Steven Spielberg Called himself UFOlogist & Said 2009 James Fox UFO Documentary Was ‘Compelling’

Steven Spielberg is among the few commercially successful movie directors who has a great interest in the UFO phenomenon. He probably knows something intriguing about aliens and UFOs, and that is why he did the 1982 blockbuster “E.T.” and the 1972 “Close Encounters of the Third Kind.”

Spielberg expressed his thoughts on UFOs and extraterrestrials during a 2023 interview on “The Late Show with Steven Colbert.” While he admitted to never having seen a UFO himself, he stated his belief in those who have experienced unexplainable encounters:

“I think what has been coming up recently is fascinating, absolutely fascinating. And I think the secrecy that is shrouding all of these sightings and the lack of transparency… I think there is something going on that just needs extraordinary due diligence.”

When it comes to the possibility of extraterrestrial life, Spielberg firmly believes that we are not alone in the universe. He stated: “I don’t believe we’re alone in the universe. I think it’s mathematically impossible that we are the only intelligent species in the cosmos. I think that’s totally impossible.”

However, he is skeptical about the idea of interstellar travel: “At the same time, it also seems impossible that someone would visit us from 400 million lightyears from here — except in the movies, of course — unless it figures out some way of jumping the shark, so to speak, and getting here through wormholes.”

While he doubts that any beings have yet mastered faster-than-light travel, he believes that time travel may be a possibility for humans. Spielberg shared an engaging theory: “What if it’s us, 500,000 years in the future, that is coming back to document the second half of the 20th century and into the 21st century because they’re anthropologists? And they know something we don’t quite know yet that has occurred, and they’re trying to track the last hundred years of our history.”

Spielberg believes that the 1982 film had a valid point and suspects that the US government is hiding information about UFOs from the public. “I think the secrecy that is shrouding all of these sightings and the lack of transparency until the Freedom of Information Act compels certain materials to be released publicly, I think that there is something going on that simply needs extraordinary due diligence,” he said on “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert.”

In 2009, filmmaker James Fox, an advocate for government transparency on the subject of UFOs released a documentary titled “I Know What I Saw,” which explores reasons behind government secrecy and features credible witnesses from around the world testifying at the National Press Club event in November 2007. (Source)

Spielberg viewed the documentary and commented on it in a letter, but did not give permission for the comments to be made public at this time. Fox stated that Spielberg is an advocate of government transparency on the UFO phenomena. However, in 2013, Fox finally revealed the contents of a letter to Larry King regarding his UFO documentary. The letter said:

Dear Larry,

With great curiosity, I watched the documentary you sent over and found it compelling. Personally, I would like to think we are not alone, and even though I have devoted a generous percentage of my movies to extraterrestrial related themes, I for one have never seen a UFO. That is so unfair! (sic

I hope you will continue to pursue this topic on your program, and that some day our government will offer a total disclosure about what they know about unidentified flying objects and their true and natural origins.

I continue to enjoy watching you and all your guests.

All my best,

Signed: Steven

Fox expressed his disappointment in Spielberg’s lack of public endorsement for his film. According to him, Spielberg is someone who is aware of a cover-up and holds significant influence in the entertainment industry. In the movie “Close Encounters,” Spielberg included Dr. J. Allen Hynek as a nod to those familiar with the topic, suggesting that it was based on actual events. Despite this, Fox felt that Spielberg did not make a small effort to support an independent filmmaker like himself and help his movie succeed.

Very few people know about the secret conversation that happened between Spielberg and President Ronald Reagan about extraterrestrials and close encounters. According to Journalist Alejandro Rojas, during a special screening of ET at the White House in 1982, President Reagan did make a comment about everything in the movie being true.

Ronald and Nancy Reagan speaking with Spielberg after the screening of ET. image credit: Ronald Reagan Library

Reagan whispered to Spielberg that everything shown in the movie was real. It was confirmed by Spielberg while giving an interview to Quint (aka Eric Vespe).

Spielberg said: “No, he wasn’t ushered out of the room. He was the President of the United States! Nobody could usher Ronald Reagan out of the room! It was in the White House screening room and Reagan got up to thank me for bringing the film to show the President, the First Lady, and all of their guests, which included Sandra Day O’Connor in her first week as a Justice of the Supreme Court, and it included some astronauts… I think Neil Armstrong was there, I’m not 100% certain, but it was an amazing, amazing evening.

He just stood up and he looked around the room, almost like he was doing a headcount, and he said, “I wanted to thank you for bringing E.T. to the White House. We really enjoyed your movie,” and then he looked around the room and said, “And there are a number of people in this room who know that everything on that screen is absolutely true.”

And he said it without smiling! But he said that and everybody laughed, by the way. The whole room laughed because he presented it like a joke, but he wasn’t smiling as he said it.

The room did laugh and then later on I’ll never forget my conversation with the President. He pulled me aside, he said… and I can’t do Reagan. I wish I could do that breathy, wonderful voice of his… And Nancy Reagan was standing right next to him and the President said to me, “I only have one criticism about your movie,” and I said “What’s that?” He said, “How long were the end credits?” I said, “Oh, I don’t know. Maybe three, three and a half minutes?” He said, “In my day, when I was an actor, our end credits were maybe 15 seconds long.”

He said, “Why don’t you let everybody get a credit… three and a half, four minutes, that’s fine, but only show that inside the industry, but throughout the rest of the country reduce your credits to 15 seconds at the end?” Nancy Reagan turned to him and said, “Oh, Ronny, they can’t do that. You know that.” And he went, “Oh, yes, yes. I suppose.” (laughs) That was the extent of my conversation about that. That was his only criticism, he felt the end credits were too long!


Spielberg was skeptical that President Reagan accidentally revealed anything important. He thought Reagan made a deliberate joke without any indication of humor. Although the joke was successful and garnered laughter from the audience, Spielberg, who called himself a UFOlogist, was hoping that there was a deeper meaning behind it. However, Spielberg ultimately concludes that Reagan was only trying to tell a joke.

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