UFO researcher sees evidence of telepathy in the accounts of UFO witnesses.
Join Skeptiko host Alex Tsakiris for an interview with Stanton Friedman, author of Science Was Wrong. During the interview Friedman discusses the implications of his research for human consciousness:
Alex Tsakiris: I want to talk about extended consciousness in terms of the research you’ve done because there’s this whole controversy within the field that wants to push everything into the psycho-social explanation. But at the same time we do have to acknowledge, as you did in your work with the famous abduction case of Betty and Barney Hill that we do have reports of telepathy, mind control, psychokinesis, and all the rest. I’m wondering what that evidence tells us about ourselves and our human capabilities that extend beyond what we normally think of as our conscious experience.
Stanton Friedman: Well, it’s a very important point because I’m convinced that any advanced civilization will know about telepathy and mind control and communication at a distance. It really came home to me when I was standing at the exact location where Barney Hill was standing when the saucer was over their car and he’s looking through binoculars at the crew on board.
For no good reason, they jumped back in the car, very frightened, and they get off the main road, Route 3, and they go onto a secondary road. Then they go onto a dirt road –which Barney would never have done. And he winds up alongside the only place in the area where you could land a, let’s say 80-foot in diameter, flying saucer. It was a sandy area, there were trees all over the place, but this area was big enough to get a saucer like the one they described down. It was clear proof to me that these guys were directing his actions.
It seems to me eminently clear that these guys have capabilities—as the only simple term I know—to do things that we don’t look upon as being respectable. Such as mind-reading, mind control, and getting people to forget.
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Alex Tsakiris: Today’s guest was a nuclear physicist before becoming one of the best known and most well informed UFO researchers. I’m talking about Stanton Friedman and Stan, it’s a great pleasure and an honor to welcome you here today on Skeptiko.
Stanton Friedman: I appreciate that. I always like doing it. I grew up with radio. I’m one of the old guys, you know. Put the pictures in my head instead of on a tube.
Alex Tsakiris: So Stan, you’re recognized as one of the world’s leading authorities on UFOs. You’ve written numerous books, countless articles. You’ve lectured all over the world, including a very high-faluting Riyadh shindig that you did last year that maybe we’ll have a chance to talk about. So there are really just an unlimited number of UFO topics that we could talk about.
But what I really want to do is take you in a slightly different direction, if you will, because what we talk about most on this show is science research, particularly as it pertains to consciousness research. I think there’s a lot of interesting parallels between your extensive work in UFOs and some of the things that are going on in consciousness research. That’s what I was hoping we could dive into.
Stanton Friedman: Well, I won’t pretend to be an expert on that. I will pretend to be an expert on flying saucers. You know, all fields of science I think have certain things in common. One of them is that there’s a resistance by people who don’t know much about that field by people who are smart in other areas but who presume if there was anything to this field they would already know about it. So they figure there must not be and it must be baloney.
I’ve often pointed out that the four basic rules for debunkers, no matter what the subject, are the same. That is, 1) Don’t bother me with the facts. My mind’s made up. 2) What the public doesn’t know I’m not going to tell them. 3) If you can’t attack the data, attack the people. And 4) Do your research by proclamation. Investigation is too much trouble.
So whether you’re talking about consciousness research, the role of the mind if you will, and the world of the flying saucer, you run into the same problems with smart people saying stupid things. I’ve got a book out with Kathleen Marden called Science was Wrong and only a couple of chapters deal with flying saucers. There are 14 chapters. Kathleen did a fine on the world of the mind. Paranormal if you want to call it that, psychic phenomena, and the fact that if you look hard enough there are a lot of darned good scientific articles.
But as you might expect, the debunkers don’t refer to them. It’s as if they didn’t exist. It’s the same as with flying saucers. I have a particular feeling toward the SETI people—I call them cultists. You know SETI, Silly Effort To Investigate. They absolutely refuse to look at the UFO evidence even though they claim they’re looking for extraterrestrial intelligence. They’re not; they’re looking for a limited category of radio signals.
They’ll say there’s no data to support notions about UFOs when they’ve never referenced the large-scale scientific studies. They’re in a vacuum. And I’m sure you run into that with regard to consciousness research. Everybody knows that baloney, is kind of the attitude with some of the debunkers.
