Conducted for the documentaries UFOS: Fifty Years of Denial and Out of the Blue







In 1971 Edgar Mitchell became the sixth man to walk on the moon along with his Apollo 14 colleague Alan Shepard. Although Mitchell was prime astronaut material having been a US Navy fighter pilot and possessing a Ph.D. in aeronautical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, he was also something of a maverick. During the Apollo mission he conducted ESP experiments between himself and subjects on earth to see if the distances would affect the results. In 1973, inspired by these and other profound experiences he had during the Apollo mission he founded the Institute for Noetic Science, in California. For the past 25 years he has been studying the 'cosmology of consciousness'. Mitchell's goal as outlined in his book, The Way of the Explorer, is to establish common ground between science and spirituality.

As well as studying the nature of consciousness, Dr. Mitchell has also been active in UFO research. Along with Mercury astronaut Gordon Cooper he has repeatedly stated in media interviews his belief in the existence of UFOs and that the most likely explanation for their origin is extraterrestrial. In 1997 Mitchell took part in the UFO disclosure program organized by Dr. Steven Greer - the director of the Center for the study of Extraterrestrial Intelligence. (CSETI) in which key military and civilian witnesses testified before the US Congress about their involvement in UFO events. Part of the motivation for these hearings was to ascertain if the US had captured alien craft and reverse engineered them in order to develop new technologies. Mitchell is convinced this has occurred as part of a secret project, ongoing for decades, under a parallel government administration separate from the US President and the Pentagon. 



As an astronaut and public figure why did you felt it was necessary to speak out about the UFO issue?


My principal interest is what is the nature of the universe we live in? What is our relationship to the larger reality? If UFOs are a part of the larger reality and we are denying it then that to me is unconscionable. I don't live that way. I went into space to learn about the universe we live in, to gain new insights and go beyond the boundaries of known existence. So if these phenomena are really indicators of new information about the cosmos and our ability to travel in it, as the evidence would suggest, then we must get to the bottom of it.



Q.  What motivated you to form the Institute of Noetic Science?


It was really in an attempt to answer the perennial questions of who are we, where do we come from and where are we going? I think that at this moment in history when the scientific method has enabled humanity to increase it's knowledge exponentially and as we become a spacefaring species, one of the most important questions is what is the nature of consciousness? How does it allow us to be thinking intelligent beings? Unfortunately we don't have good answers for that.


Q. What sort of conclusions have you come to?


After 25 years research I have concluded that we appear to live in a self organizing, intelligent creative, learning, trial and error and evolving universe, which must be thought of more as an organism than as separate and discrete particles of matter following the laws of physics. The universe, as we can perceive it, is an interactive system between physical processes and intelligent creative activity. A good metaphor would be to say that if you believe in God, then God is still learning, still creating.



Q. Did the fact that the media misrepresented your efforts to conduct experiments in telepathy while in space cause you problems?


Not really. Those who are knowledgeable and involved in these types of experiment did not misrepresent the experiments. The parapsychologists of the day were enthralled with the experiments and were delighted with the results. I don't even use the word 'para' anymore for these sort of sciences. It’s no longer appropriate. We now posses very good models for how 'psi' functions work and understand the mechanism quite well.




Q. Can you explain how these models work?


Everything is interconnected, that is what Quantum physics has taught us. Of course the mystics has been saying this for thousands of years. But science has been asking how is it possible for the mind to obtain information from beyond its immediate environment, such as in telepathy or remote viewing. The term now used in physics to describe these phenomena is non-locality. Human consciousness is non-local. It is not fully contained within the limits of space and time. The mechanism to explain 'psi' phenomenon, which was recently discovered, is called quantum holography. It was found that the emission of energy from every quantum ( sub-atomic) object is coherent enough to obey the laws of holography; that the quantum hologram is information rich. We also know it is non-local. For example the table we are seated at is here, and we experience it. But it is also a hologram - a wave form that provides information throughout the universe. This sort of quantum holography helps to explain the entire range of mental functions such as telepathy and it may even shed some light on what seems to be the interaction between aliens and humans reported during the so called abduction experience.  If alien abductions were physically true, and proceeded at the reported rate, they would have to be a minimum of 300 a day for the last 40 years. I think this argues for a mental component.




Q. What sort of people have you consulted in your efforts to investigate the UFO subject?


It’s important to rely on people who have been there, interacted with the phenomenon and had first hand data. The only people I know of who claim to have been in that position are former members of intelligence organizations, people in the military, members of government and some defense contractors whose official duties were to investigate the UFO issue. I also consult with groups that have interviews with persons who were involved in the government cover up at Roswell and elsewhere. These people would like to come forward, but they are worried they will be breaking their security oaths.


