The date of July 16, 1969 was the day of the launch of Apollo 11 and the
initial kick-off for the first landing of the human race on our neighbor,
the moon. The global importance of this major historic event was very
evident at the Kennedy Space Center, Florida. It was Moon Shot Day! Many
famous people from all over the world gathered in the VIP launch viewing
area near the Apollo LCC (Launch Control Center).
The security was at its highest level with VIP guests present from every nation on earth. One guest was in attendance that I had supported during his political career, Senator
Barry M. Goldwater of Arizona.
He had been the Republican Presidential
candidate in 1964 running against President Lyndon B. Johnson. He had
lost by a wide margin, but, we in Florida had delivered him a victory in
Brevard County, Florida and the Space Port area and pride in ourselves regarding that minor accomplishment. In 1968, Goldwater won back his Senatorial seat in Arizona.
Senator Barry M. Goldwater was a former Major General in the United
States Army Air Corp wanting to be a fighter pilot of a P-47 Thunderbolt and/or a P-51 Mustang aircraft, but was assigned to deliver various aircraft to combat areas. He had flown an estimated 160 plus other planes during his WW II and civilian years. I was also informed that he had been checked-out in an SR-71 Blackbird. That was VERY impressive to learn.
Being a registered Democrat supporting a Republican candidate in Florida did not gain me any favor through my lifelong political party in Florida. I constantly lived with insults and jokes which supplemented my involvement in UFO research. McClelland has always been a maverick.
During the long countdown of the Saturn V Apollo 11 launch vehicle, I
took a breakfast break from the LCC and walked to the nearby VIP guest viewing site in hopes of meeting Senator Goldwater. As I scanned the numerous people gathered, I asked one of our security guards if he was aware of the location of Goldwater. He pointed his finger to an open field nearby saying “Do you see that guy over there setting up his camera tripod, Mac? That’s Senator Goldwater”. I had my camera around my neck in hopes of having a photo
opportunity with the Senator. I strolled across the crab grass turf as
he was setting up his personal camera. I was surprised he was alone except
for a half dozen other guests that were nearby also setting up their
cameras. I introduced myself and he responded with a polite greeting. He asked if I was a guest in the VIP area. I chuckled a bit and said, no sir, I am not yet a VIP. He smiled, and said, yes, I know how you feel. I had the same experience in the past. We talked about his earlier effort to gain the Presidency and I told him about my personal efforts in Brevard County.
He thanked me saying at least he had won here in the Cape area.
I seriously pondered my next question concerning UFOs and finally asked
him if he would discuss the subject with me? I was surprised he had no
Secret Service Agents or NASA Public Affairs personnel hovering around him. I explained my position at KSC and my being the NICAP Unit-3 Director for
Major Donald E. Keyhoe at KSC. He had met Keyhoe in DC years before. He
approved our discussion on the UFO subject and we began our exchange of
information. I began by saying it was obvious he had a deep abiding
interest in UFOs and possible visits of alien races to earth. He said, “That is accepted fact in Washington and especially at the Pentagon, young man.”
I had some understanding of his alleged statements regarding UFOs in the past and brought up the popular story of his effort to gain entry into a special storage area at Wright-Patterson AFB that purportedly had alien artifacts in it. He said, “Yes, that’s the main event concerning me and UFOs. I was under the impression that a US Senator with a past as a Major General in the US Army Air Corp and a member of the US Senate Select Committee on Intelligence for many years would carry some weight in my allowances to enter such an area of military secrecy. I was rudely awakened to reality very swiftly
when I was denied passage. It had me angry enough to discuss it with a
personal friend of mine in the military and inquired why my position in the US Senate had no such allowance? My friend, General Curtis LeMay, Chairman of the Military Joint Chiefs of Staff at the Pentagon VERY angrily told me that I had no need to know. He gave me a lot of HELL about my activities at Wright-Patterson. He threatened to end our friendship for life!
