By Alex Spillius in Philadelphia When you are a minor candidate in a presidential debate with the likes of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama it can be hard to get noticed. But the Ohio congressman Dennis Kucinich inadvertently did just that when live on national television he admitted he had seen a UFO.
At the end of the two-hour debate for Democrat candidates, with the presenters switching to light-hearted mode, the Ohio congressman was reminded of a passage in a book published recently by his friend Shirley MacLaine.
The actress, who is godmother to Mr Kucinich’s daughter, writes that he saw the object near her home in Washington state and “found the encounter extremely moving”, seeing “a triangular craft silent and hovering, that you felt a connection to your heart and heard direction in your mind”.
“Now,” Mr Kucininch was asked, “did you see a UFO?”‘
“I did,” he replied, before stressing that it was unidentified and reminding the audience – correctly – that former president Jimmy Carter also saw a UFO.
Mr Kucinich, a Left-winger who is light years behind the frontrunners in the race for the Democratic Party’s nomination for the 2008 presidential election, said afterwards:
“It was more than 25 years ago, I don’t want to go into details right now because that is not why I am running for president, but I can affirm that I did see something and it was a UFO. But so have a lot of other Americans.
“It’s interesting to see how a lot of people start hyperventilating about this because it really says something more about them than about me.
“Shirley is a dear friend of mine, but if I was writing a book I might give a slightly different account.”
Indeed pundits on MSNBC, the cable network that hosted the debate at Drexel University in Philadelphia, feasted on the unfortunate Mr Kucinich, whose major point during the debate was that the current president and vice-president should be impeached for an illegal war in Iraq that abused their executive power.
After Mr Kucinich’s positive response Barack Obama was asked during the debate if he believed in extra terrestrial life forms.
‘I don’t know, and I wouldn’t presume to know, but what I do know is there is life on earth and if elected I would deal with that first,” he said.