Wednesday, July 3, 2013

UFO-Kurier(N18, April 1996): 'The Meier controversy - New accusations' by Luc Bürgin

Semjase: But now it is time for me, because I have to go back to the North sea.
Billy: Then just go, you nightingale – I almost said night owl, but that doesn’t fit you, you’re more like a nightingale – also with regard to singing, by which I mean the voice.
Semjase: Your compliments are of exceptional value and very honest.
Billy: Thank you, then take all the flowers in the world as a token of honour and let their flavour please you in peace and love.
Semjase: You are very sweet, I have a very peculiar feeling within myself.
Billy: You are also very sweet – I wish you so much, lovely girl, may the enchanting flavour of the flower world guide you in love. Goodbye, and until we meet again soon.

(from: Guido Moosbrugger, "Und sie fliegen doch...", Düsseldorf 1991)

Until today the statements of the Swiss Billy Meier lead to heated discussions in the UFO-scene. For decades Meier claims to have personal and telepathic contacts with the “Pleiadians”, and even to have undertaken interstellar flights and time travels with his extraterrestrial friends. Naturally he also met Jesus Christ (who he calls Jmmanuel in his reports) on these occasions and equally naturally Jesus was astonished about his “high intellect”.
As evidence for his hair raising assertions Meier provided hundreds of pictures over the course of years, at which Pleiadian beamships are supposedly visible. He also brought highly blurred pictures from his journeys to other planets in circulation. In addition Meier perpetuated the knowledge gathered during his contacts on thousands of pages which are being studied enthusiastically by his followers – off which there are many – until the present day. While the majority of UFO-investigators are sceptical or even reluctant to the Meier story, other investigators and publishers like Gary Kinder, Randolph Winters, Guido Moosbrugger or Wendelle Stevens basically give the Swiss credibility.
Even the most enthusiastic Meier followers might now become hesitant. The reason: Kal Korff. The American has recently published a book counting over 400 pages, which very precisely documents the results of his many years of investigation ("Spaceships of the Pleiades", New York 1995). No unfounded suspicions, no subjective polemics, but hard facts characterize his work. Facts which properly dismantle the Meier case.
Korff didn’t hesitate to investigate on site: under the false name “Steve Thomas” he managed to get inside Meiers "Freie Interessengemeinschaft für Grenz- und Geisteswissenschaften und Ufologiestudien" (FIGU) in Hinterschmidrüti, where he pretended to be an enthusiastic Meier follower, which gave him the possibility to talk to his closest associates. (He only saw Meier himself from a distance, despite his many requests to speak to him personally.)
During his stay the American asked the followers of the UFO-guru, among other questions, how they would react to a possible visit of Korff, the well-known Meier-critic. Bernadette Brand, a long-standing confidant of Meier, answered: “Lee Elders warned us about him, we wouldn’t allow him in, and if we did, we would never let him go…” Korff was alarmed. Nevertheless he insisted to perpetuate himself in Meiers guestbook.
Let us get into the most important weak points which stroke Korff in Meiers story: the already frequently and gladly cited claim that De Anza Systems in San Jose (California), in commission of Genesis III (a group of Meier supporters), Wendelle Stevens as well as the by MUFON-CES, because of his photo investigations, criticized computer expert Jim Dilettoso have analysed several of Meiers pictures, is false. On inquiry of Korff the company managers disputed since 1980 to have ever researched photo material. Company manager Wayne Heppler about that: “The guys pretended that they wanted to buy a computer. For demonstration purposes we took one of their UFO-pictures and enlarged it (…). They then took a picture of the screen and left (…).” Heppler also declared that De Anza Systems didn’t posses the technical abilities to ensure conclusive photo technical analyses.
Also Ken Dinwiddie, who then did the demonstration, could remember the visitors clearly. During the course of his conversation with Korff most claims about the alleged results of the De Anza-“analysis” turned out to be nonsense. An example should be sufficient: in the pro-Meier-literature occasionally the claim emerges, that the soil of the terrain, above which one of Billy’s flying saucers supposedly had flown its circles, reflected at its bottom side, what would be clearly visible on a photograph which was edited with false colours. A circumstance which – according to Meiers followers – impressively excludes trickery.  As Dinwiddie declared to Korff about this, he inserted the reflection himself by personal request of Dilettoso.
