Critical Review of Clark's Encyclopedia Article, "Meier Contact Claims,"
and the Initiation and Maintenance of Debunking against Meier

by J. W. Deardorff
August, 2008


In The UFO Encyclopedia, Jerry Clark (1998a) devotes three pages of text to a summary of Meier's experiences and ufological reactions to them, and another page to references.
Clark in 1998
It is probably the most even-handed treatment of the Meier case that you will find from any "mainstream" ufologist. He presents a very nice photo showing Meier on the telephone, circa 1970, with a sketch on the wall of one of his ET contactors (who is "Asket" the alien allegedly from another universe, not "Semjase" the Plejaren or Pleiadian). He briefly mentions incidents from Meier's early youth, his contacts then with Sfath (the Plejaren leader until Ptaah took over), then with Asket in his twenties, and then with Semjase in the mid-1970s. Of the 25 references he presents, which relate to Meier's experiences in the latter period, about half are serious studies while the others are of a debunking nature. Although his article avoids unsubstantiated and slanderous charges against Meier directly from himself, Clark let his feelings on the case be known through his selection of what he did and did not report on in the text, by whom he did and did not quote from, by a certain amount of subtle spin, and by ending with a quote improperly characterizing as a "money-making machine" Meier's efforts to make his experiences and his contactors' spiritual teachings known to interested persons.

Meier wrote a detailed and revealing autobiography of his early life, and from an early unpublished version of it (Meier, 2003, pp. 26-27), his detractors and Clark could selectively say that Meier's troubled youth included "serving time in a detention center on a theft charge." The investigator who reports more fairly and comprehensively would instead expand on this by mentioning, "Meier was from a very poor family, and his poor clothes and lack of ability to participate in events at school, for lack of money, set him apart from the other boys, ...he was often made the butt of pranks, and was frequently punished for things he did not do" (Stevens, 1981a). Meier has admitted he failed to openly oppose the false charges against him in his boyhood (Hurlburt and Chang, 2002).

However, an impartial summary of Meier's life and experiences can hardly have been expected of a ufologist with a reputation to safeguard among like-minded colleagues. Clark was the editor of Fate magazine from 1976 to 1989, has been editor of the International UFO Reporter (IUR) since 1985, and has been an editor of the Journal of UFO Studies. Ever since the 1950s when contactees emerged into the ufological limelight, repeating silly statements they say they received from their contactors while obtaining little or no evidence to show for their alleged experiences, all ostensible contactees have been considered delusional, self-aggrandizing or worse by mainstream ufologists. This was the background out of which the Meier contactee case emerged in the mid- and late 1970s. In order that the ufological status-quo be maintained, Meier then had to be debunked even more heavily than his dubious predecessors due to the large amount of high quality photographic, sound-track and metal-alloy evidence that he was allowed to acquire, and because many of his contact experiences involved seemingly magical or incredible aspects.

Scientists and ufologists alike will easily concede that aliens who are tens of thousands, if not millions, of years ahead of us in their scientific development could do things we would consider to be magic — including travel in time. However, if any contactee tells of being treated to any such technology by his alien contactors, he will be strongly opposed by mainstream ufologists even when in possession of much supportive evidence. As I see it, they believe that their credibility in the eyes of mainstream scientists would decline if they treated such a case seriously, and this would deter them from their main goal of bringing the reality of the UFO phenomenon — unearthly "hardware in the sky" — to the attention of science. The discreditation or shunning of alleged contactees by mainstream ufology continues to this day (2008), although a growing minority within "exopolitical" groups take many alleged contactees seriously despite the dearth of supportive evidence in most cases.


Ufologists who early on set the tone for much of the subsequent debunking of Meier include Coral Lorenzen, Colman von Keviczky, Ted Auerbach, Richard Hall, William Moore, Kal Korff, William Spaulding, Walt Andrus, Ray Stanford and John Timmerman. My apologies go out to those ufologists whom I omitted but who wish they had been included; I had to draw the line somewhere. (A list of Meier-case detractors as of 2014, from the viewpoint of Michael Horn, is given here .)

Coral Lorenzen, who with her husband led the Aerial Phenomena Research Organization (APRO), decided by late 1977 or early 1978 that the Meier case had to be a hoax after Wendelle Stevens would not give her the earliest copies of Meier's photos he had obtained. See this 1994 video (see first 20 min.) of a Wendelle Stevens presentation. Leaders of MUFON then were predispositioned towards the opinion held by APRO.

Colman Von Keviczky, a Hungarian born U.S. citizen who spoke German, could learn directly about Meier's experiences and photos from FIGU insider Hans Jacob, who by 1977 had defected from Meier's FIGU group (Korff, 1995, pp. 54-55). (The FIGU initials, upon translation, stand for "Free Community of Interests in Fringe and Spiritual Sciences and Ufological Studies" which he established in the early 1970s, centered at his residence first in Hinwil, 14 miles southeast of Zurich, then in Schmidrüti some 8 miles to the north of Hinwil; this is in German-speaking Switzerland.) Von Keviczky quickly spread misleading information he received from Jacob to other ufologists, and to his own group in New York: Intercontinental UFO Galactic Spacecraft Research and Analytic Network (ICUFON) as early as 1977 (Von Keviczky, 1982). Von Keviczky never met Meier.

The role of Ted Auerbach of Gebenstorf, Switzerland, in much of this was kept confidential within MUFON although he was MUFON's consultant for that country's UFO news during the late 1970s and the 1980s. He also had made contact with Hans Jacob, from whom he similarly learned about some of the sensational aspects of the Meier case. Although Auerbach never met Meier, he at least read the first edition of the Talmud Jmmanuel. He was in close touch with MUFON's international director, Walt Andrus. More on Auerbach and Andrus later.

The defector, Hans Jacob, could be mentioned above along with the other early Meier-case detractors, except that he was no "ufologist." Actually, he was in on a nighttime UFO sighting on 16 June, 1975, after midnight, while he and several others, who are also identified by name, were sitting in their two cars in a secluded nook of the hills waiting for Meier to return from a contact with Semjase (Bertschinger, 2001, pp. 33-35). This sighting by Jacob and the others was well known, so that even Korff (1995, p. 55) admitted to Jacob having had one or more sightings. Yet, after another year of Meier having engaged in many more contacts and opportunities to take daytime beamship photos, Jacob apparently grew disgusted over not being granted the privilege of seeing Semjase's spacecraft in the daytime for himself, and decided that Meier must somehow have been staging all his contact events. According to what Stevens learned, Jacob was suspected of having informed the police of one of Meier's contact rendezvous sites, after which he was asked to leave the FIGU group (Stevens, 1995, p. 101). Meier had to strictly obey Semjase in not bringing any others too near, or within viewing distance of, a contact rendezvous site, or else she would not show up.

