extract from UFOs and Aliens in Space DAVID MORRISON
One allegedly well-documented report stems from an interview in which astronaut Buzz Aldrin describes seeing a UFO during the Apollo 11 mission. In an interview on the Science Channel, Aldrin stated that he, Neil Armstrong, and Mike Collins saw unidentified objects that appeared to follow their Apollo spacecraft.
To get the story straight, I called Buzz Aldrin, who was happy to explain what happened. He said that his remarks were taken out of context to reverse his meaning. It is true that the Apollo 11 crew spotted an unidentified object moving with the spacecraft as they approached the Moon. After they verified that this mystery object was not Apollo 11’s large rocket upper stage, which was about 6,000 miles away by then, they concluded that they were seeing one of the small panels that had linked the spacecraft to the upper stage (any part of the spacecraft’s rocket upper stage will continue to move alongside the spacecraft, as both are floating in free-fall). These panels were too small to track from Earth and were relatively close to the Apollo spacecraft. Aldrin told me that they chose not to discuss this on the open communications channel since they were concerned that their comments might be misinterpreted. His entire explanation about identifying the panels was cut from the broadcast interview, giving the impression that the Apollo 11 crew had seen a UFO. Aldrin told me that he was angry about the deceptive editing and asked the Science Channel to correct the intentional twisting of his remarks, but they refused. Later, Aldrin explained what happened on CNN’s Larry King Live (just below, left link) but was nearly cut off by the host before he could finish.
With the popularity of YouTube, this same question is addressed to me repeatedly, as in: “Check out this video on YouTube with Buzz Aldrin saying he saw a UFO on Apollo 11. Who is fibbing? NASA or the great American hero, Buzz Aldrin?” My answer was that the fibbing was being done by the producers of the video, who omitted the second half of the interview.
YOU TUBE "We saw a light" Buzz Aldrin retracts
It is instructive to watch this interview to see the ways the story is embellished and ultimately manipulated. Most of the talking is done by the interviewer and not Aldrin, but their comments have been edited to create the illusion of a seamless narrative. Throughout the interview we see a montage of short scenes from Apollo and other missions, including a blurry image through the window taken during a later flight. Only a critical viewer will distinguish what Aldrin said from the narrative by the interviewer or realize that the video clips are unrelated. The end product is clever disinformation, strongly suggesting—without explicitly lying—that Aldrin and his crewmates saw an alien spacecraft.
Many Internet claims of encounters between NASA astronauts and alien spacecraft are based on quotes from “secret communications” between flight crews and Houston. It is true that there are such private conversations, concerning crew health for example. But the Internet stories of overheard conversations are never documented and often attributed to leaks from unnamed NASA workers whose jobs (or even lives) would allegedly be at risk if they were identified. Many of these stories involve the Apollo 11 flight, and they include claims that alien spaceships accompanied the NASA craft during its Moon landing and that a row of alien spacecraft along a crater rim monitored the astronauts’ spacewalk on the lunar surface. (Incidentally, Apollo 11 landed on a flat plain where there were no hills or crater rims to provide such a viewpoint.)
To my knowledge, no NASA astronaut has ever reported seeing a UFO in space, let alone having a confrontation with aliens. However, this is not to say that no astronaut believes that alien visitations to Earth might be happening. Recently there were news reports that Apollo 14 astronaut Edgar Mitchell believes in the reality of some reports of UFOs. He has attended a number of meetings of UFO believers, and he asserts that some of these reports are true, and that the U.S. government and military are aware of these alien visits. However, Mitchell does not claim to have seen aliens himself. His astronaut colleagues tell me that he has always had an interest in the occult, and he even tried to conduct a parapsychology experiment on the way to and from the Moon. It is easy for a journalist to ignore Mitchell's caveats about most UFO reports being untrue, or about not encountering an alien himself, to give the impression that he and other astronauts have had frequent encounters with beings from other worlds.
One argument presented to me by several correspondents is that aliens must have warned humans to stay away from their bases on the Moon. Otherwise, why was the Apollo program suddenly terminated with three more missions scheduled and almost ready for launch? (The huge Apollo/Saturn-5 rockets that enthrall visitors to the NASA space parks at Canaveral, Houston, and Huntsville are not mock-ups; they are real hardware built for Apollo 18, 19, and 20.) The conspiracy story attributes our failure to follow up on the Apollo flights to this same interplanetary quarantine and suggests that NASA’s current program to return astronauts to the Moon will be cancelled for the same reason. I admit being baffled by the sudden termination of the Apollo program at the peak of its success, but I accept the official explanation that it was due to the changing political priorities of the Nixon administration, where many looked upon Apollo as a Kennedy-Johnson program.