The Presidential X-Files: How Jimmy Carter filed a UFO-sighting report in 1973

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In October 1969, a young Georgia politician was leaving a fundraiser when he spotted a large object glowing in the sky.

Four years later, in September 1973, he formally filed a UFO sighting report with the National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena (NICAP).

That politician was Jimmy Carter, who went on to become the United States' 39th president.

A new episode of NASA's Unexplained Files, which airs Tuesday at 9 p.m. on the Science Channel, explores Carter's UFO filing.

Author William J. Birnes said in the episode: "When he looks up in the sky and he sees an object, it is bigger than the moon. He says to himself, 'That is the darndest thing I ever saw.'"

There is no reasonable explanation for what Carter saw that October night, but it continued to occupy his mind.

See photos of Jimmy Carter's hometown in Plains, GA:

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NTP: Jimmy Carter's hometown - Plains, GA
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NTP: Jimmy Carter's hometown - Plains, GA
Former President Jimmy Carter leaves a reception in his hometown of Plains, Ga., Saturday, Aug. 22, 2015. As Carter undergoes treatment for cancer that has spread to his brain, the town of less than 800 people is ready to support him. Friends say they hope yard signs, well wishes and entertainment will keep the 90-year-old Carter’s spirits up. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
The sun rises behind Main Street in the hometown of former President Jimmy Carter in Plains, Ga., Sunday, Aug. 23, 2015. Carter and his hometown have always been intertwined, from the day he announced he would run for president and an old train depot downtown became a local campaign office. He and his wife, Rosalynn, have always kept a home there, but the 90-year-old Carter intends to spend a lot more time in the tiny town as he’s treated for cancer that has spread to his brain. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
A visitor walks near a cutout of former President Jimmy Carter and his wife, Rosalynn, at an antique mall in Carter's hometown of Plains, Ga., Sunday, Aug. 23, 2015. Residents of Plains say they’re grateful that Carter has never forgotten his hometown. He and his wife, Rosalynn, have always kept a home in Plains, but the 90-year-old Carter intends to spend a lot more time in the tiny town as he’s treated for cancer that has spread to his brain. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
Jane Gurley, of Hendersonville, N.C., has her photo taken at a mock Oval Office while visiting the hometown of former President Jimmy Carter in Plains, Ga., Saturday, Aug. 22, 2015. "He was the first President I voted for," said Gurley. "It has special meaning." (AP Photo/David Goldman)
A person walks near dolls of former President Jimmy Carter in a store in his hometown of Plains, Ga., Saturday, Aug. 22, 2015, The one-block business district specializes in Carter political memorabilia and peanut souvenirs. Visitors stop by after touring dozens of properties associated with the Nobel Peace Prize winner. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
Lennon Groover, of Birmingham, Ala., untangles an American flag while visiting the hometown of former President Jimmy Carter in Plains, Ga., Sunday, Aug. 23, 2015. The Carters live just down the street, in a 1961 home they built before he entered politics. It’s now encircled by an iron fence with a guard checkpoint, and locals know Secret Service agents by name, along with their snack preferences. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
The handprints of former President Jimmy Carter are cast in the sidewalk outside his boyhood farm in Plains, Ga., Saturday, Aug. 22, 2015. Residents of Plains say they’re grateful that Carter has never forgotten his hometown. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
The sun rises as peanut wagons sit on a farm in the hometown of former President Jimmy Carter in Plains, Ga., Sunday, Aug. 23, 2015. Main Street stores are stocked with memorabilia of the former peanut farmer and Georgia governor. Nearby sites include a gas station once run by Carter’s brother Billy and the farm where Carter grew up helping in the fields and family store. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
A classroom of former President Jimmy Carter from when he attended Plains High School in 1937 is exhibited in what is now the Jimmy Carter National Historic Site in his hometown of Plains, Ga., Saturday, Aug. 22, 2015. Carter remains the biggest draw for Plains visitors. He plans to continue teaching Sunday school at the small Baptist church he and his wife, Rosalynn, attend. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
A visitor walks through an old train depot that became a local campaign office for former President Jimmy Carter in his hometown in Plains, Ga., Sunday, Aug. 23, 2015. Carter’s 1976 election to the presidency made Plains a tourist destination. Main Street stores are stocked with Carter memorabilia and peanut souvenirs. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
A welcome sign leading to the center of former President Jimmy Carter's hometown in Plains, Ga. is seen Saturday, Aug. 22, 2015. Carter remains the biggest draw for the town of less than 800. A steady stream of tourists continue to visit the family farm where Carter helped in the family store and fields. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
Paula McNeill, right, of Valdosta, Ga., has her photo taken by Melinda Groover, of Birmingham, Ala., as they visit the hometown of former President Jimmy Carter in Plains, Ga., Sunday, Aug. 23, 2015. Carter’s 1976 election to the presidency made Plains a tourist destination. The one-block business district specializes in Carter political memorabilia and peanut souvenirs. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
Karen Whaley, of Deerfield Beach, Fla., takes a photo of mural while visiting the hometown of former President Jimmy Carter in Plains, Ga., Saturday, Aug. 22, 2015. For Carter and former first lady Rosalynn Carter, Plains is a “haven” from their work in Atlanta and around the globe, he said this week. They both were born and grew up in the area. They return here following each challenge, including his 1980 loss to Ronald Reagan and his first radiation treatment last Thursday. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
The sun rises behind the steeple of Maranatha Baptist Church Sunday, Aug. 23, 2015, in Plains, Ga. The Baptist church where former President Jimmy Carter teaches Sunday School classes and he and wife Rosalynn are deacons has been at the heart of their life since they returned to Georgia in 1981. On Sunday morning, Carter will teach his first lesson since detailing the intravenous drug doses and radiation treatment planned to treat melanoma found in his brain after surgery to remove a tumor from his liver. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
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During Carter's 1976 presidential campaign, he brought up his UFO encounter. He promised that if he was elected, he would encourage the government to release "every piece of information" about UFOs to the public.