Regarding the late Richard Hall, he was editor of the MUFON UFO Journal from January 1978 through July 1983, and, as a highly respected, hard working UFO investigator, was in a good position to influence other ufologists. A MUFON journal note by Hall (1980a) debunking Meier suggests that his earliest negative opinions of Meier, if not gained from APRO, were gained from reports from Auerbach via Andrus, with whom Hall was in close contact; in 1982 Hall received negative reports from Von Kevickzky panning Meier.

In an editorial in December, 1980, Hall spread the word that:

The Meier hoax (no quotes necessary) is so blatant that we hope no one is fooled by this charade. Unless Meier or others who claim to believe him wish to dispute the charges against him, Kal Korff's expose should be the last word. We hope so (Hall, 1980b).
Hall's editorial referred to a debunking article by Korff (1980) in the same issue. The "fix" was on — whoever took notice of, and spoke about, the evidence that showed Meier was no hoaxer could be openly called a fool. From then on it would be very "politically" incorrect to be on the wrong side of the Meier-case issue. Although refutations by Stevens (1981a,b) of Korff's accusations were forthcoming, they would be ignored or drowned out by counter charges of a spurious or nit-picking nature, or by charges that were irrelevant or would later become known to have been irrelevant (see below under "Photos from Meier's five-day space trip").

The completely independent investigation undertaken by Gary Kinder from 1983-1985, in which Kinder, almost apologetically, had to conclude that Meier was no hoaxer (Kinder, 1987a), stood no chance of being accepted by the main community of ufologists. It came too late. Kinder had bent over backwards to try not to offend the ufological community with his book, Light Years, since from his own investigations into the UFO phenomenon itself, of which he included a chapter in his book, he was well convinced that the phenomenon is real. And so it was to no avail that he wrote his open letter to the ufological community (Kinder, 1987b), at about the time Light Years was published. Andrus did his best to prevent the book from being published, and had sent a letter to Kinder's potential publisher, Atlantic Monthly Press, asking them not to publish it (Kinder, 1987b); fortunately he did not succeed at that.

Andrus did get in his licks, however, following dissemination of Kinder's open Letter:

Mr. Kinder is relying upon the testimony of these scientists [ones he turned to in investigating some of Meierís physical evidence] to support his book, because the honesty and integrity of Eduard "Billy" Meier is practically nil. There is strong evidence that Gary has approached the Billy Meier Case as a competent investigative reporter, having only a minute possibility of substantiating the outlandish claims made by Eduard Meier (Andrus, 1987).
This opinion on Meier's integrity and honesty could not have come from Stevens, the Elders, or Kinder, however, and reflects the opinions of incredulous ufologists who did not investigate the case or did not spend time with Meier. Just a few years later, in 1991, some 20 witnesses and close associates of Meier, including his wife, signed a statement, which could be upheld in a court of law, testifying to Meier's honesty and lack of deceit (Moosbrugger, 2001, p. 249).

The Meier case was so far out of the ordinary for either a UFO "repeater witness" or a potential contactee, that Hall, Andrus and others evidently could not even consider the possibility that Meier's aliens were real and would take actions to ensure that their prime contactee would be readily debunkable, i.e., implement a strategy that includes plausible deniability for those who need it. This the aliens of course could achieve by several different means at their disposal, and several reasons for their doing so readily come to mind. However, most ufologists were not yet prepared to consider that some UFO aliens could have long studied mankind, could be smarter and more creative than we are, could be ethical, but be deceptive as well as covert in their manner of presenting themselves to us (Druffel, 1977; Deardorff, et al., 2005).
Meier in 1979, showing
how he held the camera.
It wasn't quite the same
as "shooting from the hip."

From what the early debunkers had learned of Meier's experiences and photos, especially from Lee & Brit Elders' (1979) pictorial Vol. 1, they selected out the more incredible events to ridicule in 1980-82, while avoiding or misrepresenting all the validating photos and movie film segments. Only by 1982-83 did the substantiating reports of witnesses to Meier's genuine contactee status start to become readily available (Stevens, 1982; Lee & Brit Elders, 1983). I say "genuine" here because I and others have studied the reports of witnesses, the reports of both primary and follow-up investigators, Meier's photos and films, the prophecies and other evidence, and the Talmud of Jmmanuel, far too thoroughly to pretend we think the case could be any hoax (e.g., see Horn, 2007; Steelmark Editors, 2004).

By reporting only what others had to say of the Meier case, Clark steered clear from personally slandering Meier in his Encyclopedia article. However, by stating conclusions stemming from Korff's writings without apparently questioning their accuracy or truthfulness, he accomplished the same goal.

Kal Korff, in 1980 a teenager under the guidance of ufologist Moore, had concluded that "the beamships [UFOs in Meier's photos] were in fact small models, some supported by strings, others apparently held by hand." In Korff's earliest piece of writing on the subject, to which Clark may have been primarily referring, Korff repeated claims of Ground Saucer Watch (GSW) that Meier had used three methods of hoaxing: models suspended by a string, double exposure, and the double print method (GSW Bulletin, April, 1980; Korff, 1980). Korff relied then on the word of William Spaulding, who headed GSW, that "All of the pictures [by Meier] were hoaxes." According to Korff, GSW had analyzed "first generation copies of ten of Meier's more popularly-known photographs."

It should be mentioned that in the mid-1970s GSW, under Spaulding's direction, had analyzed distant copies of the 1965 Rex Heflin photos, and had declared them to be hoaxes using a model suspended by a string. Yet earlier analyses using photos closer to the originals showed no strings were involved, and this was confirmed decades later after the originals had been returned to Heflin.

