[dropcap]S[/dropcap]ome years back my friend Alan Steinfeld and I had dinner with Edgar Mitchell. Mitchell, as those of us who are old enough to remember, was the lunar module pilot of Apollo 14 in 1971, and the sixth person to walk on the Moon.
For Alan and myself, Mitchell is also the founder of a group that we have been involved with for years, the Institute of Noetic Sciences. IONS is an organization dedicated to exploring the shared ground between spirituality and science. Mitchell started IONS due in large part to a transformational experience on his way back from the moon which he described in an interview with Ascent Magazine:
“The spacecraft was rotating to maintain the thermal balance of the Sun… Every two minutes, with every rotation, we saw the Earth, the Moon, and the Sun as they passed by the window. The 360-degree panorama of the heavens was awesome and the stars are ten times as bright and, therefore, ten times as numerous than you could ever see on a high mountaintop on a clear night.
It was overwhelmingly magnificent… I realized that the molecules of my body and the molecules of the spacecraft had been manufactured in an ancient generation of stars. It wasn’t just intellectual knowledge — it was a subjective visceral experience accompanied by ecstasy — a transformational experience.”
Edgar Mitchell told us over dinner that he realized viscerally at that time that the universe is a living thing, not a confluence of dead matter and mindless energy as he had been taught. He also recognized intuitively that intelligent life is not limited to the blue-green planet which he saw shining like a jewel in the vastness of space. The astronaut was left with the conviction that there must be other highly evolved civilizations out there, perhaps waiting for humans to reach a point in their own evolution where we would benefit from contact with them.
After returning to earth, Mitchell told us, he followed up on this hunch. He met with many in the military who said they had personally seen UFOs, including several witnesses to the famed Roswell incident in 1947, where a UFO allegedly crashed and three extraterrestrial bodies were recovered. The astronaut told us point-blank that there had been a deliberate government coverup of its extensive files on UFOs. Mitchell said that he personally had been a member of a committee set up to enforce the coverup.
Naturally our curiosity was aroused! Alan in particular has spent a lot of time looking into the evidence for the reality of the UFO phenomenon and writing about it on his blog. He recently sent me a piece on a curious FBI file which has been getting a lot of attention lately. Below is a short version of what he has written:
“Recently the FBI issued the statement: ‘Sorry, no smoking gun on UFOs. The mystery remains…’ They felt compelled to say this because a memo about UFOs is the most viewed file on the online publicly accessible FBI website called “The Vault.” Yet despite this denial, the gun is still smoking… And more than smoking — it is on fire.
Richard Schiffman - The Huffington Post