Rev. Barry Downing, author of The Bible
and Flying Saucers, discusses the relationship between UFOs and religion in this clip from an interview I conducted with
him for Stanton T. Friedman is Real in 2001, in Irvine, California, where he was speaking at the 2001 MUFON Symposium.
KimballThe Other Side of Truth
by Paul Kimball
Thursday, July 26, 2007
Kimball & Friedman - The Media and UFOs
Here's another clip of Stan and I on Melanson Live back in 2004, this time discussing the media and
UFOs. We also touch upon SETI, and my colleague Mike MacDonald, who made The Shag Harbour UFO Incident and Northern
Lights, and is currently in post-production on Intruders.
FYI -at the start of the clip, the lead-in
question was: "what did you find most surprising when you made the film?"
Back in 2004 (ignore the title card), Stan Friedman and I appeared on a cable show called "Melanson Live"
in Fredericton, New Brunswick, to discuss UFOs, and plug "Do You Believe in Majic, which was about to premiere on Space: The Imagination Station. In this clip, I discuss the relationship between sci-fi and interest in UFOs, and the talk a bit about the Robertson Panel.
- I had to cut out the interviewer's opening question. He asked me why I made DYBIM. My critics might appreciate my initial
The Roswell Incident (1947 - 2007) - RIP & Rebirth
Amidst all the hoopla and partying in Roswell this weekend, I hope people take a moment to pause and think about what it all
means. Because it isn't a celebration of Roswell's 60th anniversary
that's going on there - it's both a wake, and a rebirth.
I say a wake, because the "Roswell Incident", as
a serious UFO case, is dead. It's been on life support for quite a while now, but it's finally given up the ghost. Oh, sure,
as with Elvis, there will always be a few people who think the "case" is still alive and kicking. New "evidence" - like the
occassional Elvis sighting - will pop up from time to time to give them hope (the Walter Haut
affidavit shows just how desperate some people are to keep it going, as does the fact that Donald Schmitt is still considered
a top Roswell researcher). But the truth is that it's over folks. If the "Roswell Incident" was the crash of an alien
spacecraft, we'll never know - at least not until the government admits it, or the aliens reveal themselves. If it was something
more prosaic, like Project Mogul, or Nick Redfern's theory, or some other super-secret project, then there will always be
those who don't accept that explanation, no matter how much proof the government or researchers might show them. The "case"
is dead in the water, because there is no resolution in sight that will definitively answer everyone's questions.
matters worse, Roswell has been hit by a number of "bullets" in the past couple decades that have wounded it beyond saving.
The Alien Autopsy, Majestic-12, Philip Corso, Frank Kaufmann, Glenn Dennis - any one of these things undermined it as a serious
"case" worth investigating. The cumulative effect has been fatal.
So, to Roswell the serious UFO case, I say - rest in peace. Better that people focus their attention on better cases, like
Tehran, or RB47, or the 1996 Yukon sightings, or Shag Harbour, or yes, even Rendlesham. Even better still, with Roswell dead
to all but the most ardent "Elvis" fan, perhaps researchers can get back to the business of investigating modern sightings
more thoroughly. In the process, as we have seen with the O'Hare case, they might discover that interest in the UFO phenomenon,
which has waned in recent years, could rise again. After all, the maxim that all politics is local at the end of the day applies
in a temporal way to the UFO phenomenon - the "here and now" is the "local". A sixty year old case like Roswell is the equivalent
What will this mean for the serious study of the UFO phenomenon? I confidently predict that not only will
it survive Roswell's passing - in the long run, it will be better off without it.
But I also said that this weekend
is a rebirth. Why? Because while Roswell as a serious UFO case might be dead, Roswell as a legend is just
really being born, as my good friend Nick Redfern has recently pointed out. And it is as a legend that Roswell will continue
to fascinate people for many years to come, much the same way that the insoluble Jack the Ripper case still fascinates visitors
to London, or some of the disappearances in the so-called Bermuda Triangle continue to fascinate people, or the various stories
about bandits like Billy the Kid still captivate us, even though we'll never really know which ones are true and which ones
That's good news for the city of Roswell, of course, and for the people there who make money off of the Roswell
story. And there's nothing wrong with that - anymore than there's anything wrong with people making money off of Jack the Ripper walking tours in London.
So, here's to the "Roswell Incident".
No matter how hard people tried to crack it to everyone's satisfaction, it remained until its dying days a mystery. It left
this world (er... no pun intended) the same way it came in - as a ball of confusion, with a wink and a nod, no compromises
and no answers. And here's to the "Roswell Legend". I predict it will have a long, and profitable, life from hereon in.
