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Apollo Astronaut Mitchell Says Aliens Have Visited Earth

Apollo 14 Astronaut Edgar Mitchell.  Credit:  NASA

Apollo 14 Astronaut Edgar Mitchell. Credit: NASA

This story has been spreading like wildfire across the internet, as well as other news sources, which is not surprising given the topic. In a radio interview in the UK, and in a subsequent article in the Daily Register, former Apollo astronaut Edgar Mitchell said he believes there is life on other planets. OK, that’s not much of a bombshell. But then he went on to say that aliens have visited Earth, and our governments have been covering it up. That was the shocker. Mitchell said he was “privileged enough to be in on the fact that we’ve been visited on this planet and the U.F.O. phenomena is real.” While he didn’t offer any real facts or say that he has actually seen aliens, he said big organizations will soon be offering full disclosure. NASA officials responded to Mitchell’s comments fairly politely with this comment: “NASA does not track UFOs. NASA is not involved in any sort of cover up about alien life on this planet or anywhere in the universe. Dr. Mitchell is a great American, but we do not share his opinions on this issue.”

Mitchell was a member of Apollo 14, and was the sixth man to walk on the moon. While he didn’t offer any real proof of his claims, he does seemingly have credentials. However, he alone among the Apollo astronauts makes these types of claims, and has been saying things like this for quite some time. He said on the way home from the moon he had a “transformational, transcendental experience.” After his flight he started the Institute of Noetic Sciences, which “conducts and sponsors leading-edge research into the potentials and powers of consciousness.”

There was another interesting statement by Mitchell during this interview: “There’s more nonsense out there about this than there is real knowledge.”

Of course, the UFO folks have glommed onto these latest statements by Mitchell, but here’s what some of the more reputable news sites have been saying:

New York Times Blog: “While Mr. Mitchell, 77, is certainly entitled to his own views on the issue, the rest of us may need to wait for something more convincing.”

Huffington Post: “Mitchell, a member of the Apollo 14 team, has long held these beliefs despite the fact that he himself has never seen neither an alien or a U.F.O.”

NASA Watch’s Keith Cowing: “I assume you have proof to back up your extraterrestrial conspiracy mongering, Ed.”

Robert Pearlman, the editor of CollectSpace, wrote the following on an online forum:

Based on the nine minute call, it (a) doesn’t seem to be anything tremendously different from prior comments and writings by Dr. Mitchell, and (b) he isn’t actually claiming first-hand knowledge but rather repeating what he was told by others. It is no secret that Dr. Mitchell’s Noetic Science Institute attracts those that believe in extraterrestrials and that he has attended numerous conferences where they have been on the agenda for discussion, thus what he says here is of little surprise (and some might argue, consequence).

Irene Klotz from Discovery interviewed Mitchell after his UK radio interview and here’s an excerpt:

Irene Klotz: I wanted to ask you if there was anything about the radio interview you did that was different from what you’ve said in the past.

Edgar Mitchell: No, there’s nothing different. Several of (the reports of the interview) that I’ve seen come around have some flaws in them. Some of the reports pushed it or spun it incorrectly. NASA had nothing to do with anything I’ve done. I wasn’t briefed by NASA. There haven’t been any sightings as a result of my flight service there, so if that part of it comes out on anything you’ve seen it is just totally wrong.

In this Discovery interview, and in previous interviews, Mitchell has not offered any definite proof of his claims, and said he’s only been “told by people who were utterly sworn to secrecy” about alien visits to Earth. Mitchell grew up in Roswell, New Mexico.

All in all, unless Mitchell can offer definitive proof, his claims will have to be put in the same class as anyone else that makes similar claims, despite his background. Even with the prevalence of cameras and video cameras among the general public and with an abundance of investigative news reporters out there (all wanting to break the news story of the millennium) still, no one has been able to produce credible proof of aliens visiting Earth.

As the Bad Astronomer Phil Plait has said repeatedly, the people constantly looking at the skies, professional and amateur astronomers, have made no claims of UFO’s or aliens visiting Earth. They know what they are looking at in the sky.

For a dose of reality, please see Phil’s take on UFO’s.


