A Refutation of Bruce Maccabee's 1989 Debunking Attempt,
and the Episode of the Above-the-treetop Beamship Oscillations

INTRODUCTION. In his article, "Billy, no; Ed, yes," Bruce Maccabee (1989a) contrasted the Billy Meier UFO-contactee case with the Ed Walters abductee case of Gulf Breeze, FL, of 1987-88, since in both cases the subject was allowed to take multiple photographs of his ETs' UFOs, though from there on the differences dominate over the similarities. The Gulf Breeze case, which Maccabee investigated personally and intensively, received much flak from a substantial fraction of ufologists, due to its unique features, a state of affairs that always raises skeptics' suspicions. Naturally he could not have wished this case to be compared in the same vein as the Meier case and then suffer the same fate of receiving prolific debunking attempts. Thus, as the title to his article suggests, by following the "politically correct" course of apparently debunking the Meier case while supporting the Ed Walters case, Maccabee could let other ufologists know he had not stepped outside the ranks of respectability, ufologically speaking. This is not to imply, however, that his rejection of the Meier case may not have been sincere. As we shall see, he pointed out superficially suspicious elements of the case while scarcely commenting upon supportive elements. He apparently did not read or believe what the earliest researchers of the case found—Wendelle Stevens and his investigative team (Stevens, 1982, 1989; Elders et al., 1979; Elders & Elders, 1983), but appears to have relied mainly on Korff (1980) for input.

•  1A. INCOME LEVEL. Using Maccabee's numbering of paragraphs, we start with his mention that Billy Meier, who was very poor, supplemented his one-arm disability income by selling literature [and copies of his UFO photos] and accepting gifts from his followers. Walters, who had a good income, did not have to do this. Maccabee seems to have been implying that this difference between the two detracted from Meier's credibility. However, with a family to support and an occupation of being a full-time contactee since 1975, Meier had no other way of supplementing his meager state income. He obviously had to do what he legally could to feed his family. I have monitored the prices he has charged since 1985 for his literature and photos, and these have never been listed above a reasonable price for covering the cost of having copies made. Since 1989, Walters has authored three books about his experiences and photos, one of them co-authored by Maccabee (Walters & Walters, 1990, 1994; Walters & Maccabee, 1997), and the fact that these books are not given away for free in no way reflects upon their authors' veracity; similarly with Meier.

DATES OF PHOTOS. Then Maccabee (1989a) stated, "Subsequent investigations have shown that his first supposed UFO photos were taken not in 1975 but in May and June of 1964, in India." The tone in which this is written implies that perhaps Meier was hiding the fact of his earlier UFO sightings, photographs and experiences. This is not the case. Stevens, in his 1982 book, reproduces some of the black & white photos of UFOs that Meier took while undergoing contacts in India in 1964, and Meier long ago made available information about his Indian experiences. Maccabee may have been referring to the fact that Lee & Brit Elders, in their two photo albums of 1979 and 1983, presented photos from Meier's contacts subsequent to January 1975 only, and did not mention his earlier contacts—an item that Korff (1980, p. 3) criticized. It was certainly within the Elders' prerogative to publish only Meier's more recent, color UFO photos, representative of his collection, if they wished; their statement had been, "it was on this day [Jan. 28, 1975], in the remote hillsides of Canton Zurich, Switzerland, that the first evidence of a man's ongoing encounters with beings from another world began" (Elders et al., 1979, p. 11). Meier had had no contacts between about 1965 and 1975, but they have been ongoing ever since then, indicating that their statement is true even up to the time of the present update (2005). Korff had already been corrected on this by Stevens (1981a, p. 3), who correctly pointed out that the word "ongoing" had been used there. However, the topic has no bearing on Meier's credibility.

As to the "supposed" UFO photos from India: they exist; Stevens published many of them in his books. A witness other than Meier to the UFOs at Mehrauli, India, has verified the UFO presence there in 1964 when Meier was visiting and taking UFO pictures—more on this below.

•  1B. SOCIABILITY. Here Maccabee mentioned that Meier "is not active in his community," as if the level of community activity has some relevance to credibility and sincerity. But we've all read of dastardly acts committed by persons whose neighbors had thought, up until the act, that the person was a friendly, congenial, law-abiding citizen. However, being a contactee who was very frequently in touch with his ET contactors since 1975, Meier had acquired a rather different worldview than that of most of his Swiss neighbors, and he was left with a mission to fulfill that didn't leave time for small talk or playing community games. Meier's knowledge of human religions and of the Talmud of Jmmanuel could not have made him feel a need to become a member of a church, for example, and a partaker in community church activities as Ed Walters was. Instead, even before 1975 Meier had participated in a metaphysical discussion group in Wetzikon, Switzerland (Stevens, 1982, p. 28). After his contacts recommenced in 1975, and his photographs became more widely known, he spent much time with curious visitors, repeatedly explaining the meaning of it all and answering their questions, until this degree of sociability became too wearying and time consuming in the early 1980s. Thereafter he had to leave most of this task to some of his followers at Schmidrüti. All this is entirely consistent with his having been a contactee since early youth.

•  1C. BILLY A DISCIPLE OF CHRIST? Next, Maccabee fell into more serious error, in asserting, "Billy has emphasized a religious connection to his sightings. (He claims to be the 13th disciple of Christ.)" Here "sightings" must refer to topics of discussion when Meier was in the presence of one or more of his ETs. However, his contact conversations with the Pleiadian ETs (or Plejarens as they were later called) cannot be termed "religious." They were wide ranging and sometimes did involve spiritual topics, with occasional mentions about religion; however, his contacts themselves were not religious—they did not involve worship, praying, rituals, reciting creeds, proselytizing, singing hymns or chanting or any such.