“My God, Mac, that surprised the hell out of me.” LeMay added, “you stay clear of our mutual friend, ‘Butch’, too.” (meaning General William “Butch”
Blanchard) his having been at Roswell later Walker Army Air base and the 509Th. will not gain you any favor for knowledge of that Roswell crash claim.
Goldwater said, “Mac, Butch Blanchard was also a very valued friend of mine since WWII. He was the person who announced that a disc had crashed near
Roswell in 1947. This cussing out did awaken me to one fact, that the UFO
situation is the highest level of national secrecy. Much higher than the H-Bomb was and more than anything else that is known within the Pentagon, FBI, CIA, DIA, NSA, etc. That is, nothing is higher security than aliens being here on this planet.
Then I realized Curtis was correct. And I never again approached him on the subject. That seemed to prove to me that UFOs were a fact, and do exist. But, are they all aliens? I highly suspect a majority are! Hell, they are no doubt far ahead of our level of intelligence.
“The United States Air Force knows the truth, but will they ever reveal it to this nation?”
I quickly said, “Yes, Senator, some UFOs sighted I have learned through the ONI are alien”. His eyes brightened up and showed
surprise saying, “Mac how would you know that as a fact and I was denied
I said “Senator, I was here, at KSC, and had also been at Cape
Canaveral since the start of our national space program. With all due
respect for your great accomplishments, sir, you were not. I’ve heard and seen things that without any doubt proved to me that UFO’s and star races exist.”
I said, “Congress is not made aware of secrets of this caliber. The Pentagon controls such disclosures”. He stared at me, then said: “Yes, I get your point. You were and are on the cutting edge of Technology Mac. Hell, you have seen events I can only dream about”. I replied, “Yes, sir, more than you know!”
I then tested the Senator with another question. I asked him if he was
at that time aware of the fact that several former German Scientists were
assigned to Wright Field? He said, “No, Mac, I was not”. Then, one of the nearby launch viewers came close to our location and I stopped the discussion.
The man wanted to say hello and shake the hand of Senator
Goldwater. Following his departure, I continued, saying, “Those Germans
were at Wright since post-WWII and assigned to reverse engineer certain
retrieved hardware that was suspected to be of alien origin. They accomplished that assignment of the object that crashed in Kecksburg, Pennsylvania. It was taken to Wright Field.
Senator Goldwater said, “Yes, I recall that incident. What was it? Do you know?”
I replied, “Yes, sir, it was a Soviet failed mission to Venus in 1965. It was not alien, Senator. The public was lead to believe it was a UFO. Far easier to explain than a missile from the USSR hitting within the USA”. Goldwater agreed.
Goldwater asked if I was aware of who the Germans were? I replied, “Yes,
one was Siegfried Knemeyer, the former head of the German RLM (The
Reichsluftfahrtministerium), the Third Reich’s Air Ministry for aircraft
development for the Luftwaffe. He died in 1979 in the USA. Another was
Dr. Hans Amtmann, an expert in vertical take off aircraft. One other I am familiar is Dr. Alexander Lippisch who was more so well known and a pioneer in tailless aircraft, the US Delta wing fighter, the F-102A Delta Dagger and an advanced design of a ground effect flying boat. I’m almost certain these men also did a reverse engineering on the object that crashed near Roswell, New Mexico”. I could see that what I was telling the Senator may have had his mind in a spin. So, I slowed down.
He said, “Mac, what are you doing
here? We need people like you in DC”. I said that my place was right here at
I noted the countdown clock was at two hours and twenty seven minutes prior to the launch of Apollo 11 and asked him if he would like a soft drink? He said: “Yeah, maybe a shot and a beer, after hearing all you have said, Mac”. He laughed.
I smiled and went for two Pepsi Colas.
When I returned, he continued the conversation saying: “Mac, you work in
one of the most secretive and important areas of our national security on the cutting edge of space science and are no doubt aware of much that has
and is happening during our missions into space”. I confirmed his statement
saying I was also part of an ONI (Office of Naval Intelligence) unit at Patrick Air Force Base South of the Cape. He was surprised to hear that fact.
He said, “So, you are Naval Intelligence, young man?”
