Former NASA astronaut Leland Melvin recently confessed that he had a bizarre encounter in space during one of his Space Shuttle missions, reports the British media outlet Metro.
The story was also picked up by the Daily Mail, which states that the strange sighting happened while Melvin was orbiting Earth aboard the Space Shuttle Atlantis.
Everything transpired last week on Twitter, in a conversation between Melvin and Scott C. Waring, who runs the site UFO Sightings Daily. When asked by Waring if he had ever seen a UFO, the former astronaut admitted to having witnessed something peculiar in Earth’s orbit.
According to his description, he caught a glimpse of “something organic, alien-like” floating in space right next to the spacecraft’s payload bay.
“I have not seen one [a UFO] in space or on the ground, but thought I saw something organic/alien like floating out of the payload bay,” Melvin shared on Twitter.
The former astronaut added that the thing he saw was “translucent, curved, organic looking” — perplexing enough to warrant a call to NASA.
What’s more, Melvin said that NASA astronaut Randy Bresnik, who also was on board the Atlantis at the time, saw the same thing. But when the two spacemen called Ground Control to report their sighting, the unsettling appearance was put down to a piece of ice breaking off from the spacecraft’s freon hose.
“I was about to say ‘Houston we have a problem’ but [you] know everyone spins-up when those words are uttered from a space vehicle,” Melvin joked.
Upon hearing the astronaut’s confession, Waring asked Melvin whether he suspected NASA was trying to cover up the event.
“Is it possible they lied and called it ice to calm you down and make u focus on the shuttle?” he wrote on Twitter, noting that “your opinion of it being organic is more reliable than the opinion of someone on ground control over 400 miles away.”
But the former astronaut dismissed the possibility, saying that he didn’t believe the space agency was trying attempting a cover-up. However, he did add on Twitter: “But you never know.”
During his astronaut career, Melvin has logged more than 565 days in space. The engineer flew two missions on board the Atlantis — the STS-122, in 1998, and the STS-129, in 2009.
The spacecraft was the last to take off as part of NASA’s Space Shuttle program, which was retired in 2011 with STS-135, the Inquisitr previously reported.
Before joining NASA, Melvin was an NFL football player and later went on to become a scientist and apply for the astronaut program, Space.com reported earlier this year.