Go ahead and ask the nearest world leader if they have proof that aliens are real. You'll probably get some version of a "no comment" along with a grin or a chuckle. But apparently if you ask Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev while he thinks his microphone is off, you get something else entirely.
After a recent joint interview with five different Russian TV stations, Medvedev decided to hang around for a bit and answer some off-air questions from the reporters. When he thought his microphone was off, he apparently alluded to President Vladimir Putin's chronic lateness, called government investigators "jerks" and said he still believes in Father Frost, Russia's equivalent of Santa Claus, "but not too deeply."
Then a reporter decided to ask Medvedev if, when he became the country's president in 2008 (a post he held until earlier this year), he was given any secret files on aliens. Here's what he said:
"Along with the briefcase with nuclear codes, the president of the country is given a special 'top secret' folder. This folder in its entirety contains information about aliens who visited our planet," Medvedev said.
"Along with this, you are given a report of the absolutely secret special service that exercises control over aliens on the territory of our country ... More detailed information on this topic you can get from a well-known movie called Men In Black ... I will not tell you how many of them are among us because it may cause panic."
Both the Associated Press and The Telegraph, along with other media outlets, have implied or flat-out stated that Medvedev was joking. The Men In Black comment certainly seems to indicate that he was, but even if much of the answer was a joke, there's always the chance that he has seen those fabled alien files.
Take a look at the video below featuring Medvedev's answer to the alien question. You can hear at least one giggle off-camera, but the prime minister himself never seems to overtly show that he's kidding. What do you think? Was he serious?