Other photo experts like for example Neil Davis, Eric Eliason or Michael Malin, to which the Meier-pictures were presented for examination, couldn’t admittedly find any manipulations, but in their respective opinion or in later conversations they pointed out that the presented material only allowed for limited conclusions. To be short: without an examination of the respective negatives no adequate evaluation could be made about the pictures. (Characteristically no negatives exist anymore today. According to Meier they were all lost in the mail, or they were stolen from him.)
In the course of his investigation Korff decided to critically examine some of the Meier-pictures himself. The results of his study were more then sobering. It turns out that in many cases the respective sharpness of the photographed saucers were not corresponding to other objects of comparison on the picture. Also computer analysis brought values to light which were in strong contradiction to Meiers claims about the size, height and distance of his UFO’s. In addition Korffs investigations documented bulges and asymmetries on the outer casing of the objects, which construction would rather indicate self fabricated models then extraterrestrial spacecraft. In the case of a photo of March 19, 1976, on which a UFO allegedly hovers behind the branches of a tree (a circumstance which by the Meier-proponents is used as an argument for the genuineness of the respective pictures) a computer manipulation was enough to determine that the alleged spaceship was located in front of the tree.
Another UFO Billy allegedly snapped in February 1975 at Unter-Balm from another hovering spaceship at the same height, 300 meters above the ground. However during a comparison of the terrain on location Korff discovered a small hill, on which the observer is offered the exact same geographic perspective which is also visible on the Meier-picture. The American estimates the height of this hill on a mere 7 meters.
In the case of a series of pictures, supposedly showing a Pleiadian spaceship curving around a tree at Fuchsbüel at July 9th, 1975, the indications of a fabrication are even more obvious. Korff examined the location and concluded that Meier occasionally turned a full 90 degrees while taking the pictures, because the background setting on some of his pictures changes completely. The American: “As the series of pictures clearly shows, the tree must have moved with Meier when he changed his direction twice, since on all ten pictures the same tree silhouette is visible. I hardly need to mention that trees don’t move…”
Characteristically Korff and others searched for the tree in question in vain during their investigations on site. No wonder, according to Meier the cautious Pleiadians eliminated it already many years ago, since it was contaminated by radiation during their demonstration flight. Korff also found Hermann Wyss, the longstanding owner of the strip of land in question, to ask him for the whereabouts of the tree. During this conversation Wyss couldn’t suppress a chuckle. As Korff learned from him, there never was a tree on the said location at all! When after that the American went trough the Meier-pictures again, he discovered a picture among them which Meier allegedly snapped four months before the tree-elimination: also hereon one amusingly seeks for the mysterious tree in vain.
The discrepancies become even worse with his alleged space travels. In this case Meier brings forward among others self snapped pictures of Venus as proof for his assertions. Foolishly the visible cloud formations thereon are exactly identical with those visible on photos taken in 1974 by the NASA-orbiter Mariner 10 – by means of a special UV-filter of course! Billy’s story eventually becomes completely ridiculous, when we consider his picture of the Horsehead Nebula, which he supposedly snapped “from a few thousand kilometres distance”. An acquainted natural scientist comments: “The picture is identical to a picture from one of my astronomy books, including all stars in the foreground. Apart from that Meier could never have made any pictures of gas nebulae with his simple camera, since they shine far too faint. Nearby they are far too thin, to be visible anyway. For such pictures to be made from the earth one needs a precise telescope which follows the earth rotation and a long exposure time.”
Two other pictures from 1975 seemed strangely familiar to me. They show ancient men, which Billy supposedly snapped during his travel to a planet called “Neber”. Somehow it seemed to me as if the Swiss photographed the two hairy figures from a graphic illustration, on which the evolution of men at different points in time is represented. Later it turned out my instinct didn’t mislead me. The graphic designers from List-publisher used such an illustration for the German version of a book of Steve Jones ("Die Botschaft der Gene",
München 1995), at which two of the depicted human predecessors were exactly identical with the creatures on Meiers pictures! (I saved myself the trouble to research the exact age of the original illustration, but I bet it originated before 1975.)
