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. Karen,ny

    I don't believe we ever landed on the moon. I believe that it was all staged in a room with props. Even the flag was blowing and we know that there is not suppose to be any wind on the moon.

    November 2, 2007 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  2. Josh, Chicago, IL

    UFO = Unidentified Flying Object. If you can't Identify it – it could be considered a UFO. This has nothing to do with politics and it seems like CNN is trying to just draw more attention to it than there should be.

    One thing that I would like to clarify – Almost nothing is impossible, only very very improbable. In Carter's case he should have said that it was improbable, not impossible.

    November 2, 2007 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  3. Kevin Covina, CA

    OOHHHHHH Illegal Aliens!! Dennis thought the question was about Space Aliens.

    Either way – Dennis wants open borders to welcome ALL aliens to the USA. I can just see Dennis's VP (Mike Gravel) calling up Dennis to discuss the economy after amnesty, "Ay Capt'n – she's gonna blow!!"

    November 2, 2007 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  4. Archie Kearney Ne.

    First Kucinich and now Carter with the UFO's. Give me some of what they are drinking! Next they will blame it on Bush like every other moment in their delusional world! And some want to turn "all" of America over to this ilk!

    November 2, 2007 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  5. Ken, Fullerton, CA

    At least someone noticed the true issue here... He's hanging out with Shirley MacLaine.

    November 2, 2007 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  6. Ed, Chicago, IL

    At least he doesn't think he can talk with God, like our current President

    November 2, 2007 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  7. Jessica Chub, Miami, FL

    First of all the correspondents who ask such questions, and give lots of coverage have some hidden agenda behind this. Naturally, this coverage gives right wingers somthing to talk about and bash Carter and Kuscinich when they have nothing positive to comment on their presidential hopefuls. At least, when people like Carter make statements on UFO, no harm is done to the nation as such. But, when Bush gets his instructions from his "Big Father", he goes to war in Iraq and sacrifices 4000 men, 100,000 Iraqis, and billions of dollars, and a real harm to the nation is done. Why are then our right wingers are quiet?

    November 2, 2007 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  8. Rod C. Venger, Colorado Springs, CO.

    The fact that Kucinich rubs elbows with someone like MacLaine speaks volumes in my book...and that's not a good thing.

    November 2, 2007 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  9. Greg deCasa, Washington DC

    How appropriate for President Jimmy to say, "I and about 25 others saw something..." Wouldn't that be, "25 others and I saw something," using correct English? Ain't nobody got no good way to says things like ol' Jimmy!

    Always a leader, Jimmy likes to put himself first, doesn't he?

    November 2, 2007 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  10. mark wilkes barre pa

    Dennis k. said the alien he saw talked to him. sure wish he would of told us what they said. Aliens for Kucinich in 08 ? Remember back to that picture of McGovern wearing that stupid hard hat that might have been his presidential race ender ? Sorry Dennis

    November 2, 2007 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  11. Walt, Belton, TX

    Just another couple of good ole nuts! I can't wait to hear what Jay Leno and David Letterman have to mark the occasion. For Carter, it just confirms the worst Presidency in the last 100 years. For Kucinich, well, he really wasn't a serious candidate anyway, he just wanted to show off his trophy wife.

    November 2, 2007 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  12. Tom, Centreville, VA

    It just amazes me that people hear what they want to hear. He did not say he got a message from it, that was Shirley McLane who said that and the message came from her. Also why does everyone think when someone says they saw a UFO that they are talking about spaceships. A UFO is just that an Unidentified Flying Object, period.

    November 2, 2007 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  13. Sam Lowry Portland Oregon

    Let's see former President Carter speaks out on some very touchy subjects and he gets smeared. Is this type of article just political payback for speaking truth to power? You know something like this, "don't listen to him when it comes to war and peace and tolerance, he believes in UFO's, what a nut" or something to that effect. The war mongers knives are long.

    November 2, 2007 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  14. John, Charlotte, NC

    I've seen a UFO as well. This year actually, in Myrtle Beach, SC. There was five orb-like objects hovering over the ocean. They appeared and then disappeared. Twice. Over the atlantic ocean. Try googling it, there are articles and a video from this summer. Why is it sooooo unbelievable that something else exists other than us? Consider the size of our universe, and all the other universes. I think you have to be a moron if you think that we're all alone.

    November 2, 2007 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  15. JS Jackson, CA

    For a very long time, citizens from all walks of life and all parts of the planet, have been observing and reporting unidentified aerial phenomena. It strikes me as odd that an ongoing, worldwide event of such possible magnitude to all of humanity, is routinely treated by virtually all media in a tongue and cheek manner. Could it be the elephant in the room??

    November 2, 2007 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  16. Chris Murtland, LA

    Kucinich just said he saw something he could not identify that flied – nothing too outrageous there. He is not running around shouting "there are aliens! I have seen their craft!" – if he were it would be a different story and he would be acting like a nutjob. As things stand I think he is the candidate with the most sincere desire to help others and the ability to speak what he thinks and means to do. Clinton has made it clear she is just as much on the take as any of the R candidates and is well-versed in politicospeak (dancing the fine line between lies, truth, and ambiguity enough to cover her butt). My personal dream ticket would be Obama P and Kucinich VP. Stop making mountains out of molehills CNN.