Alex Tsakiris: Well, I think the outline that you did of the four common factors in debunking, if you will, that you listed is excellent and I think we could spend a show going over those and talking about how they apply in different areas. Let me back up for a minute and do a couple of very high level true/false questions just to let people know exactly where you stand because there’s a lot of subtleties when we start talking about UFOs.
Question #1, True or False: There’s overwhelming evidence that we have been visited by intelligently-controlled extraterrestrial spacecraft.
Stanton Friedman: True. Yes.
Alex Tsakiris: True or False: Some top government officials have known about this for at least 60 years.
Stanton Friedman: Yes, I suppose the early guys are mostly dead but some people in government, some important people have been knowledgeable for at least that long—actually longer. Roswell was ’47 so 65 years now. I assume 65 years. So yes, definitely yes. The Cosmic Watergate is real.
Alex Tsakiris: The Cosmic Watergate, which is the term that you coined. That’s the first area that I really wanted to focus on because one of the most troubling down-to-earth, I guess, implications of the UFO phenomena to me is what it reveals about what our government really thinks about us. About their total disregard for our ability to find this stuff out. For our smarts, but also a disregard for fairness, truth, democracy, all that stuff. I think that sometimes gets lost in this discussion because we just go ahead and assume that of course they’re going to deceive us about this stuff.
Can you speak to that a little bit? About what that really means?
Stanton Friedman: Yeah. And remember, my background is I’ve spent 14 years in the industry working on classified advanced nuclear and space systems programs. I’ve been to 20 archives. I’ve written classified reports. I have a pretty good understanding of how national security stuff works.
I hear a lot of baloney about that too, from people who think, “Oh well, Dr. Tyson, head of the Hayden Planetarium, said governments can’t keep secrets. The proof of that is look how much we know about President Clinton’s genitalia,” as if that was relevant somehow. And Seth Shostak said, “Governments can’t keep secrets. Look, it’s the same government that FEMA and Katrina got fouled up. They run the post office.” I didn’t hear NSA, OSI, NRO, any of those alphabet soup agencies in there. So I am absolutely certain governments can keep secrets.
And one of the strangest secrets seems to be that the academic guys seem not to understand that there’s a bigger world of research and development outside of academia than inside. The three nuclear weapons labs alone—I checked this several years ago—that’s Livermore and Los Alamos and Sandia Corporation, their total budget that year was more than $3 billion and was more than the total budget of the National Science Foundation.
Alex Tsakiris: Here’s the thing. There seems to be a certain numbness that we all have when we encounter this stuff. So you can reveal these facts like you just did, which are very out there in the open and people can go research them.
But then we can jump over and look at the deception, the denial, and the misinformation that goes on with UFOs. I think it kind of lessens the impact of it and I wonder, maybe because I’m more-or-less coming into the UFO field without the depth that you do, I just step back and go, “Wow. Everything that I thought I knew about my government, about my country, about their desire to serve my best interests I have to deeply re-examine.”
I wonder if we get away from that a little bit. I mean, I guess you can only stand up on the rooftop or like the old Network movie, stick your head out the window and say, “I’m mad as hell, I’m not going to take that anymore.!”
I mean, that only lasts for so long and then you just kind of pick yourself up and have to move on. But what about the outrage that this could even happen?
Stanton Friedman: Well, part of the problem is the result of the inactivity of two major groups in our society, the scientific community and the journalistic one. There’s an arrogance that says—David Susskind told me he reads the New York Times. He didn’t see anything in there that says flying saucers are real. So I’ve dubbed it the “Susskind Syndrome.”
I’m a man who takes great pride in knowing about what’s important in the world and if aliens were visiting and the government was covering up, that would be important. But if it were true, I would know about it and I don’t so it must not be true. And I’m not going to waste any time finding out anything about this obviously impossible area.
And this applies to a whole bunch of things, not just flying saucers, obviously. I should throw a caveat in here. I am not opposed to the notion of national security. I’ve shocked some people by saying I don’t want everything out on the table if there are some military systems applications here or implications. I don’t see why we should share data if the Russians and Chinese aren’t sharing their data.
That’s different from saying I think they should not tell us that the planet is being visited. That I think they should tell us, but simultaneously on a world-wide basis. These are the conferences that are being planned to deal with the psychological, religious, economic aspects of the fact that we’re being visited. And the time is getting ripe for that.