Finally Korff addresses in his book the allegedly so extraordinary metal samples, supposedly given to Meier by his extraterrestrial friends. Bottom line: neither the analysis by the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science & Technology nor the analysis by metallurgist Dr. Walter W. Walker (university of Arizona) showed any evidence for an extraterrestrial origin of the metal samples.
Only the chemist Marcel Vogel speaks around 1980 in an evaluation about an extraordinary composition, which he can only explain by an extraterrestrial origin of the material, all the more because one of the samples examined by him clearly contained Thallium, an extremely rare metal. As Korff determined in this matter, Vogel obviously interpreted his results incorrect: another conducted analysis by metallurgist Dr. Robert Olgilvie (Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge) didn’t show the slightest trace of Thallium.
In addition Kal Korff also carefully examines the scientific credibility of computer expert Jim Dilettoso. Conclusion: Dilettosos assertions, which state that he has a degree in natural sciences from the McGill-University in Canada are demonstrably false. Confronted with the inquiries of Korff during a radio interview in 1994 he eventuality stumbled something about an honorary title. He didn’t provide any evidence for that until now. Hardly surprising, the McGill-University doesn’t provide any honorary titles (according to investigations of Korff). During Korffs investigations also other assertions of Dilettoso concerning his professional career turned out to be downright lies.
Korff eventually devotes a series of pages to the main promoter of Meier, Wendelle Stevens, his long-term prison sentence, as well as the attempts of certain circles to portray Stevens sentence as an orchestrated plot “from above”, which objective was to discredit his investigations in the UFO-sector. Since this story only touches the fringes of the Meier case, I won’t get into detail about this matter.
After reading Korffs book I also started to examine my curious fellow-countryman myself. Different colleagues provided me with information and documentation in this regard, which back Korffs investigations more than once. Michael Arends from Germany studied the Semjase-reports as early as in the seventies. His photocopied documentations contain among others the following findings: “(…) it is therefore also understandable, that in Meiers contact reports authoritarian political systems are endorsed again and again. For example the dictatorship on the planet Akart (it is not mentioned where this planet is located) is positively addressed. Also Adolf Hitler is mentioned extensively, whereby the extraterrestrial humans assess him mainly positively (Semjase-report, page 375).”
An acquainted Swiss natural scientist also studied Meiers writings extensively around 1980. His impressions are written down in a lengthy, unpublished article. “The manuscript is solely a hymn of praise to Meier himself”, I read. “Although Meiers explanations consistently reveal a low education, Semjase is ecstatic about his “high knowledge”. In the manuscript little of this high knowledge is noticeable. (…) Off course astronomical themes are attended to in Meiers conversations with Semjase, and nothing points more clearly to the unreliability of his assertions then the many errors which emerge from his scientific remarks and are accepted by Semjase, as far as they do not originate from her.”
The article subsequently lists 25 contradictions in Meiers manuscript, from which I’d like to mention three as an example:
The Pleiades, from which Semjase originates according to herself, are an open star cluster, which are a few hundred million years old at most. For the formation of habitable planets this is far too short.
Meier: “An atomic destruction of the earth has a substantial influence on other solar systems or even other universes.” Impossible! The distances are far too great. Not even supernovae have any influence on their surrounding environment.
In the manuscript drawings emerge which supposedly stem from Semjase. Her style is just as dilettantish as that of Meier himself.
Also the “Talmud Jmmanuel” of Meier is examined more closely in the mentioned article. According to Meier we are talking about the original gospel, which was discovered this century by a certain I. Rashid in the cave in which the body of Jmmanuel (=Jesus) was taken after the crucifixion. The initiation for the discovery of the document was off course given by Meiers intimate friend Semjase, “the daughter of king of wisdom Ptaah, who travelled to earth in a beamship from the Pleiades, with the assignment to once more point humanity to the real truth, since the time has come to recognize the truth.” The ominous mister Rashid translated 36 chapters of the Talmud Jmmanuel in German and send them to Meier, before he “unfortunately” lost the mysterious document.