I said, “Well, yes sir, but, only one member”. He continued, making certain none of the people nearby was within listening distance, “Now, may I ask you what you have heard or seen here?” I joked with him and said “Do you have a need to know, sir” and we both laughed.
Goldwater smiled while he adjusted his camera tripod. Soon, a man and
wondered by saying hello and we both similarly replied. I asked the man
he would take a photo of Goldwater and me together. I asked approval of
Senator and he gave his OK. Following the photo being taken, I thanked
both the people, they shook the hand of the Senator and they went on their
way. I was disappointed and noted after it was developed that the photo had been taken too distant to show both our faces in more detail. But, it does show enough recognition.
(See enhanced photo).
I asked the Senator if he knew Senator Richard Russell of the State of
Georgia? He snapped back, “Are you kidding, Mac? Of course I know Dick
Russell”. Goldwater then softly asks me if I was aware of Senator Russell’s UFO sighting in the Soviet Union.” I smiled and said “Yes sir. I learned
of it through my ONI Unit”
He said, “Now, do you have the proper
clearances, Mac?” with a smile. I told him my clearance level. He said, “That was more than acceptable”, and again smiled. He continued, “I had heard a rumor about Russell having his UFO experience, and thought I would approach him about it. I was careful not to have him cuss me out like LeMay. I’ll tell you what he and I discussed. About six or seven years ago in 1962, before my election loss to Johnson in 1964, Dick and I got together after a Senate meeting and sat alone in his office. Dick said that around sundown on 4 October 1955, he saw two separate saucer shaped crafts while traveling on a train through the Soviet Union on his way to Czechoslovakia. He made a small sketch of the object for us to study on his desk pad. He showed a sparkle flashing under its base and indicated it had two lights on its top portion that remained stationary, while the outer section of each disc
appeared to revolve or spin. He said it had a slight yellowish color and
have been 25 to 35 feet in diameter. After talking about the object for
about five minutes, Russell tore the desk pad drawing off his sketch pad
placed it in his jacket pocket for later burning. He told me that it was
classified Top Secret by the FBI and military. He did not want the
sketch to end up in the wrong hands”. Goldwater told me that Russell then detailed how he watched from his train window as one saucer shaped craft was seen to rise slowly from the ground about 2 miles away and flew over his train at not too high a rate of speed. It was estimated to be between 5 to 6,000 feet in altitude. Goldwater emphasized, “Mac, Dick was so excited about this actual viewing of a UFO that he tried to summon his Russian language interpreter, Ruben Efron who arrived too late and had only a brief sighting of the object. His aid was Colonel Hathaway (later, I learned he was U. S. Army Colonel, E. U. Hathaway, the military aid-de-camp for the U..S. Senate Armed Services Committee). Goldwater said that Russell was not able to alert Ruben
quickly for him to have only a brief sighting of the initial craft, but,
he, Colonel Hathaway and Ruben all witnessed the second disc in detail.
Russell said the CIA and FBI, and perhaps the NSA were apparently briefed in DC concerning this very important event and had a US Air Force officer interview Russell, Ruben and Colonel Hathaway in Europe. Goldwater could not recall the US Air Force Officers name. Later I gained that data and discovered it was Lt. Colonel, Thomas Ryan who prepared a detailed report on the sighting for the Pentagon. The report was highly classified and was not made public until the excellent work of Dr. Bruce Maccabee, Chairman of the Fund for UFO Research obtained the documents through the Freedom of Information Act It was not declassified for public viewing until 1985! Thirty years after the incident.
Goldwater said, “Mac, it makes one wonder why objects that do not exist, according to the USAF, require such TOP Secrecy by the US Government? I agreed.
Note: In February 2006, The Bush Administration once again reclassified
at least 55,000 former secret and confidential documents. Once again they were not to be released to the public through the Freedom of Information Act.
What caused the highly secretive Bush Administration to reverse that?
decision? What is Bush, Chaney, Rumsfeld, Rice, etc., now keeping from
the general knowledge of the tax paying public? Makes one seriously think!