Do you realize that in the last year or so we’ve jumped from Frank Drake saying there might as many as 8,000 planets in the galaxy that have civilizations that could send out radio signals that we could pick up with our primitive technology. He didn’t add that last part. Now after Kepler and the back-up data by other space telescopes we are now saying not 9,000, not 8 million, but 100 billion planets in the galaxy.
And suddenly that takes us out of the center of things, off the top of the peak. It changes everything and one of the major arguments they make today is we can’t possibly be the only life out there. It’s a big place and who would waste so much when we know there are so many places where there could be life? And so I think the time is right. The younger generation, in other words, is not growing up with the notion, “Gee, we’re it.” The Copernican view is gone that the sun is the center of the universe. Now we know it isn’t. It’s not the center of the galaxy, either. It’s the center of our solar system, one of a hundred billion or so in the galaxy. So the times are changing.
But what I’m saying is that see, I remember WWII. “Loose lips sink ships.” All that sort of stuff. And I am convinced that loose lips do sink ships and we should be careful but I don’t think the government has a right to withhold such important information as the simple fact that the planet’s being visited. Now admittedly, one of the reasons for the cover-up, I believe, is people in power don’t want to give up power.
If somebody talked about alien visitations and you get these silly questions about when would they land on the White House lawn. “It’s a no-fly zone and the President of the United States doesn’t speak for 7 billion Earthlings, folks. He has trouble speaking for 310 million Americans.” It’s a dumb question. But the kicker is, who does speak for Planet Earth? And I’ve had people say, “Well, hold an election, Stan.” Oh sure, India’s got a billion people, China’s got 1.3 billion, the United States has 310 million, they’re not going to hold an election.
So the basic point here, people in power—and knowledge is power—don’t like to give up any power. And we’ve allowed our representatives to avoid dealing with the issue. That’s the terrible part.
Alex Tsakiris: As you’re alluding to, the information embargo isn’t democratic either, right? So not every government, not every world leader is sharing the same amount of information.
Stanton Friedman: Oh no. You’re right.
Alex Tsakiris: When we step back though, does this system that we’re a part of—I love the way you have this moderate view that incorporates in your work with the defense industry and your work in science in general, and just kind of take a reasoned approach. But the more radical approach says, “Hey, this system of deception that we have, at some point, reaches a level that we can’t undo it.”
So have we reached that level of secrecy, of a culture of deception, that we can’t right the ship? We can’t get everyone onboard. How could there possibly be disclosure? Or a bigger question is how would we ever know if the disclosure was true given that the deception machine is so complete at this point?
Stanton Friedman: Well, that’s where the scientific and especially the journalistic communities come into play. We had Woodward and Bernstein dealing with the political Watergate and it took a lot of money and a lot of time and some secrecy. It was many years later that we found out who Deep Throat was. But somebody at the Washington Post was willing to put some effort into digging out the truth about something important to the public, and a President had to resign because of that.
I think we have a Cosmic Watergate and if we could get a younger generation Woodward and Bernstein going here, they could do it in six months. The kicker here is that many people think that, “There isn’t any data, Stan, you’re just saying all that stuff.” I get a great reaction when I show blacked-out CIA UFO documents where you can read eight words. I get a good reaction when I show the National Security Agency UFO documents. There are 156 of them that we have where you can read one sentence per page and everything else is whited out. So it’s easy to establish. The evidence is there in front of your face.
But then we could also go a little more historically and one of my favorite characters is General Carl Bolander who was an Air Force General who was asked in 1969 after we landed on the moon, he was an engineer in charge of the lunar excursion module. He was asked to see what the Air Force should do about Project Blue Book because the University of Colorado study earlier that year had concluded it should be canceled.
It wasn’t contributing anything to national security or new technology. I tend to agree with that. Blue Book wasn’t contributing much to anything.
Anyway, General Bolander came at this from a completely independent viewpoint. He wrote a memo that we didn’t see for more than ten years. In this memo in October of 1969, and as a result of this memo, Blue Book was closed. He said, “Reports of UFOs which could affect national security are made in accordance with JANAP (Joint Army, Navy, Air Force Publication) #146 or Air Force Manual 55-11 and are not part of the Blue Book system.” This was a shocking statement.
