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Former NASA astronaut claims he saw an 'alien-like' creature on Space Shuttle Atlantis

Former NASA astronaut claims he saw an 'alien-like' creature on Space Shuttle Atlantis

NASA astronaut Leland Melvin had an unusual experience on one of his space missions.

Being an astronaut is no easy job - it's one of the most stressful professions you could hope for, and you don't even get paid that amazingly.

Those are just some of the factors that would make it pretty forgivable to make a mistake when you're up in space, and maybe think you've seen something out of the ordinary.

That's what happened to former NASA astronaut Leland Melvin, according to posts from his X (formerly Twitter) account back in 2018.

Robby Klein / Contributor / Getty

Melvin was responding to a query about whether he ever saw a UFO in his time as an astronaut - Leland has logged over 500 hours in space, so he's a good man to ask.

Leland replied with a funny story, detailing how he once "thought [he] saw something organic/alien like floating out of the payload bay".

Whatever he was looking at, it apparently appeared to be "translucent, curved, organic looking", which is quite a creepy trio of words, particularly if you're in space.


Leland was sufficiently spooked that he "called the ground to ask what it could be" - thankfully he was quickly given a very rational answer, which was that "it was ice that had broken off of the Freon hoses".

Now, if you're asking us what Freon hoses are, you're in the wrong place, but the core point is that Leland was able to rest easy knowing that some bulbous ice was on his spacecraft, rather than a creepy space jellyfish.

Still, it was clearly a bit of a heart-pounding episode for Leland - he said that he "was about to say Houston we have a problem" but that he held back and kept calm, knowing that "everyone spins-up when those words are uttered from a space vehicle".

David Wall / Getty

After all, accidents and malfunctions in space aren't exactly easy to solve for ground control. Even before you think of the mechanical problems that can crop up, we've all seen too many horror movies set on spaceships to stay totally calm about the idea.

What isn't quite clear is which mission of Leland's this happened on, or when it happened - since it was just an idle chat on X, there aren't exactly loads of firm timelines involved in the conversation.

Still, it just goes to show that even someone with acres of experience in dealing with the hard science of space can get carried away by extraterrestrial ideas if the light hits some smooth ice just right.

Featured Image Credit: CBS/Simonbradfield/Getty Images