Unsealed: Alien Files (2012–…): Season 3, Episode 26 - Solar System UFOs - full transcript

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[narrator] Between 1981 and 2011

NASA's space shuttles flew 135 missions.

The space shuttle cameras,
manned and unmanned,

have recorded astounding footage of UFOs

that many experts

find hard to explain.

[Nick] People say NASA are covering up
the truth about UFOs,

and... when they're asked,
"Well, where's the proof?"

they cite NASA's own films.

[narrator] What do NASA's films
really show?

Explainable phenomena

or something else?

Join us

as we investigate
key space shuttle encounters

that many believe show UFOs

flying dangerously close to Earth.

[narrator] A global effort has begun.

Secret files hidden
from the public for decades,

detailing every UFO account

are now available to the public.

We're about to uncover the truth

behind these classified documents.

Find out what the government
doesn't want you to know.

Unsealed: Alien Files,

exposing the biggest secrets
on planet Earth.

In 1981

NASA launches its
first space shuttle, Columbia,

marking a new era in space exploration.

It really kinda gave us
a floating laboratory in the sky

versus the older Apollo rockets that

you would just strap in and,
essentially, hope for the best.

The space shuttle was
a much more controlled environment

for human space travel.

They were used to launch

and to repair satellites.

They were used for cutting edge
scientific research.

And of course they played
a hugely pivotal role

in the construction
of the International Space Station.

[narrator] For the first time
mankind establishes

a permanent presence in space.

It has been continuously occupied

since the year 2000.

The space shuttle was instrumental

in creating our next

steps in human space flight,

getting beyond the Moon

and essentially towards Mars and beyond.

[narrator] Two years
before the first mission

to build the International Space Station

a NASA shuttle captures stunning video

of what many consider
to be a UFO.

Unsealed Case File:

The Tether Incident.

February 22, 1996,

Kennedy Space Center, Florida.

Space Shuttle Columbia is launched
on its nineteenth mission.

The goal

is to deploy an experimental
satellite system into orbit

on a conducting tether.

The Tether incident

from the space shuttle mission STS-75

is one of the biggest conspiracy theories

involving NASA.

[John] The space shuttle's
mission was to launch

a more than 12 mile long space tether

out from the shuttle cargo bay.

Now this thing stretched for 12 miles,

but it actually ended up breaking
before it could extend

to about a 12.8 mile length.

[Nick] Strange objects were seen.

And some believe
that these objects were UFOs,

perhaps monitoring what NASA was doing

with-- with this satellite
and this tether.

[narrator] This is actual
live footage recorded by NASA

of the STS-75 tether incident.

As the astronauts continue
to film the tether

you saw these mysterious objects

that seem to be flying behind

this focal point on the film.

Now, we know for a fact
that this was 12 miles long,

and yet it appeared that these craft

were passing behind it.

Now, math can deduce that these objects
were huge

and nobody could explain them.

[narrator] But NASA is quick
to dismiss the incident as space debris.

There's a huge amount of debris
out there in space.

The space tracking radars

that are located
at various locations on Earth

track literally thousands

of these pieces. Some of them just, uh,
inches across.

But others, uh, defunct satellites
for example.

Scientists have estimated that
there are more than 20,000 objects

bigger than a softball
that are in orbit around Earth.

They're going more than
17.5 thousand miles an hour.

So you're talking about bullets
going everywhere around

trying to fly an airplane.

That creates quite a challenge
for safe human space flight.

[Nick] I don't think people realize
just how much is out there.

Spanners and gloves

dropped by astronauts
on previous missions.

Uh, bits of foam,

uh, all sorts of debris.

If any of this directly impacts

uh, a satellite, it could take it out.

If any of it directly impacts
an astronaut, it could be fatal.

[narrator] But some experts
are not convinced

that the objects seen in
the STS-75 footage are space debris.

When you look at the evidence,
the real evidence,

you look at the videos, you see that
a lot of times these objects

appear to be intelligently controlled.

That they're making right angle turns.

They're not just slowly floating off
into space and then they go away.

I mean, these are things that appear
time and time again.

[narrator] One theory
is that the shuttle released

large pieces
of debris from its cargo bay

minutes before the UFOs
appeared on screen.

But critics claim the space shuttle rarely
sheds any debris from its cargo bay.

Once the STS-75 footage in the tether
incident really came to light,

people were very excited over this,

because I think that this was, to many,

undeniable proof that there was something
massive flying in space that wasn't us.

