Did President Nixon show comedian Jackie Gleason dead alien bodies. Our guest, Paul Blake Smith, says the answer is yes! Plus, he postulates there may have been a Watergate oriented motive for the President to spill the beans.
You can find Paul’s book, The Nixon-Gleason Alien Encounter: An Investigation into Nixon’s Secret Airbase Meetings to View Extraterrestrials, at Amazon: https://amzn.to/420GJBG
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JIM HAROLD: Did President Nixon show comedian Jackie Gleason alien bodies? Paul Blake Smith says yes, and we’ll talk to him next on the Paranormal Podcast.
This is the Paranormal Podcast with Jim Harold.
JIM HAROLD: Welcome to the Paranormal Podcast. I am Jim Harold, and so glad to be with you once again.
A quick note before we get started on this fascinating topic – I’ve always wanted to do a show on this – but last call for tickets to my Stories From Around the Campfire Tour. We are set, at this point, to go to New York, to go to Boston, to go to Philadelphia, and to go to Pittsburgh. But here I’m going to be very truthful; I’ve been saying this on social media: we’re really falling behind on ticket sales, period. We’re nowhere close to where we need to be to make this happen. So, in about a week, we’re going to make a go/no-go decision, and right now it’s looking like a no-go.
So if you want us to come to your town that I just mentioned, get your tickets today – not tomorrow, today – at jimharold.com/tour. If the tour does not go off, everyone will be refunded who has purchased tickets. Rest assured on that point. And if you have bought tickets, thank you so much. We hope this comes off. I think it’s going to be a great time. If it doesn’t, well, we live and learn and just know that touring is not in our future. [laughs] But I hope that we can turn it around. We can, with your help. Jimharold.com/tour. Please get those tickets!
And now, on to this fascinating episode. Really interesting stuff.
There are certain stories that live in the lore of UFO literature and lore that are just fascinating to me, and one of those is the idea that in the early 1970s, President Richard Nixon at the time went to see alien remains and took his buddy, comedian Jackie Gleason with him. I’ve always wondered, is there anything to that? Did that really happen? Well, today we’re going to get some of those answers, and those answers are in the book The Nixon-Gleason Alien Encounter: An Investigation into Nixon’s Secret Airbase Meetings to View Extraterrestrials.
Our guest today is the author, Paul Blake Smith. Paul is the sole author of this book, as he is with quite a few others – President Eisenhower’s Close Encounters. Also, he previously authored the popular nonfiction books MO41: The Bombshell Before Roswell: The Case for a Missouri 1941 UFO Crash, and 3 Presidents – 2 Accidents: More MO41 UFO Crash Data and Surprises. If I understand correctly, he is working on another book as we speak. So really, he’s done a lot in this area, and I’m always glad to speak with him. And I’m very glad to speak about this topic because maybe we can put some of this to bed today. Of course, if you get the book, you’ll really get the full scoop on it. Paul Blake Smith, welcome to the show today.
PAUL BLAKE SMITH: Thanks for having me on, and I like your jellyfish. Is that what’s floating around in a jar behind you?
JIM HAROLD: [laughs] Yes. For our audio listeners, we have a little set behind me and we have some fake jellyfish. Maybe some of you have seen it on my video streams. People always say, “Are those real?” It’s like, I would not do that to poor jellyfish. [laughs]
PAUL BLAKE SMITH: One of my first stories was the Cape Girardeau UFO crash, and I witnessed two of them in Washington, D.C. They saw one dead alien apiece, and three glass jars floating around in a mysterious fluid that they thought might be formaldehyde. I’m thinking, “Jim’s got custody of these glass containers right behind him in his office there.” [laughs]
JIM HAROLD: Oh my. No, no. I don’t know if I wish I did or not, but no, definitely not. Definitely not. Not in this case. But the Nixon-Gleason encounter. First of all, I’m going to ask you to do something that, to someone our age – my age and your age – would not seem to be necessary, but there are many younger people listening who maybe weren’t around when he was quite so popular. I think everybody should know who Richard Nixon was, love him or not so much, but Jackie Gleason, a person who you would think would need no introduction – these days, for younger people, he kind of does. So explain to us who Jackie Gleason was.
