Sunday, March 29, 2015

Stanton Friedman's Public Statement on the "Roswell Slides"

I could find no convincing information that there is any connection between the slides and Roswell... I don’t want to appear to add legitimacy by my presence in Mexico City in the absence of serious evidence of the slides being what is being claimed they are. 

I keep being asked my views about the so-called “Roswell” Slides. So, let me summarize my position. I have tried to obtain as much information as possible and responded with interest when at the International UFO Congress in Scottsdale, Arizona, in Mid-February, I was interviewed by journalist Jaime Maussan of Mexico City who has arranged for a huge event focused on the slides. I recall the so called Roswell Autopsy which turned out to be a fiasco. I had spoken with Ray Santilli over the phone, checked on a number of his claims which turned out to be false, met with him twice in England and even had some comments distributed at his big press conference.

Jaime invited me to attend the May 5, Mexico City, conference as had Don Schmitt. My expenses would be paid. My first thought was that since I would be asked about my views, as the original civilian investigator of the Roswell crashed saucer event, it would be nice to have first hand information. I read as much as I could, positive and negative. I have not held copies of the slides. I could find no convincing information that there is any connection between the slides and Roswell. How would an outsider gain access to the real bodies? I worked under security for 14 years and have been to classified facilities in New Mexico. The barriers are tough. I have seen no specific data to convince me that these are phony. But that doesn’t establish a connection with Roswell events. Yes, I am still convinced that alien spacecraft with bodies on board crashed near Corona, in the Plains of San Augustin, and near Aztec. But I don’t want to appear to add legitimacy by my presence in Mexico City in the absence of serious evidence of the slides being what is being claimed they are. Absence of evidence is NOT evidence of absence and I have a large “gray” basket.

Stanton Friedman

Note: Originally published at the UFO Chronicles.

The 1977 Tehran UFO Sighting

An article from the front page of the Kingsport Post - News on 19 May, 1977 (Vol. 15, No. 20) in Kingsport, Tennessee, detailing the Tehran UFO sighting of 19 September, 1976, which was featured in my film Best Evidence: Top 10 UFO Sightings.

Paul Kimball

Radio Appearance - 29 March 2015

For those interested in the paranormal, I'll be on radio out of the United Kingdom today discussing ghosts, UFOs, and whatever else pops up... and I may sneak in a revelation or two about the "Roswell slides" if I'm feeling mischievous. If I have my time conversion right, it's at 4:30 Halifax time (after the hosts chat amongst themselves for 1/2 hour).

Paul Kimball

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Stan Friedman says "No" to involvement in Roswell slides May 5th circus

Chris Rutkowski posted in our sub rosa Facebook group looking into the "Roswell slides" that he had heard from the dean of pro-ET Roswell researchers Stan Friedman that Stan had been asked to appear at the May 5th event in Mexico City being staged by the slides promoters, and that Stan had declined. I contacted Stan yesterday and asked him to confirm this, and he did. "I can't find a connection between the slides and aliens at Roswell," he replied.

I followed up with Stan and asked him three specific questions on the record:

1. Who invited him to attend;

2. Was he going to be paid; and

3. Did he see the slides, or were they expecting him to participate without first having seen them.

His reply:
I was interviewed separately by Dew and Maussan at the 24th Annual International UFO Congress in Scottsdale Arizona Feb.18-22.and Maussan who has interviewed me before, broached the possibility of my attending the May 5 event with all expenses paid.No other remuneration was offered. I was on my way to San Diego to give a lecture at the Association of Electronics Industries on Feb. 25. On return here I received an email from Don Schmitt urging me to attend and then a note from Jaime.I saw some poor screen images, but did not handle or examine the slides. Several people I respect strongly urged me not to attend. After I told them (S and M) I had decided not to go, I received a brief note expressing regrets from Tom Carey. My original thinking was that I was certainly going to be asked about the slides afterward so that getting first hand information would allow me tO express an "enlightened" evaluation.
Anyway, good for Stan. He and I may disagree about Roswell in general, but when it comes to the "slides" we are in accord. 

Paul Kimball

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Gray Barker and Me

Standing next to my prized Gray Barker "They Knew Too Much About Flying Saucers" print before heading out for a walk this morning. 