The Swiss scientist points out: “The Talmud Jmmanuel is basically nothing else then Luther’s translation of the New Testament with numerous changes and additions, which clearly do not originate from a manuscript, but rather from Meiers pen. (…) Consequently he uses a series of terms which didn’t even exist in the time of Jesus, for example ‘Logic’, ‘Natural law’ or ‘Brain’ (as seat of the intellect).” In the beginning of the book a letter is added which Rashid allegedly wrote to Meier and issued the future fate of the scrolls. The letter contains numerous linguistically erroneous expressions like “es ist mir leid”, “doch aber” or “verlustig gehen”. Exactly the same expressions we find in Meiers own writings.
But also racist passages sting in the eye of the Swiss scientist: “Most characteristically for Meiers views are arguably the numerous sharp anti-Semitic outbursts and the insult of the Jews, which he puts in Jesus’ mouth. He indeed railed against those who in his opinion interpreted the Bible incorrect, but not against his people, to which he belonged after all. The hateful passages are in strange contrast to the many additional world improving, moralistic passages, with which Meier extends the gospels.”
Who eventually pages trough “Information quer durch die FIGU”, a roughly 40 page brochure for those who are interested in FIGU and future members, comes across passages which hardly leave any doubt about the sectarian structure of Meiers environment: “If you visit us outside the official visiting hours, please be aware that after 30 minutes we summon you to assist us in the work that has to be done. (…) Visitors who appear outside the official visiting hours and only want to hang around, not willing to actively assist in labour are not tolerated. (…) These kind of visitors have a demoralizing effect on the centre residents and have to leave our centre and its surrounding area as soon as possible. (…) If you see Billy during your visit, then please leave him in peace. He has more problems to solve and duties to fulfil then you suspect, and at some point he deserves it to have a few moments of rest and enjoy our environment. (…) When you work for and with us, you do it according to the statutes of FIGU without any right for compensation! (…) Connected to the membership (…) is the obligation of meditation according to the meditation teaching.”
The members of FIGU are loyal to their master. Critical sounds from their own ranks hardly get out to the public. I could personally convince myself of that in 1994 during my participation in a panel discussion on the Swiss television. Across from me back then sat Meier-follower Hans-Georg Lanzendorfer. With a dogmatic uplifted forefinger Lanzendorfer (who refers to the FIGU in Hinterschmidrüti in an undated brochure from the centre as the “origin of great knowledge and creational philosophy”) didn’t get tired back then to regurgitate Meiers story in an uncritical and sectarian fashion and randomly deliver blows at press, church and science. He didn’t make any mention of the process Billy fought out with former members in the early eighties.
Via Roger Eglin from Basel, who carefully examined the Meier-case around 1980, I could see into a part of the documents from back then. On November 12, 1979 two close confidants of Billy, H. S. and C. S., wrote a letter to the local council of Turbenthal (Swiss): “(…) since two years E. Meier runs a so called meditation centre, which is constructed belowground, under the shed. (…) In the meditation centre is a changing room. A stairs is leading up to another room, in which a copper pyramid is located. In it the members have to carry out the meditation teaching under the guidance of E. Meier, while laying naked on a stretcher. That these locations are misused in various ways is sufficiently made clear in the accompanying resignation letter from (…). We’d like to point out urgently that E. Meier suggested on several occasions that he would defend the meditation centre by force of arms against foreign intruders if necessary. (…) Also he and his first companion, Jakob Bertschinger, posses a substantial weapon arsenal including ammunition. (…)”
On June 17, 1980 both FIGU insiders had another go, when they handed over a detailed list of financial amounts to the district attorney, which Billy received from his followers as interest-free loans. Around two thousand persons were mentioned by name in the questionable letter, the respective amounts range from 10,000 to 130,000 Swiss francs!