Furthermore, two paragraphs later he says, “If we close Project Blue Book the public won’t have a place to report UFO sightings. However, as previously noted, reports of UFOs which could affect national security will continue to be investigated using the procedures established for that purpose.”
Now this is important for a couple of reasons. Since that memo went into effect in 1969, the Air Force says, “We’re not doing anything about UFOs. We canceled the project. No UFO report evaluated, collected, categorized by the United States Air Force gives any evidence of being a threat to the security of the United States.” That’s total baloney because obviously somebody else was deciding that some of them were a threat to the security of the United States because as General Bolinger said, reports which could affect national security are not part of the Blue Book system and will continue to be investigated.
Funny story. Within the past five months, Lee Speigel, who writes for Huffington Post, a good man. He’s the one who helped set up the United Nations hearings on UFOs way back in the ‘70s. I was part of that. He went after some documents which were on the Black Vault, which is a great source of government information about UFOs—or disinformation, however you want to put it. Anyway, he found a document which instructs our pilots of our latest aircraft to report observations of unidentified surface ships, unidentified submarines, unidentified aircraft, or unidentified flying objects.
So he wrote the government people and said, “How come you’re saying you’re not doing anything when these regulations are still in effect?” And suddenly within a couple of weeks they were gone. They were not on the Internet. So what I’m saying is that here we have a document that as far as I know, no major press group has ever reported on.
Incidentally, I talked to General Bolinger. He’s dead now but he was very much alive when I spoke with him. He agreed that there are two separate reporting channels—the dum-dum stuff and the stuff which could affect national security. I mean, suppose a saucer goes down the runway at a strategic air command base where nuclear weapons are stored? That’s a national security problem.
If you and I go outside and spot a flying saucer flying overhead, what’s the big deal? It happens all over the place. So what I’m saying is, if there’s a gutsy newsman out there who wants to blow the lid off, he can do it. The data is there.
Alex Tsakiris: Really. The data is there but is it really about the data? You know, that relates back to maybe the work we do…
Stanton Friedman: Probably it isn’t.
Alex Tsakiris: I don’t think it is. I rather naively started this show four years ago, interested in extended consciousness and are we more than these biological robots we’re told to be? And my kind of dictum was follow the data wherever it leads, right?
Stanton Friedman: Right.
Alex Tsakiris: And about three years into it I realized it’s not about the data. It’s about everything else. It’s about our ability, as you said, the ability to deny anything that isn’t in our current worldview, to protect our worldview with an almost subconscious instinctive reaction of “Hey, that would really change my world in a way that I’m not totally comfortable with.”
And then I guess that gets me into another topic I wanted to talk to you about which is the whole skeptic community and the skeptic movement. I think you’ve touched on it already but in general, you have to be admired if for nothing else but standing up for so many years to those guys with a target on your back, Public Enemy #1 among the skeptics. I’ve just got to ask you how you’ve done it. That’s a really nasty crowd in some respects.
Stanton Friedman: Part of it is because look, I’ve given over 700 lectures in all 50 states, 10 Canadian provinces, 18 other countries. So I’ve had a lot of practice, done hundreds of radio and television shows, loads of classrooms. So I’ve had a lot of practice facing up to the slings and arrows of outraged debunkers, you know. First of all I know that the public is on my side. I’ve only had 11 hecklers in all those lectures and two of them were drunk. And I come on very strong.
Secondly, I learned—I guess in fifth grade—Rose Gutkin told our class in Lindon, New Jersey that the sun stands still and the planets in the solar system move around the sun. Now I’d just read the day before, and I think it was a 49-cent a volume encyclopedia you bought at the grocery store that the solar system moves around the center of the galaxy at 12 miles per second, which seemed tremendously fast to me.
So I popped up and said, “No, Miss Gutkin. The encyclopedia said…” Well, she gave me a hard time. I wasn’t accustomed to getting a hard time. I was a good student. So the next day I brought in the encyclopedia and she very reluctantly agreed, “Well, maybe that was the case.”
But it taught me a lesson. If you’re going to take on authority figures, have facts in hand before putting mouth in gear. And in high school I was on a debating team. Several debating teams. We won a state championship playing the area of Lindon, New Jersey. And there it’s the same thing. You’ve got to know both sides of the argument. You’ve got to have facts in hand. And you’ve got to be sure you’ve got your facts straight because you’ll be skewered if you don’t. So that’s one of the things I’ve been able to do. I’ve yet to find good arguments for the anti-guys. I keep punching holes in them.
