spiritless situation. It is the opium of the people.”

This concise statement contains many elements of the feelings of those who believe that secrets are being kept. It could also be rewritten today:

“YoutTube is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, just as it is the spirit of a spiritless situation. Internet access is the opium of the people.”
Henry Paterson

Make a whopper conspiracy out of that!

In an event that only happened once before in American history, a son followed his father into the highest office of the nation. First when John Quincy Adams followed in his father, John Adams’ footsteps, now when George W Bush follows his father to office.

Many have speculated that the true power of the younger Bush Presidency resided in Vice-President Cheney. Hardly the first time that a sitting President was assumed to be a mere figurehead, likely not the last and most likely in as complex a world as we live in, no one person can truly hold such power but is both forced to delegate varying amounts and influenced by outside forces that are part of the process of attaining office. It is naive to think otherwise and truthfully we would not be having this conversation if not for the presumption of outside forces controlling those in power, would we?

In any case, the early Bush presidency was close mouthed on the subject, and later busied itself with the consequences of September 11th and the subsequent war(s). Only this statement stands out:

Believers grasp at straws, claiming this to be confirmation, when in truth it is little more than obfuscation and certainly not an admission of anything other than that secrets will be kept secret. Especially easily done when the true power would seem to be in the shadows while the face of power is looking elsewhere. Which alone is cause to add to the conspiracy side of the scale.

A new Hope.

President Obama is not yet finished with is Presidency so I could do little justice to include him yet, but he has made a few statements that ever vigilant UFO believers cling to.

I will never hide the truth because it’s uncomfortable. I will deal with Congress and the courts as co-equal branches of government. I will tell the American people what I know and don’t know, and when I release something publicly or keep something secret, I will tell you why.
– President Barack Obama, National Archives, May 21, 2009

And on being questioned directly on the issue of Aliens visitation

Mr. Obama after being questioned in respect to if he would let the world know if he knew about Alien life, stated, “well that depends on what the Aliens were actually like.”

What this mostly comes down to is rhetoric and anything short of an admission and complete disclosure of what they already believe will never satisfy the true believers, and even then it will be assumed that the deepest secrets are being withheld. And as said regarding the Clinton years, the internet now serves as a significant “fire break” for the search for answers to the secrets feared, both factual and fanciful, and the office of President may still be a focus for those who seek the truth, it is no longer the key to the search it may once have been.

Thank you for hanging in there and reading through this. There is plenty more information to be had on every one of these men and this article intended only as a sort of primer for you to find the paths you might like to investigate further.

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Henry Paterson