- 1 INTRODUCTION
- 1.1 Ground Saucer Watch Inc. (GSW)
- 1.2 Lee Elders – Wendelle Stevens Team
- 1.3 ICUFON
- 1.4 Kal K. Korff
- 1.5 Gary Kinder
- 1.6 Balz Theus
- 1.7 James Deardorff
- 1.8 Derek Bartholomaus
- 1.9 Phil Langdon
- 1.10 Rhal Zahi
Over the years, many people or groups have investigated the Meier case and came to very different conclusions on the authenticity of the case, which is not surprising considering the quantity, quality and variety of evidence. Some people or groups have investigated several aspects of the case, while others focused on only a few particular aspects, mostly the photo and video material. We’ve listed the most prominent research initiatives in a more or less chronological order, including our own ‘investigation into previous investigation’ and any communication we’ve had with other researchers etc.
Ground Saucer Watch Inc. (GSW)
In 1957, the brothers W.H. and J.A. Spaulding founded Ground Saucer Watch Inc., a nation-wide research organization of about 500 scientists, engineers and others who seek to scientifically prove or disprove the existence of UFOs. GSW became famous in 1977, when the group filed a lawsuit under the Freedom of Information Act against the CIA to release UFO documents.
In 1977, a West German (Mannheim) UFO Researcher Wilfried Falk sent around 25 of Meier’s well known supposedly first generation photos to GSW’s William H. Spaulding, an aerospace engineer (with AiResearch, one of the largest producers of aerospace components) and the Director of Western division of GSW based in Arizona. After doing the computer analysis initially on ten of these photographs, Spaulding concluded the following:
“It is our opinion that all of the analyzed photographs are hoaxes, both crude and grandiose, and that they should not be considered evidence of an extraordinary flying craft. All of the evaluated frames can be duplicated with a basic camera and darkroom equipment…the incidents are an updated, 1980 version of the George Adamski claims of detailed photographs and contacteeism with space people.”
Lee Elders – Wendelle Stevens Team
The most comprehensive investigation into the Meier case was done by a team initiated and lead by retired USAF fighter pilot Wendelle C. Stevens (1923-2010), who has been an UFO investigator and researcher since 1949. Stevens came to know about the Meier case through Lou Zinsstag (Swiss UFO researcher and writer) and Timothy Good (UFO researcher and author), who in 1976 brought (see page 16) him some of Meier’s UFO pictures which were the best UFO pictures he had ever seen. A year later, in 1977, he decided to travel to Switzerland to stay at the center for a few days. His visit convinced him something real was going on, and he managed to convince his friends Lee and Brit Elders, who together with Tom Welch had their own research company – Intercep – specialized in corporate security, to look into the case. They visited the FIGU center in April 1978, which really sparked the curiosity of the Elders couple. They returned with rough notes taken at a few of the sites, the interviews and signed statements of many witnesses, hundreds of translated pages of the contact notes, taped interviews with Meier, over two hundred photographs, pictures of landing tracks, metal and crystal samples, and seven 8mm films.
Eventually it turned into an 8-year long investigation during which more trips to Switzerland were made and many experts and scientists – like Michael Malin (Principal investigator for the Mars Orbiter Camera on NASA’s Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft at Malin Space Science Systems (MSSS), Eric Eliason (U.S. Geological Survey in Flagstaff, Arizona), Robert Post (head of JPL photo laboratory), Physicist Neil M. Davies (Design Technology of Poway, California), Marcel Vogel (Research scientist at the IBM San Jose Research Center), etc. – were consulted to analyze the different types of evidence. Although the investigators stated it was practically impossible to conclusively prove the case to be authentic, their investigation pointed to an authentic case, as according to them no evidence of a hoax was found.