Q. Why is the US government cover up of UFOs still going on?


You could say that in the beginning, hiding such an operation was justified. But these highly classified systems, with limited access and deniability, create absolute power - and that's what happened. Probably ever since President Eisenhower's administration, high level leadership has not known what's going on in these black programs, particularly this black program. The records no longer exist in accessible files, so the freedom of information act cannot get to them. So to answer your question, the government doesn't open up because they don't know what to open up, which is why they invent crazy stories, such as using dummies for testing as an explanation for the bodies that were found at the Roswell crash.



Q. What is your position regarding the reality of the UFO phenomenon?


I don't have first hand experience of any of these phenomena. But if the people I have spoken to are telling the truth, then yes there has been extraterrestrial visitation. There have been crashed craft, there have been material and bodies recovered. Some of the alien technology has been reverse engineered and some of the components have been duplicated. Perhaps most disturbing of all is the strong evidence to suggest that a highly classified effort by governments at back engineering alien technology is no longer under governmental control and had become quasi-private, that is, certain groups are using 'black budget' funds without proper government monitoring. These are maverick groups and they are out of control.


Q. Are some of the UFOs currently seen in the skies the product of back engineering by this clandestine group?


I don't know. But the UFOs we see are beyond anything our government has come up with, apart, that is, from any clandestine group. They are very real. On 13 March 1999, one of the largest formations of large UFOs ever - now called the 'Phoenix Lights' - flew over Sedona, Tucson, and Phoenix in Arizona. These were V-shaped or triangular; each was reported to be at least 300 meters long. For an hour and a half, thousands of people in Phoenix watched them moving 150-500 meters above the city at what someone has called 'blimp speed' - no more that 50-70 kph. This speed was odd; UFOs don't usually move so slowly. It was as if this was a deliberate display. It was also strange that the press didn't report on this until May and then only for a short time. Moreover no official comment was ever made.



Q. What is the focus of your UFO research at the moment?


We are looking at the way clandestine groups have somehow been siphoning off money from the government. There are hidden corporations, front corporations; it's a can of worms. We're making small efforts in certain areas to start to track where the money has been coming from. When you look for the official records you find nothing. The absence of documentation is in itself revealing.


Q. What have researchers told you about what happened during the alleged UFO crash at Roswell?


I'm being told that the old timers who were in the military during that period, who were in positions of authority and who had responsibility for these events, are coming forth now and saying it did happen, that there was an ET incident at Roswell. I'm more and  more convinced that they are telling the truth, because we now have close to 150 military and government individuals willing to talk, whose experience, whose positions in government, have been checked out. This was a UFO event.



Q. There is obviously disinformation surrounding the UFO subject. How does the average person separate truth from fiction?


You have to be very methodical and very careful. There is clearly much disinformation. The question of has it been kept secret or how could it have been kept secret can be answered by saying: well it hasn't been keep secret. It has been there all the time, but it has been the subject of disinformation in order to deflect attention and create confusion so the truth doesn't come out. Disinformation is another form of stonewalling and its a technique that has been effectively used for at least 50 years.



Q. How do you think the public disclosure of the reality of UFOs will affect peoples lives?


I don't know if it will really change anyone's life. What we are actually talking about here is our knowledge of the larger reality, our place in the universe. The reality of ETs visiting the earth shouldn't be any more startling that us going to the moon. Its just a part of the way things are. We have to understand this and place it into a larger context: the nature of our existence and our place in the cosmos. Up until recently it was conventional wisdom both in science and theology to believe that we are alone in the universe and that the earth is the sole repository of life; well no one believes that any more. That changes our concept of who we are and how we fit into the larger reality. Now does this make a difference as to how you make a living? No - but it does make a difference to our understanding of our relationship to the larger reality. It’s not necessarily a day-to-day question unless it causes you to change your behaviour and become a more responsible citizen. I think what is important is it’s forcing people to look at the bigger picture. 


With thanks to James Fox.




Tim Coleman has been working as a professional journalist for over thirty years. He has been published in a huge range of magazines and newspapers around the world including: The Guardian, The Independent, FHM Magazine, The Face, Focus, Sky, Skin and Ink, Wienner, Tatowier (Germany) Enigmas (Spain), UFO Magazine (UK and US) X-Factor, Encounters, Kindred Spirit and many more.
"As well as earning a living from being a freelance journalist, I have always found journalism to be the perfect medium to explore subjects that I'm passionate about. This not only allows me to enter deeply into the subject through the research, but it also provides me the honor of meeting key players in that field ."
Tim Coleman
Here is a small selection of my work.