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CNN Larry King Live
Experts Discuss Possibility Of Existence Of UFOs
Aired July 06, 2005 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LARRY KING, CNN HOST: Tonight, are UFOs real or fake? Have they actually been here? Some say the truth is out there. Others say there is no proof at all. Now we'll go inside some 60 years worth of sensational, controversial reports. About people who say they saw UFOs and those who even claim they were abducted by them. Investigators on both sides of the UFO question will take your calls. It's next on LARRY KING LIVE.
Let's meet our panel in what should be an extraordinary hour. In Denver, Colorado, is John Schuessler, former engineer for Boeing and NASA who has worked with pilots and astronauts who claim to have seen UFOs. He's director of the Mutual UFO Network and author of a book documenting a disturbing Texas UFO siting.
In Boston is Dr. Susan Clancy, skeptical author of an upcoming book, "Abducted" about people who claim to have been abducted by aliens. Says memories are not always factual or reliable.
Here in Los Angeles is Seth Shostak, he is senior astronomer for the SETI Institute. The Search for Extra-Terrestrial intelligence.
In New York is Budd Hopkins, a top researcher into the UFO abduction phenomena. Author of "Sight Unseen, Science, UFO Invisibility and Transgenic Beings."
In Washington is Rob Swiatek, long-time UFO investigator, researcher since 1968. And a board member of the Fund for UFO Research.
And also in Washington is Bruce Maccabee, active in UFO research since the late 1960s. Works with the National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena, serves on the national board of the Fund for UFO Research.
John, what got you interested in this whole topic to begin with, John Schuessler?
JOHN SCHUESSLER, MUTUAL UFO NETWORK: I became interested in the mid '60s during the Gemini IV flight when astronaut James McDivit (ph) said that he saw something in orbit. The ground controllers kind of ignored him but he went ahead and took a picture and later came back and asked him what he saw. This was not anything really classic but as a young engineer, it just inspired the heck out of me because we'd worked night and day for several years to get Gemini IV up there. After that I started after that talking to pilots and others who I thought were highly credible people, good observers, capable individuals, and I've never stopped sense. KING: Dr. Clancy, what aroused your interest?
SUSAN CLANCY, AUTHOR, "ABDUCTED": I started studying aliens while a graduate student at Harvard. I was doing research on how traumatic experiences impact memory functioning and to make a long story short, alien abductions was a type of traumatic experience people were reporting. And it was very interesting to me because, from the scientific perspective it was people who had created a false memory and that's an interesting group to study.
KING: Seth, what is the SETI Institute?
SETH SHOSTAK, SETI INSTITUTE: Well, the SETI Institute is an organization -- a non-profit research organization designed to investigate the whole question of life beyond earth. And part of our project is to try and prove that there is extraterrestrial - not only life, but intelligent life out there by eavesdropping on signals.
KING: You like the movie "Contact"?
SHOSTAK: Indeed. The movie "Contact" was based on our work.
KING: Paul Allen funded this?
SHOSTAK: Paul Allen has funded a lot of our research. He didn't fund that movie, of course, and he doesn't fund all of our research.
KING: Budd Hopkins in New York, what got you interested?
BUDD HOPKINS, UFO ABDUCTION RESEARCHER: I had a daytime UFO sighting in 1964. I again was a complete skeptic. I had no interest in the subject. And then a few years later a man I knew quite well told me about a UFO landing that he had observed. He didn't know what to call it. This was back in 1975. But he saw figures who disembarked from the craft. Soil samples were taken. The remains of the holes in the ground that were dug. This was in New Jersey right across the Hudson River from Manhattan. And I looked into it and found a second witness who had seen the whole thing from another perspective and found more physical evidence and I was off and going.
KING: Rob, you're a long-time investigator. What got you involved?
ROB SWIATEK, UFO INVESTIGATOR: Well, Larry, I was completely intrigued by sightings of these strange objects back in the 1960s. I couldn't believe that seemingly unexplained craft were being seen in our skies and couldn't be explained. Moreover, I was fascinated by the University of Colorado UFO study that was then on going and this was basically an attempt by the Air Force to have the UFO problem looked at scientifically. The whole thing just fascinated me and I've been fascinated from that day to this.
KING: Now we'll turn to Bruce Maccabee, and it is a fascinating subject No doubt about that. Bruce, what got you involved in things up there? BRUCE MACCABEE, UFO RESEARCHER: Yeah, well, back in the '50s an '60s when there were lots of sightings around, I learned -- I knew about them but I didn't really do anything about it until about the middle '60s when there were a lot of sightings in the United States that resulted in the University of Colorado study that Bob Swiatek just referred to.
