The Campaign Spot

Election-driven news and views . . . by Jim Geraghty.

New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson: a UFO Buff?


So I asked why New Mexico governor Bill Richardson hadn’t made much of a splash yet, and a reader pointed me in the direction of this story from 2004:

Ten years after the U.S. Air Force closed its books on the claim that a UFO crashed in Roswell, N.M., in 1947, a top Democratic Party figure wants to reopen the investigation into the cosmic legend.

Despite denials by federal officials, many UFO buffs cherish the notion that in early summer of 1947, a flying saucer crashed in rural Roswell, scattering alien bodies and saucer debris across the terrain.

Now Gov. Bill Richardson of New Mexico, who chaired the recent Democratic convention in Boston, says in his foreword to a new book that “the mystery surrounding this crash has never been adequately explained — not by independent investigators, and not by the U.S. government. … There are as many theories as there are official explanations.

“Clearly, it would help everyone if the U.S. government disclosed everything it knows,” says Richardson, who served as Energy secretary under President Bill Clinton. “The American people can handle the truth — no matter how bizarre or mundane. … With full disclosure and our best scientific investigation, we should be able to find out what happened on that fateful day in July 1947.”

The passage appears in a paperback titled “The Roswell Dig Diaries,” published in collaboration with TV’s SciFi Channel by Pocket Books, a division of Simon & Schuster. The “dig” of the title refers to an archaeological dig at the supposed crash site.

A Richardson aide, Billy Sparks, confirmed the governor’s remarks. Richardson “is interested in either debunking the story or (encouraging) full disclosure” of any unreleased records on the case, Sparks said.

My, that’s… unusual. The story also notes that the then-executive director of the New Mexico Republican Party, Greg Graves, is a native of Roswell who suspects the crashed object was “something more than a weather balloon,” wants to know what really happened.

It’s hard to see this unusual interest on Richardson’s part single-handedly hindering his bid. But it is easy to picture this stand spurring some scoffs among his rivals. What’s that old saying, hang a lantern on your problem? “Bill Richardson: A President For Americans of All Colors, Including Little Green Men.”

(Dear readers: While I am a skeptic, I do not want this posting to launch a big debate on whether aliens exist; please do not send me your “I was abducted” stories.)

Tags: Barack Obama , Bill Richardson , Chris Dodd , Fred Thompson , Hillary Clinton , Horserace , Joe Biden , John Edwards , John McCain , Mike Huckabee , Mitt Romney , Newt Gingrich , Rudy Giuliani , Sarah Palin , Something Lighter , Tommy Thompson


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