Former ISS Commander Opens Up About 2005 UFO Sighting

Posted by Xavier Ortega | March 28, 2014 21


Astronaut Leroy Chiao was on his last spacewalk mission after six and a half months as the commander of the International Space Station. He was accompanied by cosmonaut Salizhan Sharipov and were on a mission to install a few navigation antennas. As the pair floated 230 miles above the Earth Chiao spotted five bright lights in a check-mark pattern gliding above Earth.

“I saw some lights that seemed to be in a line and it was almost like an upside-down check mark, and I saw them fly by and thought it was awfully strange,” Chiao told The Huffington Post.

You can catch Dr. Chiao’s story on the Science Channel’s week-long “Are we alone?” series.

AreWeAloneAliensShow_m_0305Chiao’s fellow spacewalker, Sharipov, hadn’t seen the lights because he was facing the opposite direction.

This experience, recreated in the above video (and still image below), launches “NASA’s Unexplained Files,” one of several programs presented as part of Science Channel’s week-long “Are We Alone?” series, beginning March 2.

A down-to-Earth explanation is offered for Chiao’s sighting: the bright lights of a fishing boat hundreds of miles below him. But is that the only possible interpretation of what the astronaut saw?

It’s easy for many to have no doubt that he witnessed an intelligently controlled extraterrestrial spacecraft. But Chiao doesn’t believe there’s ever been any tangible evidence that someone else is visiting Earth or has done so in the past.

“I’m skeptical of claims that we’ve been visited by aliens from another planet or other dimension, but I don’t rule it out 100 percent. I have an open mind and I do believe there’s other life in the universe.

“If there is life out there that’s so much more advanced than we are and they know either how to travel great distances in short amounts of time, or they’re able to come from a parallel universe into ours, why don’t they just come and show themselves?”

“NASA’s Unexplained Files” episodes highlight possible out-of-this world UFOs either seen or photographed by astronauts over many years.
–source: HuffingtonPost

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I'm a writer, a runner, and a hell of a coffee drinker residing in Los Angeles. I'm currently working on a book about Doris Bither and her terrifying account of a haunting in Culver City, California. The case was dubbed "The Entity" and it stands to be one of the most controversial cases ever to be studied by parapsychologists.

Latest posts by Xavier Ortega (see all)

  • Killyoself Asap

    “If there is life out there that’s so much more advanced than we are and they know either how to travel great distances in short amounts of time, or they’re able to come from a parallel universe into ours, why don’t they just come and show themselves?” I think they have been for thousands of years, considering how people submit sightings,videos and pictures everyday around our planet,along with the numerous stories,cave paintings, and ancient art that has been around for thousands of years. Nobody will believe until they have an alien body in front of them though, and that’s sad

  • mustangmorris

    I think whats sad is that people want to believe so badly that we are being visited that their willing to believe anything anyone says.

  • OkieTechGuy

    I think it’s sad when there exists countless pieces of unexplained evidence such as radar tracings, hundreds of thousands of sightings by all manner of people, photographs, video, soil impressions from objects weighing tons, unexplained trace evidence, medical anomalies in witnesses – the list goes on – that people dismiss every single piece of evidence – because they can’t bring themselves to believe there’s anyone else but “us” out there. Why believe that? Clearly with the number of extrasolar planets now skyrocketing – the tide is turning in the scientific community about whether intelligent life exists out there or not. And if intelligent life exists and could have been evolving for thousands if not millions of years before our own? It’s ludicrous to think that they wouldn’t have achieved interstellar travel by now. At some point there will be more and more mainstream scientists looking at UFO evidence in this light, putting two and two together, and realizing that maybe many of these people knew exactly what they were (or weren’t) seeing, they aren’t wing nuts, or influenced by hallucination or chemical substances. That we didn’t have to hope to catch an alien signal from space. They are already here. Either that? Or we are looking at the biggest combination of mass hallucinations, hoaxes, misidentification and drunken/drugged phenomena in the history of mankind. Frankly, I find that idea harder to believe than the idea that the Powers that Be recognize such a revelation would turn our world upside down (witness on a smaller scale what happened with the radio broadcast of War of the Worlds) to keep anything they know hush-hush or explained away. Granted, we are far beyond War of the Worlds society and thinking and so it wouldn’t surprise me if in our lifetime some type of reveal is made to the general public – whenever or whomever is ultimately in charge of such information release decides the world is ready or wants to release such information and how. Such information secrecy could be held for more nefarious reasons. Power. Money. Control. Not revealing what if any “deal” we’ve made with alien civilizations. Go ahead, explain away the thousands who have claimed alien abduction – as night paralysis or whatever – just because you are uncomfortable in believing such an awful premise or because it sounds so far out it simply can’t be true. Finally? If you think that the government is always altruistic in its intentions and information release towards the general public and that secrets can’t be kept secrets? I’d say you are living in a similar dream world you seem to suggest these “believers” in UFOs are residing.

  • mustangmorris

    Why do you care if people don’t believe . I think your just looking for a fight. Really who cares , It doesn’t bother me if you believe. so why should it bother you if other people don’t. Is this all you have in your life?