And at that time I decided that if there was really something there where the rubber meets the road is in the interviews with the actual witnesses that claim things. So I went with a group known then as Night Cap, and we interviewed some people that would have various types of sightings and it turned out they weren't nuts and so I decided there might be really something going on. And I began a historical research and further case investigation and all of them concluded that there is really something flying around.
KING: Okay, we've got to have drawn sides here. In March of 1997 there were numerous reports from people who claim to see mysterious lights over Phoenix, Arizona, in a special on UFOs earlier this year ABC's Peter Jennings explored it. Watch.
PETER JENNINGS, ABC ANCHOR (voice-over): There have been UFO sightings with hundreds, even thousands of eyewitnesses. Phoenix, Arizona, March 13th, 1997.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There were some incredible sightings over Phoenix, called the Phoenix Lights. And they occurred while I was doing my program. I took call after call after call of people in Phoenix saying oh, my God, what's flying over our city?
JENNINGS: At 8:30 p.m. that night hundreds of people reported seeing a mysterious flying something. Security guard Bob Nelson (ph) was sitting on his porch with his dog.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Six or seven lights came across the top of the hill and it was moving very slow. And then I went in jokingly said to my wife, we've got a UFO coming over.
KING: By the way, a skeptic interviewed for that ABC special claimed the lights were merely flares and aircraft flying in formation and people were just connecting dots. John, that's a classic example of so many things we've seen and heard through the years. What do you believe?
SCHUESSLER: I believe there are actual unconventional flying objects in our skies on a regular basis. We at MUFON get in over 300 calls a month of raw data. That culls down to about 10 percent resulting in good sightings. Many like the Phoenix Lights.
KING: Which tells you to believe these are extra terrestrials coming into our atmosphere? SCHUESSLER: I'm not willing to say they are extraterrestrials. I don't know where they from. But they are beyond what we fly at this point in time and have been at any point in time for the past 50 years.
KING: Where else, Seth, could they be from then?
SHOSTAK: I would like to ask that myself. Either their extraterrestrial or there's something -- it's neighbors. But, the funny thing is, despite 58 years of sightings of this thing, nobody can put a piece of evidence on this desk, if you go to the local science museum and look for some sort of display showing what we have learned, what we have collected from all of these sightings, there's nothing there.
KING: Why do you keep studying it?
SHOSTAK: We're not studying aliens that might be invading our airspace. I don't think that the aliens are buzzing the countryside. I just don't think the evidence is good enough for that. I don't think it's proven. But I do think that there is something out there. There's clearly, to my mind, enormous probability that there's life out there, even intelligent life.
KING: We'll take a break and come back with more. We'll be including your phone calls. Don't go away.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In 1947, Americans found their skies filled with all sorts of strange flying objects.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The UFO phenomenon really took off, actually, in June of 1947 in the State of Washington when a pilot by the name of Kenneth Arnold saw many objects going in formation at a very, very high speed by Mount Rainier in Washington.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Arnold said that the nine silvery objects he'd seen looked like saucers skipping over a pond. The next day, his story was front-page news, and a new term entered the American lexicon-- flying saucer.
KING: That's from a Sci-Fi network special aired recently on Roswell and UFOs, and that was the clip from that. What, Budd Hopkins, I know you're a believer. But Seth just said there's no proof can be shown. Can you show us tonight right now absolute proof that extraterrestrials came here?
HOPKINS: The first thing I want to say is about a believer. There are two groups of people looking into the subject. The true believers and the pragmatists. And the pragmatists believe when they hear a story of an abduction, for instance, that either there's a mental problem or there's a hoax involved here or that it really happened. The true believers, and Susan Clancy would be certainly one of the true believers. The true believers know in advance that this did not happen, that this is a false memory. And she has said so in her writing. In other words, rather than investigating she makes the assumption that these are simply impossible.
Now, I can look into cases that turned out to be certainly not real abduction experiences, but the point is we have to test each one and look into it.
KING: What do you believe? Do you believe that extraterrestrials have come to the planet earth?
HOPKINS: Again, I echo what John Schuessler said, I don't like to use the term extraterrestrial. We don't know where they're from. The interesting thing is we know what they're doing, what they look like, the marks they leave on the ground and on people and how they can be photographed. We don't know where they come from, what their ultimate goal is.
KING: No one can know that. Dr. Clancy, if I told you I saw one today or I was abducted, you would definitely say that I was whacko?