As noted by Wendelle Stevens (1981b) in a thorough rebuttal of Korff's claims, GSW could have possessed Meier-case copies no closer than 5th generation to the originals -- five lens systems away from the original image itself (GSW had obtained their copies from Von Keviczky, who had photographed some of Meier's photo copies under their plastic covers within his photo albums, which Von Keviczky was allowed to look at when visiting Meier's residence in Hinwil, during an interval when no adults were around to watch him -- see this 1994 video of a Wendelle Stevens presentation). On the other hand, analyses by Stevens and his associates, primarily Jim Dilettoso, utilized internegatives only two lens systems removed from the beamship itself, and they found no signs whatever of hoax. Stevens (1981a) thus refuted Korff's claims of Meier having been a hoaxer of UFO photographs and supposedly by three different methods. (These MUFON UFO Journal references are available online.)
  Photo #57 with left portion cropped. Arrows
at upper right delineate a typical branchlet on
the close-up, out-of-focus tree branches.

A key claim from Korff (1980) that derived from GSW's analysis, which Stevens clearly refuted, is that "all calculations place the UFO images at distances between four and six feet." Korff & Moore (1982) also argued that, although Meier's camera in 1975-76 had its focus ring stuck at a setting just one notch short of infinity, objects as close as six feet away would still be in excellent focus. In applying such a claim to Meier's photos, however, one may examine his photo #57 to notice that the nearby tree's branches are in poor focus; the distance to its branches at the upper right is estimated, from the camera equation, to be 10 ft (judging from typical branchlet annual growth and needle length), and the distance to its lower branches, which are in quite poor focus, to be 7 ft. The beamship or UFO, on the other hand, is in very good focus along with the fir tree it was situated just in front of. This is all consistent with a depth-of-field estimate of between 12.5 ft and infinity for the 35mm camera with 42mm focal length, an f-stop 11 setting (Stevens, personal communication), a focus setting stuck at around 50 ft, and a distance of from 70 to 100 yards between camera and beamship & tree in the various photos of this series (Stevens, 1989, p. 378). This distance is also perfectly consistent with that calculated from the camera equation for a beamship diameter of 23 ft (7 meters) as adduced from the size of a set of swirls left behind in the meadow grass following some of Meier's contact meetings (Stevens, 1982, pp. 363-377; Stevens, 1989, pp. 464-476).

Although a counter response to Stevens's (1981a,b) refutations soon emanated from Korff & Moore (1982), the reader will have to sift through much angry rhetoric in the latter in attempting to separate fact from fiction, truth from distortion. In particular, it was reiterated that GSW (ostensibly through one Wilfried Falk of Mannheim, Germany) obtained 1st-generation copies of Meier's photographs. However, this contention was later rendered extremely questionable by Spaulding himself when he told Kinder that "he had no idea of the generation of the photographs he analyzed" (Kinder, 1987b). Although Korff (1995, p. 314) mentions that he possesses a letter in his files from Falk affirming that Falk had sent Spaulding some of Meier's photographs, he supplied no information from the letter as to how Falk had acquired them, whether or not Falk really knew what generation of prints they may have been, how many, or how to contact Falk.

The bias that Spaulding held against the Meier case is evident from words like these he wrote Kinder (1987b):

It was a pleasure talking to you on January 6, 1985, regarding the subject of unidentified flying objects and the Billy Meier hoaxed UFO photographs. Because the Meier incident is such an obvious hoax, and further publicity extended to this incident ... will only provide additional exposure to this case. We cannot involve ourselves to any extent which could further generate favorable publicity for the conspirators of the Pleiades book.
Presumably the "Pleiades book" refers to the two volumes of Lee & Brit Elders (1979, 1983). The assumption had become widespread among mainstream ufologists that whoever seriously investigated the Meier case and found it could be no hoax was either inept or was in on a conspiracy.

Clark did not reproduce any of Meier's beamship photos in his 3-page Encyclopedia article, perhaps because there are so many of them, and space limitations would not have permitted discussion of them. But if his intent had not been to convey the impression that the case was a hoax and its investigators' findings of little or no value, he surely would have given it more space than, say, the 17 pages he gave the Travis Walton case. His condensed version of The UFO Encyclopedia did not even include the Meier case (Clark, 1998b). It was probably the apparently magical aspects of the case as reported by the early debunkers, along with questionable aspects of the photos from his 5-day space trip (which Meier has disavowed ever since being told by Ptaah of their having been manipulated at the developer's — more on this later), which provided Clark, along with most other ufologists, with seeming justification for accepting the hoax hypothesis upon ignoring all the supportive evidence.

Not to be overlooked, however, are the false claims of Meier having used models, which were quickly assumed true by ufologists who from the beginning could not accept the reality of any contactee. However, Meier never denied having made a model later for the purpose of seeing how realistic a photograph of it would look, nor denied receiving a few models from well wishers, none of which closely enough matched any of the six different beamship varieties his photos show. An exception, however, was a model that Stevens had a Hollywood studio construct for him, for testing in Swiss settings using the same make of camera as Meier used, photos of which Stevens found did not measure up to the real thing. One other exception was a model that Semjase loaned Meier during a contact and which Meier did photograph sitting on the snow before Semjase recalled it a few weeks later; he properly labeled it as a model in his Verzeichnis (Meier, 1980s; Stevens, 1982, pp. 285-290; Kinder, 1987, pp. 223-226; Moosbrugger, 2001, pp. 195-199). Korff shows the photo of the latter model, but in an upside-down orientation and without mention of its source (Korff, 1995, p. 156).

In the instance of the series of photos in which the beamship hovered on various sides of the
Meier's photo #65 from his 9 July 1975 photo session with Semjase.
tree shown on the left, the "incredible" aspect of the event was not that the craft could hover silently or be visible only to Meier and his camera, or that Meier had been the person chosen by the ETs to document their presence, but that, a couple of weeks afterwards, the tree had completely vanished. No trace of it was left behind as evidence to go along with the photographs, not even in the mind of the owner of the property on which the tree had grown. Ufologists simply ignored Stevens's finding that several days after the photographic event there had been two witnesses besides Meier of the tree, then in a dying state (Stevens, 1982, pp. 48, 126). Surely the science and technology of certain aliens, even if tens of thousands, or millions, of years ahead of us, could not be capable of causing a tree to vanish! Surely they wouldn't be capable of wiping out the memory of a tree in a person's mind (the property owner's mind)! Surely they wouldn't be implementing a strategy of not leaving enough evidence behind that would force negative skeptics to believe what they cannot tolerate, or that would bring an all-too-sudden end to the UFO coverup!

