I Want to Believe
February 5, 2016 2:37 PM   Subscribe

Edgar Mitchell, NASA astronaut, Apollo 14 Lunar Module Pilot, and outspoken alien visitation believer, has died at age 85.

Selected in the fifth group of astronauts in April 1966, he served as a member of the astronaut support crew for Apollo 9 and as backup lunar module pilot for Apollo 10.

His only space flight was Apollo 14, with Alan Shepard and Stuart Roosa. It garnered much attention due to the near-tragedy of the previous mission, as well as being the only lunar mission involving one of the Mercury astronauts.

During the mission, Mitchell conducted an ESP experiment with several of his friends.

Beginning in the 1990s, he became a vocal advocate for the idea that aliens had visited the earth, interacted with terrestrial leaders, and that their presence had been covered up for over a half century. NASA's official response was "Dr. Mitchell is a great American, but we do not share his opinions on this issue."

Apollo 14 now becomes the first lunar mission in which all three members of the crew have died.
posted by 1367 (44 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
 
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posted by blurker at 2:40 PM on February 5, 2016


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posted by Huck500 at 2:42 PM on February 5, 2016 [6 favorites]


👽
posted by octobersurprise at 2:49 PM on February 5, 2016 [13 favorites]


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A sombre previous chart from xkcd.
posted by Wordshore at 2:50 PM on February 5, 2016 [7 favorites]


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The Beatles were evolutionary agents sent by god, which is aliens.
posted by colie at 2:53 PM on February 5, 2016 [3 favorites]


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NASA needed astronauts to go plant a flag on the moon. For obvious reasons, the astronauts ended up being the most reliable type of man America makes: white, straight, full-starch protestant, center-right, and spawned by the union of science and the military. Every last one of them was the heart of the heart of the tv dinner demographic. But then

they get shot into space, tossed from the gravity of this planet, across a quartermillion miles of nothing, to be snagged by the moon after three days. Eighteen guys did this and twelve descended further to find out that moon dust smells like gunsmoke. Every single one of them came back irrevocably changed. America had sent the squarest motherfuckers it could find to the moon and the moon sent back humans. Armstrong became a teacher, then a farmer. Alan Bean became a painter. Edgar Mitchell started believing in UFOs. And also managed to crystallize the experience of seeing your entire planet at once:
You develop an instant global consciousness, a people orientation, an intense dissatisfaction with the state of the world, and a compulsion to do something about it. From out there on the moon, international politics look so petty. You want to grab a politician by the scruff of the neck and drag him a quarter of a million miles out and say, “Look at that, you son of a bitch.”
posted by Iridic at 2:54 PM on February 5, 2016 [138 favorites]


I like those square motherfuckers. They were better men than I even before they went to the moon.
posted by Modest House at 3:01 PM on February 5, 2016 [9 favorites]


Godspeed, Edgar Mitchell.

America had sent the squarest motherfuckers it could find to the moon and the moon sent back humans.

The overview effect is a cognitive shift in awareness reported by some astronauts and cosmonauts during spaceflight, often while viewing the Earth from orbit or from the lunar surface.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 3:06 PM on February 5, 2016 [3 favorites]


"No, [he] is not dead, he just went home."


posted by Halloween Jack at 3:08 PM on February 5, 2016 [7 favorites]


Mitchell died last night. Buzz Aldrin's Facebook post about it just appeared on my feed. In it he notes that today is the 45th anniversary of the Apollo 14th lunar landing.

(sorry for the self comment, but this seemed too noteworthy to leave unsaid.)
posted by 1367 at 3:10 PM on February 5, 2016 [4 favorites]


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posted by Splunge at 3:20 PM on February 5, 2016


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posted by Gelatin at 3:21 PM on February 5, 2016


Godspeed, Ed. I hope your questions are now answered.
posted by Capt. Renault at 3:26 PM on February 5, 2016 [2 favorites]


You would have to think very long and hard yesterday to name one greater living American than Edgar Mitchell.

This is an hour and a half talk he gave at a UFO conference a couple years ago.
posted by bukvich at 3:35 PM on February 5, 2016 [1 favorite]


A great Texan, a great man. Fly on.
posted by lometogo at 3:39 PM on February 5, 2016


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posted by jammy at 3:46 PM on February 5, 2016


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posted by b1tr0t at 3:48 PM on February 5, 2016


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posted by brennen at 3:58 PM on February 5, 2016


The Way of The Explorer is the book Mitchell wrote about his experiences on the Moon and afterwards
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:58 PM on February 5, 2016


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May his great journey continue.
posted by PROD_TPSL at 4:13 PM on February 5, 2016 [1 favorite]


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posted by monopas at 4:30 PM on February 5, 2016


Apollo 14 now becomes the first lunar mission in which all three members of the crew have died.

Well, I guess technically Apollo 1 wasn't a lunar mission.