It is true that Meier was told by the Pleiadians that he was our present-day prophet—our New Age prophet (Moosbrugger, 2001, pp. 68-71), akin to the true prophets in the Bible, some of whom he had been during past incarnations, so he was informed; and this was why he was being contacted now. Meier has never gone around claiming this, but has just reported what he has been told during contact sessions, in which, with very few exceptions, everything discussed is subsequently recorded word for word (Moosbrugger, 2000, pp. 94-96). He has never claimed to be a disciple or a 13th disciple, and was never told by his ETs of being such; Maccabee apparently picked up this misinformation from Korff (1980, p. 6). Meier distinguishes between Jmmanuel (or Immanuel) and Jesus Christ, the fictional character of worship that the Talmud of Jmmanuel indicates Jmmanuel was made into, following the time of Paul. One can say, however, that Billy's contacts and discovery of the Talmud of Jmmanuel hold very strong implications for some of Earth's major religions, in particular, Christianity, Judaism and Islam.

Regarding my above reference to Guido Moosbrugger, he was formally a schoolteacher from Vienna, and has known Meier since April of 1976, having ever since been a good friend and supporter. He has frequently been with Meier at his place for extended visits over the years. His knowledge of the Meier contactee case comes from having been an insider.

•  2A. DAYTIME UFO/ALIEN SIGHTINGS. Maccabee stated that "no one, not even his wife or family, claims to have seen a ship in daylight, nor has anyone claimed to see Billy photograph a spaceship. No one claims to have seen a Pleiadian or any 'entity' that Billy might have met during a contact." The facts are otherwise, but not knowable from Korff's 1980 article. Presumably Maccabee meant to exclude Billy Meier himself from this assertion, at the least. However, Meier's family, along with two adults besides his wife, Kalliope, all witnessed a Pleiadian beamship in the afternoon for several minutes, on June 28, 1976. The description of this event was made known by Stevens (1982, pp. 142-143) and should have been known to Maccabee also from Elders & Elders (1983, p. 44). An interview in 1979 of Meier's wife and three children about their witness to this sighting is on a videotape copy I obtained from Brit Elders; portions of this video are contained within Genesis III's video "The Meier Chronicles," which is more readily available. A written account of this sighting by Kalliope is presented in Moosbrugger (2001, pp. 157-159).

In 1982 a visitor to the F.I.G.U. Center at Schmidrüti was sweeping the area just outside the residence one morning when Billy stepped outside from the kitchen, looking up at the sky. He pointed to a craft high in the sky having the appearance of a beamship, so that the visitor could spot it also, which she did. Billy had been alerted by a telepathic message from one of his contactors (Moosbrugger, 2000, p. 159), otherwise this sighting would not have occurred.

There have been a few very brief sightings of one or another of Meier's ETs themselves, on the grounds of his Schmidrüti residence, by close friends of Meier. One of these is described here (Hesemann, 1998). A few others may be found here (search for "E" or "Hm" under the Events column). However, since his ETs are quite human in appearance, these sightings are not as definitive as the sighting of the "grey" alien by Ed Walters and his wife (Walters & Walters, 1990, pp. 63-64).

MIRAGE JET INCIDENT. There is very strong evidence that during the day of April 14th, 1976, when Billy photographed a Swiss Army Mirage jet fighter making 22 passes at the beamship, which each time evaded the jet by moving or "jumping" away, the jet's pilot was a witness to this event. (Meier's Verzeichnis erroneously indicates it occurred on March 14th.)
Fig. 1. Beamship and mirage jet fighter in same frame.
From UFO...Contact from the Pleiades, vol. I, p. 35. Courtesy Lee & Brit Elders.
Photo taken by Billy Meier between the villages of Schmarbüel & Maiwinkle.
Of the 14 surviving photographs, ten show both the aircraft and beamship, and one of these, especially, has been studied very carefully by Stevens and his team (Elders et al., 1979, p. 35; Stevens, 1982, pp. 356-360; Stevens, 1987, pp. 443-447; Stevens, 1990, p. 375). In the original photo the beamship occupies a width of about 1.7% of the 35mm film width. Had it been a 30cm model suspended 21 meters away, it would have required a support pole some 23m (75ft) long by which to suspend it. This event took place while a Swiss army contingent was on maneuvers.

Stevens (1990, p. 265) learned some very interesting second-hand information about the event, in quizzing persons connected with the Swiss air base. This was, in reference to a particular Mirage jet, that "A mechanic at the base later reported that the fire control panel had melted down internally, and had to be completely replaced, including much of the wiring."
Fig. 2a. Beamship appearance in one
of Meier's Schmarbüel-Maiwinkle
photos. Cropped from UFO...Contact
from the Pleiades
, vol. I, p. 31.
Courtesy Lee & Brit Elders.

In one of the photos, the lower portion of the beamship fades out into transparency (see Fig. 2a). The Elders and Stevens attributed this to a sudden acceleration of the craft towards the camera on one of its jumping movements. However, this would not explain why only the lower 15% or so of the craft is affected, nor would a sudden vanishing maneuver as the camera shutter closed. Upon reflecting, however, on the Plejaren capability of rendering their craft invisible except in any desired direction of viewing, I would speculate that in this instance a touch of invisibility was applied to the bottom of the craft, either accidently or on purpose. However, the craft evidently made itself visible to the pilot of the Mirage jet, and from what Stevens has reported, also to some residents of the valley.

Although in taking that picture Meier hadn't held the camera quite steadily enough, the delineation of the lower edge of the structure at the bottom of the photo indicates that a good deal more of the bottom of the beamship should ordinarily have been visible, as in Fig. 2b.
Fig. 2b. Beamship appearance in
another of Meier's Schmarbüel-
Maiwinkle photos. Cropped from
UFO...Contact from the Pleiades,
vol. I, p. 30. Courtesy
Lee & Brit Elders.
Meier took the photo that Fig. 2b was cropped from on the same occasion. From it, one sees that the craft displays a very substantial "underbelly" when viewed from the side and below. Hence the phenomenon of Fig. 2a is no artifact of camera movement but is real, strongly indicating the beamship was no model UFO.

