Times journalist Daniel Finkelstein has compiled a list of eight former presidents, or current presidential candidates, all of whom have had encounters with UFOs. Some strange facts emerge: when the Ohio Democrat Dennis Kucinich saw what his friend Shirley MacLaine describes as 'a gigantic triangular craft', he 'felt a connection in his heart and heard directions in his mind.' It was a similar sighting that influenced Jimmy Carter to run for President, describing the phenomenon as 'a light beckoning me to run in the California primary.' Interestingly, both Carter and Ford promised to release the evidence on UFOs to the public, to little avail; the subject also exercised Bill Clinton. But the politician with the keenest fascination in ET was unquestionably Ronald Reagan, who became the first US President to publicly debate the logistics of an alien attack. (On at least three seperate occasions.) The most famous of these was in an address to the 42nd General Assembly of the United Nations on September 21, 1987, during which the former President mused: 'In our obsession with antagonisms of the moment, we often forget how much unites all the members of humanity. Perhaps we need some outside, universal threat to make us recognize this common bond. I occasionally think how quickly our differences worldwide would vanish if we were facing an alien threat from outside this world.'