Scientists looking for life in space make complicated calculations of where life could exist in the Universe and on which of the many planets, satellites and other space bodies. Then they come up with snore-inducing studies about carbon compositions, water presence, ideal temperatures, and light exposures. But the people found in the first line in all space expeditions seem pretty sure: aliens do exist and that's as certain as anything that is before their very own eyes.
One of those brave enough to break the silence is the Romanian astronaut Dumitru Prunariu. Prunariu was selected for spaceflight training in 1978 as part of the Intercosmos Program. He got the maximum grades during 3 years of preparation and participated in a joint space flight with the Russian cosmonaut Leonid Popov. In May 1981, they completed an 8-day space mission on board Soyuz 40 and the Salyut 6 space laboratory, where they carried out scientific tests in the fields of astrophysics, space radiation, space technology, space medicine and biology. Prunariu is the 103rd human being to fly into the Outer Space and he has written several books about space technology and space flight. He is also part of the international team of researchers that will propose to the UN Security Council an intervention plan in case of the impact of the Earth with the Apophis asteroid, that could take place around 2029.
In a recent interview given to the Romanian newspaper "Gardianul", Prunariu points that astronauts believe in the existence of extraterrestrial ships, but the subject is taboo because of the fear of being excluded from flight programs. Officials and military personnel keep the reports on UFOs secret because they have no explanation and control over the phenomenon.
"Let's face it: we are in a technological stage too low to deeply penetrate into the Universe. Intelligent life is searched for at thousand of light years away from us. People are looking for any signal that could have meaning and could be emitted by an intelligent being. During the Cold War, all these discoveries were kept secret because it could have been a more advanced technology than that used by humans, a technology that could have been used against the adversary. Even today, 40-50 year-old reports are kept secret. Some information did pop up, but was infirmed rapidly by those interested. It's relatively easy to destroy the confidence of the public in such information," Prunariu told "Guardianul".
He also comes up with possible explanations of how aliens may be able to travel at extremely high speeds.
"Einstein talked about the interaction of the gravitational field with the magnetic one. This has been experimentally proven several years ago. A technology producing a powerful electromagnetic field would enable us to travel in the Universe at high speeds, on extremely large distances, without feeling the acceleration. Current technology requires whole generations in order to travel outside the solar system. UFOs may use physical laws we do not even know yet. We have made our great discoveries in the last centuries; a civilization 5,000 years older than us would have an unthinkable advance," said Prunariu, who believes that if the extra-terrestrials were aggressive like depicted in "Independence Day", we would have already felt it.
Prunariu also does not dismiss the theory of the "extraterrestrial seed" for life on Earth, such as extraterrestrial DNA. But perhaps the most interesting issues the Romanian astronaut tells the paper are space encounters with UFOs (none of which were personal).
"A Russian colleague saw two UFOs flying parallel to the ship during an expedition, both of which disappeared after a while. He reported this encounter to his chiefs, got only a negative reaction from them and was reminded he had been sent into cosmos for scientific purposes. The man was talked into not sharing the incident with anybody else, being menaced with the interruption of his flight programs. Any time reporters ask him about the encounter, he denies it", said Prunariu. He even signaled that some UFOs can be radar detected.
"In a case occurred in Romania before '89, the service officer at the military aviation base at Kogalniceanu (an American NATO unit is stationed currently there) reported seeing a formation of 9 flying objects moving at an extremely high speed on the sky. The radar calculations showed their speed was of about 6000 de km/h (3,750 mph). The bright objects disappeared somewhere over the Black Sea, towards Russia. Such a speed cannot be reached by a plane or rocket, which would have disintegrated, thus the speed would not have been constant all the time. The incident could not be explained. It could be that the Earth is constantly monitored from the outside by more intelligent civilizations, but at least they're doing it discreetly, not wanting to interfere with terrestrial life." Prunariu added.
More about Prunariu
He is a corresponding member of the International Academy of Astronautics (1992). In 1985, he joined the Association of Space Explorers (ASE), comprising today 370 astronauts from 33 countries. Since 1993 until 2004 he has been the permanent representative of the Association of Space Explorers at the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS) sessions. In 2004, Prunariu was elected as the Chairman of the Scientific and Technical Subcommittee of the UN COPUOS for a two year term.
At the moment, Prunariu is the President of the Board of the Romanian Space Agency and accomplishes the duties of the Director of the Romanian Office for Science and Technology to the European Union (ROST) in Brussels.