I’ve taken them on in head-to-head debates, if you will. Seth Shostak and I debated on Coast-to-Coast radio and I got 57% of the vote. He got 33%. And 10% said, “I don’t know.”
Dr. Michael Shermer, Skeptics Society, we debated on Coast-to-Coast for three hours. I got 80% of the vote because he didn’t know anything. It was clear from what he said and I could trump all his aces. So I can take these guys on.
Alex Tsakiris: But why doesn’t that penetrate more deeply into the culture?
Stanton Friedman: That’s a good question.
Alex Tsakiris: And that’s the disappointing part. I mean, you mentioned the Cosmic Watergate, which is a nice term but we’re living in a cosmic Iran Contra, if you will. If you really look at the details of the Iran Contra it’s just despicable, right? And yet if you look at the key players involved, they are still fixtures in our National Security Organization. Colonels, Generals, all that. So that to me seems like the more common result, right?
Stanton Friedman: Nobody cares about truth is what you’re saying.
Alex Tsakiris: That’s what I’m saying.
Stanton Friedman: I tend to think that’s right but I feel it is my job to do care about truth.
Alex Tsakiris: So it is your job to care about truth and I guess you’re saying that you do see progress. But in the bigger picture is it really possible/likely that we can see the paradigm shift? We can see a radical change? Or will the power structure, as it has done so many times, find another way, find another bullet in the gun, just to kind of defeat that and move things in their direction continuously?
Stanton Friedman: I’m still an optimist, frankly. I mean, I’m an old guy and I’ve been around a long time but I’m still healthy. I’ve never spent an overnight in the hospital since I was born and I’m 77 which is quite a feat. The older I get the more I realize, as my friends go into hospitals. I think that things will change and I’m hoping. I mean, isn’t it strange that the White House suddenly sets up a procedure for submitting petitions to get action from them?
I didn’t sign the first one, the people wanting the government to disclose everything and have all government agencies disclose everything they have about UFOs. I didn’t sign that because as I said, I think national security is a legitimate concern about some of the reports they must have. And I worked under security. I respect it.
But I think the very fact that you can submit a petition—now admittedly they’ve raised the number of votes you need from 5,000 to 25,000. In today’s Internet world aren’t there things on the Internet that get 1 million hits viral because there’s a lot of ways to gather names on petitions. But the very fact they’re doing it is a ray of hope, I think.
Alex Tsakiris: A very small ray.
Stanton Friedman: Well, I’m not promising anything but I am optimistic primarily because of the response that I get out on the hostings. When I’m out there, that Riyadh, Saudi Arabia that you mentioned, I mean the Global Competitiveness Forum is what it was. And they only have movers-and-shakers there.
It costs $4,000 to attend this thing. Their first keynote speaker was Bill Gates. The one last year was Bill Clinton. And yet they had a 5-member panel; I was one of the five, talking about contact with outer space. Now these guys, presidents of corporations, the head of Google, Bolling’s chief test pilot, all kind of people. The guy at lunch was in the capital investment business. I said, “How much money does your company control?” “Oh, about $150 billion.” What am I doing here?
But the very fact that that could happen at such an ultra-respectable organization. I was there for a couple of days after our panel and I was very pleased with the discussions with people. Nobody said, “Oh, that was a bunch of baloney.”
And I came on very strong. I said, “The planet’s being visited. We’re dealing with a Cosmic Watergate. That something was innovation.” I said, “Look, if you want to get innovative ideas you look at somebody who’s already solved the problem that you’re trying to solve.” The Russians knew you could build an atomic bomb at the end of WWII because we’d already tested some. Hitler didn’t know you could build one so he spent his money on rockets, most of it, instead of on atomic bombs. So let’s look at flying saucers and say, “How do they do that? How do they go so fast with a round blunt body instead of a highly streamlined craft,” as we used to think was required.
So the very fact that such an illustrious group would have a discussion with no competing session. Most of the time there were two sessions going on at once, but no competition. Of five people from the United States, England, Saudi Arabia, on such a topic, contact with extraterrestrials, is some kind of an indicator of something going on. These guys don’t play games.
