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The skies are filled with mystery, and we know this. We see strange things that are explainable and unexplainable in the sky all the time. The typical airplane, the star, and star patterns such as the big dipper. Every once in a while we’re lucky enough to see a shooting star. But what is really out there? In the beyond. UFO’s, space stations, entire galaxies of alien beings? Who really knows. What we do know is that Astronauts have some interesting stories to share.

We also know that astronauts can be hit or miss. Neil Armstrong punching people in the face for asking about the moon landing for example. We have to take everything with a grain of salt. If all of these astronauts were in fact in space, their psychological state of mind could very well be different up there, then here on earth. We’ll never know, unless we make the trip up up and away ourselves.

There are some strange and eerie claims that have come from astronauts in space. This is a list of those stories, those accounts.

1. Maj. Gordon Cooper Watched A Glowing Green Orb Approach Him From Pitch Black

Maj. Gordon Cooper, Astronaut.

Maj. Gordon Cooper’s took a solo journey around Earth, during this time he encountered more than his fair share of experiences. While he was nearing the end of his 22-orbit trip around the planet, he looked and noticed a glowing green object approaching the his capsule, the mercury capsule that he was flying in. In this case, the fast approach of the object was actually picked up by the closest tracking station which was in Muchea, Australia.

Cooper described the incident to the United Nations by sharing:  

I believe that these extraterrestrial vehicles and their crews are visiting this planet from other planets… Most astronauts were reluctant to discuss UFOs… I did have occasion in 1951 to have two days of observation of many flights of them, of different sizes, flying in fighter formation, generally from east to west over Europe.

2. Neil Armstrong Thinks He Saw A UFO Parking Lot

Neil Armonstrong – Astronaut

Neil Armstrong is quite the character. Spell his name backwards with initial to name and you get Alien. (Armstrong, Lien) oddly enough. Known for punching people in the face who question him about his trip to the moon, he has other stories also. According to one source Aliens and Man: A Synopsis of Facts and Beliefs, there is a rumor that Armstrong may have sent a secret message to NASA during the Apollo 11 mission in 1969. Neil Armstrong allegedly said: “These babies were huge, sir! Enormous! Oh, God! You wouldn’t believe it! … I’m telling you there are other spacecraft out here … lined up on the far side of the crater’s edge! … They’re on the moon watching us!” 

There are many stories and tales that are associated with the first lunar landing, if it even occurred. Armstrong was very reserved about his experiences in space and never commented on this specific rumor, possibly because it never happened or possibly because he never even really went to space, and the people asking him about it trigger him too much for him to think and speak rationally.

Read: Buzz & Neil Caught Giving Out Moon Rock That Turned Out To Be Fake

3. Yang Liwei Claims He Heard A Knock Outside His Ship

Yang Liwei – Astronaut

In 2003, Yang Liwei was known to be stated as the first astronaut sent into space by the Chinese space program. He’s claimed he heard “someone knocking the body of the spaceship just as knocking an iron bucket with a wooden hammer” on his maiden flight. He then looked outside of the porthole on the ship but was unable to find the source of this knocking sound. Considering the theory that space is a vacuum, it was an even weirder event considering that he had heard a sound from outside the ship. 

Oddly enough, Liwei is not the only one with this claim, either; other Chinese astronauts heard the same sound on missions in 2005 and 2008.

4. Vladimir Kovalyonok May Have Seen A UFO Explode

NASA Image. Exploding UFO.

Maj. Gen. Vladimir Kovalyonok was one of the members of the crew actively manning the Salyut VI space station in 1981. “When I was working at the Salyut orbital station, I saw something strange in a porthole one day. The object was the size of a finger. I was surprised to see it was an orbiting object,” said Kovalyonok.

He continued:

It was hard to determine the size and the speed of an object in space. That is why I can not say exactly, which size it actually was. [My partner Viktor] Savinykh prepared to take a picture of it, but the UFO suddenly exploded. Only clouds of smoke were left. The object split into two interconnected pieces. It was reminiscent of a dumbbell. I reported about it to the Mission Control immediately.

Kovalyonok is one of the few known astronauts to see something completely unexplainable in space and share it publicly in the open afterward.

5. Story Musgrave Caught A Glimpse Of A Space Eel

Story Musgrave, a NASA astronaut made the claim that he saw eel-like tubes swim through space. In one interview, he explains that he saw this creature two separate times. Some people immediately dismiss this as space brain, in space – ot that it was possibly some type of hose or hose-like contraption that detached from the spaceship – Musgrave still remains adamant that the eel, which was white in color also had its own propulsion technique.  

6. Musa Manarov Shot Footage Of What Was An Alleged UFO

During a Russian space station mission in 1991, also known as a Mir, Musa Manarov was simply watching a visiting space capsule dock nearby theirs. He was filming it approach when he spotted an object that looked like it was coming off, or detaching from the spacecraft. Manarov knew nothing that could come loose, and as he continued to watch the object, it floated downward and away from the capsule, as shown in the footage above.

Manarov still cannot explain what he really saw, but he knows for sure that it was not space junk, as some people have claimed.

7. Leroy Chiao Saw Creepy Lights Speed Past Him

Leroy Chiao – NASA

Leroy Chiao was the commander of the International Space Station in 2005. While he was on a spacewalk, Chiao saw white lights that were aligned in an odd and unexplainable upside-down check formation fly by right past him. Some believe that a string of fishing boats along the cost of South America is the best explanation for these lights, but Chiao was purportedly 230 miles above Earth when this happened. Those would be very strong lights to see from 230 miles away.

