12:11 pm EST
Did our astronauts see more than they were allowed to tell?
Rumors have persisted for years that the astronauts --- nearly all military officers susceptible to being silenced under orders --- may have seen something more on the moon than rocks and dust. A According to transcripts of the technical debriefing following the Apollo 11 mission, astronauts Armstrong, Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin and Michael Collins told of an encounter with a large cylindrical UFO even before reaching the moon. Aldrin said, “The first unusual thing that we saw I guess was one day out or pretty close to the moon. It had a sizable dimension to it...” Aldrin said the Apollo crew at first thought the object was the Saturn 4 booster rocket (S-IVB) but added, “We called the ground and were told the S-IVB was 6,000 miles away.” Aldrin described the UFO as a cylinder while Armstrong said it was “...really two rings. Two connected rings.” Collins also said it appeared to be a hollow cylinder which was tumbling. He added, “It was a hollow cylinder. But then you could change the focus on the sextant and it would be replaced by this open-book shape. It was really weird.”
Even more strange was the experience of Aldrin and Armstrong, after they reached the moon.
According to an Associated Press story of July 20, 1969 (my file copy is from the San Bernardino Sun-Telegram), the astronauts sighted eerie lights inside a crater near the point on the moon where their lunar lander was due to touch down the next day.
On their first sweep around the moon, Armstrong described a mysterious bright light on the inner wall of the crater Aristarchus, located north of their flight path. “It seems to have a slight amount of florescence to it. The area in the crater is quite bright,” he reported. “That area is definitely brighter than anything else I can see. There doesn’t appear to be any color involved in it…It looks like an eerie sight,” confirmed Aldrin.
Two astronauts who appear to have broken ranks are Dr. Edgar Mitchell and Gordon Cooper. On a Oprah Winfrey Show on July 19, 1991, Mitchell hinted that all information regarding UFOs has not been released, saying, “I do believe that here is a lot more known about extraterrestrial investigation than is available to the public right now (and) has been for a long time....It’s a long, long story. It goes back to World War II when all of that happened, and is highly classified stuff.”
On “Dateline NBC” in 1996, Mitchell was even more candid. “I have no firsthand experience, but I have had the opportunity to meet with people from three countries who in the course of their official duties claim to have had personal firsthand encounter experiences...with extraterrestrials,” he said. Recently, Mitchell flatly stated that some advanced military craft use technology derived from alien spacecraft that have been collected by the U.S. Government.
Cooper, in a letter read during a 1978 meeting at the United Nations to discuss UFOs, stated, “...I believe that these extraterrestrial vehicles and their crews are visiting this planet form other planets, which are obviously a little more advanced than we are here on Earth.”
Also that year, Cooper wrote a letter to the ambassador of the Mission of Grenada to the United Nations supporting a UN initiative to study UFOs. In his letter, Cooper stated that astronauts “are very reluctant to even discuss UFOs due to the great numbers of people who have indiscriminately sold fake stories and forged documents abusing their names and reputations without hesitation. Those few astronauts who have continued to participate in the UFO field have had to do so very cautiously. There are several of us who do believe in UFOs and who have had occasion to see a UFO on the ground, or from an airplane.”
Cooper’s mention of a “UFO on the ground” apparently was a reference to his own experience at Edwards Air Force Base on May 2, 1957. In 1993, Cooper gave this account of the incident, “...I had a crew that was filming an installation of a precision landing system we were installing out on the dry lake bed, and they were there with stills and movies and filmed the whole installation and they came running in to tell me that this UFO, a little saucer, had come down right over them, put down three gear, and landed about 50 yards from them, and as they proceeded to go on over to get a closer shot of it, it lifted up, put the gear in, and disappeared in a rapid rate of speed. And so I had to follow my directions as a military...I had to look up the regulations on who I was to call to report this, which I did, and they ordered me to immediately have the film developed, put it in a pouch, and send them by the commanding general’s plane to Washington, which I did. And that was the last I’ve ever heard of the film.”
It is interesting to note that, despite the continued protests that there is no government secrecy regarding UFOs, there is no public report on this incident. Although the event was listed in the Project Blue Book index, a full report and clear photos are suspiciously absent.
Yet Cooper, who reported the UFO landing, was selected as a Mercury astronaut only two years later. In a 1996 interview, Cooper said he discounts any conventional explanation for his experience. Asked his thoughts on UFOs, the astronaut said, “Well, I figured it was somebody coming from some distant place to visit us.”
So, at least some of this nation’s astronauts have had unexplained experiences and voiced views radically different from conventional thinking.
|Excerpt of interview with Gordon Cooper |
OMNI, March 1980, p. 106
OMNI: What about the repeated allegations that the astronauts saw many UFOs?
COOPER: It got so bad that there were deliberately falsified tapes of communications with the astronauts, where UFO material was simply edited in. To my knowledge, the only astronaut on any of the Mercury, Gemini, or Apollo missions who ever saw anything that might have been a UFO was Jim McDivitt, but he didnīt get enough pictures to prove anything substantial. Thatīs the only case, in spite of all the stories you hear.
OMNI: Didnīt you go after some UFOs as an air force pilot in Germany in the 1950s?
COOPER: Yes, several days in a row we sighted groups of metallic, saucer-shaped vehicles at great altitudes over the base, and we tried to get close to them, but they were able to change direction faster than our fighters. I do believe UFOs exists and that the truly unexplained ones are from some other technologically advanced civilization. From my association with aircraft and spacecraft, I think I have a pretty good idea of what everyone on this planet has and their performance capabilities, and Iīm sure some of the UFOs at least are not from anywhere on Earth.
OMNI: Arenīt you concerned about the reaction of people who may read this?
COOPER: Iīve always been honest about my views on this subject. Because the astronauts have been so badly misquoted by irresponsible journalists, itīs up to each of us to say what he believes in. Iīm engaged in a lawsuit against people who used my name for a commercial venture, quoting me to the effect that Iīm dedicated to forcing the government to tell the truth about UFOs. I never said that at all. If any UFO information is being suppressed, itīs certainly not in the U.S. Air Force, because I was at a high enough level to know about it.
In defense of the military attitude, I canīt really blame them for being negative when I consider ridiculous things that have been said and written and the fact that the military is responsible for national security. Itīs a little embarrassing to acknowledge they canīt explain some things.
OMNI: ...Are people psychologically ready to face it if UFOs should prove to be manned by visiting aliens?
COOPER: People want to know whatīs going on in the world around them, and I think theyīre prepared for the truth, whatever it is. A lot of people donīt believe anything about UFOs because of the absurd treatises that have come out on the subject. And a lot of people are afraid of the unknown. But the more we know, the greater the likelihood of treating UFOs in a friendly fashion.