Almost as important, Meier had a tape recorder running during the six or more minutes that the jet fighter was making its 22 passes, the sounds of which were recorded along with those of a reconnaissance plane, a paratroop transport plane, a train, a barking dog and a police siren (Stevens, 1987, pp. 456-459; Stevens, 1989, pp. 443-445). The sound that the beamship made towards the end of Meier's photographing session was also recorded. All but the beamship's sounds could be, and were, identified as to their source by the lab that studied the tape in detail, including the sound of the Mirage jet. This lab was the Naval Sound Research Laboratory at Groton, CT. Stevens (1982, pp. 439-447) reproduced their full report.

A UFO researcher from Zurich, Erwin Mürner, looked into the matter and was able to confirm, through several conversations with a Swiss Air Force officer, that this event between the "UFO" and the Mirage jet indeed took place (Hesemann, 1998). He also learned the jet pilot's name and was able to talk with him sufficiently to verify the event. Therefore the jet pilot was a daytime beamship witness, though his name has been withheld, by Mürner, at his own request for the usual reasons. For more on this, click here" (scroll down to #2).

THE 1964 WITNESS IN INDIA. Rather recently a witness to the daytime UFO sightings occurring in Mehrauli, India, in 1964, at the time Meier was visiting an ashram there, came forward. She presented her recollections on this, which were video-taped, at the 8th International UFO Congress in Laughlin, NV, in 1999. She was a witness to Meier's alien contactor at the time, as was her younger brother and her grandfather, who was the head of the ashram. On more than one occasion they witnessed this humanoid alien's UFOs in the daytime, and Meier photographing them. Maccabee, in 1989, evidently did not know of this particular information. See also Stevens (1995a, pp. 19-36).

MORE RECENT DAYTIME SIGHTINGS. On May 20, 2000, there were 16 witnesses to an apparent beamship sighting besides Billy, who had been alerted to it via telepathy a moment beforehand. One of the witnesses fetched Billy's camera and took three pictures of it, though their resolution is poor because it kept its distance. Click here under the above date.

In July of 2000 Silvano Lehmann, in the presence of Billy Meier, sighted a beamship-style UFO, which Billy had again been alerted to through mental telepathy from the craft's occupant. The event is described here, along with a photo that Lehmann took at the time, which has enough resolution to show the distinct saucer-shape of the craft.

Thus there have been over ten daytime witnesses besides Billy to one of the beamships whose occupant had been contacting him.

•  3A. NO SWISS UFO FLAP. Maccabee mentioned that there was no "flap" of UFO sightings in Billy's region of Switzerland (as there had been in the Gulf Breeze case) during his taking of UFO photos in 1975-76. However this has nothing to do with Meier's credibility. He failed to point out the reason Meier received for this from his contacting ET: they keep their craft/ships invisible except when they desire to let a person see one. In Meier's case, they told him that, with few exceptions, they kept their craft invisible except as viewed from along only his line of sight. This accords with a strategy of plausible deniability —if only one person is usually allowed to witness and photograph particular UFOs, whether repeatedly or not, skeptics can more easily jump to the assumption that he is not credible, if they wish. Negative skeptics are thus not forced to believe anything against their will.

There are plenty of UFO sightings on record in which the craft suddenly vanished, but it is not then known if it had suddenly darted away too fast to be seen. However, two instances are reported by Gordon Creighton in which the UFO disappeared by becoming more and more transparent until it had vanished (Creighton, 2001); such reports indicate that invisibility, or "cloaking," is indeed part of advanced alien technology. More are reported and discussed by Douglass, 2005. For ET groups who long ago reached this level, it seems reasonable that with an additional 500 years, say, of advancement of their science and technology (also long ago), the cloaking could be refined to allow a corridor of visibility from a particular desired angle of view, while retaining invisibility from all other viewing directions. It would make no sense to dismiss this possibility of cloaking, or partial cloaking, simply because our own level of science and technology is thousands or millions of years behind theirs and we at present can scarcely begin to understand how this bit of alien magic might be achieved.

•  4A. CONTACTEE  VS.  ABDUCTEE. Maccabee stated, "Billy's contacts with aliens were pleasant. One gets the impression that he looked forward to meeting the beautiful Pleiadians." The impression Maccabee seems to have been seeking to leave with the reader here, especially among fellow ufologists, is that a contactee, whose contacts are not scary, traumatic or painful, is not to be trusted in comparison to an abductee whose UFO experiences usually are traumatic. However, it is entirely unscientific and illogical to assume that all ETs seek to impose themselves unwillingly upon their human subjects, and not allow that some ETs could exist with ethical levels we can appreciate, thus resulting in contactees, and not to allow for the likelihood that some ETs could be human in appearance. (This is not to imply, of course, that all alleged contactees are genuine.) Nevertheless, Meier did not always look forward to his contacts, as Contact Report #115 of 19 Oct., 1978, indicates; see also Kinder (1987, p. 211). As for "beautiful," I'm not aware that Billy described the Pleiadians with a word of this meaning. Although he found them to be nice looking, the sketches of several of them that he had an artist draw in accordance with his memory look like rather normal appearing human faces (see www.billymeier.com, and click on "Pleiadians/Plejaren").

•  4B. PSEUDO-RELIGIOUS OR SPIRITUAL? Next, in referring to Billy's voluminous Contact Reports, Maccabee stated, "There is a pseudoreligious message in Billy's writings." In response, see 1C. above. Meier received a good deal of spiritual teachings during some of his contact sessions, but these do not reflect religious instructions. They add rather than detract from his credibility, since much evidence has been accumulating in the past several decades on the reality of the human spirit, which is ignored within the major religions of the Western world. See the studies within this bibliography. Billy's writings include spiritual messages (pertaining to the individual human/alien spirit) and not pseudo-religious messages.

