Former President Bill Clinton revealed this week that he sent his national security adviser to inspect Nevada’s Area 51 for aliens when he was president.
During an appearance on “The Late Late Show with James Corden” that aired Thursday, Clinton said he and his former chief of staff, John Podesta – who he said “loved science fiction” – “tried everything to learn all about Roswell.”
“We also sent people to Area 51 to make sure there were no aliens,” he said, to which Corden asked who had been to the once top-secret military base. .
“Oh, if I told you…” Clinton joked, before revealing that he had sent his national security adviser, Sandy Berger, who died in 2015 of cancer.
“I said, ‘We have to figure out how we’re going to handle this because that’s where we do a lot of our research on invisibility, in terms of technology, like how to fly planes that aren’t picked up by radar and all that,” the 42nd president said.
“That’s why they’re so secret. But there are no aliens as far as I know.”
Clinton then recalled a vacation he and his wife, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, took to Hawaii in 2018, during which they visited the WM Keck Observatory. After visiting the telescopes on the mountain, he said he met scientists, asking them if they were arguing “about the probability of life in space”.
The scientists, Clinton told the crowd, said they had “huge arguments” about it.
“He said, ‘There are those of us who think it’s 85% likely and those of us who think it’s 95% likely,'” Clinton said. “These are people who spend their lives doing this.
“He said, ‘We think, in other words, it’s very unlikely that there won’t be life.’ There are a billion – not a billion planets – a billion solar type systems. There are a lot of mysteries out there, that’s why I think we should take good care of this planet; I think we we should kind of hang on to it if we can. But I also think it should keep us humble. There’s a lot of things we don’t know,” he told the audience.
In May, Congress held its first hearing on UFOs in more than 50 years. Although he did not disclose the existence of extraterrestrial life, he said the US military takes sightings of unknown craft seriously as a threat to national security.
And last week, NASA announced it was launching a team to study the mysterious sightings. The researchers will collect data on “events in the sky that cannot be identified as known aircraft or natural phenomena – from a scientific perspective”.
NASA Science Mission Chief Thomas Zurbuchen said: “Our belief is that the greatest challenge with these phenomena is that it is a data-poor field.”
The study, which will begin this fall and will last nine months, will be open to the public, without the use of classified data.