Hence ufologists assumed that the incredible aspects of the case could somehow be explained away as hoaxes rather than admit the positive evidence and incur anticipated ridicule and rancor from colleagues and from scientists who might learn of the case. In this vanishing-tree instance, the hypothesis was put forward that it had been a small potted tree or artificial tree about which Meier had emplaced and photographed a model UFO (Korff, 1995, pp. 171-193). Ignored or dismissed were the opinions of some foresters that the tree had been a mature European silver fir (abies alba), and certainly no small potted tree or model tree.

Regarding this 1981 booklet and the Korff (1980) paper, I recently noticed a new suspicious problem between the two. In the 1980 paper, a supposedly enhanced version of a cropped blow-up (see below image, on the left) from one of the copies of Meier's beamship photos shows thin vertical lines throughout,
GSW "enhanced" image in Korff (Dec., 1980).
Notice line on front side.

GSW "enhanced" image in Korff &
Moore's booklet of 28 March, 1981.
Compare with image on left. Easy come,
easy go with those pesky vertical lines!

with one of them extending intermittently upward from shortly above the center top of the UFO image (Korff, 1980, p. 5), and a prominent vertical line across the center of the UFO's front side. Korff's caption on it says, "Edge enhancement showing supporting string or wire." On this, Stevens (1981b, p. 12) pointed out that Korff had conveniently ignored all but the one vertical line segment among the various striations that surround his "enhanced" image, while noting that no such striations were observed by Stevens and his research crew using their 2nd-generation internegatives.

Now, in Korff & Moore (1981, p. 14 & front cover), the same "enhanced" image is shown (above, right), except that this time the front face of the UFO is "cleaned up" and no longer shows the prominent vertical line in front of it where no support string would be. Obviously if ufologists should wish to seek out the genuineness of Meier's photographic evidence, an impartial analysis by impartial photo experts would need to be conducted, using Stevens's 2nd-generation internegatives if not Meier's remaining originals if any, with impartial, knowledgeable observers present at all stages of handling of the photographic materials to ensure that no spurious markings would be added or removed.
A copy of photo #179, from the Hasenböl series
of 29 March 1976. This is the image whose 5th+
generation copy GSW and/or Korff utilized.

The photo copy that Korff & Moore utilized for this derived from one of Meier's taken at an elevated site between the tiny communities of Hasenböl and Langenberg, near Fischenthal, located about 10 km northeast of Hinwil, Meier's residence at that time. On the afternoon of that day, 29 March 1976, Meier proceeded to take four rolls of beamship pictures with his 35mm camera, starting with photos of the craft when still distant and approaching ever closer; of these, two rolls were somehow "lost," but 34 pictures from the other two rolls have survived his loaning some of them out in 1976-77 (Stevens, 1982, p. 343). Meier's #179, a copy of which is shown on the right, is the one selected by GSW for their aforementioned highly questionable analysis.

The 1981 booklets by Korff & Moore contain an 18-page chapter of taped unsubstantiated anti-Meier statements by ufologist Ray Stanford. In it he postulated, among other things, that to obtain many of his UFO photos Meier had deployed an array of large balloons, connected to each other and the ground through tethering lines, and from which lines model UFOs were suspended. These balloons were supposed to be sufficiently high that they would scarcely show up in the photos, and perhaps be mistaken for blemishes such as tiny spots of spit that unprotected photos can acquire. In the booklet, illustrations were included of how hypothesized tethering lines might have been draped across the sky from which to suspend model UFOs. These were drawn in by Garret Moore, who has recently come forth to explain how he had been employed by Korff to do this (without pay, it turned out), using an airbrush. There was no discussion by Stanford of the problems of the logistics of transporting all the hypothesized balloon equipment to the many different photo sites undetected, setting it all up in the presence of wind or breeze and maintaining it for hours without attracting curious onlookers who would later make known both the scam and identities of the several hoaxers who would need to have been involved. As far as I know, no other ufologists greeted this balloon idea with any enthusiasm. Later Korff opted for individual, smaller helium balloons from which each of up to three model UFOs was supposed to have been suspended (Korff, 1995, pp. 220-221).

Interestingly, Stanford was himself a contactee, or alleged contactee. One sees that by no means do contactees necessarily stick up for one another.

Those brochures of Korff & Moore (1981) were widely distributed at subsequent UFO meetings, and received no significant skeptical comments from mainstream ufologists. That literature must have helped put across the feeling that you had better not lend support to the genuineness of the Meier case if you wished to remain in good standing among fellow ufologists. The brochure was apparently accepted uncritically by Andrus, who went on to accuse Wendelle Stevens and Lee & Brit Elders of not caring whether or not the Meier case is genuine: "After you purchase their books, they really don't care, because they have pocketed your money" (Andrus, 1986).
A black & white version of the poster, sans red slash,
from Meier's photo #200 as raster-scanned by
Interrepro A.G of Basel in 1978
(from Stevens 1982, p. 340).

Also displayed at UFO meetings in the 1980s, in particular MUFON UFO meetings, was a set of large posters calling the Meier case a hoax, set up on standing bulletin boards in a hotel hallway outside the hotel meeting room. As evidence for this claim of hoax, a key poster showed a cropped enlargement of a beamship whose detail and outline looked almost too clear and distinct for it to be a large object in the distance — from the Bachtelhornli-Unterbachtel photo series (Stevens, 1989). So it was declared a hoax, and a prominent diagonal red line slashed through the posted photo to nix it. A copy of the color slide it derived from is shown here (Meier's #200, scroll down to Fig. 12), along with a description of the effort and expense Stevens went to in getting a then state-of-the-art raster scan of the beamship enlargement (18 x 24-inch) printed out in 1978 (Stevens, 1982, pp. 339-340). There was no mention of any kind in the poster display that the sharpness of the craft's outline in the large poster was a result of the raster-scan process at 400 lines/cm onto large negative plates (in addition to the craft being in excellent focus). The craft was about 320 ft away in photo #200, judging from the camera equation and the craft's known width of about 23 ft. The individual trees on the hillside far beyond, and the skyline, show up rather sharply also, despite being farther away from the camera's central focus distance of roughly 50 ft. The special rasterizing process the photo underwent in producing the large poster was either conveniently omitted or unknown to the one most responsible for the display, namely John Timmerman of the Center for UFO Studies, once a treasurer of CUFOS. The displays of this poster, occurring over a period of several years, were probably influential in helping to persuade attendees at meetings that Meier was guilty of a giant hoax. Hence Timmerman has been included in my list of significant early Meier-case detractors.

