Carter’s UFO sighting began shortly after dark on a windless night. Jimmy Carter was standing outside the Lion’s Club in Leary, Georgia, waiting for a meeting to start. Suddenly, he and ten or more witnesses, sighted a red and green orb radiating in the western sky. Carter described an object that «it seemed to move towards us from a distance, stop, move partially away, return, then depart. Bluish at first; then reddish — luminous — not solid.»
«At times,» reported Carter, «it was as bright as the moon, and about as big as the moon — maybe a bit smaller. The object was luminous; not solid.»
In an interview with the Atlanta Constitution, Carter described the moving nature of the event. He described the sighting as a «very remarkable sight.» This is an important event, because many of the skeptical investigations done on the Carter sighting, have tried to paint the event as a ho-hum occurrence. None of the descriptions Carter has made of the event have ever described it as ho-hum.
Jimmy Carter’s mother Lillian also confirmed that Carter had been very impressed by what he had seen. «The UFO made a huge impression on Jimmy,» she stated. «He told me about the sighting many times. He’s always been a down-to-earth no-nonsense boy, and the sighting by him, as far as I am concerned, is as firm as money in the bank.»
Carter had, in fact, described the UFO sighting many times in the years since it occurred. In every instance, including the latest known telling of the story at Emory University in 1997, Carter has never backed off on the spectacular nature of the event. He has also never conceded that was he saw was some misidentification of a natural phenomena.
Carter estimated that the object was three hundred to one thousand yards away. He estimated that the event had lasted 10 minutes. Then the object disappeared. Carter was so impressed by what he had seen, he recorded his impressions of the event on a tape recorder at the time.