McKinnon, who has Asperger’s Syndrome, claimed that he was motivated by curiosity and a desire to expose the truth about UFOs and alien technology.
McKinnon faced the possibility of extradition to the US, where he could have been charged with up to 10 counts of hacking and faced up to 70 years in prison and a $2 million fine.
However, after a long and controversial legal battle, the UK government decided not to extradite him on human rights grounds, citing his mental health and risk of suicide.
Since then, McKinnon has largely avoided the public eye, but he has occasionally spoken about his hacking experience and what he claims to have discovered.
He has said that he found evidence of a secret space program run by the US Navy, involving antigravity propulsion systems and free energy devices.
He has also said that he saw images of UFOs and alien spacecraft on NASA’s servers, as well as a list of “non-terrestrial officers” and “fleet-to-fleet transfers”.
NASA has denied that McKinnon found any evidence of aliens or advanced technology, and has said that he only accessed low-level administrative files and caused minor damage to its systems.
Recently, he has criticized NASA’s claim that it had found no evidence of alien visitors because he believes that he had actually found such evidence himself in the space agency’s systems during the hack.
“As usual, they said nothing, on balance,” he said. “And when pressed they just repeated their non-committal statement.”
“We’ll never get any truth from military institutions, which NASA is, regardless of the fact that it pretends to be a civilian institution.”
McKinnon maintains that he found a photograph of a strange cigar-shaped craft on NASA’s computers, as well as satellite images and lists of ‘non-terrestrial officers’.
“It’s a fact that there are objects we don’t understand flying around in our skies, it’s also a fact that there are scientific, intelligence and military departments that study these objects,” he said at the time.