By Daymond Steer
CONWAY — The off-the-cuff remarks about UFOs and jokes about Area 51 disclosure made by Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton at an editorial board meeting at The Conway Daily Sun last week have deep meaning to the nation's only UFO lobbyist and executive director of the Paradigm Research Group. He would like to see full UFO disclosure made before the New Hampshire Primary.
During the editorial board meeting, the former first lady, former senator from New York and secretary of state answered serious questions about foreign policy and the economy, and at the end, she chatted with this reporter, who had asked her about UFOs in 2007 while he was working for the Cabinet Press in Milford. She recalled that 2007 exchange with a smile and seemed to have fun discussing the topic and Area 51, a military base in Nevada with alleged ties to UFOs.
"Yes, I'm going to get to the bottom of it," said Clinton with enthusiasm.
In 2014, Bill Clinton told late-night TV host Jimmy Kimmel that he wouldn't be surprised if Earth is visited by aliens since so many planets out there may support life.
"I just hope it's not like 'Independence Day,'" said Bill Clinton, referring to a movie about alien invaders.
When asked about her husband's nonchalant comment about contact with space people, Hillary Clinton responded: "I think we may have been (visited already). We don't know for sure."
She said her campaign chairman, John Podesta, has been urging her to pursue UFO disclosure. Podesta is a former White House Chief of Staff, a long-time disclosure advocate and sci-fi enthusiast. In fact, Podesta, when he was leaving the Obama administration, Tweeted that his "biggest failure of 2014" was not securing the disclosure of UFO files. He also spoke about disclosure in 2002 at a press conference for the Coalition of Freedom of Information.
After the Sun's story came out, Bloomberg News reporter Jennifer Epstein asked Podesta about Clinton's comment. He replied, "Just in time for the X-Files Revival. #The Truth is Out There." He was referencing a popular television show and it's tagline.
Podesta, in September, Tweeted that actress and producer Lena Dunham should have asked Hillary Clinton about aliens during her interview.
Hillary's comments at the Sun became international news and reported everywhere from CNN, to Russia's RT to the Daily Mail, which is based in the United Kingdom.
Stephen Bassett, who is based out of Bethesda, Md., is calling for an end to the 68-year "truth embargo" on extraterrestrial life. He has been pursing this since 1996. He wants the president of the United States to acknowledge their existence. He talked to the Sun about the significance of Clinton's remarks.
"I'm still the only registered lobbyist on the issue, as far as I know," said Bassett. "I'm basically a citizen activist."
Bassett stressed he's not campaigning for Hillary Clinton or any other candidate. All he seeks is the truth straight from the president of the United States. Bassett explained that Hillary Clinton was first lady when billionaire Laurance Rockefeller asked President Bill Clinton's administration to release whatever information they could about UFOs.
"That became known as the Rockefeller Initiative," said Bassett, adding the documents have been on the Internet for over a decade. Bassett believes the Rockerfeller initiative will become a larger issue in the 2016 election.
"Read some of the documents and you will see why this is a really big deal," said Bassett. "He (Rockefeller) understood that the refusal of the government to yield on this issue was just no longer acceptable."
Bassett believes Bill Clinton and Rockefeller were shut out by The Powers That Be despite their three-year effort to get the truth out.
"Just like President Carter, we believe President Clinton could get nothing from the Pentagon, the CIA or anybody else," said Bassett. "The president is not on a need-to-know basis in regard to this issue."
Bassett thinks Podesta's Tweet to Dunham was about telling the media it's OK to ask about UFOs.
There is a picture posted on the Internet of Rockefeller walking with Hillary Clinton that's dated to 1995. In the photo, Clinton is holding a book called "Are We Alone?" The Clintons have yet to openly talk about the initiative but they have been talking about UFOs in general, according to Bassett.
"They know that once they go there this issue will explode worldwide and very possibly bring about disclosure," said Bassett. "Not under her administration, under Barack's administration. What you (Steer) did made major history. Podesta wanted this to happen. I believe that was the plan."
He later added, "You (meaning the Clinton campaign members) don't want to be talking about this for the first time in September." If Barack Obama becomes the disclosure president, the Clintons will get credit because of their efforts in the 1990s and Podesta's relatively recent Tweets. The Democratic Party will also be a part of the "legacy," he said.
"The biggest losers, as this goes forward, will be the Republican Party," said Bassett, saying Republicans will be caught flatfooted if they don't start looking into the mystery.
The Clinton camp, according to Bassett, began talking about UFOs in recent times because of pressure his organization put on them through a mock hearing at the National Press Club in 2013 called the Citizen Hearing on Disclosure and his efforts to release the recordings of those hearings to members of Congress and their staffs. At the citizen hearing were former federal lawmakers like Mike Gravel (D-Alaska). Gravel interviewed with the Sun during his run for the presidency in the 2008 New Hampshire primary.
Bassett also ran a petition drive aimed at the White House that ended in earlîy 2015.
Bassett thinks Hillary Clinton made that statement at an opportune time because her meeting with the Sun was just before the new year and few people were paying attention to the news. This allowed Clinton to make the statement to a small paper in New Hampshire in order "to see what would happen."
"What has happened, if you don't already know, is a story that has gone worldwide," said Bassett who believes the Clinton campaign "couldn't risk" waiting until later to broach this subject.