Introduction to NOUFORS

What's New


Michel M. Deschamps - Director

Personal Sightings

Sightings Archive

Newspaper Archive


UFO Characteristics

UFO Physical Traces

Animal Mutilations

UFO Occupants

Crop Circles

Audio Clips


Majestic 12

and UFOs

Military Officers
and UFOs

Scientists and UFOs

Astronauts and UFOs

Pilots and UFOs

Cops and Saucers

Celebrities and UFOs

Who's Who in

Skeptics and Debunkers

Encyclopedia of Terminology and Abbreviations

Kidz' Korner




Dr. Owen Garriott

Owen Kay Garriott (born November 22, 1930) is an American electrical engineer and former NASA astronaut, who spent 60 days aboard the Skylab space station in 1973 during the Skylab 3 mission, and 10 days aboard Spacelab-1 on a Space Shuttle mission in 1983.

NASA Astronaut Owen K. Garriott

He is the father of Robert Garriott and fellow spacefarer Richard Garriott, with whom he helped found Origin Systems.

He is the co-founder and current president of Immunotherapeutics, Inc. in Huntsville, Alabama.

Education and military career

Garriott was born in Enid, Oklahoma, on November 22, 1930. He graduated from Enid High School in 1948; received a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Oklahoma in 1953, where he was a member of Phi Kappa Psi Fraternity, and a Master of Science and Ph.D. degrees from Stanford University in Electrical Engineering in 1957 and 1960, respectively. Garriott was presented an Honorary Doctorate of Science from Phillips University in 1973. He completed a one-year U.S. Air Force Pilot Training Program in 1966, receiving qualification as pilot in jet aircraft.

He was a Boy Scout and he earned the rank of Star Scout.

Garriott served as electronics officer in the United States Navy from 1953 to 1956. From 1961 through 1965 he was an assistant professor, then associate professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering at Stanford University. He performed research and led graduate studies in ionospheric physics after obtaining his doctorate, and authored or co-authored more than 45 scientific papers, chapters and one book, principally in areas of the physical sciences.

He has logged over 5,000 hours flying time, including over 2,900 hours in jet aircraft, and the remainder in spacecraft, light aircraft and helicopters.

NASA career

In 1965, Garriott was one of the six scientist-astronauts selected by NASA. His first spaceflight, the Skylab 3 mission in 1973, set a world record for duration of approximately 60 days, more than double the previous record. Extensive experiments were conducted of the Sun, of Earth resources and in various life sciences relating to human adaptation to weightlessness.

His second space flight was aboard STS-9 (Spacelab-1) in 1983, a multidisciplinary and international mission of 10 days aboard Space Shuttle Columbia. Over 70 separate experiments in six different disciplines were conducted, primarily to demonstrate the suitability of Spacelab for research in all these areas. He operated the world's first amateur radio station from space, W5LFL, which expanded into an important activity on dozens of shuttle flights, Space Station Mir and the International Space Station, with scores of astronauts and cosmonauts participating.

Between these missions, Garriott received a NASA fellowship for in the Space Station Project Office. In this position he worked closely with the external scientific communities and advised the project manager concerning the scientific suitability of the space station design.

The Skylab "Stowaway" Prank

On September 10, 1973, controllers in Houston were startled to hear a woman's voice beaming down from Skylab. Using a sexy tone of voice and calling startled capsule communicator (CAPCOM) Bob Crippen by name, the woman explained: "The boys haven't had a home-cooked meal in so long I thought I'd bring one up." After several minutes in which she described forest fires seen from space and the beautiful sunrise, the woman said: "Oh oh. I have to cut off now. I think the boys are floating up here toward the command module and I'm not supposed to be talking to you." As the Skylab crew subsequently revealed, Garriott had recorded his wife Helen during a private radio transmission the night before.

Post-NASA career

After leaving NASA in June 1986, Garriott consulted for various aerospace companies and served as a member of several NASA and National Research Council Committees.

From January 1988 until May 1993, he was Vice President of space programs at Teledyne Brown Engineering. This division, which grew to over 1,000 people, provided payload integration for all Spacelab projects at the Marshall Space Flight Center and had a substantial role in the development of the U.S. laboratory for the International Space Station.

Garriott has devoted time to several charitable activities in his hometown, including the Enid (Okla.) Arts and Sciences Foundation of which he was a co-founder in 1992 and was co-founder of Leonardo's Discovery Warehouse (the other founder was his first wife Helen) in 1995. More recently, he accepted a position as adjunct professor in the Laboratory for Structural Biology at the University of Alabama in Huntsville and has participated in research activities there involving new microbes he returned from extreme environments such as very alkaline lakes and deep sea hydrothermal vents. Hyperthermophiles were returned from several dives in Russian MIR submersibles to the Rainbow Vents at a depth of 2,300 meters near the Azores in the central Atlantic Ocean. Other research activities included three trips to Antarctica from which 20 meteorites were returned for laboratory study. Garriott formed a 501c-3 public philanthropic Garriott Family Foundation to finance the aforementioned adventure travel for himself, his wife and other members of his family.

Dr. Owen Garriott and UFOs

Skylab III Photo Incident
September 20, 1973
In Orbit, Over SW Indian Ocean

Fran Ridge:

Sept. 20, 1973; In orbit over Indian Ocean
During revolution # 1863. Astronauts Alan Bean, Owen Garriott and Jack Lousma spotted what they described as a red "satellite", which they photographed (4 color photos) and mentioned during a subsequent debriefing. We have radio conversation (transcript only) with Houston CapCom about 4.5 hours after the sighting of this object. There was no man-made satellite that could explain this sighting and hence the object was truly anomalous. This case is multiply-listed as a Cat 8 (photo), Cat 11 (sighting from air/spacecraft), and flagged as a NASA incident. 10 mins. Distance from Skylab was 25-30 miles. Estimated diameter was 800 feet.

Joel Carpenter:

One of the things that's so darn fascinating about this case is something that Dr Maccabee and Brad Sparks bring up in the article on Maccabee's site. One interpretation of the sighting is that the object was approaching on an orbit in a 51 or 52 degree inclination and about to intersect with Skylab's 50 degree (but much higher) orbit. They mention that that inclination was used by the Soviets. But actually, they often used 65 degrees. 51 degrees was used for certain very specific flights: the Salyut space stations and the manned Soyuz ships that docked with them. At the time of the sighting, Salyut-1 and Salyut-2 had been flown, and both had failed. Salyut-2 was launched in April 1973 and was actually the top secret Almaz military station, the counterpart of the US MOL reconnaissance space station. Salyut-2 had recon gear aboard, but failed before it was manned for the first time, about 2 weeks after it was launched.

Brad Sparks:

Skylab-3 remains a mystery with the color photos and optical ranging yielding an approximate 800-foot size of the space UFO, much larger than the largest satellite then in space (the 150-foot Skylab-3). [Sparks interviewed Skylab-3 astronaut Dr. Owen Garriott shortly after the return to earth - Fran Ridge].

Detailed reports and documents

reports/730920skylabIII_report.htm (Fran Ridge)
SL3-118-2137 through 2140. This is only one frame but two different enhancements
Analysis of the Photos of a UFO Observed by Skylab 3 (Bruce Maccabee & Brad Sparks)
youtube.com/watch?v=mBJAdRmLCCg [Skylab III] (YouTube)
youtube.com/watch?v=6tVWUaApcDI [Skylab III UFO] (YouTube)



No infringement intended. For educational purposes only.