[Nick] NASA effectively live streamed

uh, a lot of its missions
and so this footage was

all being recorded
and was getting out there

and there are whole bunch of... I guess
you would call them, space geeks

who would tap into this, uh, record it

off the NASA feed and then go back

and try and analyze and interpret it,

literally frame-by-frame.

[John] You see these gigantic objects
that appear to pass

behind the tether.
Doing that math,

some scientists, some experts,

they postulate that these objects
were miles in diameter.

That's not anything
that we've put up there.

Many in the UFO community
believe NASA's live feed

may have captured
compelling footage of UFOs

in Earth's orbits.

But are the objects
extra-terrestrial space ships

or a trick of the camera?

[John] Many years ago

NASA decided to start broadcasting

their camera feeds from space.

It's very difficult

for... uh, people that really
don't know anything about

uh, space photography
and the way in which things look in space

to really get a true handle
on what's going on.

The ordinary person can't judge distances.

They can't judge the sizes of objects

Those amateur researchers then would go in

and start analyzing frame
by frame by frame.

And they made some
fascinating discoveries,

that it wasn't just space, stars and a few
debris things hanging around outside.

That it appeared to have, uh, evidence
of craft being seen outside

the space station or the space shuttle.

[narrator] Compelling footage
of what may be extraterrestrial craft

has been recorded form multiple cameras

mounted on
the International Space Station.

And on the now de-commissioned
space shuttles.

There are fixed cameras

mounted on some of the, uh, space shuttles

and the rockets, for example.

[control room communication]

The astronauts, of course, themselves

have hand held cameras

so they can point and shoot
at specific things

as situations arise.

[narrator] And in many cases,
astronauts are following orders

from mission control.

Indeed, if you look at mission control
itself there are fixed cameras

in the room recording all the time

what's going on at mission control.

So there are multiple levels of this.

The central philosophy

running through all of this is
"Don't miss anything."

[narrator] Unsealed Case File:
The Abrupt Turn.

September 15, 1991,

Kennedy Space Center, Florida.

Space Shuttle Discovery launches into
orbit to deploy several satellites.

It completes 81 orbits of Earth

and travels over 2 million miles

surveying vast swathes of space.

During the mission, one of its cameras

catches an unusual sight.

[John] As the astronauts were filming
outside the window

they see multiple objects.

[Nick] There are bright objects

just drifting in straight lines.

[John] Hundreds of objects
that are floating

all around outside of their space craft.

[narrator] And then something
even more strange occurs.

All of a sudden in the--
in the film you see this

bright flash of light that appears

to have come from
the surface of Earth.

And a split second later
you see one of the objects.

And then you see that object
make a right angle turn.

And again that-- what may be
a weapon of some kind,

just shoots right by the UFO.

[narrator] Some experts believe
the objects change direction

as if under intelligent control.

Not so, point out the skeptics.

If one piece of debris hits another

as-- as will happen from time to time

just through the laws of chance,
then of course

there will be this change of direction.

[narrator] Others are not convinced.

[John] And so NASA tried to say, "Well,

the flash of light you see
is the shuttle thruster."

And when they fire the thruster that's
when you see the object make a move.

[narrator] But on close inspection,
some of the objects in the film

are moving in multiple directions.

And so when you would fire
a thruster like that

common sense tells you everything
will essentially go the same way.

And that's not the case with
the STS-48 footage. At the end of the day,

I think we may have more
questions than answers.

[narrator] The UFO community

follows NASA's space shuttle program
night and day.

And over the course of 135 missions

space shuttle cameras have captured
unidentified objects

turning many amateur enthusiasts

into investigators.

I don't think they quite expected
for amateurs to start

tapping into those feeds
and literally recording

24 hours a day whatever those
shuttle cameras were seeing.

[narrator] Unsealed Case File:
The Smoking Gun.

November 19, 1996, Earth's orbits.

Space Shuttle Columbia
is on what will become

the longest shuttle mission in history,

17 days.

The STS-80 mission

is something that's also excited
a lot of people in the UFO community.

And they refer to this sometimes
as The Smoking Gun Incident.

[narrator] One hundred ninety
nautical miles above the Earth.

Space shuttle Columbia's cameras

point toward the Earth's upper atmosphere.

During STS-80 the astronauts
were filming outside of the window

at a massive hurricane that had
formed here on Earth.

And in the process
of filming this hurricane

they saw an unknown object appear

seemingly out of the clouds
and start moving towards

the lightning in this massive storm.