In 1979 Genesis III Publishing was founded and produced the 70 page book UFO…Contact from the Pleiades Vol 1. The Genesis III team received a lot of criticism from the UFO community, as they refused to release any evidence, but responded to people who requested to send them evidence to come over to Phoenix, where Intercep was based, and look at it. Another reason for criticism is that in their first book many extraordinary claims were made with little or no evidence, no names of scientists, labs, procedures and technology involved were mentioned. Subsequently, a second volume was published in 1983. Two investigation reports of about 500 page each were published which contain all kinds of material from the investigation. English translations of the contact notes were published in 4 volumes under the title ‘Message from the Pleiades‘, although these translations are not very accurate (about which Meier complained to Stevens in a letter) and some sensitive or controversial information is censored.
These books are long out of print, second hand copies are still available online, but the prices are usually high. Most books are also available as e-book version which are a lot cheaper, they may also be freely available online in torrents etc. Below a list of all Genesis III/Wendelle Stevens books about the Meier case:
- UFO… Contact from the Pleiades Vol. 1 (1979)
- UFO… Contact from the Pleiades Vol. 2 (1983)
- UFO contact from the Pleiades – A Preliminary Investigation Report (1982)
- UFO contact from the Pleiades – A Supplementary Investigation Report (1989)
English translations of the contact reports:
- Message from the Pleiades Vol. 1, 1st ed. (1988)
- Message from the Pleiades Vol. 2, 1st ed. (1990)
- Message from the Pleiades Vol. 3, 1st ed. (1993)
- Message from the Pleiades Vol. 4, 1st ed. (1995)
A second, uncensored, edition of ‘Message from the Pleiades’ contact notes contained two volumes and is only available as e-book:
- Message from the Pleiades Vol. 1, 2nd ed. (2004)
- Message from the Pleiades Vol. 2, 2nd ed. (2005)
In 2004 another 3 books were published by Wendelle Stevens, only available as e-b0oks:
- UFO contact from the DAL universe (2004)
- UFO Photographs in color – Vol 4 (2004)
- UFO Photographs in color – Vol 5 (2004)
Also, a few documentaries on the investigation were made which are freely available on FIGU’s YouTube channel:
- Beamship – The Movie Footage (1985)
- Beamship – The Metal (1985)
- The Meier Chronicles (1986) – also available as NIPPON TV documentary (Japanese)
- Contact: An Investigation Into the Extraterrestrial Experiences of Eduard Meier (1987)
Recommended is Gary Kinder’s book ‘Light Years’, published in 1987, which describes the investigation of the Genesis III team.
Controversies and Criticism
In 1980 Major Ret. Colman S. VonKeviczky, (1909-1998), MMSE., Director of ICUFON Inc. (Intercontinental UFO Galactic Spacecraft Research and Analytic Network), wrote a report titled ‘The Eduard “Billy” Meier fraud‘. In the report he analysed some of Meier’s photos received from German UFO researcher Ilse Von Jacobi and ex-FIGU member Hans Jacob. Together with Hans Jacob he even visited a site were Meier made some of his photos. The tone of the report is cynical and as the title already implies VonKeviczky concludes the pictures and videos are fake and the case is a hoax. On June 9, 1980 the report was forwarded to Wendelle Stevens and Tom Welch of the Genesis III team.
Kal K. Korff
Kal K. Korff apparently is regarded as the ‘arch enemy’ by Meier/FIGU, as he has been one of the most fervent critics of the Meier case, appearing on many media platforms to comment on it. He’s also mentioned under critics on the FIGU website. Korff got involved in the case in around 1980. In March 1981 Korff, with editorial assistance from William L. Moore, published a book: ‘The Meier Incident – The Most Infamous Hoax In Ufology‘. In 1991 Korff went to Switzerland with the fellow paranormal researcher Tina Layton and visited many locations and interviewed people related to the Meier case, he even visited the FIGU center under the false name Steve Thomas. In 1995 he published his findings on the Meier case in his book ‘The Billy Meier Story – Spaceships of the Pleiades‘.
