Ike and E.T.

Ike and the alien ambassadors

MSNBC has a WaPo story about tomorrow being the 50th anniversary of the day that some believe President Eisenhower visited with some aliens in California. I don’t think they mean illegal immigrants, either. The official story is that Eisenhower had some emergency dental work done. Also interesting is the fact (?) that the AP Wire ran a “President Eisenhower is dead” bulletin before retracting it two minutes later.

To be honest, isn’t the previous paragraph enough of a premise for a Oliver Stone movie? I imagine we’ll be hearing about this tomorrow on Twisted History.

Two things stood out to me about this article. First, a leading proponent of the alien theory is Michael Salla, a former American University professor who now runs the Peace Ambassador Program at AU’s Center for Global Peace.

For much of the ’90s, Salla studied conflict resolution and tried unsuccessfully to apply that knowledge to prevent war in East Timor and the Balkans, he says. Frustrated, he began looking for an extraterrestrial connection to human misery and, he says, he found evidence of ET visitations — including the Ike encounter — on the Internet.

“There’s a lot of stuff on the Internet,” he says, “and I just went around and pieced it together.”

Well, he’s absolutely correct when he says there’s a lot of ‘stuff’ on the internet.

The second thing that stands out to me is the response from the Eisenhower people to the theory:

“Not to our knowledge,” says Jim Leyerzapf, an archivist at the Eisenhower Library. “There’s nothing in the archives that indicates that.”

Then Leyerzapf bursts out laughing.

He has heard this theory before. “We’ve had so many requests on that subject that we have a person who specializes in this.”

That person is archivist Herb Pankratz.

“He specialized in transportation,” Leyerzapf says, “and we decided to add UFOs to that. He does trains, planes, automobiles — and flying saucers.”

The library fielded dozens of questions about the alleged Ike-ET meeting in the late ’80s and early ’90s, when several UFO books advanced the theory, Pankratz says.

“It’s interesting how these stories have changed,” Pankratz noted in an e-mail. “Initially, the accounts claimed the President made a secret trip to Edwards Air Force Base to view the remains of aliens who had crashed at Roswell, N.M., in 1947. Later stories then claimed he had actually visited with live aliens.”