By John WardOTTAWA (CP) - A UFO researcher who offered to brief Gov. Gen. Michaelle Jean on the presence of extraterrestrials is putting an optimistic spin on the pro-forma response he received from her office.
The Canadian Press
The Canadian Press
Victor Viggiani of Exopolitics Toronto, admits that the perfunctory reply could be seen as a polite brush off, but he's taking it as more than that.
The letter from the Governor General's office says Viggiani's concerns "would be best addressed by the Canadian Space Agency and the Canadian Security Intelligence Service."
"You may wish to contact these organizations."
Said Viggiani: "You could interpret it in one way as a standard response. But we're interpreting it, I guess, in a positive way that we now have the Governor General's OK to pursue this thing in the Canadian security service . . . with her support.
"She's giving us sort of, quote unquote, her permission, consent, tacit permission to go forward with this."
In an e-mail to supporters, Viggiani said his group had "received direction from Jean's office to pursue this issue with Canada's space agency and CSIS."
The retired Toronto school principal has been a dedicated supporter of UFO research and a firm believer in extraterrestrials for years.
In a May 17 letter to the Governor General, Viggiani offered a private briefing by "citizen experts" including one-time Liberal defence minister Paul Hellyer.
Hellyer, a 1960s minister, has said he is convinced that UFOs are real and are evidence of extraterrestrial visitations.
He spoke at a UFO convention two years ago.
Viggiani's letter also asked: "Is Canada willing to be left behind the other G-7 countries as they begin to examine both the historical and future implications of contact with off-world civilizations?"
He believes that shadowy government agencies - and some governments - are aware of the existence of alien visitors and may actually have met them. He feels that governments are on the brink of announcing the extraterrestrial presence.
He also thinks that secret labs are reverse-engineering technology from crashed spacecraft that could solve energy and pollution problems forever.
He said he hopes the Governor General's letter will help him gain a high-level meeting with either the security service or the space agency.
"Any little bit of leverage that we can use to get people's attention in terms of who we notify about this ... we feel that this is very important."
At that meeting, he plans to lay out his group's documentation.
"What we want to do with them is ... brief them on what we know ... and just see what their response is."
He said he wants to know if there is a legitimate reason for keeping the reality of visiting aliens a secret.
"There may be an issue regarding this extraterrestrial presence that we may not want to know about," he said. "It may be something that's so clandestine and so dangerous for the human race to know that that's one of the reasons they're not releasing it.
"I'm not saying that that is the case. My opinion is just the opposite. They know about this and they're hiding it for other reasons."
Viggiani's approach to the Governor General comes 60 years to the month after the legendary incident credited with giving birth to the UFO phenomenon.
On June 25, 1947, a businessman named Kenneth Arnold was flying his private plane on a business trip near Mount Rainier, Wash., when he saw nine strange objects in the sky.
He told reporters later that they seemed to be able to fly faster than the speed of sound - in a day before any aircraft had broken the sound barrier - and their movement was like a "saucer" skipped over water.
Thus, the phrase "flying saucer" entered the language. Within weeks, hundreds of similar sightings were reported and thousands more have been recorded in the last six decades.
Arnold died in 1984 at the age of 69.