The following was written by Stanton Friedman in November 2006. It is part of The Stanton Friedman Collection as archived here on The Black Vault.
The UFO “WHY?” Questions
I have been fortunate enough to lecture (usually “Flying Saucers ARE Real”) over 700 times in 18 countries. My audiences, mostly college and professional groups, seem to have no problem accepting the detailed factual data that I present leading to my conclusions that SOME UFOs are alien spacecraft and that the subject of flying saucers represents a kind of Cosmic Watergate. But what seems to be of most concern, judging by the Question and Answer sessions, are the “WHY?” questions. Why would saucers crash? Why would aliens visit Earth? Why doesn’t the government tell us what it knows? Why would aliens not land on the White House lawn or at the United Nations? Why would people fake MJ-12 documents? Why do you say SETI stands for Silly Effort To Investigate? Why have you kept at it for 39 years? Why hasn’t the government taken you out? Perhaps my answers will help the reader answer his “WHY?” questions, or lead to more such questions.
THE UFO “WHY?” QUESTIONS
1. WHY have you concluded that the evidence is overwhelming that Earth is being visited by intelligently controlled Extraterrestrial Spacecraft?
The simplest answer is that it is the only conclusion merited by the enormous amount of evidence. In my lectures I review 5 large scale scientific studies and ask after each one how many have read it. Typically fewer than 2% have read any. I note the 5000-plus physical trace cases that Ted Phillips has collected from over 70 countries. In these people see a craft land and then take off leaving behind various markings on the soil such as burn circles, landing gear marks, small footprints, dried out rings of soil, etc. These are not crop circles where normally no saucer is seen. About 1/6 of these cases involve reports of small beings. I refer to the more than 1000 abduction cases that have been investigated by Budd Hopkins, David Jacobs, John Mack, and Raymond Fowler and the Betty and Barney Hill case as recorded by John G. Fuller. I review the outstanding work by Marjorie Fish clearly indicating that Betty’s star map makes sense and provides information not previously known to us. Furthermore, I have spent time at 20 archives, had a security clearance for 14 years, and find it perfectly obvious that crucial data has been withheld and many government people have lied with regard to UFOs. Saying some UFOs are of ET origin, of course, doesn’t answer other questions such as WHY are aliens coming here, WHY haven’t I seen one, where are they from, etc., etc.
2. WHY don’t the aliens, if they are real, just land on the White House lawn and say “Take me to your leader.”?
Obviously I don’t speak for any aliens. However, let us note three facts:
A. The White House is in a forbidden flying zone. Our response to intruders in such zones is to take immediate action to escort the intruders away or shoot them down. As far back as the summer of 1952 when, in July, UFOs did fly over the White House, orders were given to military interceptors to shoot down UFOs if they don’t land when instructed to do so. This is described in detail in Frank Feschino Jr.’s new book Shoot Them Down. Major General Roger Ramey proclaimed that interceptors had been scrambled hundreds of times without any luck. As an indication of the zeal of pilots, I have heard of at least 7 specific cases in which the UFOs zapped attacking earthling aircraft. Tim Good in his new book Need to Know recounts similar cases. I am working on a claim by a pilot that UFOs took out 20 of our planes in Europe in the early 1950s.
B. It may come as a surprise to many Americans, but the President of the USA doesn’t speak for Planet Earth. After all who elected him World President? Certainly not the billion people from India or the 1.3 billion people in China. Obviously the UN also does not speak for Planet Earth, either.
C. Normally, negotiations only take place between roughly equal parties. Surely it is not difficult to see that aliens have technology far in advance of earthling technology. Their vehicles are clearly faster, more maneuverable, and have access to huge space carriers (mother ships) with lord-knows-what capability. They have no reason to negotiate when they can already do what they please.
3. WHY in the world would aliens want to come here if, as you have claimed, we are a primitive society whose major activity is clearly tribal warfare?
Answers to this question depend very much on one’s picture of the local galactic neighborhood and of the situation on our planet. The SETI cultists seem to think we are the Crown of Creation and that there may be “as many” as 50,000 civilizations in our Milky Way Galaxy, which has a few hundred billion stars. It is almost 100,000 light years across which, according to Frank Drake, means there may be another civilization “only” 1000 light years away. This would, of course, make us very special as one of the elite civilizations. I think that there are probably many advanced civilizations within our local neighborhood on planets around some of the 2300 stars within 54 light years, especially the 46 that are very similar to the sun. The driving fact here is that we have only had fancy technology for perhaps 100 years. But the earth is about 4.5 billion years old and has been suitable for life for well over a billion years.
