Shirley MacLaine had some things to say about Dennis Kucinich and UFOs in her new book, Sage-ing While Age-ing. According to Ms MacLaine, Dennis Kucinich had a UFO sighting while he was visiting her home in Graham, Washington, about fifteen years ago. She writes, "And then the smell of roses drew him out to my balcony, where he looked up. He saw a gigantic, triangular craft, silent and observing him. He said it hovered, soundless, for ten minutes or so and sped away with a speed he couldn't comprehend." Kucinich was later asked if he really did see a UFO by Tim Russert of NBC News during a debate involving the 2008 Democratic presidential candidate hopefuls and replied, "I did...you have to keep in mind that Jimmy Carter saw a UFO." I'm guessing that the Congressman felt a need to play the Carter card to add credibility to his answer.
There are a number of important politicians and celebrities connected to the UFO subject in one way or another. Former U.S. Presidents Reagan and Carter have openly talked about experiencing UFO sightings, while President John F. Kennedy had a close encounter that was a little too close for comfort. Carter saw a classic nocturnal light while standing around waiting for a meeting to begin with ten members of the Lion's Club of Leary, Georgia in October of 1969. The object appeared to change color and shape during the roughly ten to twelve minutes they watched it.
During the 1976 Presidential Campaign, Jimmy Carter talked about his sighting and promised to reveal anything he could find out about UFOs if elected. Although a former Navy Officer, he was considered a dove by members of the military hierarchy. They didn't trust him and believed Carter was trying to starve them down into smaller and less influential departments through funding cuts. It's assumed that he was never told anything of substance about UFOs by military insiders.
While many historians choose to paint Carter as having a cozy relationship with intelligence gathering agencies because of his less threatening assessment of the Soviet Union's military abilities that agreed with some of theirs, this doesn't mix well with the facts. During his first briefing by then CIA Director George H.W. Bush, President Elect Carter asked to see documents related to UFOs. Bush told him that any documents which might exist about such things were classified above his immediate need to know. If he wanted to see any, he would have to ask the appropriate congressional committee to declassify them. As president, Carter sought to dismantle the CIA superstructure into smaller agencies, but failed.
Ronald Reagan was a completely different story. As a member of Army Air Force Intelligence during World War II, a supporter of military modernization and a president with a vice president that once served as CIA Director, we assume he was told more about UFOs than most elected officials. Reagan's own interest in and experience with the phenomenon is well known. His daughter, Patti Davis, said he was "fascinated with stories about unidentified flying objects and the possibility of life on other worlds."
Ronald Reagan had two UFO sightings that we know about. The first occurred while he was still acting in films sometime during the 1950s. After showing up late for a dinner party attended by other Hollywood celebrities, Ronald and Nancy Reagan said they saw a UFO. This story was later confirmed by the Kitty Kelly, Lucille Ball and Steve Allen. The second sighting occurred in 1974 while he was Governor of California.
Less than a month after leaving the presidency in 1989, Ronald Reagan reiterated a story he first told to a Bureau Chief for the Wall Street Journal in 1974:
"I was in a plane last week when I looked out the window and saw this white light. It was zigzagging around. I went up to the pilot and said, 'Have you seen anything like that before?' He was shocked and said, 'Nope.' And I said to him: 'Let's follow it!'
We followed it for several minutes. It was a bright greenish-white light. We followed it to Bakersfield, and all of a sudden to our utter amazement it went straight up into the heavens. When we got off the plane, I told Nancy all about it."
During his first summer as President, John F. Kennedy retreated to the Kennedy compound along the Nantucket Sound in Hyannis, Massachusetts, for some rest and relaxation. While cruising around in one of the Kennedy motor boats, the president and a few guests reportedly saw a classic disc-shaped object suddenly appear at a low altitude near their vessel. At one point, the disc may have been as close as one hundred feet away. This sent secret service agents in nearby launches scrambling to get the president's boat to safety. After the object vanished and the motor boat was back on shore, the president told his guests not to talk about what happened.
While Carter, Reagan and Kennedy saw unidentified flying objects and George H.W. Bush probably knew all about them, UFO stories involving Presidents Truman and Eisenhower have become legendary. The story of an alleged meeting between Alien dignitaries and President Dwight D. Eisenhower is one that refuses to die. It stems from a report that the president disappeared briefly during a trip to a Palm Springs resort which occurred in February of 1954.
On Saturday, February 20, 1954, some members of the white house press corps noticed that President Eisenhower missed a planned event. They contacted his spokesperson who seemed unable to provide an immediate explanation for the absence. After it became obvious that the president was no longer at the Palm Springs resort, rumors flew that he might have become seriously ill and been moved to a military infirmary or hospital for treatment. Finally, a besieged spokesperson told the press that the president chipped a tooth during a meal and was taken to visit a nearby dentist.
