FORMER NASA moon astronaut Edgar Mitchell says aliens have contacted humans several times but governments have hidden the truth for 60 years.
The Apollo 14 astronaut said he was aware of many UFO visits to Earth during his NASA career but each one was covered up.
Dr Mitchell, 77, said during a radio interview that sources at the space agency who had had contact with aliens described the beings as "little people who look strange to us".
He said the aliens were similar to the traditional Hollywood image of having a small frame, large eyes and head.
Dr Mitchell was the sixth man to walk on the moon and holds the record, with Alan Shepard, for the longest moon walk – nine hours and 17 minutes.
In an interview conveniently timed to coincide with yesterday’s launch of the second X-Files movie, based on the science fiction television series starring David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson, he said human technology was "not nearly as sophisticated" as theirs and warned: "Had they been hostile … we would be gone by now".
"I happen to have been privileged enough to be in on the fact that we’ve been visited on this planet and the UFO phenomena is real," Britain’s Daily Telegraph newspaper quoted Dr Mitchell as saying.
"It’s been well covered up by all our governments for the last 60 years or so, but slowly it’s leaked out and some of us have been privileged to have been briefed on some of it."
UFO theorists believe Roswell in New Mexico was the site of an alien crash in 1947.
"I’ve been in military and intelligence circles who know that beneath the surface of what has been public knowledge, yes, we have been visited," he said. "Reading the papers recently, it’s been happening quite a bit."
Dr Mitchell, who has a Bachelor of Science degree in aeronautical engineering and a Doctor of Science degree in Aeronautics and Astronautics, claimed Roswell was real and similar alien visits continued to be investigated.
He told the astonished Kerrang! radio host Nick Margerrison: "This is really starting to open up. I think we’re headed for real disclosure and some serious organisations are moving in that direction."
The Telegraph quoted Margerrison as saying: "I thought I’d stumbled on some sort of astronaut humour but he was absolutely serious that aliens are definitely out there and there’s no debating it."
Officials from NASA, however, were quick to play down the comments.
In a statement, a spokesman said: "NASA does not track UFOs. NASA is not involved in any sort of cover-up about alien life on this planet or anywhere in the universe.
"Dr Mitchell is a great American, but we do not share his opinions on this issue."
Spacecrafts have the unique energy source. If new energy source is available, the civilization depending on oils will be perished. I hope that the energy source should be made public. But those groups who make profits from oil never accept the idea.
Posted by: neurodoctor ranmu of Japan 5:56pm today