The lesson? Never, ever, underestimate the power of a meme that appeals to our sense of planetary identity, because there are those who will exploit it for any number of reasons.
Having said that, I'm not blaming Mitchell; whether he realizes it or not, he's exposed the duplicitous underbelly of the memetic beast -- not exactly an opportunity we're afforded everyday.
And just in case you think I'm being a fun-killer . . .
Irene Klotz from Discovery interviewed Mitchell after his UK radio interview and here's an excerpt:
Irene Klotz: I wanted to ask you if there was anything about the radio interview you did that was different from what you've said in the past.
Edgar Mitchell: No, there's nothing different. Several of (the reports of the interview) that I've seen come around have some flaws in them. Some of the reports pushed it or spun it incorrectly. NASA had nothing to do with anything I've done. I wasn't briefed by NASA. There haven't been any sightings as a result of my flight service there, so if that part of it comes out on anything you've seen it is just totally wrong.
In this Discovery interview, and in previous interviews, Mitchell has not offered any definite proof of his claims, and said he's only been "told by people who were utterly sworn to secrecy" about alien visits to Earth. Mitchell grew up in Roswell, New Mexico.
Let the hate-mail commence.
(Big thanks to William Michael Mott.)