Jimmy Carter UFO Incident

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Jimmy Carter, United States president from 1977 till 1981, reported seeing an unidentified flying object while at Leary, Georgia, in 1969.
Whereas serving as governor of Georgia, Carter used to be asked (on September 14, 1973) by the World UFO Bureau in Oklahoma City to file a fable of the sighting, and he filed a assertion on September 18, mailed September 20.[1] Since its writing, the fable has been discussed several times by each and each ufologists and by members of the mainstream media.[2][3]


One night in 1969, two years before he grew to turn into Governor of Georgia, Carter used to be getting ready to give a speech at a Lions Membership meeting. He reported that at about 7: 15 pm, if truth be told one of many company known as his attention to a uncommon intellectual white object, about as intellectual because the moon, that used to be about 30 levels above the horizon to the west of where they had been standing. It moved against their route, however stopped beyond a stand of pine bushes a long way from them. The thing then changed color, first to blue, then to crimson, then abet to white, before appearing to go into the distance.

Carter felt that the article used to be self-illuminated, and not trusty in nature. Carter’s fable indicates that it used to be witnessed by about 10 or 12 other of us, and used to be in peep for 10 to 12 minutes before it passed out of look.[1][3]

In 1973, Carter reiterated:

There maintain been about twenty of us standing outside of a slight bit restaurant, I imagine, a high college lunch room, and a more or much less green gentle looked in the western sky. This used to be beautiful after sundown. It bought brighter and brighter. And then it in any case disappeared. It didn’t maintain any trusty substance to it, it used to be factual a genuinely recent-taking a plan gentle. None of us might perchance well also mark what it used to be.[4]

Talking in a 2005 interview, Carter said:

Hasty, if truth be told one of many lads looked up and said, ‘Salvage out about, over in the west!’ And there used to be a intellectual gentle in the sky. We all saw it. And then the gentle, it bought closer and closer to us. And then it stopped, I create not know how a long way away, then again it stopped beyond the pine bushes. And all of sudden it changed color to blue, after which it changed to crimson, then abet to white. And we had been making an strive to figure out what on this planet it’ll be, after which it receded into the distance.[3]


The right date on which the sighting happened has been known as into query by investigators. In accordance to the fable that he filed with the World UFO Bureau four years after the incident, Carter saw the UFO in October 1969. On the other hand, investigators maintain cited Lions Membership data as proof that it happened nine months earlier.[5]

In accordance to a meeting fable that he filed with the Lions Membership, Carter gave his Leary speech on January 6, 1969, not in October. The setting of his January meeting as described in his fable to the Lions Membership furthermore fits the setting that he would later declare to the media when speaking about his sighting. His fable to the Lions Membership made no mention of the sighting itself.[5]

Diversified proof guidelines out the October 1969 date and is in accordance to January 1969. First, Carter visited the Leary Lions Membership in his potential as district governor of the Lions Membership. His term ended in June 1969. 2nd, the Leary Lions Membership disbanded several months before October 1969.[5]

Object and investigation[edit]

In accordance to an investigation[by whom?] implemented in 1976, some seven years after the tournament, most of those current at the meeting either did not accumulate the tournament, or did not accumulate it as being anything else vital. In accordance to Fred Hart, the accurate customer contacted who remembered seeing the article: “It appears to be like love there used to be a slight bit—love a blue gentle or something or other in the sky that night—love some more or much less climate balloon they ship out or something … it had been somewhat a long way abet in my thoughts.”[6]

Whereas puzzled by the article and its origins, Carter himself later said that, while he had considered because the article to be a UFO—on the grounds it used to be unexplained—his data of physics had meant he had not believed himself to be witnessing an alien spacecraft.[3]

