A little-known fact about former U.S. president Jimmy Carter is that he in fact witnessed a UFO in the small town of Leary, Georgia, eight years before taking public office.
In 1969, just before he was scheduled to give a speech at a Lion’s Club fundraiser, he was roused from his preparations by a member who observed a strange light outside, in a westerly direction and about 30 degrees above the horizon. Carter and 10-20 other people witnessed the self-luminous object, appearing as a white light and giving off about the same brightness as the moon.
The object moved closer to where he was standing, but came to a halt behind a line of pine trees some distance away. It was at this time that the object was seen changing colors, from white to blue, then red, before changing back to white. Following this, the light withdrew backward and faded from view.
According to Carter’s testimony, the object he observed did not appear to be solid and was in plain sight for between 10 and 12 minutes before disappearing. Neither Carter nor any of the guests could work out what they had seen. The sighting took place just after sundown so the light was clearly visible against the darkened sky.
Later theories would suggest that Carter had either witnessed a weather balloon or a strongly illuminated Venus (which would have been clearly visible that evening) but neither seems consistent with the movement or color-features described by the former democratic leader.
Personal Convictions and Implications
The sighting is said to have had a fairly profound impact on Carter, who, following the incident, swore to have an open and honest policy regarding unidentified objects if elected as president. He would later back down from this statement, citing defense policies as a reason for not following through on his pledge.
It is widely believed that Carter did in fact attempt to release classified information on UFOs to the public but was shut down by the Central Intelligence Agency.
While there are certain inconsistencies relating to the UFO sighting itself (such as the date not being established and other guests not recalling the event being of any real significance) we have to bear in mind that this testimony comes to us from Jimmy Carter himself.
As a former governor of Georgia and widely known as a popular and honest U.S. president, he would seemingly have nothing to gain by fabricating such an event.
While it is always possible that he witnessed a mundane object in the sky, the event affected him to such a degree that it seems doubtful to say the least, to say nothing of the highly unusual characteristics of the object he observed.