Just down the street, 39.4 light years away, we find a pair of sun-like stars, Zeta 1 and Zeta 2 Reticuli. These are only an 1/8 of a light year apart from each other, but are a billion years older than the sun. In other words, there has been a great deal of time for other civilizations to establish themselves. Having an easily observable neighbor nearby would provide far more incentive for the development of interstellar travel than we have out here in the boondocks. My view is, per a fine analogy from physicist Beatriz Gabo Rivera, that we are like the gorillas in a nature preserve in Africa who know nothing about what is going on outside the preserve. I think aliens have been traipsing around the neighborhood for a very long time indeed. I think it is hilarious that Dr. Seth Shostak, one of the noisier SETI guys, says there is nobody at ZR 1 or ZR 2, because they were listened to by a Southern Radio Observatory 10 years ago. One would think he knows what equipment and frequency alien communicators way ahead of us would use, and that they are trying to attract our attention, which is totally absurd.
Answers also depend greatly on how difficult it is to travel within the neighborhood. If one is a SETI cultist noting (as on the terrible Peter Jennings, Feb. 24, 2005, TV mockumentary) that our fastest spacecraft is the Voyager probe and that it would take 70,000 years to get to the nearest star, trips would be very uncommon indeed. A much more realistic approach is to note that Voyager hasn’t had a propulsion system on it since it left Earth. It is coasting, helped by some cosmic freeloading. Can we estimate the time it takes to cross the ocean by throwing a bottle in? Can we tell how long it would take to fly from New York to Los Angeles by putting a feather in the air? It took Charles Lindberg 33 hours to cross the Atlantic. The Concorde did it in just a few hours. The space station goes around the entire earth in 90 minutes. Electromagnetic signals take 1/7 of a second to circumscribe the earth.
Remember, we have just started on our technological kick. Think back to 1900. Note no TV or radio or microwaves or nuclear power plants or satellites or DNA testing or lasers or computers or airplanes or rockets or nuclear weapons or transplanted organs. I am convinced that, unless we stupidly destroy ourselves, there will be a time when star travel is not considered any more far out than crossing the Atlantic on a 747 is today. I recently flew nonstop from Newark, New Jersey, to Hong Kong, China, in less than 17 hours. Nuclear submarines circumnavigate the globe without surfacing. Obviously there are those who think star travel is impossible. If that were true, which it isn’t, obviously nobody could be coming here from the stars.
Think of all the people going through O’Hare Airport in a year and the huge variety of reasons for travel. To get the ball rolling, here are some reasons for coming here. I am sure the reader can think of more:
A. Graduate students doing their thesis work on the development of a primitive society, on a planet where, amazingly, there is no planetary government, and where there are many different languages; on various strange biological specimens, or on genetic variations of the intelligent beings.
B. Broadcasters with weekly shows such as “Idiocy in the Boondocks.”
C. Mining engineers similar to those who went to California and the Klondike and Australia for gold, or to Texas and the Middle East for oil. As it happens, the earth is the densest planet in the solar system, so would be expected to have more of the rare but very important very heavy metals such as gold, uranium, rhenium, platinum, tungsten, osmium, etc. These are all much denser than lead. We know from studying star spectra that they are rare. They also have very special properties.
D. Mining engineers extracting more common metals from the nodules on the bottom of the ocean and from the asteroids between Mars and Jupiter. We have been talking about doing this. Obviously war is much more important than ocean mining to us, so we build nuclear submarines to stay in the depths of the ocean carrying their multitude of nuclear tipped missiles. There are also abundant supplies of so-called rare earths, many used in the electronics and nuclear industries. It should not be forgotten that a century ago the primary use for uranium was to prepare yellow glazes for pottery. Zirconium and titanium were essentially worthless. Now nuclear navies use zirconium based alloys because of their splendid nuclear and anticorrosion properties. Titanium is used in aircraft like the SR-71 because of its high strength and low density.
E. Operators of refueling and rest and relaxation centers on the back side of the moon or in the depths of the ocean or in the asteroid belt.
