With the sad news that former US President Jimmy Carter is fighting advanced cancer, we take a look back into the annals of UFO history, to Carter's intriguing sighting in 1969.
Two years before Carter became Governor of Georgia, Carter was about to give a speech at a Lion’s Club meeting in Leary, Ga. Around 7:15 PM one of the guests alerted him to strange phenomena in the sky that appeared 30 degrees above the horizon.
"All of a sudden, one of the men looked up and said, 'Look, over in the west!'” Carter told GQ magazine in 2005. "And there was a bright light in the sky. We all saw it. And then the light, it got closer and closer to us. And then it stopped, I don’t know how far away, but it stopped beyond the pine trees. And all of a sudden it changed color to blue, and then it changed to red, then back to white. And we were trying to figure out what in the world it could be, and then it receded into the distance."
The event was witnessed by twenty others, Carter said, and was in sight for approximately 10-12 minutes. "It didn't have any solid substance to it - it was just a very peculiar-looking light. None of us could understand what it was," Carter said.
When he became Governor of Georgia, Carter filed a UFO Report to the International UFO Bureau in Oklahoma City, Ok. dated Sept. 14, 1973. This was later reprinted by NICAP (The National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena) in UFO Investigator magazine but retyped the report from Carter’s original handwritten document.
Carter said he wasn’t sure if it was of extraterrestrial origin because of his "knowledge of physics" but simply called it a UFO because it was "unidentified". The sighting had a profound personal effect on Carter. "One thing's for sure, I'll never make fun of people who say they've seen unidentified objects in the sky," he reportedly said during his 1976 White House run at the Southern Governors Conference.
"If I become President, I'll make every piece of information this country has about UFO sightings available to the public and the scientists." However, once President, Carter recanted on his pledge, citing "defense implications". In secret, Carter is alleged to have asked then-CIA director George H.W. Bush for their secret files on UFOs and extraterrestrials.
Reportedly, Carter was briefed on UFOs by a high-level source in June 1977, guest Richard Dolan told C2C on a show in August 2009. According to Dolan’s intelligence source, Carter was seen "with his head in his hands and he was…very, very upset over whatever he was told."
Years later, after leaving the Oval Office, Carter changed his tune, telling CNN in 2007 that while he did see an "unidentified" object, he now believed that "space people" would not come and visit us. The Jimmy Carter UFO incident and a possible cover-up by the CIA have sparked controversy among ufologists for decades.