Is There Life on Mars?
Edgar Mitchell walked on the moon in 1971 during the Apollo 14 mission. He is the guy who left a camera on the cratered surface that is looked to by spirited fools at the end of a long night. Also, he is an alarmingly practical lunatic.
It's the kind of story that movies are made of. A son of Texas who was active in Boy Scouts, he went to college and got a degree, went to the Navy and acquired a couple more rolled up pieces of paper, one of which made him a Doctor of Science. Somewhere during the academic years he became a frat boy, then in 1966 he was sectioned into NASA to become an astronaut, probably to test the effect that zero gravity has on taking beer-bongs while wearing upside down visors. Then he went to space, to the moon and promptly returned to rub it in the face of Tom Hanks, who failed his Apollo 13 attempt thanks to Kevin Bacon's incompetence.
Shortly thereafter he left NASA to found the Institute of Noetic Sciences in California, which takes a scientific approach to phenomena such as the work of Uri Geller, a performer who claims to bend spoons with the power of his mind, much like the creepy Buddhist-looking kid from the original "Matrix."
According to the Sunday Times London edition, after several conversations with military officials and other government higher-ups Mitchell was led to believe that the United States had been covering up alien activity for more than 50 years. So he went to the Pentagon, to get permission to see the sites and tell the world, specifically with regards to the 1947 alleged UFO crash in Roswell, New Mexico. In other words he, a man who has seen more of space than almost anyone on this rock, now believes that there is other life in the universe.
In addition, he believes that the government has been covering up contact with other life forms, who have obviously found a way to move at light, or warp, or Gillett speed, because how else could they have traveled such miraculous distances? However, Mitchell makes no claims about cliché alien existence such as there being green people on Mars or Furby's on the moon. In all actuality he is fairly realistic in his claims that they do exist, but a standard conspiracy theorist in thinking the government just covered it up.
One thing that is certain is that he is not the stereotypical "true believer" in that he has a successful career, probably doesn't live in a 1980's Winnebago, and it is doubtful that he bottles his urine in a series of pickle jars that are color coordinated by intervals in recent abductions, and numbered by anal probes given thereof. In fact he brings an element of legitimacy to the subculture of paranormal enthusiasts, and he is learned enough on the topic to have worked on the television show for thirty-year-old adolescents, "the X-Files."
It's perfectly logical that there would be other life outside of Earth, and considering the amount of reality television digested by developed nations, it is even more logical that they would be more intelligent beings, or at least more developed themselves. But actual research into extra terrestrial life has been besmirched by childish allegations made by (or exploitations of) lonely individuals who want the attention that getting sucked into space by a beam of light and being violated sexually gets someone on a trashy, hour-long special on Fox that is only shown once between major viewing seasons.
However, his notion that the government is somehow covering up Roswell and other UFO phenomena is a tired and old one. Yes, the government probably would cover up an isolated incident, and maybe there is some clandestine specially trained unit that deals with flying saucers and maybe Will Smith is the leader of that group (he would have the most experience). Maybe aliens really did span the gap of the universe at incredible speeds with technology second only to the iPhone restaurant application, and for some reason the stretch of Earth they decided to go to was New Mexico, a place that only looks desirable because of its close proximity to West Texas.