Monday, September 12
Something of interest.
Sep. 12, 2005. 01:00 AM
OTTAWAPaul Hellyer, one-time cabinet minister and a
political chameleon who went through Liberal and Tory
colours before founding two political parties of his
own, has a new cause UFOs.
Hellyer is to be a featured speaker at a UFO
conference in Toronto this month and organizers are
making much of his credentials as a former defence
minister in the Pearson administration 40 years ago.
Skeptics are, well, skeptical.
Hellyer, 82, says he believes not only that UFOs are
extraterrestrial visitors, but that some governments
the United States at least know all about it and are
He says he believes American scientists have
re-engineered alien wreckage from a UFO crash at
Roswell, N.M. in 1947 to produce technical marvels.
"I believe that UFOs are real," he said in a recent
interview. "I'll talk about that a little bit and a
bit about the fantastic cover-up of the United States
government and also a little bit of the fallout from
the wreckage, by that I mean the material discoveries
we have made and how they've been applied to our
Hellyer, once a political star, won his first
parliamentary election in 1949 at 25, then the
youngest person ever to win a seat.
He went on to become a cabinet minister, ran for the
Liberal leadership against Pierre Trudeau, switched
parties to the Conservatives and ran for that party's
leadership, too. He eventually founded two other
political parties, Action Canada in 1971 and the
Canadian Action party in 1997.
He says his conviction that UFOs are real arose from
reading in recent years, not from anything gleaned
from secret archives during his time in office.
"I've been a skeptic for quite a while but I've been
exposed to more and more information recently and have
just decided to take a stand," he said.
Organizers of the MUFON conference an acronym for
the Mutual UFO Network see Hellyer's participation
as giving legitimacy to the cause.
The conference is billed as "Canada's first major UFO
symposium calling for complete government disclosure
concerning the reality of UFOs and the
extraterrestrial presence on Earth."
"Mr. Hellyer's involvement will increase the impact of
the symposium," says a conference news release.
Victor Viggiani, a retired educator who is an
organizer of the event, calls Hellyer a featured
"We're depending on him to be a real focal point,"
Viggiani said. "We're using his sort of experiences to
demonstrate that national political figures can come
out and talk about this."
He says Hellyer has a simple point to make: "Let's
start telling the truth about what we all know is
really happening in the skies and journalists start
paying attention, that's basically going to be his
Does Hellyer feel he's being used?
"I think they are trying to make the most of my
His participation is exasperating for David Gower, a
spokesman for Skeptics Canada, a group dedicated to
debunking paranormal claims.
"This sort of thing is a big feather in their cap, to
come across people like him," says Gower, who is
dismissive of the whole UFO mystique.
"There's no convincing evidence that can be anything
other than personal anecdotes or allegations that
can't be proven," he said.
He adds UFO enthusiasts have a quasi-religious fervour
that often makes them impervious to doubt.
"There is a deep-seated need, a desire in people, to
feel that there's something in control somewhere,
bigger than they are, something that can give some
kinds of answers."
But Viggiani believes UFOs could be a boon for
mankind. He says they have technology that could solve
the world's energy problems "in one fell swoop."
This is where the conspiracy theory takes off for him.
"For some strange reasons, our governments can't come
forward to talk to us about what these energy sources
are," he says. "Because oil is just about $70 a barrel
and that would undercut a lot of the power structure,
the World Bank ... the fossil fuel industry."
Hellyer, too, thinks there are important secrets to be
"I think, frankly, that the subject should be taken
seriously, because there are consequences that could
have real effects on the people of the world...."
Unlike some believers, Hellyer does not think
governments have negotiated with aliens, but he is
convinced there have been visitations.
Although his participation in the conference is likely
to draw ridicule, Hellyer said he's used to that after
his roller-coaster political life.
"It wouldn't be the first time, would it?"
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