CLANCY: No. I would never say you were whacko, Larry King. In fact, I don't think anybody who sees aliens or thinks they have been abducted is necessarily whacko. In fact, the research shows otherwise. In general, people who believe they've been abducted are not suffering from any more psychopathology than the average person. I would think that you actually thought you saw an alien.
But I would also know that what you think you saw is not necessarily what you actually saw.
KING: How would you know that?
CLANCY: I mean, human perceptual systems are frail. How would I know that? I wouldn't know it for sure. I would think it was interesting but until I saw some form of objective evidence that it was extraterrestrial in nature, I wouldn't believe it.
KING: Are you open to the idea, Seth?
SHOSTAK: I'm certainly open to the idea. It doesn't violate physics to come here from other worlds. Could be. But if you're going to make that claim, as Carl Sagan was fond of saying, extraordinary claim like that requires pretty convincing evidence. The L.A. Police Department solves 80 percent of the murders committed by humans against other humans. What about the other 20 percent? You think they're aliens? Could be, but I don't think so.
KING: Before Rob shows us some extraordinary pictures and the whole panel comments, in 1997 the U.S. Air Force issued a report declaring the Roswell case crossed. The Air Force said the so-called space aliens were military dummies used in high altitude parachute drops. What do we make, Bruce Maccabee of Roswell? MACCABEE: Well, I think something actually occurred which has not yet been explained. I have not been convinced by what the Air Force claimed and, of course, what I call the dummy drop theory of Roswell doesn't satisfy anyone, even the skeptics tended to laugh at that. I like to stick to the testimony the original witnesses which made claims about extreme characteristics of the materials that were found and so on. My own opinion, however, has not been based on Roswell but all the other types of sightings that I have investigated, including photographic film and video cases.
KING: Why do you think, Rob, that they don't -- why do they go over strange places, pictures? They never land in Washington, DC at noon while Congress is in session.
SWIATEK: Well, Larry, I wish they would.
KING: I know, I know. But why -- this intelligent life wouldn't do that?
SWIATEK: There is an answer to that and here is the answer. If we are indeed dealing with alien intelligence we have absolutely no idea what this alien intelligence - how it would act and what it would do. Woody Allen once said, maybe they like to hover. And that's what I would say. How does any of us as a human being know how an alien race would think? Their idea of contact might be to never approach main government buildings or land at the mall or the river entrance of the Pentagon. So I think it's just kind of ridiculous to discount the whole phenomenon because they don't do what we as humans think they would do.
KING: Well, since this has been reported for ages, are we ever going to know Rob, do you think?
SWIATEK: Yes, I think we will know, Larry. I think this problem is amenable by science. But I'm not going to say we're dealing with ETs because I think that's one step beyond where we are as researchers of this phenomenon. The first thing we to do is deal with the data such as it is. And if the data is that they never land in public places and that they just have overflights of military bases or airline pilots deal with these things, and see them, then we have to an nice and investigate those data. Not the data we would like to have or not the ashtray from the craft we would like to have but the data such as it exists. That's what science does. And unfortunately mainstream science hasn't yet looked at the great cases, the really good cases in the UFO subject that exist.
KING: We're going to say some of Rob's pictures when we come back. We'll also ask John what pilots tell him. They're up there all the time. You're watching LARRY KING LIVE. At the bottom of the hour we'll include your phone calls. Our subject is -- don't go away.
KING: Pre "War of the Worlds," which is terrific, that "The Day the Earth Stood Still" is the best science fiction movie about UFOs ever made. What do pilots tell you, John? SCHUESSLER: Well, pilots tell us real good stuff. You have to stop and think. A pilot is a highly credible, highly trained, good observer that protects the life, whether military pilot or civilian, of millions of people a day. They say that things fly up to their aircraft, they're quite often noticed on radar. They move around the aircraft in ways that their own airplane can't do in very close proximity, not amorphous lights in the sky, the structural, physical things that come right up to them. They say this is bizarre. This is beyond belief. I've got the tell somebody, and they record that.
Quite often, though, they can't get the back-up tapes from the FAA or elsewhere showing what was on radar. But we know it's there and we do have a lot of radar visual cases now. You can fool the radar a little, the eye a little but it's almost impossible to fool them together. Particularly ...
KING: Why would you doubt pilots, Seth?
SHOSTAK: I don't doubt the pilots have seen something but to say that it's extraterrestrial craft is a big step. We have thousands of satellites looking down on the earth all the time. You show them on the weather, right? They don't see these things. You've got amateur astronomers looking every night. They don't see these things.
KING: Rob has brought extraordinary photos with us. Rob, we'll put some up and talk about them. First, this is McMinnville, Oregon.