Chiao told HuffPost, “I’m skeptical of claims that we’ve been visited by aliens from another planet or other dimension, but I don’t rule it out 100 percent.”

8. Astronauts Witnessed Fire Burn Without A Flame

From 2009 to 2012, there are claims that astronauts lit things on fire in space. Simply because they were pyromaniacs, just kidding. They were curious as to how fire behaved in the cosmos. They found that fire can burn at a lower temperature and with less oxygen and can also burn without a flame in a microgravity environment.

Forman Williams, the project leader on the experiments, told Space.com: “Thus far, the most surprising thing we’ve observed is continued apparent burning of heptane droplets after flame extinction under certain conditions. Currently, this is entirely unexplained.”

9. Space Theorist Believes Alan Bean Saw Glass Domes On The Moon

Richard C. Hoagland, a proponent of alternate space theories, believes that Alan Bean saw glass domes from a long lost extinct alien civilization on the moon. In an interview, Bean shared space as looking like “black, patent-leather shoes” from the surface of the moon. Hoagland continued: “Space should be velvet-black. It should be inky-black. It should be infinity, unending, deep, endless black. It shouldn’t be shiny.”

Hoagland concluded that the only explanation for Bean’s description, was that he was seeing space through the reflection of a glass dome.

10. Apollo 11, 12 and 13 Astronauts Saw Dazzling Light Shows

While on the Apollo 11 mission, astronauts reported seeing “light flashes” in their eyes. Strange, especially as the crews of Apollo 12 and Apollo 13 were warned about this and reported that they also saw strange bursts of light, even with their eyes were closed! They created and conducted experiments on the next four Apollo missions to try to figure out what was causing these weird visions.

NASA theorizes that the astronauts were seeing cosmic rays. They believe we do not see cosmic rays on Earth because they are absorbed by our atmosphere.

11. James McDivitt Saw an All White UFO

James McDivitt – Astronaut

While James McDivitt was on the Gemini 4 mission in 1965, this astronaut thought he saw a UFO. In an interview with NASA, McDivitt explained:

I looked outside, just glanced up, and there was something out there. It had a geometrical shape similar to a beer can or a pop can, and with a little thing like maybe like a pencil or something sticking out of it. That relative size, dimensionally. It was all white.

The press got the story and ran with it, claiming McDivitt had seen a UFO. Oddly enough, years later, after “reviewing a photograph” he had “never before seen”, McDivitt changed his tune and said this was simply a reflection of some bolts in the window glass.

He said:

I went back and then I saw what the thing was. And really what it was, was a reflection of the bolts in the windows. The windows were made up of about three or four or five panes of glass, so that if one got broken we still had some pressure integrity. And these little things, when the Sun shined on them right, they’d multiply the images off the different panes. And I’m quite sure that that’s what this thing was.

Maybe NASA wanted the dialogue changed and to keep it hush hush.

12. Christopher Cassidy Saw An Unidentified Flying Object

Unidentified Flying Object – Some Claim This Was an “Antenna Cover” Flying Through Space.

Back in 2013, astronaut Christopher Cassidy was aboard the International Space Station, he spotted a strange and mysterious illuminated object floating past his window. Cassidy then contacted Mission Control to report the sighting.

NASA identified it as an antenna cover from Russia’s Zvezda service module, but space theorists remain convinced that the object was something extraterrestrial.

13. John Glenn Saw Small Glowing Dots That Mimicked Fireflies

John Glenn, Astronaut.

John Glenn was an astronaut who flew on the Friendship 7 spacecraft in February 1962. He noticed something strange outside his window while in orbit. He reported this right away to NASA. He reported that he was watching what appeared to be a group of small glowing fireflies dancing outside his window. Once again, NASA knows everything (or claims to) and it took a confused and perplexed Glenn and worried NASA (because they need an explanation for everything) almost a year to figure out what they believed these little lights were.

NASA was concerned that these glowing dots were specs of metal actually coming off a malfunctioning piece of equipment on the ship. They now believe that these lights were actually frozen droplets of condensation that were shifting and cracking as the spaceship traveled. Seems off to me. Hard for me to believe frozen droplets of condensation will light up like fireflies. What do you think?

14. Samantha Cristoforetti Saw The ISS Glowing Orange

European Space Agency astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti was on her way to the International Space Station for the first time when she saw the normally gray ISS was covered orange light, in 2014. It is now believed that this was simply the sun reflecting off the solar panels and onto the space station, something only a handful of astronauts had ever seen. Cristoforetti wrote about the experience in a blog post, she wrote, “The enormous solar panels were inundated with a blaze of orange light, vivid, warm, almost alien.”

Space theorists latched onto the words “almost alien.” They began speculating that the solar panel reflection was a cover story and she had, in fact, seen a UFO. You can see the ISS change colors to orange at around the 11:34 mark in the video below.

Some space theorists, conspiracy theorists and everyday people believe that NASA has a hidden agenda. There are many theories. NASA has a over a $25 billion dollar per year budget. Where is all that money going? What are we actually achieving with it? How is our lives here on earth benefited from space travel and exploration? is this all just an effort to abandon earth once we destroy it with our behavior?