[Nick] And there are a series of flashes

and then there seem to be these-- these
strange objects just drifting across

the field of vision.

[narrator] Surrounded by what some
say appears to be a plasma field,

the unidentified object decelerates,

hovers and then turns and continues
down across the Earth.

[John] Now, the question is,
"What exactly is this object?"

because you can then see

what lightning looks like because
it's going on at the same time,

so you can rule that out.

[Nick] These points of light

I mean that-- that some UFO believers
seize upon and say

uh, alien spacecraft.

I mean, to me this is just part
of the huge amount

of dust and debris that's out there.

[John] Whatever this object was
was circular in nature,

and it seems like it was almost attracted

to what was going on
inside the storm.

And it's something that really lacks
any explanation whatsoever.

[narrator] But some experts think
they may have the answer.

None of these things seem to really behave

in a way that would indicate

that they were under intelligent control.

I mean, pretty much all these things
just drift in a straight line,

at a constant speed.

[narrator] NASA experts
quickly dismiss any UFO speculation

suggesting that the thrust
of Columbia's RCS jets

pushed ice crystals into its wake.

[John] NASA, in their
typical fashion,

wanted to explain away the STS-80 footage

as simply being ice crystals.

[Nick] NASA often says that

many of these so called anomalous images

that show up on so many of these films

uh, are ice crystals.

This has become almost a standing joke
in-- in the UFO community

that, "Oh, well, you know,
NASA dismissing these UFOs

uh, that we see right in front of us here,
Oh, more ice crystals."

[narrator] But some see much more
than ice crystals.

When you look at it, it looks
undeniably like some type of craft,

or something that is much farther
in the distance

than an ice crystal could ever be seen at.

NASA and the government
and the military,

they come out with these explanations
that are so off the wall ridiculous,

you can't help but think, "Why don't they
just not address it at all."

Because that would be less conspiratorial

than them trying to go
over the top and say,

"Uh, yes, that massive what seems to be
12 mile in diameter spaceship

is simply an ice crystal."

Nothing makes sense whatsoever.

[narrator] On board
the space shuttle Columbia at that time

is payload specialist and veteran
astronaut Story Musgrave.

Musgrave witnesses the object
stating quote,

"I don't know what it is, it appears
to come from nowhere,

it's really impressive."

A lot of people in the UFO community
have seized on this and said,

"Ah, well, he must know something."

[narrator] Musgrave has also gone
on record as saying

that he does not believe that we are alone
in the universe.

I don't think that he has any evidence
that we're being visited.

It would be kind of crazy to assume
that we are alone in the universe,

and that is just his belief system.

If NASA really was
the-- the gatekeeper here

uh, the guardian of this great secret
about UFOs, there's no way that

they'd be putting this footage out, uh,
for the public to see in the first place.

Many in the UFO community believe

that cameras documenting
NASA's space missions

24 hours a day,
seven days a week

have captured UFO activity.

[Nick] There have been
some cases where

NASA's live feed has been cut.

And I think believers
and conspiracy theorists say,

"Wait a minute,
something must have happened

and NASA didn't want the world to see."

[narrator] But despite consistent denials,

one such incident in January 2015

leaves more questions than answers.

In January of 2015

NASA was streaming their live feed
from the International Space Station

when a mysterious object appeared

in the background of the shot.

Now, a split moment later

all of a sudden the feed cuts.

Everything goes off line.

After about five minutes
the feed comes back

and you see in the video
that this object, whatever it is,

is now gone.

[narrator] NASA also employs a standard
broadcast delay on its live feed.

If something catastrophic were to happen

arguably if we look back
at the space shuttle disasters

the families don't necessarily
want to see that live.

I think another point is there's no secret
in the fact that there are

classified military satellites
for example.

And maybe again, sometimes,
these broadcast delays

are just to ensure that

uh, one of these secret projects

isn't inadvertently exposed to the world.

[narrator] But how can NASA

publicly appear transparent
and still maintain

the highest level of secrecy.

It's safe to assume that after
all these cases and sightings,

all these videos that are being
live fed to the world

where anybody can sit and watch them
in real time as they occur is problematic.

And so, they're probably broadcasting
these live feeds,

what they claim live feeds,
but probably with a massive delay.

And then that will kind of bring down
the amount of evidence

that investigators are collecting,
because let's face it,

the evidence is absolutely mounting up
that something is going on.

[narrator] This is Unsealed: Alien Files,

exposing the biggest secret
on planet Earth.