•  5A. NICE SAUCER PICTURES. "Billy's still photos show classic disc-shaped UFOs in daylit country scenery. They are beautiful pictures which fit in with the general expectation of what a flying saucer should look like." Here, Maccabee seems to have been implying that since the general disc-like shape for UFOs had been frequently reported for nearly three decades before Billy's Swiss contacts commenced, the fact that most of his contactors' craft displayed that general shape indicts Billy of having utilized models of that general design. However, this implication lacks common sense, and is "reaching" much too far. Since 1950, and both before and after 1975, there have been many sightings of UFOs of the same general shape as the flying saucers first reported in 1947. It obviously makes no more sense to reject all sightings and photos of UFO craft that resemble the shape of those first reported than to reject all photos of automobiles built after 1930, say, as real whose components include 4 wheels, a cab and an engine up front.

The beamship that Meier had the opportunity to photograph on March 8, 1976, exhibited knurled protuberances all around its
Fig. 3. Section of Meier's photo
#200 after Stevens had Interrepro
A.G. in Basel, Switzerland, analyze
it with a laser-scanning computer
in 1979. Black & white rendition
from Stevens (1989, p. 412).
Fig. 4. Section of Ed Walters'
2nd photo, Nov. 11, 1987.
From back dust cover of
Walters & Walters, 1990.
outer rim and a decorative appearing cupola on top; this departs from the simplest "saucer" shape. The UFO that Ed Walters took the most photos of exhibited a fancy crown-like body, resembling an expansion of the cupola atop the craft on the left that Meier photographed. Does this in any way implicate Walters of having made a model UFO that copied from, and embellished upon, the structure seen in the Meier photo? Of course not, especially considering that ETs in general seem capable of traveling in craft of whatever design they wish, be it disc-shaped, bell-shaped, boomerang shaped, spherical, cigar-shaped, triangular, or a shape like a banana or an ice-cream cone (the latter two shapes have indeed been reported). Further, UFOs have sometimes been observed to quickly change their shape (morph). We can only guess whether ETs utilize craft of various shapes for particular functional reasons, or for a whim, and/or as part of a strategy that includes plausible deniability.

•  5B. BILLY'S PICTURES WELL COMPOSED? Here Maccabee wrote, "Billy's pictures, at least as presented in various publications (after some retouching, apparently), are clear, well-composed shots." What is the implication here? That after having had numerous visitations with his ET contactors, and after being summoned telepathically to various sites in the hills for the purpose of shooting roll after roll of film of beamships, that his pictures should appear as if he were too hasty or frightened to hold the camera steady? Many of his shots are not very well composed, however. His camera's viewing mechanism was broken, and his aim and tilt of it was often not optimal, usually being too high and showing too much sky and not enough of the lower foreground. Many of his photos could have been improved if he had held the camera in the portrait mode rather than the landscape orientation. It is realized, of course, that Ed Walters' photos, in contrast, were taken very hastily. However, this merely demonstrates one of the differences between an abductee and a contactee, albeit an abductee whom ETs treated in a special manner, and a contactee whom his ETs treated in quite a different, very special manner.

•  5C. CARELESS TREATMENT OF SLIDES BEFORE 1977. Here Maccabee wondered why Billy would have treated his original color slides "so carelessly" that there was uncertainty as to which were originals and which were copies. If one stops to consider that already by the summer of 1976 Meier had accumulated some 300 photos showing his contactors' beamships, one sees that he quite likely felt he could afford to loan quite a few of them out to friends and acquaintances. By the time that Wendelle Stevens started investigating the case in late 1977, however, Meier had learned better than to loan out his photos, as some of them had not been returned, and with some others there was evidently reason to believe that only copies had been returned. By 1978, Stevens had visited Meier for sufficiently long periods as to receive his partial trust. Yet even then, when Stevens persuaded Meier to loan him some 40 of his originals from which to make copies, he was obligated to have a member of Meier's group of closest followers (Bernadette Brand) accompany him with the original color slides; they went to a photo shop in the town of Winterhur to have internegatives made (Stevens, 1995b). Stevens was rather certain that these 40 color slides were the originals, judging by their appearance and sequencing printed on their cardboard frames, and fairly sure that the photo shop did not substitute copies during the day's wait before he and Brand received back what seemed to be the originals judging from the frames.

Thus Meier's behavior here was not in any way suspicious of that of a hoaxer, but was realistic. If he had been a hoaxer, his close friends or acquaintances would have known of it, and so would persons living in surrounding areas. If he had been a hoaxer, he would likely have shown Stevens only particular photos he could utilize in making copies, rather than letting Stevens choose whichever ones he wished. If he had been a hoaxer, he simply would not have taken numerous photos of a model UFO, suspended in one manner or another, on occasion after occasion, for each of which he risked the chance of later detection of a suspension line showing upon careful inspection of the photo, a point of suspension higher up showing, lack of haze effect showing, or a model UFO out of focus by being too close to the camera whose focusing mechanism was jammed at a stop just short of the infinity setting, etc. If there were only a 2% chance that any of these and other problems would later be noticed on any given photo, then for 300 photos, for example, the odds would be only 1 in 429 (assuming randomness of errors) that a fatal error would not show up on any of them, which the hoaxer himself might fail to detect. After Michael Malin of JPL was shown some of Meier's movie films, and tried to visualize how they could all have been contrived, he is quoted as saying, "I'm sure he's clever. He's a sharp guy" (Kinder, 1987, p. 242). However, a clever hoaxer would not like such high odds of risking exposure of the truth, and would therefore not fabricate a huge number of fake photos.

•  5D. SUPPORT LINES IN PHOTOS? Here Maccabee made a very serious charge: "Photographic analyses of Billy's photos have turned up some overt artifacts (for example, a line above an object suggestive of a support)." Yet he did not supply any reference to any of these analyses. If he was referring to Kal Korff's (1981) booklet, it doesn't require much analysis to find numerous fatal flaws and false claims there. If referring to Korff (1980), there an edge-enhanced version of a Meier-case beamship is shown in which a large number (about 50) of vertical line segments show up; one of these was claimed to be a supporting string or wire. Maccabee may have been referring to this.

