MOSS BLUFF — Are we alone in the universe? Sulphur chemist and author B. Timothy Pennington is convinced we are not.
The Milky Way galaxy, one of a billion galaxies and home to our solar system, is 100,000 light years across and 1,000 light years thick.
“The universe is incomprehensibly large,” he said.
Pennington said he believes it is statistically unlikely Earth’s humans are the only sentient life forms in existence.
Pennington shared some of what led him to that assertion — which is explored in his book “Science, Skeptics and UFOS: A Reluctant Scientist Explores the World of UFOs” — recently at the Moss Bluff library. The Calcasieu Parish Summer Reading Program theme this year is “A Universe of Stories.”
The scientist said he and his family were witness to a concentration of UFO activity — dozens of sightings — over their farm in central Mississippi during the 1970s.
“My family had sightings from the 1930s until the last sighting in 2016,” he said.
Pennington said he, his father and brother all saw well-lit objects, some as big as municipal water tanks, moving silently across the night sky in ways science has yet to explain. He said that not until he was an adult did his father refer to these objects as spaceships.
“My father never said a word,” Pennington said. “He was in denial and never spoke about it. He said we were just seeing something from the Air Force.”
Pennington said that during research for his book he learned that his neighbors were also witness to the strange objects.
Pennington said skeptics will say UFO sightings are an one-off occurrence.
“But the real phenomena is localized and it occurs over and over again,” he said.
He said he has correlated instances of sightings with heavy forestation. His family’s farm was near such geography, and there was a clearing in the heavily wooded area.
Pennington said Lake Charles was actually a hotbed of UFO activity in the 1950s and 1960s when Chennault Airbase was active.
“There were several cases listed as unidentified when the Air Force Project Bluebook (underway between 1952-1970) investigated,” he said. “Several of them happened right at the airbase to airbase personnel — and these were people who were very familiar with aircraft.”
When Pennington retired after 30 years in the local chemical industry, he said he began serious research, seeking answers to questions from his childhood, poring over many thousands of images from NASA’s archives and reading books and testimony on UFO sightings.
The scientist found there were many reported sightings of UFOs around NASA launches and several astronauts and U.S. military pilots are on record as having seen strange crafts during missions.
In May of 1962, NASA X-15 pilot Joseph Walker said he was tasked with filming UFOs. He said the month before, during a record-breaking 50-mile-high flight, he filmed five of six UFOs and claimed it was the second time he’d filmed such aircraft. None of the films have been made public. In response to these assertions, a NASA spokesman said, “NASA does not track UFOs. NASA is not involved in any sort of cover up about alien life on this plant or anywhere in the universe.”
Pennington said in a recording of a transmission from the 1972 Apollo 17 mission, pilot Ron Evans can be heard saying, “I am not alone. For five-and-a-half orbits, a 40-45 foot cigar-shaped object has been in formation with me.” NASA immediately cut the public feed.
Pennington said there were sightings of a “bright, shiny disk” around the 1966 launch of Gemini 3 investigated by Project Blue Book. The witness was labeled a “psycho.”
In NASA footage from 1989 an amateur radio hobbyist picked up a radio transmission from the Space Shuttle Discovery in which either Commander Michael Coats or Pilot John Blaha can be heard saying, “Houston, this is Discovery. We still have the alien spacecraft under surveillance.” The response was “switch” and nothing more was heard. Pennington said this was likely the command to switch frequencies.
In a 2016 article, John Brandenburg, formerly with NASA who has a doctorate in plasma physics, said NASA’s 1994 Clementine Mission, a photo reconnaissance mission of the moon, showed a “mile-wide rectolinear structure that looked unmistakably artificial and shouldn’t be there.” Brandenburg is quoted as saying, “It isn’t ours. There’s no way we could have built such a thing.”
In 1996, Space Shuttle Columbia’s STS75, the 75th Space Transportation mission flown by one of four space shuttles, the tether connection a satellite to the shuttle broke apart, in what has been called The Tether Incident. A 12-mile cable drifted about 70 to 90 miles away as the crew videotaped. The incident was broadcast live by the former NASA TV station and was recorded. Pennington showed several stills from the footage that show around 50 unidentified objects passing behind the tether and eight passing in front of it, within a four-minute time span. The objects rang in size between a quarter and a half-mile.
Several members of the shuttle’s crew have gone on record to say these were UFOs. One has said publicly they are ice and other space debris.
Pennington also showed stills from footage of space craft launches that many purport to show alien craft slightly concealed by cloud cover.
“What they are or where they’re from, I have no idea,” Pennington said. “NASA knows all about it. They’ve got all the evidence. These photos are from their archives.”