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The U.S. Air Force assures me that UFOs pose no threat to National Security.
--President John F. Kennedy
I looked out the window and saw this white light. It was zigzagging around. I went up to the pilot and said, ‘Have you ever seen anything like that?’ He was shocked and he said, “Nope.” And I said to him, “Let's follow it!” We followed it for several minutes. It was a bright white light. We followed it to Bakersfield, and all of a sudden to our utter amazement it went straight up into the heavens. When I got off the plane I told Nancy all about it.
--President Ronald Reagan (describing his 1974 UFO encounter to veteran newsman Norman C. Miller, Washington bureau chief for the Wall Street Journal)
I was the pilot of the plane when we saw the UFO. Also on board were Governor Reagan and a couple of his security people. We were flying a Cessna Citation. It was maybe 9 or 10 o'clock at night. We were near Bakersfield, California when Governor Reagan and the others called my attention to a big light flying a bit behind my plane. It appeared to be several hundred yards away. It was a fairly steady light until it began to accelerate, then it appeared to elongate. Then the light took off. It went up at a 45-degree angle at a high rate of speed. Everyone on the plane was surprised. Governor Reagan expressed amazement. I told the others I didn't know what it was. . . . The UFO went from a normal cruise speed to a fantastic speed instantly . . .If you give an airplane power it will accelerate, but not like a hot rod, and that's what this was like.
--Bull Paynter, pilot with thousands of logged hours, in Sacramento, California
I'm not at liberty to discuss the government’s knowledge of extraterrestrial UFOs at this time. I am still personally being briefed on the subject.
--President Richard M. Nixon
I strongly recommend that there be a committee investigation of the UFO phenomena. I think we owe it to the people to establish credibility regarding UFOs and to produce the greatest possible enlightenment on this subject
--Congressman (later President) Gerald Ford, 1966
I can assure you the flying saucers, given that they exist, are not constructed by any power on Earth.
--President Harry S. Truman (press conference, April 4, 1950)
The phenomenon of UFOs does exist, and it must be treated seriously.
--Mikhail Gorbachev, Premiere of the Soviet Union (interview published in Soviet Youth, May 4, 1990)