By the 1990s ufologists felt secure in their belief that the Meier case was a hoax. In an editorial in 1991, Clark could all but ignore the Meier case in writing:

For years hoaxes have been relegated to a kind of UFO ghetto, and understandably so. After the collapse of the 1950s contactee movement (of which Switzerland's Billy Meier's later adventures were but a distant echo), hoaxes became something of a low level annoyance, even an object of amusement (Clark, 1991).
A copy of a section of Meier's photo #164,
from the Hasenböl series
of 29 March 1976.

Yet, Korff was not through with his debunking attempts. In his book (Korff, 1995, p. 206, Fig. 73) we find a particularly gross and misleading presentation of Meier's photo #164, from the same Hasenböl series discussed earlier. He started with an enlarged section from a typical image of the "sun-glint" scene as shown on the left, where, due to lack of contrast between the shaded sides of the small tree branches and the beamship's dark underside, it cannot be clearly discerned from a multi-generational print such as this whether the thin branches on the left of the craft crossed over in front of it or behind it. (On each reproduction of an original image, there is a loss of subtle color gradations although the contrast between the lightest and darkest areas increases.) However, close inspection of the print from Stevens's 2nd-generation internegative allowed him to determine that a branch or two on the left of #164 did definitely pass in front of the craft (Stevens, 1982, p. 352); similarly Tom Welch of Stevens's investigative team could discern the same from Stevens's low-generation copy of photo #175 that Meier snapped close in time to photo #164 — the craft was indeed on the far side of the deciduous tree (Lee & Brit Elders, 1979, p. 37). Later computer imagery analysis supports this conclusion.

Continuing with Korff's treatment, he then saw to it that the scanned photo was subjected to an edge-enhancer routine in which all variations of intensity and contrast are removed except along discernible edges, which are enhanced in this case through a computer routine that brightens the upper side of all discernible edges and blackens their lower sides. That produced the image below. Through this process, it can appear to the uninitiated reader that surely the limbs should show up had they crossed in front of the craft.
From Korff (1995, Fig. 73).
But of course the edge enhancing routine cannot enhance any edges that are not discernible in the first place. It is disappointing to think that no ufologist who knows something about photography and a bit about computer photo-manipulation techniques alerted Clark to this and other underhanded ploys by Korff before he endorsed the book with:

"This book is the definitive exposé of the most ambitious hoax in UFO history."
-- Jerome Clark, Vice-President
J. Allen Hynek Center for UFO Studies

(on back cover of Korff, 1995)


It may be mentioned that shortly before the Korff & Moore (1981) brochure came out, Korff had suggested that the deciduous tree involved (i.e., in Meier's photos #164, 174 & 175) was a model tree to which a model UFO had been attached (Korff, 1981). That it was definitely a live deciduous tree, not a model tree, was already evident in 1979 by a photo taken of it when it had been in full leaf in August 1978 (Elders, 1979, p. 44). Too late this became evident to Korff. There is a well known rule in UFO debunkery which states that if one attempt at explaining away a UFO seems too weak or too flawed, try another one.

William Moore's role in debunking Meier, and in encouraging Korff and others to do so (Moore, 1988), may well have had additional impetus than what has been mentioned above regarding ufologists in general. In September of 1980 Moore "was approached by a well placed individual within the intelligence community [called 'Falcon' by Moore] who claimed to be directly connected to a high-level government project dealing with UFOs" (Stacy, 1989). Moore cooperated with him in a campaign of disinformation against alleged contactee Paul Bennewitz. The audience that heard this confession come from Moore himself at the 1989 MUFON Las Vegas Symposium was astounded, though Moore's alliance with government disinformation agents had already been deduced by ufologist Robert Hastings (1989). Since Meier, if left undebunked, would be much more of a threat to the status quo of the government than Bennewitz ever was, and possessed much more evidence to support his contactee status, it would not be unexpected if Moore had been encouraged by Falcon or another agent to target Meier also.
Wendelle Stevens when he was a Major at the
Wright Air Development Center in Dayton, Ohio

It may also be mentioned that after Korff wrote a later book that debunked the UFO crash of 1947 near Roswell (Korff, 1997), some ufologists started to seriously question Korff's scientific integrity. Kevin Randle, leading author of UFO: Crash at Roswell (Randle & Schmitt, 1991), found many of Korff's assumptions and omissions to be unsupportable, and his reasoning to be seriously flawed. David Rudiak, another serious Roswell-event investigator, has pointed out many distortions made by Korff (Rudiak, 1997). Since then, Korff has continued to self-destruct psychologically and egotistically; Royce Myers, a selective debunker in fairly good standing with mainstream ufologists, found it necessary to roundly debunk Korff, whom he had supported in the 1980s and '90s. Is all this pertinent to Korff's "research" on Meier? More so, I believe, than Clark's inclusion of a paragraph in The UFO Encyclopedia concerning Wendelle Stevens having to spend 1983-1990 in an Arizona Correctional Facility for an offense unrelated to his UFO interests. (According to retired Command Sergeant-Major Robert Dean (2007), who knew Stevens well and lived across the street from him in Tucson, the charge against him "was a trumped up, fixed political deal. I always suspected it was because he had spoken out openly on the [UFO] subject.")

By 1998 Clark had learned for himself of Korff's egotistical and irrational behavior that includes making false accusations (Clark, 1998), yet, as of the present date, he sees no reason why the Meier case deserves renewed attention.


Off-hand, this 8mm movie-film segment may appear to show a model UFO suspended above a model or small potted tree and oscillating back and forth just above the tree's crown. Apparently, this is just what it was intended to look like, for those with no interest in taking a second and third look. The respected ufologist Bruce Maccabee was the first to carefully assess the length of suspension line, if it were a model UFO, that would yield the observed period of oscillation, and which would in turn dictate a model diameter around 1 ft and a tree height of between 2 and 3 ft. He was careful to conclude that the observations were consistent with such a model UFO without ruling out a much larger, genuine beamship and tree much farther from the camera (Maccabee, 1989, 2002). However, the titles to his write-ups tend to imply that the reader should conclude it was a model UFO suspended from an undiscernable string.

