Robert Bigelow has become one of the more interesting people on the UFO scene for the past few years. He’s a businessman with bags of money ($1 billion net worth according to who loves everything space, paranormal and ufology related. This is good for UFO enthusiasts like you and I because his company is involved in the field on an official level. Could Robert Bigelow be the man to disclose what people have been seeing in the skies or is he too good to be true? What does or doesn’t he know?

Robert Bigelow’s Youth

Born on May 12th 1945 and raised in Las Vegas, Nevada, Robert Bigelow was close to the action from an early age, witnessing above ground nuclear weapons tests, which were common in the area at the time.

During the 1950’s Bigelow was hearing reports about UFO encounters from friends and locals. After hearing his grandparent’s personal account of a close encounter with a UFO while they were driving in a remote area just outside Las Vegas, Robert Bigelow was hooked. From this point on, young Bob knew that his future was pointed towards the stars and that he would be involved in space one way or another.

But how would he achieve this dream? Bigelow was no rocket scientist and wasn’t particularly gifted in mathematics. He decided that his strategy would be to earn a ton of money and hire the brains to pursue his real passions. It turned out that his strategy worked! He studied banking and real estate at both the University of Nevada and Arizona State University, which was the start of his money making career. In the meantime he kept his dream of creating a space travel empire secret until much later in life.

Bob’s Business Life

Bob Bigelow spent most of his early career developing commercial real estate, hotels, motels and the like. Within his first three years he owned 100 apartments in Las Vegas. He ended up selling a lot of this just before the bubble burst in 2008 and evidently made a killing! Was he just really lucky or did he know something others didn’t? Hmmm… He puts it down to luck. He currently owns the hotel chain Budget Suites of America.

National Institute for Discovery Science and Skinwalker Ranch

In 1995 it was time for Bigelow to act on his real life mission and founded the National Institute for Discovery Science or NIDS. NIDS was created to research the fringes of science including the paranormal and ufology. A year later in 1996, Bigelow bought Skinwalker ranch from the Sherman family for $200,000.

The family were experiencing strange and distressing activity on the ranch including mutilated cattle, disappearing dogs and an encounter with a horse sized wolf. Skinwalker ranch was apparently a hotbed of paranormal and UFO activity back then, but the activity directly on the ranch has since died down. The area surrounding the ranch is still supposed to be quite active with paranormal goings on.

We won’t go into too much detail about Skinwalker ranch in this article because most of it doesn’t include Bigelow’s direct involvement. This area in Utah a lot of history with Ute tribes that settled in the area who have reported strange creatures and sightings through the generations. There are a few intriguing and at times unbelievable stories about Skinwalker ranch, so it will eventually have its own case file on Project Saucer.

Due to Bob’s natural passion and curiosity for the unknown he brought a team of NIDS scientists to the ranch and started scientifically observing the area. Lots of strange activity was reported, but Bob never saw anything with his own eyes according to George Knapp.

Bob still believes undoubtedly that paranormal events happened while they were observing the ranch. Solid video evidence has yet to be released from the years they spent there. Did they actually record anything noteworthy or is it all top secret? We may never know.

In 2004 the National Institute for Discovery Science was shut down and replaced by BAASS, Bigelow Aerospace Advanced Space Studies.

Bigelow Aerospace

In 1999 Robert Bigelow founded Bigelow Aerospace. His dream is finally starting to come true! Bob’s goal is to create a real estate empire in space. You’d be able to take a trip to either the International Space Station or one of his own free floating vehicles and stay in what is basically an inflatable apartment.

It might sound a little unsafe floating around Earth’s orbit in a balloon, especially with all that space debris flying around. However, they look very impressive and Bob says they’re safe, so let’s give him the benefit of the doubt. An expandable habitat is basically a small package that they send up to space. They connect this package to a space station before expanding it (kind of like a balloon) to reveal a much larger living space.

They’ve had one of these expandable habitats attached to the ISS for the past couple of years called BEAM. BEAM stands for Bigelow Expandable Activity Module. I’m guessing they liked the name BEAM and shoehorned an acronym in there! BEAM has been a success and according to Bigelow’s plan, they should be launching the first real expandable habitats towards the end of 2019 into 2020.


AATIP (Advanced Aerspace Threat Identification Program) was a secret government operation to investigate UFOs. It was started by U.S. Senator Harry Reid, a good friend of Bigelow’s and it’s said that Bigelow nudged him to initiate the program. It’s reported that Robert Bigelow received most of the $22 million allocated to the AATIP program by the pentagon. Some speculate that Bigelow is storing extra-terrestrial metals from alien craft for the government, but there is no concrete (or metal) evidence for this.

On a side note, the FAA used to suggest that if a pilot sees a UFO/UAP, they can officially report it to Bigelow Aerospace Advanced Space Studies. It was in their handbook!

Does Bob Bigelow Genuinely Believe in E.T.s

Bigelow is certain that aliens are here. A lot of this comes from the accounts that he heard as a kid from friends and his grandparents, but I get the feeling his absolute certainty comes from other things that he’s seen or experienced. He does mention in his 60 Minutes interview that he’s “seen” things but doesn’t divulge any details. Maybe he’s talking nonsense or maybe he has seen some inexplainable things.

I think that Robert Bigelow genuinely believes that aliens are here. Bigelow leads a legitimate aerospace program, so why in the world would he jeopardise that by publicly stating something as outrageous as believing aliens are already here on Earth if he didn’t really believe it. For publicity? Probably not the right kind if you want to go out and form partnerships or raise investment.

He’s also spent close to $300 million of his own money investigating UFOs and the paranormal. Whether he’s seen things with his own eyes or not, I think that he’s simply a believer. Don’t get me wrong, he also believes in making a lot of money, but his belief in extra terrestrial life among us would probably be more of a hindrance than a help to his commercial activities.

A Rich Man with An Expensive Hobby

Robert Bigelow is an interesting character. Personally, I think he’s a big kid who made some money and is using his time spending this money on his childhood dreams. Until we see some actual evidence from Bigelow, I can’t conclude much more than that. I hope he does know something we don’t and that one day he’ll be able to present us with some extraordinary evidence.

After watching presentations and interviews it’s clear that he’s a smart and driven individual. I do get the impression that he means what he says, he’s genuine in that way. He’s open about making money and about believing in aliens, which are both fine with me as long as he’s honest about his intentions.

Most of what we’ve seen recently from him has been on the expandable habitats and not much on the E.T. subject. I’d be interested to see whether he just completely drops the UFO/paranormal subject publicly and focuses on his space program.

What impressions do you get of Robert Bigelow? Do you like him? Think he’s genuine or just in it for the money? Let me know in the comments what you think and why, I’d be interested to hear your perspective!