On January 6, 1969, the sky used to be clear in Leary and the planet Venus used to be halt to its maximum brightness and in the route described by Carter. Ufologist Robert Sheaffer concluded that the article that Carter witnessed used to be a misidentification of Venus[7][self-published source][8] Ufologist Allan Hendry did calculations and has the same opinion with the overview of it being Venus.[9] This is able to perchance well also furthermore be the Venus “Halo”,[10] as used to be discussed on The Skeptics’ Recordsdata to the Universe podcast #105[11] in a 2007 interview with Jimmy Carter. In the interview Carter said that he did not imagine the article used to be Venus, explaining that he used to be an beginner astronomer and knew what Venus looked love. He furthermore said that as a scientist he did not imagine it used to be an alien craft and at the time assumed it used to be doubtlessly a militia aircraft from a close by rotten. On the other hand, he said that the article did not salvage any sound love a helicopter would compose. Carter furthermore said that he did not imagine that any extraterrestrials maintain visited Earth. In the podcast interview, he furthermore said he knows of no executive quilt-up of extraterrestrial visits and that the rumors that the CIA refused to give him data about UFOs aren’t factual.

In 2016, the hosts of episode #561 of The Skeptics’ Recordsdata to the Universe podcast learn a letter forwarded by a member of the Carter family from Carl G. “Jere” Justus, giving his clarification of Carter’s UFO sighting: [12]

After lately reading the book Georgia Myths & Legends, by Augusta Memoir columnist Don Rhodes, particularly Chapter 5, “Jimmy Carter and the UFO”, I am nearly determined that I if truth be told maintain recognized the availability of what it used to be that President Carter saw. In the 1960s and early 70s, I labored on an Air Power sponsored project that studied the greater atmosphere the exercise of releases of comely chemical clouds, produced by rockets launched from Eglin AFB rocket fluctuate in Florida. Just a few of these chemical clouds, notably sodium and barium, had been seen by the strategy of resonance scattering of sunlight. Clouds of this kind had to be launched not prolonged after sundown or not prolonged before spoil of day. This used to be as a result of the indisputable truth that the cloud had to be in sunlight at high altitude, while it used to be soundless dusky sufficient at floor level for the cloud to be seen against the dusky sky. In Carter’s legit 1973 UFO fable, as given in the Rhodes book, he said that he had seen the phenomenon in October, 1969, at 7: 15 pm EST. On the other hand, it has been determined from Lions Membership data that Carter must maintain seen the “UFO” when he spoke to their Leary, GA Chapter on January 6, 1969. The fable “U.S. Condominium Science Program Fable to COSPAR, 1970” (QB504.U54, Appendix I, page 154) paperwork that there used to be a barium cloud launched from Eglin AFB (Rocket Number AG7.626) and launched on January 6, 1969 at 7: 35 pm EST (January 7, 1969, 0035 UTC) [COSPAR stands for Committee on Space Research]. The reported altitude for this cloud used to be 152 km. With a distance between Leary, GA and Eglin AFB, FL of about 234 km, this cloud would maintain looked in the sky at an elevation of 33 levels (in accordance to Carter’s estimate of a 30 level elevation). Carter’s fable notes that stars had been seen, so the night must maintain been clear. I will test from non-public abilities that below clear skies, a barium cloud reminiscent of this would without anxiousness maintain been seen from the distance of Leary, GA. Carter reported the UFO “looked from West”. The route of Eglin AFB from Leary, GA is roughly WSW. Thus this barium cloud at Eglin is in accordance to Carter’s reported “UFO” as to time, elevation, and route. Moreover, the appears to be like reported by Carter is fully in accordance to a high-altitude barium cloud. His fable said that it used to be “bluish at the muse, then reddish, interesting, not trusty”. A neutral barium cloud would at the muse glow bluish or greenish, with parts of it taking on a reddish glow as one of the vital crucial barium becomes ionized in the high altitude sunlight. The dimensions and brightness, reported as being about that of the moon, would furthermore be in accordance to a barium cloud at Eglin, as seen from Leary, GA. Carter has been reported as asserting that he never believed that he had seen an alien spacecraft, however that he had no belief exactly what it used to be. I’m drawn to exploring if this data would be relayed to President Carter, so as that if he wants to, he can better mark what it used to be that he saw abet then.[12]

In 2020, Justus done an intensive watch of the high-altitude barium free up clouds, concluding that what Carter saw used to be “fully fixed” with what used to be launched that night from Eglin AFB.[13] Justus described several physical aspects supporting consistency, and submitted a reproduction of the fable for archival at the Jimmy Carter Library.