A very definite problem has been caused by the debunking efforts against Meier's experiences and photographic evidence having been widespread within ufology over the past two decades. A frame of mind within ufology towards the Meier case soon developed that is akin to the frame of mind within mainstream science towards the UFO phenomenon as a whole, involving the "curtain of ridicule" that grew both naturally and out of an official policy of debunking UFO reports (Maccabee, 2000, p. 256). To wit: to denounce the genuineness of Meier's evidence became almost mandatory in order to pass the test of "political correctness" within the field of ufology. This has produced the problem of peer pressure providing motivation for dishonest analyses and manipulation of Meier's photographs, which modern technology and techniques has made simple to accomplish. As a result, claims of the nature of what Maccabee has passed along above have been made without supportive evidence or honest proof being required. It seems that the only hope for objective analyses in such cases in the future will require a balanced panel of experts for purposes of ensuring that photo materials of highest quality and closest to the originals are selected for analysis, and for managing the photographs, carrying out the analyses under each others' watchful eyes at all times, and agreeing to make public the findings.

A possible complication in selecting photos for analysis arose after Billy Meier announced in 1998 that he had been informed by his ET contactors' leader (Ptaah) that some 230 of his photos had been subject to possible faking or manipulation (discussed in Contact Report #260 of Feb. 3, 1998). These involved film he had allowed a certain photographer to have developed at low cost, and involved photos mostly from his 5-day space trip (Stevens, 1988, pp. 283-339). Whether this information is genuine or is instead disinformation provided by Ptaah for the purpose of plausible deniability, may be uncertain. Meier's contacts have continued over the years, though much less frequently after the mid 1980s than during 1975-78. The careful investigator will distinguish between what Billy reports from his own experience and what he reports being told by his ETs.

•  5E. NO PHOTO OF A WITNESS OTHER THAN BILLY? Maccabee wrote, "None of Billy's UFO photos has a person other than Billy in it. A photo that included another person would provide documentation of a multiple-witness event, one witness being the photographer." Here, Maccabee failed to mention that one of the several requirements Meier was under, apparently in keeping with an alien strategy of plausible deniability, was that he not permit any others to accompany him all the way to the site of any of their contact or photo sessions (Stevens, 1982, pp. 64, 126; Moosbrugger, 2000, pp. 91-93). Evidently an ET group that provides a man with many hundreds of opportunities to click the shutter of his camera with their UFO in view needs to be much more careful about upholding this requirement than another ET group that provides a person with just one or two photo opportunities. However, the incident between the beamship and the jet Mirage fighter, under 2A. above, could satisfy Maccabee's plaint here, since the evidence indicates that the beamship was interacting with the jet fighter plane, whose pilot obviously witnessed the beamship, which had been its target during its many passes at it. Ten of the 14 photos in that series showed both the aircraft and the beamship (Stevens, 1982, p. 356; 1987, p. 443).

•  5F. NO DISTANCE INFORMATION? "Billy always took mono photos, i.e., used a single camera..." Therefore, "Billy's photos provide no conclusive information on the distance to the UFOs." However, on two occasions it is definite that the beamship was partially obscured by ground or tree, respectively, at a substantial distance from the camera (roughly 30m and 90m, respectively: the brow of the hill, and the mature abies alba tree). The imprecision in the estimated distance in these instances is not so great that they could be off on the low side by more than 50%. In a third instance, the beamship interacted with the top of a mature tree a considerable distance from the camera (see below).

Additionally, by 1981 Meier had acquired the use of a video camera in addition to a different still-picture camera, and was given the opportunity to use both on April 3rd of 1981. Twice when taking the video footage he gradually zoomed in on the "wedding cake" UFO (E.g., see Elders & Elders, 1983, p. 70; Stevens, 1982, pp. 526-527), which was hovering just in front of a tree. By observing how the different stretches of ground successively come into focus at increasing distances from the camera, until the UFO and tree are both in focus at the camera's greatest focal length, one can be certain that the UFO was no small model close to the camera. (A copy of the video may be available from Meier's support group in Schmidrüti, or a video of a projection of it from the conveners of the (1999) International UFO Congress.)

•  6A. 8MM MOVIE FILM CUT AND SPLICED. Here Maccabee noted that the segments of 8mm film footage that Billy took and had spliced together and placed onto one reel "has obviously been cut at a number of places, sometimes where the UFO image jumps in position from one frame to the next." What he omitted to inform the reader, however, is the fact that this footage had been loaned to a television studio for their use in a program about the case, and when the reel was finally returned, it was later found that only a copy of the film was on the returned reel. Meier then learned that the copy had been made only after several cuts and splices in his original film had been introduced. However, his comments on the videotape indicate his belief that this jump from one position to another (at the Bachtelhörnli-Unterbachtel site) had not been due to a cut in the film. This agrees with the fact that a portion, at least, of the craft is seen in both positions at once during the one frame of the jump.

•  6B. BILLY DID NOT PAN WITH MOVIE CAMERA. Maccabee then commented upon the fact that the movie film Billy shot shows the UFO moving in front of a stationary background; "there is no evidence that he panned with the motion of a UFO (which would require him to be behind the camera...Thus, if a hoax, he could have moved the UFO by himself.)" It of course in no way incriminates Billy that when he brought along a movie camera with him on his moped he also brought along a tripod on which he would mount it. What Maccabee failed to mention is that Meier used the tripod so that he could take still pictures at the same time as the movie camera was running. (Meier learned that the ETs could turn his 8mm-movie camera on and off remotely from their hovering craft (Stevens, 1982, p. 282) while he took pictures with his still camera.) A one-armed man cannot take pictures with a camera in his one hand and pan with a movie camera at the same time. Maccabee also failed to mention that a one-armed hoaxer would have required one if not two or three accomplices in order to have rigged model-UFO arrangements that would begin to achieve the reality seen in Meier's movies and pictures. An assumption that a one-armed hoaxer could have set everything up, and operated it all himself, is not plausible in this case.

