Few people are surprised by the eye-popping headlines in The Mirror. But when the infamous British tabloid quoted astronaut Edgar Mitchell as saying that "UFOs came in peace" to "save America from nuclear war," it shocked everybody -- including Mitchell.
"I don't know where The Mirror got the story," Mitchell, 84, said in an email to The Huffington Post, accusing the paper of fabricating his quotes and denying that an interview for this story ever took place.
The sixth man to walk on the moon has been outspoken over the years in his belief that extraterrestrials have visited the Earth and the moon -- and that the government is withholding vital information about UFOs. Still, Mitchell insists the Aug. 11 Mirror story has no basis in the truth and disavows the information in it.
In the story, the Apollo 14 veteran allegedly told the tab that "military insiders" had seen the "strange crafts" on July 16 over missile bases and the White Sands facility in Las Cruces, N.M., where the first nuclear bomb was tested 70 years ago.
The Mirror quotes Mitchell saying the following:
"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."
"Officers from bases on the Pacific coast told me their [test] missiles were frequently shot down by alien spacecraft."
When HuffPost asked Mitchell if he had told The Mirror that peace-loving aliens came to Earth to stop a nuclear war, that aliens were interested in our atomic weapons testing areas, and that ETs attempted to keep us from going to war and help create peace on Earth, he said, simply, "None of those statements were originated by me."
In recent years, Mitchell has gone on record suggesting that, despite the fact he has never seen a UFO or extraterrestrial, his many conversations with people in the military and intelligence community have convinced him that extraterrestrials have visited Earth and the truth about that has been covered up.
While the former moonwalker has no problem suggesting that Earth is being visited by extraterrestrials who may also be using the moon as a good vantage point for keeping an eye on our planet, in this particular case, he's saying that the specific quotes attributed to him by The Mirror were, frankly, alien to him.
HuffPost contacted Jasper Hamill, who wrote the story in The Mirror. He maintains that he accurately reported his May 5 conversation with Mitchell. A Mirror editorial spokesman, Ben Rankin, confirmed Hamill "stands by his story and has notes from the interview he conducted with Mr. Mitchell."
Mitchell does believe ETs have an interest in humanity's destructive capabilities. In his email to HuffPost, he states the following:
"I have told several sources about my connections over the years with military officers manning missile silos during the Cold War with the Soviet Union who told me personally of UFOs hovering over their missile sites and disabling the missiles targeting the Soviet Union.
"Also, that some of our military missiles were shot down by UFOs during some missile tests from a military station on the California coast. This was rather common knowledge coming from various military officers from years back."
The "common knowledge" factor doesn't refer to what the public was told of these incidents. It was information that he believes was shared among military officers who were stationed at locations where UFOs were allegedly responsible for disabling American missiles.
The following segment of "Larry King Live" from 2008 includes military personnel describing their experiences where they claim UFOs interacted with U.S. missiles, in addition to an animated simulation of an event where a missile was knocked out of the sky by an unknown object.
Mitchell isn't the only prominent individual outspoken about UFOs and alien visitation of Earth.
Paul Hellyer was Canada's minister of defense during the 1960s. After his retirement, he became the first cabinet-level politician from a G8 country to go on record claiming that aliens are already on Earth.
"I know they are here. As a matter of fact, they've been visiting our planet for thousands of years. There's just so much evidence, if anybody will take time off to do a little bit of research and study," Hellyer said on a Russian television program.
In the following video, Mitchell talks about why he thinks UFO information has been kept under wraps:
In 2013, Mitchell told HuffPost he hopes the truth embargo that surrounds the UFO-ET issue will end.
"I can't say where they're from, but evidence of their presence here is pretty overwhelming -- if you care to look for it. My only guess as to why there's this embargo is because of the profit potential that goes along with having the capability and the technology that could go outside of our solar system.
"[We need to] spread a little bit more truth about the type of universe we live in and the fact that we're not alone. We've got many, many mysteries on our hands and mysteries to solve.
"We really don't know the scope of our existence and our picture of the universe is still pretty primitive."