At the time, some journalists speculated the astronaut may have seen a secret satellite.
America’s race to the Moon was, after all, part of the Cold War with the Soviet Union.
However, experts speculate there is a much simpler explanation – the UFO was likely orbital debris from the Gemini 4 launch.
According to James Oberg, a former space engineer and rocket scientist, the Gemini 4 case cannot be conclusively closed, but the astronaut might have seen a part of NASA’s Titan 11 rocket.
He wrote on his blog: “McDivitt, more than a decade after the fact, refused to believe he could have misidentified that object – but both his degraded eyesight and different viewing angle at the time of the sighting eliminate any reliability from that claim – and years of UFO research have taught us the surprising lesson that pilots are, in truth, among the poorest observers of UFOs because of their instinctive pattern of perceiving visual stimuli primarily in terms of threats to their own vehicles.