Buzz Aldrin, the second man to walk on the moon, said in a 2005 TV interview with the Science Channel that during the Apollo 11 mission he spotted a UFO – sparking speculation about what the astronaut might have come across.

Buzz Aldrin Clarifies UFO Statements

Those most interested in the prospect of alien life took Aldrin’s comment to mean that he had considered that the UFO could have been a spaceship manned by an unknown intelligent life-force. Aldrin, however, recently cleared the air in a Reddit AMA.

“On Apollo 11 in route to the Moon, I observed a light out the window that appeared to be moving alongside us,” wrote Aldrin. “There were many explanations of what that could be, other than another spacecraft from another country or another world — it was either the rocket we had separated from, or the 4 panels that moved away when we extracted the lander from the rocket and we were nose to nose with the two spacecraft.”

Aldrin continued, “So in the close vicinity, moving away, were 4 panels. And I feel absolutely convinced that we were looking at the Sun reflected off of one of these panels. Which one? I don't know. So technically, the definition could be 'unidentified.' "

“We well understood exactly what that was. And when we returned, we debriefed and explained exactly what we had observed. And I felt that this had been distributed to the outside world, the outside audience, and apparently it wasn't, and so many years later, I had the time in an interview to disclose these observations, on another country's television network,” Aldrin added. “And the UFO people in the United States were very, very angry with me, that i had not given them the information.”

“It was not an alien,” Aldrin explained, “Extraordinary observations require extraordinary evidence. That's what Carl Sagan said. There may be aliens in our Milky Way galaxy, and there are billions of other galaxies. The probability is almost CERTAIN that there is life somewhere in space. It was not that remarkable, that special, that unusual, that life here on earth evolved gradually, slowly, to where we are today.”

Aldrin On Mars

In his Reddit AMA, Aldrin also addressed the future of space exploration. The former astronaut, who will be celebrating the 45th anniversary of his history-making land on the moon, believes that landing a human on Mars should be a major goal. Furthermore, Aldrin advocates a group of individuals from around the world setting up a settlement or colony on the red planet.

“I call it a 'permanence.' A settlement you can visit once or twice, come back, and then decide you want to settle,” wrote Aldrin. “Same with a colony. But you want it to be permanent from the get-go, from the very first."

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