Paul Kimball

Frank Scully and the Aztec UFO Con in the (Old) News

Here is a photo of the Hollywood gossip columnist and author Frank Scully, of Aztec UFO hoax fame (or infamy, depending upon your point of view), from the 25 September, 1950 edition of the Toledo Blade. You can find the full article here, fellow saucerians!

Meanwhile, here is some sensible commentary about Aztec and Scully (and other related things) from the St. Petersburg Times on 4 February, 1951.

Hoaxes / cons are powerful things. So long as there are credulous people whose will to believe overrides their common sense, there will always be the Aztecs of the world... including, as it turns out, the Aztec hoax, which still lives on today for a few die-hard proponents.

Paul Kimball 

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Rating my UFO Documentaries

All of my UFO-related documentaries are now freely available on-line through various distributors (or you can pay to download them or buy DVDs if you want). An old friend and I were having a beer the other night and asked me how I would rate my own films. I thought about it, and originally posted at my Facebook page my ratings for all of my old docs, but I've winnowed them down to just the UFO ones here (as with's record ratings, out of 5 stars).

I still consider the Friedman film to be the best documentary I ever made on any subject, and I think Fields of Fear isn't bad, either (although it suffered from having a smaller budget and therefore less production value). Others may rate them higher, or they may rate them lower, but I've tried to be as objective as I can be, and this is where they fall for me.

Paul Kimball

Galt, Ontario UFO sighting - 1957

A lesser-known UFO case from Canada in 1957, as reported in a local paper in Alberta (although the sighting occurred in Ontario).

Paul Kimball

Roswell in Context

One of the most oft-repeated claims of the proponents of the Roswell Incident as a crash of an alien spacecraft is that highly trained personnel at the 509th Bombardment Group stationed in Roswell, such as Jesse Marcel, could not have possibly mistaken a balloon, even if it was part of a top secret project like Mogul, for a "flying saucer," by which the Roswell proponents mean "alien spacecraft." In doing so, the Roswell proponents have committed two of the most grievous mistakes that anyone can make when conducting historical research - they have projected their own interpretation on to events, and they have ignored the context surrounding those events.

I have written about that context before, as have others. The Kenneth Arnold sighting, which received major media coverage, was still fresh in everyone's minds. While memes did not spread quite as quickly in the late 1940s through old school media as they do today in the Internet age, they could still move pretty fast, and they could sweep up a populace in hysteria (and other emotional responses), responses which could quickly take root. Flying Saucers were everywhere in the media in late June and early July 1947, to the point that we should not be surprised if someone - even an intelligence officer like Jesse Marcel, or an information officer like Walter Haut, both of whom would have been inundated with the same media sensation reports as everyone else - made a mistake in the heat of the moment when confronted with something that was a bit anomalous to them, and identified it as one of the "flying discs / saucers" that they had been hearing so much about.

It wasn't just the United States, either. Here is a front-page piece from the Sydney Morning Herald in Australia from 8 July, 1947, talking about flying saucers, both in Australia and also Canada.

Jesse Marcel and Walter Haut were not superhuman beings with perfect powers of observation, and an immunity to the broader social dialogue that was taking place at the time. Neither was anyone else stationed at Roswell. Any reasonable person can see this - certainly any historian of repute can recognize what was at work, not just in Roswell but world-wide. Sightings begat reports which begat other sightings which begat more reports which... well, you get how it works. This isn't to say that some of the sightings may not have been real; but the vast majority, and perhaps even all of them, were the result of a frenzy of interest whipped up during that time period by media reports. As it turns out, people who knew what they were talking about at the time recognized what was going on, as can be seen from the following article in The Daily Illini in Illinois a few days after the Roswell incident was reported.

The Roswell incident fits that pattern to a "t", which is why it was so quickly forgotten. It was only decades later, when memories had gotten shorter and the tales had gotten taller, that the story resurfaced and was mythologized by a group of UFO proponents who ignored the context of the original story, and who placed an interpretation on events coloured by their own belief systems.

