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Richard Branson’s Surprising Take on UFOs and Extraterrestrials

Sir Richard Branson — the billionaire business magnate, airline executive, space plane pioneer, possible space traveler and avowed thrill seeker – weighed in recently on the possibility that UFOs seen my military pilots are crafts from another planet, and his answer may surprise many who admire his accomplishments, particularly in private space travel.

“There’s no question that there are millions of other civilizations out there, but none of them are within reach of Earth and therefore, my instinct is: extremely unlikely.”

Is he saying that there are millions of other Richard Bransons out there, but none of them – including him – have figured out how to leave their planet’s gravity and travel to another world? Actually, Branson HAS figured out how to pilot a UFO (more on that later), but he’s of the opinion that distance defeats brainpower and technology in the quest to cross the galaxy. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Branson also expressed his doubts that governments or militaries are hiding evidence of it from the public.

“I can’t understand why these UFO discussions are always behind closed doors and done in secrecy. It just creates even more suspicion. If people had really discovered a UFO, you can’t keep things secret in this day and age, it would be everywhere.”

Take that, Area 51 Stormers! In fact, it’s already well-known what Branson thinks of those who believe UFOs are spaceships from other planets. At 4 am on the morning of April 1, 1989 (note the date), Branson took off in London in a custom hot air balloon shaped like a flying saucer, complete with strobe lights that blinked every ten seconds. (Great photos of the balloon here.) The balloon flew over London’s M25 highway as the morning rush hour was commencing, bringing traffic to a halt and causing TV and radio stations and local police departments to be flooded with calls reporting a UFO. Branson was loving every minute of it.

“We could see every single vehicle grinding to a halt and hundreds of people looking up at the UFO flying over them. It was great fun watching their reactions.”

His original plan was to make a dramatic landing in historic Hyde Park but the craft was blown off target, so the skilled balloonist brought it down in Surrey Field instead, which was quickly surrounded by police. Just like in a bad sci-fi movie, the cops sent a lone officer out to meet the ‘spaceship’. Branson was ready for him.

“The UFOs door opened very slowly, with tonnes of dry ice billowing from it. A dwarf that we had carried on board, dressed in an ET outfit, walked down the platform towards the bobby. He promptly turned and ran in the opposite direction! The police initially didn’t see the funny side of it and threatened to arrest us for wasting their time. But they soon joined in the general merriment of it.”

Branson with his late test pilot Steve Fossett.

So Sir Richard Branson doesn’t believe that recent UFO sightings are extraterrestrial ships, doesn’t believe any have ever visited Earth and are being hidden from the public, and doesn’t think much of those who get excited about UFO sightings in general. However, being the good entrepreneur that he is, Branson tries to save face and not ‘alienate’ his customer base.

“And so I don’t think there’s any credible sightings yet. It would be wonderful if it were true.”

Before you report your next UFO sighting, check to see if Richard Branson is in town.

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Paul Seaburn is the editor at Mysterious Universe and its most prolific writer. He’s written for TV shows such as "The Tonight Show", "Politically Incorrect" and an award-winning children’s program. He's been published in “The New York Times" and "Huffington Post” and has co-authored numerous collections of trivia, puzzles and humor. His “What in the World!” podcast is a fun look at the latest weird and paranormal news, strange sports stories and odd trivia. Paul likes to add a bit of humor to each MU post he crafts. After all, the mysterious doesn't always have to be serious.
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