When hackers broke into Hillary Clinton's campaign chairman John Podesta’s private email account, little did they know they were entering the Twilight Zone.
There, amid the grist and gossip about the inner workings of the campaign — and some pedestrian tidbits about Podesta’s personal life — was irrefutable proof that UFOs were on the radar of one of Washington’s best known power brokers.
In a June 25, 2014 email disclosed by WikiLeaks, the late NASA astronaut Edgar Mitchell requested “a conversation with you and President Obama regarding the next steps in extraterrestrial disclosure for the benefit of our country and our plant.”
At the time Podesta was a counselor to Obama. And he responded, via his rep, on July 18 of that year.
“John would like take this meeting alone first before involving the President, so let me ask him if he can do this in August,” she wrote. “He’ll be in town Aug 11-22. Is Dr. Mitchell planning to be in town then?”
Mitchell, as a subsequent email revealed, could not make it and requested a Skype sitdown. It’s not clear if that happened.
Then there was an April 30, 2015 request from Mitchell for an “ASAP” Skype talk with Podesta to discuss “the difference between celestials in our own solar system and their restraint by those from the nonviolent contiguous universe.”
“It is also imperative that after your talk with Edgar, he then speak directly with President Obama via Skype for historical purposes, about the same issue, while the President is still in office,” the email states.
It’s not clear if that meeting happened, either. Mitchell died on Feb. 4, 2016.
Podesta also got multiple emails from Blink-182 guitarist and UFO enthusiast Tom DeLonge. They revealed that Podesta took part in a documentary about extraterrestrials by DeLonge was producing. And they revealed that DeLonge was interested in introducing Podesta to people who shared their UFO obsession.
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“I think you will find them very interesting, as they were principal leadership relating to our sensitive topic,” DeLonge wrote in an Oct. 26, 2015 email. “Both were in charge of most fragile divisions, as it relates to Classified Science and DOD topics.”
“Just looking to have a casual, and private conversation in person,” the email states.
Once again, it’s not clear if that meeting happened.
FBI UFO Document Is The Most Popular Of All Its 'Vault' Files (why do people think I'm crazy? Can't they read?) http://t.co/9UXUKkAcuZ
The Clinton campaign has yet to confirm the authenticity of WikiLeaks emails, which the U.S. government has blamed on the Russians.
And Podesta did not return an email for comment about his other-wordly interests.
But Podesta’s interest in X-Files-type fodder was well-known long before hackers got involved.
Podesta has made clear in interviews that he thinks the U.S. government has not done a very good job of answering questions from citizens about UFO sightings. And he has called for lifting the veil on Area 51, the hush hush U.S. Air Force Facility in Nevada that conspiracy theorists have long contended contains secrets about contacts with visitor from other planets.
Obama was the first president to publicly acknowledge the existence of Area 51.
In an April chat with CNN, Podesta admitted that back when he was President Clinton’s chief of staff he asked the 42nd president “for some information about some of these things, and in particular, some information about what was going on at Area 51.”
“There are a lot of planets out there,” Podesta answered, when asked if he believed there were other living beings out in the universe. “The American people can handle the truth.”
The handling the truth line should be familiar to anybody who watched The X-Files, a show about a pair of FBI agents who investigated things like UFO sightings.
Podesta also repeated the line in his forward to the 2011 book by Leslie Kean entitled “UFOs: Generals, Pilots, and Government Officials Go on the Record.”
"It's time to find out what the truth really is that's out there. The American people—and people around the world—want to know, and they can handle the truth," he wrote.
Podesta's boss promised during a March appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live that if she is elected President she will open government files on the Area 51 and other areas of interests of the extra-terrestrial advocates. Clinton also wowed the X-Files crowd by informing her host that the correct word for UFO is actually "unexplained aerial phenomenon."
"UAP," she told the late night talk show host. "That's the latest nomenclature."
And while the Obama Administration has tend to take a more tongue-in-cheek approach to the whole issue, Clinton has signaled she'll take all this far more seriously.
"There's enough stories out there that I don't think everybody is just sitting in their kitchen making them up," she said in a radio interview.
Stephen Bassett, who heads the Paradigm Research Group and has pushed for years to get the feds to open their X-files, said it's "no accident" that Clinton and Podesta are talking ET's.
"During the Cold War the ET issue was under a truth embargo, an effort to keep the truth from the American people for national security reasons," he said."Now the Clinton team is engaging this issue like no presidential candidate has ever had."
Has he been in touch with Podesta?
"I've corresponded with Podesta for 10 years and I've never gotten a response," he said. "There's like a chess game going on between the Paradigm Research Group and the Clinton Team."
Corky Siemaszko is a senior writer for NBC News Digital.