These words are not the rantings of a deranged individual looking for attention or a comfortable straitjacket. Stanton Friedman is a maverick of sorts.
Employed for 14 years as a nuclear physicist for companies like General Electric, General Motors, Westinghouse and Aerojet General Nucleonics, he worked on highly classified programs involving nuclear aircraft, fission and fusion rockets.
In 1958, UFOs caught his attention, and Friedman has since lectured about this subject at more than 700 colleges and professional groups in all 50 states and around the world.
“After 53 years of investigation, I’m convinced we’re dealing here with a cosmic Watergate,” he told AOL News. “That means a few people within major governments have known since at least 1947 that some UFOs are alien spacecraft.”
In Friedman’s new book, “Science Was Wrong,” co-authored with Kathleen Marden, he wrote, “There’s been no shortage of strong, negative proclamations from debunking groups and individuals who refuse to examine the evidence … to support the notion that some UFOs are of extraterrestrial origin.”
Friedman cites many cases of UFO encounters experienced by competent, reliable eyewitnesses, including one involving Japan Airlines.
“A 747 over Alaska encountered something that was twice the size of an aircraft carrier, that flew circles around the jet. They reported it to the ground, where both the UFO and the 747 were picked up on radar.
“The explanation from debunkers was that it was Jupiter! Boy, airplane radar can pick up Jupiter? It was totally ludicrous. You’re fighting the forces of ‘evil,’ one might say — arrogance and ignorance.”
While some scientists through the years have quietly suggested Earth has been visited by ETs, Friedman is the most outspoken. He’s especially irked by the attitude of scientists who use radio and optical telescopes in the search for extraterrestrial intelligence, such as the SETI Institute in California.
“Their livelihood depends on the assumption that there’s nobody coming here, and if we just wait long enough, we’re going to pick up the signal and it’ll be the greatest discovery in man’s history, and it will help solve all our problems.
“What really bothers me is that the SETI people will tell you there is no evidence for UFOs. Well, they certainly don’t reference any, so there must not be, right? Wrong!”
If so, why would reputable scientists refuse to consider that Earth may be a vacation spot for otherworldly travelers?
“Because they’d have to admit that they’d ignored such a big story for so long and that they were wrong,” Friedman said. “Being wrong is something that scientists don’t like to admit at all.”
Over the past 50 years, numerous surveys and public opinion polls have indicated that people are very interested in and, even, concerned about UFOs.
A 2002 Roper poll, commissioned by the Sci-Fi Channel, noted that 72 percent of Americans believed the U.S. government isn’t telling all it knows about UFOs, and 68 percent thought the government knows more about extraterrestrial life than it cares to disclose.
But why would the government — any government — cover up UFO information? To Friedman, the answer is more down to earth.
“I don’t know of any government on this planet that wants its citizens to owe their primary allegiance to the planet. Nationalism is the only game in town.”
Also, Friedman says, there’s the military point of view. “From a national security angle, everybody would like to grab a flying saucer and figure out how it works and use it to deliver weapons on the other guy, and there’s always another guy.”
How exactly would one go about obtaining a flying saucer? One way is to just wait until an otherworldly vehicle develops some mechanical problem and simply crashes to the ground.
Roswell, N.M., comes to mind.
In July 1947, something crashed outside the small town that, according to the initial official report, was a flying saucer. Authorities quickly changed that story, claiming it was merely a weather balloon that had fallen from the sky.
Thirty years after the Roswell event, Friedman met military personnel who were involved with the events of 1947 and he says they eventually stepped forward to advance the account of a crashed spacecraft and dead alien bodies.
Because of Friedman’s dogged determination, the Roswell UFO legend was born.
“I followed up enough to find a number of key people, and with no Internet available, it took a lot of work,” he said.
But Friedman is keenly aware of the abundant skepticism that swirls around the Roswell UFO controversy.
“Naturally, the resistance to acceptance of this case is going to be stronger than any other case,” he said. “Because if it’s true, it’s everything — bodies, wreckage, cover-up, threats — what more do you need?”
Friedman says he’s only had 11 hecklers in more than 700 lectures on UFOs.
“I’m still optimistic that, within my lifespan — and I’m 75 — we’ll get at least a part of the story, that we’re not alone in the universe.”
With the discovery in recent years of hundreds of planets circling other suns, scientists continue to speculate that life is plentiful in the cosmos.
Plus, in 2008, the pope’s chief astronomer, the Rev. Gabriel Funes, proclaimed that intelligent beings created by God might actually exist in outer space, and that it wouldn’t contradict a belief in God.
All of that gives Friedman hope.
“Now is probably the time to say, yes, we’re part of a galactic neighborhood; unfortunately, we’re not the big shots in the neighborhood.”