A billionaire aerospace entrepreneur who has recently worked with Nasa has said he is ‘absolutely convinced’ that there are alien visitors living on Earth.
Robert Bigelow, whose company Bigelow Aerospace has built expandable space habitats for the ISS, was speaking in an interview with 60 minutes on Sunday.
The conversation focused on working with Nasa before it shifted to Mr Bigelow’s reported obsession with aliens, as the mogul revealed he has invested ‘millions’ into UFO research.
Asked whether he believed in aliens, Mr Bigelow responded: ‘I’m absolutely convinced. That’s all there is to it.’
‘There has been and is an existing presence, an ET presence [on Earth].
‘I spent millions and millions and millions – I probably spent more as an individual than anybody else in the United States has ever spent on this subject [aliens].’
Mr Bigelow did not specify exactly how much he has spent on this research, and declined to comment on any personal UFO encounters.
Correspondent Lara Logan, who was leading the interview, then asked Mr Bigelow whether he felt it was risky for him to say in public that he believes in aliens.
She asked him whether he worried that people might think he was ‘crazy’.
Mr Bigelow responded: ‘I don’t give a damn. I don’t care.’
‘It’s not gonna make a difference. It’s not gonna change the reality of what I know.’
When asked whether he thought future human missions into space would result in alien encounters, he said: ‘You don’t have to go anywhere. It’s just like right under people’s noses.’
The entrepreneur’s comments come as a surprise considering his company has worked closely with Nasa in the past, which denies any evidence of aliens.
Last May, Bigelow Aerospace – in partnership with Nasa – inflated an expandable room on the International Space Station (ISS) for the first time.
Nasa’s first attempt to inflate an extendable room on the International Space Station had failed the week before due to too much friction.
But their second attempt was a success as Nasa managed to expand and pressurise the add-on room.
The flexible habitat, known as the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module (Beam), fully extended 1.7 metre (5.6 ft).
The expansion followed more than seven hours during which astronaut Jeff Williams released short blasts of air into the pod’s walls.
After the expansion was complete, Mr Williams opened eight air tanks inside Beam, pressurising the pod to a level close to the space station’s at about one atmosphere.
Fully expanded, the module is four metres (13 ft) long by 3.23 meters (10.6 ft) wide.
The inflation process may be better described as ‘unfolding’ since it takes only a small amount of air to bring the pod to full size.
Nasa spokesman, Daniel Huot, said at the time: ‘A very successful day today with the expansion of the first expandable human-rated habitat to ever be flown into space.’
The expansion caused a popping sound not unlike that of popcorn as the structure slowly filled out.
Astronauts on board the ISS are expected to re-enter the module several times a year throughout the two-year technology demonstration.
They will retrieve sensor data and assess conditions inside the unit, including how well it protects against space radiation.