    November 2, 2007 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  17. Jonathan, Berlin, CT

    I see that most of the people on this board are incredably naive. Does ANYONE on this board know ANYTHING about the subject of UFO's??? Apparently not!

    The evidence for UFO's visiting Earth is overwhelming and extensive. There have been countless eyewitnesses from Mililtary personnel in the airforce, navy, army to the marines. Pilots, air traffic controllers, Intelligence officers, police officers, and countless other reputable witnesses. Including the governor of Arizona and many more.

    Not too mention the government extensive government documentation and involvement. (highly classifided and only on a need to know basis. Most are all kept it the dark regarding these matters).

    We have recovered muliple crashes as well as other governments, including Canada and Russia.

    Educate yourselves people there is so much information out there.

    November 2, 2007 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  18. Mark Columbus, Ohio

    Hey Dave: Don't give me that crap that the Iranians held them until Reagan was sworn in just to make Carter look bad. The Iranians were scared to death of Reagan and afraid of what he would do. Last year, the story came out that the Reagan camp made a few phone calls before "Ronny" was sworn in. They warned the Iranian government that if the hostages were not released by the time Reagan was in office, they would face dire consequences. You see, Reagan was a hawk and didn't mess around. Jimmy Carter was a dove and that's why he couldn't get the hostages out of Iran. I remember Carter saying that the Iranians were are brothers as well. What a stupid statement.

    Oh, by the way, if you want to compare the nation's domestic situations during the time Carter was Prez. and when Reagan was Prez – Carter...high inflation, high interest rates, high unemployment, hostage crises, and a weak defense. Reagan...strong defense, low interest rates, low unemployment, low inflation, and a strong defense.
    So Dave, who was the better Prez.? Carter who only lasted one term, or was it Reagan who served out w/ two terms and walked out w/ high approval ratings in 1989? I believe it was Reagan.


    November 2, 2007 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  19. Connie, Tn.

    This is not as wild as Bush believing GOD picked him to be President and that he talks to GOD all the time. Talk about CRAZY!!

    November 2, 2007 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  20. Angel, Los Angeles of Anaheim

    Excuse me, how can all these people call Carter the worst president of all time? Haven't y'all noticed the moron that's currently in the White House? He wins that title hands down without a question!!!!

    November 2, 2007 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  21. Cody - Starkville, MS

    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 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  22. Robt. Burns, San Diego, CA

    I have no problem with the political differences here, but a lot of American and foreign military/government officials have seen UFOs. My brother, retired Army pilot, saw one. I've seen one towards my home air force base. Gov. Fyfe Symmington and President Carter have seen them. The only thing political about UFOs is public disclosure and small minds.

    November 2, 2007 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  23. Richard, West Palm Beach, FL

    Jimmy Carter was definitely not an outstanding president, but all of these claims that he was the worst president have no basis in scholarly studies. Since it's unlikely that any of us are experts on presidents, we should listen to those who are. A compilation of evaluation of presidents by historical studies with leanings toward each party, show that Carter ended up tied with Republican Gerald Ford as the 28th best president, 4 positions ahead of Republican Richard Nixon and 3 behind Bush's father. No survey put him near the bottom. With possibly the SEVEN largest deficits in history and a hypocritical, scandal-ridden administration, Bush might end up in the bottom 3 with his relative Franklin Pierce.

    Ronald Reagan fans should be aware that EVERY year of Reagan's administration, our "conservative" president generated deficits that were higher than ANY of Carter's.

    After Democrat Carter was president, he has worked extensively for charity and won a Nobel Peace Prize. After Democrat Bill Clinton was president, he formed an organization to bring top minds from the world together to find problem solutions and donate to charities. After Democrat Al Gore was vice-president, he worked to oppose global warming and got a Nobel Prize. After being president, Bush has told his biographer that his plans are to make a lot of money giving speeches (if anyone wants to listen to elementary school grammar) and move to Crawford, Texas. No joke.

    November 2, 2007 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  24. Pam Holt Los Angeles, CA

    I swear it seems so many Americans are used to being lied to by politicians that that's what they actually want now! Dennis Kucinich's honesty is truly refreshing!

    It's ridiculous how this has been turned into Kucinich claiming to be abducted by aliens. I think most people have seen something in the sky they couldn't identify. If you have, then you've seen a U.F.O.! Should we all get taken to a funny farm? Give me a break!

    I am voting for the only presidential candidate that doesn't double-talk, speaks from his heart, and won't lie to us. If this isn't what you want, I urge you to PLEASE change your mind, for this once-great country's sake!

    KUCINICH- ~Strength through Peace!~

    November 2, 2007 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
  25. Gerry

    Remember that Jimmy also valiantly defended himself by beating a killer rabbit with an oar that was swimming toward his canoe while on a fishing trip.


    November 2, 2007 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
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