[The following is a portion of a chapter in a book manuscript I intend to publish in my Still Here book series on biblical eschatology. I believe some UFO sightings–probably hundreds worldwide in the past two generations–have been unnatural phenomena attributable to angels (cf. Daniel 4.13, 17, 23; Hebrews 1.14; 1 Peter 1.12).]
NASA Astronaut Jack Lousma in Skylab 3
For twenty-eight years, from 1970 to 1997, I lived in Friendswood, Texas, a southern suburb of Houston. Friendswood is located six miles from NASA’s Johnson Space Center, and many of NASA’s astronauts lived in that area. I knew some of them. One was Jack Lousma, a really good guy. Jack and I were friends because he is a Christian and our families attended the same church for several years.
One of the more important, purported UFO incidents filmed by NASA astronauts involved Jack Lousma. I don’t remember if Jack and I ever discussed it, but we may have. The mission was Skylab 3, and the other crew members were Alan Bean and Owen Garriott. Their mission was to visit Skylab, America’s first space station, and do maintenance and experimental tasks there. The mission lasted over two months, from July 28 to September 25, 1973. On September 20, from inside Skylab, Jack spotted a bright-red object during daylight and alerted his fellow crew members. Then they all saw it together. Jack identified it as a “satellite.” In communication with NASA’s Mission Control 4.5 hours later, Jack said, “I saw a couple of satellites that appeared like a satellite would on earth. I saw one that was not like one you would see on earth,” which was the bright-red one. Bean called this one “huge.” Garriott took some film of the object and wrote about it in his dairy. He said in the same NASA interview, “we observed it for ten minutes until we went into darkness,” saying it disappeared a few seconds later. They said it kept pace with Skylab and flew in a similar orbit. Garriott said it followed Skylab. They estimated it was 35 to 58 miles away. Garriott added, “We never saw it on any earlier or succeeding orbits and we’d be quite interested in having its identification established.”
Well, NASA never did identify that object. Some NASA officials admitted that no satellites ever launched into earth orbit by humans up to that time had been red-colored. Moreover, the object following Skylab at the same pace and a similar orbit seems to be an example of what UFO analyst Nick Pope has characterized as “covert reconnaissance.” That would mean intelligent beings were operating what seemed to be some kind of flying machine in an effort to watch what these astronauts were doing with their flying machine.