What would possess a man with everything to lose to sacrifice it all to tell a story about aliens? Numerous examples exist, believe it or not, of demonstrably sane, intelligent people professing to the world the existence of extraterrestrial races visiting our planet.
One such is Leroy Gordon Cooper. Cooper was born on March 6, 1927 in Shawnee, Oklahoma, and would list among his achievements astronaut on Mercury 9 and Gemini 5. Gordon Cooper, or Gordo, was a Boy Scout, United States Marine, and United States Army officer during World War II. In 1949, Cooper moved to the fledgling Air Force, claiming the honor of being a Marine, soldier, airman, and fighter pilot all within five years. While in service, he went on to attend the University of Hawaii, the University of Maryland, and the Air Force Institute of Technology, earning a Bachelors of Science in Aerospace Engineering.
Cooper rated approximately 7,000 hours of flight time in numerous aircraft, both military and general aviation. After piloting fighters and helicopters, he was selected by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration for the Mercury program. Cooper launched into space aboard Mercury 9 in 1963, after serving as capsule communicator in NASA’s Mission Control in Houston, Texas for John Glenn and Scott Carpenter.
Suffering a power loss on board the Mercury capsule, Cooper found himself with no computer assistance to pilot the capsule through re-entry. Knowing that a mistake could prove catastrophic, either burning him up in the atmosphere or bouncing himself off the atmosphere into outer space, he proceeded to pilot Mercury into its re-entry by studying star patterns, keeping time on his watch, and using the window of his capsule to draw out his angles. Miraculously, Cooper landed not far from the U.S. Navy aircraft carrier assigned to pick him up!
Col. Cooper went on to fly on Gemini 5 before retiring in 1970.
Gordo spoke of seeing extraterrestrial craft, relating having seen classified Air Force photographs of a UFO landing at Edwards Air Force Base in California. Studying the photos, he described a saucer-shaped craft that approached the ground, extended three legs which served as tripod landing gear, and landed. He noted that the photographers who had just taken the photos were extremely emotional when they handed their film over. Gordo was told that upon approaching the craft, it immediately rose into the air, retracted its landing gear, and flew away, the whole episode lasting mere minutes.
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