By Dennis BalthaserDuring the many years that I’ve been doing this research, I have had the opportunity to meet a combination of credible, and less than credible witnesses, not only about the Roswell Incident, but pertaining to other UFO incidents as well. Credibility and verification of witness’s information is of utmost importance to me, and usually can be determined after several conversations with the possible witness, or by checking their credentials based on known or obtainable information.
Occasionally a witness comes along that has the professional background, credibility, or experience that convinces me to pay attention to what they are sharing. Several of the witnesses that I’ve known or interviewed have become personal friends, such as Jesse Marcel Jr. (pictured left with Larry King, CNN), who handled the debris from the Roswell craft in 1947, and has had outstanding careers as a military helicopter pilot and as a physician. Another is Travis Walton of “Fire in the Sky” (cover pictured, left) who is one of the most believable abductee’s I’ve ever met. There are others such as airplane pilots, law enforcement officers, etc.
For this article however I want to focus on our astronauts, who for the most part don’t talk much about their experiences with UFO’s, quite possibly because NASA, which I think stands for, “Never A Straight Answer”, has advised them it would be best to not discuss the subject, or they have refused to go public, fearing ridicule and condemnation.
A notable exception to the astronaut group that does openly talk about it is former Apollo 14 astronaut, Dr. Edgar Mitchell, who in 1971 piloted the Apollo 14 lunar module, with commander Alan Shepard to the moon’s surface. I’ve had the opportunity to meet Dr. Mitchell twice, the first time being several years ago at the Aztec, New Mexico symposium. More recently I met him here in Roswell. I had heard that he knew something about the Roswell Incident, so when I had the opportunity in Aztec, to talk to him alone, I asked him, “what he knew about the Roswell Incident?” Without hesitation, he informed me, “that he knew it did happen, but couldn’t tell me anymore.”
Mitchell grew up in the Roswell area, attending what is now Berrendo Elementary School in Roswell through the seventh grade, then moved with his family to Artesia, New Mexico, graduating from Artesia High School, some 30 miles south of Roswell, and was a teenager when the Roswell Incident happened in 1947. His family has a long history of cattle ranching in the area.
Last weekend, (Sunday, July 27, 2008), the Roswell Daily Record newspaper printed an exclusive interview with Dr. Mitchell, in which he stated, “he is certain the 1947 Roswell UFO crash was a true alien encounter.” The interview with the newspaper was quite lengthy and contained what I consider as a researcher, important information, some of which I’ll share with you.
In that interview Dr. Mitchell stated that, “years later, some of the area’s old-timers and military intelligence officers close to the incident – some facing the threat of severe penalties – confided in him.” Based on what they told him, “he is convinced the incident was a real encounter, covered up by the government for over 61 years.” After his lunar flight, local Roswell witnesses contacted him, and because he was a well-known astronaut and a local, he thought they felt they could confide in him.
Dr. Mitchell also stated in the interview that, “he happened to have been privileged enough to be in on the fact that we’ve been visited---and that the UFO phenomena is real.” He said, “his belief was confirmed by various sources, including members or former members of top-secret military intelligence circles.”
Mitchell said, “the UFO story is so secret that even presidents and top politicians, including Jimmy Carter, Gerald Ford and former Arizona Senator Barry Goldwater, were denied access to the “black operations files,” and theorizes that even the government may not be in control of the information or technology.”
Although Dr. Mitchell has never seen a UFO, his personal interest in UFOs and the possibility of extraterrestrial life began as a young fighter pilot, when other members of his squadron began reporting encounters with UFOs. When they tried to report the incidents, some claimed to have been threatened and were told to shut up, just like the civilian pilots. Mitchell said, “Our pilots would chase them, and they would chase us. There were just too many incidents and reports to deny that there was nothing going on.” Mitchell believes the alien visitations should not be considered hostile, and that “some of the alleged visits” were actually “homegrown”, linked to our own super-secret programs.
Dr Mitchell knows Jesse Marcel Jr., the son of the Army Air Force intelligence officer Jesse Marcel Sr., who was at the crash site during the Roswell Incident, and knows he was convinced that what crashed at Roswell was not a weather balloon. Mitchell also indicated, “that there remains strong evidence, possibly including photographs, that 61 years after the crash has not been seen by the public.” As far as an alien body(s) being recovered, Mitchell said, “I can’t prove that, but I certainly know that the so-called alien autopsy photographs were fakes.”
As a researcher after the truth, it is my hope that individuals like Dr. Mitchell will continue to speak out, and perhaps others will continue to do likewise.
Dr. Mitchell is not the only astronaut that has either seen UFOs or believes they are real and may represent contact with other worlds. Gordon Cooper, one of our initial astronauts was an outspoken believer in UFOs, prior to his death in 2004. Cooper claimed to have first sighted UFOs as a young Air Force pilot in Germany in the 1950s, and like Mitchell claimed that the government hid the truth from the public. Cooper and Mitchell are joined by others such as Mercury astronaut Donald (Deke) Slayton, and at least two former Soviet cosmonauts, Yevegni Khrunov, a Soyus-5 pilot, and Salyut-6 space station member Maj. Gen. Vladimir Kovalyonok, all claiming at one time or another to have seen UFOs, or saying that they are certain the Earth has been visited by aliens and their spacecraft.
Other astronaut claims:
In June 1965, astronauts Ed White (first American to walk in space) and James McDivitt were passing over Hawaii in a Gemini spacecraft when they saw a weird-looking metallic object. The UFO had long arms sticking out of it. McDivitt took pictures with a cine-camera. Those pictures have never been released.
In December 1965, Gemini astronauts James Lovell and Frank Borman also saw a UFO during their second orbit of their record-breaking 14-day flight. Borman reported that he saw an unidentified spacecraft some distance from their capsule. Gemini control, at Cape Kennedy told him that he was seeing the final stage of their own Titan booster rocket. Borman confirmed that he could see the booster rocket all right, but that he could also see something completely different.
Many other accounts have been filed by Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo astronauts in addition to X-15 test pilots, including films taken of strange objects, but never released to the public. I will continue to seek additional information from these astronauts, due to the credibility they have as our space pioneers, and the front row seat they have to many strange objects they have seen, but continually hidden from the public.