A steak barbeque was held a few days later and the dentist who allegedly treated Eisenhower was introduced to the press. The man seemed embarrassed and nervous. Years later his widow was unable to provide any particulars about the president's visit to the dentist's office that was located in their home. Instead, a number of stories have surfaced about a late night trip that President Eisenhower made to Edwards Air Force Base.
Eisenhower's alleged visit to Edwards has always been a point of conspiratorial contention. Some say it had to do with an invitation to view some new super weapon or secret military aircraft. Others claim that Eisenhower actually met and signed agreements with some type of Aliens. Personally, I believe he was shown what remained of a crashed UFO and its occupants from any one of several crashes that may have taken place in the Southwest USA during the late 1940s or early 1950s.
President Harry Truman has become an enigmatic figure within UFO research thanks to a series of documents that tell the tale of a quickly-formed scientific advisory committee known as Majestic Twelve. The committee was ordered into existence by Truman in 1947 and consisted of twelve people which included prominent scientists, members of the military and elected officials. Originally created to study all available evidence that UFOs might be extraterrestrial crafts and offer advice to the President, the group may have evolved into a government within a government to deal with UFOs and Aliens in a manner that was completely separate from other U.S. Government departments or agencies.
John Lennon's UFO experiences are among the most popular and controversial celebrity UFO events ever discussed and all are said to have occurred in New York City. Most people have heard about the August, 1974 sighting, so I will relate that story first. It began with the return of Lennon and May Pang from a long day at the Record Plant East where Lennon was working on tracks for his upcoming Walls and Bridges album. The two were staying at his 52nd Street Apartment which had a commanding view of the East River and the sky.
Sometime after 8:30pm, May was taking a shower while Lennon went up to the roof. After a few minutes, he began yelling for her to come up there. May rushed to the roof and found John pointing to what looked like a classic disc-shaped UFO that was silently hovering about 100 feet from them. The object seemed to change shape as it rotated and moved slowly towards the United Nations Building and out over the East River. Before it moved away, May ran and retrieved a 35mm camera from the apartment. She was able to get back to the roof in time to snap off a few photos of the object.
After the disc moved away, Lennon and May returned to the apartment. John made arrangements to have the film developed immediately by a photographer who was also a friend. Bob Gruen came and picked up the film. He returned to his studio and developed the film along with two rolls of his own. Gruen's film developed perfectly, but he said that Lennon's was blank. Fortunately, Lennon started making sketches of what he and May saw while it was all still fresh in his mind.
Another story about Lennon and a possible UFO experience comes from Uri Geller. He met Lennon in November of 1974 during a concert that Elton John was giving at Madison Square Garden. Geller was a kind of mystic to the Stars in those days and Lennon was in need of any help he could find. Distraught over his separation from Yoko, he wanted her back and asked Geller to use his alleged psychic powers to help. Yoko phoned John within thirty-six hours, the lovers reunited and John and Uri became friends.
Sometime after their reconciliation, Geller was eating with John and Yoko in a New York City restaurant. Yoko was pregnant, so it had to be sometime before Sean Lennon was born in October of 1975. Geller says that John became very serious and asked him to step over to a smaller table in a quiet corner of the restaurant. Once seated, Lennon spoke in discreet tones and told Uri about an incident that happened six months before. He and Yoko were asleep in bed when John suddenly woke up and noticed a blazing light shining through the cracks and keyhole of their bedroom door.
Thinking there was a fire or someone with a powerful flashlight trying to get into the room; he jumped out of their bed and opened the door. He was confronted by four beings. Lennon said, "They were, like, little. Bug-like. Big bug eyes and little bug mouths and they were scuttling at me like roaches." He tried to resist the beings, but they kept coming at him. Lennon said that his next memory was of being back in bed with Yoko.
Yoko didn't wake up during the incident, but later when she did it was obvious that John was very upset and confused. He couldn't tell her what happened right away and waited for an unspecified period of time before he did. Exclaiming that he was sober and wasn't doing any drugs at that time, Lennon said it wasn't some sort of hallucination or lucid dream. According to Geller, John's assertion about the reality of what happened was backed up by physical evidence.
When Lennon woke up, he claimed to be holding a small egg-shaped object in his hand. After eventually telling Yoko about the incident, he showed it to her. He also showed it to Geller. None of them had ever seen anything like it. However, apart from the golden color and egg shape, little is none about the object and it would be up to Geller to proceed with any investigation of its properties. Many abductees have told stories of being given various objects by their Alien abductors, only to have them taken back later
Having met many celebrities over the years, I can appreciate their need to weigh any statement they might consider making about anything carefully in the balances before speaking or writing it for public consumption. A fickle public and press can easily turn on someone famous for the smallest indiscretion. Imagine how they might react to news that a famous celebrity or important politician has had a UFO or other paranormal experience.
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Bill Knell is a popular Speaker, Author and Consultant with eclectic interests. Featured in the Wall Street Journal; seen on NBC Nightly News; heard on Mancow and Howard Stern; consultant to films like Men in Black and World of the Worlds. BillKnell.com.