5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Town Hall Meeting (Edinburg City Auditorium, 415 W. McIntyre)
7 p.m. to 10 p.m. "Out of This World" Festival (Edinburg City Hall Courtyard, 415 W. University Drive)
A SCIENTIST'S STUDY
The Valley will be treated to a lecture from perhaps the most recognizable UFO researcher to date: Stanton Friedman. The nuclear physicist, who has earned bachelor and master degrees in physics from the University of Chicago, first began his study of flying saucers in the late '50s when he happened upon the book The Report on UFOs. He's been hooked ever since.
Friedman has written several books and articles on the famous Roswell, New Mexico incident, alleged abductions and alien spacecraft. He took a few minutes to speak with Festiva about the six reasons he believes the government wouldn't be exactly forthcoming about alien visitation.
FESTIVA: So let's say the government gives in and says, "OK, humans, these UFOs are alien technology. Life exists outside of Earth." What would we gain from that knowledge, in your opinion?
FRIEDMAN: There are several reasons why they haven't and I think we need to look at those real quickly.
I think there's six reasons. One, they want to figure out how the darn things work. They make wonderful weapons delivery and defense systems. Rule number one for secret programs is you can't tell your friends without telling your enemies. They read the newspapers, too.
Second problem is the other side of the same coin -- what if they other guy figures out how they work before you do? How do you defend against him? You don't want him to know you know he knows. Warfare has a long history of weapons, counter-weapons, counter-counter-weapons.
The third problem is different. If there were to be a big announcement tomorrow ... what would happen? Stock market would go down, church attendance would go up, mental hospital admissions would go up, and one of the biggest things that would happen, I believe, is that the younger generation, which unlike me, was not alive ever when there wasn't a space program, (would have) a new view of ourselves -- instead of Americans, Canadians, Greek, Peruvians, whatever -- as Earthlings. Obviously, from an alien viewpoint, we are all Earthlings. We don't seem to like that very much. Nationalism is the only game in town -- you may have noticed that. No government wants its citizens to owe their allegiance to the planet instead of that government.
The fourth reason is that people like Pat Robertson have very loudly proclaimed that all the intelligent life in the universe is right here on the planet Earth. ... And Pat says all this UFO stuff is the work of the devil -- and also the world was created in 4004 B.C. -- he left out about six zeroes in there.
The fifth reason is different. People say to me, "Stan, look, if aliens are coming here and we're not going there, then they're more advanced than we are. That means that soon there will be new methods of energy production -- there goes the oil industry. New methods of ground and air transport -- there goes the car and the plane people. New methods of electronics and so forth -- economic chaos." And I say, "You know, we don't make many buggy whips anymore. We seem to have survived the changes. There's been an enormous change in our technological capabilities -- just look at the computer on your desk. ... They may have lost some pencil sales because of that.
And finally, I have, on seven different occasions (because I travel a lot ...), been told of cases in which military planes chased UFOs and never came back. And if you check rather carefully, you'll find that in 1952, orders were issued: Shoot them down if they don't land when instructed to do so.
... Incidentally, there were over 200 military pilots lost in accidents between '51 and '56, according to The New York Times. And they used words like "on occasion" and "disappeared" and "disintegrated." And five of those 200 pilots were guys who had over 100 missions in Korea where the Russian MiGs were trying to shoot them down. When they came back to the United States, they crashed. It seems a little strange. You've got to be a pretty good pilot to survive 100 missions when somebody's trying to kill you. It's a strange world out there.
So what difference would it make? It affects our view of ourselves, it affects religion, it affects -- you know, there will be guys like, "OK, what can I sell them?" Why not? They may have been stealing goodies from us all along and not paying anybody for it. The Earth is the densest planet in the solar system -- I don't mean the people, although that's probably true, too -- a cubic foot of Earth weighs more than a cubic foot of any other planet in our solar system. That means more heavy metals. And some heavy metals like uranium and gold and osmium and platinum, some of which people have never heard of, have very special properties like high melting points and stuff like that. Maybe they've been stealing all those diamonds that washed off the African rivers right into the ocean. Who knows?
... So I can imagine it would put governments at risk. Nobody in power wants to give up power. You may have noticed that.
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