Physicist key speaker for two-day UFO summitSeptember 2, 2007
Nuclear physicist Stanton Friedman arrives in West Virginia's capital Friday with "overwhelming evidence" that aliens from beyond have been visiting planet Earth for a long time.
Friedman is a keynoter for a special two-day UFO summit at the old Capitol Theater in Charleston, arranged by promoter Larry Bailey.
For almost half a century, Friedman has explored the UFO phenomenon and spent much of his time on the lecture circuit, meeting audiences on better than 600 campuses and appearing on national television interviews, including, of late, the "Larry King Show."
At every stop, his message never varies.
"UFOs are real, and the government has been covering them up in what I call the 'cosmic Watergate,'" Friedman told The Register-Herald in a recent interview.
"I've never seen a flying saucer, but I've never seen a meteor or a gamma ray, but I think they're real, too."
No matter what side one takes in the UFO controversy, all must concede Friedman's scientific background.
For 14 years, he worked for no less giants than General Electric, General Motors, Westinghouse, McDonnell Douglass, TRW Systems and Aerojet General Nucleonics.
Friedman was the first scientific investigator to explore the Roswell incident and has been hard at it ever since, unearthing what he insists is a massive coverup by the government to deny the existence of alien craft.
"The flying saucer story is the biggest story of the millennium," he declares.
The linchpin of the UFO issue, of course, is Roswell.
It was there, back in 1947, that true believers say that two alien aircraft crash landed and the government recovered not only the debris from those ships but a number of alien bodies, but immediately moved into a sophisticated coverup to keep the lid on.
To cement the official lie that what landed was an aborted weather balloon, he says, the Army Air Force, as it was known back then, set loose such a device for the benefit of the press.
To those who mock his conclusions, Friedman is quick to ask if they have ever bothered to study the five major scientific studies used in his presentations. What he has learned is that 97 percent haven't.
Besides, scientific breakthroughs have seldom come without ridicule, even within the community of scientists.
"We don't a lot about the history of our planet," he said.
In modern times, Friedman is swift to point out, the city of Troy, often dismissed as legend, a myth created in literature, was actually proven to have been a genuine place.
Skeptics often wonder why UFOs, if indeed real, haven't left behind some hard evidence and why they pick obscure locations such as a Kansas wheat field in which to set down, rather than downtown Detroit or bustling Dallas, For that matter, why hasn't a team of aliens touched down on the Rose Garden, walked up to the White House door and demanded to see the president.
Friedman alludes to violent contact between aliens and the U.S. Air Force - a topic explored at length by the summit's other keynoter, author Frank Feschino - as one reason.
Dodging rockets and other fire power from U.S. Air Force jets would tend to cool one's neighborly attitude, even among aliens possessing obvious superior aircraft, Friedman says.
"We're not very friendly," he said.
Friedman has authored books on UFOs, his latest titled "Captured! The Betty and Barney Hill UFO Experience," touted as the first documented alien abduction.
In all his travels, Friedman has been welcomed by rapt attention and endured few doubters in all 50 states.
"I've only had 11 hecklers and two of them were drunks," he said.
Feschino, now living in Florida, painstakingly looked into the "Flatwoods Monster," a sighting of a robotic figure on a hillside in Braxton County and the subject of his first book.
Since then, Feschino has penned a follow-up titled, "Shoot Them Down," in which he describes aerial warfare between alien craft and the Air Force off the Atlantic Coast. In the midst of that fierce battle, he says, one alien was forced to take his hobbled craft back inland, explaining the figure witnessed by several boys and adults.
One of the children, Freddy May, will appear with Feschino and Friedman at the summit this weekend.