Pioneering astronaut John Glenn, the first American to orbit the Earth and a long-serving Senator from Ohio, has passed away at the age of 95.
An original member of NASA's vaunted Mercury Program, Glenn made history in 1962 when he circled the Earth representing the United States at the height of the infamous space race with the Soviet Union.
Ten years after his historic flight, Glenn was elected Senator of Ohio and held the office for a remarkable 24 years.
Incredibly, Glenn joined the crew of the Space Shuttle Discovery for a mission in 1998, which gave him the amazing distinction of also being the oldest person ever to travel into space.
Much like many of the iconic astronauts that became household names throughout the country, Glenn was often asked about the UFO enigma.
During his legendary flight orbiting the Earth, Glenn famously reported seeing 'fireflies' outside the window of his capsule, although these anomalies were later revealed to be flecks of condensation and not anything 'out of this world.'
However, in 2001, he set off a firestorm of speculation following an appearance on the TV program Frasier, where, playing himself, Glenn mused about what he had 'really' seen in space.
In the intriguing scene, he revealed that the astronauts actually had seen 'others' out in space, but had been ordered to keep quiet by the government because they didn't want the public to panic.
"Now we only see these things in our nightmares or maybe in the movies, and some of them are pretty close to being the truth," Glenn concluded.
The revelations were played for laughs on the sitcom as Glenn didn't realize he was being recorded and quickly snatched the tape to the sound of chuckles from the audience.
To UFO enthusiasts, however, Glenn's remarkable statements on the program, scripted or not, were seen as a sly way of him telling the world 'the truth' about the phenomenon.
Whether that was the case or not will likely be debated in conspiracy circles long into the future, but what is undeniable is that John Glenn was a true American hero and a statesman who left an enormous mark both here on Earth and out in space.