PAUL BLAKE SMITH: Jackie Gleason was an incredibly talented performer with his own TV series in the ’50s and in different forms in the 1960s. By February of 1973, he was retired. He had nothing to keep him from exploring his obsession with the paranormal. Perfect for your podcast. If he was around today, he’d be watching and guest starring on it, I’m sure, quite often. But he passed away in 1987. He also made movies and record albums, he composed music, he was a terrific dancer, he played the trumpet a little bit.
He made up to $14 million per year, which was a huge amount of money in the ’50s, ’60s, and ’70s. We don’t blink an eye today, but in today’s world that might be, what, half a million or something? To Jackie, it was nothing to ask listeners on a radio show – if anyone could show proof, hard proof, of extraterrestrials visiting Earth, he’d give them $50,000. Then he pumped it up to half a million, and by the early ’70s, he was offering $1 million to anyone who could show him the hard proof that we are being visited by extraterrestrials. He was obsessed with seeing it.
So I think an important person took him up on that offer. He wanted that money – the President of the United States, Richard Nixon.
JIM HAROLD: Oh wow. I didn’t even know this part of it. I usually consider myself pretty well-informed on old Hollywood and old politics, but I didn’t know about this money offer. That’s pretty cool. And again, Jackie Gleason, The Honeymooners. I think there were 56 episodes of that show, and that’s really considered one of the all-time great shows, where he played Ralph Kramden. And then, as you said, he went on to the ’60s, had multiple shows. One show was so bad, he came on the air the next week and apologized for it. You know what I’m talking about, Paul.
PAUL BLAKE SMITH: Yeah.
JIM HAROLD: And then into the ’70s, you said that retirement – and then he had a little bit of a comeback. He played in the Smokey and the Bandit movies. He did The Toy with Richard Pryor. Also, I think his last movie may have been with Tom Hanks, Nothing in Common, if I’m remembering correct.
PAUL BLAKE SMITH: That’s right.
JIM HAROLD: So he had a late career renaissance – but don’t kid yourself; when you think about the biggest TV star now, whoever that is – I don’t even know who that would be now, but he was kind of like Jerry Seinfeld was to the ’90s. I mean, he was huge.
PAUL BLAKE SMITH: Huge, absolutely.
JIM HAROLD: He was a huge, huge star. So that’s like if somebody said President Obama took Jerry Seinfeld to see aliens. I think that’s a fair analogue, something like that. So this reward – this was something that Gleason was saying in the early ’70s publicly, “I’ll give you this money if you can show me proof”?
PAUL BLAKE SMITH: Right. Richard Nixon won the November 1972 election, his reelection, in a landslide. He was king of the hill, and by late January ’73, he was the only living U.S. president – they had all passed away, Johnson and Hoover, Kennedy, Eisenhower, and Lyndon Johnson passed away just after Nixon’s inauguration. January ’73. He was king of the mountain. He could do anything he wanted. His power was absolute and uncontested. If an ex-president had an objection, or J. Edgar Hoover, they were all gone. So this was another motive for Nixon to do whatever he wanted by February of ’73.
But he had a big problem. His Watergate burglars were caught in the Democratic National Headquarters and they were taken to jail and facing trial. They wanted at least a million dollars in hush money to keep quiet, to pay their attorneys and all their daily fees for whatever bills you run up. They were in prison and then released, and they didn’t have a way to make a living anymore. Nixon was on the White House tapes. He bugged himself in the Oval Office, and he is heard in January of ’73 very upset, “Where are we gonna get this money? I need hush money!” And he swore, as he did in private. He was very upset, this darn hush money.
Just weeks after the Jackie Gleason encounter in March of ’73, Nixon’s calm as can be and he says, “Oh, that’s not a problem. I know where we can get that. We’ve got that,” talking about over a million dollars. So we don’t have to put two and two together too complex and difficult here to come up with four. When Jackie’s offering this big cash to anyone – Nixon took donations under the table, off the books, and what is more, Nixon and Gleason shared the same lawyer named Herb Kalmbach, who went to jail for distributing large amounts of cash to Watergate burglars. It was considered obstruction of justice. That’s one of the things that caught Nixon in many a legal dilemma, and he had to resign from office in August of ’74.
He never spoke about the Gleason encounter. Presidents didn’t talk about UFOs or ETs back then, and they barely speak about it today. So we can put the story together on what incentive Nixon would’ve had to take his golfing buddy, Jackie Gleason, to Homestead Air Force Base.
