According to a May 11 United Press International news story, Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton promised a radio interviewer that, if elected, she would release government records related to Area 51.
Area 51, of course, is the remote section of Edwards Air Force Base in the Nevada desert that many UFO enthusiasts believe is the site of alien encounters.
I was a little surprised that Hillary took an interest in this "X Files"-type topic. Usually she's chasing little green bills instead of little green men. Usually SHE'S the one saying, "Take me to your leader — so I can hit him up for a Clinton Foundation donation."
Urban legends and conspiracy theories insist that Area 51 is a center for ongoing communications with aliens and/or a place where crashed alien spaceships are taken apart so scientists can reverse engineer the technology and speed up mankind's technological progress.
I know — reverse engineering an interstellar craft that smashed into a mountainside is like reverse engineering a Ford Edsel or New Coke. As Donald Trump put it, "I don't like extraterrestrials who crash-land their flying saucers. Give me the aliens who accomplish their mission of decimating cities and atomizing toddlers. That's what I call a hero."
Skeptics point out that if we had really made contact with extraterrestrials, SOME low-level Area 51 employee would have played whistleblower by now. Of course employees may be buying into the "You want the truth? You can't handle the truth!" philosophy. Perhaps there is a fear that there would be mass panic if we knew we weren't alone. But this is 2016, after all. ("Hey, as long as they don't have gluten-based weapons, I'm down with that.")
Many citizens wonder why, if Area 51 has been around for more than 50 years, no president has spoken up to reveal its secrets. In fact, chief executives HAVE let information about Area 51 slip out, but it is always quickly redacted.
Surely you remember Pres. Obama's gaffe "I've got a pen and I've got a phone. And I've got a transdimensional death ray. D'oh! Can I do that over?"
Going further back, President John F, Kennedy also almost let the cat out of the bag. Surely some of you remember the unedited version of his speech, "We choose to go to the moon... not because it's easy, but because I think I left my cufflinks there."
Some skeptics are quick to say, "Wait a minute — Hillary is married to a former president. Wouldn't he have already told her any secrets of Area 51?"
Skeptics are sure Bill would have divulged everything to Hillary because he has SUCH a sterling record of telling her everything. Most likely, the best she could glean would be his muttering in his sleep. ("All I wanted was to get to second base with her — but those freaks don't even HAVE second base.")
Bernie Sanders has not indicated whether he believes in alien races; but in order to cover all demographic bases, he has recalibrated his campaign to focus on "single-payer alien autopsies."
If Hillary does make it to the Oval Office and fulfill her promise, it could be a hollow victory. If she discovers that some bureaucrat accidentally destroyed the alien self-replicating pantsuit blueprints, she could view the red state/blue state map ruefully and ask, "What difference, at this point, does it make?"
Danny welcomes email responses at firstname.lastname@example.org and visits to his Facebook fan page "Tyree's Tyrades."