•  6C. THE UFO UNDERWENT MANEUVERS. Maccabee next remarked about the movie-film segment in which the beamship oscillates in pendulum-like movements, with some wobbling added, above a conifer tree (Stevens, 1982, pp. 280-281; see also Maccabee, 1989b). This was on March 18th, 1975; location undisclosed.
 Fig. 5. Superposed frames from the "Beamship: The Movie Footage" video of Lee & Brit Elders,
showing one of the pendulum-like swings of the craft. Interval between images of craft about 0.3 sec.
Brightness and contrast enhanced.
The implication he was making here is that the beamship was a suspended model UFO circling from a nearly fixed point of attachment above a small, young tree close to the camera. Now, from numerous UFO reports in general one reads of UFOs that wobbled, often like a falling leaf, and from other reports one reads of UFOs oscillating like a pendulum (in Tunisia on 9/3/1954, the famous Father Gill case in New Guinea on 6/16/59, in in Tierra del Fuego on 8/9/1959, near Essex, U.K., in 1992; see also Olsen, 1989; Pine, 1993). Olsen pointed out three UFO cases in which the UFO executed repeated pendular movements. Maccabee (1993) himself pointed out that some of the videos of the red/white Gulf Breeze UFO disclose quite regular oscillations. Hence it is well within alien capability to maneuver their UFOs in this manner when desired. Maccabee (1989a) failed to mention this possibility or that aliens could be intelligent enough to possess a strategy of dealing with us that includes the plausible-deniability factor. This film segment was the first one that Billy took, on March 18, 1975, so it would not be surprising if his ETs went to extra effort at that time to establish right away a semi-plausible cause that would allow skeptics to deny the reality of this and later pieces of Meier's film evidence.

I had pointed out (Deardorff, 1989) that in one or more instances the UFO in this movie segment changed its direction of oscillation rather abruptly with no change in tilt of its vertical axis (see next paragraph), and that it twice hovered absolutely motionless for many seconds (20 seconds in one instance). To this, Maccabee (1989c) responded that a model UFO suspended by a string from a pole could have one or more strings attached to it laterally with which to cause an abrupt change in its state of motion. However, the response here is that it would require measured and orchestrated pulls on three strings at once to achieve an abrupt state of prolonged motionless, which in turn would require three hoaxers plus Meier, if one of them were holding up a long support pole. All this is quite implausible, considering that in 26 years no hoaxers have ever been identified or come forward to confess their alleged handiwork, and no skeptic has come up with a satisfactory replication of this movie segment using a model. Besides, Maccabee had earlier criticized Meier for his use of a tripod to support the movie camera, rather than panning with the camera, as if this had allowed him to maneuver a model UFO around in the absence of any confederate hoaxers.

At one point (at about 06:19:18, frame 20, on the Genesis III video-tape counter), when the craft was 2/3 into
 Fig. 6. Superposed frames from the "Beamship: The Movie Footage" video of Lee & Brit Elders,
showing a left-to-right swing of the craft changing to towards-the-camera. Interval between images about 0.2 sec.
Brightness and contrast enhanced.
a left-to-right swinging movement, it abruptly shifted to a towards-and-away movement without any jerkiness, as seen above. It might be thought that, if a model UFO were involved, this could be accomplished by suddenly moving the tip of the imagined support pole closer to the camera, or moving the entire pole further behind the camera. However, such a change in momentum could not then be accomplished without the model UFO experiencing an abrupt tilt towards the camera. No tilt in any direction accompanies this maneuver, as seen in Fig. 6. Instead, one is again forced to hypothesize Maccabee's multi-string scenario, with one of the three strings being connected to the craft's rim at a point that faces the camera and being managed by a hoaxer's accomplice who stands alongside or behind the camera. Later (below) we find, however, that such a string would need to have been some 50 ft in length, with slack maintained in it much of the time during the craft's maneuvers, but without such slack ever becoming entangled in the tree!

An equally implausible part of Maccabee's claim here, however, is that the tree was a small one,

 Fig. 7. Frame from "The Meier Chronicles" video, just as the base of the beamship passed behind the tip
of the tree, March 18, 1975. Brightness and contrast enhanced. Courtesy Lee & Brit Elders.

such that it could be rather close to the movie camera with a model UFO suspended above it. The tree seen above appears to be mature, judging from the density of its branches and from the small-branch new growth extending out from the denser outline of the tree. The tree's height appears to be 50-80 times the length of the new growth seen on its left side; using 15cm (6 inches) for the average annual growth of outer branches, the tree is then 7 to 12 meters tall, or 24 to 39 feet tall, and therefore at a considerable distance from the camera. As far as one can tell, the craft, tree and house are in equally good (or poor) focus.

In watching the movie itself at Meier's residence, the viewers agreed that the ship appeared to go behind the tree at this point. However, this is not quite definite in the video copies, as the movie was shot on a grey day when there was some mixed rain and snow (Stevens, 1982, p. 280), resulting in little contrast. However, on one of the craft's maneuvers it passed just over the top of the tree, causing the uppermost 15% of the tree to suddenly swerve to the right and then just as quickly recover. (It may be mentioned that a similar event occurred during the 13 August, 1947 sighting at Salmon Dam, Idaho. Trees whipped violently as the UFO raced overhead (Keyhoe, 1950).) Maccabee was aware of this tree-top swerve (Maccabee, 1989b, p. 11), and so knew better than to make the assumption that the UFO could be a model dangled close to the camera with the tree being much farther away. The conclusion one comes to from the appearance of the tree, however, is that it was not a small tree close to the camera, and so the UFO could not have been a small model dangled just above or behind it.
 Fig. 8. Section of Meier's 18 March 1975
film segment taken from Maccabee's Fig. 2
but enhanced here in contrast and brightness.

