LIONEL PODCAST: My Amazing Interview With Stanton Friedman, the Father of Modern Ufology

Behold the inimitable, the ineffable Stanton Friedman, nuclear physicist and peripatetic globetrotting lecturer, the preeminent ufologist and researcher. The greatest contributor to the rational and scholarly examination of the singular most important issue of our lifetime, the Cosmic Watergate.

He’s responsible. Stanton T. Friedman. Yep, he’s the one. Before I happened upon him and his work, I never gave UFOs and ufology a moment’s consideration. To date, I’ve never seen anything that I thought was UFO’ish. No close encounters of any kind. To me they were the stuff of urban legend mythology and folklore. Like most of the paranormal and (I respectfully submit) religion. Oh, I laughed with the masses, dismissing the notion of spacefarers as romantic insanity. Baseless hallucinations and prosaic wishful thinking. The argument as I saw it went something like this. (And note, every one of these points is addressed and dissected and refuted an debunked ad seriatim in the accompanying podcast).

  • If there were anything to UFOs the government would certainly let us know. I mean, why would they want to keep something of this magnitude from us?
  • And if the government were loath to expose the truth, certainly the media would let us know. After all, who wouldn’t want to be the Woodward and Bernstein of this cosmic Watergate, right?
  • And why don’t these ET folks ever want to say howdy? Hell, if for no other reason than to get out and stretch their legs. Surely, they’d want to meet with Obama or the Pope or even the Queen, right? You know, to spread the word of their existence and message. Right?
  • And even if they could travel at breakneck speeds, the Andromeda Galaxy 2.5 million light-years from Earth in the Andromeda constellation. That means to travel there (or from there) at the speed of light it would take 2.5 million years. And we or they can’t travel at or near the speed of light. Right?
  • Not to mention there’s no substantive, real, credible, authenticated, actual, verified evidence or proof of any alien visit. No photos, pictures, film, movies, radar imagine, nothing! All there is is blurred, highly suspect or blatantly tampered with pictures. Right?
  • The government has categorically and systematically eliminated all claims of extraterrestrial visits through exhaustive and painstaking analysis by blue ribbon committees and disinterested scientific types. Right?
  • Most sightings of UFOs are weather balloons, swamp gas or the planet Venus. Right?
  • And don’t give me this bunkum about alien abductions. They’re all hallucinating or want to seize upon the opportunity to cash in. Not to mention, all these double wide denizens, these Junior Samples overall-sporting hayseeds, redneck and corn pone loons all claiming to be anally probed by some critters. Their claims have never been validated, right?
  • No one has a higher Top Secret clearance that POTUS. I mean you can’t keep anything from him. Right?
  • This is another one of those crazy conspiracy theories brought to you by a bunch of paranoid, delusional paranoiac charlatans and snake oil salesmen. Right?

Yes, that’s what I thought and most probably you. I almost committed it to memory. Like a routine. Canned and planned. And while I still haven’t seen one, I don’t believe for a moment the hundreds of millions of sightings and testimony throughout recorded history is fraudulent either. We’re a species who pledges religious fealty to far more tenuous ideologies with virtually no recognizable proof and de minimis evidence if at all, subsumed under the fantastic rubric of faith.

Enter Friedman. Then it happened. One day, years ago, thanks to the system of tubes known as the Internets, I happened upon the data. Through and courtesy of Mr. Friedman. Mounds, miles, piles, loads, tons, reams of data, articles, studies, research, lectures, books. Every conceivable form of investigation you can and could imagine. From around the world and time immemorial. Historic, anecdotal, eye-witness, documented, recorded and duly noted. Name it. The information was staggering. Brobdingnagian, an evidence colossus. And at the helm, stewarding his students through the labyrinth of fact versus fiction was and is the inimitable Stanton Friedman, who’s inspired me for years. I was so honored to finally speak with this giant. The (Extra)terrestrial titan.

Thus spake Stan. Here’s the Friedman manifesto. And I quote.