JIM HAROLD: Yeah, it’s quite remarkable. I’d never heard of this – and maybe I didn’t look into it enough, but I’d never heard about this potential tie to Watergate. And that’s fascinating because you would think, why in the world would a sitting president take the risk, even if he’s friendly with him, to take a comedian to see – if there are alien remains out there and the government has custody of them, why would he take that chance? Other than “I’m the big guy, I’m the president, let me show you what I know.” That might’ve been part of it, but boy, that really gives the – what is it? Right from Watergate, “follow the money.” [laughs]
PAUL BLAKE SMITH: Absolutely.
JIM HAROLD: That ties in perfectly.
PAUL BLAKE SMITH: Yeah, we’ll probably never be able to find – I doubt if it was recorded anywhere. It was probably just like a suitcase of cash he probably handed to this lawyer and that was the end of it. I don’t think Jackie would renege on the deal. I think he got exactly what he wanted, hard proof right there. I don’t think he touched it, but it’s possible he put his hands on it. We’ll get into what he saw.
But Jackie was asked many times about this story. His wife blabbed it, and she gave three different interviews to tell what happened because Jackie told her. And every time, he refused to knock down the story. He would just say, “No comment. I don’t want to talk about it.” That tells you – again, he could easily say, “That’s a bunch of nonsense. Don’t believe that,” but he did not.
JIM HAROLD: That is just amazing to me. Before we get to the 1973 situation, as you do in the book, it might be useful to talk a little bit about Eisenhower – and this may be something people may need their memory refreshed – Nixon was Eisenhower’s vice president. So there was kind of a precedent for this with Eisenhower’s supposed dealings with the ET. Can you talk about the Nixon-Eisenhower tie as it relates to UFOs a little bit?
PAUL BLAKE SMITH: Sure. My previous book was President Eisenhower’s Close Encounters, and I’m happy to say it became an Amazon Bestseller. This Nixon book is now the sequel to that. In this book, I go into the evidence – a mountain of circumstantial evidence – that Eisenhower stepped away from his golf vacation in Palm Springs, California, on the night of February 19th, 1954, and went to Edwards Air Force Base in a prearranged meeting to meet some landed, friendly extraterrestrials. They were humanlike, according to a U.S. test pilot who was there. They spoke English, talked to Eisenhower very calmly. They were very friendly, and they asked him to “stop your atomic bomb testing program.”
So when we connect that with Nixon – Nixon was the vice president at the time, and there may well have been a treaty signed between Eisenhower and these humanlike alien visitors, and it may have needed upgrading or approving or amending, or ending, let’s say every year or 10 years.
I found out that President Johnson dropped everything he was doing in the White House, got on the phone to Eisenhower on the exact 10-year anniversary, February 19th, 1964, and then flew all the way out to Palm Springs, California, to meet with Ike in private a number of times during that 10-year anniversary of whatever agreement may have been produced between Ike and aliens. Johnson’s now in charge. He went back February 19th again in 1968, meeting with Eisenhower in Palm Springs. Something was up.
So now Nixon is president, and guess what date he chose to go to an Air Force Base and attend to extraterrestrial matters? February 19th, 1973. Nixon is provably in Miami. He attended Jackie Gleason’s golf tournament that he was hosting on CBS that Monday afternoon. He set down in a helicopter and spoke to the media, spoke to Jackie. They rode around. You can see the photos to this day of the two of them riding around in a golf cart. Nixon loved Marine One, the Air Force chopper, and it had a helipad on the golf course right behind Jackie’s home. They knew the coordinates and how to land there and take off.
From that noon, it’s what happened later, after 8:30-9:00 that night, that is the big mystery.
JIM HAROLD: Nixon had this great reputation for being a great diplomat. Obviously he was the person who, he and Kissinger, “opened China,” and for many years people considered that the crowning achievement, and the one thing you could point to with Nixon, along, I think, with the establishment of the EPA and some different things. It’s things that Nixon actually did that were very positive. And now historians are taking a second look at that whole China situation and saying, “Well, did we wake the sleeping giant?”, so to speak.
PAUL BLAKE SMITH: Exactly what I’ve read, yeah.
JIM HAROLD: Again, you have to put it in context, because there was something called the Soviet Union at that time, and Nixon was using China as a counterbalance, and I get all that. I think the jury is still out one way or the other. But to me, he would seem to be the kind of guy who would have an ego enough, and a confidence in his diplomatic abilities, to say, “Hey, let me see if we can negotiate with the aliens and get a better deal” or something like that. Is there any evidence from your standpoint that there was any interaction with Nixon and ETs in terms of any kind of interstellar diplomacy?
