Answers are something we’re always looking for in the UFO phenomenon. Throughout all the strangeness we are always convinced that there is some answer somewhere that will make sense of it all. And despite its strangeness – or perhaps because of it – we are led ever further away from the mainstream way of thinking and accept the possibility that something truly unusual may one day reveal itself either in the skies or on the ground. And nowhere in history have UFOlogists come across a more promising or high profile witness than former president Jimmy Carter.
Jimmy Carter, when he submitted his report to NICAP and the US Air Force in 1973. Then governor, Carter had observed a peculiar object in the sky leading him to believe that the UFO phenomenon may be something more than just a few misleading folk tales and misidentified aircraft. And after serving in the US Navy, Carter would have been able to identify most conventional aircraft fairly easily. Nonetheless, he came across an object so strange that even while governor he felt it necessary to submit a report and identify himself not only for the investigators at hand, but also the general public. The 37 answers he provided in his report were not only about himself, but also the experience. And in reading it, we may learn not only about his event, but be able to see a new face in this strange and sometimes overwhelming phenomenon.
But there are also some points that remain strangely omitted in the report. One of the most important questions one would want to ask a former president about the object he had seen would be what the object looked like. Question nine, asking what the object looks like was left blank, but Carter picked up the description on question twelve, stating that the object was “bluish at first, then reddish.” At one point he states that the object was no less bright than the moon at one point, but increased and decreased in its brightness often throughout the several minutes the man who would eventually become president watched.
The event was at night, according to the report, shortly after sunset. As is the case with so many UFO experiences, there is no distinct reason for the president to have been watching that area of sky at the time. He simply did. And it was an experience that would prove serendipitous for the field of ufology and scores of other witnesses to the phenomenon who would eventually be able to count a president among their ranks. And it would stir Carter to place these words on the Voyager spacecraft one day, “We are trying to survive our time so we may live into yours. We hope some day, having solved the problems we face, to join a community of Galactic Civilizations. This record represents our hope and our determination and our goodwill in a vast and awesome universe.”
More than these 37 answers, the question we would most like to see addressed may be, “When will we see that world?”