Obama On UFOs: President Tells Jimmy Kimmel 'I Can't Reveal Anything'

03/15/2015 11:03 am ET | Updated Apr 27, 2015

You can't blame a guy from trying, over and over again.

On his show Thursday, late-night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel asked President Barack Obama to come clean about UFOs. The president responded with a series of tongue-in-cheek remarks, which can be seen in the video above.

Last year, Kimmel broached the subject with former President Bill Clinton. He posed the topic of supposed UFOs and aliens at Nevada's top secret Area 51 military base in exactly the same way with both presidents.

Kimmel opening statement to Clinton last April:
"If I was president... I'd demand to see all the classified files on the UFOs, because I want to know, I'd want to know what has been going on. DID YOU DO THAT?"

Clinton response: "Sort of."

Kimmel opening statement to Obama on March 12:
"If I was the president... I would immediately race to wherever they have the files about Area 51 and UFOs, and I'd go through everything to find out what happened. DID YOU DO THAT?"

Obama response: "That's why you will not be president, because that's the first thing that you would do."

During this short exchange, Obama fired back with more potentially provocative comments.

"The aliens won't let it happen. You'd reveal all their secrets, and they exercise strict control over us," Obama said. "I can't reveal anything."

When Kimmel pressed Obama, telling him how Clinton claimed to have looked into government files on UFOs and found nothing, Obama replied, "Well, you know, that's what we're instructed to say."

While conspiracy theorists might have a field day with those types of comments, it should be pointed out that, throughout the short minute-and-a-half, UFO-alien-Area 51-related dialogue between Kimmel and Obama, both were smiling and laughing almost the entire time, giving the impression that everything said by the president was strictly humorous.

There have been other times during Obama's presidency where he made bold, UFO-related statements, as seen in the following March 2012 video clip after he had arrived in Roswell, New Mexico, home of the legendary (and still-controversial) UFO crash of 1947:

Is it all just fun and games when America's commander-in-chief is asked questions about UFOs and aliens, or is there more to it that lies under the surface of what appear to be light-hearted comments about unproven extraterrestrial visitors?

"I think it's a difficult situation for a sitting president to be asked that question because if they don't know anything, they come off looking not too smart," said Jan C. Harzan, executive director of the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON), the world's largest civilian UFO research organization, with over 3,000 members, including scientists interested in UFO research.

"If [presidents] do know something that they can't talk about, then they can't really talk about it," Harzan told HuffPost. "Making a joke out of it at least diffuses the situation. Now, that said, I honestly don't think we're ever going to get an admission from a sitting president that the U.S. has any knowledge of UFOs or ETs. I just don't see it happening."

Harzan received a B.S. in nuclear engineering from UCLA and spent nearly 40 years with IBM before assuming the leadership role at MUFON. He told HuffPost he's aware of how discouraging it can be to people in the UFO "community" when the president seems to laugh off the UFO issue.

"The fact that he doesn't just dismiss it out of hand is actually a very positive thing. It's disappointing that he's not taking it more seriously, but I'm not so sure he isn't," Harzan said. "I think he's basically keeping it within the boundaries of what he's able to do, and so, using a little bit of humor helps alleviate some of this tension in the whole thing.

"I would love for the president of the United States to step to a podium and announce [the reality of ETs] to the world, but I don't think it's ever going to happen. I think it'll come about in a much different way, but it will come about."

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