Friday, May 17, 2019

Kevin Randle Remembers Stanton Friedman



Kevin Randle Remembers Stanton Friedman

Stan Friedman has Died

     Stan will be remembered for this advocacy of the extraterrestrial hypothesis, believing that some of the alien visitors were from the Zeta I, Zeta II Reticuli star system some 37 lights years from Earth. He had met with Betty Hill, and had partnered with Hill’s niece, Kathleen Marden in recent years. Together they wrote Captured! The Betty and Barney Hill UFO Experience which was an inside look the Hill abduction.

Stan started his adult life as a nuclear physicist working in the industry on various projects, including some that were
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classified. In 1970, he quit industry to devote full time to his UFO research. He had lectured at hundreds of colleges and universities and wrote several books about science and UFOs. He appeared on thousands of radio shows, on television and in documentaries.

While in Louisiana in 1978, a television station manager suggested that Stan might want to talk to a fellow named Jesse Marcel, a ham radio operator. Marcel was, of course, the air intelligence officer of the 509th Bomb Group, the military unit said to have recovered the remains of an alien spacecraft and the bodies of the occupants. That began a decades long search for documents, witnesses, and insight into what became know as the Roswell Incident.

It was during my research into the Roswell crash that I first met Stan more than 30 years ago. We did share information and resources, though we sometimes clashed over details. Stan believed that a few of the early MJ-12 documents were authentic while I believed them all to be created by UFO enthusiasts to provide documents proving that a spacecraft had been recovered. Stan was instrumental, however, in proving that dozens of the documents were faked, showing that he simply didn’t accept everything handed to him as authentic.

Stan had met Vern Maltais who claimed that his friend, Barney Barnett, had seen a crashed saucer on the Plains of San Agustin. Barnett had a niece, Alice Knight, and though both Stan and I had asked her about anything to document this, Knight said that she had nothing. She called me one night and said that she had found a diary that Ruth Barnett had kept for the year 1947. I was scheduled to meet Stan, along with Don Schmitt, in Albuquerque a few weeks later. I said I would swing by Knight’s house, which was more or less on the way. I smile every time I think about the first words Stan said to me when we met in Albuquerque. He asked, “Did you get it?”

I certainly had, but there was nothing in it to corroborate the Barnett tale. That was a great disappointment for all of us.

Stan was tenacious in his research, traveling around the country, visiting presidential libraries, meeting with families of witnesses, gathering important information, and providing encouragement to many interested in UFOs. He debated those in the scientific community and those he thought of as debunkers. He was proud of taking a thousand dollars from Philip Klass, when Klass suggested that none of the typewriters in the White House used pica type. Klass said he would pay one hundred dollars for each example, up to ten. Stan happily complied earning him the grand.

Although we had been at odds, in later years, we both seemed to mellow out. In Roswell in 2012, he mentioned that he thought I was right about Robert Willingham, a man who had claimed to have seen a crashed saucer just south of the Mexico. The evidence stacked against Willingham was overwhelming, but that didn’t dissuade Stan from his belief that the Eisenhower Briefing Document was authentic. It was just one of those things with which we had to agree to disagree.

The last time I saw Stan, I believe, was at the Citizen Hearing in Washington, D.C. in May 2013. We sat together, listening to a couple of the sessions of the hearing, and were both part of the hearing that dealt with Roswell. At one point, as we sat together, a question was directed as us, which we both answered at the same time, the same way. It dealt with a minor point about Roswell.

That was the thing. Stan said, more than once, that he and I agreed on more than we disagreed. We had one of those adversarial relations that was more cordial than many thought. In Roswell, at a big dinner in 2012, I had taken a seat at one end of the long table and Stan was about to sit at the far end. Someone mentioned that, believing, I guess, that we were mortal enemies. Before Stan sat down, I moved and took the chair opposite of him. Those around us waited for fireworks, but there were none. We had a nice chat during that dinner.

Stan could be headstrong but he was also interested in the evidence. He could defend those he thought had solid information, rarely abandoning them when the evidence went against them. He was positive that we have been visited, and debated those who thought otherwise. He was a strong advocate for his position, often complained about the entrenched attitudes of the academic world, and arguing passionately for his beliefs.

He leaves behind a wife, and three children. Stan was 84.

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