Alex Tsakiris: Don’t you think it’s also an indicator of what we were talking about before that the information embargo isn’t uniform? It isn’t democratic. Maybe the folks in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia are a little more open-minded because they’re not in the newsletter in terms of the folks who say, “We already know about this. This is how we’re controlling the information.”
If I can, let me shift topics because I want to take as best use of the time that I have with you. I want to talk about extended consciousness a little bit. And I want to talk about it in terms of the research that you’ve done because you’ve contributed a lot. As a physicist you’ve focused on really more of the nuts and bolts aspect of the UFO phenomena, which I think is very important because there’s this whole controversy within the field that wants to push everything into the psycho-social explanation for it.
You, I think, bring us back sometimes and say, “Wait. We do have to deal with the physical evidence, however we’re going to deal with that.” But at the same time we do have to acknowledge, as you did in your work with Betty and Barney Hill and other places, that we do come across telepathy, mind control, psychokinesis, and all the rest. I’m wondering what that evidence tells us, not only about the others but about ourselves and our human capabilities that extend beyond what we normally think of as our conscious experience.
Stanton Friedman: Well, it’s a very important point because I’m convinced that any advanced civilization will know about telepathy and mind control and communication at a distance. It really came home to me when I was standing at the exact location where Barney Hill was standing when the saucer was over their car and he’s looking through binoculars at the crew on board.
For no good reason, they jumped back in the car, very frightened, and they get off the main road, Route 3, and they go onto a secondary road. Then they go onto a dirt road which Barney would never have done. And he winds up alongside the only place in the area where you could land an let’s say 80-foot diameter flying saucer. It was a sandy area. Trees all over the place but this area was big enough to get a saucer down. And it was clear proof to me that these guys were directing his actions.
And also, remember as part of that story and so many stories like this, that they were directed to forget what happened and they didn’t consciously recall their time onboard the saucer until the very crafty, talented psychiatrist named Dr. Ben Simon used the same techniques with them as he had used with shell-shocked war veterans after WWII. You know, a guy’s buddy’s head gets blown off next to him. How do you incorporate that into your world? It’s pretty tough. And we’re still getting plenty of shell-shocked war veterans coming back from Afghanistan and so forth.
Alex Tsakiris: Absolutely.
Stanton Friedman: The point is that it seems to me eminently clear that these guys have capabilities—as the only simple term I know—to do things that we don’t look upon as being respectable. And one of them is mind-reading. Mind control. Getting people to forget.
Now I once had a little medical procedure in the hospital—I wasn’t there overnight—and they have you count down from 100 and they drip in some kind of anesthetic into your arm. I started off and by the time I got to 90 I didn’t remember anything more and then I woke up. With no recollection whatsoever of anything in between. Seamless, as what Bud Hopkins used to call it.
Now these guys are able to do that without dripping a chemical into your veins. That’s pretty far out when you stop to think about it. But most of the modern technology is pretty far out if you go back 50 years and looked at it.
Alex Tsakiris: It’s pretty far out but then again, maybe it isn’t that far out because when we look at the broader accounts of these conscious experiences that we can reach out and touch in our family. At the fringe we see the same things. We see out-of-body experiences, near-death experiences. Dramatic hallucinogenic experience that are even done by researchers in controlled experiments.
We had Dr. Rick Strassman on from the University of New Mexico who has injected folks with DMT voluntarily. The same drug that’s used by the Amazonian Indians called Iowaska. And they have these encounters with UFO-like beings and they also have encounters with other kinds of beings.
So there’s a lot of evidence out there, and we can say it’s on the fringe but it’s really not that far on the fringe, that suggests that these capabilities are not that far out of our reach.
Stanton Friedman: That’s right. And remember that we are an ignorant society. I often say we’re a primitive society. Our major activity is tribal warfare. But we are also a new society.
You know, it wasn’t very long ago that people thought that the universe was created in 4004 BC, Thursday evening at 6 o’clock. I think it was October 25th. And Pat Robertson is still teaching that kind of thing. That was Bishop Usher who came up with that in the 1600s. But if you say he left out six zeroes, it was 4 billion years ago. That changes the picture and you have to say, “How much do we know about those 4 billion?” Darn little, folks.