I continued our exchange, saying, “Senator, when I first arrived at Cape Canaveral in 1958, the initial mystery event I became aware of was what RCA Engineers called Lonesome George! I later was informed by those
personnel that they had accidentally discovered an orbiting, what could be called, alien space probe out at the distance of the moon. Senator, remember that the USA and USSR had not orbited any man made object at the time they initially discovered the object. What was its purpose, negative or positive concerning the safety of the human race? It apparently was not showing any harmful intent towards the earth”. Goldwater did show amazement at my disclosure and admitted having no knowledge of the object.
I then related I was also aware of several Mercury, Gemini and other UFO
sightings by astronaut crews. That statement seemed to light up the
Senator’s eyes. He asked, “What did they observe?”
I continued, “During our Mercury
Program, I heard the voice of Astronaut Gordon Cooper during his Mercury 9 mission report a “green colored object” that appeared to be passing his capsule in the opposite orbital direction over the Pacific Ocean in 1963.
Many years later, I spoke with Gordo during a phone conversation and
asked him if he would elaborate? He denied it was a fact and said he did not see an object during Mercury 9. But, I had heard him say he was tracking such an object? He quickly added, we are on a phone Slim (My nickname used by several of the earlier astronauts). He caught me by surprise”.
The Senator asked me why? I said, “I suspected that Gordo was giving me a message.
He apparently had suspicion his phone was not secure. Maybe I was
incorrectly making that judgment, but, that was my analysis of his statement.
Senator, now to elaborate on the Mercury 9 mission. I was at the Mercury Mission Control facility here at Cape Canaveral on the day of the return to earth by Cooper. I had initially tried to visit USAF Colonel John A. “Shorty” Powers at Hangar “S” discovering that the Colonel was at mission control South of the hangar area and I drove there to see him. He had my special Mercury 9 lapel pin, a memento of this historic mission. Having security clearance, I
entered the mission control area. I immediately heard communications
between Mercury 9 and the Cap Com (Capsule Communication) officer, Astronaut Wally Schirra who was tracking Cooper and the Faith 7 across the Pacific Ocean on its final pass prior to splash down in that same area on its next pass.
It was the final orbit of Faith Seven before reentry back to earth. The
commentary was on an open PA system at mission control. Following the
disclosure of Cooper that he was observing a “green colored object”, and other comments that were made by Astronaut Scott Carpenter who was in
the Kauai, Hawaii tracking station concerning it. Senator, Cooper was on his third orbit and had released a highly luminous 6 inch diameter Xenon
Strobe Light sphere to test his tracking capabilities of the object while on orbit.
He finally was able to see it on his fourth orbit. Senator, I wonder if
the object he saw was connected to that Xenon Strobe Light? But, it was not green and not in the proper orbital path.”
“Senator, I believe he actually did see a UFO. Sir, Cooper has disclosed to me that he had chased UFOs during his USAF duties in 1951 while in Germany.
He said they out maneuvered his flight of F-86 Saber jets and were
flying at a greater speed than our airplanes.
Goldwater said: “Yes, Mac, I’m aware of that fact.”
Goldwater then asked about sightings during other space missions. I
mentioned several during Gemini and Apollo and then I asked him if he
had heard anything about a 1956 US Naval aircraft and the huge UFO that many crew member and others observed over the Atlantic Ocean? He said he had not.
I said, “I was not surprised. Senator, it apparently was also kept
secret by the Pentagon as that incident of Senator Russell. My initial muster (US Naval term for a meeting) with the US Navy ONI Unit 6-69 at Patrick AFB, Florida was in early 1959. I was introduced to several highly ranked officers (admirals, captains, etc.) who immediately swore me to secrecy,
Bible and all, concerning what I was about to presently view and other data I would experience in the future concerning confidential and secret information.
I agreed and volunteered to operate the group movie and slide projector.
My being an investigator of UFOs, and a member of NICAP, for many years
was apparently well known by this group of US Naval Officers. I had
presented talks on the subject of Space Flight and UFOs at the Philadelphia Naval Base a few years prior, and was presently seeking additional UFO encounters
within the space program. I realized that would be my value to the unit
along with my friendship with many NASA Astronauts to this ONI Unit.