Rest in Peace, Mr. Mitchell. A fascinating man.
posted by Joey Michaels at 4:33 PM on February 5, 2016 [1 favorite]


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posted by Thorzdad at 5:01 PM on February 5, 2016


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posted by sotonohito at 5:01 PM on February 5, 2016


I was lucky enough to shake his hand, and have a nice one-on-one chat with him. A very kind, smart man. Say whatever you want about his anomalous interests, dude walked on the fucking moon, those missions were some of the greatest moments in the entire history of our species. RIP, Dr. Mitchell, may the answers you sought be yours.

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posted by dbiedny at 5:02 PM on February 5, 2016 [4 favorites]


Just wanted to say, if y'all haven't checked out the Overview Effect, then you need to - Edgar Mitchell and other astronauts talking about what it is like to see the Earth from above.

Mr. Mitchell is at the 4:26 marker (and more):

I had studied astronomy and I had studied cosmology and I fully understood that the molecules in my body, and the molecules in my partners bodies and in the spacecraft had been prototyped in some ancient generation of stars. In other words, it was pretty obvious that, from those descriptions, we're stardust.
posted by jammy at 5:03 PM on February 5, 2016 [5 favorites]


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posted by Radiophonic Oddity at 5:31 PM on February 5, 2016


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posted by pt68 at 6:54 PM on February 5, 2016


From the OP:


What is your most important current project?

My biggest work is developing further the understanding of the quantum hologram and how it works in relation to the brain. The real enigma we don't have a handle on yet is the psychokinetic effect. It has to do with intentionality and the quantum hologram, but exactly how that functions physically is not obvious to us. .

What is the quantum hologram?

The concept of the quantum hologram is based on quantum emissions from all physi­cal objects, you, me, the camera. Any physical object of macroscopic size, molecular and above, emits quanta of energy and absorbs quanta of energy. The quanta emitted from every object we've discovered carries information about the physical. The quantum hologram is this informational structure about a physical object and it is non-local, which means it is not space-time restricted. . . It is our history, it records our passage, it records what we do, and it's available to the future. It appears to be nature's way of preserving our experience; that's the non-local part. It's the informational part of us, so that everything we do as physical beings is recorded in the ephemeral quantum holographic record, the giant hard disc in the sky, if you will.

Neat!

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posted by petebest at 7:41 PM on February 5, 2016 [1 favorite]


nytimes obit
posted by bukvich at 8:59 PM on February 5, 2016


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posted by mikelieman at 5:51 AM on February 6, 2016


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posted by mixedmetaphors at 8:32 AM on February 6, 2016


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posted by Rufus T. Firefly at 10:07 AM on February 6, 2016


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Edgar Mitchell is dead. Long live the Overview Effect!
posted by kozad at 10:16 AM on February 6, 2016


Aw, he was my favorite astronaut, with his weirdo hippie beliefs.
posted by jenfullmoon at 11:36 AM on February 6, 2016


When I was younger it was commonly asked "If we can send a man to the moon, why can't we (solve difficult problem)". Well, in the USA at least, we can no longer even send a man to orbit, much less the moon. And so we remain on track to hit zero humans who have walked on another world some time around 2030.
posted by TedW at 1:15 PM on February 6, 2016 [1 favorite]




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posted by chance at 9:03 PM on February 6, 2016


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posted by chance at 9:07 PM on February 6, 2016


jenfullmoon the first paragraphs on your link are fantastic.

Then the IONS writer shoots their entire org through the foot by including two paragraphs of promotion for themselves:

Inspired by Edgar’s vision, over the past four decades, the Institute of Noetic Sciences (IONS) has had a catalytic influence on the frontiers of scientific inquiry.

That's some crass stuff there. The last time I went to an IONS meeting, people were gushing about The Secret for goodness' sake.

The real Edgar Mitchell said a number of controversial things. He never said anything remotely kooky if you actually heard all of the context. I watched his talk to the UFO conference again and I took some notes:

1. ET's have been here, know all about us, and monitor us to some extent (although he has no smoking-gun-level evidence because they are shy or something like that).

2. Large numbers of present and past government officials know loads of details they owe it to us to come clean about.

3. NO personal UFO observations and NO personal ET contacts.

4. NO moonbases.

5. His sources that he trusts tell him there was a vehicle crash at Roswell and alien bodies were recovered.

6. He credits Mack's ET contact research as valid.

7. Humanity's greatest challenge:

Getting off planet before the sun goes out which almost certainly first requires (A) learning what conscious life is and (B) tying together general relativity and quantum mechanics and (C) becoming a peaceful and free unified global civilization.

All of this stuff is debateable but if you are going to get into a debate with Edgar Mitchell about it you better prepare yourself because he argues his points very carefully. One interesting datum his critics never mention is that he grew up forty miles from Roswell and he spent more time talking to the original witnesses than anybody who ever lived. A huge fraction of this was personal and not in the role of investigator but in the role of friend. Ultimately the crux of his argument is he has weighed every source and he has confidence in sources he trusts.

I trust Jacques Vallee more than I trust Edgar Mitchell but the latter is (or was) always worth listening to.
posted by bukvich at 7:47 AM on February 7, 2016 [7 favorites]


Phil Plait on Edgar Mitchell.
posted by jenfullmoon at 7:18 PM on February 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


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