Former NASA astronaut Jerry Linenger recently shared that he has encountered quite a number of anomalies while staying at the International Space Station, prompting the theory that there is indeed alien life outside of Earth.

During a live interview, Linenger admitted that he encountered various anomalies or unexplained sightings during his five-month stay at the Space Station Mir. He revealed some of the bizarre things he saw at that time. ”Well I’m going to stick my neck out, but how many people think I saw a UFO when I was up there? Well I did, I saw things in the true sense of the word, unidentified flying objects – don’t take me out of context there – no aliens. But I saw stuff that made me call my crewmates over and say ‘what the heck is that?',” the astronaut said.

Linenger, a retired captain of the U.S. Navy Medical Corps and a former NASA astronaut, stayed at the Space Station Mir which operated from 1986 to 2001. The former astronaut was actually the first American to do a spacewalk from a foreign space station while wearing a non-American made spacesuit. Aside from Linenger, two other Russian astronauts also spent five months on the space station situated 50 million miles about Earth while orbiting the planet 2,000 times.

“We’d look and sometimes it was metallic, it was like a spoon if you were off in the distance and in the province of space good luck figuring out if it’s a really small object close-by, something floated out of the airlock,” he said.

Linenger admitted that it’s usually difficult to tell if something he saw in space is just nearby or somewhere far, making it doubly difficult to determine if he is seeing a legit UFO or just some kind of space junk.

“Is it something 100,000 miles away that’s the size of a big spacecraft? It’s very hard to distinguish that, usually it was something you could kind of explain, maybe an external tank or something like that. But you would see things and you go ‘wow, that’s cool – I don’t know what that was exactly, but it’s not a satellite’.”

The former astronaut admitted that amidst all his training, he would usually feel excited when he sees some odd objects from the Space Station. “You definitely, just like when you see something weird [on Earth], call everyone over like ‘I don’t care what you’re doing, get over here and take a look at this.”

It’s not all fun and excitement, however. The astronaut also shared how he and his colleagues faced some challenges while onboard the space station. The most severe happened when a fire broke out on the orbiting spacecraft and when systems controlling important functions such as oxygen, carbon dioxide and the station’s cooling mechanism malfunctioned.

The Hubble Space Telescope, the world's first space telescope which has revolutionized astronomy, as seen from the Space Shuttle Discovery
The Hubble Space Telescope, the world's first space telescope which has revolutionized astronomy, as seen from the Space Shuttle Discovery. It is named after famed astronomer Edwin Hubble. NASA / NASA