That Meier apparently uses any means in his pursuit for success is illustrated by a four page anonymous letter that was send by Billy in return to these ex-members. The letterhead shows in a large font  “BM – Galact CORPORATION”. The content of the letter basically consists of a very incoherent and long-winded threat to both Swiss to maintain their anti-Meier-initiative any longer, joined with an exuberant hymn of praise to Meier himself. Direct quote: “It must be eminently prevented that this Billy Meier can disseminate his material and his word, because he’s the most dangerous man in this area, since he can proof to every sensible thinking human being that his contacts are based in fact, which you know very well yourself. Our method is therefore that we put every UFO-observer (…) within reach under pressure to remain silent. (…) In tougher cases we have to take measures that will send such people to the afterlife. These measures however did not and do not have any effect in case of this Billy Meier. His spiritual power is simply too great, and besides that he is so knowledgeable, that he can even influence our people, by which means already some of our people were killed, without this guy having to move a finger, since his spiritual power is sufficient to kill. (…) Because of your abysmal stupidity and indiscretion you claimed 5000 francs from this dog and demanded a bankruptcy against him. Exactly that led to one of his greatest accomplishments of his prophet career: thousands of his followers donated contributions amounting around 98,000 francs, as our investigations indicated. He thereby waited until the last moment to pay the claim (…). In particular his dangerous and foreseeable thinking as well as his unbelievable spiritual power made him recognize that because of their stupidity and indiscretion and his patient waiting until the last moment he could achieve the victory he couldn’t achieve otherwise; namely that his cursed organisation became an officially accepted and legal association. (…) The fact that they could not recognize this, is completely incomprehensible for us, therefore we could only conclude that they are hatefully blinded (…).” (The reader is attended to the for Billy typical, incorrect conjunction of clauses, which are italicised.) Hardly necessary to add is that the ominous writing ends with a tangible death threat.
A few months after the mentioned broadcast of the UFO-discussion on the Swiss television I also received a letter from FIGU, which among other things contained a pamphlet from Meier about Kall Korff which wasn’t lacking insulting words. Numerous utterances were put into the American’s mouth, which he never made in this way, and from which he vehemently distances himself – also in his latest book. Instead of giving factual answers to Korffs accusations Meier only lashes out with polemics: “We don’t want to respond at all to the slanderous assertions of the liar, fraud, slanderer and intriguer Kal Korff regarding the investigation of the photographic material by Genesis III etc., because these are so primitive and far-fetched, that these childish assertions can be refuted any time.” In the rest of the text Meier designates his critic literally as “nasty scoundrel”, “skunk”, “brainless, intellectually disabled wannabe detective and pseudo investigator” and “paid dirty creature”. Is this the language of the same man that was praised by Jmmanuel/Jesus for his high intellect and wisdom and even distributes a writing with the ingenious title “Gesetz der Liebe” (“Law of love”)?!
To avoid being accused of having written a one sided article I faxed a rough draft of my article to Billy on February 14, 1996, including the request to read it and send me his written response regarding the raised accusations. As I expected Meier answered me (yet the same evening) with a polemic writing. I’d like to recite it here – except for some italic printed passages – without commentary:
“Concerning your faxed writing as well as your equally by fax transmitted article from today’s date: on my part I think it is beneath me to respond to your article, which I do not wish to read, since I can very well imagine what lies and slander you, as a Korff- and S.-friend, or at least their ally, want to bring to the innocent and unsuspecting readers with these lines, which are with certainty lacking any truth, and since I know you from the television and from magazines as a man who doesn’t represent the actual truth, but only goes by hearsay, according to the principle: ‘From hearsay one learns how to lie’. Furthermore I have to comment on your false accusations, which I know from television and journals as well as from Kal Korff and S., just as little as the lies and slander from these gentlemen and from you, which Korff and you invented, since you do not personally know me nor ever talked to me on the telephone or corresponded with me, as it is also the case with Korff. You, Luc Bürgin, as well as Korff aren’t in any way open, free, honest and unbiased to the truth, which is particular in your case a real pity. Unfortunately you are under the bad influence of liars, imposters, frauds and slanderers as well as under the influence of wannabe-ufologists, like those of MUFON and CENAP etc., by whom you let yourself being spun around and misled, and therefore, in my opinion, your truly outstanding capabilities for the dissemination and rectification of a case are suffering and are being enslaved, and as a consequence you cannot openly, honestly and consciously vouch for and disseminate the truth, but instead you let yourself being misused like a pawn by wannabe-ufologists, as well as liars and slanderers and other lunatics and fantasists for their rotten purposes. You write to me, that a possible response from me, in which according to your words you, however mistakenly, hoped to find a justification, would be added in your article by you and would be published to its full extend. I am anxious to know whether at least in this sense you act according to the truth and whether you are honest and great enough to fulfil your promise. It is yet to say that also lies and slanders in vile articles, and I take it this applies to your article as well, bring more good than harm, as I and those who cooperate with me experienced since the beginning, in marked contrast to good articles, which rarely have any effect. For this reason I’d like to request you not to forget to mention my/our address (FIGU, CH-8495 Schmidrüti/ZH), hence the people who are interested can inform themselves about the real truth.”
