- 1 Biography
- 2 Interviews
- 3 Summary
- 4 Meier responds
- 5 Further reading
- 6 Footnotes
Kalliope Zafiriou (nickname Popi/Poppi), named after a rare beautiful bird (Calliope hummingbird), was born in Neoi Epivates, Greece on November 3, 1948. She was brought up as a very strict Greek-orthodox and spent partly in the monastery (changed to atheist in later life).1 She started working in a factory at age 14, but wanted to be either a dressmaker or hairdresser. Her father worked as a fisherman. Her mother saw her as a child resulting from an unwanted pregnancy. She required unconditional obedience from Kalliope, and often beat her when this was not met.2
She first met Meier when she was just 17 years old (minor) on December 25, 1965, in the city of Thessaloniki. At that time Meier was nearly 29 years old and had already lost his left arm from a bus accident, about 5 months prior on August 3 in Iskenderun, Turkey. A month after they met, Meier had asked Popi (who was still minor at that time) to marry him, and they both got engaged on January 25, 1966. When her parents didn’t consent (especially her mother whom she already hates3), the two of them eloped on February 25, 1966. After many troubles with the police, and searching actions, and threats by her family, etc., they finally got married on March 25, 1966, in the city of Corinth.4 Between February 1967 and June 1969, they traveled and stayed in Turkey, Pakistan and India. They gave birth to their first (girl) child Gilgamesha in Quetta (Pakistan) on September 20, 1967. After returning to Switzerland in 1968,5 they had two sons – Atlantis (August 9, 1970) and Methusalem (October 31, 1973).6 Apparently Meier never disclosed any information about his alleged contacts with extraterrestrials and his mission of spreading spiritual teachings, to Kalliope until 1975.7 Since 1975, Kalliope’s task at FIGU was the whole household, where she daily cooked for around 16 people including the group members and children. In addition, she also received visitors to their center, took care of the library and processed the mails (snail mail) of about 100 to 120 FIGU passive members.8
For reasons she hasn’t publicly made clear, Popi left Meier and launched divorce proceedings in the spring of 1995.9 She officially quit FIGU on August 3, 1996, and her marriage officially ended in June 1997.10 She then became a nurse, as she wanted to do for years.11 According to her son Methusalem, after Meier, Popi was later in a relationship with a man for 2 years, but has been living alone since they broke up.12
After Kalliope left Meier and his community, Meier reportedly forbade her to give any information concerning the background of his “extraterrestrial experiences” to the Swiss writer, publicist, and journalist, Luc Bürgin.13 She of course, defied his orders and gave interviews (rough translations below) to Luc Bürgin, and also to author and researcher Kal Korff and UFO researcher, Hans-Werner Peiniger.
- Luc Bürgin – UFO-Kurier, Nr. 30, April 1997
- Hans-Werner Peiniger – Journal für UFO-Forschung (JUFOF), Nr. 111, March 1997 (interviewed in May 1997)
- Luc Bürgin – UFO-Kurier, Nr. 43, May 1998
- Luc Bürgin and Kal Korff – Part 1 and Part 2 (aired on FOX network) December 28, 1998
Our sincere thanks to Hans-Werner Peiniger, President of GEP (Gesellschaft zur Erforschung des UFO-Phänomens/Society for the investigation of the UFO phenomenon) for sharing articles on Meier case from GEP’s in-house journal JUFOF (Journal für UFO-Forschung/Journal for UFO Investigation). Likewise, our sincere thanks also extends to the author Luc Bürgin and Waltraud Neher, Executive Assistant at Kopp Verlag (German non-fiction publisher), for sharing their UFO-Kurier articles.
Following is a summary of the information conveyed (or implied) by Kalliope during her interviews, distinguished by topics.
Meier’s “Extraterrestrial” contacts & Why go public now?