This conclusion is supported by a figure within Maccabee's own website analysis. A section from his Fig. 2, after being enhanced in brightness and contrast, appears in Fig. 8 on the right. One can see the lighter hue of the side of the house underneath much of the lower edge of the tree's canopy. This lighter hue would not show up if it had been a small tree much closer to the camera than to the farmhouse in the distance; instead the darker hue of the ground and grass would then occupy that strip of the film.
 Fig. 9. Section of a photo
taken in western Oregon in
March. Tiny tree in foreground
and large tree in background
denoted by arrows.
This flaw in the hoax hypothesis is exemplified by the photo in Fig. 9 on the left. The small, 2½-ft tree in the foreground (white arrow) was about 50 ft from the camera. (Further below we discuss Maccabee's more recent finding that the tree, if a model tree or very young tree, was only some 2½- or 3-ft tall, and was about 55 ft from the camera.) It had no limbs in its lowest third, yet one cannot begin to view underneath it to see anything at any appreciable distance behind it—in particular, to view the tree and house in the background (yellow arrow). This is true even though I took the photo from a squatting height (not quite 3 ft), whereas Meier's movie-camera height on the tripod was about 5 ft; and even though the distance of the camera from the house was less in this example than in Meier's film. The problem is this: the eye-level, or camera level, would have to be right down at ground level, but at any significant distance away from an infant tree the camera's view would then be totally obstructed by meadow grass or its dentritus near the camera, or by any slight hump in ground level nearby.

In Fig. 8 the darkest region underneath the tree's canopy, encompassing the tree's trunk, appears to be located somewhat to the left of the centerline of the tree's perimeter. This, and the out-jetting of several isolated branches to the right suggest that the right-hand side was the side more sheltered from the stronger prevailing winds; the left side of the film frame would then point towards a southwesterly direction.
 Fig. 9b. A sketch, not to scale,
of the locations of the camera,
hypothesized small tree,
and large tree & house
in the distance.

The sketch to the left, Fig. 9b, indicates the problem with the camera's line of sight towards the house passing along the trunk of the tree, if it were a small tree relatively close to the camera. The line of sight then intersects the ground.
 Fig. 10. A wider-angle view of the same general scene
viewed by Meier's 8mm movie-film camera (rectangle).
The tree was no longer present in 1979.
From Genesis III's "Beamship: The Movie Footage."

Fig. 10 to the right is a frame from a video taken by Jun-Ichi Yaoi of Nippon TV in 1979 at approximately the same site as Meier's movie was taken. It indicates the steady rise in ground level from camera towards the house.

MORE ON THE PENDULUM-LIKE MANEUVERS. Very recently Maccabee (2002) amplified upon his (1989b) "pendulum" paper in an Internet article. Here I shall briefly quote places from it where important factors were overlooked, and discuss an important new finding he made.

The tree later disappeared. Maccabee remarked that "there is a farmhouse in the distance but there is no tree blocking the view of the farmhouse." In a later amplification, he added, "Note: hearsay testimony barely recalled, but interesting anyway. I was told the following by someone years ago. I was told this by Yaoi or by someone who was aware of Yaoi's investigation. Regarding the tree which, according to Meier, was 'removed' by Semjase, if I recall correctly, Yaoi asked the occupant of the farmhouse if he was aware of the tree disappearing. He responded that there had never been a tree at that location." What Maccabee didn't mention was what the witness, Meier, learned about this. He was told by his contactor, Semjase, that the Pleiadians/Plejarens had carefully removed the memory of this tree from those who had definite memories of it, and the same also for the tree that figured prominently in Meier's Fuchsbüel-Hofhalden photo session. The exception was Meier himself, for whom the memories were left intact; also, however, diffuse memories of the latter tree were allowed certain FIGU members who had traveled to the site and observed that tree before it had vanished (see Moosbrugger, 1977, 2001).

The weather. Maccabee noted Meier's remarks on Yaoi's video tape when his movie segments were being projected on the screen, that it had been raining and snowing. Then he mentions, "Observation: the sky appears featureless in the movie (video) and the scene seems reasonably clear, i.e., not obstructed by snow, rain or dust." A fair conclusion one may come to is that there had been light rain mixed with melting snow either at the time of Meier's filming or shortly before, but this was not a heavy enough precipitation rate to produce a noticeable obstruction in the visibility. There is no reason to doubt Meier's word on this.

Cutting and splicing of the film. On this Maccabee wrote, "The jump in UO position occurs at the same time as a vertical jump in the whole picture. This vertical jump in the picture, up and then down, is typical for 8 mm home movies that have been imperfectly spliced together. (When two sections of the film are spliced together the sprocket holes along the edge of each piece of film must be matched perfectly. Otherwise the film slips a small amount as the splice travels through the framing mechanism. This slippage appears as a vertical jump in the picture on the screen until the sprocket teeth again match the sprocket holes exactly.) Hence one concludes that Meier's film itself had been cut and spliced at the locations of these frames."

By not referring to the history of Meier's film segments, Maccabee probably leaves a misleading impression here. The cuts and splices were made while the original movie film was out of Meier's possession, loaned out to the TV station in Munich. After the reel had been returned it was learned that only a copy of the original was on it. During the process of making a copy, any jumps in the film's position initiated at splice points naturally carry over onto the film copy. Thus, the telltale jumps indicative of cutting and splicing show up on the later video copies of the film copy.

It would not be surprising if, at the points of splicing, film had been snipped out that showed the treetop having been briefly swayed over as the beamship passed near it, with the one episode of this still on the film being an oversight of those who did the cutting and splicing. Meier was as upset as anyone over the loss of his originals, and there is no need to assume he or an unknown accomplice doctored the film. Evidently, those who wish that Meier's contacts had never happened feel that by destroying or altering his evidence they can lead others to believe it was all hoaxed.

