Former NASA Astronaut Gordon Cooper, also known by his nickname “Gordo,” believes in extraterrestrial life and UFOs landing on Earth, but his colleagues seem to be more skeptical. Cooper, an Oklahoma native, started his career in the Marine Corps in 1945. In the years following he became an Air Force test pilot in California where he realized his love and fascination with space and the U.S. space program. Cooper completed the longest and final Mercury spaceflight in 1963, being the first American to sleep in space during that 34-hour mission. He was also the final American to be launched alone in order to conduct a solo orbital mission. In 1965, Cooper was the Command Pilot of Gemini 5.
Cooper explained to the public countless times that he believes the United States government has information on extraterrestrial life and UFO landings that they are withholding from the general public. “I believe that these extraterrestrial vehicles and their crews are visiting this planet from other planets, which obviously are a little more technically advanced than we are here on Earth,” he told a United Nations panel in 1985.
In 1978, Cooper was a guest on “The Merv Griffin Show.” Griffin, the host, told a story he heard regarding aliens on Earth and the notion that a UFO landing occurred in which aliens were taken alive. According to Cooper’s sources of those who have had contact with aliens, have stated even under hypnosis “they do not look much different than humans.”
However, colleagues of Cooper had not had the same beliefs as him regarding extraterrestrials and UFOs. Veteran astronauts Tom Stafford and Mike Collins stated they hadn’t heard the stories Cooper explained he heard. Chief Astronaut Donald K. (Deke) Sayton questioned when Cooper started hearing these tales and why he started expressing his concerns only following his retirement from NASA. Additionally, other astronauts who worked with Cooper stated he may not be the most reliable source. They mentioned that “Cooper is the guy who said he could see truck tracks in China and railroad tracks in Texas when he flew the sixth Mercury mission more than 15 years ago. None of the five astronauts before him saw what Cooper saw.”
Nonetheless, Cooper was adamant in what he believed and his stance on UFOs and alien life was unwavering. During a 1957 mission, Cooper reported seeing “a strange-looking, saucer-like” aircraft that did not make a sound either on landing or take-off. According to Cooper, he saw many different unexplained aircraft during his flights and believes the sightings are being covered by the U.S. Government. He deemed the best way to understand and analyze the mysteries of UFOs, a “top-level, coordinated program” is necessary. Additionally, data from all around the globe regarding an encounter with extraterrestrial life should be documented to determine the best way to interact with these foreigners in a civil way.
Though Cooper’s credibility seems to be up for question, there have certainly been many instances in which saucers and other flying unexplained phenomena flying through the sky. According to President Truman in 1950, “I can assure you that flying saucers, given that they exist, are not constructed by any power on Earth.”