The final frontier is a place that arouses much mystery and speculation so it’s no surprise that the brave astronauts come under the same public scrutiny.
One new conspiracy theory alleges that French astronaut Claudie Haigneré warned of an alien invasion before falling into a coma after overdosing on sleeping pills.
The theory has been constructed and published on YouTube channel, UFOmania.
The video is an odd, incoherent splicing of images and automated speech that spins a tale worthy of a sci-fi novel. What it does claim, if true, is disturbing.
A most peculiar report stating that the renowned scientist and France’s first female astronaut Claudie Haigneré’s had to be forcefully restrained after screaming ‘Earth Must Be Warned!’ prior to her falling into a coma from a reported overdose of sleeping pills in an apparent attempt at suicide.
The allegations regarding 59-year-old Haigneré’s suicide attempt have been sourced from French newspapers.
Claudie Haigneré was a backup crew member for the 1993 Mir Altaïr mission, alongside her husband, Jean-Pierre. Asteroid 135268 Haigneré is named after the couple.
In 2001, she became the first European woman to visit the International Space Station, and after retiring from space voyages, entered politics as Minister Delegate for Research and New Technologies from 2002 to 2004 and Minister Delegate for European Affairs from 2004 to 2005.
Later, Haigneré took up research at the Pasteur Institute in a biology lab.
In 2008, it was widely reported that Haigneré overdosed on sleeping pills and had to be restrained, screaming ‘Earth must be warned’, before she was rushed to hospital where she lapsed into a coma.
But here is where the conspiracy theory blurs the lines between fact and fiction.
UFOmania claim Haigneré’s lab – the ‘site of alien DNA investigation’ – was broken into. This is unequivocally untrue. As much as some of us believe in an extra-terrestrial presence, there is no definitive proof that aliens – or their DNA – exist.
This new conspiracy theory takes the search for truth a step too far, seeming to ignore the sensitivity of the situation. Claudie is a respected politician and doctor, as well as the first French female astronaut. I’m sure the video is an unwelcome reminder of a difficult time in her life.
Haigneré is now the director of the Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie – the largest science museum in Europe, and has since explained that her suicide attempt was triggered by ‘burnout syndrome’.