F. Visitors checking on old colonies established by their ancestors. Perhaps there were many different ones which might explain why we have black, brown, red, yellow and white races.
G. Jailers. This may be a penal colony on which aliens dropped off their bad boys and girls and that is why we are so nasty to each other. Georgia and Australia were first settled by convicts. Letting the convicts go bother other civilizations who, unlike us, have learned to live peacefully, may be a no-no in the galactic rule book.
H. Vacationers. This may be a recreation center. Notice how many people visit Hawaii and Las Vegas and Orlando. If the travel wasn’t easy, how many would venture forth to see Mickey Mouse or gaming tables or surfing beaches?
I. Specimen gathererers for ET zoos and aquariums. We are still finding new specimens.
J. Local galactic horticultural societies collecting specimens for their displays and genetic cross breeding.
K. Medical researchers. They may have to evaluate the genetic material of loads of specimens to find genetic defects or super-special genes. There are a number of conditions whose frequency in the population is quite small (for example, only one person in 14,000 has hemophilia) so many specimens must be checked.
L. Honymooners. Perhaps this is the honeymoon capital for this corner of the neighborhood. Special rates for a week on Earth… side trips to the moon and Mars…
M. Cartographers. Local neighborhood maps may describe, for example, the equivalent of English coaling stations in the 19th century.
N. Sports enthusiasts. There may be special excursions to observe various such events. Don’t forget that a World Championship Chess match was held in Iceland.
O. Scouts seeking the best site for a new amusement park in the solar system.
P. Weapons inspectors. If we make the eminently reasonable assumption that every advanced civilization is concerned about its own survival and security, than we would expect that our development of Weapons of Mass Destruction and the means for delivering them in the local neighborhood would be of great concern. Clearly after World War II it should take less than a century for us to master fission and fusion and other new technologies to allow us to take our brand of friendship/hostility… out there. Thus, a logical reason to visit is to quarantine us until we develop a technique for learning to live at peace with each other. No galactic federation new-member committee would allow us to join. Too primitive.I suspect that the SETI cultists think they would be welcome guests. Not very likely.
Q. Producers. Having worked on a lot of motion picture documentaries at many locations, I would suggest perhaps some visitors are planning epic fiction and factual movies for film companies at home… shooting on location hither and yon.
4. WHY is the government not telling what it knows?
Are they afraid of War of the Worlds panic? I hardly think so. After all, New Jersey was being destroyed by Martians. What could we do against them? Panic was not inappropriate. First we have to recognize there is a Cosmic Watergate and a long history of government lies about UFOs such as I described in Ref. 1, which lists lies from the FBI, CIA, USAF, NSA, etc. Some want to insist that (A) governments can’t keep secrets, and (B) the real secret is that they don’t know what is going on and can’t admit that either.
I disagree with both. A few examples of secret-keeping that have leaked out: The Manhattan Engineering District employed 130,000 people to develop the atomic bomb at a cost of several billion dollars in total secrecy during World War II. The Allies broke the German code during World War II and had 12,000 people working at Bletchley Park in the UK intercepting, decoding and translating German military communications. If the secret had come out, the Germans would have changed their codes. There was really nothing in public until 25 years later despite the obviously great improvements in technology. We also had broken the Japanese military codes — again in secret. With regard to B, note that the military agencies have monitoring systems that provide far more information than we civilians can obtain — and in secret.
The Naval Research Laboratory finally admitted in 1995 that it had launched a bunch of Corona electromagnetic intelligence satellites to monitor Soviet radar and communications systems starting in 1960, after 12 secret failures. The first one that worked provided more data than all the previous secret U-2 flights that preceded it. The Soviets knew about the U-2, but dared not admit that they couldn’t do anything about it. The American people had not been informed. Similarly the Soviets had shot down a number of military reconnaissance aircraft probing Russia, North Korea, and China causing the loss of 166 crew members. Their families were lied to: unfortunate accident, crashed at sea, etc. It was not until 2001 that the USA had a meeting with families of the crew members that they were told what happened, even though most of the losses occurred in the 1940s, 50s, and 60s. Medals were distributed. William Burrows tells the story in his book By Any Means Necessary (Ref. 2).