So I leave plenty of room for there to be investigations of what some people would say are esoteric—consciousness is a good part of that. I think it would benefit mankind a great deal. It’s kind of like recently there’s been a lot of work done on the placebo effect in drugs. You don’t know who’s getting the real drug and who’s getting the placebo, sugar pills or whatever. And it seems to be real. Do we understand that? No. Can we take advantage of it? Sure.
I would expect our visiting friends to know a great deal about such things. The mind is not just a bunch of nerve endings and wires in a computer. I think there’s a lot more to it. So consciousness is one area that I would love to see looked at and the nexus between UFOs and consciousness, I think is an important area. Not too many people are doing that, you understand.
I mean, it’s back enough to think about doing research on UFOs, but research on UFOs and research on mind control, uh-oh! That’s a double whammy to some people.
Alex Tsakiris: That’s an interesting segueway into the last topic I was hoping we could talk about because during that conference in Riyadh you shared the stage with Jacque Vallee, and anyone who’s researched his look into the UFO phenomena knows that it—I don’t want to say crosses the border—but it certainly blurs this line between consciousness, the extended consciousness and the UFO phenomena. Now I think there’s an interesting inter-play there and I’m very interested to get our sorting out of that.
Stanton Friedman: I’ve known Jacque for a long time and I like him. I would call us friends. We don’t see each other very often but we haven’t had violent arguments about any aspect of this. The problem, at least early on, especially with the astronomical community with Hynek, Jacque, others, is that they hadn’t done their homework on the whole question of interstellar travel.
Hynek was always using the comparison if the distance from the Earth to the moon is the thickness of one playing card, the next star over is 16 miles of playing card. That’s treating the subject linearly—twice as far takes twice as long, twice as much energy, etc. But the subject isn’t linear. If you increase your speed just before you turn off the rocket when you go to the moon by a small percentage you get there 20 times faster, not 5% faster.
Alex Tsakiris: But the intriguing thing to me about Jacque Vallee, John Mack, and a bunch of other folks in that camp, if you will, is they come to the conclusion I guess partly from the physics of it and the space of it, but also from the data that’s coming back from the accounts. They say, “Wait a minute, guys. This isn’t what you think it is. You’re looking for little green men and what I see is a connection to fairies and gods and religion and we can only understand it from this perspective of psycho-socio-spiritual understanding of it. And the phenomena is not what you think it is.”
Stanton Friedman: I would turn it around and say the fairies and all the other stuff might very well be a manifestation of other visitations in past days. You know, graduate students doing their thesis work on a primitive society or whatever. In other words, I think they’ve got it backwards and I’ve shared a stage with John Mack—when he was alive, not since then. John did seem to be quite surprised that I was saying we’re dealing with physical visitations.
To get an idea of how far off “modern astronomy” can be, there was a paper written in 1941 by Dr. Campbell asking—he was sick and tired of all this science fiction junk about going to the moon, how absurd! So he did a scientific paper, published it, in which he calculated the required initial launch weight of a rocket able to get a man to the moon and back. Pages of equations. Bottom line, it would have to weight a million million tons.
Well, less than 30 years later we got three guys to the moon and back. The initial launch weight of still a dumb old chemical rocket was 3,000 tons. He was off by a factor 300 million. Not a factor of 3 or 30 or 300 but 300 million because he made all the wrong assumptions. A single stage rocket, a limit of 1G acceleration. The rocket’s got to provide all the energy instead of using cosmic freeloading, which we use on all our deep space probes.
Why do you think there’s a launch window to go to the moon? Because if they launch at the right time you let the moon help you. It’s got a nice gravitational field and you know where it’s going to be when. Take advantage. All our deep space probes do that.
The Cassini spacecraft out at Saturn are having a little communication problem right now, but it was sent past Venus which is closer to the sun than we are. Got a free-kick, came back past the Earth, got another free-kick, went out past Jupiter to get another free-kick, and it’s been sitting around out there near Saturn for years now.
So what I’m saying is it’s not just little differences by not doing things right. It’s enormous differences and there are lots of examples of that. Some of them are in that book that I mentioned, Science Was Wrong. People said some pretty dumb things. British astronomer Royal, “Space travel is utter bilge,” a year before Sputnik went up.
Alex Tsakiris: It really is a fascinating book. I haven’t had a chance to read the whole thing and I do plan on doing it. Stan, I know you are a busy guy and you like to stay busy. Tell us a little bit about what’s coming up for you in the near future.
