By now this is old news, as it is actually really old news, as Greg Bishop reminded, being more than a decade that Apollo astronaut Ed Mitchell expressed his opinions publicly about UFOs and aliens. But I thought I should add some more skeptical comments to what Phil Plait has already noted, reminding that Mitchell has a lot of (other) fringe beliefs (and that his ET opinions are no news).
First and foremost, what should be emphasized on Mitchell’s statements is his simple and plain honesty. And that’s extremely important because he clearly stated, many times over that:
I have never had first hand experiences of ETs or UFO phenomena. Rather, I rely upon the testimony of trusted “old timers”.
You would expect that someone who was the sixth man to walk on the Moon, who spent days beyond Earth, would have seen aliens spaceships. If alien spaceships are out there, of course. Or, if not, that he would at least be briefed beforehand on some secret procedures or even ordered to maintain secrecy, just in case such an event would happen.
But although Mitchell has claimed the government does hide the alien presence, he has also been honest as to his first-hand experience on Apollo, stating that neither he nor anyone from Apollo was ever ordered to maintain secrecy regarding UFOs.
Mitchell’s claims are all based on hearsay, as he promptly admits. Now, this doesn’t mean they are false, but it does mean they are simply hearsay, and anonymous at that, as he didn’t disclose the names of the people who confided all these secrets to him.
This must sound like the plain old and boring skeptical attack on testimonial evidence. And it is. But let me go further.
Suppose for an instant that Mitchell, a true old-time American national hero, did manage to break many levels of secrecy in the alleged Great Cosmic Conspiracy, and was let in on some “above top secret” information. That is plausible, or at least more plausible than some people coming from nowhere claiming inside knowledge, as is often the case.
Problem is, Mitchell didn’t reveal anything new. In fact, he is many, many years late on the latest fashions and hot UFO topics, and you may take his references to Roswell as evidence.
As you UFO buff must know, Roswell was not the beginning of ufology. It was news on 1947, true, but it was quickly ignored even by ufologists for decades afterwards. Ufology thrived on huge UFO flaps, contactees, intriguing cases, USAF’s Bluebook, and was even already into abductions when the Roswell case came back from the dead to full stardom only around the early 1980s. History was rewritten as Roswell turned into a pop culture icon, when in fact for more than three decades, UFO crash claims would more likely be associated with the Aztec UFO crash hoax.
Here’s what Mitchell has to say about Roswell:
The relevant part here is when Mitchell says that he came to be interested on the Roswell UFO crash as something alien only in the 1980s. That is, of course, after it was already a very public subject.
If Roswell was indeed a real alien spaceship crash retrieval event, as Mitchell believes, and as some ufologists have been claiming for the last twenty-plus years; and furthermore, if Mitchell’s sources are indeed good, wouldn’t you expect for him to have been interested about it before the whole public mythology developed itself?
This is nowhere near any proof that Mitchell’s claims are false. There’s not much to deny about Mitchell’s claims, as they are only hearsay and his personal beliefs. Testimonial evidence without any corroborating physical evidence would be useful if it contained some exclusive, verifiable information, but Mitchell’s revelations are no revelation at all.
Some may suggest he could be part of a disinformation campaign, but I think he’s just victim of a Total Perspective Vortex.
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