UFOs and aliens: What presidents know, but won’t say, about them

Aliens and UFOs have long fascinated Earthlings, and rightfully so. It’s only natural for humans to wonder if there’s something (or someone) else out there in the universe. 

For decades, presidents have presumably been privy to whatever information exists about UFOs and the existence of extraterrestrial life collected by the government. But so far, none of them have actually spilled the beans once they left office. 

When asked about Roswell and whether he would ever "open up" about aliens and UFOs, former president Donald Trump replied, "So many people ask me that question. I won’t talk to you about what I know about it, but it’s very interesting. But Roswell is a very interesting place with a lot of people that would like to know what’s going on." 

No definitive answers

Clips of interviews show former presidents like Bill Clinton to George W. Bush waffling when it comes to answering whether aliens and UFOs are real. 

One journalist, Ross Coulthart, went so far as to say that Trump was "scared" to reveal what he may or may not know about them. 

"He’s scared they’re going to kill him if he reveals what he knows," Coulthart said in a clip shared by TMZ in its newly released "Strange & Suspicious" series. 

In recent years, renewed interest in UFOs (unidentified flying objects) or UAPs (unidentified aerial phenomena) jumped after a report released by the U.S. government in 2021 which detailed 144 sightings of aircraft or other devices flying in the sky. 

And while the report did not find links to aliens, the results were still inconclusive. So, we’re not hearing a solid "no." 

"AARO (the Defense Department’s All-domain Anomaly Resolution Office) recognizes that many people sincerely hold versions of these beliefs which are based on their perception of past experiences, the experiences of others whom they trust, or media and online outlets they believe to be sources of credible and verifiable information," according to a report released in March. 

"The proliferation of television programs, books, movies, and the vast amount of internet and social media content centered on UAP-related topics most likely has influenced the public conversation on this topic, and reinforced these beliefs within some sections of the population," it added.

Top 10 states with the most UFO sightings

  1. California: 16,238
  2. Florida: 8,303
  3. Washington: 7,230
  4. New York: 5,900
  5. Pennsylvania: 5,047
  6. Arizona: 4,981
  7. Illinois: 4,298
  8. North Carolina: 3,679
  9. Michigan: 3,668
  10. Oregon: 3,561

For the full list, click here.  

Vatican and UFOs

David Grusch, 36, the Pentagon "whistleblower" who claimed the U.S. had collected alien UFOs over the years, claimed that the Vatican was involved in the first-ever mission of America’s alleged top-secret UFO retrieval program. 

Grusch claimed that America retrieved a flying saucer from World War II Italian dictator Benito Mussolini after getting tipped off by Pope Pius XII, according to a New York Post report. 

While the DoD shot down any of Gruscn’s allegations, it has long been scrutinized whether ancient civilizations had "encounters" with life outside our home planet. Could some of these encounters have been captured in paintings? 

Artwork from centuries past shows what life was like at the time, a record of history. 

Renaissance paintings depicting what appear to be UFOs in the sky are believed to be one of the earliest recordings of people seeing strange flying objects, during a time when flying wasn’t even invented yet. 

One painting in particular titled "Madonna with Saint Giovannino," shows a giant object in the sky in the background and a spectator who appears to be looking up at it. This painting was created during the 15th century by Domenico Ghirlandaio.  

Another painting, "The Annunciation with Saint Emidius," shows what could be interpreted as a cloud with a ray of sun shining down on Mary’s forehead, or a UFO shining a beam of light. 

Is it aliens or a sign from a higher power? Or is it simply an artist's creativity? You decide. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report. This story was reported from Los Angeles.