The founder of a Las Vegas-based aerospace startup that manufactures and develops inflatable space station modules is convinced that extraterrestrial life not only exists, but has already come to Earth and established a presence here, according to a recent interview with 60 Minutes.
Robert Bigelow, a real estate mogul who founded Bigelow Aerospace in 1998, told CBS News reporter Lara Logan that he is “absolutely convinced” that aliens are real, adding that there “has been an is an existing presence, an ET presence” on Earth, The Verge reported on Tuesday.
“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,” he added, explaining that he first became interested in extraterrestrials after his grandparents allegedly had an encounter with a UFO.
During the incident, which Bigelow said took place near Las Vegas, the object in question “sped up and came right into their face and filled up the entire windshield of the car.” It then “took off at a right angle and shot off into the distance,” he said, according to The Verge.
FAA has previously referred UFO reports to Bigelow
When asked by Logan if he was worried what people would think about him after learning that he believes in extraterrestrial life, Bigelow responded, “I don’t give a damn. I don’t care… It’s not gonna make a difference. It’s not gonna change reality of what I know.”
Interestingly enough, 60 Minutes noted that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) verified that it has in the past referred reports of UFOs and other unexplained phenomena to a firm which is owned by Bigelow, but provided no further details on the matter. Furthermore, Bigelow added that he has had his own close encounters with aliens, but declined to elaborate.
Regardless whether you believe him or not, one thing that is undeniable is Bigelow’s passion for the space travel industry. As CBS News reported, he purchased the idea for his inflatable habitat from NASA in 2000 after Congress terminated the space agency’s program after 40 years.
In just six years, he finished and launched his first inflatable spacecraft into orbit. A second one followed the next year, and just last year – after less than two decades of work – Bigelow’s firm launched a completed, human-rated habitat (the BEAM) to the International Space Station (ISS).
Now, he is said to be working on a larger space station known as the B330, The Verge reported last April. At the time, Bigelow said that he hopes to have two B330s finished by 2019, with the goal of launching them into space on United Launch Alliance Atlas V rockets the following year. Data gathered from the BEAM will be used to help shape the design of the B330s, he added.
Image credit: Bill Ingalls/NASA