November 2nd, 2007
04:10 PM ET
13 years ago

Former president discusses UFO experience

Watch President Carter's interview on CNN's American Morning Friday.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Democratic presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich caused heads to turn earlier this week when he acknowledged he once saw a UFO.

But if elected to the White House, Kucinich wouldn't be the first president to have such an encounter.

"When I was back as a peanut farmer in southwest Georgia, I and about 25 others saw something in the air that changed colors and was round and came and left," former President Jimmy Carter said in an interview with CNN’s John Roberts on American Morning. "We couldn't figure out what it was."

But while he couldn't identify the object, Carter said he doesn't think it was space aliens.

"It was unidentified as far as we were concerned, but I think it's impossible in my opinion, some people disagree, to have space people from other planets or other stars to come to us - I don't think that's possible," he said.

At Tuesday's presidential debate, NBC’s Tim Russert asked Kucinich, a congressman from Ohio, about a recent account from actress Shirley MacLaine that he saw a UFO at her home in Washington State.

“It was an unidentified flying object, OK? It's, like, it's unidentified. I saw something," Kucinich responded.

Related: A UFO lands in the '08 White House race

- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney

Filed under: Dennis Kucinich • Jimmy Carter
soundoff (80 Responses)
  1. david houston texas

    Boy, are the Republicans gonna have fun with this one! Get ready for the lunatic facter from the extremist Republicans who noses are like pigs , rooting even the mud they stand on.

    November 2, 2007 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  2. Chris, Middletown, CT

    There are a million reasons not to vote for this guy...not just this one

    November 2, 2007 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  3. Adam, Pittsburgh, PA

    People are nutty. Who cares? At least they aren't claiming to have seen an alien aircraft! How is this news?

    November 2, 2007 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  4. Bob, San Francisco, CA

    The worst thing about all of this is that these "questions" about who saw UFOs are clearly designed to put negative impressions on voters regarding particular people. I'm glad Jimmy Carter laughs off the question and still admits he saw something (though he doubts it was little space men).
    I'm more worried about people who have conversations with an imaginary bearded man in the sky.
    I can't wait to see the Carter-haters drooling and foaming at the mouth for Carter saying Bush's words on Iran were foolish. Regardless of what the hate mongers will say, Carter is absolutely right. The words were and are foolish, as is Bush and the majority of his followers.

    November 2, 2007 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  5. Len, Fallbrook, CA

    Carter and Kucinich both saw "something". Not suprised at all.

    I wonder if Carter is his role model?

    November 2, 2007 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  6. Bubba, Swainsboro GA

    I saw a huge red triangle in the night sky years ago. Everyone was pulling their cars over to get out and look. It was like a huge arrow, glowing red like neon. It actually was neon, being released from a weather satellite on purpose, and lighting up like a neon bulb from the ionization in the upper atmosphere. I didn't think I was being contacted by space aliens or being given a message from Cthulhu, but there was definitely something weird up there.

    November 2, 2007 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  7. Mark Columbus, Ohio

    President Carter: Your a crazy old man. I remember during your term the following: high interest rates, high inflation, weak on defense, unemployment rate wasn't good, and then allowing our people to be held hostage for over a year in Iran. I heard many people say that you couldn't do anything about the hostage crises. Funny thing, Reagan took care of that issue on his first day of office.

    Oh, btw, I do remember you making that comment about you seeing a UFO. That pretty much sealed it for me that you weren't just a former peanut farmer, but just a nut altogether.


    November 2, 2007 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  8. Melissa, Milwaukee, WI

    First, this headline is a *bit* misleading, since in the story Carter says he didn't actually see what most people would define as a UFO.

    And second, to the guy who thought Jimmy Carter was crazy, well you are. He was probably one of the best presidents we've had.

    November 2, 2007 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  9. Shannon, South Hadley, MA

    I love how ALL of the candidates claim to be religious, which is filled with all sorts of strange tales people are supposed to believe in, from "miracles" to coming back from the dead, and yet everyone's jumping on Kucinich for seeing something that, if real, is nothing more than *physical* phenomena. Never mind the fact that he himself confirmed nothing more than that it was unidentified.

    I also love how in every debate, Kucinich addresses all kinds of hard-hitting, important issues, and yet THIS is the only thing that makes mainstream news. At the same time, why isn't the media freaking out over Huckabee's statement that illegal "aliens" are taking away jobs that *aborted fetuses* "could have" had??

    Kucinich is the only presidential candidate with a not-for-profit, single-payer health care plan. He is the only candidate who has consistently opposed the war from the very beginning. He is the only candidate who is truly pro-workers' rights, including repealing NAFTA. Let's STOP TALKING about UFOs and see how right he is on the *actual issues*.

