"I've had explicit confirmation that the UFO phenomenon is in fact occurring," said Mr Firmage, now 28. "I'd like to be a part of this fundamental revolution in our society."
Mr Firmage, who made millions from his company when it was bought by the software giant Novell, says his life was changed by an encounter at his home in California. He saw a "remarkable being, clothed in brilliant white light", he said. He has already spent more than $3m in his search.
"There is truth to the UFO phenomenon, that is undeniable. The evidence is overwhelming from around the globe," he said.