PAUL BLAKE SMITH: I get into that in my book, and I refer to a 2017 leaked document from January 1989. It was a Defense Intelligence Agency document. Many people feel it is real. I feel it is real. And in it, it says Eisenhower did meet with aliens in ’54, just like I wrote about. It also mentioned these meetings progressed – this contact, this communication – to face-to-face diplomatic exchanges by the early 1970s, when Nixon was in charge. Nixon made 55 trips to Key Biscayne and Homestead Air Force Base during his presidency, which was only about six years. He was there over and over and over in Homestead Air Force Base, and that’s the site where he is said to have taken Jackie in February of 1973.
So was there some sort of extraterrestrial contact, communication, maybe even actual living aliens stepping off a ship that were going into an office, and a couple of American military diplomats got in the ship, took off, went on a little trip, and came back for a diplomatic exchange? Well, this document says so, and it might explain why Nixon had to go to Homestead over and over. And when he was in his Key Biscayne waterfront home, they said very little work was done. Nixon spent a lot of time hunkered down over documents. He did a lot of reading in silence. It’s interesting to note that in this 1989 Defense Intelligence Agency document, it said many files were compiled, great information learned from this alien diplomatic exchange program.
So once again, I hate to speculate, but could Nixon have been going down there to monitor this, to read the reports, to handle any problems that might come up? And on February 19th, 1973, he had to attend to these kinds of diplomatic or treaty measures/agreements, and he decided, “Why don’t I take Jackie along? He’s been begging for this for over 10 years.” That’s how long Nixon and Jackie Gleason knew each other. They played golf fairly often in South Florida in the ’60s, and they played golf in 1969 just days ahead of the moon landing in July, Neil Armstrong landing on the moon.
Jackie was obsessed with the Space Program, space aliens, anything paranormal. He had a book collection of over 1,700 books and periodicals on the paranormal. Heavy on UFOs. Big surprise there. And you can still see it to this day at the University of Miami.
JIM HAROLD: Very cool. I’d like to see those volumes. That sounds like a great library to dig into. And I love some of the older work out there. Sometimes we just think about stuff that’s come out in the last year or two, but there’s some great stuff there.
PAUL BLAKE SMITH: I’d like to see if he wrote in the marigns of any books. Wouljdnt that be fascinating?
JIM HAROLD: Good point. Well, we’re having a great time talking with Paul Blake Smith about The Nixon-Gleason Alien Encounter, his new book on the subject, and we’ll be back right after this.
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If you love the Paranormal Podcast, be sure to check out Jim Harold’s Campfire, where ordinary people share their extraordinary stories of ghosts, UFOs, cryptids, and terrifying encounters. Find it for free wherever you listen to this podcast. Tune in to Jim Harold’s Campfire today. Now, we return to the Paranormal Podcast.
JIM HAROLD: We’re back on the Paranormal Podcast. Our guest is Paul Blake Smith. The book is The Nixon-Gleason Alien Encounter: An Investigation into Nixon’s Secret Airbase Meetings to View Extraterrestrials. Paul has been exceptionally generous in talking to us about this book, and he’s going to tell us more, but I want you to pick it up. I think if you’re interested in UFOs, you owe it to yourself to get this book, The Nixon-Gleason Alien Encounter. So be sure to check it out, because although we’ve covered quite a bit in this show, there’s so much more that we’re not going to be able to get to. So please do pick it up.
Paul, I guess we’re to that point now, that fateful evening, that fateful day in 1973. What happened between Jackie Gleason and Richard Nixon and what did they see?
PAUL BLAKE SMITH: Based on Mr. Nixon’s digitized presidential records you can go online and find, that special night, Monday the 19th, a document has been removed from his file. What a coincidence. Historians can’t go and research that night; it stops as of about 8:30, which is a little early for Nixon’s schedule. He usually records everything right up to the time he goes beddy-bye.
