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Dr. Edgar Dean “Ed” Mitchell — an American naval officer and aviator, test pilot, aeronautical engineer, ufologist and NASA astronaut — died under hospice care in West Palm Beach, Fla., on February 4, 2016, at the age of 85. He passed away one day before the 45th anniversary of his Moon landing, his family said.

As the lunar module pilot of Apollo 14, he spent nine hours working on the lunar surface in the Fra Mauro Highlands region, making him the sixth person to walk on the Moon. For two days, February 5 and 6, 1971, Dr. Mitchell and Alan Shepard deployed and activated scientific equipment and experiments on the lunar surface. They collected almost 100 pounds of lunar samples for return to Earth. Apollo 14 was the longest walk performed by astronauts on the lunar surface.

During the mission, he took photos, including the one with Shepard raising the American flag. In the photo Dr. Mitchell’s shadow is cast over the lunar surface near the flag. That photo was listed on Popular Science’s photo gallery of the best astronaut selfies.

Dr. Mitchell told reporters that he had experienced an “epiphany” in space and returned with “an overwhelming sense of oneness, of connectedness.” Years later in his autobiography, he wrote, “It occurred to me that the molecules of my body and the molecules of the spacecraft itself were manufactured long ago in the furnace of one of the ancient stars that burned in the heavens about me.”

In 1972, Dr. Mitchell retired from NASA and the U.S. Navy and in 1973 he created the Institute of Noetic Sciences, which aimed to support “individual and collective transformation through consciousness research.”

In 1974, he described his lunar epiphany to the New York Times: “It was a sense of the Earth being in critical condition, a recognition of the massive insanity which had led man into deeper and deeper crises on the planet. Above all, I felt the need for a radical change in our culture. I knew we were replete with untapped intuitive and psychic forces which we must utilize if we were to survive, forces that Western society had programmed us to disregard.”

Dr. Mitchell’s book, The Way of the Explorer, discusses his journey into mysticism and space.

Dr. Mitchell was born on September 17, 1930, in Hereford, Texas. He came from a ranching family that moved to New Mexico during the Depression and considered Artesia, N.M. (near Roswell) as his hometown. He first learned to fly at 13 and was active in the Boy Scouts of America. He graduated from Artesia High School in 1948. Mitchell received a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Management from the Carnegie Institute of Technology in 1952. The following year he joined the U.S. Navy, and completed basic training at San Diego Recruit Depot. While on active duty in the Navy, he earned a bachelor’s degree in Aeronautical Engineering from the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School in 1961, and a Doctor of Science degree in Aeronautics and Astronautics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1964.

Dr. Mitchell was selected to be an astronaut in 1966 and was seconded from the Navy to NASA. He was designated as backup Lunar Module Pilot for Apollo 10. He was named as a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1970 by President Richard Nixon. Dr. Mitchell was one of the initial supporters of the Campaign for the Establishment of a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly, which would be a first step towards a “world parliament.”

He claimed that a teenage remote healer living in Vancouver and using the pseudonym “Adam Dreamhealer” helped him heal kidney cancer from a distance. Dr. Mitchell said that while he never had a biopsy, “I had a sonogram and MRI that was consistent with renal carcinoma.” Adam worked (distantly) on Dr. Mitchell from December 2003 until June 2004, when the “irregularity was gone and we haven’t seen it since.”

He publicly expressed his opinions that he was “90 percent sure that many of the thousands of unidentified flying objects, or UFOs, recorded since the 1940s, belong to visitors from other planets.” Dateline NBC conducted an interview with Dr. Mitchell on April 19, 1996, during which he discussed meeting with officials from three countries who claimed to have had personal encounters with extraterrestrials. He offered his opinion that the evidence for such “alien” contact was “very strong” and “classified” by governments, who were covering up visitations and the existence of alien beings’ bodies in places such as Roswell, N.M. He further claimed that UFOs had provided “sonic engineering secrets” that were helpful to the U.S. government.

In 2004, he told the St. Petersburg Times that a “cabal of insiders” in the U.S. government was studying recovered alien bodies, and that this group had stopped briefing U.S. presidents after John F. Kennedy. He said, “We all know that UFOs are real; now the question is where they come from.”

In 2015, Dr. Mitchell made what Huffington Post U.K. characterized as “the astonishing claim that it was aliens, not diplomacy, which prevented the Cold War from descending into the Third World War.” In a Daily Mirror interview, Dr. Mitchell said, “White Sands was a testing ground for atomic weapons — and that’s what the extraterrestrials were interested in. They wanted to know about our military capabilities. My own experience talking to people has made it clear the ETs had been attempting to keep us from going to war and help create peace on Earth….”

The following is a reaction to Dr. Mitchell’s death by Steven M. Greer, M.D., a retired medical doctor who founded the Center for the Study of Extraterrestrial Intelligence and The Disclosure Project, which seeks the disclosure of suppressed UFO information:

“I invited him (Edgar Mitchell) to the original Project Starlight gathering of UFO military and government witnesses in 1995 at Asilomar, Monterey, Calif. I remember him asking me, ‘My God Steve, do you know what you are taking on?’ And I said, “Yes, I’m afraid I do.” And he replied, ‘Well, we have to just go forward, put one foot in front of the next, and never look back….’ And so we have.

“Later I brought him to the briefings for members of Congress, White House officials and others in 1997 in Washington, D.C. There he heard more top-secret testimony that UFOs were in fact real, and the secrecy was extreme. The day after, I invited him to join me at the Pentagon.

“I had been asked to brief J2 — the Director of Intelligence of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Tom Wilson. From these and other meetings he learned that the compartments running ET and UFO projects were indeed Unacknowledged — rogue, illegal — lying even to this Admiral and the President. For it was made clear during this meeting that even the Admiral was pointedly blocked from accessing UFO-related operations. This was a turning point in Dr. Mitchell’s understanding.

“Subsequently, he courageously spoke out for the disclosure of the truth. He stood with us until the end.

“May he go into the worlds of light in peace and love and joy. Now, the great space explorer who walked the moon will explore the infinite realms beyond space and time.”

Resources
The Way of the Explorer: An interview with Dr. Edgar Mitchell, by Tim Miejan
• Dr. Edgar Mitchell’s testimony on extraterrestrial visitation and military coverup
Quantum Cosmology: My interview with Dr. Edgar Mitchell in 2004, by Paola Leopizzi Harris

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Stacy Bannerman is a contributor to Foreign Policy In Focus (www.fpif.org) and on the Advisory Board of Military Families Speak Out (www.mfso.org). Her book, When the War Came Home: The Inside Story of Citizen Soldiers and the Families Left Behind, will be released by Continuum Publishing in 2006. Her husband deployed to Iraq with the Army National Guard 81st Brigade in March 2004, and returned home in March 2005.

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