Captain Rudy Bergholz, a technical manager at NASA KSC, opened a large film canister and handed it to me.
The film can was marked, confidential with other taped notes of instructions
and warnings. I began rolling the film and I found it to be an amazing
disclosure of a UFO incident that occurred in 1956. The officers were
excitingly talking among themselves as it described the sighting of a
huge disc shaped UFO (400 feet in diameter) by a US Naval flight crew in a Navy R7V-2 transport, which was a four engine Super-Constellation traveling West over the Atlantic Ocean towards Gander, Newfoundland. An apparent refueling stop for its eventual landing at the Naval Air Station at Patuxant, Maryland. (Note: A base where several astronaut crews would eventually be trained for
secret DoD missions, STS-48, UFOs etc. during future Space Shuttle
I immediately noted a familiar name, Admiral Delmar S. Fahrney being
mentioned in the film. Goldwater injected a comment, “Yes, I have met
Admiral Fahrney, Mac.” I said,” Yes, sir” I continued, “Another comment
was made in the film recognizing NICAP and Major Donald E. Keyhoe, a former
US Marine fighter pilot”. I asked the Senator if he knew Keyhoe. He said,
“Yes, I have met him. A very impressive man”. I commented that I wondered why I had not heard about this case prior to this ONI meeting, perhaps from NICAP in Washington DC.
Captain Bergholz said I had not yet been approved to have a “need to
know” by the US Navy. Apparently, now I had that need, but, why? During the
meeting, Captain Bergholz finally sprung the reason, I was to investigate and verify through those German Scientists at Cape Canaveral, who those Paper Clip Scientists were that had come to the USA with Dr. Wernher von Braun in 1946 and who had been assigned to the AMC (Air Material
Command) Foreign Technology Division at Wright Field, Ohio? Bergholz being my commanding officers delegated the job to me because of my association
with many German Scientists at Cape Canaveral. I later informed Burgholz that
I had discovered at least three Paper Clip Scientists that were assigned to
Wright Field following their arrival with Dr. Wernher von Braun. One named
Siegfried Knemeyer, former Third Reich Luftwaffe Pilot and RLM Director,
- - -
“Senator Goldwater interrupted me, and said, “Mac, what’s RLM? I told
him it was the German Air Ministry that created the various planes, like the Messerschmitt, Junker, and may have influenced the V-1 and V-2
rockets at Peenemunde. I continued, two other Paper Clip scientists at Wright Field are Dr. Hans Amtmann and Dr. Alexander Lippisch. I believe all three are still at Wright-Patterson Air Force base, Senator. Perhaps you can try and contact them there.” The Senator quickly replied, “No, not after that experience with General LeMay, Mac!”
I said “ Senator, you are aware of the military rivalry to gain the
upper hand over other areas of the United States military that has been an on-going practice throughout our national history”. He replied, “Yes, I
am, having been associated with the military budgets in the Senate”. I
continued saying, “There was and still is a great rivalry between the US military services and since the USAF and the US Army ABMA were playing the same game between them at Wright Field, the AMC (Air Material Command) Foreign Technology Division of the USAF had captured alien technology and the US Navy wanted it shared with the ONI. Another habitual US Military
Can you imagine the Soviet Union having such squabbles? Not on your
Admirals and General would have been marched to a wall and executed. In
fact, Stalin did just that to several of his military officers.
I continued to explain the film, “As we all watched the ONI film, it
described the sighting of a huge 400 foot or larger saucer shaped object
that was encountered by a US Navy R7V-2 four engine Constellation
aircraft over the Atlantic Ocean. As many as 40 military personnel and air crew observed it as it approached the aircraft and appeared to be observing
the Navy plane. It was at an altitude of about 19 to 20,000 feet and at
first the object was mistaken for being a gathering of many ships below the plane due to its size when initially and earlier viewed far below the aircraft by the navigator and commander of the plane. I said, Senator Goldwater, I
cannot recall the names of the flight crew. He said, “Just continue with the incident, Mac. It’s very interesting and I was not aware it had happened”.