I had a long chat with my good friend Mac Tonnies this evening, which always makes me smile, because when we start talking to each other it feels like a jam session with the
old band, where we would just play and play until we were played out (just check out our extended, extemporaneous riffing
with Greg Bishop on our 2006 Radio Misterioso gig to see what I mean).
Mac is one of the brightest and most articulate people involved in the paranormal / esoteric
field of study, and is always well worth a listen, even when, as is sometimes the case with me, one might disagree with him.
It is to the enduring shame of Coast to Coast, that the likes of Richard C. Hoagland and Linda Moulton Howe make
regular appearances and pretend that they know what they're talking about, whereas Mac has never been invited to be on the
show. The Coast people are shortchanging their listeners - in a big way. So too are most conference organizers, who
invite the likes of Michael Horn or Steven Greer, but routinely ignore guys like Mac, who might actually say something worth
What Coast and these conferences are doing, of course, is preaching to the converted. It was
undoubtedly a sound business model in the past, but it will eventually run afoul of the law of diminishing returns, i.e. without
some new blood with some new ideas, people will eventually get bored, and stop coming or listening. Given the declining numbers
across the board at conferences, it should be clear that this process is already underway.
Of course, Mac isn't the
guy you want at your conference or on your show if you just want to reinforce the audience's pre-existing beliefs, or to make
them feel better. But if you want to challenge people, and stimulate them, and introduce them to ideas and concepts with which
they may not be familiar - and isn't that what you should be doing - then Mac is one of the guys you want on board. But when
was the last time that the "mainstream" paranormal / esoteric community actually wanted to challenge anyone with new ideas?
there's the irony with the situation Mac finds himself in, and Greg Bishop, and others - in a field of study where the weird,
wacky and far-out should be the coin of the realm, where ideas should matter, and where an intelligent discourse should be
paramount, most people have settled for the familiar, comfortable, and easy-to-digest orthodoxy of the commercialized paranormal
establishment. "Same old, same old" is the rule, not the exception. Which is why fewer and fewer people seem to care these
Religion may be the opiate of the masses in the general sense (or one of them), but in the paranormal / esoteric
world, it's Coast to Coast, and Linda Moulton Howe, and Richard Hoagland, and most conferences, and so forth. The
stagnation is palpable. It reeks of complacency.
It's not too late to change that, mind you. A good start would be
for one of the Coast producers to give Mac a call, or shoot him an e-mail, and invite him on for a full three hour
In the meantime, if you haven't done so, check out Mac's blog, The Posthuman Blues, which is an always interesting, and often amusing, grab bag of stuff, both paranormal and otherwise.
The Other Side of Truth series - Update #4: Episode 1: Tulpas
The first episode of The Other Side of Truth series will focus on tulpas. "What are
tulpas?" you ask.
A tulpa is an imagined being created by a person or group and visualized strongly until it can be seen by others
and appears no different from actual physical matter. Mature tulpas can function independently of their creators for either
good or evil. Belief in tulpas stems from Tibetan mysticism but has been exercised all over the world and has gained a place
in modern popular culture.
Here are some of the questions that Nick, Tim, Greg, Mac and Kris will be discussing
in the episode:
Are tulpas composed of matter, or simply of thought?
Could prominent world figures currently be protecting
themselves with tulpa-doubles?
Are tulpas a possible explanation for ghosts, cryptid creatures such as Bigfoot, and
Stay tuned for more episode information as the summer moves along.
In belated honour of Canada Day (July 1st), re-visit my one day coup at the Binnall of America empire on the episode known
as Kimball of Canada, where I talked at length about the Best Evidence documentary.
Tim did a great job all season long, and I think I set some sort of BoA record with three appearances
(an early season two-parter, and the baseball special). Great fun. I look forward to working with him on other projects in
No idea exactly when The Other Side of Truth will be filmed, other than to say this
fall or early winter sometime. However, Kris McBride is busily researching the topics that will be featured for discussion by the panel - Nick Redfern, Tim Binnall, Mac Tonnies, and Greg Bishop - which at the moment include tulpas, remote viewing, the cryptoterrestrial hypothesis, disinformation, transhumanism and,
of course, unidentified flying objects.
Also, the quintet of panelists (plus Kris, the host) is now down to a more
manageable quartet. Sorry, Kimball-heads, but I won't be on screen (I can hear the shouts of joy now). Rather, I'll be where
I belong - in the air conditioned production truck, watching a bank of monitors, calling shots, and sipping a Diet Coke.