Paul Kimball

Synchronicity with Silas Newton

From the Pittsburgh Press, 1 August 1930... synchronistic proof that I was fated to make a documentary about Newton's Aztec hoax, two decades before he perpetrated it and almost four decades before I was born!

Paul Kimball

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Stanton Friedman on the Condon Committee

Meanwhile, because there is more to life, and even UFOs and ufology, than the Roswell slides, here is a fun blast from the past - an article from the January 30, 1969 edition of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette featuring the one and only flying saucer physicist, Stan Friedman,  taking shots at the Condon Committee report on UFOs.

Paul Kimball

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Stan Friedman - Space Aliens and the Bible

Stan Friedman talks to Rev. Barry Downing about why space aliens might be here, and how the Bible might factor into it, in this short excerpt from footage shot in 2001 in Irvine, California for my documentary Stanton T. Friedman is Real. This is raw "fly on the wall" footage so at one point you can actually hear my director of photography Findlay Muir talking to the sound guy John Rosborough about a camera move.

Paul Kimball

Kevin Randle - Good UFO Cases Not Named "Roswell"

Kevin Randle answers the question of whether he thinks that there are any other good UFO cases besides Roswell in this excerpt from an interview I conducted with him in September, 2001. His ultimate conclusion might surprise some people - that the space aliens were here but seem to have left, a position that was also held by the late Karl Pflock.

Paul Kimball

Paranormal Weather

Apropos of nothing, really, but yet another snowstorm has slammed into Halifax.

Of course, not everyone in my house hates the snow. My teddy polar bear Henry gets wistful when it snows - he says it reminds him of his home in the arctic, before he headed south in search of fame and fortune.

Zorgrot, on the other hand, is thoroughly fed up. He's watching tropical islands on the scenery channel right now.

Meanwhile, being snowed in gives me time to go through more old interview footage. Expect some more clips today... assuming the power doesn't give out.

Paul Kimball

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Kevin Randle

Kevin Randle and I have been sniping at each other since we fell out in the fall of 2013. I do it directly, and he tends to do it by allowing people like Anthony Bragalia to publish columns at Randle's blog bashing me. Two sides of the same coin.

Well, it ends here, at least for my part. I did what I did, and I said what I said. Would I change it now if I could? Probably, but only because none of this paranormal stuff is really important to me to the point where I want to get enmeshed in feuds. I have a happy life that has nothing to do with all of these interpersonal squabbles about and within a subject that only the tiniest fraction of the population care about.

Besides, my original criticism of Randle was for mistakes he was making and half-truths that he was telling. I believe I was right, and Randle disputes that... but here's the thing - I've done the exact same things. I've made plenty of mistakes (including an entire feature film that was an unmitigated disaster), and I've also been less than completely honest at times. Who hasn't? So time to bury the hatchet, at least from my end, in my own way - I'll give Kevin the last word, traveling back in time to an interview I did with him in 2005 wherein I asked him about the media, which is at least in part what I do for a living. Here is his answer.

Randle isn't the anti-Christ, and neither am I. We're no more or less than two flawed human beings, making our way through this life as best we can... just like everyone else.

Paul Kimball

Nick Redfern - Pigeon Man!

For those who think that paranormal research is earth-shattering and paradigm altering stuff that requires everyone to be deadly serious all the time, here's a reminder that some of us, aka members of the infamous Cabal, know how to have a laugh, including at our own expense. We understand that having fun and a good time is what life is really all about.

Maybe one of these days I'll get around to posting photos of Nick in his actual Pigeon Man costume, as he fights his arch-foe, Montezuma Hall!

Paul Kimball

Nick Redfern and Orlando Pla - Puerto Rico chupacabra case, 2005

Researchers Nick Redfern and Orlando Pla travel deep into rural Puerto Rico to interview "Henry," a pig farmer who claims his animals were attacked by the legendary chupacabra. This is a clip from footage shot in 2005 for my documentary Fields of Fear that didn't make the final film.

Paul Kimball

Greg Bishop - Evidence for Human Involvement in Cattle Mutilations

My good friend Greg Bishop offers some thoughts on evidence for the cattle mutilation phenomenon and what it might mean in this clip from an interview I conducted with him in 2005.

