Well, all of a sudden it's the new year and I am back from three weeks in Europe, most of which I spent flat on my back with the flu. However, I did get to meet Msgr. Corrado Balducci, thanks to the kind assistance of German UFO investigator Michael Hessemann. I confirmed that the interview with Msgr. Balducci that appears in Confirmation is absolutely accurate, and that he never told anybody that there was a papal commission studying UFOs, or that papal nuncios regularly report to the Vatican on the subject. He was mystified about how any such tale could have been attributed to him. I wasn't: I know the internet all too well.
I came back to discover that there is another round of high- profile hoaxing and "debunking" going on. Recently the Fox television "World's Greatest Hoaxes" program debunked the "Alien Autopsy" footage that I have thought for some time was fake. Two years ago, when Ray Santilli asked me whether or not I would be interested in writing a book about their adventures in locating the film, I told him that I would need to see some of the film and have it date-verified.
When no film was forthcoming, I assumed that the footage was a hoax, and so stated publicly. However, there is a disturbing aspect to the way it was "debunked" in the Fox special. First, the only real evidence offered was an actor who claimed to have been part of the hoax. But his testimony was the only proof. His face could not be seen in the footage he claimed to have been in, so there was no positive proof.
To debunk this material, it would be necessary to produce the special effects rubber creature that was used as the alien body. This was not done, and I wonder if that was because it cannot be done. Indeed, the debunking of the footage proved to be so weak that I was left wondering whether or not it might be genuine after all.
I doubt that it is footage of dead aliens, however. What it may be is film made of a corpse of an individual who had an extremely unusual genetic disorder. This would explain why even the debunkers have been so circumspect about it. It is illegal in, I believe, every state in the U.S. to display a corpse for payment. Maiming corpses is also against the law.
But is it a corpse? Certainly, the six-fingered hands are not human. This is because polydactylism can only repeat one of the other fingers, as humans do not have the genetic encoding for a discreet sixth digit. The hands, in this case, have a discreet sixth digit. However, when the leg is manipulated, it shows evidence not of being a special effect, but of having a skeleton with a working hip and knee.
Could it be that somebody took these corpses, cut off the hands and replaced them with special effects, then engaged in extensive and illegal public display and maiming of the corpses for profit? It would seem to me that prosecutors in the constituencies where this film was produced and aired should ask for professional opinions about whether or not real corpses might have been used, and proceed according to the law if the answer is in the affirmative.
There seems to be a cottage industry of hoaxers developing, and this would go a long way toward putting a stop to it.
Other stories to emerge in recent years that bear careful investigation are:
The Area 51 "alien interview" videotape.
The "Russian UFO recovery" television documentary.
The Dr. Reed "dead alien" photographs and "obelisk" videotape.
The "crop circle formation" videotape.
The Confirmation special is due to air in a few weeks (February 17) and I feel very satisfied with it. It is the first UFO special ever to appear on one of the major networks, and I feel that it offers an even-handed look at the questions. Skeptics and believers all get fair hearings. And the view of the abduction phenomenon is the most extensive and frank ever to appear on television.
It is interesting that the book Confirmation-- my first book to offer really hard evidence of a genuine mystery-- received not a single review in the U.S. media. I would expect that the press will go into overdrive to dismiss the special, as well. They will be ably assisted by members of the UFO community who make a profession out of taking pot-shots at the Whitley Strieber target.
I only have one question: is it wise to keep on with the charade that nothing unusual is happening when it appears that strange objects are being implanted in peoples' bodies? As long as we pretend that nothing is happening, we remain wide open to whoever is doing this. We need to take a saner and more cautious approach, which would be to admit that there is a mystery present and try to solve it. The skeptics and the jeering press keep us passive. This is not a healthy situation, maybe a dangerous one, and it needs to change.
NOTE: This Journal entry, previously published on our old site, will have any links removed.