I don’t find that a coincidence. I think the Nixon people withdrew that document, and another key one that would normally tell you the occupants of Nixon’s helicopter that he took around town that day – the pilot, the Secret Service agents he was with. I think the two men were gathered together with Nixon that night, picked up Jackie at the golf course helipad right near his home in Inverrary, and took about a 25-minute flight across Miami to Homestead Air Force Base some miles south of Miami. Very well-guarded, highly regarded airbase that had a lot of intelligence personnel. There was a lot of surveillance of communist Cuba going on, and the Atlantic Ocean for air travel and sea travel, and under-the-sea travel.
Anyway, Nixon and Gleason arrived what I feel was probably around 9:30 to 10:00 that night. According to Jackie’s then-wife, Jackie explained at midnight when he got back that they were met by an armed guard or a set of guards that escorted the president and himself across the base, apparently to a somewhat secluded area, to a laboratory. This included an armed guard at the door, and once they got past him, with the United States president – they all just stepped aside, I’m sure, after saluting – Nixon and Gleason went into a lab. It was kind of a medical examining room. Whether it was a morgue or not, I’m not sure, but there were four examining tables and four extraterrestrials laid out for Jackie to see.
I don’t think Nixon told much about what they were seeing, but he promised Jackie, “I’m going to show you the proof that you’ve been badgering me for for 10 years, and I’m finally going to give you what you want.” It was just a few days before Jackie’s birthday. What do you get for the man who has everything and yet longs for the biggest prize of all? He finally relented.
Jackie said that there were four small aliens, almost dwarfish in size, like two feet, maybe a little more than that. They had big pointy ears, big bug eyes. I don’t think he said what color their skin was, nor did he specify their race exactly, if he was told that.
But in 1955, there was the old Hopkinsville, Kentucky space alien assault on a farm family. They didn’t really assault these people, but that farm family’s description was exactly of the same race – two foot tall, big pointy ears, big bug eyes, little dwarfish-type aliens that were mischievous and bouncing around through the trees and off the roof. One even leaned down and tousled the hair of one man who was in the house. They opened fire on these extraterrestrials, who apparently got away. That was the ’55 case.
In ’73, apparently Jackie saw these extraterrestrials and described them to his wife when he got home. Whether they were stitched up or not is unknown, but Jackie told his wife they looked like they’d been in an accident and that they had been embalmed. We can draw any conclusion we want from that, but you would think that possibly they had some injuries. He did not specify.
JIM HAROLD: Wow, that’s quite the bombshell. Is it fair to say, based on what you’ve been saying and so forth, you don’t believe this is just a cool story – you believe, based on your research and other things we’ve not covered and won’t have the time to cover today, this happened in 1973? That Jackie Gleason was indeed shown what are purported to be alien bodies?
PAUL BLAKE SMITH: That’s correct. A couple years ago, MeTV of all sources printed this story because they were promoting The Honeymooners. They had a website and printed the basics of the Nixon-Gleason alien encounter. It’s very unusual. One of the people who read this chimed in in the comments section and seemed to have some inside scoop on what happened. His name was Frank Noon. I don’t know if you’ve ever heard that name. I couldn’t find anything on this gentleman.
JIM HAROLD: No, I’ve not heard it.
PAUL BLAKE SMITH: If that’s even really his name. And of course, we can’t believe everything we hear on the internet. However, Frank said that Nixon showed Gleason over to an airbase hangar. That was not part of Jackie’s story to Beverly, but they went to the hangar – which you can see from the highway, according to Frank Noon, an interesting level of detail – and in that hangar, Nixon showed an aerial craft, a silver disc, that was what you might call alive or working, and that it was being tethered to the floor with cables. It was up in the air. I thought, that’s an interesting level of detail too.
I don’t know if it’s true, but if it is, it helps to account for Jackie’s pale, haggard look. His wife said he came home close to midnight and he was really shook up, that he was almost haggard, she described it. Pale. He started drinking and smoking more than usual, which is something for Jackie because he drank and smoked quite a bit. He apparently had a cast-iron stomach and really knew how to hold his alcohol.
I think there was some sleeplessness in the weeks after, and Jackie’s emotional mood would switch wildly. He’d be all excited and happy that he was shown this amazing proof above all other American civilians. Then he would turn on a dime and rant and rave about the American government knowing the truth, having it right in front of them, examining it, and then lying to the American people and saying, “There’s no alien visitation. These stories are just silly or made up.” Jackie thundered about how the government belittled people who came forward with UFO sightings when they knew it’s true, we are being visited.
JIM HAROLD: You had mentioned previously that his wife had confirmed this on a couple of occasions. What were those occasions?
