Physicist Stanton T. Friedman said he has not seen an unidentified flying object but he hasn’t seen Tokyo either, even though he knows the city exists.
His beliefs are based on years of study and interviews with citizens who sighted UFOs.
Friedman, known as the Flying Saucer Physicist, made his remarks before 80 people during the Tennessee Mutual Unidentified Flying Object Network meeting at the Baymont Suites on Armory Drive. He is a former classmate of Carl Sagan.
During his lecture, Friedman outlined four conclusions:
• The evidence is overwhelming that Planet Earth is being visited by intelligently controlled extraterrestrial spacecraft. In other words, some UFOs are alien spacecraft. Most are not.
• The subject of flying saucers represents a kind of Cosmic Watergate, meaning that some few people in major governments have known since July, 1947, when two crashed saucers and several alien bodies were recovered in New Mexico, that indeed some UFOs are ET. As noted in 1950, it’s the most classified U.S. topic.
• None of the arguments made against the first two conclusions by a small group of debunkers such as Carl Sagan, Friedman’s University of Chicago classmate for three years, can stand up to careful scrutiny.
• The Flying Saucer story is the biggest story of the millennium: visits to Planet Earth by aliens and the U.S. government's cover-up of the best data (the bodies and wreckage) for over 50 years.
The federal government is not close to disclosure about UFOs because it would have serious implications to technology and the economy. Church attendance would increase but the stock market would decrease. Fundamentalist church groups would be upset because it would be a contradiction to their doctrine.
Also, governments fear young people will feel allegiance to the world, not their own countries. Big powers would be afraid of loss of power.
UFOs are coming to Earth using energy the world doesn’t know about now, he said. Big oil companies might feel threatened if this technology were shared with mankind.
The more education a person has, the more likely they are to believe the Earth is being visited by UFOs, Friedman said.
Friedman first became interested in UFOs after reading a book in 1958. He worked for 14 years on the development of classified, advanced nuclear and space systems for GE, General Motors, Westinghouse, McDonnell Douglas and Aerojet General Nucleonics.
He gave his first lecture in 1967 and in the mid-1970s began the civilian investigation of the recovery of crashed flying saucers near Roswell, N.M.
Friedman spoke to Jesse Marcell Sr., who was the intelligence officer at a nearby air base. Marcell went to the crash site with a rancher and viewed the debris field. Jesse Marcell Jr. later wrote “Roswell Legacy” about his father’s experiences and his recollection of his father bringing home part of the debris.
Friedman interviewed Barney and Betty Hill, who claimed they were abducted Sept. 19, 1961 while driving in New Hampshire. They went under hypnosis separately and told about their experiences.
He has published more than 90 UFO articles, co-authored “Crash at Corona: The Definitive Study of the Roswell Incident” and the new 2008 “Flying Saucers and Science.”
During the lecture, Friedman showed members a power point presentation about the Roswell investigation in 1947.
The meeting was broadcast worldwide on short wave.
Max Mitchell of Kingsport, the state chief MUFON investigator, said there have been 96 reports in 2009 of UFOs investigated by MUFON as of November in Tennessee.
Participant Don Odom of Lewisburg, a retired Tennessee Wildlife Resources Officer, said his most memorable sighting while driving. He stopped his truck and a 150-foot long object floated by. It was 300 to 500 feet away and had 22 porthole lights and strobe lights on the top and bottom. It was red, white and blue.
He is now a MUFON field investigator.
Alyson Burgess, director of public relations for Tennessee MUFON headquartered in Memphis, said the mission statement of MUFON emphasizes the scientific study of UFOs for the benefit of humanity.
“We here at Tennessee MUFON take the mission statement to heart by galvanizing our current membership and helping it to grow,” Burgess said. “We may be part of a scientific finding that may benefit mankind.”