Stanton Friedman: One thing that I’m hoping comes up is sort of escorting a tour of New Mexico in April. This is on my website at www.stantonfriedman.com and they can write me about it if the phone number doesn’t work. We’ll be stopping in Roswell; I’ll give a talk there. We’ll stop in Los Alamos. We’ll stop at White Sands Missile Range. We’ll stop at the museum over that way. It’ll be fun. I’ve done one of these before and it was great fun. So that’s an escorted tour, if you will.
Another thing that’s really exciting but I don’t know when it’s going to happen is Stellar Productions in Hollywood, Bryce Zabel’s outfit, he did Dark Skies a number of years ago on NBC. They’ve bought the rights to my book, Top Secret Magic, about the Majestic-12 documents and to my life and memoirs and everything, and the book by Don Schmitt and Tom Carey called, Witness to Roswell.
They’re working on a movie called, Majic Man, because the documents were Top Secret magic. And the screenplay’s been written and has had some very good comments from some big-shot Hollywood people. It’ll be a combination of All the President’s Men and JFK and Richard Dryfus going to play me, he says.
Alex Tsakiris: That would be fantastic.
Stanton Friedman: Really, I hate to admit it as the author of five books and they’re all listed at that website, but more people watch movies than read books. They’re also in the midst of buying the rights to Captured: The Betty and Barney Hill UFO Experience by myself and Kathleen Marden. And that could be very exciting, too.
Alex Tsakiris: That would make a great movie, yeah.
Stanton Friedman: It’s an important story.
Alex Tsakiris: It really is. Especially with all the controversy that has sprung up in the last couple of years about the abduction phenomena. I think it’s tremendously important work. It’s kind of a grounding work to bring us back to well, there is a reality here that we have to deal with while we’re sorting out what the proper methods, protocols, and procedures are.
Stanton Friedman: I should mention Kathleen Marden is Betty Hill’s niece, so she’s got all of the original tapes and all the correspondence. She’s trustee of Betty’s estate. So the book could be a real eye-opener if it’s done properly, which I expect it would be. These are exciting things for this year. Also I’ll be speaking at the Roswell Festival the first week of July. I seem to be a perennial visitor there. There will be a lot of good speakers. Kathleen’s speaking there, too.
Also the MUFON Conference. Mutual UFO Network has had an annual symposium for 42 years. This year’s will be Cincinnati, actually in Kentucky, right across the river, in the first week in August. I will be speaking there. The theme of the conference this year is “UFOS: Friend or Foe?” That gives us a lot of room for what the heck is going on and what does it mean to us and all that sort of stuff.
Alex Tsakiris: It sounds trite but it really is the ultimate question in a lot of ways, you know?
Stanton Friedman: Yeah, sure. Incidentally, MUFON just announced this past week that they will be moving to Cincinnati. The current international director has family responsibilities and other things that he has to concentrate on. The new one is a guy name Dave McDonald who teaches pilots how to fly and has high visibility in the pilot community. I’m looking forward to that conference.
The Betty and Barney Hill 50th Anniversary, Second Time Around, will be held in September in Indian Head Resort in New Hampshire. We had a 50th Anniversary last year and it was so successful and filled to capacity. A bus tour of where things happened, speeches by several of us. They already announced right afterward that they were going to do it again this year.
So these are things that I know are going on. If it’s like last year there will be a lot more added in. Last year I spoke in Saudi Arabia and San Paulo, Brazil, in Newfoundland, many different states, and Warsaw, Poland, would you believe? A great crowd, the Polish UFO Society. And three different talks in New Hampshire and stuff out in California and Arizona and Georgia and Minnesota and Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. I don’t know where they’re all coming from but there’s a lot of curiosity out there and I’m happy to try to meet those needs. Again, the website is www.stantonfriedman.com.
So I’m excited. No new book on the line but I do my monthly column for the MUFON Journal, which is fun.
Alex Tsakiris: I think as you’ve demonstrated in this interview here that you’ve so graciously done and in so many of the other works that you’ve done, it’s really no surprise to anyone why you are so popular. We just want you to keep going and keep spreading the word out there. You have so many great ideas and it’s always interesting to catch up with you and hear what’s going on. Thanks, Stan, so much for joining us today on Skeptiko.
Stanton Friedman: It’s been fun.