  1. The evidence is overwhelming that Planet Earth is being visited by intelligently controlled extraterrestrial spacecraft. In other words, SOME UFOs are alien spacecraft. Most are not.
  2. The subject of flying saucers represents a kind of Cosmic Watergate, meaning that some few people in major governments have known since July, 1947, when two crashed saucers and several alien bodies were recovered in New Mexico, that indeed SOME UFOs are ET. As noted in 1950, it’s the most classified U.S. topic.
  3. None of the arguments made against conclusions One and Two by a small group of debunkers such as Carl Sagan, my University of Chicago classmate for three years, can stand up to careful scrutiny.
  4. The Flying Saucer story is the biggest story of the millennium: visits to Planet Earth by aliens and the U.S. government’s cover-up of the best data (the bodies and wreckage) for over fifty years.

Awesome. The word’s been lost altogether by the jejune and definitionally-limited. Awe. Let’s start with its meaning. Awe is “an overwhelming feeling of reverence, admiration, fear, etc., produced by that which is grand, sublime, extremely powerful, or the like.” Awesome is that “causing or inducing awe; inspiring an overwhelming feeling of reverence, admiration, or fear.” Jaw dropping, mind-boggling. Amazing! Paralyzing. I’ve known not awe since a boy when introduced to Santa Claus and then attempts at God. And after those two myths went the way of rejection, I’ve been aweless since. Until now.

Just think of it. Many have. The idea of living entities, non-human, most likely vastly and inconceivably superior, a million or billion years or senior. Extraterrestrial, extrastellar, or (better) extradimensional. Able to traverse the universal gaps and divides enlisting free energy, antigravitic propulsion, fusion perhaps, Tesla energy. All while we burn rocket fuel. Remember Mother Earth is 4.5B years old. That’s 4500M years. If another planet were a mere 4501M years old, they’d have a million year jump on us. In 66 years from 1903 to 1969 we went from Kitty Hawk to Neil Armstrong and the pre-Jacko moonwalk. Imagine a million year or billion year jump. Awe, baby. Awe.

The Vatican’s cool with it. Monsignor Corrado Balducci, a theologian member of the Vatican Curia, gave the Church’s stamp of approval on EBEs. Not that that means anything per se, it just shows you how the idea is in no wise inconsistent with Church theology. And what’s more, if there are indeed these folks they may just be without original sin. God’s truly chosen. No need for redemption and forgiveness. Just think of that.

The valedictory. There are a host of reasons why governments, especially our notoriously open and revelatory one, would want to keep extraterrestrial visitation quiet. There’s, of course, inter alia the almost Pavlovian and patellar reflex to keep everything quiet, the desire never to let an “enemy” know what we know and don’t know and that mythical, magical, fanciful fear of inspiring widespread panic. But there are two most significant reasons to keep the lid on admitting discovery.

  • New propulsion and energy systems would be the death knell of OPEC, the petrodollar and the currency of war. Systems of power would shift dramatically, petroleum would be anachronistic overnight, known world powers would destabilize, seismic reapportionment of geopolitical influence, you name it, everything changes overnight. Think of the clamor and cacophony from those fueled (pun intended) over issues of fracking, shale, global warming, climate change. Sayonara, oil and natural gas. Hello, Tesla. Hello, free energy. Hello, magneto-aerodynamics and zero-gravity propulsion systems. Think cataclysmic. Inordinate. A rupture and rent in the status quo.
  • The utility and significance of artificial nationalism would be reconsidered and seriously reevaluated. Instead of the world being divided in a parochial, closed system separated by country and region and state and religion and tribe and geography, what if the people of world reconfigured and reconstituted their status as Earthling. Cosmic and universal children. Imagine Palestinians and Jews, Pakistani and Indian, Irish and Brit, all jettisoning the differences and artificial partitions and adopting a more catholic (universal) system. This may very well be the most significant impediment to disclosure of all.

And, lest we forget, what if extraterrestrial visitors aren’t so nice. What if they posed a threat. None other than Ronald Reagan gave that a lot of thought.

In our obsession with antagonisms of the moment, we often forget how much unites all the members of humanity. Perhaps we need some outside, universal threat to make us recognize this common bond. I occasionally think how quickly our differences worldwide would vanish if we were facing an alien threat from outside this world.

Speech to the United Nations General Assembly, 42nd General Assembly (September 21, 1987)

 Be well. And in awe.

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