Kalliope claims that before her separation from Meier in the mid-90’s, even though she had some doubts since the mid-70’s about her husband’s contacts with extraterrestrials, she, like the rest of the FIGU members were caught in a belief system that made them to never question Meier but to blindly trust him. Then in 1995 after noticing the striking similarity between a part of the Meier’s “wedding-cake” UFO (WCUFO) with that of a trash can lid, Kalliope was forced to rethink all her earlier “extraterrestrial” experiences and events all over again. She then finally came to the realization that her husband’s contacts are purely fictional, to which she unwittingly served as an accomplice by “lying” to hundreds of people on behalf of Meier for 20 years. So, right after leaving Meier, she finally decided to go public with her claims of Meier perpetuating a grand hoax and thereby deceiving people.
Kalliope states the following experiences and events had sowed doubt in her mind since the mid-1970’s:14
- Kalliope recovered several partially burnt, scorched negatives of images of a miniature beamship model from the dustbin in Meier’s office.
- Meier’s alleged ET contacts often occured at night, and he always stayed away from the witnesses during this entire period. But, he was always present during the events like the recording of the alleged beamship sounds and the sightings of light(s)-in-the-sky at night, where no beamships or Plejaren extraterrestrials appear.
- Similarity of part of a WCUFO to a garbage can lid and the excuse (Contact Report 254, November 28, 1995) that was provided only after 15 years in 1995, and that too after she questioned Meier first.
Meier faking evidence
Kalliope claims that Meier had lot of opportunities for fabricating his beamship photos and videos. According to her, Meier often without any intimation suddenly leaves and spends days or weeks away from home. And whenever he returns, he always comes back with new photos and videos. Even though she only has a partial idea on Meier’s method of fabricating UFO pictures and videos, she is certain that they all are fakes. Additionally, she revealed a few interesting things regarding the photos, exposing his ex-husband, Meier’s modus operandi.
Andromedan Energy Ships
Some of Billy’s motherships (Light/Energy ships) that allegedly came from the Andromeda region (Contact Report 123, 1979) are obviously house lanterns (see the recreations done by ex-FIGU CG members) which he snapped with an open aperture (multiple exposure).
For other pictures like the WCUFO, he used simple garbage can lids to which he attached additional items.
He seems to have even used toy tops found in their yard at that time for his trickery.
Alien woman – Alena
The “alien” woman, Alena, who appeared in Meier’s photos (with face hidden) wearing a gold-colored suit and posing with an “alien” ray gun in her right hand is actually Ms. G. (name withheld by Kalliope), Meier’s follower who originally came to seek his help for her dire psychological problems; wearing a gold-colored tanning-foil that could be purchased at any time in any major Swiss department store. Kalliope also claims that Meier made those pictures only after all of the farm-inhabitants were told to leave the area for some time, which is exactly the same time when she spotted Ms. G., with her hair strikingly similar to the the “alien” woman, around the farm. After taking photos of Ms. G., Meier, as a precautionary measure to not get caught, supposedly prohibited her from visiting the farm again.
Meier’s claim that outsiders (ex: MIB, CIA,…) have stolen his original negatives from his office is illogical according to Kalliope. She states that Meier’s workrooms are always locked. Besides, the photo material that was in the possession of Kalliope, for as long as a whole year, was never lost. And most strangely, Kalliope notes, the photos only started “disappearing” as soon as the signs of manipulation or fraud had been pointed out by skeptics and others. One example of this is the “disappearance” of Meier’s San Francisco photos that were supposedly photographed by Meier during his time travel trip into the future. As soon as it was revealed that Meier’s pictures were identical to the painted illustrations made by the artist Ludek Pesek and published in BLICK newspaper one year before, those photos quickly disappeared.
FIGU as a cult
According to Kalliope, FIGU Core Group – the immediate group that formed around Meier proclaiming to be a free community devoted to the truth – in reality, is a blindly following group that exhibits sectarian features. They are committed to believing in Meier, otherwise they would not have even decided to live there at the farm with him.
