IONS Founder Edgar Mitchell

IONS Founder Edgar Mitchell


Traveling back to Earth, having just walked on the moon, Apollo 14 astronaut Edgar Mitchell had an experience for which nothing in his life had prepared him. As he approached the planet we know as home, he was filled with an inner conviction as certain as any mathematical equation he'd ever solved. He knew that the beautiful blue world to which he was returning is part of a living system, harmonious and whole—and that we all participate, as he expressed it later, "in a universe of consciousness."

Trained as an engineer and scientist, Captain Mitchell was most comfortable in the world of rationality and physical precision. Yet the understanding that came to him as he journeyed back from space felt just as trustworthy—it represented another way of knowing.

This experience radically altered his worldview: Despite science's superb technological achievements, he realized that we had barely begun to probe the deepest mystery of the universe—the fact of consciousness itself. He became convinced that the uncharted territory of the human mind was the next frontier to explore, and that it contained possibilities we had hardly begun to imagine. Within two years of his expedition, Edgar Mitchell founded the Institute of Noetic Sciences in 1973.

Today, Dr. Mitchell serves on the board of directors of the institute. He continues to be active at institute events, including lectures and conferences. He is the author of The Way of the Explorer.


On March 19th, 2011 Edgar Mitchell spoke with a group of high school students at the Institute of Noetic Sciences. Click the screen to play the video, then move your cursor off the screen to hide the controls.


  • Steve Villano with Edgar Mitchell

    IONS 40th Anniversary Conversations

    IONS CEO/President Steve Villano talks with IONS founder Dr. Edgar Mitchell about his amazing life. They look back at the inspiration that led Mitchell to found IONS and discuss some of the history of the organization. They also discuss their goals and vision for IONS in the next 40 years and beyond, and they respond to questions from the listening audience.

    • Teleseminars
    • 2012-10-25
    • 00:56:04
  • "What Are the Noetic Sciences?" with Edgar Mitchell

    The word Noetic refers to "inner understanding," a kind of intuitive consciousness—direct and immediate access to knowledge beyond what's obtainable to our normal senses. Noetic Science refers to research which applies a scientific lens to the study of subjective experience and to ways that consciousness may influence the ...

    • Teleseminars
    • 2010-09-01
    • 00:56:29
  • Stories from the Heart: Edgar Mitchell (sample)

    Edgar Mitchell tells the story of his mother’s unusual healing experience and then recounts the tale of his own miraculous healing.

    • Lectures
    • 2007
    • 00:03:00
  • "A 35th Anniversary Celebration" with Edgar Mitchell (sample)

    Host Belvie Rooks honors IONS Founder and Apollo astronaut Edgar Mitchell's extraordinary experiences and insightful wisdom. Mitchell has devoted his life to serving the evolution of humankind through a marriage of science, spirituality, and sustainability. He speaks about the plight and promise of our planet.

    • Teleseminars
    • 2006-08-23
    • 00:05:46
  • Intention Downloads Interview: Edgar Mitchell

    The founder of IONS has a unique vantage point to view intentionality, having witnessed and helped facilitate many new scientific studies, as well as developing a theory of quantum holography that can help explain “miraculous” results that some healers produce.

    • Interviews
    • 2006-06-01
    • 00:28:14
  • "Possibilities of Quantum Holography" with Edgar Mitchell

    IONS founder Edgar Mitchell outlines his journey toward embracing theories of the non-locality of consciousness and information, and the implications of such theories for science and society.

    • Lectures
    • 2001-09-06
    • 01:18:28


  • Edgar Mitchell Day 2012

    Petaluma, CA

    On Saturday, October 27th, 2012, the Mayor of Petaluma, California honored Edgar Mitchell with the Key to the City. Edgar's moving statements on his life and his desire to help others live peacefully on this magnificent planet brought the audience to their feet.

    • Features
    • 2013
    • 00:11:29
  • Edgar Mitchell | Perspective

    IONS Founder Edgar Mitchell talks about some of his amazing life experiences and important things he has learned.

    • Shorts
    • 2012
    • 00:01:55
  • 3 Minute Message from Edgar Mitchell

    An inspirational excerpt of Dr. Edgar Mitchell's speech on "Edgar Mitchell Day" in Petaluma, CA, October 27, 2012.

    • Shorts
    • 2012
    • 00:03:29
  • Edgar Mitchell

    Interview 2012

    We hope you enjoy this six minute video, taped this year, in which Edgar describes his journey from the moon and reasons he founded the Institute of Noetic Sciences.

    • Interviews
    • 2012
    • 6:02
  • Do Our Thoughts Have the Power to Heal?

    Big Question for August 2010

    Marilyn Schlitz, President of IONS and Edgar Mitchell Astronaut, Scientist and Founder of the Institute of Noetic Sciences are featured in this excerpt from Feature Length Film "The Living Matrix - The New Science of Healing" by emaginate. Marilyn and Edgar explain the science of exploring the emotional and empathetic elements that may effect healing.

    • Features
    • 2010
    • 00:03:20


  • Psychic Exploration

    A Challenge for Science, Understanding the Nature and Power of Consciousness

    by Edgar D. Mitchell, ScD

    Psychic Exploration, A Challenge for Science is a primer on psychic research, life's purpose, and the meaning of the universe. Originally published in 1974, this landmark anthology of nearly thirty chapters on every area of psychic research is finally available again. Edgar D. Mitchell, Apollo 14 astronaut and moonwalker ...

    • Books
    • July 1, 2011
    • 722 pages
  • The Way of the Explorer

    by Edgar D. Mitchell, ScD

    IONS founder and Apollo astronaut, Edgar Mitchell, details his quest to reconcile the seemingly disparate worlds of science and faith, combining elements of history, science, and theology to explain the mysteries of human consciousness, the universal connectedness of life, miracles, and human destiny.

    • Books
    • May 7, 1996
    • 288 pages