Did Jimmy Carter Really See a UFO?

In 2007, President Carter was interviewed on episode 105 of the Skeptic’s Guide to the Universe (http://www.theskepticsguide.org/skepticsguide/podcastinfo.asp?pid=105th edition). He stated that he saw an light in the sky one evening that he could not identify. He does not believe that it was a fly saucer. In addition, he debunks other rumours promulgated by the UFO community and attributed to him.

The Frugal Astronomer

Cheap answer? “UFO” means “Unidentified Flying Object.” Brother Jimmy saw an object in the sky he couldn’t identify. Ergo, it was a UFO.

New friend, may I introduce The Frugal Astronomer to longtime member, BadAstronomer? Phil Plait is something like an internet pal to several here, and might be happy to answer your question.

Otherwise, you are stuck with a COMPLETE amateur, like me, who respects the hell out of Pres Carter, but who has been fooled (note: this was only to the extent that “some plane seems to have hovered in the pattern for O’Hare for an awfully long time”) by the planet Venus himself.

Carter’s naval experience was mostly underwater. His ability to sight may have been overrated. Mine wife, though she was an astrologer, can sight in her head. Not always useful when she’s had a few, but good for a late-January, “Is that Venus?” while she watches TV.

Oh, and since she’s cheaper than you, I’ll send her your link. :smiley:

Is this the article you are on about?

Carter was interviewed on The Skeptic’s Guide to the Universe in 2007 (http://www.theskepticsguide.org/archive/podcastinfo.aspx?mid=1&pid=105) and this obviously was brought up by the host. Carter is very very specific in his language. What he saw was an object he wasn’t able to identify, thus an Unidentified Object. Carter was adamant that it be named properly, but was also certain that it was just the sort of thing that UFO’s usually are: planets, weather balloons, aircraft, etc. He did not credit it with any extraterrestrial characteristics and did not believe that it was an alien spaceship.

I wonder if it was piloted by that giant swimming rabbit that attacked him too.

The Frugal Astronomer– did you know that The Bad Astronomer was once a member of the SDMB?

gotta support dropzone on this one.

A UFO is not a flying saucer. It is not an alien spacecraft. It is anUnidentified Flying Object. If you cannot identify it, and it is flying, it is a UFO. If someone else later can identify it as Venus, than it is not a UFO any longer. But it still was to you back then! Swamp gas lighting up the sky in weirdo ways counts as a UFO because it is floaty flying stuff that someone cannot identify.

I don’t think it’s cheap to acknowledge the broader, more accurate definition of UFO. Keeps the world interesting.

Venus can do that? :confused:

But it wasn’t flying, just hanging there in the sky. So not a UFO, but a UHO or yoo-hoo! :stuck_out_tongue:

Yeah, Cecil kinda dropped the ball on this one. Alleged UFO? C’mon.

So, if Carter didn’t think it was anything other than an object in the sky he couldn’t recognise, and he had no real interest in what it was, why even mention it to anyone?

Something about it must have struck him as being a little curious, for him and his guests to have even noticed it!

It’s amazing what your eyes can convince you you are seeing.