The National Reconnaissance Office first admitted in 2005 that it had launched 7 Poppy satellites between 1962 and 1971. Their function was to conduct very sophisticated monitoring of electronic and radar installations on Soviet ships. Thousands of people were involved.
So yes, indeed, secrets can be kept. The annual US Black Budget is estimated at 30-40 billion dollars. That is a lot of secrecy.
So WHY keep UFOs secret?
A. All major countries and many terrorist groups would very much like to duplicate the flight technology of the saucers. They can literally fly circles around our vehicles, move at very high speed, make right angle turns, move straight up and down — typically with little noise, no visible engines, no exhaust. They would make wonderful weapons delivery and defensive systems. Since we have recovered wreckage at least as early as 1947 (see Crash at Corona, Ref. 3) we would have set up a highly classified project (call it Operation Majestic 12 as described in my book TOP SECRET/MAJIC (Ref. 4)) to try both to evaluate the wreckage and to obtain measurements of flight characteristics using airborne and spaceborne and earth-based radar sets, cameras, electromagnetic sensors, and other instrumentation. Surely governments have very much more sophisticated instruments and observation platforms than do private individuals. The key rule here is that one can’t tell one’s friends without telling one’s enemies. It appears that there have been many UFO crashes including ones overseas (Varginha, Brazil, for example). There is a long history of countries gathering and evaluating crashed vehicles of their enemies. This does not require a conspiracy; everybody has the same self interest concerns.
B. Each country worries about its enemies determining the secrets of saucer technology before they do and must be concerned about how to defend against new vehicles and also how to learn what the other guy has already learned. Soviet spies at Los Alamos apparently shortened the time it took the Soviets to test their first A-bomb (1949) by at least a year.
C. What if an announcement were made, by highly trusted individuals around the world, such as the Queen and the Pope, saying that indeed SOME UFOs are ET spacecraft? Here are some things I believe would happen:
(1) Church attendance would increase.
(2) Mental hospital admissions would increase.
(3) The stock market would go down; uncertainty is always the enemy.
(4) Based on my more than 600 college lectures, the younger generation, which, unlike me, was never alive when there wasn’t a space program, would push for a new view of ourselves as EARTHLINGS instead of as Americans, Canadians, Greeks, Peruvians, etc. Many would think that would be great. But I know of no government on Earth that wants its citizens to owe their primary allegiance to the planet (where it belongs) instead of to individual national governments. Nationalism is the only game in town. I believe that alien visitors — they may be our landlords, for all we know — think of us as earthlings even though, because of our military traffic, they would be well aware of different ruling groups in different places.
D. A small group of religious fundamentalists (Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson come to mind) have already loudly proclaimed that UFOs are the work of the devil and there is no other intelligent life outside Earth. What an insult to the notion of an all powerful GOD! They would be up the creek without a religious paddle if an announcement were to be made. They have had a great deal of political clout.
E. Making an announcement would require that governments admit they have been lying through their teeth for decades. I don’t know of any government that wants to do that.
F. If an announcement were carefully made without the scare mongering of “War of the Worlds”, a lot of people would think that surely, aliens, who can come here, must be far more advanced technologically than are we, since we can’t go out there. This would strongly suggest that soon there would be new methods of energy production, air and ground transport, computers and communication systems, i.e. economic chaos. We are not very good at large scale economic changes in a hurry. Think of the Soviet Union which, at our strong demands, had democracy, elections, freedom, capitalism. On the average, except for the high price of oil, are Russians better off today than they were 17 years ago??
G. Because I am convinced that military pilots in many countries have been disintegrated or “disappeared” by UFOs, I think governments would all be very resistant to telling their citizens that we tried to attack UFOs and they returned the favor — only they succeeded. The head of the American Rocket Society in 1952 took President Truman to task for the attack orders. Frank Feschino Jr. (Shoot Them Down) has gathered hundreds of reports of supposed airplane crashes in the USA and overseas in the early 1950s. Three military pilots, each of whom flew over 100 missions in Korea where they had to deal with marauding MIGs, crashed when they came back home. That seems very suspicious to me.
5. WHY would saucers crash?
Usually this is accompanied by a comment that it makes no sense that a sophisticated vehicle coming from many light years away could possibly crash. Please note that the vehicle could have come from a base on the back side of the moon, in the asteroid belt, on Mars or some alien “coaling station” in the local neighborhood. I once did 25 college lectures in 35 days in 15 states. I was gone all the time from when I left home until I returned rather than going back and forth to home after each lecture.