Wendelle Stevens was one who looked at the film from the point of view that it might not have been a model UFO, and found some points to corroborate this view. "On three occasions the spacecraft changes its motion abruptly with no change in the tilt of the vertical axis of the ship. If it was in fact tethered, one would expect the vertical axis to tilt as the tether point above was moved" (Stevens, 1982, p. 280). I was much impressed that on one occasion the craft came to an abrupt halt and hovered absolutely motionless above the tree top for up to 20 seconds (Deardorff, 1989); a model suspended from a long pole by a 14ft string would inevitably exhibit noticeable wobbles and/or small bouncing vertical motions exceeding 5% of the model's width. Even if three accomplices were aiding in a hoax by pulling taut from opposing directions on long horizontal lines attached to the alleged model, this would not eliminate small vertical motions.

Maccabee himself later pointed out that if the craft had been a model UFO, its distance from the camera, and that of the tree, would need to have been some 50 ft (Maccabee, 2002). Although he did not go into the implications of this finding, the reader who does, if he has any experience handling long poles, will likely realize the unfeasibility of the pole-suspended model scenario. To his credit, Maccabee also pointed out that on one occasion just after the craft passed very close over the top of the tree, its uppermost portion abruptly swayed over towards the craft and snapped back.

Despite all this, a negative skeptic may still wish to dismiss all findings here of the unfeasibility of a hoax on the basis that surely an ET would not purposely act deceptively, and surely the ET would not be able to outwit our capable ufologists. Yet, other observations do not support such beliefs. What may at first appear in this film segment to be worthy of debunking instead becomes, upon further analysis, worthy of respect for the aliens' tactics of not forcing their presence upon those who cannot accept it.


My refutations of the false claims in Korff (1995) about the Talmud of Jmmanuel (TJ) are given here. Very brief versions of some of these false claims appeared in the early debunking papers of Hall (1980), Korff (1980) and Korff & Moore (1981), and judging from the correspondence I had with Auerbach, it was of prime concern to him also that the TJ be debunked. Discussions of points he raised in a "summary report" that he sent to Walt Andrus and J. Allen Hynek commence here. Auerbach was the main source of the unsubstantiated criticisms that Hall and Korff raised against the TJ. Interestingly, Auerbach was open to the possibility that Meier had had some legitimate contacts, as he had learned from Hans Jacob of the definitive UFO sighting of 16 June 1975 he and others had witnessed and which had a definite connection to Meier as contactee. And in a letter to me of Feb. 2, 1989, Auerbach wrote:

A member of our UFO club gave me G. Kinder's "Light Years", and I finished reading it a few days ago. The book convinced me that I had done some injustice to Meier. This goes to show that one should not judge a person until all the information is at hand. I always thought that Meier's photos still were likely to be fakes. However, according to the book this is impossible. There may be some false ones among them, but the great majority of them, amounting to several hundred pictures, must be genuine. Also, I did not realize that he has had more than 100 meetings with Semjase.
It seems likely to me that Andrus and perhaps Hall also, in their contacts with Auerbach, had sensed Auerbach's more liberal attitude of "innocent until proven guilty," and did not want MUFON's debunking of Meier to be compromised by anything that Auerbach might say. So he/they kept confidential the "Summary Report" of 23 June, 1980, which Auerbach had mailed them (and Hynek), except for letting Korff in on it, and they probably advised Korff in his writings to keep Auerbach anonymous. In any event, Korff (1995, pp. 81, 107) did not mention Auerbach at all, and replaced his identity with "various scholars in Germany and Switzerland, three of whom had PhDs."

Von Keviczky was also in on the false religious claims made against Meier, as he seems to have been influenced by certain unnamed pamphlets and circulars obtained from Hans Jacob. In his letter of response to Stevens (1981a), Von Keviczky (1982) wrote,

It is true that in my analysis I called Mr. Meier the '4th disciple of Jesus Christ' because according to the enclosed excerpts of his pamphlet (and more circulars) he declares unmistakably his missionary assignment from the Embassy of the Talmud Jmmanuel alias Jesus Christ to declare to humanity the original teachings of Jesus Christ.
One wonders where he got the "4th disciple" idea; wasn't John the son of Zebedee the 4th disciple, after Matthew, Mark and Luke? Further, Meier has long dissociated himself entirely from "Jesus Christ," which he considers to be a fictitious character unlike Jmmanuel or Immanuel, whose teachings he knows to have been almost totally falsified or distorted as they appear in the Gospels of the Bible. And, the Talmud of Jmmanuel was the Aramaic document whose original Meier and his ex-priest friend unearthed from the site of a mostly buried tomb in Jerusalem in 1963; it was not an "Embassy"!

Meier's Contact Notes do tell of his having been taken back in time by Asket to meet Jmmanuel circa A.D. 32, and the ensuing conversations are preserved. Regarding these, one of Auerbach's statements that was made use of by Hall (1980a) and Korff (1995), is:

The Lord listens patiently to a great deal of religious philosophy on the part of Mr. Meier, and duly admires his high intelligence,
and that Jmmanuel unduly praised Meier. (This comes from Auerbach's summary report, a copy of which I received in his letter to me of 7 May 1996). However, this portrayal is far off the mark, as pointed out in three quantitative paragraphs here. The present web site goes much further than just dispelling the false impressions arising from Auerbach's summary report, and includes research on how the name "Immanuel" must have been altered into "Jesus" in the latter half of the 1st century, how the Gospels weren't written until early 2nd century, with Hebraic Matthew being the first one (not Mark), and how a comparison of the very numerous verses and passages of the TJ that Matthew parallels overwhelmingly indicates that the Gospel of Matthew was derived from the TJ rather than the reverse. Reputable New Testament scholars are not interested in seriously exploring the Talmud of Jmmanuel, however, because in 1974 its Aramaic originals were destroyed by fire, due to their heresies for Judeo-Christianity, and because it's a modern find amongst a considerable number of other claimed lost gospels, to name two of several reasons.