    November 2, 2007 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  10. Windy, San Diego, California

    Everybody's seen a UFO.

    An object that's flying that someone can't identify.

    It could be a blimp, a plane, a helicopter, a jumbo jet, something the military is playing with, anything that is unidentifiable due to eyesight, weather conditions, interference, whatever. Just because someone says they saw a "UFO," it doesn't mean they're saying they saw a flying saucer or aliens.

    It just means an object they saw in the sky that they couldn't identify.

    November 2, 2007 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  11. Angel, Los Angeles of Anaheim

    Wonder how many of the people here also believe man never made it to the moon? And the world is flat? And there are actually WMD's in Iraq?

    November 2, 2007 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |


    November 2, 2007 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  13. Matt, Manchester, CT

    Thanks Bob from San Fran for confirming what many others think of you and your ilk in that city. Must be nice living in such a wonderfully perfect city with such a great mayor. Thanks for teaching us all a lesson on how foolish we are.

    November 2, 2007 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  14. Stephen, Maryland

    How is seeing a UFO any crazier than believing there's a guy sitting on a chair somewhere in space, listening to our thoughts and meting out punishments? At least some can say they've actually SEEN a UFO, unlike this irrational belief in a supreme being.

    November 2, 2007 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  15. Bob, Seattle, WA

    Ex-President Carter is irrelevant.
    He does however help the GOP.

    November 2, 2007 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  16. Stevie J. Collins, Cleveland, Ohio

    Well that is becoming a standard for Cleveland, Ohio. Kuchinich see UFO's and now we have the first in Cleveland history a recall of a Cleve. City Councilperson. It's all up there with LeBron wearing a Yankees cap during a playoff game. Bill Mahr should be loving Cleveland.

    November 2, 2007 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  17. Terry, El Paso, TX

    If President Carter says that he saw an object in the sky which he could not identify, then he saw it. Mr. Carter would be the ideal candidate for vice president or Secretary of State, but at his age I don't think we can impose upon him to take all that stress and criticism. It is unfortunate for the nation that we don't have 500 more just like him to fill Congress, the White House, and the Supreme Court.

    He is a good man, a good Christian, and a patriot. The votes I cast for him for President and later for Ann Richards as governor were my proudest moments as a voter.

    He is the only great man that Georgia has ever produced.

    November 2, 2007 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  18. R. C. NY

    To Mark from Columbus Ohio:

    Funny how Reagan took care of the American hostages on his first day in office. Yeah, funny alright! I just wonder how he did that and on his very first day!!! Iran-Contra???? We are in this mess in Iraq because of Reagan involvement with Hussain!

    Watch Hillary! She'll be your President.

    As for the UFO, I'd say there is a better chance out there that we are not alone than chance that we are!

    November 2, 2007 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  19. Martin, Houston, TX

    Why does CNN give Pres Carter so much air time. He was one of the worst US Presidents ever and has done nothing but try to destroy the US.

    President Carter had his time in the spotline and failed...Move on.

    November 2, 2007 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  20. Dr Atomic

    Mark, I remember the hostage crisis. The Ayatollah said he was holding hostages until America dumped Carter and elected his friend Ronald Reagan. The day Carter left office, the hostages were freed. Did you vote for the Ayatollah? A lot of people did, and nothing happened to Iran at all. They had a good laugh and told us who to elect president, and we did it.

    November 2, 2007 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  21. Tom Turner

    It's one thing to say you saw something in the sky and didn't know what it was. And it's another thing to say you saw a UFO in the sky and didn't know what it was. does anyone but me hear spooky muzak from the 50's horror movies here?

    November 2, 2007 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  22. Stan Beasley Atlanta, Ga

    Sometimes you feel like a nut. Sometimes you don't.

    November 2, 2007 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  23. Dave

    Carter will go down in history as one of the most highly educated and most statesmen like Presidents in history.

    He has been an outstanding ambassador and elder statesmen. All with class.

    November 2, 2007 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  24. Mutimba Mazwi, New York

    Barack Obama may lack the (work) experience that most Americans are eager for, but that does not count in politics.

    Secondly, Obama does not owe the Clintons any loyalty; yes, he should respect them

    Since race is a hidden factor in American politics, he WON'T win the US elections.

    In him, Americans should be glad they produced one of the best contenders for the top job.


    Mazwi M

    November 2, 2007 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  25. Dre, Brooklyn NY

    Shame on anyone who slams Kucinich for being honest about seeing a UFO. No wonder this country is going down the drain. I guess Kucinich is a nut for opposing the Iraq War from the start right?

    November 2, 2007 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
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