A. In the first place, there are many indications that what crashed at Roswell and in the Plains of San Agustin in New Mexico in early July, 1947, were small Earth excursion modules rather than the interstellar, very large vehicles (space carriers? mother ships?) which would have brought them to Earth just as our large aircraft carriers carry 75 or so small airplanes whose mode of propulsion is distinctly different from that of the carrier.
B. Secondly, when we examine major efforts by the Transportation Safety Board to determine the cause of aircraft crashes, we often find, after much effort, that it was simple unexpected things ranging from loose bolts, to ingested birds, to faulty wiring, to pilot error, to ice in the wrong place. It could have been very high atmospheric electricity levels because of storms or the great dryness of the desert air. Or unexpected high altitude hail. We know a radar set was on over at White Sands because of an impending rocket launch and the fact that it used vacuum tubes. This was a tracking radar pointed North. Crossing the beam might have led to a small hiccup in the control system for a magnetoaerodynamic propulsion system leading to a collision and subsequent collision of the lead saucer and its wingman’s saucer. Perhaps a US military rocket launched in the neighborhood might have inadvertently homed in on a saucer. Perhaps there was a momentary loss of attention when the Trinity highly radioactive site, at which the first atomic bomb was tested, was noted. We certainly have no reason to believe that aliens never make mistakes, or never run into the unexpected. Some day perhaps the government will release the report that was undoubtedly written as to the causes of the crashes. Just because we don’t have that report, it doesn’t mean the event didn’t take place.
6. WHY haven’t you seen a flying saucer?
I have no idea, though I have mostly lived in cities and am watching for traffic rather than looking to the skies. I check my audiences after my lectures and find that typically 10% have seen one, which covers many decades. Only 10% of those were reported. I have never seen Tokyo either or had polio or HIV. I know people who have seen Tokyo, had polio, or HIV. I spent many years chasing neutrons and gamma rays. Never saw one of them either. They are also real.
7. WHY do you say SETI stands for Silly Effort to Investigate?
Frankly I find that there is very little science behind the SETI effort. It is assumed that there are civilizations using communication technologies similar to ones we have developed to try to attract our attention. It assumes there is no colonization and no migration and that nobody is coming here. They assume that because it takes less energy to send signals than to travel, that nobody is traveling. Of course nobody flies from Newark to Hong Kong because the Internet and telephone is cheaper! Hah. It is all fancily dressed hogwash. They could easily be thousands or millions of years ahead of us. An AM radio doesn’t pick up FM signals. A German General just before the start of World War II in Europe noted (see Ref. 2) that the Brits were building a whole array of tall (more than 200′) towers with cross pieces which he figured had to be part of a radar net. The Graf Zeppelin slowly moved parallel to the array and listened and found no signals. The frequency being used was 10 times higher than what the Germans were using and they fortunately were never aware of how well their planes were being tracked.
If civilizations, with a great deal of common heritage and similar background and access to similar science, can’t correctly predict the technique to be used by similar people a few hundred miles away, why assume we can second-guess aliens? They persistently say there is no evidence for UFOs, but always avoid dealing with the large scale scientific studies. Check their references. Look carefully at the Drake Equation, their Holy Grail. We have no way to determine the lifetime of a civilization, or the fraction of planets that have intelligent life or that develop technology. We have data on one “civilization” on one planet in one solar system. Real scientists don’t extrapolate or interpolate from one data point. The SETI people omit colonization and migration which could greatly lengthen the life span of a civilization. That is pseudoscience, no matter how many degreed professionals are involved. Admittedly, their job security is dependent on nobody coming here…
8. WHY hasn’t the government taken out Stan Friedman, if what he is saying about a Cosmic Watergate and overwhelming evidence that we have visitors is true?
