Posted on: August 13, 2015

  • In: Uncategorized

The recent sad news about former President Jimmy Carter’s health reminded me of one of my favourite UFO stories.  In fact, Mr Carter is often cited as the most famous UFO spotter of them all.

In January or October (there seems to be some contention as to the exact date) 1969, before he became Governor of Georgia,  Jimmy was attending a Lion’s Club function at Leary, where he was due to give a speech.  At 7:15 PM, soon after sundown, he was waiting outside with about two dozen other people, when one of the other guests pointed to a large object which had appeared above the horizon in the west, exclaiming “Look, over in the west!”  Jimmy described it as changing colour from green to blue, red and then to white, and looked almost as big as the Moon.  “We all saw it.  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”.

Sceptics have pointed out that if Jimmy saw the object on 6 January, then Venus was very prominent in the sky at that time, and that was most likely what they had seen.  Jimmy refuted that, saying he was a keen amateur astronomer, and would know what Venus was.  He also said that he didn’t believe it was an alien spacecraft, but that it was probably a military vehicle of some kind, even though it made no noise.  “I don’t claim that it came from outer space”, he said “But it was unidentified, it was flying, and it was an object”.

On 18 September 1973 Jimmy filed an official UFO sighting report with the National Investigations Committee On Aerial Phenomena (NICAP), in which he definitely dated the sighting as October 1969.  He told a journalist that he would never ridicule anyone who claimed to have had a UFO sighting from then on.  During his presidential campaign of 1976 he pledged to release every bit of information relating to UFOs to the public.  But he later backed away from this pledge, citing national security issues.

Jimmy’s mother, Lillian, said that the sighting did have a profound effect on her son, “the UFO made a huge impression on Jimmy, he told me about the sighting many times”.  The actress Shirley Maclaine reported on the Larry King chat show that Jimmy had confided in her, after the publication of her book Out On A Limb, that he had received “sensitive” information as President about UFOs, and had said “why should we be the only people in the Universe”.  Although it has to be said there has been some scepticism that Jimmy and Shirley had ever had any contact with one another.

What I find more astonishing about this case than anything else, is a that a presidential candidate in 1976 was allowed to talk about UFOs without the entire world descending into shrieks of laughter and cries of condemnation.  Could you imagine that happening now in these unimaginative times?  The mainstream media would tear him apart.

There is a huge amount of information to be found on this case on



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