Sunday, April 13, 2008

Former President Jimmy Carter and the UFO

While we all know former President Jimmy Carter is capable of stirring up quite a controversy, we also know that these controversies are generally in the area of politics. However, in the 1970s, the future president caused quite a stir when he reported seeing a UFO. Yes, you read that correctly; he saw a flying saucer, and it wasn't one that Rosalyn threw at him for not cleaning the dirt from digging in the peanut fields out from underneath his fingernails before he sat down at her kitchen table.
In all actuality, Carter was not president when he saw what he reported as a UFO. The sighting was in October 1969 according to a report he filed with the International UFO Bureau in Oklahoma; however, some sources indicate that the sighting was actually in January of that year, a mistake that probably can be attributed to the fact that he did not file the report with the Oklahoma group until several years after the incident. Carter was in the small town of Leary, which is in Calhoun County not far from Albany in the southwestern portion of the state. He was about to give a speech to the Lions Club, possibly part of a tour around the state that was due to his campaign for governor, but records also suggest that he was there as part of his official role as district governor of the Lions Club. While there, Carter said that one of the men with him told him to look to the sky in the west, and when he did he saw a white light hovering in the sky above the pine tree line. As he continued to watch, the object got closer to them and changed colors from white to blue, blue to red, and then back to white.
Carter did not report the event until some years later, and even commented that what he saw was unexplained, but being a student of physics, he felt that he could not say he was viewing an alien spacecraft. However, on the presidential campaign, he swore an openness toward those who reported seeing strange objects in the sky, and even pledged to make sure that his government shared those with the public and the scientific community, a pledge that he pretty much broke as president citing defense issues and the need for security.
So did our state's only citizen to serve as president see a UFO in the small southwest Georgia town of Leary, or was it something that could reasonably be explained. Some credit this sighting to a weather balloon, while others comment that it must have been a misidentification since noone else seemed to report or be concerned about it other than the president. But why did Mr. Carter take the time to fill out an official report with the International UFO Bureau? We all know Mr. Carter could sometimes be a little goofy, even as the Commander in Chief, but was he off his rocker the day he had this encounter, or perhaps the day he reported it to the IUFOB? This would certainly not be the kind of press a serious candidate for governor, or president several years later would want, so I am a little remiss in saying that it was a publicity stunt. But then again, this is America and stranger things have happened. Perhaps if Hillary wants to beat Obama, she should fly out to Washington State and look for Bigfoot, and once she finds him, she can encourage him to kidnap her so that she can get all that press. But then again, she still has Bill, so what would she need with Bigfoot??? Oh well, that is a mystery for another day. Check this one out for yourselves.

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