Paul Kimball

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Nick Redfern - The UK and UFOs

Nick Redfern discusses British government interest in the UFO phenomenon in this excerpt from an interview I conducted with him in Aztec, New Mexico, in March 2003.

Paul Kimball

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Karl Pflock - Debunking the Roswell Myth

The late Karl Pflock, author of the book Roswell: Inconvenient Facts and the Will to Believe, deconstructs the Roswell case in this interview I conducted with him in September, 2001, and explains how and why the crash of a relatively simple (albeit top secret) military project in 1947 got turned into one of the great myths of the 20th century.

Karl did more legitimate and useful research into Roswell than any other Roswell researcher. Despite being a proponent for the extraterrestrial hypothesis (he thought the Hill case was a real abduction, for example), he tackled Roswell with rigorous objectivity. For any fair-minded person, his book stands as the sine qua non of the Roswell case. 

Paul Kimball

Monday, March 09, 2015

Karl Pflock sums up modern Ufology

My good friend the late Karl Pflock sums up what really drives modern conspiracy-oriented ufology, particularly Roswell researchers, in this clip from an interview I conducted with him on 9 September, 2001. 

Paul Kimball

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Benson Saler - Evidence and The Roswell UFO Case

In this clip from an interview I conducted with him in 2001, anthropologist Dr. Benson Saler discusses the concept of evidence and how it has been applied to the Roswell UFO case by both believers and skeptics. With all the bluster from the "Dream Team" about the "Roswell slides," it's always nice to remind oneself of how a proper academic approaches the subject. 

 Paul Kimball

Saturday, February 28, 2015

East Coast Paracon 2015

Just an FYI that I'll be speaking at the 2015 East Coast Paracon here in Nova Scotia this coming August. You can get the lowdown at their website. Whilst I was sorely tempted to talk about the Roswell slides, my actual presentation will be about my ghost investigating exploits from my 2009 TV series Ghost Cases, as recounted in my book The Other Side of Truth: The Paranormal, The Art of the Imagination, and The Human Condition.

Hope to see you there!

Paul Kimball

Friday, February 20, 2015

Walter Haut & Glenn Dennis - The Roswell UFO Museum and Stan Friedman

Stepping away from the "slides" imbroglio for a bit, but remaining with Roswell, here is a clip from an interview I conducted with Glenn Dennis and Walter Haut in 2001 wherein they discuss the Roswell UFO museum and their relationship with Stan Friedman.

Paul Kimball

Saturday, February 07, 2015

2014 Zorgy Awards

After a few years the Zorgy Awards have returned, as Aaron Gulyas joined me and Greg Bishop on Radio Misterioso to discuss the best (mostly) of the paranormal subculture in 2014, and what might be in store for the year to come. You can tune in to the podcast here.

Paul Kimball

Thursday, February 05, 2015

Ghost Cases on Amazon Prime

My Ghost Cases co-host Holly Stevens and yours truly at the 2009 Atlantic Film Festival.

And now, a bit of shameless self-promotion. Looks like my old series Ghost Cases is finally available in the United States. It's not the greatest show ever made, but my co-host Holly Stevens and I approached our task with diligence and honest skepticism, and I'm proud of that. Plus, we had a rollicking good time and got paid for it. I call that a "win"!

You can find it here.

Paul Kimball

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Ufology Unplugged - Rev. Barry Downing: The Bible and Flying Saucers

The third episode of Ufology Unplugged features an interview I conducted with Rev. Barry Downing in 2001. Downing is best known as the author of The Bible and Flying Saucers, one of the earliest and most influential works in the "ancient aliens" ouevre. In this interview he discusses his work and his theories, particularly the idea that the stories of the Bible may not be supernatural in nature but rather may represent tales of human contact with advanced extraterrestrial civilizations.

Paul Kimball

Friday, November 07, 2014

The Shag Harbour UFO case - What the people involved thought it was

Most people within ufology have seen the headline in the Halifax Chronicle Herald from Saturday, 7 October 1967, which read: "Could Be Something Concrete in Shag Harbour UFO - RCAF," largely because it is the more sensational one. But here is the follow-up reportage a few days later - still rife with speculation and uncertainty (understandable all things considered), but also showing that an ET spacecraft was the furthest thing from anyone's mind. The explanation that most people credited was a secret American craft of some sort... which is what Laurie Wickens, the first person to see the UFO and report it, still thinks it was, all these years later - and I agree.