Non-public affect[edit]

The sighting is expounded to maintain had a non-public affect on Carter and his belief of UFOs and UFO sightings. In the center of his 1976 election campaign, he’s said to maintain told newshounds that, as a results of it, he would institute a coverage of openness if he had been elected to space of job, asserting:

One ingredient’s for determined, I journey to never salvage fun of folks who narrate they’ve seen unidentified objects in the sky. If I turn into President, I journey to salvage each and each portion of recordsdata this country has about UFO sightings on hand to the general public and the scientists.[14]

Despite his earlier pledge, once elected, Carter distanced himself from disclosure, citing “defense implications” as being at the abet of his resolution.[15]

1970s media experiences[edit]

  • “Carter Once Saw a UFO on ‘Very Sober Occasion“, by Howell Raines, Atlanta Structure, Sept. 14, 1973, p. 1D
  • Carter’s narrative looked in the June 8, 1976 say of The Nationwide Enquirer. This story contained a series of errors, alongside side incorrectly stating that the tournament happened in Thomaston, Georgia in 1973, and that sighting used to be after the membership meeting.[16]
  • Hayden Hughs of World UFO Bureau wrote an article that looked in the November 1976 say of Argosy UFO (a journey-off of Argosy).
  • In February 1977, NICAP republished Carter’s normal fable in UFO Investigator, however altered his handwritten fable to salvage it seem that it had been submitted straight to NICAP as a typed document.[17][18]
  • The April 30, 1977 model of The Washington Post ran the narrative on the entrance page, incorrectly giving the date as 1973. The identification of the UFO as Venus ran in a slight merchandise in the Can also 9, 1977 say.[19]
  • “President Carter’s ‘UFO’ Is Identified because the Planet Venus”, by Robert Sheaffer, Humanist journal, July–August, 1977, p. 46
  • “Learyites leery of Carter’s stumble upon: No person recollects 1970 UFO recognizing”, by Tom Tiede, Mt. Satisfying Day-to-day Tribune (Texas), Feb. 2, 1978

Request furthermore[edit]



  1. ^ a b Carter, Jimmy (1969) Fable to the World UFO Bureau in Oklahoma City (PDF)
  2. ^ Did Jimmy Carter genuinely behold a UFO?, The Straight Dope
  3. ^ a b c d Wil S. Hylton, (2005) “The Gospel In accordance to Jimmy”, GQ
  4. ^ (Sheaffer 1998: 20–21)
  5. ^ a b c (Sheaffer 1998: 18–28)
  6. ^ (Sheaffer 1998: 21–22)
  7. ^ Harwood, William R (2002) “The Disinformation Cycle: Hoaxes, Delusions, Security Beliefs, and Obligatory Mediocrity” Xlibris Corporation ISBN 1-4010-4354-2
  8. ^ (Peebles 1994: 205)
  9. ^ (Miles 2006: 50–52)
  10. ^ “Venus halo & Earthshine”. Archived from the recent on 2007-07-07.
  11. ^ “The Skeptics Recordsdata – Skepticast #105: 7/25/2007”. Archived from the recent on September 8, 2007.
  12. ^ a b “The Skeptics’ Recordsdata to the Universe – Skepticast #561: 04/09/2016”. 9 April 2016. Retrieved 2016-08-15.
  13. ^ Justus, Carl (2020). “What Jimmy Carter Saw.PDF”. doi: 10.6084/m9.figshare.12625238.v1. Archived from the recent on 2021-02-04. Retrieved 2020-07-10.
  14. ^ Appropriate, Timothy (1989) “Above Top Secret: The Worldwide U.F.O. Cloak-Up” Quill, ISBN 0-688-09202-0
  15. ^ This show day in history – “1973: Carter files fable on UFO sighting”, The History Channel
  16. ^ (Sheaffer 1998: 18–20)
  17. ^ Sheaffer, Robert (1981) “The UFO Verdict: Inspecting the Evidence”, Prometheus Books, ISBN 0-87975-146-0
  18. ^ (Memoir 1980)
  19. ^ (Hines 2003: 299)

Cited works[edit]

Exterior links[edit]

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