SWIATEK: Larry, McMinnville, Oregon, was a series of two UFO photographs. You are looking at, I believe, photograph two there. That is photograph number one. These photos have passed the muster over many years of study of many experts, including Dr. Maccabee here. Now the thing I wanted to qualify about UFO photographs is that in an of themselves they don't prove we're dealing with ETs. Any photograph can be hoaxed. The good thing about photographs like McMinnville is that all the obvious explanation force how the photographs might have been hoaxed or what these photographs show have been ruled out. I.e: a model suspended from the wires. It's certainly not an unusual cloud. It's not something that the witnesses, through in front of them like a Frisbee and photographed. Extensive research by private sector scientists like Dr. Maccabee and by the University of Colorado study back in the '60s, couldn't explain these sightings and they're representative of what people see. I think that's the core of what I'm saying.
KING: Susan, how do you react when you look at that?
CLANCY: How I react is I look at that and I think, well, that could have been somebody throwing a disk in the sky. And taking a picture of it. But that's an aside. I find interesting about the pictures is they're flying saucers. And I want to remind the viewers that flying saucers were supposedly first seen by Kenneth Arnold in 1947, but if you actually look at the transcripts of what he said he saw, he did not see flying saucers. He actually saw crescent-shaped objects that moved like a saucer would, if you skipped it across the water. The media got confused, reported that flying saucers were shown and it was flying saucers ever since. KING: What is that to you?
CLANCY: What, the pictures?
KING: Yeah, what is that?
CLANCY: The pictures are somebody trying to create the illusion of flying saucers or somebody took a picture of some weird thing in the sky, happened to look like a flying saucer. It's certainly not evidence that there's something extraterrestrial in the sky.
KING: Budd Hopkins, to you what does it mean?
HOPKINS: Well, it's just one more piece of evidence that supports the physical reality of these objects. Here's the thing about the abduction phenomenon it connects with photographs like this. We have over and over again physical marks on people's bodies that are somehow inflicted upon them when they're abducted into craft. I've seen perhaps 100, what we call scoop marks. These are like the one in the center, a little harder to see that photograph. One down, I see at the bottom. This is -- the straight line cut on the woman's body. I've seen dozens and dozens of these. The doctor the next day asked if she had some kind of surgery. There's a scoop mark on the back of a leg. Here's a scoop mark on the front of the leg. If you assume that we have hundreds of these, straight line cut on the man's back.
Either the straight line cut or the scoop mark as you can see the back of the knee. If you have these again and again and again, this is an Australian case -- exactly the same kind of marks, exactly the same patterns, then you will, on top of that, the ground traces when UFO lands, it manages very often to, in a certain sense, bake the soil. Kills the grass. The soil is baked to a kind of rock-like consistency. We have had these rock-like things analyzed.
KING: What does all that say to you?
HOPKINS: Well, it says that there's -- this is a physical thing. The idea that this is sleep paralysis, which is the big explanation du jour is as completely full of holes as Bush's rationale for invading Iraq. The first thing about the sleep paralysis is for the first 15 or 20 years of abduction research, not one single person was in the bedroom asleep. And, of course, the sleep paralysis theory doesn't even begin to explain those whatsoever. You have cases ...
KING: Let me get a break and we'll come back and show more pictures and take phone calls as well. Don't go away.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (video clip): Here's a flying saucer in a rare close up portrait. But this one is no mystery. Unlike its high- flying cousins, this saucer is created in an army laboratory at Ft. Belvoir, Virginia. Physicist Noel Scott (ph), who discovered the effect, says it's the same phenomenon that has baffled scientists, hexed radar screens and led pilots on costly wild saucer chases. A mass of air under low pressure and electrically charged, as you see taking the shape of a glowing saucer. It's the answer to the year's number one scientific mystery, or is it? (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TOM CRUISE, ACTOR: Feel that?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Feel that?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. I feel that. Is it the subway? train maybe?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Water main?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That can't be the water main.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's nothing else down there.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The water main doesn't run through here.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, there's something down there and it's moving.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: One of the great scenes from many great scene in "War of the Worlds."
In Denver, Colorado, is John Schuessler, former engineer for Boeing and NASA.
In Boston, is Dr. Susan Clancy. By the way, the full title of her forthcoming book is "Abducted: How People Come to Believe They Were Kidnapped By Aliens."
In Los Angeles, is Seth Shostak, senior astronomer for the SETI Institute.
In New York, is Budd Hopkins, a top researcher in the UFO abduction phenomena.
In Washington, Rob Swiatek, long-time investigator, board member for the Fund for UFO research. Also in Washington, Dr. Bruce Maccabee, active in UFO research, serves on the National Board of the Fund for UFO Research.
