Did Jimmy Carter See Aliens? George Stephanopoulos Reveals Brush with Paranormal in New Book (Exclusive)

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The former White House adviser recalls history-making White House talks in his newly released book, 'The Situation Room'

<p>Grand Central Publishing; Ali Wentworth</p> George Stephanopoulos and his new book,

Grand Central Publishing; Ali Wentworth

George Stephanopoulos and his new book, 'The Situation Room'

George Stephanopoulos opens up about the place where presidents made some history-making decisions in his tell-all new book, The Situation Room.

Stephanopoulos, 63 — who served as a senior adviser and White House communications director to President Bill Clinton — has written a historical deep-dive to offer a behind-the-scenes look at one of the most secretive rooms in modern history.

Now a Good Morning America co-anchor and host of ABC's This Week previously said of the release, “Along with the Oval Office, no place better exemplifies the power and mystery of the presidency than the White House Situation Room."

“The decisions made in that windowless warren in the basement of the West Wing have determined the fate of presidents and shaped the course of history, yet relatively little has been written about it and the people who work there — no comprehensive history in nearly two decades," he continues. "When I discovered that fact, I knew I had to write this book.”

<p>Grand Central Publishing</p> 'The Situation Room' by George Stephanopoulos

Grand Central Publishing

'The Situation Room' by George Stephanopoulos

In an audio excerpt exclusively shared with PEOPLE — from Chapter 5, "Close Encounters" — Stephanopoulos recounts meetings with 39th president Jimmy Carter, now 99, regarding parapsychology programs and the Stargate Project, a secret U.S. Army unit established in 1978 at Fort Meade, Md. to investigate the potential for psychic phenomena in military and domestic intelligence applications. Listen below!

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"Just before 1 p.m. on Thursday, May 8, 1980, an NSC staffer named Jake Stewart made his way into the Situation Room for a private briefing with President Jimmy Carter," the author writes. "Stewart, a trim, clean-cut U.S. Navy Captain, had been serving since 1978 in the NSC's Defense coordination cluster. With a portfolio that included defense budget, military programs and armed control. But on this day, he would be briefing the president on a very different type of program."

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The excerpt details the former president's meeting with Stewart and seemingly alludes to using paranormal psychology to save Americans amid the 1979 Iran hostage crisis. Stephanopoulos states in the excerpt that Carter's wife Rosalynn Carter was present at the meeting, which was "exceedingly unusual" for a situation room meeting.

<p>Bettmann/Getty</p> Jimmy Carter's official portrait, 1980


Jimmy Carter's official portrait, 1980

"Rumors had been swirling for years that the Soviet Union had a robust parapsychology program, and eager not to be left behind on any intelligence front, the CIA and the Defense Intelligence Agency worked with the Stamford Research Institute to create one in the United States," he writes.

Stephanopoulos recalls in the book that Carter, who grew up as a Southern Baptist in Plains, Ga., once saw "a green light, it didn't have any solid substance to it, it was just a very particular looking light. None of us could understand what it was," in Leary, Ga., back in 1969.

Stephanopoulos points out that Carter was "intrigued by the possibility that the object originated from outer space.

Audio excerpt from THE SITUATION ROOM: The Inside Story of Presidents in Crisis by George Stephanopoulos, read by George Stephanopoulos, Lisa Dickey (contributor), Peter Ganim (narrator), Elisabeth Rodgers (Narrator), courtesy of Hachette Audio.

The Situation Room is available now, wherever books are sold.

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