When Meier says something is like that, it is like that. There is no debate about it. When Meier says ‘my wife stole this and that’, that is true, without discussion and everyone must believe it without criticism. If one does not believe this or stick to it, then one suddenly becomes an outsider. If he agrees with anything, the group agrees. You can’t say ‘no’. Criticism is not tolerated nor expressed. It is rather authoritarian, dictatorial and hierarchical.
Meier’s expense-free life at his farm is sponsored by each FIGU member who must donate part of their income. Everything must also be financed, the mortgages, electricity etc. He can’t bear it himself and can’t live on his own, which is why he needs his followers. He doesn’t want to come out of his psychic labyrinth. Because if he wanted to get out of there, he would have to live very poorly.
In response to Kalliope’s assertions, Meier reportedly immediately issued her an area-ban around FIGU and deprived her the opportunity to share her side of the story in his FIGU journal,15 as a result of which Meier’s followers, even some of whom have known and been living with Kalliope since the beginning, have blindly accepted his new accusations and abandoned her.16
Meier cites Kalliope’s statement – ‘I have never believed in the matter since the very beginning’ – given in court (on September 20, 1996) and claims that for 20 years she has been underhandedly negatively influencing people (visitors, acquaintances, friends and FIGU members) by slandering him and his mission. Through her pretenses, Meier claims she caused significant difficulties for him, FIGU, and their mission, including great financial losses. Meier claims that the reason for Kalliope trying to make him ‘a liar, a swindler, and a deceiver’ stems from her ‘limitless hatred and revenge’ that manifested as a result of her not able to take the place of Meier as a ET contactee and be the top dog which she always wanted.17
He also branded Kalliope as a notorious liar and a thief who committed many thefts from Billy’s office, and other property of FIGU and its members. Kalliope, Meier notes, also worked with other ex-FIGU members and photographer Schmid to take him down by creating new fake photo and video material or falsifying the existing ones, which they have secretly sold worldwide for thousands of Swiss Francs and made huge profits. Meier claims groups and organizations that are hostile toward him, including the M.I.B. (Men in Black) paid exorbitant amounts of money to Kalliope in this process, which is why her bank account was allegedly suddenly swelled by 35,000 Swiss francs. 18 All of these claims have been vehemently denied by Kalliope.19
And regarding her claims on evidence, Meier states that the garbage can lid, which Kalliope claims he used for his WCUFO photos taken during 1980-82, can demonstrably be shown to have been purchased only since 1986. Additionally, he cites excerpts from Contact Report 254 (November 28, 1995) where Ptaah provides reasons for the “extremely weird coincidence” of Meier’s WCUFO part being strikingly similar to a garbage can lid.
He also rejected her claim on Ms. G., who allegedly was sent to Meier after being recommended by a social security office for treatment of her dire psychological problems, being the extraterrestrial woman-Alena. He claims that Kalliope only named her because she hated her since that time when Ms. G. complained to Meier after witnessing Kalliope in a ‘very compromising situation‘ in the kitchen. Ms. G., Meier notes, was never present on the day when ET Alena visited him, nor has she received any area-ban as alleged by Kalliope.20
Overall, isn’t it curious that Meier always had very bad things to say about his (former) group including the members of his family, only when they begin to question or disavow him and his group?
