Last updateMon, 20 Apr 2020 1pm

Edgar Mitchell is a true American hero: He’s the sixth man to walk on the moon, as part of the Apollo 14 mission in 1971. He’s spoken extensively about his journey to the moon—and he has also spoken at length about his unique views on extraterrestrial life and cosmology.

He will be lecturing at Contact in the Desert, a UFO-themed conference at the Joshua Tree Retreat Center May 29-31.

During a recent phone interview from his home in Florida, Mitchell said his interest in extraterrestrial life started thanks to the UFO incident in 1947 in Roswell, N.M. Mitchell, 84, grew up in Artesia, N.M., near Roswell, and remembers it well.

“The truth about it is that it was real,” Mitchell said. “I was there when the Roswell incident took place. I was on my way to college and had just graduated high school. One day, it was in the Roswell Daily Record, which was a newspaper in Roswell, about an alien spacecraft that had crashed, and the next day that it had been denied by the Air Force, saying that it was a weather balloon. I believed that and went off to college. Many years later, after I had been to the moon and came back, I went out to Roswell to give lectures, talk and meet people I knew since I was a kid. Many of the people I knew, along with descendants of the people who had been involved in the Roswell incident, told me their stories.”

Mitchell recounted what he was told.

“Some of them included the son of the undertaker who provided coffins for the alien bodies, and I got that story,” he said. “Another one was from a son of the sheriff who kept the traffic away from the crash site and told me their story. Then a family friend who was a major in the United States Air Force told me it was all real. I got the stories from all of these various people into my head when I came back from the moon, and I then went to the Pentagon and told them my story about that and said, ‘Give me your opinion.’ The admiral who I spoke to said, ‘I don’t know anything about it, but I’m going to find out.’ He went out to New Mexico and checked all around, came back and told me, ‘Your stories are quite correct and all real.’”

Renowned astrophysicist Stephen Hawking made news not long ago by claiming that communication with extraterrestrial life could be dangerous and a threat to Earth. Mitchell disagrees.

“I think that’s a possibility, but I think the evidence I’ve looked into shows that they’ve been coming here for a long, long time,” Mitchell said. “If they were a threat, we would have seen that threat already at this point. Certainly, the fact extraterrestrials have been here is a concern, and my research had led me to believe they’ve been coming here a long time. It’s in the Christian Bible; verses in Ezekiel speak of … fire in the sky and alien visitation. I’ve also talked to Air Force personnel, and during the Cold War with the Soviet Union, we had missile silos stationed along our northern border with missiles aimed at the Soviet Union, and I talked with Air Force personnel who … informed me they quite often had UFOs hovering over their silos that were disabling our missiles. All of that tells me that our alien visitors have been doing their darnedest to cut down on our warlike behaviors.”

Mitchell said his work as an astronaut profoundly changed him. “I think the profound effect is the same one you’ve heard from the other people: All of us who have gotten the chance to go to the moon and look back at the Earth from that distance were very profoundly affected by Earth in the cosmos.”

Mitchell said journey motivated his work in cosmology.

“I have an interest in Dr. J.B. Rhine’s work and parapsychology at Duke University, and I did an ESP experiment in space following the work in Dr. J.B. Rhine, and I sent my results to him and another parapsychologist, and we got a good result 200,000 miles in space,” he said. “We now know thanks to Max Planck and Albert Einstein … that what we call psychic stuff is really quantum stuff. Quantum mechanics was formalized by the 1920s by Max Planck and Albert Einstein’s work. It took all of the 20th century to understand that’s the basis of consciousness. When René Descartes made his famous pronouncement that body, mind, physicality and spirituality belonged to different realms of reality and didn’t interact—well, that took us 400 years to start to realize that Descartes was wrong, and they do interact.”

Mitchell said that after being diagnosed with kidney cancer more than a decade ago, he worked with a remote healer named Adam McLeod, known as the Dreamhealer, in Vancouver, British Columbia, who remotely healed him.

“I worked with Adam along with a biologist named Bruce Lipton that I’ve lectured with,” he said. “Adam is very gifted, and he healed me of cancer. Adam eventually got his medical degree and is teaching back in Canada.”

While certain things may be hard to believe, Mitchell said we should all keep an open mind to those things we don’t understand.

