An American aerospace engineer, test pilot, and the United States Air Force pilot, Gordon Cooper, is also the youngest of the seven original Project Mercury astronauts. Cooper orbited around the earth for 34 hours in a Mercury [Faith] 7 spacecraft, demonstrating that mankind could survive beyond the layers of atmosphere for extended periods of time. Cooper was a pioneer in the United States’ space exploration activities and his nationalism, courage, and dignity go without saying.
Cooper has made numerous public statements regarding his firm conviction in UFOs. Cooper, as a guest on the Merv Griffin Show, startled listeners by speaking for more than five minutes on a subject matter that was only a few years ago deemed inappropriate for polite conversation.
Cooper, though, would not discuss certain topics on air in front of the eager masses. Fortunately, Gordon Cooper is a personal acquaintance of Lee Spiegel. The former space traveler was more than willing to discuss his numerous UFO encounters while in the companionship of the man who is determined to end the “Cosmic Watergate” that he believes exists in the upper echelons of government.
Cooper was deployed to a jet fighter group in Germany in the beginning of the 1950s. While stationed there, he vividly recalls a week in which a full formation of circular objects passed virtually daily over the Air Base.
“We never could get close enough to pin them down, but they were round in shape and very metallic looking.”
When the Air Force Colonel was relocated some years later to the Flight Test Center at Edwards Air Force Base in the California desert, he continued to be haunted by UFOs. What transpired one afternoon while he was on duty at this military facility is sufficient proof that the government does really retain many UFO-related secrets!
Cooper recalls that the encounter occurred in the late 1950s, probably in 1957 or 1958, and that the photographic evidence of an actual UFO touching down on Earth is still classified. Cooper served as a Project Manager at Edwards Air Force Base for three or four years prior to joining the American space programme. Cooper had deployed a crew of photographers to an area of the large dry lake beds near Edwards after lunch on this particular day.
In a taped interview with UFOlogist Lee Spiegel, the former astronaut revealed that the team noticed a strange-looking craft hovering above the lakebed and began filming it. Cooper asserts that the item was unquestionably hovering above the ground. Then it slowly descended and sat for a few minutes on the lake bed. Throughout this time, motion picture cameras were continuously recording footage.
“There were varied estimates by the cameramen on what the actual size of the object was but they all agreed that it was at least the size of a vehicle that would carry normal-sized people in it.”
Gordon Cooper was not lucky enough to be outside at the time of this extraordinary event, but he was able to view the films as soon as they were hurriedly developed.
“It was a typical circular-shaped UFO. Not too many people saw it, because it took off at quite a sharp angle and just climbed straight on out of sight!”
Cooper says that he did not conduct a survey to establish who had seen the UFO since ‘there were usually strange things floating about above Edwards. Lee Spiegel was able to confirm this claim through his own research; he received highly guarded recordings of discussions between military pilots circling the facility and their commanding commanders in the flight tower as they tracked the appearance of strange objects.
“People just didn’t ask a lot of questions about things they saw and couldn’t understand,’ notes Cooper, who adds that it was a lot simpler to look the other way, shrug one’s shoulders, and chalk up what had been seen to ‘just another experimental aircraft that must have been developed at another area of the air base.”
“But what about the photographic proof – the motion picture footage – that was taken? ‘I think it was definitely a UFO,’ Cooper states, as he makes no bones about it. ‘However, where it (the object) came from and who was in it is hard to determine, because it didn’t stay around long enough to discuss the matter, there wasn’t even time to send out a welcoming committee!”
The material was soon sent to Washington after he had viewed the film at least a dozen times. Cooper likely anticipated receiving a response within a few weeks regarding what his men had observed and documented, but there was no word, and the film disappeared – never to be seen again.
Cooper recently made a statement on coast-to-coast television that had people calling the stations that broadcast the distributed Merv Griffin Show the next day to determine if their ears were playing tricks on them.
At the conclusion of the talk-show host’s interview with the former Astronaut, Merv adopted a secretive tone on-air and posed the million-dollar question to his guest:
“There is a story going around, Gordon, that a spaceship did land in middle America and there were occupants, and members of our government were able to keep one of the occupants alive for a period of time. They’ve seen the metal of the aircraft and they know what the people look like – is that a credible story?”
Merv to Gordon
Cooper should have chuckled, given that such a speculative story belongs to the science fiction or space fantasy genre. But Gordon Cooper replied with a straight face:
“I think it’s fairly credible. I would like to see the time when all qualified people could really work together to properly investigate these stories and either refute or prove them.“
The bomb had been detonated. Cooper continued by stating that, based on the various UFO contact and abduction reports he had been privy to, he was convinced that the occupants of this crashed UFO were ‘probably not that different from what we are’ – that they are almost entirely humanoid (i.e., they have two arms, two legs, a torso, and easily recognizable facial features).
Lee Spiegel, stunned by what Cooper had stated on national radio, called Cooper’s office the following morning and was able to get past his private secretary, although other members of the media were receiving the cold shoulder.
“Cooper admitted to me that he could have revealed more on the air, but he decided not to play his entire hand because he felt certain that some ‘official eyebrows were going to get raised.”
Cooper maintained until his death that the U.S. government was actually concealing UFO-related material. He noted that hundreds of reports were filed by his fellow pilots, the majority of which originated from military jet pilots dispatched to respond to radar or visual sightings. Throughout his senior years, Cooper often claimed in interviews that he had witnessed extraterrestrial craft, and he detailed his experiences in the 2002 documentary Out of the Blue. Cooper died on October 4, 2004 at his home in Ventura, California, of heart failure at the age of 77.