We'll take a call and then, go to some more of these photos.
We'll go to Newport News, Virginia. Hello.
CALLER: Hi. Thank you, Mr. King, for accepting my phone call.
My question is: Since there is intelligent life on the surface of Earth, does your guests think that there's possibly intelligent life in the deep of our oceans?
KING: Is that a possibility? Anybody want to grab that? Seth: Unlikely. It's hard to, you know, do things like smelt metals, you know, you don't tend to have prehensile hands and things like that. It's a difficult environment for intelligence. And by the way, if there were intelligent life at the bottom of oceans, I think we would have found it by now.
KING: But Hubert Humphrey said we should explore the oceans as much as we explore space.
SHOSTAK: Should do, indeed.
KING: There's a lot to be learned from the oceans.
SHOSTAK: Much to be learned. I don't think there's intelligence down there.
KING: Let's look at some more pictures from Rob Squiretech's (ph) collection. What's this in Santa Ana, Rob?
SWIATEK: Well, I don't actually know what it is, Larry, but yes, it is one of a sequence of four photographs that were taken of seemingly -- I'll put the words alleged and seemingly before the word object each time I say it, a large metallic disk that crossed the road in front of a highway inspector in 1965. He took three photographs of the disk itself. And one photograph later on, of a smoke ring that allegedly the disk left behind it when it departed.
Again, these photos have passed muster with investigators. They've ruled out the hand of throwing model, as Susan seems so blithely describe as the source of all of these photographs.
What is left is the puzzle and the enigma that we need to figure out. The person who took these, Mr. Heflin (ph), again, had a pretty unimpeachable character and no strings were found from which this object was dangled from in his truck, nor double exposure or anything like that.
KING: How do you respond, Seth, to what you see?
SHOSTAK: Well, look, one of the problems with these photos...
KING: Come on, it is pretty amazing.
SHOSTAK: Well, yes, but it could be, as Susan has suggested, just a hubcap thrown up and somebody takes pictures. There saying that's not...
KING: Don't look like a hubcap.
SHOSTAK: It doesn't look like a hubcap, but the point is that there's no point of reference. You don't know how far away that thing is. It could be an aircraft, right, that's very far away and only looks like it's up close. You need, you know, you need a couple of cameras.
KING: Doesn't look like an aircraft.
SWIATEK: And that's false.
SHOSTAK: You know, there are all kinds of air crafts. I mean, look, it's not convincing evidence that there are alien craft in the sky.
There's something in the sky there. To say that it's alien craft, that's a big step.
KING: Dr. Carter's (ph) reported seeing things.
SHOSTAK: It was Venus. He's an unimpeachable source and it was actually extraterrestrial, but it was Venus.
KING: It was Venus.
Bruce Maccabee, what do you believe about these photos?
MACCABEE: Well, these photos have been studies for many, many years, since the time they were taken in '65, I think it was. And they have, as Bob pointed out, passed muster over and over and over again.
Mr. -- the photographer himself, was -- nobody ever managed to prove that he would be a person likely to make any sort of hoax. These things are either the real thing or a hoax. I mean, it's really an unexplained object or hoax. There's no halfway point.
In my opinion, having studied what these other people have done and my own investigation of the photos themselves indicate that this is a real object and there is a possibility of estimating, let's say, distance and size based on the atmospheric effects on the photo -- on the object itself, indicating how bright it is as a function of distance. It's a bit technical, but it does suggest that the object was probably within a few thousand feet of the camera.
KING: Dallas, Texas. Hello.
I'm just wondering if these marks or scoopings you guys claim were caused by aliens during abductions, is there any other possible scientific explanation that could possibly explain their origin?
SCHUESSLER: You wanted me? I didn't understand the question.
KING: All right, we'll start with John and then Bud. Is there another scientific explanation for this?
SCHUESSLER: Well, it's either happening or it isn't happening.
SCHUESSLER: And the people have passed psychological exams, they've passed medical exams, lie detector tests. All of these things show that they really believed this has happened to them.
Now, again, you're back to belief there. But the accumulated evidence of lots and lots and lots of these starts to give you patterns and patterns of information that -- different ones from different places don't know. And that hidden information, is what we use, in many times, to put together cases that have like- characteristics and there's no way that they could have copied each other.
KING: Susan, what do you make of the body marks?
CLANCY: I would say that strange marks on the body are very common and I think there's possibly a litany of other more-probable explanations for why you have scoop marks or weird moles.
