By STEPHEN LLEWELLYNFredericton ufologist Stanton Friedman has been inducted into the Roswell UFO Hall of Fame.
The Daily Gleaner
The Daily Gleaner
Friedman was appointed to the hall of fame at a ceremony in Roswell, New Mexico, recently during the annual Roswell UFO Festival.
"I feel very good," said Friedman in an interview Wednesday. "I am the original civilian investigator of the Roswell incident.
"I started the ufological world on the Roswell train, if you will."
Roswell is the site of the alleged but famous flying saucer crash in 1947. Some believe the United States government recovered dead aliens, alien technology and covered it up.
The official explanation of the incident is that it was a top secret, high altitude surveillance balloon that crashed.
Friedman, 75, became famous in UFO circles in 1978 when he interviewed the late major Jesse Marcel who was involved in the recovery of debris from the incident in 1947.
Marcel said he thought there was a military coverup of a crash of an alien spacecraft.
At the time of the alleged crash, the Roswell military air base was home to the only nuclear bombing squadron in the world.
"I was the first one to talk to Jesse," said Friedman.
Marcel was inducted into the Roswell UFO Hall of Fame in 2009, the year the hall of fame was created.
"I have been delighted to be able to go back there many, many times, especially for the festival," said Friedman. "I like Roswell. They like me.
"I gave three lectures at the museum when I was down there over the July 4 weekend and was on a panel."
He said there were great crowds at the annual festival.
Friedman said he was presented with his hall of fame trophy by Dr. Jesse Marcel Jr., son of the late military officer.
According to Friedman, Marcel Jr. briefly handled some of the alleged spacecraft debris brought home by his father in 1947.
Friedman, a former nuclear scientist, said the hall of fame is a means of giving recognition to people who have contributed in some way to spreading the story of Roswell.
"There will be others who will be honoured for standing up and being counted.''
Friedman said the best proof that aliens are visiting Earth isn't a new video of an object in the sky but the many large-scale scientific studies that have been done on the subject over the years.
"The cumulative evidence based on 60 years of collection," he said. "Sure, most of the evidence gets thrown out."
But there are always cases that can't be explained by natural phenomenon, said Friedman.
"I would say in the general public the great majority of people believe some UFOs are alien spacecraft, but they are afraid to admit it.''
He said he has lectured at universities all over Canada and the United States and done hundreds of radio and television interviews.
One of the things he does at his lectures is ask university students to answer questions by a show of hands while they have their eyes closed so they aren't influenced by their neighbours. Friedman first asks them how many people they think believe in UFOs and the answer is usually around 20 per cent.
Then he asks them to close their eyes and raise their hands if they believe in UFOs.
He said about 80 per cent of his audience raises its hands.
"So we have the crazy situation that most people believe but they believe most people don't so therefore they act accordingly," said Friedman.