UPDATE: Executive Director Steve Bassett of The Citizen Hearing on Disclosure was paraphrased in the New York Times, also originally cited here. In a comment below he has provided a quote and a clarification that differs from how the Times described his position. The third paragraph from the bottom has been amended to reflect his clarification.

While past presidents and presidential candidates have joked about UFOs, Hillary Clinton is one of the first mainstream candidates to promise disclosure of classified Area 51, UFO and Unexplained Aerial Phenomena (UAP) documents should she be elected president.

“I want to open the files as much as we can,” Clinton said in a recent radio interview. In the wake of a New York Times article that brought renewed attention to Clinton’s most unexpected campaign commitment, President Barack Obama’s White House was asked to respond.

The answer, from President Obama’s press secretary Josh Earnest, will disappoint UFO enthusiasts still hoping for disclosure on the federal level:

“I have to admit, I don’t have a tab for Area 51 in my briefing book today,” Earnest began. After a joke from the press corp. Earnest proposed a “grand conspiracy” to keep him from answering the question thoroughly.

“I’m not aware of any plans the President has to make public any information about this,” Earnest said, ending hope that UFO disclosure will come from the White House in 2016.

Steve Bassett, executive director of The Citizen Hearing on Disclosure, believes Hillary Clinton’s openness on the issue will prompt the Obama administration to disclose classified extraterrestrial information. “Clinton’s presidential campaign and her connection to the ET issue may offer the best chance to end the truth embargo on the ET issue,” Bassett said. “Obama will be the Disclosure president — hopefully well before the November election.”

Not only has Clinton evinced a past interest in extraterrestrials — in 1995 she was photographed carrying Are We Alone?: Philosophical Implications of the Discovery of Extraterrestrial Life by Paul Davies (above) — but she’ll also have the backing of campaign chairman John Podesta, who has crusaded for the release of government information on unexplained aerial phenomena for decades.

While previous presidential administrations, Obama’s included, have treated declassification of Area 51 and UAP files as a joke, a Clinton presidency might at least take the demand seriously.