Tonight on NASA’s Unexplained Files — did future president Jimmy Carter really see a UFO?
According to the talking heads on the show in 1969 the soon-to-be Governor of Georgia claimed to have witnessed a sighting of an unidentified object in the sky.
Some have speculated that he might have seen a weather balloon but his sightings described the object as changing color, hovering and being about the size of the moon.
With echoes of Roswell ringing down the years commentators have said it could not possibly have been a weather balloon.
At the time there was no official explanation, but the experience did stay with him.
During the campaign for the presidency, Carter said he would tell the truth about UFOs if he won office.
When he gained the presidency he asked the CIA to release all the details they had on UFOs but his request was refused.
Carter then asked George H. W. Bush, who was then director of the CIA, but Bush told him he had no need to know.
Later Carter backed down and cited national security as the reason.
This has made a lot of people suspicious — but could there be good reasons for not releasing such information?
A former test pilot explains that many of the top secret planes being developed had all the characteristics of such sightings and indeed there was a documentary on last week called Mirage Men all about the misinformation campaigns designed to cover up these projects.
Tonight’s show also looks at the frozen moon where active geysers caused NASA to search for life. Also, the strange case of the UFO that was seen heading towards one of the many near-Earth asteroids.
Watch NASA’s Unexplained Files – A President’s Close Encounter tonight at 9pm on Science Channel.