Paul Kimball

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

The New York Times' Roswell coverage in 1947

I was doing some archival research today on non-UFO related history at Acadia University, and I took the opportunity to check the New York Times on microfilm for their version of the Roswell "crash"... and here it is. What I found particularly interesting was the coverage the "flying disc" phenomenon was getting in the week before the Roswell incident, stemming from the Kenneth Arnold sighting in June, 1947. Flying saucers were certainly in the news, and imaginations were working overtime, which is probably the biggest reason why the people who jumped the gun and released the press release about the "Roswell crash" got it wrong... and then had to retract their error shortly thereafter and use the weather balloon cover story for what they had really found - the top secret Project Mogul. Anyone who thinks those kinds of things can't happen to even the best of us just doesn't understand human nature.

Paul Kimball

Sunday, November 02, 2014

Ufology Unplugged - Steven Greer: Disclosure

The second episode of "Ufology Unplugged" consists of a 2001 interview I conducted with Steven Greer, the controversial founder of the Disclosure Project, intermixed with a clip of Greer speaking at the 2001 MUFON Symposium press conference. Greer talks about the disclosure of what he claims is the cover-up of the reality of ET visiting Earth and reverse-engineered free energy that is being withheld from the human race by a secret cabal of government and corporate insiders. 

Paul Kimball

The Bookshelf

Most of my "weird" books are in boxes in a storage locker (at over 150 paranormal-related ones, it's just too much for my apartment) - these are some of the ones I have on hand. It's an eclectic bunch, that's for sure.

Paul Kimball

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Ufology Unplugged - Randy Barnes: Contact Experiences

In this episode of "Ufology Unplugged" I present a 2003 interview I conducted with American contactee Randy Barnes in Aztec, New Mexico. Barnes describes his long history of what he claims are "contact" experiences with extraterrestrials, and offers some thoughts on what it might all mean. Besides his "contact" experiences, Barnes was one of the key research partners of Scott Ramsey in his re-investigation of the 1948 Aztec UFO hoax.

Paul Kimball

Monday, October 20, 2014

Rob Swiatek - FUFOR and "Final Report on Operation Majestic 12"

Rob Swiatek of the Fund for UFO Research talks about the early days of MJ-12 research and how FUFOR came to fund Stan Friedman's "Final Report on Operation Majestic 12" in the late 1980s. An excerpt from an interview I conducted with Rob in Aztec, New Mexico, in 2003. 

Paul Kimball

Dr. John Mack - Alien Reality and Humanity

From my video vault - John Mack speaking at the 2001 MUFON Symposium press conference about the media and UFOs, and anthropocentric humanism and how an alien reality would change the way we view ourselves, and the society that we have created. Stan Friedman makes a cameo appearance at the end. 

 Paul Kimball

Friday, October 17, 2014

Ufology Unplugged - Episode 1.2: Kevin Randle - Cattle Mutilations

UFO researcher / author Kevin Randle (The Abduction Enigma, The Government UFO Files, Case MJ-12, The Truth About the UFO Crash at Roswell) discusses the cattle mutilation phenomenon, which he investigated in the 1970s for APRO.

Having looked into the cattle mutilation stories myself several years ago, I agree with pretty much everything Randle says here. The more interesting take-away for me from all of this is that most of what Randle says about cattle mutilation investigations, and investigators, is equally applicable to every other type of ufological investigation, whether it be "alien abductions" or crop circles... or Randle's own bread and butter, crashed flying saucers. His great failing is the blind spot that he has always had when it comes to that latter subject.

But as Karl Pflock always said, and it is a sentiment that Randle ironically echoes in this episode - belief can be a powerful thing.

Paul Kimball

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Ufology... Unplugged - Pilot Episode

Feature films are my thing now, and I really enjoy it (my two latest films just screened at the Atlantic Film Festival last month to a great reaction and after a couple minor tweaks we'll have done by early November they'll be headed out to the broader festival circuit), but a small part of me remains fascinated by the subculture of Ufology. Fortunately, I've got hundreds of hours of interview footage that I accumulated over my years making documentaries, and I have some free time, so... behold - Ufology... Unplugged! A project I've been meaning to get to for some time. 