While Carter did win the election, he later backed away from his promise, saying that the release of such documents would cause national security "defense implications."

In a 2007 interview with CNN, Carter was asked about his UFO sighting, to which he replied: "It was unidentified as far as we were concerned, but I think it's impossible in my opinion — some people disagree — to have space people from other planets or other stars to come to us. I don't think that's possible."

Tune in to NASA's Unexplained Files Tuesday at 9 p.m. on the Science Channel.

See photos of Jimmy Carter through the years:

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Jimmy Carter through the years
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Jimmy Carter through the years
Jimmy(James Earl) Carter as Ensign, USN, circa World War II. (Photo by PhotoQuest/Getty Images)
American politician and US Presidential candidate Jimmy Carter holds a handful of peanuts (referencing his career as a peanut farmer) during a campaign event, Boston, Massachusetts, 1976. (Photo by Mikki Ansin/Getty Images)
American politician and US Presidential candidate Jimmy Carter (center) smiles after his victory in the Pennsylvania Primary election, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, April 27, 1976. Among those on stage with him are politicians Samuel L Evans (left) and Senator Birch Bayh (second left). (Photo by Mikki Ansin/Getty Images)
U.S. president Jimmy Carter smiling at a podium in front of an American flag, 1970s. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
1976: A campaign button supporting the Democratic politician Jimmy Carter for President. (Photo by MPI/Getty Images)
Jimmy Carter on his peanut farm, Plains, Georgia, 1976. (Photo by PhotoQuest/Getty Images)
Jimmy Carter (left) and Sen. Walter Mondale at the 1976 Democratic National Convention at Madison Square Garden. (Photo by James Garrett/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
Photograph of President Jimmy Carter and First Lady Rosalynn Carter dancing at a White House Congressional Ball. Photographed by Marion S. Trikosko. Dated 1977. (Photo by: Universal History Archive/UIG via Getty Images)
Jimmy Carter of Plains, GA, was the 39th President of the United States and a big fan of NASCAR racing. In 1978, Carter invited a number of NASCAR Cup stars to the White House for a big dinner and entertainment provided by country star Willie Nelson. Nelson was there and so were First Lady Rosalynn Carter and the President'€™s brother Billy Carter, but President Carter was nowhere to be found. The President had gone to Camp David to meet with the leaders of Israel and Egypt, Menachem Begin and Anwar Sadat, in what ultimately would lead to a huge Middle East peace agreement known later as the Camp David Accords. (Photo by ISC Images & Archives via Getty Images)
Jean-Paul II In Washington, United States On October 06, 1979)-John-Paul II, Jimmy Carter and Rosalyn at the White House. (Photo by Pool JEAN-PAUL II AUX USA/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
Photograph of President Jimmy Carter announcing new sanctions against Iran following the taking American hostages. Photographed by Marion S. Trikosko. Dated 1980. (Photo by: Universal History Archive/UIG via Getty Images)
Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter during Humanitarian Awards Dinner - November 23, 1987 at Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Ron Galella/WireImage)
Gillian Sorenson and Jimmy Carter during Benefit Dinner Dance for the Homeless - November 18, 1988 at Plaza Hotel in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Ron Galella/WireImage)
Musician Willie Nelson and former President Jimmy Carter at the taping of 'CMT Homecoming: Jimmy Carter in Plains,' which will premiere on CMT in December 2004. (Photo by Rick Diamond/WireImage)
ATLANTA - APRIL 22: Former President Jimmy Carter watches the game between the Philiadelphia Phillies and the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field on April 22, 2010 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
CAIRO, EGYPT - MAY 24: Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter addresses the media on the second day of Egypt's presidential election on May 24, 2012 in Cairo, Egypt. Carter Center election monitors observed the presidential election, the first of the post-Mubarak era. If no candidate wins an outright majority of the vote, the election would go to a second round June 16-17. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)
Former US President Jimmy Carter signs his new Book 'A Full Life: Reflections at Ninety' at Barnes & Noble on 5th avenue in New York on July 7, 2015. Photo by KENA BETANCUR/AFP/Getty Images
PASADENA, CA - JULY 30: President Jimmy Carter photographed at Vroman's Bookstore on July 30, 2015 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Paul Redmond / Getty Images)
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