In an interview with Ain’t It Cool News writer Eric Vespe (better known online as ‘Quint’) published June 6th, Steven Spielberg confirms that, following a White House screening of E.T: The Extraterrestrial in 1982, President Ronald Reagan did indeed make remarks to the effect that the premise of Spielberg’s movie – extraterrestrial visitation – was fact, not fiction.
This is something of a bombshell. Rumors have persisted for years about just what – if anything – Reagan told Spielberg during the 1982 White House E.T. screening, but not until now has the director spoken about it on the record. Spielberg’s version of events, however, differs slightly from the version that has entered UFO-lore.
According to Spielberg, Reagan did not address his remarks to him personally, but rather – and more remarkably – to all guests in the room collectively (some of whom were astronauts). Here is what happened in Spielberg’s own words:
“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 of 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.”