Los Angeles, California (PressExposure) October 10, 2009 -- After decades of waiting for a president to brief the American public on the existence of UFOs, paranormal buffs are now wondering if President Obama will be the first to finally tell the truth about flying saucers and other such matters.
The Extraterrestrial Phenomena Political Action Committee is requesting the president ask for a full briefing from the military and government officials on what they know about UFOs. The committee, also known as X-PPAC, is the first group in history to directly target politics and the subject of UFOs. They organized the Million Fax on Washington, a petition where faxes, letters, and e-mails were sent to Obama just after he was elected last November, requesting he bring all UFO secrets into the light and officially end years of government secrets and mysterious cover-ups.
But is Obama even interested?
"Unlike presidents Carter, Reagan, and Clinton, President Obama appears to have very little interest in UFOs," said filmmaker R. J. Thomas, whose mock-documentary, "The Top Secret UFO Project" parodies UFO sightings and cover-ups. "Obama says he is more concerned about improving people's lives than he is about aliens."
At the close of "The Top Secret UFO Project," it is mentioned that "The Jasper Incident," a UFO-themed, film-within-the-film, was shown to President Bush at the White House in early 2004. The next day, the president told the press that he found the film very entertaining, but said that no spaceships were ever seen or seized by the government, and that anyone who believes in flying saucers is out of his mind.
The epilogue is a joke, illustrating the fact that Bush, like most of Washington, was in no hurry to tell the nation about the truth about UFOs. Bush was a ten-year-old boy when the town of Jasper, Colorado, experienced a series of UFO encounters, but, as the president of the United States in 2004, he must continue the tradition of keeping the town of Jasper's secret (and all other known UFO stories) carefully in the closet.
"Bush promised to investigate the UFO issue, but then the subject mysteriously disappeared," Mr. Thomas said. "I imagine Obama must be curious. UFOs must have crossed his mind at one time or another. And of all the jobs you could have to best find out information about UFOs, it would be the president of the United States."
Many presidents of the past have had a strong interest in the subject.
In 1973, Jimmy Carter, then the governor of Georgia, filed a form with the NICAP to report a UFO sighting. Carter said that if he became president, he would make every piece of information this country has about UFO sightings available to the public.
"Jimmy Carter was the first president to admit that he had seen a UFO," Mr. Thomas said. "Many applauded him for his bravery. He was taking a chance. A man preparing for a presidential bid is in no position to say things that make him sound like a crackpot."
It was 1969, and Governor Carter was in Leary, Georgia, for a meeting with the Lion's Club. Shortly after dark, he saw a bright object in the sky that was a big as the moon and kept changing colors.
But after Carter took office in January of 1977, his promise of announcing UFO information was not to be. Walter Wurfel, the administration's Deputy Press Secretary, told the press, "There might be some aspects of some sightings that would have defense implications that possibly should be safe-guarded against immediate and full disclosure."
Ronald Reagan was the first president to talk about the possibility of an alien invasion from outer space, and he said it in at least three speeches.
"There is a story that before he became the governor of California, Reagan and his wife, Nancy, spotted a UFO on a highway near Hollywood," Mr. Thomas said. "They were on their way to a dinner party. When they got there, they told the guests they had just seen a UFO coming down the coast."
As president, Reagan even discussed this matter with Mikhail Gorbachev, the head of the Soviet Union.
"At our meeting in Geneva, the U.S. President said that if the earth faced an invasion by extraterrestrials, the United States and the Soviet Union would join forces to repel such an invasion," Gorbachev said. "I shall not dispute the hypothesis, though I think it's early yet to worry about such an intrusion."
The most amusing story involved a special screening of "ET" at the White House in 1982. Director Steven Spielberg was present, and, after the movie, Reagan supposedly turned to Spielberg and whispered, "There are only a handful of people who know the truth about this."
Bill Clinton had always been curious about the existence of UFOs. After taking office in January of 1993, he was was determined to find out if tales of flying saucers were a myth, or if the government did, indeed, have many secrets hidden away somewhere in a well-secured vault.
"Clinton became president and the first thing he wanted to do with his power was to find answers to, along with JFK's assassination, the existence of UFOs," Mr. Thomas said. "This was information not accessible to most anyone else, whether it be the governor of Arkansas or the man in the street. Did he get any answers? Some say 'yes' and some say 'no.'"
The Clinton Administration did their best, however, to uncover the decades-old mysteries of spaceship sightings. Even Hillary was in on the act, helping billionaire philanthropist Laurence Rockefeller edit a UFO-themed letter to the president.
But no new UFO information was made public, no answers were given, and Clinton never held a press conference to announce what really happened in Roswell or anywhere else.
"Some people believe the president never found any answers, that even he was not immune to government cover-ups," Mr. Thomas said. "Others believe he did find answers, but chose to continue the tradition of keeping the public in the dark. And my film is a parody about keeping the public in the dark."
Based on Mr. Thomas' 2004 novella of the same name, "The Top Secret UFO Project" chronicles the UFO-related events experienced by a tiny Colorado hamlet called Jasper in the summer of 1956. Billed as "the movie the government does not want you to see," "The Top Secret UFO Project," is a spoof of the cheesy UFO documentaries of the 70's like "Overlords of the UFO," and of TV programs like "In Search Of."
"Not everyone is a UFO buff," Mr. Thomas said, "but everybody loves a good campfire story."
But to Obama, is this all a campfire story? Or will he show some curiosity about this like the past presidents?
"If he can find some time between his work on the economy and health care, he might ask some questions," Mr. Thomas said. "But there are people waiting. On the home page of X-PPAC's website, there is a countdown of Obama's days in office without dealing with the UFO matter. It reads 'so and so days since President Obama's inauguration without disclosure.' So they're on him. They're not going to let up."
Mr. Thomas has been a guest on "The 'X' Zone," Rob McConnell's internationally-syndicated radio program which specializes in the unusual and the unexplained.
"The Top Secret UFO Project" is on DVD at BooksAndSuchMart.com and available for download at Grapeflix.com.