I continued, “They all witnessed it and described it as having a large illuminated outer ring. Since it and what some said may have been other craft below were possibly seen. As the large object approached the plane at about 1,000 yards those aboard were mystified and frightened. The crew later said it was a huge saucer shaped metallic machine.”
Goldwater asked, “Mac, did they show
photographs of it in the ONI film?” I told him I was not aware that a film
was exposed during the actual incident, so, no, I did not see any depiction
of the UFO. If any UFO film, was taken at all, it was apparently under
Top Secret classification and not shown in the ONI film. Some comments made by the crew in the film were that they all considered the huge object was “intelligently controlled”. They also said that no living creature, etc, was seen. They added that the crafts speed from when it climbed from near sea level to their aircraft altitude was estimated to be about 1,400 to 2,000+ knots in a brief time lapse of seven to eight seconds.” The Senator said, “That’s astounding, Mac! What else was said?”
I continued, “The Navy aircraft commander radioed ahead to the Gander
Air Force Base control tower and asked if their radar was identifying any
other object near his R7V-2? The tower control officer said, yes, a larger
object and in close proximity of the Navy plane. Sir, they verified that
gigantic craft was on their radar!” He replied, “Mac, I was not aware of that
case! I will try and pursue it when I return to Washington”. I replied, “Contact Don Keyhoe or Richard Hall, his deputy”. I continued with the sighting saying,
“The US Navy flight Commander asked the USAF interviewer at Gander
during their individual and group debriefing was asked by the interrogator, did they see any indication of life. His reply was, no, but it was intelligently
controlled, and my crew and I are all witnesses to that fact! That
object was not remotely controlled; something inside of it was in CONTROL! The interrogator would not discuss what the Gander Radar had recorded and
refused to allow the Navy to review it. The Navy Commander asked the Air
Force Officer, what’s the USAF up to now? You people say UFOs do not
exist, what the hell did we see if they don’t exist? The USAF Officer said, Sorry, we cannot answer any of your questions!
I told the Senator that I suspected it was Dr. J. Alan Hynek who became
involved about four or so days later after the US Navy aircraft arrived
at Patuxant, Maryland and the crew was once again placed under an intense
ONI interrogation with a detailed report from each crew member and those who were passengers returning home.”
Senator Goldwater then said, “What was the scientist’s response, Mac? I
am very interested to know. I may contact Hynek and try to investigate if he were the scientist involved.” I replied, “Good idea sir. Now to
continue, the unidentified scientist asked the Navy Commander if he had any
photographs of the huge UFO? The Commander said yes, but they have all
been confiscated and classified. The scientist met with the Commander and
unlocked a brief case and withdrew several photos of strange objects
(UFOs). He asked the Commander if any were similar.
While reviewing the photos, the Commander stopped and said, this is the exact saucer shaped object my crew and I saw. He then said, if you and
the government have photos such as these, there are people within the
Federal Government who know? The scientist said he was sorry, but. he could not disclose anything. Closed his briefcase and left the room. Senator, the facts concerning UFOs and if they are from an alien star race is known in DC!”
Senator Goldwater then said, “Mac, I am absolutely going to look into this when I return to Washington tomorrow”.
I then asked the Senator if he would answer a few questions I had for him.
He agreed. I asked him, “Are you aware of any facts that are unknown to the public regarding the alleged Roswell crash in 1947?
He said: “Mac, I have investigated that incident through every possible agency that may have had some responsibility, the FBI (Hoover who shut me off quickly), The NRO,
DIA, NSA, etc., and have gained nothing other than hell from the Pentagon.
You may know more about it than I. I’m as curious about those facts as you.
The reaction I have had from General LeMay and the on-site Roswell facts
known by General “Butch” Blanchard, etc., has told me one thing that it did happen and is a major secret regarding UFOs and aliens of our time. Perhaps of all times”.
