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Michael Shermer On 'Larry King Live On UFOs'

From: Stuart Miller <stuart.4.nul>
Date: Thu, 19 Jul 2007 10:11:18 +0100
Archived: Fri, 20 Jul 2007 08:33:50 -0400
Subject: Michael Shermer On 'Larry King Live On UFOs'

=46rom the ESkeptic Newsletter:

Michael Shermer On Larry King Live On UFOs

I thought eSkeptic readers might appreciate some of the more
amusing (and nasty) letters I have received (appended below),
plus one very revealing letter about Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz
Aldrin's "UFO sighting" on the way to the moon, recounted by him
on the show (revealing UFOlogist Stanton Friedman to be an
incompetent researcher). Unfortunately it took Buzz a long time
to get to the point of the story =97 which was that the UFO turned
out to be one of the panels from the Apollo rocket booster =97 so
I fear that it might have been missed by viewers that he was, in
fact, a UFO skeptic.

Please note as well that former Arizona governor Fife Symington
described what he saw during the "Phoenix Lights" event as
"otherworldly." I spoke at length with Fife before and after the
show and found him to be a most thoughtful, intelligent, and
warm individual with no special propensity toward gullibility
(any more than the rest of us normally express), so after the
show I asked him, "How do you know what you saw was
'otherworldly,' when none of us has any experience whatsoever
with other worlds? Yet we have vast experience with strange and
unusual secret military aircraft from this world that we find
out about years later." His response to me in private was
similar to what he said on the show: it is possible that it was
some secret military experimental aircraft, but he was so awed
by what he saw that the military aircraft explanation just
seemed too unlikely. I noted both on the show and in private
that in science it's okay to just say "I don't know" and leave
it at that.

Overall I find such shows to be a frustrating experience, which
is why I brought along the little toy aliens to break up the
gravitas of the conversation, plus to make the point that
whatever actual aliens from another planet will look like, it
most definitely will not be that they are bilaterally
symmetrical bipedal primates, which only happened once on this
planet in two billion years of biological evolution and hundreds
of billions of different species.

=97Michael Shermer

The Letters (spelling left as is)

Hello saw you make an ass out of yourself on Larry last night. I
guess with all your genius you could despute actual witnesses to
the Rosewell crash. I guess you were there so it must not be
true. I came to the conclusion that you talk to much. You sound
more like a mina bird than someone with a PHD.

=97rich sottilaro

After seeing you work on Larry King I just felt I needed to
congratulate you on being such a supreme ass. No, really.
Because not that many people can pull it off. You did make one
valid point though when you asked where was the evidence.
Granted, the evidence so far is circumstantial. Videos (some
with crystal clear clarity), eyewitness reports, and so on and
so forth. And Freidman wasn't really helping his own argument
when he tried to sell his book. But from a odds standpoint, do
you REALLY think that out of hundreds of thousands of reports
that everyone is either lying or tricked by an optical illusion?
Wouldn't that be akin to flipping a coin and always coming up
heads? Not everyone can be mistaken or lying. And if we think
its more than possible for us to go out there then why do
skeptics think its impossible for them to come here? Is it ego?
Insecurity? Look, I am not going to sit here and knock you down
or call you names because I don't agree with your opinions. But,
that being said lets be realistic. You were being an ass on
King's show. In any other situation, if you treated different
people the same way you would still be an ass. Don't get me
wrong. I'm not trying to be rude or ill mannered. But you were
being a total jerk.


i saw your segment on larry king live. i must say you guys are
all asking and talking about the wrong thing. you need to ask
yourself, why is there an area 51 for space resaerch on ufo's.
if there was no alien then why is there a cover up. the govt
knows and puts it off on us as a joke. also we are living in
space there are 9 planets in our solar system; and how can you
possibly believe that we are the only one alive in the solar
system. much less the galaxy, if scientist say that there are
millions of galazies out there. how do they know? have they been
to them already? then why say that? thank you, and feel free to


Michael, you did an excellent job on Larry King Live last night
confusing the issues. I'm sure you were damn proud of yourself.
You do realize that UFO's are not a scientific issue yes? We
don't need science to prove truth. Science is incapable of
proving truth. In light of ET truth, science is obsolete and
impotent as is religion. Science and religion are false gods,
leading our planet to disaster. UFO's are a political issue. I
don't know how you can sleep with yourself at night, knowing
that you exist only to confuse and not to clarify. You are no
better than George Bush who invented WMD's so that he could
direct attention away from the real problems of his inadequacy
as a leader. I feel sorry for skeptics. You are not leaders. You
are not part of the solution.