Meier's Contact Reports indeed do let us know that the Plejarens regard Meier as their man — with their help the prophet of the New Age (Moosbrugger, 2004, pp. 55-58) — with the mission of bringing the true teachings to us regarding true God (Creation or the Universal Consciousness), existence of advanced human-like entities from outside the solar system (ETs), meaning and purpose of life, reincarnation, evolution of the spirit/consciousness, moral & ethical behavior, and more, just as Jmmanuel had tried to do nearly 2000 years ago. This is of course abhorred by mainstream ufologists, who prefer to assume that Meier is a megalomaniacal hoaxer, notwithstanding all the evidence to the contrary. They also regard the spiritual side of the TJ and Meier's writings as being a religion or cult rather than just the basic facts of life, and do not wish that their study get mixed up with religion. Thus, the existence of the Talmud of Jmmanuel may be a significant part of why many ufologists want to keep Meier in a debunked state.


Other Meier-case topics subject to debunking from 1980 on include several of his photos from his 5-day space trip (Stevens, 1988, pp. 283-332; Moosbrugger, 1991, pp. 264-273). It was not until 23 years after this space trip that Meier was informed, by his Plejaren contactor named Ptaah, that his photos from that trip had been manipulated by the person (a Herr Schmid, by then deceased) he had loaned the negatives to for development at a cheaper price (there were some 700 hundred of them in all from this trip). On most other occasions in 1975-76 he had his film developed at the Bär Photo in Wetzikon. During this contact #264 in 1998 Ptaah informed Meier that MIB (men in black) were also involved in these photo manipulations. Meier then quickly disavowed the authenticity of that whole photo series, not knowing for sure if any of its photos could be trusted. Hence the earlier charges against photos from this series — including those of the Lyra Ring Nebula ("Eye of God"), the space colony or universe barrier, the U.S.-Russian spacecraft docking, and the alternate-Earth caveman, no longer apply, in the sense that Meier doesn't now vouch for those photos. At the time, however, Meier was given other explanations for some of these photos of questionable appearance (Moosbrugger, 1991, 2001), or were the ET explanations what were of questionable validity? Thus the question remains, should information supplied by an ET be assumed to be the truth and nothing but the truth (assuming the contactee is truthfully conveying the information he receives)? Nevertheless, all these space-trip photos, which Meier no longer even possesses, are no longer relevant to the authenticity of the case, since Meier himself now distrusts that he had received back the developed film from his 5-day space trip in an untampered condition.

Regarding the reality of his 5-day space trip, an interesting circumstance supports it, besides Meier's word. Meier at that time, in July 1975, had no beard and shaved regularly. Upon return from this trip, he was observed by FIGU member, Jacob Bertschinger, to have grown what looked like a 5-day growth of beard, yet the trip had taken only one day by Earth time (Bertschinger, 2001, pp. 38-40). The Plejarens informed Meier that they had shifted their craft back four days in time by the end of their trip, so as to return Meier only one day after he had departed. Bertschinger had noticed that on the day Meier departed he had appeared clean shaven. This was a neat bit of plausible deniability: the negative skeptic can claim that Meier lied and didn't go on any 5-day space trip since he was away only one day, and that Bertschinger was mistaken, while the skeptic who allows that ETs can perform magic-like acts can take the beard-growth data into consideration rather than ignore it. On several occasions, according to Meier's Contact Reports, his Plejaren contactor within their beamship would similarly manipulate the time such that Meier would use up only one hour, say, of Earth time while his contact within the beamship had occupied two or three hours.

There is at least one other example in the UFO literature of a man apparently being taken away by a UFO for a lengthy (5-day) period, then returned with little lapse of Earth time (some 15 minutes); upon his return he was observed to have a several days' growth of beard although having been clean shaven before going missing. This was the Armando Valdes case (UFO Casebook Magazine Issue 445), which occurred on April 25, 1977, nearly two years after Meier's experience. Valdes was a corporal in the Chilean army. When he was out on assignment with his patrol at 4:30 a.m. they spotted two bright violet lights that landed, and one approached close to them. Valdes stepped towards it, but vanished from the sight of his terrified patrol. Fifteen minutes later he reappeared, and then temporarily collapsed unconscious. The date on his wristwatch had advanced 5 days. Although this case is remarkably similar to Meier's in its time aberrations, unlike Meier, Valdes had apparently been abducted, and his entire experience erased from his mind sufficiently well that he was not aware he had been abducted.

Also, there is a remarkable point that supports some truth behind the late disclosure by Ptaah of the manipulation of the photos Meier had taken on his 5-day space trip in 1975. In Ptaah's 1998 disclosure he mentioned the names of Asket and her (alien) friend Nera, whom Meier had been allowed to take a picture of on the space trip, and about their doubles or look-alikes. But in Contact #39 back in 1975 Ptaah had mentioned to Meier that Asket and Nera had doubles, who lived in the U.S.! It was 22 years later (1997) that debunkers first put forth the idea that Meier's photo of Asket & Nera was instead of two actresses/entertainers in a Dean Martin show of 1970. How could Ptaah (or Meier, if you wish) have foreseen the essence of this back in 1975, unless real prophetic capability was involved? For a report on this by ufologist Michael Hesemann click here.


The attitude that mainstream ufologists have held towards the Meier case closely mirrors that which mainstream scientists have held towards the UFO phenomenon as a whole. That is, they leave it up to a few within their ranks to debunk the phenomenon so that the rest need not divert their attention to something more incredible than science fiction and which cannot be proven 100% true in any one case.

To his credit, Clark did at one point exhibit open-mindedness towards Meier's experiences, in what he wrote Kinder (1987b):

"My colleagues are going to be astounded and confused," he [Clark] wrote. "It really has been an article of faith among us (me included) that this whole business was just an exercise in heavy-handed fraud. But apparently you have shown it is rather more interesting than that. It's ironic. Ufologists forever complain that scientists and debunkers won't take an objective look at the UFO evidence. You have demonstrated, I think, that in this case the ufologists acted just like the people they criticize."
This, however, was just a momentary lapse, judging from his UFO Encyclopedia article, which plays a continued role in keeping the Meier case in a debunked state that is unable to reach the attention of the mainstream media. Yet nothing in the present review should be construed as inferring that Clark's research and deductions on other UFO cases in the UFO Encyclopedia were other than thorough, capable and well balanced.


Andrus, Walter (1986), in "Director's Message," MUFON UFO Journal, August, p. 20.

Andrus, Walter (1987), "Light Years Note," MUFON UFO Journal, April, p. 13.