On February 15 and February 20, 1996 I received additional letters from my fellow-countryman, which contained more or less the same passages as his first letter. At least they also contained some answers to my questions. Among other things I asked Meier about two of his UFO-photos from the year 1975. One dates from June 14 and shows according to Meier’s “catalogue of authentic colour photos” a “demonstration flight of Semjase’s beamship”. The other one stems from June 25 and is titled “Two beamships, photographed trough the window of a third beamship (Semjase’s), with at the background the still recognisable environment of Rumikon”. Remarkable is that both photos have the same background; in the right side of both pictures an absolutely identical cloudlet is visible!
The answer I received from Meier, when I called him to attention to this matter, could hardly convince me: “You take dates from our catalogue and assume that these are accurate. Exactly that is unfortunately not the case, since this catalogue was repeatedly written of by different persons, which unfortunately caused many errors since we didn’t have a computer back then. (…) Unfortunately we hardly can correct the occurred errors today, which is understandable after 20 years. We were able to catch some mistakes, which we didn’t correct yet in a published catalogue however, but only in our notes. Also with the photos you mention (6.14/6.25) such dating errors occurred unfortunately. (…) The photos, which are dated June 25 are actually also from June 14, 1975.”
Some days later I asked Meier how it was possible that on two pictures Semjase’s UFO is visible, while he snapped the other one from inside Semjase’s ship, since evidently in between both pictures, based on the identical clouds, hardly any time was available to transfer to the ship. Billy’s answer may at best flatter the writers of “Star Trek”: “Naturally it is possible for the Pleiadians to beam a living being from one place to another, by which means it was possible to make pictures outside and inside simultaneously…”
During our exchange of letters I took the opportunity to ask Meier about another photo. The concerning picture is supposed to show “an extraterrestrial instrument on the inside of a spaceship” – as former associate Herbert Runkel stated during presentations in 1980. An instrument indeed, which suspiciously reminds of a (very terrestrial) oscilloscope. Meiers explanation: “The instrument photographed inside the spaceship is not an unfamiliar instrument to the earthlings, but indeed an oscilloscope which is still used for certain purposes in the ancient spaceship. I don’t know what it is used for however, because normally I’m not interested in technical and mechanical issues etc. I know that we are dealing with an oscilloscope here, because friends requested me to ask about it. I never asserted anything else, and thus I don’t have to retort nor justify myself in this case.”
It’s curious however that this picture, just like all the other pictures which Meier supposedly snapped in space, has an arched black edging. (While Meier usually explains these issues so that he snapped these pictures from a Pleiadian display, Korff suspects – with good reason – that Billy far more likely snapped them from his own television.) The answer to this additional discrepancy – Meier faxed it to me on February 20 – could only make me laugh out of pity: “All instruments in the spaceship are constructed behind a display-like protective casing, which are transparent like colourless glass, but are composed of other transparent material. The boundaries between different instruments are composed of a dark, metallic material that is arched and non-transparent. As they explained to me there is a vacuum under this protective casing which is of importance for the function of the equipment. And when I snapped a picture of parts of such equipment/instruments, then this wasn’t possible without also photographing parts of the arched protective casing...”
For the sake of balance, I perhaps should mention that the Meier case consist of many more facets, which I do not wish to clarify here, since in the meanwhile Billy’s story contains – as opposed to other UFO-accounts – to many weak points to further occupy myself with it. As long as the Swiss only comes up with polemic verbal attacks and far-fetched excuses instead of enlightening arguments, I take the right  to remain sceptical.

2.22.1996 - lb

Luc Bürgin
CH 4056 Basel
Translated by: Simon Goudswaard,(June-July 2013)
Corrections by: Pete Ckonjevic,(June-July 2013)

Response to this article by Michael Hesemann: FIGU Bulletin 8