During the period between his 18 years in Congress and his two terms as Ohio's governor (2011-present), GOP presidential hopeful John Kasich hosted "From the Heartland," a Fox News show where he discussed a variety of social and political topics with guests. The show aired from 2001 until 2007 and in February of that final year, Bill Nye the Science Guy and David Sereda – a UFO activist and the director of a 2005 documentary called "Dan Akroyd Unplugged on UFOs"– were on the show to discuss a "Heartland Special Investigation into UFOs."
The intro featured shaky footage of flickering lights in the sky that were purported to be UFOs. As
Kasich then introduced his guests and let Sereda talk about his "exclusive" footage of alleged UFOs over Lake Erie. After Sereda talked about the footage, Kasich jumped back in.
"Alright, Bill Nye, you're the science guy," he said. "You gotta be a little bit wacky to think that UFOs are down here, and that some people believe that folks have actually got on these ships? I mean, tell us, you're the science guy."
Nye could barely conceal his contempt.
"What we always say in the skeptical community, we encourage you to to evaluate the quality of the evidence," Nye said, before bemoaning the fact that in all the billions of photos taken each month, "you think you'd get one good picture, just one good picture! Those pictures, to me, are lights in the sky."
Questions about the existence of UFOs has prompted their study for decades, even within the US government. Kasich approached the topic in an evenhanded manner, asking Sereda to separate ridiculous "conspiracy" theories from "what could be real."
"I rely on the expert witness testimony," Sereda said, listing a former Air Force pilot and the late astronaut Gordon Cooper, who claimed that he and a camera crew filmed a UFO landing on a dry lake bed in California in 1957.
"Guys, we're out of time, this debate could go on forever," Kasich said at the end of the segment. "And guess what? I think we're going to end up having it again."
He was right. Last weekend an alleged missile launch spotted over Los Angeles was seen by some as another example of possible UFO activity and inspired another round of UFO debate. Kasich's campaign did not respond to questions about the "Heartland" segment.