By Joel Kontinen
In February 1971, Apollo 14 astronaut Edgar Mitchell walked for 9.5 hours on the moon. Recently, in an interview on UK-based Kerrang Radio, he spoke about UFOs, aliens and a 60-year old US government cover-up conspiracy.
Edgar Mitchell surprised both his interviewer and his audience by admitting his belief in extra-terrestrials. He believes aliens have been visiting us for years. Their intention is peaceful since we might not be here if it were otherwise.
Mitchell thinks the 1947 Roswell incident involving an alleged UFO crash was covered up by the US government. However, he did not provide any evidence.
A reporter at Kerrang Radio asked NASA to comment on Mitchell's views. NASA's response was rather succinct: "Dr Mitchell is a great American, but we do not share his opinions on this issue."
Gary Bates, the author of Alien Intrusion (2004), believes there is a strong connection between UFOs and evolution. People who believe life evolved on earth tend to think that it had to evolve elsewhere in space also since we cannot be that special. Indeed, a belief in UFOs seems to fit in well with a believe in a new age type of deity. But both real science and biblical theology bring serious problems for a belief in UFOs and extra-terrestrials. ETs seem to have more to do with parapsychological phenomena than physical phenomena.
Kenneth Arnold reported seeing flying saucer-shaped flying objects over Mount Rainier in Washington on June 24, 1947. With this incident fresh in mind, the media was quick to come up with a conspiracy theory just two weeks later when they wrote about Roswell.
Bates suggests that the Roswell incident was an inflated account of a US spy balloon that crashed. In the early cold war years the US government was reluctant to disclose what kind of equipment its air force used to spy on their erstwhile allies the Russians.
So it was a cover up, after all. But not the kind that Edgar Mitchell believes.
Joel Kontinen is a translator and novelist currently living in Finland. His background includes an MA in translation studies and a BA in Bible and Theology. He likes to keep up-to-date on science news and often comments on creation/evolution and origins issues.