"The UFO looked like a beer or a soda can. It had a small thing like an arm or something sticking out of it," the astronaut revealed in the past.
James A. McDivitt, the former commander of the Gemini IV and Apollo 9 missions, died peacefully at age 93 in Tucson, Arizona, surrounded by family. In September 1962, NASA selected McDivitt as part of its second class of astronauts. As commander of the Gemini IV mission, he made his first trip into space in June 1965. During the program’s most ambitious flight to date, he was joined by fellow Air Force pilot Ed White. As part of Gemini IV, White became the first American to carry out extravehicular activity (EVA) or a spacewalk, as it is more commonly referred to. However, there were also reports of something presumably extraterrestrial spotted outside the ship in addition to the spacewalk.
As they were flying over Hawaii on the second day of the mission, McDivitt witnessed an unidentified flying object (UFO). He described it as “looking like a beer can or a soda can, with something like a pencil on it.” This sounds like the Navy Tic-Tac UFO. Unfortunately, he did not get a chance to focus or adjust the exposure of the pictures.
Having seen the object so closely, McDivitt ruled out the possibility that it was the second stage of the Titan rocket that launched the Gemini 4. One of the most mundane explanations he could come up with was that it was an artificial satellite. UFO research experts from the famous Air Force Condon Committee considered this factor. However, they could not identify any satellite as the cause. In the following video, the astronaut provides more details about what he saw in space.
Whether it was a spacecraft or an alien object, he admitted, he did not know. Upon being asked if he believed extraterrestrial life existed, he replied: “I think we would be very naive and selfish if we believed we were the only life form in the vast universe we live in.” During McDivitt’s second spaceflight as Apollo 9 commander. He played a key role in bringing the first humans to the moon. Apollo 9 was the first flight of the Lunar Module, the complete set of Apollo hardware. Following Apollo 9, he managed lunar landing operations. McDivitt led a team that designed the lunar exploration program and adapted the spacecraft to accomplish its objectives. He became manager of the Apollo Spacecraft Program in August 1969. McDivitt guided its development through Apollo 12, 13, 14, 15, and 16.