PAUL BLAKE SMITH: She first mentioned this story in 1974, and it was included in a report I think in The Inquirer. She mistakenly refers to this in an interview later as the Esquire Magazine, and that’s not true. There is no story in Jackie. She said that his name was on the cover of the magazine. I looked it up and I think in the fall of ’74, there’s an article in The Inquirer, sure enough, on Jackie and his obsession with the paranormal.
Jackie read this article and exploded with anger at his wife. They were a bit estranged at the time, and that was it, Beverly Gleason said. “Jackie and I got divorced. He was really angry and told me not to talk about this story.” So promptly, nine years later, she decided to write a whole article for The Inquirer and tell everything that she knew about Jackie because she was planning a tell-all book. In that regard, she wanted to promote it, so she wrote this article in ’83.
Over the course of the ’70s and ’80s, various UFO researchers, including the well-regarded Larry Bryant, who worked in the Pentagon at one point, kept after Jackie and said, “Is this story true? Is what your wife is claiming in The Inquirer factual? We’d love to hear more.” And Jackie would not comment. He would not knock down the story and say “it’s a lot of nonsense.” He just said, “No comment. Don’t want to talk about it.
Jackie died in 1987. Apparently did not leave any sort of deathbed confession. If he did, it has not surfaced. And in 2003, Beverly Gleason gave one more interview, and she said, “When Jackie read the ’83 article, he exploded with anger again, told me to keep my mouth shut and made sure that there was no book on Jackie, no tell-all.” And to this day, she has never released a tell-all book. She’s getting close to 90. Whether she has this thing written and ready to go after her demise someday, I don’t know. I could not find her. I asked another UFO researcher, “Can you help me find her?” He couldn’t find her either. So I don’t think she’s talking. She never gives any other interviews, no exposé or tell-all book. She just said, I think, everything she knew in those three different interviews, and she’s never changed the story. She’s never retracted it and said, “I was lying” or anything like that.
So based on what we know, there was an open window for Nixon, according to his reports, as of like 8:30 that night to the next morning. He showed up for breakfast in Key Biscayne, February 20th, 1973, got together with some aides, took care of a little business, and then they flew back to Homestead Air Force Base, where they took Air Force One and headed north the very next day. So the story is certainly possible, and I point out all the level of circumstantial evidence and details where this could well be true – and I think it is true.
JIM HAROLD: I just love it. The funny thing about The Inquirer – because I’m old enough – I was a little kid – it was kind of bad; I was a little kid reading The Inquirer, because we got it. So I remember when I was 11 and 12 years old, I would read The Inquirer. I used to look for it every week in our mailbox.
And the thing about The Inquirer that was weird was some of the stuff was just outlandish, and at that time – young people won’t remember it – The Inquirer was a big deal. I mean, it was on every checkout lane. You still see it, but it was a major, major thing. It was a major media outlet, even if you hated it. And yeah, a lot of the stuff was crap, but a lot of times I remember stuff that would come out in The Inquirer and then, oh by the way, a year or two later it comes out as true in the news. So they weren’t always wrong. For example, they said Elvis was a wax dummy, his body. I don’t believe that. Or different things that I didn’t believe. And they were sued successfully by Carol Burnett for libel, I believe, for something they were claiming about her.
So some of it you definitely had to take with a grain of salt, but some of it turned out, in the future, to be true, and maybe that’s the case in this one.
PAUL BLAKE SMITH: I can give you an example real quick.
JIM HAROLD: Sure, go ahead.
PAUL BLAKE SMITH: My father had an Inquirer from the spring of 1987 and it claimed Jackie was dying of cancer, and he showed it to me because we both loved Jackie Gleason and The Honeymooners. So I said, “Oh, come on, Dad, it’s just The Inquirer. I’m sure it’s an exaggeration and it’s not true.” Sure enough, in June, Jackie had cancer and a number of other problems, and he died. The Inquirer had this article from like a month before that said he was on his deathbed or his last dying days, and they were right.
JIM HAROLD: Yeah, my feeling is many things in The Inquirer were untrue, but just because it was in The Inquirer did not by definition mean it was untrue, because they did get some hits on some of their speculation.
PAUL BLAKE SMITH: Another factor is that in like 1972, they put together an all-star UFO expert panel and offered money to anyone who could come up with a very credible, maybe provable story of alien visitation. And one of the panelists, I believe, was Dr. Allen Hynek, the reputable researcher.