=97Mike Bird, director, Exopoliticstoronto

I saw you on Larry King, last night. Please, if you would, e-
mail me PROOF that you REALLY ARE the Publisher, and PROOF that
your name REALLY IS "Michael Shermer." If you can't PROVE both
of the above things to MY COMPLETE SATISFACTION, then you are a
LIAR. (Naturally, your "proof," if any, will be subject to MY
verification process.) I look forward to your response, with the
necessary PROOF.


The letter about Buzz Aldrin's UFO experience & Stanton
Friedman's "research" skills

I am a publisher and author. I am also a friend of Buzz Aldrin.
I watched Mr Shermer on Larry King yesterday and wanted to
provide you with this little nugget of information for future

In 1999 I edited and published a book called Apollo 11 =97 The
NASA Mission Reports. During the course of editing the various
documents it occurred to me that the crew of Apollo 11 must have
been debriefed after their flight, but I had never seen such a
debriefing. I was about to publish my book when I approached
NASA about the subject of the debriefing. I was told that it
made sense that such a thing existed, but not one person I spoke
to at the Johnson Space Centre had ever seen the debrief. A
quest to exhume the tape or transcript ensued and about eight
weeks later, to my complete surprise I was called and told that
the debriefing had been found.

Here is where it gets interesting. On the airplane home from
Houston I read the entire transcript, which came in a four-inch
ring binder. To my utter astonishment, about half way through, I
found the crew talking about an "anomolous" sighting of an
unexplained object during the outbound flight to the moon. All
three crew members described the object differently. Now I was
aware that this was a contentious issue, and I also knew that I
could have capitalized on the latent publicity in this. However,
that was not what my series of books was about, so I simply
published the report, without any fuss.

I OCR'd and published the transcript as my book "Apollo 11 The
NASA Mission Reports Volume 2" in the summer of 1999. It was on
sale in practically every Barnes and Noble, Borders, and every
other major bookseller in America, as well as at WH Smith in
England and Chapters/Indigo in Canada. This pretty much covers
the bulk of English speaking book stores. Over the course of the
next 18 months I received one phone call for an interview, with
a local radio station in Toronto [SDI -- ebk]. That was it.

Then, at least two years after I had sold well over 20,000
copies of the book, I received a phone call at my office from
Stanton Friedman. I recognized the name, but couldn't understand
what he was calling about. My book was "old news" at this point.
Friedman began the conversation by asking me if it was true that
I had published a book with the "famous" Apollo 11 UFO sighting.
I replied that I had. Friedman then said, "How did you do that?
Do you realize how many years my colleagues and I have been
trying to get our hands on that document? How did you get NASA
to release it to you?" I replied, "I asked them for it."

Friedman then asked me if he could get his hands on a copy of my
book and I promptly told him that he could buy a copy at any
bookstore. He thanked me and hung up.

I guess my question is this. If Stanton Friedman has "done the
research," (as he boasted he had on Larry King, and upbraiding
Michael Shermer for not doing the research), why is it that he
couldn't get this report "for years" when it took me only one
phone call to acquire this "classified" document from NASA. And
after two years in practically every bookstore in the English
speaking world, why was Friedman still unaware of its "release"
if he is such a tireless researcher?

I should also point out that I have interviewed Apollo 14
astronaut Edgar Mitchell for my book Apollo 14 =97 The NASA
Mission Reports. Ed Mitchell is one of the most charming, open-
minded and intelligent individuals I have had the pleasure to
meet. I have never met anyone whose willingness to believe in
"things possible" has been so frequently and regularly
misquoted. If you were to believe half the things attributed to
Ed Mitchell you would think he has an alien spaceship parked on
his front lawn.

I congratulate Mr Shermer for his efforts on CNN, despite being
surrounded by people who clearly have little regard for the
scientific process and who apparently are not that good at
"doing the research," despite claims to the contrary.

=97Robert Godwin, Editor =97 Apogee Space Books

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