Public statements by Gordon Cooper regarding UFOs, including his statement to the United Nations, and from other interviews.
Colonel L. Gordon Cooper, Mercury-9, Gemini-5 Astronaut, Addressing a United Nations Panel Discussion on UFOs and ETs in New York in 1985. The panel was chaired by then Secretary-General Kurt Waldheim.
"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. I feel that we need to have a top level, coordinated program to scientifically collect and analyze data from all over the earth concerning any type of encounter, and to determine how best to interface with these visitors in a friendly fashion. We may first have to show them that we have learned to resolve our problems by peaceful means, rather than warfare, before we are accepted as fully qualified universal team members. This acceptance would have tremendous possibilities of advancing our world in all areas. Certainly then it would seem that the UN has a vested interest in handling this subject properly and expeditiously.
For many years I have lived with a secret, in a secrecy imposed on all specialists and astronauts. I can now reveal that every day, in the USA, our radar instruments capture objects of form and composition unknown to us.
And there are thousands of witness reports and a quantity of documents to prove this, but nobody wants to make them public.
Why? Because the authorities are afraid that people may think of some kind of horrible invaders. So the password still is: We have to avoid panic by all means"
In another interview he said:
"As far as I am concerned, there have been too many unexplained examples of UFO sightings around this Earth for us to rule out the possibilities that some form of life exists out there beyond our own world"
And in an exclusive interview with the National Enquirer on 14 January 1997, Cooper speaks openly about alien spacecraft. He says there's been a massive government cover-up of UFOs for nearly 50 years and insists the American public has a right to know the truth.
"I know other astronauts share my feelings" declared Cooper, 69, who went into space aboard a Mercury craft in 1963 and on a Gemini craft two years later.
"And we know the government is sitting on hard evidence of UFOs"
Cooper said he first encountered UFOs as a military pilot in Germany in the early 1950s, when unidentified craft were spotted over an air base.
"We thought they could have been Russian. We regularly had MiG-15s overflying our base. We scrambled ourSabre jets to intercept and got to our ceiling of 45,000 feet . . . and they were still way above us traveling faster than we were.
"These vehicles were in formation like a fighter group, but they were metallic silver and saucer-shaped. Believe me, they weren't like any MiGs I'd seen before! They had to be UFOs"
In 1957, Cooper was one of an elite band of test pilots at Edwards Air Force Base in California, in charge of several advanced projects, including the installation of a precision landing system.
"I had a camera crew filming the installation when they spotted a saucer. They filmed it as it flew overhead, then hovered, extended three legs as landing gear, and slowly came down to land on a dry lake bed!
"These guys were all pro cameramen, so the picture quality was very good. "The camera crew managed to get within 20 or 30 yards of it,filming all the time. It was a classic saucer, shiny silver and smooth, about 30 feet across. It was pretty clear it was an alien craft.
"As they approached closer it took off"
When his camera crew handed over the film, Cooper followed standard procedure and contacted Washington to report the UFO and "all heck broke loose" he said.
"After a while a high-ranking officer said when the film was developed I was to put it in a pouch and send it to Washington.
"He didn't say anything about me not looking at the film. That's what I did when it came back from the lab and it was all there just like the camera crew reported"
When the Air Force later started Operation Blue Book to collate UFO evidence and reports, Cooper says he mentioned the film evidence.
"But the film was never found supposedly. Blue Book was strictly a cover-up anyway"
Cooper revealed he's convinced an alien craft crashed at Roswell, N. Mex., in 1947 and aliens were discovered in the wreckage.
"I had a good friend at Roswell, a fellow officer. He had to be careful about what he said. But it sure wasn't a weather balloon, like the Air Force cover story. He made it clear to me what crashed was a craft of alien origin, and members of the crew were recovered"
Why has the government kept its UFO secrets for so many years?
"It started in World War 2, when the government didn't want people to know about UFO reports in case they panicked" said Cooper. "They would have been fearful it was superior enemy technology that we had no defense against.
"Then it got worse in the Cold War for the same reason.
"So they told one untruth, they had to tell another to cover that one, then another, then another...it just snowballed.
"And right now I'm convinced a lot of very embarrassed government officials are sitting there in Washington trying to figure a way to bring the truth out. They know it's got to come out one day, and I'm sure it will.
"America has a right to know"