posted on Apr, 26 2009 @ 07:02 AM
Regarding intentional ‘lying’ versus innocent (and natural) ‘narrative drift’, Gordon Cooper's stories have an interesting relationship with
Mitchell. The most frustrating angle is this: Cooper and Mitchell spent a year training together (1968-9) as the backup LM crew on Apollo-10. Cooper
could have been expected to talk a lot about his UFO experiences, especially as Mitchell would have been one of the most receptive listeners you could
But Mitchell has politely (as always – he’s a classy guy, we could ALL of us take lessons) demurred from disclosing anything he learned from
Cooper about Cooper's 'UFO experiences'.
That's frustrating. There's a big temptation to speculate about why Mitchell finds such accounts non-reportable, when he passes on accounts of much
lower credibility from other people he's talked to. But such speculation can quickly degenerate into fantasy -- as we see around here all the time.
Maybe we should all pass the word that the next time Mitchell speaks in public, he should be (politely) asked to tell what he learned about UFOs from
Gordon Cooper. It can't hurt Cooper, or himself -- unless (speculating) the tales Mitchell heard in 1968-9 were strikingly different from tales
Cooper told later in public. That would harm Cooper's credibility.... and might not help the pro-UFO arguments.
Nah -- shouldn't speculate too wildly.
But the reason the question is important is that other people who reported Cooper's stories from that time period did report stories that bear little
resemblance to those he told to UFO conventions in later years.
For example, an associate of Cooper's told me that about 1971 the version of the 'fleets of UFOs' story he heard Cooper tell, occurred not in
Germany but in the American midwest.
For example, in 1973 Cooper -- on tape -- told an Italian UFO writer named Ferrando that he had recently been a witness to a UFO landing in Florida
where landing legs left imprints in the ground -- and years later, that landing story had become transferred to Edwards AFB, California.
For example, Stuart Nixon, then head of NICAP, told me in 1976 that he had discussed UFOs with Cooper 'recently' and Cooper mentioned the excitement
over the 1951 German sightings -- but then added that it all died out when it became clear -- and he agreed with the conclusion -- that they had been
jet-stream entrained weather balloons. Why would Cooper have told NICAP that (NICAP probably still has Nixon's own written report in its archives),
and then ten years later, told a different story to UFO buffs?
For example: when completing my first draft report on the 'Gordon Cooper UFO sightings' in 1982 (YES -- nineteen eighty two), I mailed him a copy
(we had exchanged several letters on the subject). To check out how closely he read the text, and to jog his memory, I placed several tracer-factoids
in the report, that gave inaccurate factual information that I thought Cooper knew -- and would thus correct.
One tracer-factoid was a report on my earliest account of the Germany 'fleets' story, in which I wrote -- deliberately wrongly -- that the official
debunking explanation had been 'seed pods'. The witness had actually told me that the official prosaic explanation had been 'migrating spiders',
as my contemporary notes showed.
But years later, when Cooper recounted the story on Art Bell's show, he ended with ridiculing the official explanation that he remembered being given
by the AF -- 'seed pods', he snorted in derision.
But the 'seed pod' meme was my counterfeit tracer-factoid from my manuscript I had mailed him [again, with no intent to deceive -- just to validate
how well he reviewed and corrected what I explicitly said was an unfinished draft report]. It lodged in his memory and many years later popped forth
as an allegedly authentic event-recollection.
Why did Cooper's UFO stories mutate so bizarrely during this period? Mitchell may be able to cast light on this mystery. He won't.
It's a question deserving of serious discussion -- and Ed Mitchell could (if he wants) make a significant contribution to understanding what was
going on. But -- he doesn't.
We can all take action to encourage Mitchell to change his mind on this -- dare I say it? -- coverup, that he is in control of.
The other service Mitchell could do is help clarify why Cooper was booted from the astronaut program at this time, ostensibly for malperformance in
training. Cooper had every reason to be bitter -- and vengeful. And in later years he was shunned in the aerospace community because of his promotion
of a series of scam aerospace investment schemes which people invested in out of trust for him, and lost millions of dollars. In the end, aside from a
few anniversary appearances with NASA events, the UFO convention circuit was the only public stage he had left.