January 4, 2016

Daymond Steer isn’t sure whether UFOs are real. But as a reporter for a small paper in New Hampshire, he’s well-positioned to ask top-tier presidential candidates courting the state’s voters for their thoughts on the matter.

And that’s just what he did when Hillary Clinton visited The Conway Daily Sun on Tuesday for an editorial board meeting.

At the end of a meeting filled with tough questions about the Benghazi attacks and the heroin epidemic, Steer asked Clinton about a conversation between her husband and late-night host Jimmy Kimmel in which the former president said he “wouldn’t be surprised” if aliens visited someday. During the exchange, Bill Clinton said he would tell Americans if there were aliens held in the secretive Area 51 military facility.

In response to Steer’s questions, Hillary Clinton said she thinks Earth may have been visited by extraterrestrials, Steer said.

“I really think she was trying to upstage Bill a little bit,” he said.

This isn’t the first time Steer has questioned Clinton about the possibility of otherworldly encounters. At the end of an editorial board meeting with The Milford (New Hampshire) Cabinet in 2007, Steer asked Clinton about UFOs “on a lark” to see what she would say. She responded by sitting down and chatting with him about the possibilities, he said.

Clinton’s willingness to broach the topic might be attributed to the fact that she and her husband enjoy a good reputation among UFO enthusiasts, Steer said. In addition to Bill Clinton’s comments on Kimmel’s show, Hillary Clinton campaign manager John Podesta is “a huge fan of UFO lore,” Steer wrote.

“She seems to enjoy talking about it,” he said.

Steer, who covers municipal government, crime and courts for The Conway Daily Sun, says his attitude toward UFOs hasn’t been shaped by any personal experiences. But with the vast amount of planets and stars in the universe, he’s open to the possibility that there could be intelligent life beyond Earth.

“The truth is out there,” he said. “It’s a fun topic, but I’m not an expert.”

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Benjamin Mullin is the managing editor of Poynter.org. He previously reported for Poynter as a staff writer, Google Journalism Fellow and Naughton Fellow, covering journalism…
Benjamin Mullin

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