“… I thought I saw something organic/ alien like floating out of the payload bay. Translucent. Curved. Organic looking.”
That would make a great opening line for a sci-fi movie, but it’s actually a quote from a retired Space Shuttle astronaut responding to a question on Twitter asking about the existence of intelligent alien life in the solar system. Did this astronaut just let an extraterrestrial cat (an organic looking translucent one) out of the bag?
“@AstroKomrade and I called the ground to ask what it could be and it was ice that had broken off of the Freon hoses.”
The retired astronaut doing this interesting tweeting is Leland Melvin (@Astro_Flow), a veteran of two space shuttle missions, the second of which being the one where he saw something strange floating out of the payload bay. Melvin flew on the Space Shuttle Atlantis as a mission specialist on STS-122 (February 7 – February 20, 2008) and as a mission specialist 1 on STS-129 (November 16 – November 27, 2009). Also on STS-129 was @AstroKomrade, known in pre-Twitter days as astronaut Randy Bresnik. This mission to the International Space Station was one of the last space shuttle missions, but nothing out of the ordinary was listed in the official records of the mission nor the three spacewalks.
Leland Melvin is one of the more interesting astronauts ever to pass through the space program. After getting a degree in Chemistry from the University of Richmond, where he attended on a football scholarship (and still holds at least one receiving record), Melvin was drafted by the NFL Detroit Lions but released due to an injury, his same fate with the Dallas Cowboys. After trying out with the CFL Toronto Argonauts, he retired and moved from catching passes to catching aliens.
Did Leland Melvin actually see an alien life form or does he believe it was just ice? He’s one of the more creative and diverse astronauts, having appeared as a guest judge on Top Chef, a dog owner on The Dog Whisperer and the host of two seasons of Child Genius. He also helped found Spaceship Earth Grants, a program to make space more accessible to non-astronauts. Leland Melvin sounds like someone who loves science and space and wants others to do the same. Does jock/scientist/creative-type really think he saw an alien and NASA told him it was ice just to distract him?
“Hmmm. Don’t think so but you never know.”
That was Melvin’s answer to a Twitter question from Scott C. Waring of UFO Sightings Daily, who has made it one of his many missions to ask NASA about the existence of other life forms. Unfortunately, while Melvin gave Waring an intriguing answer, he provided no pictures or other evidence to back it up. Was he told not to? If that’s the case, why bother answering at all? Will Randy Bresnik back him up?
With his dedication to space and opening it up to the masses, perhaps Leland Melvin is leaking just enough about what he saw to pique interest. Has he?