- Leserfrage zu Diffamierungen gegen Billy, FIGU Bulletin 13, January 1998
- Dankesbrief an Luc Bürgin, FIGU Bulletin 16, June 1998
- Anfeindungen in bezug auf Billys angebliche Modelle, FIGU Bulletin 19, December 1998
- Die grössten Mythen der Erde enthüllt!, FIGU Bulletin 21, February 1999
- Eine Stellungnahme von Michael Hesemann…, FIGU Bulletin 21, February 1999
- E-Mail aus Venezuela, FIGU Bulletin 48, July 2004
- Auszug aus dem 527. offiziellen Kontaktgespräch…, FIGU Special Bulletin 64, November 2011
- UFO-Kurier, Nr. 43, May 1998. ↩
- Meier, Prophet ; Oder, Die Sehnsucht nach einer besseren Welt, by Balz Theus, pgs. 72-73, 1987. ↩
- Meier, Prophet ; Oder, Die Sehnsucht nach einer besseren Welt, by Balz Theus, pg. 34, 1987. ↩
- While Guido’s And still they fly (pg. 54, 2004 ed.), states that the marriage occurred on March 25, Gary Kinder’s Light Years (pg. 20, 1987) and Meier’s OM (pg. 480, 2011 ed.) states that it occurred on February 25 itself. ↩
- Meier, Prophet ; Oder, Die Sehnsucht nach einer besseren Welt, by Balz Theus, pg. 35, 1987. ↩
- Billy Meier’s Short Biography. ↩
- Meier, Prophet ; Oder, Die Sehnsucht nach einer besseren Welt, by Balz Theus, pgs. 74, 1987. ↩
- JUFOF, Nr. 111, March 1997. ↩
- Michael Hesemann, in his 1998 article – The Meier Case: UFO Contactee Revealed? – suggests some probable causes for Popi seeking divorce from Meier:
In 1966 Meier married a young Greek girl, Kalliope Zafiriou, whom he had met and fallen in love with on one of his world travels. The young woman found it difficult to feel at home in her unfamiliar Swiss surroundings. In 1975, when Meier revealed to the public that he was having contacts, her ordeal began that was to last 20 years: The ridicule by her neighbors in this rural region who had already been suspiciously eyeing this “exotic” female, the onslaught of curious visitors who, when they could not gain access to Meier himself, then expected answers to all mysteries of the universe at least from this totally overtaxed Greek woman—and all the while she was simply playing “second fiddle,” a mere shadow figure beside her suddenly world famous husband who had captured everyone’s interest. Against her will she was thrown into the public limelight, and yet she remained a mere appendage of her husband, about whose experiences everyone wanted to hear.
And Meier was like a man possessed. He worked day and night in order to transcribe, with his one intact arm, his reports about the contact conversations and the extraterrestrial revelations. During the night he would attend his contacts from which he returned early in the morning, completely exhausted and then unable to work; some supporters invited him to settle into a rural community, where he has lived now since 1978/79 in a form of countryside commune called the “Semjase-Silver-Star-Center.” Family life, privacy, and the “very normal marriage” she had hoped for no longer existed for Kalliope Meier.
Everyone who was introduced to Mrs. Meier at the Semjase-Silver-Star-Center, myself included, could sense that this woman was profoundly unhappy in her role. Her facial features hardened and her love grew cold. Mrs. Meier left the rural community in March ’94, but when her jump-start into independence proved unsuccessful, she returned to the Center in November ’94. With the help of friends, Billy freed her from her debts by paying off CHF 30,000 she owed.
However, her return was short-lived. Within 6 months Kalliope Meier moved out for good and launched divorce proceedings in the spring of 1995. ↩
- OM, pg. 480, 2011 ed. ↩
- JUFOF, Nr. 111, March 1997. ↩
- Mahesh Karumudi’s personal correspondence with Methusalem Meier on January 19, 2016. ↩
- UFO-Kurier, Nr. 30, April 1997. ↩
- UFO-Kurier, Nr. 30, April 1997. ↩
- UFO-Kurier, Nr. 30, April 1997. ↩
- JUFOF, Nr. 111, March 1997. ↩
- FIGU Bulletin 9, November 1996; Neue Verleumdungen und Intrigen / New calumnies and intrigues; Magazin 2000plus, Vol. 10, pp. 64-71, October 1998. ↩
- FIGU Bulletin 10, February 1997; FIGU Special Bulletin 20, July 2005. ↩
- JUFOF, Nr. 111, March 1997. ↩
- Neues über Kalliope Meier / New about Kalliope Meier. ↩