JIM HAROLD: Oh yeah.
PAUL BLAKE SMITH: So I think this was a factor in Beverly Gleason going forward. Jackie voraciously read any periodical that would deal with the paranormal, and The Inquirer did. They would print UFO claims like an airline pilot or maybe the ’55 Kentucky family that encountered these aliens. I don’t know specifically that one, but they did have a reputation for printing UFO stories that other publications won’t touch.
JIM HAROLD: Was there anything in Jackie Gleason’s behavior between 1973 and his death that was a big change? For example, when people have near-death experiences, they change as a person. Was there any big personality change for Gleason after this?
PAUL BLAKE SMITH: Certainly in the weeks afterwards. Every day for weeks, Jackie was all shook up and very emotional. He did not work in the movies for a few years. He worked only a minor bit of television in late ’73 and over the coming years. He made no more record albums. He began to tone down his show business efforts, maybe because, I don’t know, he felt it was trivial, first, compared to the fact that we are being visited and he was shown the proof; and second, he was getting older and the nature of entertainment was changing.
But then he got an explosive restart to his career as the infamous sheriff in Smokey and the Bandit, and it really revived his career. You can see that movie almost every other day on cable television. It was a smash hit, and they made two sequels. And Jackie went on to make other movies. Suddenly he was a star again. So that may have been a factor in him deciding to keep quiet about the Nixon visit. He didn’t want to be thought of as a loose cannon or as a kook or something. He had all these big-money movie deals coming in. So I think that was another aspect of him keeping his big mouth shut. [laughs]
JIM HAROLD: Yeah, he had that really famous interview with 60 Minutes. I think it was Morley Safer who did it, the great journalist. I often wonder if that was a question that was asked. Probably not, because they thought it was above them, I’m guessing, but I would just be curious if maybe in the lost footage, maybe that question was asked.
PAUL BLAKE SMITH: Of all the Gleason research I did, I can’t find anywhere after 1973 where he kept asking the public, “I’ll give a million dollars to anyone that can show me the proof of alien visitation.”
JIM HAROLD: Interesting.
PAUL BLAKE SMITH: Yeah. He did that on the late-night radio shows and talking to friends up until the point of the Nixon encounter. And I’ve read an article recently where Jackie did say to a few confidants, “Nixon showed me the proof,” and that’s all he wanted to say. He says, “I don’t want to talk about it, but all I can say is Nixon showed me the proof.” To the public and to UFO researchers, he kept his mouth shut. But he would grudgingly give that up to a few of his closer friends who knew not to talk during his lifetime.
JIM HAROLD: And, I think as we discussed in part, Nixon never said anything about it. He never gave any clue whatsoever.
PAUL BLAKE SMITH: Right. Presidents did not talk about such things. Again, it was a more conservative era than today. At least they’ll talk about it on Stephen Colbert or Jimmy Fallon.
JIM HAROLD: But it’s always a joke.
PAUL BLAKE SMITH: Yeah, may just give a flippant answer. But in those days you didn’t even do that. Things were very square with presidents, even Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford. These were pretty buttoned-down times compared to today.
JIM HAROLD: This is kind of above and beyond the book, but do you think – a lot of people speculate with everything going on with the government and all the different committees and everything going on, some people think we’re on our way to disclosure. Other people think it’s just more cover-up, just a different flavor of cover-up. What do you think? Do you think we’re getting closer to disclosure of ET?
PAUL BLAKE SMITH: It’s difficult to conceive of our government finally unleashing the floodgates and saying, “For 80 years we’ve been lying and covering up.” However, I have a source who has sources far greater than I’ve got, who told me yesterday there’ll be some Senate committee hearings and a Biden advisor is going to admit the truth, that something really big is coming in June. That could be rumor, could be half true, could be a total lie. But my source swears this is true. So we’ll look for that. That would be exciting, wouldn’t it?
JIM HAROLD: It would be very exciting.
PAUL BLAKE SMITH: Supposedly, according to my source, there’s a section or a segment of the CIA and other intelligence people that are for disclosure, just finally letting it hang out. Either a limited hang out or just admitting everything. And then there’s the larger old school part of intelligence personnel and government people that “No, we don’t need to be telling them this.”
