A couple of days after returning from this week’s Global Competitiveness Forum in Saudi Arabia, veteran UFO researcher Stan Friedman is still a little puzzled by what it meant. The UFO part, anyway.
Seeping slowly into the mainstream …
By Billy Cox
By Billy Cox
Now in its sixth year, the blue-chip event was sponsored by the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA), which was formed by the Royal Kingdom in 2000 to figure out, among other things, how to grow its economy after the oil dries up. Its Forum in Riyadh lays out major scratch to book heavyweights, from bankers to captains of industry to First World pols. This year, Tony Blair (again) and Bill Clinton took the stage.
But this was the first time the Forum made room for a “Learning From Outer Space” lineup, which included Friedman, Jacques Vallee, and Nick Pope, speakers steeped in the persistent UFO controversy. Throw in physicist Michio Kaku and an Islamic scholar — plus an allotment of audience Q&A time — and the scheduled 75-minute program didn’t leave much room for individual exposition.
Friedman held his power-point presentation to under 10 minutes. “I didn’t show slides of UFOs,” he says from his home in Fredericton, Canada. What he did was summarize the larger arc of his 2010 book Science Was Wrong, which cites numerous examples of flawed scientific predictions that erroneously extrapolated future advances based on conventional wisdom. Revolutions, he says, “come from doing things differently.”
Friedman says Vallee summarized 500 ancient sightings predating manned flight, and that Pope laid myriad ET theories, from SETI contact to microbial life, on the assembled, which numbered several hundred. The auditorium acoustics were a little shaky, and a few audience questions got lost in translation. But that was pretty much it. At least for now. No impromptu closed-door sessions, no take-it-to-the-next-level suggestions. But no jeers or snickers, either. With the arrival of peak oil, maybe derision over the unthinkable is becoming a luxury item.
“Well, I’m glad I went, it was fun,” Friedman says. “Maybe we planted some seeds, you never know. These are the kinds of people you want behind you when you’re serious about thinking outside the box.”
And it didn’t snow.
More . . .
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