Politicians Talking About UFOs And Aliens (PHOTOS)

President Ufo

First Posted: 10/04/12 10:03 AM ET Updated: 10/04/12 03:50 PM ET

"Take me to your leader."

That's a classic line you'll hear from extraterrestrials in science-fiction, but what if the roles were reversed? Were Bill Clinton and JFK preparing their talking points for a meeting with creatures from another galaxy? History reveals more government buzz about aliens than you might think.

Several world leaders, including Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan reported seeing unexplained things in the skies. Others made it clear when they entered the Oval Office that they wanted all the files on what the military might know about alien visitations.

Click through the pictures to discover which famous politicians are believers and which ones used their influence to dig up space dirt.

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  • Bill Clinton

    2005 -- Former Pres. Bill Clinton (D), speaking in Hong Kong, discussed UFOs, Roswell and Area 51: "The Roswell thing, I think, really was an illusion - I don't think it happened. I did attempt to find out if there were any secret government documents that reveal things, and if there were, they were concealed from me, too. I wouldn't be the first president that underlings have lied to or that career bureaucrats have waited out. But there may be some career person, sitting around somewhere, hiding these dark secrets, even from elected presidents. But, if so, they successfully eluded me, and I'm almost embarrassed to tell you I did try to find out."

  • Ronald Reagan

    1974 - California Gov. Ronald Reagan (R) was one of four people in a Cessna Citation plane who witnessed an unusual object that was a steady light which elongated and went from a normal cruising speed to a rapid acceleration. Reagan told the Wall Street Journal, "We followed it for several minutes. It was a bright white light, and all of a sudden to our utter amazement, it went straight up into the heavens."

  • Ronald Reagan

    1987 - Pres. Ronald Reagan (R) told the United Nations General Assembly: "In our obsession with antagonisms of the moment, we often forget how much unites all the members of humanity. Perhaps we need some outside, universal threat to make us recognize this common bond. I occasionally think how quickly our differences worldwide would vanish if we were facing an alien threat from outside this world."

  • Jimmy Carter

    1969 - Georgia Gov. Jimmy Carter (D) filed an official report in which he claimed to have seen a UFO - a "self-luminous" object "as bright as the moon." Most skeptics and debunkers have maintained that the future president had only misidentified the planet Venus in Leary, Ga.

  • John F. Kennedy

    1963 - Pres. John F. Kennedy (D) sent a memo to the head of the CIA, seeking documents about UFOs, just 10 days before he was assassinated. In a letter dated Nov. 12, 1963, JFK wanted a review of all UFO intelligence files that might affect national security. On the same day, Kennedy sent a separate memo to NASA, indicating he wanted to cooperate with the then-Soviet Union on outer space activities.

  • Barry Goldwater

    1975 -- Ariz. Sen. Barry Goldwater (R) revealed he had previously attempted to find out what was in the building at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio, where UFO information was allegedly stored. His request was denied because it was classified above Top Secret. In a 1988 interview with Larry King, Goldwater said he believed secret government UFO investigations were going on.

  • Fife Symington

    1997 -- Ariz. Gov. Fife Symington (R) was one of thousands of eyewitnesses to the historic Phoenix Lights, a mass UFO sighting, which he didn't admit was real until 10 years later, and which he felt was an extraterrestrial vehicle.

  • Bill Richardson

    2004 -- New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson (D), and 2008 presidential candidate, calls on the U.S. government to declassify all Roswell UFO documents. Richardson wrote: "The mystery surrounding this crash has never been adequately explained. 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."

  • John Podesta

    2007 - Former Clinton White House Chief of Staff John Podesta (D) tells a National Press Club press conference about the need for UFO disclosure: "I think it's time to open the books on questions that have remained in the dark and the question of government investigations of UFOs. It's time to find out what the truth really is that's out there. We ought to do it because the American people, quite frankly, can handle the truth."

  • Dwight Eisenhower

    2010 -- NH State Representative Henry W. McElroy (R) records a video on which he claims to have seen a briefing document from the 1950s that described how benevolent aliens were present in the U.S. and that a meeting could be arranged between them and former Pres. Eisenhower.

  • Gerald Ford

    1966 -- Michigan Rep. Gerald Ford (R), before becoming president, called for an official government hearing on the subject of UFOs after his home state experienced a wave of sightings. This was the incident which resulted in the famous use of the phrase "swamp gas" as a possible explanation for UFOs. Ford wrote a letter to the House Armed Services committee that read, in part: "In the firm belief that the American public deserves a better explanation than that thus far given by the Air Force, I strongly recommend that there be a committee investigation of the UFO phenomena. I think we owe it to the people to establish credibility regarding UFOs and to produce the greatest possible enlightenment on this subject."

  • Richard M. Nixon

    1974 -- Pres. Richard Nixon (R) became part of UFO folklore when he allegedly took comedian Jackie Gleason to Homestead Air Force Base in Florida in 1974 and showed him wreckage of a flying saucer as well as the remains of several extraterrestrials. The story was made public by two people: Gleason's wife, Beverly, told Esquire Magazine that her husband had related this tale to her. And Gleason, who was known to have a strong interest in UFOs, reportedly told the story to author Larry Warren, who had been involved in real UFO encounters experienced by many American military personnel at the RAF Bentwaters base in the U.K. in 1980.

  • Dennis Kucinich

    2007 -- Ohio Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D) entered the UFO culture during one of the 2007 Democratic presidential debates, by admitting he had seen a UFO. "It was an unidentified flying object, OK? It's like, it's unidentified. I saw something. More people in this country have seen UFOs than I think approve of George Bush's presidency," he said.

  • Richard B. Russell

    1955 -- Georgia Sen. Richard B. Russell Jr. (D), chairman of the Armed Services Committee, was on a trip to Russia, traveling on a train when he and others in his party saw a disc-shaped craft take off near the train tracks. The reports filled out to the U.S. Air Force by Russell and his aides were classified as Top Secret and remained that way until they were eventually released via the Freedom of Information Act.

  • Harrison Schmitt

    1982 -- New Mexico Sen. Harrison Schmitt (R), the Apollo 17 astronaut who was the last man to walk on the moon, was also interested in UFOs. He's quoted saying, "If the government has any information on UFOs, it should be released to the public -- barring anything that might affect national security. We ought to be involved in a search to find out if there's any good evidence that UFOs really are spacecraft that are being piloted by extraterrestrial beings."

  • Edward Roush

    1968 -- Indiana Rep. J. Edward Roush (D), a member of the Science and Astronautics Committee, was the chairman of a UFO symposium in 1968, which included six scientists invited to discuss the various aspects of UFOs. In 1975, Roush told HuffPost's Lee Speigel, "The people want to know what a UFO is, and therefore, any chance that we have to learn, we should take advantage of it. When you tell an American, 'I can't explain it,' he wants to know, 'Why can't you explain it? Why doesn't someone explain it?' And I think that kind of pressure is going to change the view of many government officials and members of Congress in the future."

  • John Gilligan

    1973 -- Ohio Gov. John Gilligan [D] reported that while he and his wife were driving near Ann Arbor, Mich., in October 1973, they saw what might have been a UFO. Gilligan described the object as vertical-shaped and amber-colored.