Well, this is certainly a weird one.
One of the twelve men to walk on the moon believes that extraterrestrials helped stop the Cold War from going nuclear.
Edgar Mitchell was born in Texas, but grew up in Artesia, New Mexico. Since leaving NASA, he has also been a booster for the idea that extraterrestrials have visited the Earth.
He made headlines last week after speaking with the Mirror Online, which describes itself as “the intelligent tabloid.” In an interview with the British newspaper, Mitchell said that people have told him that UFOs appeared near nuclear silos and turned off equipment.
From the Mirror Online interview:
“White Sands was a testing ground for atomic weapons – and that’s what the extraterrestrials were interested in.
“They wanted to know about our military capabilities.
“My own experience talking to people has made it clear the ETs had been attempting to keep us from going to war and help create peace on Earth.”
This isn’t a one-off for Mitchell. He has made headlines every so often for decades for his belief that extraterrestrials have visited Earth and his parascience evangelism.
Mitchell is a founder of the Institute of Noetic Sciences, a research institute dedicated to the parapsychological.
In an interview with the website AskMen, Mitchell said the existence of aliens was being covered up by a “cabal of money and military organizations that is primarily for the profit motive.”
Mitchell also said that he has never himself seen a UFO, though he has spoken to those he considers credible.
Mitchell isn’t the only astronaut to walk on the moon to dabble in conspiracy theories. In fact, he’s not the only moon-walker from New Mexico to do so.
Harrison Schmitt also walked on the moon and is a former U.S. Senator from New Mexico.
His conspiracy theories are decidedly more terrestrial and political.
While on the radio show Infowars hosted by Alex Jones, Schmitt said he believed the environmental movement was an extension of U.S.S.R. communism.
“I think the whole trend really began with the fall of the Soviet Union. Because the great champion of the opponents of liberty, namely communism, had to find some other place to go and they basically went into the environmental movement,” he said.
The New Mexico Independent, which is now defunct and this writer wrote for, first flagged the comment when Schmitt was in line to be the head of the Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department.
Schmitt eventually pulled his nomination after being unwilling to undergo a background check from the Senate Rules Committee which all nominees go through.
New Mexico is, of course, the site of the most famous UFO sighting, the 1947 UFO sighting near Roswell. The explanation that it was an Air Force surveillance balloon has done nothing to stop conspiracy theorists from saying this is a cover-up.
While running for president, then-New Mexico governor Bill Richardson said he would investigate the Roswell incident, as it has become known.