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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 1999 > Jan > Jan 9

Computer Pioneer Quits To Chase UFOs

From: UFO UpDates - Toronto <updates@globalserve.net>
Date: Sat, 09 Jan 1999 21:56:41 -0500
Fwd Date: Sat, 09 Jan 1999 21:56:41 -0500
Subject: Computer Pioneer Quits To Chase UFOs




Soruce: http://members.aol.com/ufoseek/ceo_ufo.htm

Saturday January 9, 3:26 pm Eastern Time

Real-life X-File? Computer pioneer
quits to chase UFOs

By Andrew Quinn

SAN FRANCISCO, Jan 9 (Reuters) - In the X-Files it would be
called the case of the CEO and the UFO.

Joe Firmage, who at the age of 28 has made not one but two
mega-fortunes as a computer pioneer in California's Silicon
Valley, has quit the $2 billion company he helped found to
promote what he calls "the most important news event in 2000
years" -- his belief that many of today's scientific advances
came from space aliens.

"Why would a young, successful CEO risk his reputation on
something this fantastic?" Firmage told Saturday's San
Francisco Chronicle in announcing his departure from USWeb/CKS
(Nasdaq:USWB - news), an Internet marketing and consulting
company based in Santa Clara, California.

"Because I believe so much in this theory. And I am in a unique
position to communicate an extremely important message. I have
the money, credibility, scientific grounding, and faith."

Firmage has been dubbed the "Fox Mulder of Silicon Valley"
after the hero of the "X-Files" television series, and his own
beliefs seem strangely parallel to the dark mix of UFO contact
and government conspiracy that lie at the show's core.

Backed by his immense resources, Firmage has sought to prove a
variety of theories regarding UFOs, including one which holds
that many recent scientific advances including semiconductors,
fiber optics and lasers can be traced to a purported alien
spaceship crash in Roswell, New Mexico, in 1947 that was covered
up by the government.

"Outright rejection of the evidence without comprehensive
review of the research in print across hundreds of books is
close-minded, unscientific and indeed irresponsible in the
extreme," Firmage wrote in one recent essay.

"It is also quite understandable given decades of government
disinformation which, right or wrong in its genesis and
continuation, was specifically designed to create a 'giggle
factor' surrounding the subject."

Firmage's credentials as a UFO buff are matched by his track
record as a computer industry entrepreneur.

A physics major at the University of Utah, Firmage was 18 when
he formed his first company, Serius, which specialized in
writing computer operating system codes. That was sold to Novell
in 1993 for $24 million, and Firmage served as Novell's vice
president of networking strategy until 1995 when he left to form
USWeb.

That company, which helped companies to develop Internet
strategies, completed a merger with CKS Group Inc. last month to
form a $2.1 billion powerhouse that employs 1,950 people.

During the merger, however, Firmage was edged out as CEO by a
board of directors who did not see eye to eye with him on the
UFO issue. Now, Firmage says, he is leaving the company for good
to pursue his beliefs.

"I want to ensure that the company is not impacted in any
negative way," Firmage told the Chronicle, adding that he was
not pressured to give up his job as chief strategist.

Robert Shaw, who took over as CEO of USWeb/CKS, said Firmage
himself had suggested the move "given the market exposure
associated with his outside interests."

"Joe is a visionary and he should be quite proud of what he
accomplished. This move should demonstrate to the public and the
employees that he's always put the interests of the company
first," Shaw told the newspaper.

Firmage has already laid the groundwork for a campaign to
publicize his UFO beliefs. He has set up the International Space
Science Organization to promote his views, sunk $3 million into
an endeavor dubbed 'Project Kairos' aimed at preparing
humanity for alien contact, and posted a 600-page manifesto,
entitled 'The Truth', on his website (www.thewordistruth.org).

Included in 'The Truth' are new documents from a source
Firmage calls the 'Deep Throat of Cyberspace' which he claims
back up his space alien theories.

One of the documents is a purported 1947 memo from President
Harry Truman to Secretary of Defense James Forrestal that sets
up a secret U.S. government operation dubbed 'Majestic Twelve'
to investigate extraterrestrials.

Another is an alleged June 1947 letter from Albert Einstein and
Robert Oppenheimer to scientist Vannevar Bush giving advice on
how to deal with alien visitors.

Firmage's departure from USWeb/CKS was greeted with a shrug by
many of his Silicon Valley contemporaries, who have long scoffed
at his otherworldly beliefs.

"I've met a bunch of the valley's pioneers, and none of them I
know are aliens," said John McLaughlin, a Silicon Valley
historian. "The valley was built on ingenuity and hard work."

Even Silicon Valley's 'official' UFO organization, the SETI
(Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) Institute which is
partly financed by high-tech heavyweights from Microsoft,
Hewlett-Packard and Intel, is not lining up behind Firmage.

"Roswell has repeatedly been discounted as nothing more than a
military experiment," SETI Institute President Frank Drake told
the Chronicle. "It is constantly exploited by obsessive types
who want to believe. If it's not Santa Claus, then it's
aliens."

Firmage, however, was unperturbed by the lack of support from
the high-tech world.

"It's the Flat-Earth society mentality all over again, and I'm
here to prove my theory is real," he told the newspaper.



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