Obviously I don’t speak for the government. I am careful in what I say, and I don’t break the law in seeking classified data from people with clearances. I may be doing exactly what they want, that is, preparing the public for the date when the great secret is released. I have never had an unlisted telephone number. It is in my books and on my website. All those lonely drives to Roswell would provide plenty of opportunity. My answering service is instructed to give out my travel information to callers. Frankly, I can’t live my life looking over my shoulder. Some have suggested I was too well known and that a sudden death would be suspicious…
9. WHY would people fake a bunch of MJ-12 documents?
I am not a psychiatrist, but I would suggest to enhance status; to think “Gotcha”; or to disinform the public so that the fake documents would be an excuse for labeling such genuine documents as the Eisenhower Briefing Document, the Truman-Forrestal Memo, and the Cutler-Twining Memo as frauds. Or, perhaps, might it be to be able to claim that the proponents are stupid or are disinformation specialists? The same old tired false anti-MJ-12 arguments keep being put forth despite the fact that I have demonstrated that they are nonsense. The Majestic 12 article in Wikipedia is loaded with false and misleading claims. For example, in the 5000-word afterword in TOP SECRET/MAJIC 2nd Edition (2005), in “Update on Operation Majestic 12” (see www.stantonfriedman.com), in “Roswell and the MJ-12 Documents in the New Millennium” (Ref.5), and in my “Review of Case MJ-12” also on my website I demolish the anti’s and show that other MJ-12 documents are fraudulent. Remember, one of the key rules for debunkers is “Don’t bother me with the facts, my mind is made up.” Another is “Do your research by proclamation, investigation is too much trouble and the public won’t know the difference.” I distinctly showed that at least seven of the supposed MJ-12 documents provided to Timothy Cooper are emulations of real documents published in books and generally available. They were retyped, much handwritten material was Xeroxed or scanned, and the two were combined. And there were often factual misstatements. Deuterium is not light hydrogen. Sandia is in New Mexico, while General Spaatz was not in New Mexico on July 7, 1947 (I found his flight log and a newspaper article and desk calendar indicating he was in Port Aransas, Texas, fishing).
Some of the statements from the phony emulations were repeated in other documents which means the latter ones were also phony. I have been told that when good information is leaked, bad is put out so as to confuse things and imply the real ones are phony: guilt by association. It is interesting that Colonel Richard Weaver, author of the grossly misleading USAF Book The Roswell Report: Truth vs. Fiction in the New Mexico Desert (see Ref. 5) had as his military specialty “Disinformation.” He provided the fiction.
10. WHY have you kept at it since reading Ruppelt’s book in 1958 and giving your first lecture in 1967?
I enjoy being on the stage and the very enthusiastic response I get from my audiences, especially from the technical societies. I am pleased when people tell me that they decided to teach a course about UFOs, after hearing me talk. I can think of no subject more important to the future for my children and grandson than the notion of an earthling orientation in the hope of helping stop the proliferation of nuclear weapons. What is more exciting than alien visitations and government cover-ups? I believe I bring a unique background to my presentations:
A. So far as I know I have worked on more cancelled high technology classified programs than anybody and so can deal with those silly “It would violate the laws of Physics” arguments. Not many have worked on nuclear airplanes, or in general on fission and fusion propulsion systems.
B. Because I worked on many classified programs and have visited 20 archives, I am in a better position than most to deal with the silly “Secrets can’t be kept” notions.
C. Because I have probably had to answer about 40,000 questions at lectures and on talk shows and in classes, I have been forced to think about the questions such as the “WHY?” questions, more than most.
D. I was very fortunate to be able to find that my memory was good and reliable (at least until recently) and I could give acceptable answers in a hurry. Being on debate teams in high school probably helped a lot. I have been very lucky, first to have worked on so many leading edge classified programs, and second to be able to provide so many presentations to attentive audiences.
1. Friedman, Stanton T. “Government UFO Lies.” MUFON 2005 Conference Proceedings.
2. Burrows, William E. By Any Means Necessary: America’s Secret Air War in the Cold War New York: Farrar, Strauss and Giroux, 2001. 399 pp.
3. Berliner, Don, and Stanton T. Friedman. Crash at Corona Marlowe & Co., (Paraview Special Edition) 2004. 227 pp. $17.00 including S&H; from UFORI, POB 958, Houlton, ME 04730-0958. Autographed by STF.
4. Friedman, Stanton T. TOP SECRET/MAJIC 2nd Edition. Marlowe & Co., 2005. 296 pp. $17.00 including S&H; from UFORI. Autographed.
5. Weaver, Colonel Richard L. “The Roswell Report: Fact vs. Fiction in the New Mexico Desert.” US Government Printing Office, 1995 (about 1000 pp.).