I looked at my watch and the NASA Countdown Clock a short distance from where we were and it was progressing without any launch holds. Excitement was rising with the VIP crowd. My break had run out. Senator Goldwater and I both shook hands and I thanked him for his openness with me. As I walked away, I glanced back at him and realized I would probably not talk with this great man in our nation’s history again. To me, Senator Barry Goldwater was a national treasure and great American patriot.
I returned to the LCC. At 9:32 AM the liftoff of the huge Saturn V
Apollo 11 rocket rumbled into space and a historic was realized. Mankind landed and returned from the moon and will continue to explore the vast universe should our human existence continue.
In early 1970, I realized Gordo was considering resigning from NASA. I
called Senator Barry Goldwater at his office in Arizona. He had told me
to do so if I had anything else to discuss with him. A secretary answered
and the Senator came on the phone. I greeted him and said, are you aware
that Astronaut Gordon Cooper was bumped from his Apollo 14 mission
assignment? He said he heard some news about it. I asked if he could do anything to have him reinstated to that mission. He said he would make some inquiries to determine if it was ethical for him (a Senator) to act on Coopers behalf. He asked for what reason was he removed? Were there hidden reasons?” I answered, “Sir,
Gordo enjoyed racing, he loved controlling a fast vehicle, like most of those earlier astronauts. Most of them, Schirra, Grissom, etc., owned
very fast sports cars. I knew one of their mechanics who worked at the Cape.
He was considering entering a major car race in Daytona Beach against
the objections of NASA. He was warned by NASA to stay clear of any race in
Daytona. They had spent a lot of money training him and were not going
to have a car accident impact what the US Government spent on him monetarily
and the severe impact on their critical lunar launch schedule if he were killed or injured. Senator, I agreed with the NASA decision.
Cooper was entirely wrong to continue with his racing plans and force
NASA to remove him from flight status. NASA realized he was still stubbornly
planning on entering a Daytona race, so they finally reassigned that
Apollo 14 to Alan Shepard who had earlier been assigned as the Commander of the Apollo 13 mission to the moon. Astronaut James Lovell was then named
Commander of the Apollo 13 flight that eventually had an explosion on
its way to the moon and nearly was lost. Fate plays strange games with the lives of astronauts.
“Senator, you may recall that Gordon Cooper became involved with the
United Nation’s efforts to have the subject of UFOs brought before the UN and to have it finally disclosed that unknown crafts are being encountered all over the earth. I believe Cooper knew secrets about UFOs he kept from
disclosing to the public at that time. I personally believe he was threatened with the loss of his retirement if he would not remain quiet. His interest in UFOs also may have impacted his NASA career.”
I stressed to Goldwater, “Sir, Gordon Cooper deserves a lunar mission.
He absolutely earned it with his heroic national service. Yes, he was wrong about racing, but, deserves a career break from NASA”. Apparently,
Senator Goldwater was politically stymied if he actually made any effort on saving Gordon Cooper from the NASA ax. The Senator and I never again spoke in person. Sadly, he apparently was unable to reverse the NASA decision concerning Gordon Cooper and his NASA career. Cooper realized his
astronaut career was gone and resigned from NASA and the United States Air Force on 31 July 1970.
On 29 May 1998, Barry Goldwater passed away at age 89 in Phoenix, Arizona.
Perhaps he now knows the secrets of that “highly classified area” at
Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and is now aware of other races among the
On 4 October 2004, L. Gordon Cooper passed away in Ventura, California
at age 77. On 30 April 2007, a portion of the cremated remains of NASA
Astronaut Gordon Cooper along with “astronaut”, James Doohan, (Scotty of Star Trek) was both launched on a space funeral 72 miles briefly into space by a Celestis Spaceloft XL rocket from New Mexico. The wives, Susan Cooper and Wende Doohan pushed the launch button sending their husbands into their beloved space frontier. The recovery capsule with the ashes were returned and recovered by parachute near White Sands, New Mexico. Both are now reaching Warp Speed in Heaven. What a ride that would be.
I hope to have it someday.