For some people, US President John F. Kennedy's move to establish a naval blockade to prevent further missiles from entering Cuba stopped a possible war between US and Russia during their Cold War confrontation in October 1962.
Some credit Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev's liberalising reforms in the late 1980s for preventing a possible clash between the two superpowers.
However, US astronaut Edgar Mitchell of the Apollo 14 moon mission believes that neither US nor Russian officials stopped a potential nuclear war between the two countries. Instead, he thinks peace-loving aliens from another world came to Earth and stopped the then looming nuclear showdown.
Mitchell, the sixth man to walk on the surface of the moon, claimed that US military officials spotted unidentified flying objects during weapons tests in US missile bases and the famous White Sands facility in New Mexico, where the world's first-ever nuclear bomb was detonated during a test some seven decades ago.
"They [The aliens] wanted to know about our military capabilities. My own experience talking to people has made it clear the extra-terrestrials had been attempting to keep us from going to war and help create peace on Earth," Mitchell said.
The veteran astronaut also said he had heard similar stories from individuals who actually manned missile bases when tension was high between the US and Russia during the early 1960s.
"I have spoken to many Air Force officers who worked at these silos during the Cold War. They told me UFOs were frequently seen overhead and often disabled their missiles," Mitchell said.
"Other officers from bases on the Pacific coast told me their [test] missiles were frequently shot down by alien spacecraft. There was a lot of activity in those days," he added.
Mitchell has been one of the most outspoken figures about alien visits on Earth ever since returning from his trip to the moon on Feb. 9, 1971.