And as an example, one of my subjects was an 18-year-old construction worker who woke up and found strange patterns of marks on his back and concluded it was aliens. And when we asked him, isn't it more likely you started at the construction site and it was falling construction pieces, he said possible. But I feel like it was aliens and that's what I believe. So, for these people, that's their explanation.
KING: Let me get a break and we'll -- I...
We'll get -- you're not saying they're lying, they believe it?
CLANCY: No, I think they believe it. Absolutely.
KING: We'll take a break and be back with more phone calls, more pictures as well.
Don't go away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Don't look at that.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is the beginning of the process by which we read the brain for the finitely-indexed memory bank.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What have you done with my father?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE; We will return him to you eventually and the police officer, too.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) WOLF BLITZER, HOST, "WOLF BLITZER REPORTS": What was in the skies over Mexico in March? Members of the Mexican Air Force think they could be UFOs. Pilots taped 11 unidentified plying objects over southern parts of the country near the Gulf of Mexico. Only three of the objects showed up on RADAR and members of the plane's crew say it seemed as if the bright lights were responding to them.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: That was a Wolf Blitzer report on CNN. John Shuster (sic), what do you make of it?
SCHUESSLER: Well, that was an excellent report. And it kind of thrilled us all, because we had an air interdiction aircraft that had forward looking infrared radar that was picking up heat images of something. And the analysis of that has stood the test of time.
Again, Dr. Maccabee had done a through analysis, and found -- I believe he should speak to this, but one of the objects was obviously what we consider an unconventional flying object. some of the others were something else.
KING: Doctor Maccabee, what are we looking at?
MACCABEE: Well, after doing an extensive study of the videotape that I was sent by the -- sent by the Mexican Air Force, I concluded that some of these objects were actually lights, most likely to be lights on the ground.
But on the other hand, this whole event started when the surveillance aircraft flying over the Yucatan peninsula picked up a radar target that got within two miles, and tracked it, followed it for ten miles, was not able to see anything associated with the radar target, either visually or with a FLIR, the forward-looking infrared.
And that by itself is unusual. I would consider that to be what we call a radar unidentified flying object, because it was a radar target. These other lights that you see, some of them are probably lights on the ground. There may be some UFO lights mixed in. But until the Mexican Air Force actually does some experiments that I recommended, we wouldn't be able to tell for certain.
KING: To Johnson City, Tennessee, hello.
CALLER: Hey, I'm sorry. I thought I got cut off.
KING: No, you're on. Go ahead.
CALLER: Okay, from Johnson city, Tennessee.
KING: Go ahead. CALLER: Hey, Mr. King. My father was an MP at Ft Seal, Oklahoma in the early to mid '50s. He told his friends later on while he was there when he was out in the middle of nowhere that there were these incredible lights that used to come in close to the ground. And then they would go back off in the distance. And would come back in. And then just absolutely go off in the distance and disappear. And he subsequently got cancer, but when I was 14 he told me, he said, we are only a stack. There is so much more going on out there.
KING: Dr. Clancy, how would you respond to that?
CLANCY: I would respond -- I think her father saw something. And I'm sure it was something compelling in the sky. But what that's called is that's an anecdotal report. And why it's interesting. it doesn't constitute any form of objective or scientific evidence.
KING: Wouldn't you have -- Seth, wouldn't you hope they're out there?
SHOSTAK: Of course. In fact, I wouldn't do if kind of work I do which is to look for signals from these guys, if I didn't think they were out there. I do think there's a good chance.
KING: By the way, if they allow cell phones on airplanes, will that screw you up?
SHOSTAK: No. It will annoy me when I travel.
KING: It won't affect you?
SHOSTAK: No, telecommunications satellites are the problem.
KING: Owensboro, Kentucky, hello.
CALLER: Yes. Hi, Larry. Owensboro, Kentucky. I love your show.
KING: Thank you. What's the question?
CALLER: I just wanted to confirm that NASA does have a UFO research program. And, you know, if they didn't know for sure that there was things out there that maybe the Roswell incident did happen, why would they waste all their money and time on this UFO research program?
KING: Yeah Rob, why are they doing it? Rob Swiatek.
SWIATEK: Well, actually I don't know that. I don't know that the government has any official program looking into UFOs right now, NASA or classified government project of another agency. I'm not aware that NASA is officially or informally looking at UFOs at all.
KING: Does anyone know if there's -- no?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No.
KING: Seth, no?
KING: There's no government money?
SHOSTEK: Not that's visible to anybody.
KING: The Russian government is looking at it?
SHOSTEK: The Russian -- various foreign governments have looked at the phenomenon. Look, the governments were very interested in the UFO phenomena in the beginning, because they thought this might be somebody else's military aircraft. They wanted to know what they were.