In the pilot episode I pull excerpts from two separate interviews with Stan Friedman. The first was in September, 2001 - Stan discusses his thoughts on Steven Greer and the Disclosure Project, which was the "big thing" in ufology at the time (and one could argue that it still is). In the second, which was conducted in 2003, Stan talks about his relationship with his former research partner William Moore.

Lots of interesting nuggets in here, but there are three that stand out for me. The first is Stan's line in the Greer interview that "I think that there should be plenty of secrets in the world," which might come as a surprise to some (particularly the forcefulness with which he delivers it here),. Second are his remarks about his disagreements with Moore about UFO Cover-Up Live and the failure of Moore to honour his commitments to people who ordered things from him via mail. Both point to Moore's intrinsic dishonesty (as does Stan's admission that Moore could be "tricky"), and yet he continues to maintain, in the face of everything we know about Moore and Doty, that the MJ-12 documents are bona fide because Moore could not have faked them. Finally, Stan offers a firm denial of the charge leveled against him over the years by Karl Pflock, Kevin Randle, and Brad Sparks, that Stan had discussed the prospect of faking documents with Moore and Shandera.

Paul Kimball

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Stanton Friedman - William Moore and MJ-12

In this excerpt from an interview I conducted with him in 2003, Stanton Friedman talks about his relationship with fellow ufologist William Moore, who was his research partner on Roswell and MJ-12 for a decade from the late 1970s through the 1980s.

Much grist for the mill here, most of it centering on the cognitive dissonance of what Stan says about Moore's honesty - "Bill was a tricky guy," "He liked to float proposals, run them up the flag pole and see how people would react," he was committing mail fraud - and his blithe brushing off of the prospect that Moore created the MJ-12 documents by saying that Bill couldn't have know certain details so he couldn't have created the documents. What Stan ignores is the probability that Moore was working with someone else (or a small group of people) who could have found all the needed information, namely Moore's other "partner" in the 1980s - Rick Doty.

As for a motive, Stan details that as well, even as he ignores its implications - Moore's financial problems in the 1980s. Nothing like some fake documents to gin up interest in his cash-cow story (Roswell) which was starting to grow cold.

The MJ-12 story really is that simple. Stan has all the facts at his command, but he just can't see the forest for the trees - a triumph of belief over reason and common sense.

Paul Kimball

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Kevin Randle - Alien Abductions

Kevin Randle (co-author of The Abduction Enigma) outlines his views on the "alien abduction" phenomenon in this short clip from an interview I conducted with him in 2001.

Paul Kimball

Friday, October 10, 2014

Kevin Randle - Ufologists as part of the Roswell story

In this excerpt from an interview I conducted with him in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, in September 2001, UFO researcher Kevin Randle responds to the assertion by anthropologist Dr. Benson Saler that ufologists have inserted themselves into the Roswell story and therefore become as much a part of the story as the witnesses themselves.

Paul Kimball

Nick Redfern - MJ-12 and the FBI

In this excerpt from an interview I conducted in 2003 with my good friend, author Nick Redfern, he talks about the interest that the FBI had in the MJ-12 documents, and the possible reasons for it.

Paul Kimball

Thursday, October 09, 2014

Stanton Friedman - UFO frauds: Bob Lazar and Philip J. Corso

In this excerpt from an interview I conducted with Stan Friedman in 2001, he discusses frauds in UFO research, and focuses on two of the most egregious examples in the past thirty years - Robert Lazar, and Philip J. Corso.

Paul Kimball

Karl Pflock - The creation of the MJ-12 documents

In this excerpt from an interview I conducted with him in 2003, my friend the late Karl Plock (author of Roswell: Inconvenient Facts and the Will to Believe) discusses the MJ-12 documents, and who he is convinced was responsible for faking them.

Paul Kimball

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

New Billy Meier "beamship" photo!!

This just in - a new "beamship" photo from Billy Meier!

Clearly this is further indisputable (and tasty) evidence of the Plejaren reality!