Gary Kinder is an American writer who investigated the Meier case between 1983 and 1987. He visited the FIGU center for the first time in the spring of 1984 and spent more then 3 months in Switzerland during the course of his investigation. He visited the FIGU center often and also visited other places and people. He interviewed people related to the case, like several (ex-) FIGU members, neighbors, case investigators Wendelle Stevens, Lee and Brit Elders and Tom Welch (Genesis III) and many others.
He wrote a book about his investigation – Light Years: An Investigation into the Extraterrestrial Experiences of Eduard Meier – which was published in 1987 . It is long out of print, but second hand copies are still available for a reasonable price. This book was published by different publishers – Atlantic Monthly Press, Viking, Pocket Books and Penguin Books. The book is also freely available on the website of Benjamin Stevens (not related to Wendelle Stevens) or as a pdf.
He is mentioned as a supporter of the case on the FIGU website, although from the epilogue of his book it seems he couldn’t reach a final conclusion about the authenticity of the case. According to this article on the Top Secret Writers website Gary Kinder left the ufology scene after Light Years was published.
Balz Theus is a Swiss journalist, born in Zurich in 1940. He worked 9 years as an editor for the Zürcher Tages-Anzeiger magazine. Since 1985 he worked as a freelancer. In the mid 1980s he visited the FIGU center many times and interviewed people related to the case, like Meier’s parents, (ex-) core group members, etc. He wrote the book ‘Meier. Prophet – oder Die Sehnsucht nach einer besseren Welt‘ (Meier. Prophet – or the desire for a better world), published in 1987 (out of print now, but second hand copies are still available for a reasonable price). It describes all kinds of ins and outs around the case, the conversations he had with people etc. The book is written in a rather peculiar style, there are many small intermezzo’s which describe the thoughts of a ‘Zeitgenoss’ (contemporary). The context indicates that the he is talking about himself in third person, as a contemporary of the prophet Meier, so he is expressing his own thoughts about the case.
The book was not well received by FIGU, as becomes apparent from the article – Ein offener Brief an Balz Theus – from core group member Eva Bieri in Stimme der Wassermanszeit Nr. 62, March 1987, in which she blames him for not being objective, making fun of the case etc. Nevertheless, it’s not entirely clear from the book whether he considers the case genuine or not. So in March 2014 we asked him for his opinion, to which he responded:
“I have not been anymore at the FIGU location for many years. Therefore I am not in a position to give an authoritative judgement today, but at the time I was there my impression was: It’s a hoax.”
James W. Deardorff (1928-2014) was an emeritus research professor Atmospheric Sciences, Oregon State University in Corvallis, OR. He became interested in UFOs in the late 1970s and decided to retire from the university in 1986 to focus on UFO related studies, and the Meier case and the Talmud Jmmanuel (TJ) in particular. Since established scholars couldn’t treat the case seriously, he turned himself into a New Testament scholar by self-learning and taking courses etc. in order to analyse it himself.
Deardorff considers the Meier case authentic, although he is of the opinion that the Plejaren and Meier also insert fake material into the case (like false information, fake pictures etc.) as part of a semi-plausible deniability strategy to give people who aren’t ‘ready’ to accept the truth and implications of the case, an easy way to deny the supposed authenticity of the case.
The main focus of his work was the scholarly analysis of the Talmud Jmmanuel (TJ), although he also investigated other aspects like photos and videos. His work was based on editions of the TJ that were published in German in 1978 and 1991, and in English in 1992, 1996, 2001 and 2007. However, the latest version of the TJ, published in German in 2011, is vastly different from the previous versions, rendering his work largely obsolete. Deardorff doesn’t accept the new translation of the TJ as authentic, he believes the Plejaren inserted too many falsehoods in the new version on purpose, as part of the semi-plausible deniability strategy.
