The recent revival of the X-Files was a welcome moment in entertainment for many of us, but is it seeping into the presidential race? Long time Clinton associate John Podesta may have been watching because he’s assuring conspiracy theory fans across that nation that if Hillary Clinton gets into office, she’s going to get to find out if the Truth is Actually Out There and let you all in on it. (Government Executive)

There are many weighty issues in this year’s presidential campaign, from tax policy to how to deal with the threat from ISIS. But Hillary Clinton and her staff have repeatedly made time to address another apparently pressing concern: the possibility that aliens have visited Earth, and the U.S. government has covered it up.

On Thursday, Clinton’s campaign chairman, John Podesta, told CNN that federal agencies “could do a much better job in answering the quite legitimate questions that people have about what’s going on with unidentified aerial phenomena.” He said Clinton would push for answers if she gets to occupy the Oval Office starting next January.

“What I’ve talked to the secretary about, and what she’s said now in public, is that if she’s elected president, when she gets into office, she’ll ask for as many records as the United States federal government has to be declassified, and I think that’s a commitment that she intends to keep and that I intend to hold her to,” Podesta said.

I’ve seen both Hillary Clinton and her husband Bill comment on this before, but I don’t recall a single occasion when it didn’t sound like they were joking around and just trying to play into the general sense of ubiquitous humor on the subject which regularly make the rounds. Even when they were delivered in a “serious” tone, you couldn’t help but see a bit of a smirk on both their faces. But is Podesta actually a bit more serious about the subject? The Washington Post dug into his history regarding visitors from the stars recently and thinks he may not be kidding. (At least entirely.)

Podesta started as deputy chief of staff for Clinton in 1997 and stayed with the president until the inauguration of George W. Bush. He himself was apparently somewhat obsessed with aliens. In 1998, The Post quoted Press Secretary Mike McCurry. “John can get totally maniacal and phobic on certain subjects,” McCurry said. “He’s been known to pick up the phone to call the Air Force and ask them what’s going on in Area 51.”

After Clinton left the White House, Podesta’s advocacy continued. In 2002, he spoke at the National Press Club to encourage the government to release whatever information it had about investigations into unidentified flying objects.

Here’s a brief video of Podesta addressing the National Press Club more than a decade ago where he calls for the government to “open the books” on UFO investigations. Either he’s very serious about this subject or the guy deserves an Academy Award.

Everyone who knows me outside of my political writing is aware that this is actually a favorite subject of mine. I’m a skeptic about almost all of the paranormal stuff out there (except for Bigfoot, of course, which is obviously real) but I always enjoy hearing the various theories and really enjoy the entire genre of science fiction which emerges from it. Personally, I’m as close to certain as one can possibly be that there is other life out there in the universe and there may actually be some other intelligent species. (Or perhaps were some who may have since wiped themselves out. The universe is pretty old.) But are they hanging around Earth and messing with the development of humanity? It would require such a massive coverup lasting for generations that the logistics of pulling it off boggle the mind. And remember that we’re talking about the United States government here… the same folks who can’t manage to balance a checkbook or figure out that you should probably lock the back door of the White House before fence jumpers run inside.

Color me doubtful. Just don’t tell John Podesta that.

UFO