Bertschinger, Jacobus (2001), in Zeugenbuch (The Witness book: On the Experiences with "Billy" Eduard Albert Meier, his Capabilities and Contacts with Plejaren People and their Federation, 1959-2001), Eduard Meier, ed. (Hinterschmidrüti, Switzerland: FIGU).

Clark, Jerome (1991), Editorial: "High Stakes," International UFO Reporter, May/June, p. 3.

Clark, Jerome (1998a), "Meier Contact Claims," in The UFO Encyclopedia, Vol. 2, 2nd Edition, pp. 615-618 (Detroit: Omnigraphics, Inc.).

Clark, Jerome (1998b), The UFO Book: Encyclopedia of the Extraterrestrial (Detroit: Omnigraphics, Inc.).

Clark, Jerome (1998c), Email #21 of 27 Sep., in UFO-Updates Archive.

Dean, Robert O., 2007, Transcription of video interview in Phoenix in May 2007, shot, edited and directed by Kerry Cassidy and Bill Ryan.

Deardorff, J., B. Haisch, B. Maccabee, and H. E. Puthoff (2005), "Inflation theory implications for extraterrestrial visitation," J. British Interplanetary Society 58, pp. 43-50.

Druffel, Ann (1977), "California Report: Are there mimicking UFOs?", Pt. 1, MUFON UFO Journal, March, pp. 15-16.

Elders, Lee and Brit, UFO... Contact from the Pleiades, Vols. 1 and 2 (Phoenix: Genesis III Publishing, 1979, 1983 respectively). (Pages of Vol. 1 unnumbered, here we consider the very first, title page as page 1; text of Vol. 1 supervised by Wendelle Stevens.)

Hall, Richard (1980a), "New View of Pleiades," MUFON UFO Journal, No. 150, August, p. 8.

Hall, Richard (1980b), "From the editor," MUFON UFO Journal, No. 154, December, p. 2.

Hastings, Robert (1989), "MJ-12 facts, questions, answers," MUFON UFO Journal, No. 254, June, pp. 3-11.

Horn, Michael (2007), The Silent Revolution of Truth, DVD,

Hurlburt, Dave, and Phobal Chang (2002), Eduard 'Billy' Meier's Contacts with Asket of the Dal Universe: A reconstructed History (Tucson: UFO Photo Archives).

Kinder, Gary (1987a), Light Years: An Investigation into the Extraterrestrial Experiences of Eduard Meier (New York: Atlantic Monthly Press).

Kinder, Gary (1987b), "Light Years: An open letter," MUFON UFO Journal, No. 228, April, pp. 3-8.

Korff, Kal K. (1980), "The Meier incident: The most infamous hoax in ufology," MUFON UFO Journal, No. 154, December, pp. 3-6.

Korff, Kal K. (1981), "The Billy Meier hoax," Frontiers of Science, March-April issue, pp. 31-33,44.

Korff, Kal K., with William L. Moore (1981), The Meier Incident: The Most Infamous Hoax in Ufology (Fremont, CA: the author).

Korff, Kal K., and William L. Moore (1982), "'Contact from the Pleiades' in fact and fiction," MUFON UFO Journal, No. 173, July, pp. 3-8.

Korff, Kal K. (1995), The Billy Meier Story: Spaceships of the Pleiades (Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books).

Korff, Kal K. (1997), The Roswell UFO Crash: What They Don't Want You to Know (Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books).

Maccabee, Bruce (1989), "Pendulum from the Pleiades," International UFO Reporter 14, No. 1 (Jan./Feb.), pp. 11-12, 22.

Maccabee, Bruce (2002), Internet article, "Pendulum-like motion of an unidentified object (UO) filmed by Billy Meier."

Meier, Eduard Albert (1980s), Verzeichnis: Authentischer farb-photos (Record book: Authentic color photographs), (Hinterschmidrüti, Switzerland: FIGU).

Meier, Eduard Albert (2003), From the Depths of Outer Space...: Contacts from the Plejadians/Plejarians, Transl. Marianne Schmeling (Hinterschmidrüti, Switzerland: FIGU).

Moore, William L. (1988), "Who stands behind Billy Meier?", North American SETI Magazine, Vol. 1, issue 1, August.

Moosbrugger, Guido (1991), ...Und sie fliegen doch! (And Still They Fly!) (Munich: Michael Hesemann, publisher).

Moosbrugger, Guido (2004), And Still They Fly (Tulsa, OK: Steelmark).

Randle, Kevin D., and Donald R. Schmitt (1991). UFO Crash at Roswell (New York: Avon Books).

Rudiak, David (1997), Emails in UFO-Updates Archive, May 3 #13, May 8 #19,20, May 28 #6, June 5, 1997 #2.

Stacy, Dennis, "The 1989 Las Vegas Symposium", MUFON UFO Journal, No. 256 (August), pp. 3-12.

Steelmark Editors (2004), Through Space and Time: A Photo Journal of "Billy" Eduard Albert Meier (Tulsa, OK: Steelmark LLC).

Stevens, Wendelle C. (1981a), "Kal Korff and the Meier 'hoax': A Response - Pt. 1," MUFON UFO Journal, No. 164, October, pp. 3-5.

Stevens, Wendelle C. (1981b), "Kal Korff and the Meier 'hoax': A Response - Pt. 2," MUFON UFO Journal, No. 165, November, pp. 11-14.

Stevens, Wendelle C. (1982), UFO Contact from the Pleiades: A Preliminary Investigation Report (Tucson: UFO Photo Archives). Available as an ebook, see under "Special Collector's Item #1".

Stevens, Wendelle C. (1988), Message from the Pleiades: The Contact Notes of Eduard Billy Meier, (Vol. 1) (Tucson: UFO Photo Archives). Vols. 1-4 available as ebooks.

Stevens, Wendelle C. (1989), UFO Contact from the Pleiades: A Supplementary Investigation Report (Tucson: UFO Photo Archives). Available as an ebook, see under "Special Collector's Item #2".

Stevens, Wendelle C. (1995), Message from the Pleiades: The Contact Notes of Eduard Billy Meier, Vol. 4 (Tucson: UFO Photo Archives).

Von Keviczky, Colman S. (1982), Letter: "Response to Stevens," MUFON UFO Journal, No. 169, March, pp. 16-17.

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