When they decided it was a whole laundry list of phenomena that were very prosaic, they sort of dropped their investigation.
KING: Because if they can fly straight up and down, if they can stop in midair, go at normal speeds they might travel on light, right?
KING: There would be an experience unknown to us.
SHOSTEK: Yes. But look, you know, 55 years after Columbus discovers America, the Indians were not in doubt. They were not having discussions about whether they were being visited by Europeans. I think if they were here, we would know it.
CLANCY: Can I say one thing, which is that I know for a fact that in 1969 the National Academy of Sciences sponsored a study of all the available evidence on UFOs. And what they concluded then was that the least likely explanation for unidentified flying objects is the hypothesis of extraterrestrial visitations by intelligent beings.
So no one's denying that there are things in the sky that people are reporting seeing and we're not sure what they are. But there are, again, a litany of possible explanations for them. And the least likely is -- was UFOs. I think that's saying a lot.
KING: We'll hear the counter to that. Let me get a break. And get a counter to that right after this. Don't go away.
KING: Midland, Texas, hello.
CALLER: Hi. My question is for Mr. Schuessler. Did you ever live in the Midland-Odessa area Texas. And whether or not you did, are you aware of any credential and/or publicized sightings there in the '60s or '70s?
SCHUESSLER: Yes, there were credible sightings in that area, but I'm not prepared to pull it right off the top of the head. We do have things on file from that. (INAUDIBLE) have hundreds of thousands of case on file, as do a lot of other organizations.
KING: But you never lived there?
SCHUESSLER: And I never lived there. I lived in the Houston area.
KING: What's the story of Betty Cash and Vicky Landry?
SCHUESSLER: Well, that was a very interesting case where two women and a small boy encountered a UFO in the east Texas, Bonnie Woods. The thing came down the road in front of them. The car got hot. The two women got out.
They were eventually irradiated in some manner. And when the object flu away, it was chased by military helicopters. We did an extensive investigation on that. And worked with many doctoring around the country.
The main doctor that worked with Betty for several years to keep her alive was Dr. Brian McClellan. He said that she had a typical radiation exposure case including the dermatitis, the hair loss, the GI tract problems, and all of the other things. She eventually lost her life as a result of this through anemia and being up on it.
KING: Budd, why would the government -- I know this is the charge by those who believe -- why would the government hide the information from the public if they had it? Why?
HOPKINS: Larry, if all a person could say is, my fellow Americans, they are here, they can outfly anything we have, they're abducting our men, women and children in an ongoing series of experiments, a project and so on. We don't know anything about it, ultimately. We don't know whether they are going to be friendly or not.
We have no idea what this is leading to. There's nothing we can do about it. We'll let you know if we hear more about it Thank you and good night.
Now, I always said I would rather be in the liquor business at that point, than the stock market. But the most important point here, Larry, is that the conversation I had years ago with the late Carl Sagan, we agreed that the UFO phenomenon was an extraordinary phenomenon.
If you put together hundreds of pictures which have been analyzed very, very thoroughly, as we've seen all of the pilot, astronaut, and so on reports that John Schuessler has been talking about, the abduction accounts, the physical marks on people's bodies, which doctors have examined and describe as being the kind of scar you..-
KING: Well, what did Carl say?
HOPKINS: They look like they're the scars you get by a punch biopsy. We have no idea what it's for.
But at any rate, we agreed that all of this together constitutes an extraordinary phenomenon and so, what I said to Dr. Sagan was: Shouldn't we be saying an extraordinary phenomenon demands an extraordinary investigation?
We're not getting an investigation here. We're getting, unfortunately, lots of arm chair theorists, who sit away from the investigation process, who have actually never really gone out to examine the sight, the physical marks, whatever it is, to do any medical work. But who have very glib explanations of each little piece of evidence that's brought up. But the cumulation of this evidence is overwhelming.
KING: I will confirm that, because I interviewed the late Dr. Sagan many times and he was, Seth, open to the possibility of it and to more investigation of it.
SHOSTAK: I am as well. I am as well. But I think that it's a mistake -- Budd is suggesting that the burden of proof is now outside the people who are making the claims and I don't think that, that's fair. If they're going to make the claim, they have to come with the good evidence.
KING: We'll take a break and be back with more...
HOPKINS: Well, I'm not saying...
KING: Hold it. I'll be right back and pick right up on you, Budd.
As we go to break, I interviewed a woman some years back who claimed to have been abducted.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TERRY MATTHEWS, CLAIMED ALIEN ABDUCTION: There have been abductions that I have felt as if I was going through a tunnel, almost shaped like a funnel. It's very fast. There's a lot of light. Sometimes it's a big black void.
