When former astronaut Story Musgrave addresses an expected huge throng of UFO believers in California next week, he'll delight the crowd when he tells them he believes we're not alone in the universe.
But then he's going to tell members of the Mutual UFO Network -- the largest UFO research organization in the world -- just what they don't want to hear: Earth has probably not been visited by extraterrestrials.
And that's bound to disappoint many of the paying crowd at the 42nd annual MUFON Symposium in Irvine, Calif. The gathering will feature nuclear physicist Stanton Friedman, former Air Force intelligence officer George Filer and other prominent UFO researchers.
"I'm going to tell them that, for me, and my interpretation of everything that's come my way, I cannot arrive at the idea that we have been visited -- either in the past or now," Musgrave told The Huffington Post.
Musgrave -- who logged 25 million miles during six space shuttle missions and who developed the spacesuit that was used by shuttle astronauts for space walks -- says that, despite dozens of military eyewitnesses, photos, films and corroborating radar reports, he's still not convinced.
"Some astronauts have been quoted as saying they think they're [aliens] out there -- I have seen their evidence, and for me, it's not evidence," he said. "Other astronauts were not able to provide me with any empirical evidence, either."
Musgrave is the keynote speaker at the MUFON event. During his many years with NASA, he says he actually looked for evidence of a UFO conspiracy from within the space agency and the government.
"I've been as deep in the military as you can go. I was Marine Corps and Air Force and spent all this time with the government -- I was on two classified department of defense missions, which got me as deep in the bowels of the military and the intelligence community as you can go," he insisted.
"I found no conspiracy in terms of covering up information about extraterrestrial visits. I simply didn't find it!"
The theme for the upcoming UFO symposium is "ET Contact: The Implications for Science and Society" and features a roster of speakers presenting subjects such as UFO disclosure, life on Mars, time travel, anti-gravity propulsion systems, government conspiracies and how alien contact would affect science, technology and religion.
MUFON's international director, Clifford Clift, isn't concerned that Musgrave's not supporting the aliens-are-here theory.
"Sometimes we get too close to the subject and should realize that we need to step back and look at the different approach to the science of this," Clift told The Huffington Post.
"I think Story will enlighten us that way. That doesn't mean that they don't exist, because I'm quite certain that he's going to say he's never seen [a UFO]. But that's okay. If he stays around for the rest of the conversations and talks to some of the witnesses, he might have a little different approach to it."
But while Musgrave doesn't think Earth has been a vacation spot on any alien itinerary, he's pretty adamant that intelligent beings are thriving elsewhere in the cosmos.
"I feel that they're everywhere out there and they're doing interstellar travel -- we'll think differently about ourselves once we accept that," he said.
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