Former President Bill Clinton has said a lot of shocking things in his life — but even infamous “Slick Willy” wouldn’t talk space aliens.
That is, until now.
On Tuesday, Clinton wouldn’t dismiss the idea that aliens could be walking among us during an interview on ABC.
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“The truth is, we’ve never proved one, but there are things flying around up there that we haven’t fully identified yet,” Clinton said on “Live with Kelly and Ryan.”
“Keep in mind there are billions of galaxies in an ever-expanding universe,” Clinton said to hosts Kelly Ripa and Ryan Seacrest.
“I mean, you can’t even get your mind around the sheer number of things that are out there.”
“No one knows, but I think the probability is that there is something you would call life somewhere else,” the 74-year-old former president said.
Talk about UFOs — or as the government calls it, Unidentified Aerial Phenomenons (UAPs) — was, for decades, quickly dismissed as quackery. But an upcoming report summarizing what the U.S. government knows about these unknown objects is expected to be made public this month, and public officials are starting to share their opinions on flying objects we don’t understand.
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There won’t be an alien unmasking. Two officials briefed on the report say it found no extraterrestrial link to the sightings reported and captured on video. And the report won’t rule out a link to another country, according to these insiders.
While the broad conclusions have now been reported, the full report may still present a broader picture of what the government knows. The anticipation surrounding the report shows how a topic normally confined to science fiction and a small, often dismissed group of researchers has hit the mainstream.
Worried about national security threats from adversaries, lawmakers ordered an investigation and public accounting of phenomena that the government has been loath to talk about for generations.
“There is stuff flying in our airspace,” Republican Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, one of the senators who pressed for the probe, recently told Fox News. “We don’t know what it is. We need to find out.”
With former President Donald Trump’s approval, Congress late last year instructed the director of national intelligence to provide “a detailed analysis of unidentified aerial phenomena data” from multiple agencies and report in 180 days. That time is about up. The intelligence office wouldn’t say when the full document will be out, but it will be before June 29.
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Luis Elizondo, former head of the Pentagon’s Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program, said he didn’t believe that the sightings were of a foreign power’s technology in part because it would have been nearly impossible to keep that secret. Elizondo has accused the Defense Department of trying to discredit him and says there’s much more information that the U.S. has kept classified.
“We live in an incredible universe,” Elizondo said. “There’s all sorts of hypotheses that suggest that the three dimensional universe which we live in isn’t quite so easy to explain.”
But Michael Shermer, editor of Skeptic magazine, is skeptical.
The science historian, a longtime analyst of UFO theories and other phenomena, said he’s seen too many blurry images of supposed alien encounters to be convinced by still more blurry footage of blobs from airplanes. This is a time, he notes, when several billion people worldwide have smartphones that take crisp images and satellites precisely render detail on the ground.
“Show me the body, show me the spacecraft, or show me the really high quality videos and photographs,” he said in an interview. “And I’ll believe.”
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Mick West, a prominent researcher of unexplained phenomena and debunker of conspiracy theories, said it was right for the government to investigate and report on the potential national security implications of sightings captured in now-declassified videos.
“Any time there is some kind of unidentified object coming through military airspace, that’s a real issue that needs to be looked into,” he said.
“But the videos, even though they’re showing unidentified objects, they’re not showing amazing unidentified objects.”
Pilots and sky-watchers have long reported sporadic sightings of UFOs in U.S. airspace, seemingly at unusual speeds or trajectories. In most cases, those mysteries evaporate under examination.
In 1960, the CIA said 6,500 objects had been reported to the U.S. Air Force over the prior 13 years. The Air Force concluded there was no evidence those sightings were “inimical or hostile” or related to “interplanetary space ships,” the CIA said.
The Associated Press contributed to this article