Paul Kimball

Bruce Maccabee - The UFO Cover-up

In this excerpt from an interview I conducted in 2003 with Dr. Bruce Maccabee, author of The UFO - FBI Connection, he talks about why he is convinced that the government knows more about the UFO phenomenon than it has told the public.

Paul Kimball

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Karl Pflock - UFO photos and government interest

My good friend, the late Karl Pflock, who served in a variety of posts in the US government before he entered the private sector (including the CIA and the Department of Defence), is seen here talking about some of the conversations he had with people during his time in government about the UFO phenomenon. This footage was shot at the Meet & Greet session at the 2003 Aztec UFO Conference in Aztec, New Mexico, where I was filming a documentary.

Paul Kimball

Rev. Barry Downing - The Religious Implications of the UFO Phenomenon

In this excerpt from an interview I conducted with him in 2001 in Irvine, California, Rev. Barry Downing (the author of The Bible and Flying Saucers) talks about how various Christian religious traditions view the UFO phenomenon, and how they might react if UFOs were proven to be extraterrestrial.

Paul Kimball

Saturday, August 30, 2014

2001 - Breaking Ufology

The 2001 MUFON Symposium press conference was one of the most surreal things I've seen in the 15 years I've been studying the subculture of ufology. Coming just two months after the Disclosure press conference in Washington of Steven Greer, the press conference at the MUFON Symposium (indeed, the entire symposium), revealed the growing fracture within ufology.

On one side, you had the "old guard" - people like Stanton Friedman, Robert Wood, Barry Downing, Ann Druffel, and Budd Hopkins - who had been researching and talking about UFOs for decades. 

On the other side you had the brash new "revolutionaries," epitomized here by Greer and his cohort Daniel Sheehan. Overtly political, they were willing to go far beyond the simple old flying saucer gospel of the Old Guard by tying the belief that the UFO phenomenon represented extraterrestrial visitation (which is what the Old Guard had been pushing for years) to a determined activist agenda that dealt with a wide range of topics that they saw as related to ET visitation. 

Towards the end of the 2001 MUFON press conference, those tensions / fault lines boiled over, as can be seen in this exchange about the Strategic Defence Initiative between Greer and Sheehan on one side, and an ineffective Druffel on the other. At the end, Hopkins stands up and takes a clear shot at Greer and Sheehan and others like them, to the approval at the end of Friedman (whose body language throughout tells you what he was really thinking about Greer and Sheehan). 

What the Old Guard failed to understand, however, was that the political activism and rampant conspiracism that was being put forward by Greer et al was a natural extension of the things the Old Guard had been talking about for years. In that sense, Greer et al were not a radical departure from traditional ufology, as Hopkins implies - rather, they were the logical result of a world-view that believed (a) aliens were visiting Earth and abducting humans, and (b) that the government was covering it all up. It is why I have called Friedman the Godfather of Exopolitics when I wrote:
Friedman is the de facto Godfather of Exopolitics - in large part, he created the "family" that is modern pro-ET, "Cosmic Watergate" ufology, but like Vito Corleone, he is incapable of taking what he has created and moving it into its next logical phase. Indeed, like the Don, it is a phase that he wants nothing to do with, even as others around him, who have been inspired by him, recognize the logical and inevitable implications of what Friedman has been saying all of these years, and are prepared to act on it, no matter how much he protests.
But while I singled out Stan, it implies to the others as well - Hopkins with his abductions, Wood with his MJ-12 documents, and so forth. If Stan was the Godfather, these other figures were his capos.

For anyone interested in the history of Ufology as a social movement of American society, the 20 minutes in this video are a fascinating look at the year where everything really changed (the 9/11 attacks accelerated the move two months later by fostering even more paranoia and conspiracism), and Disclosure and Exopolitics began their move to become the dominant theme within the subculture.

Paul Kimball

Richard Dolan - The Early History of the UFO Phenomenon and the Government Cover-up

UFO researcher Richard Dolan talks about his research into the early years of the UFO phenomenon, from the Second World War until the end of the Truman administration, in this interview I conducted with him in Aztec, New Mexico, in 2003.

Paul Kimball