JIM HAROLD: Yeah, that’s my perception, Paul. That’s exactly my perception – that there are kind of warring factions in the government. Some want to say, “Hey, let’s disclose at least some of this,” and others are saying, “No way.” I just keep pointing to the same thing. It’s been a year or two now when that big UFO report came out that everybody was waiting for, the first one. It came out at four o’clock on a Friday, and right there is all the proof you need, because what do you do if you want to bury a story? You release it at four o’clock on a Friday. [laughs]
PAUL BLAKE SMITH: Right. And that 60 Minutes interview was really telling. The government didn’t step in and tell those pilots not to talk; they went on camera and said, “We see these things every single time we go up in our planes. Every single time, one of our pilots reports this.” I’m sure they’re skittish to report, some are, still to this day. Airline pilots and Air Force pilots.
So it’s getting harder and harder to deny. We see the viral videos, the TV shows like on Travel Channel, Discovery, History Channel, Ancient Aliens, all giving firsthand accounts or even showing video that’s been taken. I was jealous, because I’ve never seen a UFO, when I turned on the Travel Channel one day and here’s a video taken in my own hometown on a street I go down all the time. The guy looked up and saw this silvery cube floating around in the air, and he got some video footage of it. I’m thinking, why can’t I ever see these things? [laughs]
JIM HAROLD: Well, it may still happen. But in the interim, I hope that everybody checks out the book The Nixon-Gleason Alien Encounter. Paul, where can people find this book and your other books?
PAUL BLAKE SMITH: I would go to Amazon. It’s all right there. They’re having a little trouble at my former publisher. They’re starting to close up shop. That’s Argus Publishing. And by the time this interview airs, they may be kaput. My most recent book on Eisenhower came out from Foundations, and they’ve been having a little trouble revamping their website. So I would urge everyone just to go to Amazon, and you’ll see a complete list of things. Hopefully you can still order the older ones. I may be looking for a new publisher to get those released.
I would like to say very briefly, in so many UFO stories we hear the UFOs hanging around nuclear missiles, silos, airbases with nuclear weapons. In mid- to late March – I wish I can remember the last day – I had a terrible nightmare. I saw two nuclear mushroom clouds, two bomb explosions, and the caption for this said “May 2023.” And now, here in mid-May, I’m reading story after story online where this could actually be possible. The unthinkable could be thinkable, that a nuclear weapon like this could be unleashed by an extremist in government overseas. I kind of wonder about artificial intelligence, too, maybe someone fiddling around with that triggering a program or even a missile strike somewhere.
So I hope this isn’t true, that it’s not a prophecy, but I would like to throw that out there in case something happens. It was shown to me, and the reaction of people was that they were sheltering in place, very frightened of getting radiation and getting sick if they went outside. Hopefully this is a lot of nonsense, but there you go.
JIM HAROLD: Well, let’s just hope it is a bad nightmare. We indeed hope that that does not come to pass, obviously. But it is a concern, and I think it’s a growing concern with the geopolitical situation. Destabilization, proliferation of nuclear weapons. I think this is something that wouldn’t necessarily need the involvement of ET or AI; this is something that, unfortunately, mankind, humanity, has made quite possible ourselves.
PAUL BLAKE SMITH: We have to ask, would extraterrestrials step in and put a stop to this? I would hope so, if it were about to start or underway. But remember, we’ve exploded atomic bombs a lot. So have Russia and China, in test programs in the air, the sea, and the land. So our world has suffered I guess radiation in the atmosphere that can make you sick in the years past, until a great move by President Kennedy to sign a nuclear test ban treaty. Only a few have gone off since then. So hopefully nothing will happen.
JIM HAROLD: I agree with that, and I also agree with the idea you should check out The Nixon-Gleason Alien Encounter. Get that on Amazon. The Nixon-Gleason Alien Encounter. I’m looking at it right now; it’s readily available. So we suggest you pick that up.
Paul, Thank you for joining us today on the program.
PAUL BLAKE SMITH: No problem. Thank you for having me on.
JIM HAROLD: Now that is an interesting, interesting show, I think. Fascinating topic, whether you believe it or not. I know Nixon was known as kind of a loose cannon, so who knows? And then Jackie Gleason had a legitimate interest in UFOs, so much that he built a UFO house in Upstate New York. So there you have it. For you to decide. That’s what we do here. We bring you the guests and let you formulate your own thoughts on the subject.
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