On December 16, 1965, United States astronauts Walter M. “Wally” Schirra Jr. and Thomas P. Stafford were preparing to re-enter the earth’s orbit aboard Gemini 6 after conducting the first successful linking with another capsule when they made a surprise report. They told Misson Control that they had sighted a UFO. Schirra recounted the moment when Stafford contacted Mission Control in his memoir Schirra’s Space:
We have an object, looks like a satellite going from north to south, probably in polar orbit…. Looks like he might be going to re-enter soon…. You just might let me pick up that thing…. I see a command module and eight smaller modules in front. The pilot of the command module is wearing a red suit.
“I could hear the voices at Mission Control getting tense,” Stafford said, “when I talked about sighting something else up there with us. Then, after we finished the song, [Mission Control’s] Elliot See relaxed and just said, ‘You’re too much.'”“Wally came up with the idea,” added Stafford, now a retired Air Force general, who chairs an International Space Station advisory group. “He could play the harmonica, and we practiced two or three times before we took off, but of course we didn’t tell the guys on the ground….We never considered singing, since I couldn’t carry a tune in a bushelbasket.”