Much ado is being made within ufology these days about statements made by the late Walter Haut, the young lieutenant at Roswell
in 1947 responsible for releasing the "we recovered a flying saucer" press release, to the effect that he saw alien bodies.
He made these claims in an interview with Wendy Connors and Dennis Balthasar in 2000, and again, in much more detail apparently,
in an affidavit he signed for Donald Schmitt and Tom Carey in 2002.
It's much ado about nothing.
recall that Haut vouched for Frank Kaufmann, who was shown to be a fraud, and Glenn Dennis, who similarly has been exposed.
This stuff about alien bodies, long after there was any reason for him to keep it secret, reads as bogus to me. Indeed, I
interviewed Haut and Dennis in 2001 - they sat right next to each other, and Dennis told his story about dead bodies etc.,
and Haut said not a word about it. Don't tell me it was his "oath" either - he had already talked plenty about Roswell, and
broken his oath if he had given such a thing.
It is my considered opinion, which will no doubt make me unpopular in
certain quarters again, that there are three possible explanations for this "revelation":
1. Haut may have been manipulated,
either intentionally or unintentionally, by unscrupulous or careless and untrained researchers for their own ends.
Haut may have told a purposeful tall tale in order to give new life to the Roswell story, which his family still has a financial
stake in. A note here - when I interviewed Haut and Dennis in 2001, they both asked for money, even though I was doing a film
about their old friend, Stan Friedman. It was only when Stan intervened personally that they dropped their request. They are
the only witnesses to any UFO case that I have ever talked to who ever asked to be paid for an interview, and in
my case I was talking to them more about Stan and his career than the Roswell incident itself. Charles Halt, Bruce Bailey,
and Robert Salas, all veterans, made no such request for the recent Best Evidence film, for example.
was simply an old man who had heard so many stories like Dennis' that he came to believe them himself.
The latter is
the most charitable explanation I can come up with.
The fact that he insisted that none of this be released until after
his death should be a red flag as well - it neatly inculcated Haut from having to answer the tough questions about what he
said. As a piece of evidence, this kind of statement is practically worthless regardless of who made it, or the circumstances
under which it was made, because the person who made it cannot be cross-examined / questioned by independent researchers.
final note - if the affidavit was given in 2002, and Haut died in 2005, why is it only now making the rounds within ufology?
If true, it is indeed an earth-shattering revelation, and yet it was neatly tucked away for well over a year, until (a) Schmitt
and Carey had a book to sell (apparently they had to obtain permission from the Haut family to publish it, but why did it
take so long), and (b) Roswell had a 60th anniversary to celebrate.
Consider those further red flags. Big ones. Because
if aliens on earth really is the biggest story of the millenium, as Stan Friedman is wont to say, then these people deliberately
withheld critical information from the public, for motives that could only be attributed to profit. So much for free and easy
None of this will stop those with financial and emotional interests in Roswell from flogging this story,
probably for years to come, and claiming it as proof of crashed alien spacecraft near Roswell in 1947. Don't be deceived,
folks. It is nothing of the sort.
Name: Paul Kimball
Location: Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
After winning multiple scholarships and awards - including University Medals in History at both
Acadia University and the University of Dundee, and the CLB Award at Dalhousie Law School - Paul graduated from Acadia in
1989 with an Honours Degree in History and Political Science, and in 1992 from Dalhousie with an LL.B. After working for the
Nova Scotia Film Development Corporation and Salter Street Films, and as a consultant on film and television to the governments
of Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland, Paul founded Redstar Films Limited in 1999. His work as a producer and director
since includes documentaries for networks including CBC, Vision, Bravo, SCN and Space: The Imagination Station, as well as
the television series The Classical Now. Paul is a member of the Nova Scotia Barristers Society and the Society of Composers
Authors and Publishers. He served as President of the Nova Scotia Film and Television Producers Association from 2002 to 2004,
and is currently a member of the Film Advisory Committee for the Province of Nova Scotia.
Paul Kimball on Facebook
"Paul Kimball's blog is probably one of the best UFO weblogs... Hard to say where Paul stands but I get the impression
that he can be very skeptical of the more absurd claims that are made. He seems to be fair and, contrary to many UFOlogists,
"open-minded". This is a breath of fresh air. Maybe there is hope for some in UFOlogy after all. Check it out." - Tim Printy,
UFOs: A Skeptical View