Nancy Atkinson is currently Universe Today's Contributing Editor. Previously she served as UT's Senior Editor and lead writer, and has worked with Astronomy Cast and 365 Days of Astronomy. Nancy is also a NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Tyler Durden July 28, 2008, 4:15 PM

    last line should read “but there may well be”

  • Szczesniak July 28, 2008, 10:03 PM

    Believe anything hard enough and it becomes reality to you. If the media covers what you believe in so hard, others too might pick up that belief. After a while, a measurable amount of people might believe the same as you, those things that you picked up from the popular media, from entertainment, from books and magazines, movies about gray men… hell, people BELIEVE in the force, in elves, in pagan gods. Anything that melds well with your persona… after all, belief doesn’t require anything more than ideas to hold on to, be they abstract, easily changed, never measured or scrutinized. Belief makes gives you “transformational, transcendental experiences.” However, this doesn’t change anything, it reveals nothing, and is essentially meaningless in any quantitative range. Don’t believe… Doubt, question, measure and disrupt.

  • Paulo July 29, 2008, 7:18 AM

    Its amazing the amount of disclosure by many famous and reputed people but the masses continue to believe there is no cover up.
    But yes, there is. There are alien visitations. I almost don’t have any doubt by now. Furthermore, I am a astronomer for many years and I have seen one disk-shaped UFO flying 100 meters in front of me, once. That was enough of proof. And these news just add more. I am not a fool.

  • Tyler Durden July 29, 2008, 1:36 PM

    “Its amazing the amount of disclosure by many famous and reputed people but the masses continue to believe there is no cover up.”

    This is a running joke in the Doctor Who series. The Earth is continually invaded by Daleks, and Cybermen, and lions and tigers and bears, all out in the open where everyone can see them and their ships – but still nobody believes in aliens. It’s hilarious.

  • Paul Eaton-Jones July 30, 2008, 5:24 AM

    As people have been pointing both seriously and in comedy routines why do aliens only ever appear to guys called Bubba in a swamp or some back road in the US wilderness? When one lands in Downing Street or on the White House lawn then I’ll start to believe.

  • Al Hall July 30, 2008, 3:59 PM

    65 posts and counting… Lot’s of believers out there. For those who say that we have been visited by aliens, please at least don’t say it is a fact unless you can prove it. A lot of us aren’t interested in “he said…”, “she said…”, “I saw…”, etc…. We don’t want “first-hand” accounts by somebody or video of lights in the sky… A lot of of us would be content if we had live video of a ship on the ground and aliens exiting it (then interviewed by CNN and all of the others..), then hanging around and showing us how great they are. Why can’t we have that? As someone posted here (and was ‘refuted’): Governments would be unable to keep a secret of that magnitude for too long. I tend to agree.. Unless this is a recent occurrence. Who knows…? Maybe there is a cover up… For those who believe that, go get the proof, will ya??? I am dying to see them!!

  • ersuniel July 30, 2008, 6:13 PM

    Now that the comments slow down, rogue:
    Your point about the human fork… just my view. Hugs from the other side of the planet.

  • dmduncan August 1, 2008, 4:44 PM

    “Proof” in the form of solid scientific evidence of exactly how cigarette smoking caused lung cancer wasn’t found until 1996. And in all the time before that proof, cigarettes were still causing lung cancer before the proof was in, but much of the evidence was anecdotal, without the kind of smoking gun that skeptics like Phil Plaitt demand for the hypothesis of ET visitations.

    Proof does not make something real. It only convinces you that it is real. If it is real, it is real even if you have no proof at all.

    Many smokers who died of lung cancer when the suspicion of a link was still young can testify to that. If they weren’t dead, that is.

    So while we hear about the dangers of uncritical belief, let’s also consider the dangers of dogmatic skepticism. Science is slow, and sometimes people have to move faster than science can tolerate.


  • Paul Eaton-Jones August 5, 2008, 7:36 AM

    Science may be ‘slow’ but the basis of science rests on repeatable experiments that PROVE a theory or an idea. Aliens may well exist in the galaxy, in fact the galaxy and the rest of the universe almost certainly teem with life both humble and complex. I believe life is out there but for the Earth to be constantly visited in secret by benevolent or exploitative aliens is almost certainly balderdash. As I posted earlier why do they visit ‘uncle Bubba’ and not Gordon Brown or George Bush? That’s the proof that we want. Just because one belives in something doesn’t make it true q.v. any religion you care to name.