  • OkieTechGuy

    I don’t care if they don’t believe whatever. What I care about is people making a supposition – such as yourself – out of topic they know nothing or little about. You said you thought it was “sad people believed because they were wiling to believe what anyone says…” Simply not true. I believe because of the preponderance of evidence of something not just because somebody said it. What matters is the credibility of the witness, how many people said they witnessed an event, and the conditions surrounding what they saw – among other things. Nope. An interest in such things isn’t all I have in my life. I have kids and a great lady in my life. I have a job I’ve been at for 28 years. Pretty much a normal person actually that has an interest in well…what millions of others have an interest in too. We just grow tired of people scoffing at what we believe or feeling “sad”…for us which insinuates we need pity because we are – as I said in my previous post – somehow incompetent in what we believe. These forums exist so as to express one’s opinion about a topic, You expressed yours? I expressed mine.

  • mustangmorris

    Take your meds.

  • OkieTechGuy

    Right….and who is looking for a fight now rather than a sensible discussion based on that retort? Nuff’ said.

  • OkieTechGuy

    Assuming they have the technology and capability to travel light-years or cross parallel universes as you rightfully suggest (and may have had this capability for hundreds if not thousands of years) what makes you think they even care to “show themselves” in a manner that you think would be acceptable? Asking such a question of an advanced race that has these capabilities is like asking why we haven’t tried to communicate with ground squirrels on their level! What’s the point? There motivations, morals, reasons for doing anything may be as foreign to us as the technology that got them here.

  • radioredrafts

    And did anyone get a picture of fishing boat lights? Anyone at all?

    No fishing boat lights, no valid explanation. Nonexistent evidence is never to be taken as an explanation.

  • LaszloZoltan

    unfortunately, for a former astronaut there is money to be made pandering to the ufo-nuts

  • radioredrafts

    What we have here is a story, yes. However, you’re now impugning the man’s character by making an invidious claim for no good reason.

  • radioredrafts

    Of course, your claim may be an indirect one, maybe even an unintentional one, but there is is nonetheless. “Unfortunately, for a former astronaut” (That would be Chiao) “there is money to be made” (motive for your claim) “by pandering” (unflattering implied action) “to the UFO nuts” (dismissal by invidious label). It just doesn’t wash.

  • Jim Oberg

    Rad, weather satellites and ISS crew routinely spot the bright-light boats in their favorite ocean regions. I did an MSNBC story on Chiao’s sighting the year it happened. We used a wxsat photo of the actual fleet. Look it up and eat your words.

  • radioredrafts

    But where is the picture? No correlating picture, no evidence.

    Keep in mind that I’m not saying whether or not he saw UFOs. I just want to see evidence he’s lying before calling him a liar.

  • radioredrafts

    Also, he said he saw several bright light in an echelon formation. Now think of how big a fishing boat, hundreds of miles away, would look to the naked eye. You’d be able to tell that there is a light-producing source down there, if your eyes are really sharp. Maybe. You’d still have to look down through the atmosphere to see it, anyhow. Quite a challenge, even if you know what you’re looking for.rad

  • radioredrafts

    Chiao speculated that he may have seen a constellation of satellites catching the sun’s glint. Maybe. Or, like you say, he might have seen a fleet of fishing boats, and the speed of the space station’s transit would have caused them to move quite rapidly toward the horizon, assuming he couldn’t tell the difference between the night side of earth and the blackness of space. Maybe. However, given the fact that he’d been staring at both for several months, I doubt that was the case. I have very good reason to doubt that a trained astronaut, a commander, no less, wouldn’t know what he was looking at after staring at it for several months. Also, I got the impression from listening to his account that the lights seemed to be moving faster than inertia could account for. Still, I will concede this explanation as an outside possibility. There remains, however, the other possibility that he saw something he couldn’t explain. None of this is to be taken as evidence, as a poster somewhere lower down on this page implied, that the man is lying. What we have is a story, nothing more, and so far the explanation that I find most believable is the speculation that Commander Chiao gave about sunlight glinting off of satellites, as they can move quite fast. If you want to know where I got this from, it’s the story “How to crack strange space cases” (from Space | NBC). Is that the story you worked on?

  • radioredrafts

    Also, the satellites, if they caught the sun’s light just right, would be far more eye-catching than the lights of fishing boats as perceived hundreds of miles below with the naked eye. And they’d look considerably more unearthly.

  • radioredrafts

    Alright, that’s all the time I’ll spend on this.

  • Ev Ho

    “Why don’t they just come an show themselves?”
    2 words – Manifest Destiny
    We still have racism, sexism, greed, slavery, poverty, starvation, pollution, disease, war, war, and war. Why would any intelligent life want to be apart of that crap?
    Probably wondering why we invest so much time and effort towards technological advances when we are still physically, medically, and spiritually obsolete.

  • http://GhostTheory.com/ Henry

    Did any of those behaviors prevent the history of colonization of this planet?

    No, it was used as motives for colonization, and later as reason for anthropological study.

  • Wut Defock

    We are the creation of E.T. and we are doing exactly what they (gods of old) created us to do.