KING: Any method of travel, ship, anything?
MATTHEWS: I do end up in a place where there are hallways and waiting rooms and examination rooms.
KING: Are you spoken to?
MATTHEWS: I understand and know what they're saying to me. I don't hear words.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) KING: Get another call. Pittsburgh, hello.
Caller: Hi, Larry.
I am trying -- try on the as brief as I can. I had two experiences around 1967 in Pittsburgh, where I grew up. And the first experience was night around 9:00, 9:30 at night. My mother and I went out on the front porch. We were talking and we both -- I happened to look up and I was 16 at the time, and we saw this dark triangle in the sky.
I mean, it was huge and it was just in the -- it wasn't moving, there was no sound coming from it. We -- I went out into the garage to look at it and it started moving towards the house and it went right over the top of our house back into a wooded area behind us.
And I don't know if there was anything going on at that time in Pittsburgh, but when I tried to run and get my camera, it was too late.
And the second experience I had maybe a week to two weeks later. As I was laying in my bed sleeping and something woke me up and I looked up at the window that was above my bed and it's about two stories off the ground and I saw these two figures looking at me through the window. And they were dressed with dark hats, very pale skin and they had dark coats on.
KING: How do you know you weren't dreaming?
Caller: Pardon me?
KING: How do you know you weren't dreaming.
Caller: Because -- well let me finish and I'll explain that.
KING: We don't have enough time. How do you know you weren't dreaming?
Caller: I know I was awake because I panicked and when I finally could finally move, I ran into the other room. I was not sleeping. And...
KING: Dr. Clancy, how do you explain it?
CLANCY: I mean...
KING: Are you saying she didn't see that triangular object?
CLANCY: No, in fact, what she just said, the last thing she said, when I could finally move, which pretty much --I'd say that's an episode of sleep paralysis. It's very common. People wake up in the middle of the night. They're paralyzed for a few moments, up to a minute. And they have a tendency to see strange things in the room, et cetera. It's a very common, non pathological de-synchrony in sleep cycles and it scares people.
KING: Rob Swiatek...
Rob, what are crop circles?
SWIATEK: I don't know what crop circles are, Larry. They're imprints in field in England. Some of them are a hoax. There's no doubt about that. The vast majority of them are very intricate designs and I'm not so sure we know how they are formed. I don't know that. It might not be hoaxers, but there doesn't appear to be any overt UFO connection here. We don't see UFOs in conjunction with crop circles very often. Extraordinarily rarely, actually.
KING: Seth, what do you think?
SHOSTAK: I find it remarkable to think that the aliens would come all this distance to carve graffiti in our wheat.
KING: All right. How do you explain it then, otherwise?
SHOSTAK: Most of them -- they're all don at night and the usually on the weekends.
SHOSTAK: Yes. It sounds to me, either that or the aliens have strange union rules.
KING: Budd Hopkins, do you think we're going to ever have proof, proof in our lifetime?
HOPKINS: Well, I never use the word proof. I use the term evidence. We have so much evidence that we can hardly handle it. We have to remember that in terms of proof that there's still something like 10 or 15 percent of the American public do not believe that the Holocaust occurred. It has not been proved to them.
So, my point is, the evidence is so extensive and so complex. I've been doing this for 30 years and I'm talking about the medical evidence and even though Susan just mentioned sleep paralysis in this case, we have just hundreds and hundreds of abduction case where's people are driving cars. There may be three people. They all remember exactly the same thing.
I was just dealing with a police sergeant who was abducted. His family, seven people, saw the craft coming at rooftop height in the middle of the afternoon over their picnic. And he was --
We're running out of time.
HOPKINS: And he was -- he had been abducted and returned. So...
KING: Why don't they ever abduct Colin Powell. You know, abduct Seth Shostak. Why don't they take you? You come back on this show. If they took you, we're going to believe it.
HOPKINS: May I answer that, Larry?
KING: I'm only kidding, Budd.
We're going to do another show on this. We've run out of time, but I know there are answers.
We thank John Schuessler, Dr. Susan Clancy, Seth Shostak, Budd Hopkins, Rob Swiatek and Bruce Maccabee.
Tomorrow night on LARRY KING LIVE, Bob Woodward will be with us live with your phone calls. His new book is out, all about Deep Throat.
And now we turn things over to our own alien, the host of "NEWSNIGHT."
A lot of people who watch you, think that you, only you, the way you deliver the news, the way you handle yourself, you had to come from, I bet, Uranus.
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