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Hillary Clinton's campaign chair thinks the U.S. should open its files on UFOs

Politicians usually don't want to talk about it, but they shouldn't be ashamed, John Podesta says.

Asa Mathat

The chair of Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign thinks the U.S. government should open up its files on UFO sightings.

John Podesta, the onetime chief of staff to President Bill Clinton, told Recode's Kara Swisher and Vox's Ezra Klein onstage Thursday at the Code Conference that he's an unapologetic champion of efforts to press the government to open up about what is known about UAPs, or "unidentified aerial phenomena."

"There are a lot of unexplained series of events around the world, and politicians in governments tend to think that it's not a career-enhancer to talk about them," Podesta said.

A self-described science fiction fan, Podesta said that after leaving the White House, he became involved with a Freedom of Information Act case to declassify government files on reports on the 1969 crash of an aircraft in Pennsylvania that has never been explained. There are theories, he said, that it may have been a Soviet aircraft, and that there is evidence that the U.S. Air Force conducted an investigation into it. "Most of the files have disappeared," he said.

"Rather than being embarrassed and ashamed about it ... I say let's open it up to the public," he said. "I meet a lot of politicians in Washington who say to me that 'we're with you but we can't say it in public.'"

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