“There’s no question if you know a little bit about cosmology and going back to the question of who are we, how did we get here, and what’s this really about, we know from our astrophysicists and cosmologists … our universe is virtually infinite and expands,” he said. “We don’t know the end of it, and we know there has to be life throughout that universe. We’re just one grain of sand on a huge beach, and we know from all the galaxies and galactic clusters out there that we’re a small, tiny portion of all of that. That’s something we’ve only recently come to grips with.”

For more information on Contact in the Desert, visit

Published in Features

On Friday, Aug. 9, more than 500 followers and believers of UFOlogy and the extra-terrestrial contact movement gathered for the first Contact in the Desert conference at the Joshua Tree Retreat Center.

Over three days—through Sunday, Aug. 11—35 experts on these belief systems are offering lectures, workshops and panel discussions.

Although the auras of spirits were not visible to the naked eye, vendor tents ruffled in the strong desert winds, and participants sought out shelter from the hot sun as the first day's activities wore on.

For more information, visit Below are a few photos of the conference experience.

Published in Snapshot

Contact in the Desert is “a gathering of the superstars of UFOlogy.”

That’s how spokesperson and lecturer Michael Luckman described the event, slated for Friday, Aug. 9, through Sunday, Aug. 11, at the Joshua Tree Retreat Center. Organizers hope Contact in the Desert—which will feature lectures, workshops and interactive experiences conducted by 32 renowned experts in the topics of UFO sightings, extra-terrestrial contacts and proactive ET-signaling—will become an annual event.

“More than 400 military personnel have given videotaped depositions worldwide saying that UFOs are real. They’ve had sightings and encounters,” said Luckman, “When so many military eyewitnesses come forward, there really is very little left to debate.”

Luckman is also the founder of Cosmic Majority, which calls on “the governments of the world to implement an early warning detection system designed to reduce the growing meteor and asteroid threat.”

Contact in the Desert comes on the heels of the Citizen Hearing on Disclosure, which brought researchers and government/agency witnesses from 10 countries to Washington, D.C., to testify before six former members of the U.S. Congress on April 29 through May 3. Organizers said the purpose of the hearing was to present evidence supporting the truth of an extraterrestrial presence engaging the human race, and a government policy to embargo that truth.

“There’s no question anymore that we’re being visited,” Luckman said. “Exactly who they are, whether they all come from the same place, how friendly they are. … These are all matters for speculation.”

Such speculation will certainly be the focus of Contact in the Desert activities. Highlights of the three-day event include: Friday’s lecture entitled “UFOs: A 21st Century Approach” by author Richard Dolan; a panel discussion, “Are We Alone? The Right To Know,” on Saturday hosted by conference headliner and emcee George Noory, of the syndicated AM radio show Coast to Coast; and a Sunday night “Field Work Experience and Training Event” conducted by Steven Greer involving the practice of his personal CE-5 contact protocols—“signaling techniques” he developed as the founder of the center for the Study of Extraterrestrial Intelligence (CSETI).

Joshua Tree National Park, which is slightly larger than the state of Rhode Island and sits in close proximity to the Twentynine Palms Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, has reportedly been the site of more than a dozen reported UFO sightings since 1968.

Worldwide sighting reports reveal that many of these incidents take place in the vicinity of earthly military bases.

“UFOs have been spotted in nuclear-weapons storage facilities,” said Luckman. “But, in my opinion, it’s not for any bad reason. These are like UFO peacekeeping forces that are surveilling and keeping us from blowing our planet up.”

With its wide open vistas of the night desert skies, the Joshua Tree Retreat Center is a perfect locale for the UFO community to come together. Participants can discover, contemplate and discuss the myriad issues raised by the basic question of whether other highly intelligent and technologically advance civilizations exist beyond our solar system—and, if they do, what impact contact with those beings would have on our planet.

Contact in the Desert has been scheduled to coincide with the Aug. 11 onset of the Perseid Meteor Shower. As event press-information rep Susan von Seggern told us, all participants at the conference will be invited to gather outdoors around 11 p.m. to share in “a true intergalactic experience … when meteors will appear to ‘rain’ into the majestic desert sky from the constellation Perseus.”

Contact in the Desert takes place Friday, Aug. 9, through Sunday, Aug. 11, at the Joshua Tree Retreat Center, 59700 Twentynine Palms Highway, in Joshua Tree. Advance registration starts at $225, or $200 per couple; meals and optional tours are extra. For more information, visit

Published in Features