Bigelow Aerospace founder Robert Bigelow is neck deep in building expandable habitats for space, but he tells investigative reporter George Knapp he misses exploring the topics of aliens and UFOs. Previously unaired, this interview was recorded Aug. 28, 2019, in Las Vegas.
George Knapp: You’ve had to put all your eggs into this basket, all your attention, all your energy. You’re totally focused on this, which takes you away from other things that have been on your plate for a long time. Do you miss it?
Robert Bigelow: The real estate business, I do miss. The construction, when it’s going well and things are progressing every day, you can see the progress on a daily basis and you know you’re going to be coming to a conclusion on something that is going to be valuable. And so, yeah, that’s rewarding. And that part of it is fun. That part of it, I do miss. But the aerospace has been a lot of fun also, even though it’s been a struggle. It’s basically been a great 20 years that we’ve had so far.
Knapp: I meant your other interests that the public knows you for. Esoteric topics.
Bigelow: Oh, the unidentified objects that people wonder what are flying around.
Knapp: Miss that?
Bigelow: Sure I do. Sure I do. Because it’s the epitome of potential that we can’t … we are barely able to even sniff that. And the magnitude of that is so profound in so many different ways. I can’t think of anything that comes close that mankind has even started to approach that even remotely equals the dynamics of that subject. It’s beyond belief.
Knapp: It demonstrates what’s possible.
Bigelow: Yeah. And then even beyond that, because we don’t even know. We may only even see the bare tip of the iceberg on that, and — as you know — and so I don’t think we even fully realize at all what’s possible. We are sniffing at that, and we see signs of that and we have information about it. And now we have where military pilots are coming forward and talking about it and other kinds of things going on behind the scenes. And, boy, once once you’ve had an introduction to that, it’s very, very hard to let go.
Knapp: You haven’t spoken about it really since all the news broke, but I mean your fingerprints are all over that stuff. You helped make all that happen.
Bigelow: Well, I don’t know about that. I think that the future here is what’s potentially interesting. If these exposures and these exhibitions that are currently ongoing, especially off the East Coast, and they have been pretty heavy for the last five years. If that gets the right … if they continue, and they provide the opportunity for investigation and to create the awareness, not just with the military, but — and government folks — but be able to be sanctioned and confirmed as an actual reality … that this phenomena is real. It actually exists, and we’re actually achieving a confirmation of sorts. Without knowing who, what or why, you know, or where it’s coming from or anything, at least that’s a big step that’s never happened before.
Knapp: I just remember when you were first talking about what your inflatable habitats could do, providing space in space where you could work. You could have labs that produce things in zero gravity. Materials, drugs, pharmaceuticals, and things of that sort that you can’t make down here. I mean, that sort of goes — whether we like to say it or not — it goes hand-in-hand with … the two topics sort of go together.
Bigelow: Well, there may be a connection to laboratories in space that we’ve never really had. Opportunities to fundamentally push where you have the effects of creating certain things under a 1G environment, maybe that that contaminates and doesn’t provide the possibilities that a microgravity environment can produce. We know the physiology certainly changes without doing much of anything. And so researchers are now coming around to really realizing that the human physiology, particularly if you are in space in the second or third generation, or on the moon at one-sixth gravity, is going to significantly change over time. So, it’s hard to predict what we don’t know.