UFO Sighting: Astronaut James McDivitt Caught A Cigar-Shaped UFO
The Gemini-4 spacecraft was sent into orbit in June 1965. Astronauts James McDivitt and Edward White had to spend four days in space and do a spacewalk, replicating and blocking the Soviet Union’s earlier exploits.
When the ship was traveling over Hawaii on the second day of the flight, McDivitt reported seeing an item that looked like a “beer can with a handle.” He himself described it as follows:
Ed White was my pilot. I don’t have anyone who can verify my account because he was sleeping at the time. When an object appeared in the porthole, we were drifting in space with the engines and instrumentation switched off. It was clearly cylindrical in shape and white in color, with a long handle protruding from the side. I’m not sure if it was a very little item close by or a very massive object far away.
I didn’t have anything to compare it to. So I had no idea how big it was. We had two cameras on board the spaceship at the time, so I grabbed one and photographed the thing, then grabbed the other and photographed it as well. Then I activated the control systems, fearing that we would collide with anything. The sun streamed through the ship’s porthole at that very moment… It was impossible to see anything through the dirty glass, which was similar to that seen in a car. I began the ship’s orientation engines and twisted it around so the porthole was dark again, but the thing had vanished.
Later, I told the operators what had happened, and they checked their records for the space debris that was flying around, but they couldn’t figure out what it was.Here’s what he had to say:
In reality, here is a photograph of a UFO taken by McDivitt. It seems like a cigar-shaped UFO at first view. Let’s keep looking into the truth of this question.
The report made the press, and the astronaut became a ufology “celebrity.” Of course, NASA had to respond to the publicity, and he claimed to have seen the second stage of the Titan-2 launch vehicle (Titan II), which launched the ship into orbit. The explanation clearly sparked skepticism: is the astronaut so unprepared that he can’t identify a component of his rocket?
McDivitt himself ruled out the prospect of a mix-up. However, as cosmonautics historian James Oberg notes out in the article, such a possibility cannot be ruled out. The encounter with the UFO was brief, and the astronaut spent the majority of his time messing with the cameras. The sun was blazing down on his face, and the pure oxygen utilized aboard American ships was making his eyes water.
It is difficult to appropriately identify something in such circumstances. How about the photographs? NASA experts examined the film and chose a scene that, in their opinion, matched McDivitt’s account. Instead of a mystery white cylinder, a luminous “tadpole” was discovered on the viewport, which was interpreted as a solar flare. The researchers should have been disappointed, but they weren’t: a well-known ufologist, George Fawcett, instantly announced that the astronaut had photographed “many unusual objects, including an egg-shaped UFO with exhaust.”