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SKEPTOID BLOG:

Clinton's Campaign Promise and Carter's Barium Cloud

by Alison Hudson

May 18, 2016

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Donate So apparently Hillary Clinton is something of a UFO buff. In recent interviews, the Democratic hopeful has been vowing to publicly release secret government files on Area 51 and other UFO phenomenon, so long as there was anything substantive to release and that releasing the information wouldn't threaten national security. She made the promise most recently on Jimmy Kimmel Live!

While I'm sure such claims send at least a little flutter of hope through the hearts of UFO believers everywhere, it's worth noting that even if she's sincere, she isn't the first president to make such a promise. Way back in 1976, then-candidate Jimmy Carter made a similar promise: to "make every piece of information this country has about UFO sightings available to the public and the scientists." Nothing much came of Carter's campaign promise concerning UFOs, though whether this was because there was nothing to release or because the Syndicate successfully suppressed his efforts to do so remains an unanswered question.

In Carter's case, his interest in the UFO question and his promise to reveal the truth were personal: he had experienced his own "close encounter" with an unidentified object in the sky. The incident report Carter wrote for the International UFO Bureau is online. In short, it says that in October 1969, just after sundown, Carter saw a "bright light" high in the sky over Leary, GA. It changed colors several times, from greenish to bluish to reddish, as it moved towards the president before then changing course and receding into the distance. He would later say that the object "didn't have any solid substance to it".

Not much of a report, to be sure. It's worth noting that Carter himself has never gone any further than to say that the light was unidentified. He's never claimed it was an alien spacecraft or anything. But it's a tale of a presidential encounter with something in the sky, and that alone has been enough to keep it alive as a data point in the files of UFO believers over the years.

It's possible that Carter's UFO has become an IFO recently. On a recent episode of the SGU, the gang shared a letter they'd received that claimed to have the "truth" of the story. In this case, the supposed UFO is being identified as a barium cloud launched from a local Air Force base as part of atmospheric research. Barium clouds, the writer claims, "would initially glow bluish or greenish, with parts of it taking on a reddish glow as some of the barium becomes ionized in the high altitude sunlight." The writer claims that such launches happened just after sundown and just before sunrise, as these were the only times when the cloud could be launched into upper atmosphere sunlight while the observers on the ground were in darkness (during daylight, the glow would be lost in the background sunlight).

Is this the explanation for Carter's sighting? Obviously, we can never be 100% sure, but it's reasonable and convincing. The use of metallic clouds in atmospheric research is a pretty common thing, and NASA uses barium clouds still today when studying the atmosphere. d The phenomenon of glowing clouds is one that they know about and put out press releases about, in part to prevent erroneous UFO reports from laypeople unfamiliar with them. NASA even notes that, yes, "since the observer must be in darkness while the barium cloud is in sunlight, the technique is limited to local time observations near sunset or sunrise," in keeping with Carter's report. Worth noting is that these barium cloud releases were conducted by a government agency; had Carter looked in the right places and aasked the right questions during his presidency, he might actually have found the explanation himself (and presumably released the revelation to the public, as promised).

Clinton, as far as I'm aware, has never claimed to see a UFO herself, but it probably doesn't matter. As long as people believe there's a conspiracy to hide the "UFO Truth" out there, politicians like Carter and Clinton are going to continue to promise to reveal the truth. That no elected official, at any level of government, has actually done so can mean one of two things: either there's really nothing much to reveal, or that the colonizing reptoids who really run the world's governments have done their utmost to keep these meddling do-gooders from releasing the Truth. I'll let you decide which one is the more likely explanation.

by Alison Hudson

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