It must be a lot of fun being a former President of the United States. You want to talk legacy and how your successors are doing, and all anybody sees you as is the person who knows all the alien secrets.
Barrack Obama has been asked about aliens quite a lot lately, likely due to increased interest now that the CIA is about to be forced to release files on unidentified flying objects (UFOs) to Congress in the very near future. Last week, in an interview with the Late Late Show, the former president was asked by bandleader Reggie Watts if he had any theories about UFOs or, as they are officially known, unidentified aerial phenomena (UAPs).
“When it comes to aliens, there are some things I just can’t tell you on air,” he replied. “The truth is that when I came into office, I asked. I was like, ‘Is there a lab somewhere where we’re keeping the alien specimens and space ships?'”
“They did a little bit of research and the answer was no."
“But what is true, and I’m actually being serious here... there's footage and records of objects in the skies that we don’t know exactly what they are, we can’t explain how they moved, their trajectory. They did not have an easily explainable pattern."
This week he speculated more on what would happen if aliens were to make contact, or else we found out they existed and had visited us already. In an interview with the New York Times' Ezra Klein podcast, he said he believed it wouldn't change his outlook on the world much, but that there would be changes in society.
"It’s interesting. It wouldn’t change my politics at all. Because my entire politics is premised on the fact that we are these tiny organisms on this little speck floating in the middle of space," he said.
"When we were going through tough political times, and I’d try to cheer my staff up, I’d tell them a statistic that John Holdren, my science adviser, told me, which was that there are more stars in the known universe than there are grains of sand on the planet Earth."
Well, sometimes it cheered them up; sometimes they’d just roll their eyes and say, oh, there he goes again," he added.
He explained that he hoped that discovering aliens – in the scenario presented to him, they have sent a probe but we cannot talk back – would make us realize how much we all have in common on Earth, and that it's more important than our differences.
"But no doubt there would be immediate arguments about like, well, we need to spend a lot more money on weapons systems to defend ourselves," he said. "New religions would pop up. And who knows what kind of arguments we get into. We’re good at manufacturing arguments for each other."