Deardorff wrote 3 books related to subject of the Talmud Jmmanuel in relation to the New Testament, the content of the teachings etc.:
- Celestial Teaching: The emergence of the True Testament of Jmmanuel (Jesus) – 1990
- The Problems of the New Testament Gospel Origins: A Glasnost Approach – 1992
- Jesus in India: A reexamination of Jesus’ Asian traditions in the light of evidence supporting reincarnation – 1995
His work on the old version of the Talmud Jmmanuel is still available on his website tjresearch.info, as is his other work related to the case. He is also mentioned as a supporter of the case on the FIGU website.
Derek Bartholomaus is an independent investigator from the US who became involved in the case in 2003 when he was a member of the Independent Investigations Group. He investigated many claims and evidence put forward by FIGU/Meier and the case representative Michael Horn, like the photos and videos, audio samples, metal samples and the prophecies & predictions, and concluded there was no evidence to support the authenticity of the case.
He presented his investigation on his website www.billymeierufocase.com.
Phil Langdon is an independent skeptic from the UK who first heard about the Meier case in 1994, when he was looking into the subject of UFOs. When he saw Meier’s films he considered them nothing but ‘wobbling models’, so he reportedly shelved the whole case. Later in 2009 he came across a YouTube video of Michael Horn and contacted him to ask what he was doing, since he (Langdon) considered the Meier case to be a long proven hoax. In the mail contact that followed (also see this page and scroll down to the header ‘Michael & Me’) Michael Horn challenged him to come up with counter evidence and reproduce Meier’s photos and films:
“(…) Only contact me again with factual proof, pointing to the specific articles, translation, information, etc. that are incorrect. And only with your own photos, films, etc. of your own model UFOs, including model WCUFOs.“
Langdon decided to accept the challenge; he made several models of the objects on Meier’s photos and tried to recreate the Meier photos and films as close as possible. On his website billymeierufo.com he presented the results of his research. He also has a YouTube channel that hosts videos of his analysis on Meier’s photos and videos. Also refer to this long radio interview with Langdon from November 29, 2014.
‘Rhal Zahi’ (alias name) – University lecturer with no Ph.D. (taught Material Resistance in ‘Universidad de Bogotá Jorge Tadeo Lozano’ and Computer Programming in ‘Universidad La Gran Colombia’ to students that took up the civil engineering course), engineer, coach, change management expert, consultant, amateur astronomer, writer and an artist from Bogota, Columbia – wrote some investigation reports on some of Meier’s photos and videos which were published on his own website Rhalzahi.com and other websites (see list below). He considers the Meier case genuine and also created the website Billy for kids, which is ‘designed for children aged 3 years or older and presents games and other forms of interactive entertainment to make learning about Billy Meier and our fellow human beings from the depths of space an interesting and fun experience.’ Michael Horn published some of his reports on his website and blog and often refers to them as evidence for the case.
- Another investigation on the Asket photo controversy (February 2009)
- Analysis of the Wedding Cake UFO – Investigations of the WCUFO pictures taken by Billy Meier (March 2013)
- An Investigation into the Pendulum UFO – An analysis of a Billy Meier film (January 2014)
- The Energy Ships – An Investigative Analysis of Billy Meier’s Energy Ship UFO photos (August 30, 2014) – co-authored by professional photographer Chris Lock
- The mystery of the Cave men photos (September 2014)
- The mysterious photo of Asket (February 2015)
- Researching a Real UFO: A Practical Guide to WCUFO Experimentation for Young Scientists (September 1, 2016)
Controversies and Criticism
- Rebuttal to Rhal Zahi’s Cave men analysis – (see comments and also refer to our analysis here on BMUFOR; 2014)
- Filmmaker and researcher Daniel Drasin rebutts Rhal Zahi’s Pendulum UFO analysis (July 2, 2015)
- Rebuttal to Rhal Zahi’s Asket-Nera analysis – (see comments and also refer to our analysis here on BMUFOR; July 2015)