Maccabee went on to refine his earlier estimations on pendular motions, obtaining an average period for the oscillation or swinging motions of 4.5 sec, which corresponds to a pendulum length (or suspension string length for a model UFO) of about 16 ft. Since the maneuvers varied, however, between transverse oscillations, nearly longitudinal oscillations, and conical or elliptical oscillations, he reasoned that the object's suspension point must have been moved around considerably, and that this would lead to a somewhat shorter period of oscillation on the average, corresponding to a pendulum length of around 14 ft. This, combined with measurements of the amplitude of the swinging motion relative to the width of the oscillating object in the film, led to the conclusion that if a model UFO were involved that was about 1 ft in width, the tree about which the object maneuvered would then have been 2 to 3 ft in height.

Maccabee's finding of 2003. A few of the object's maneuvers involved swinging motions towards and away from the camera, but still centered over the tree. Maccabee realized that the change in apparent size of the object when closest to the camera versus farthest away, combined with the estimate of the amplitude of the object's oscillation (covering roughly an arc of 10-ft width as determined with the aid of the "pendulum's" length), yields an estimate of its distance from the camera. For example, if the tree were only 6 ft from the camera and the object were a 1-ft model UFO, then when the model was only about 1 ft away from the camera it would appear huge, while when it was 11 ft away, on the opposite extreme of its oscillation, it would appear an order of magnitude smaller in size. His calculations on this yielded a distance away of some 50 or 55 ft, since the ratio of apparent sizes, near and far, was only about 1.2, not an order of magnitude greater. Since this is a rather critical finding, I have repeated the exercise, below.

Two frames below, a few seconds apart, show the object when it was close to the camera, and most distant, respectively.

 Fig. 11, above: Frame from Genesis III's video "Beamship: The movie footage", when the craft was
near the end of a longitudinal swing close to the camera. March 18, 1975. In this portion
the video camera had zoomed in on the movie screen.

 Fig. 12, above: Frame from Genesis III's video "Beamship: The movie footage" 2.7 sec later, when the craft was
near the end of a longitudinal swing away from the camera.

There were about 3 oscillations of this nature at this time, not directly to and away from the camera but at an angle of perhaps 20° off. The amplitude of the swings at this time appears to be about the same as in its previous transverse oscillations, which Maccabee estimated as being 5 ft. I find the ratio of the object's apparent width when closest (w1 and Fig. 11) to when it was farthest (w2 and Fig. 12) to be 1.22 (the extra non-significant digit is carried temporarily to avoid buildup of round-off error). Had the motion been viewed from a point to the right where the oscillation was exactly to and fro, this ratio would have been a little greater, namely 1.22 divided by the cosine of the angle, or 1.30. Now if the distance to the tree is D and the 5-ft amplitude of the oscillation is r, then for a direct to-and-fro oscillation we have:

w1 / w2 = (D + r) / (D - r) = 1.3

since the apparent width is inversely proportional to the distance of the object. The solution for D above is 38 ft, and does not require quantitative knowledge of the object's diameter. Maccabee arrived at D = 55 ft, perhaps due to the variability in the object's oscillations and his having utilized different frames of the film than the above. If, from Fig. 6, we estimate the craft was some six diameters this side of the tree on its movement towards the camera, then the above formula yields, for a 23-ft diameter craft, a distance to the tree of some 1050 ft, which may not be inconsistent with Fig. 10.

Below is Maccabee's analysis of this, as of 2 Jan. 2009:

The ratio of the maximum width of the UO image (when highest in the picture) to the minimum width (when lowest in the picture) is about 1.2. Assuming the UO itself did not change size, these image sizes are inversely proportional to the distances of the UO from the camera: the shorter the distance the larger the image, and v.v. If the UO moved in a circular path of radius r, then the distance when closest could be called D and the distance when farthest would be D + 2r and these two distances would be inversely related to the image size ratio: that is, (D + 2r / D) = (image size when closest/image size when farthest) = 1.2. This leads to D = 2r/0.2 = 10 r. If r were 5 ft, then the distance from the camera to closest point of the UO would be about 50 ft. This relationship scales with r, of course.

For a model UFO suspended from the tip of a pole above the camera's view, one sees from Maccabee's analysis that the length of the pole would have to be somewhere between 50 and 70 ft in length, if the pole were held by someone standing just behind or alongside the tripod-mounted camera, and if one end of the pole were grounded for necessary stability of support. It might be argued that a hoaxer could be standing to the left of the postulated tiny tree and would then be out of sight if he were only 10 ft away -- the distance then to the left side of the frame. However, for a support pole extending in from the left not to be visible within the upper left corner of the frame would require a pole (angled upwards at about 45°) even longer than 70 ft; this is, because the distance above a 1-ft model UFO at tree-top to the top of the frame would then be about 15 ft, whereas the length of the hypothesized support string attached to the pole is only 16 ft. Any such pole would be far too long to expect that a model UFO could be held stationary for many seconds.

Towards the end of the UFO's maneuvers, it hovers completely motionless over the tree for 14 sec; movements as small as 1/10 of the craft's width (about 1 inch for a 1-ft model) would have been clearly visible. Such stationarity would not be achievable if it were a model freely suspended from even a 21-ft hand-held or hand-guided pole. Using a 21-ft pole with one end anchored in the ground, and a 3/4 pound simulated UFO model (skillet lid) at the end of a 14-ft line, the minimal swaying motions of a model I could achieve, with breezes less than 5 miles per hour, was 3 inches. If this had been a 70-ft pole, these unavoideable movements including bobbing motions would have been amplified by a factor of at least 3.

Maccabee (1989c, p. 24) had suggested that such a maneuver could have been accomplished if string(s) had been attached to a model (presumably to its rim). However, it would require three hoaxers spaced triangularly apart, simultaneously pulling equally (and somewhat downward) on three thin lateral strings attached to the model, in order to try to hold it motionless during this period, while a fourth hoaxer tried to hold the pole steady. It seems very unlikely that this attempt would succeed, even if the hoaxer holding up the pole were to have rested it in a well braced support; oscillations of as little as 1/10 of the UFO model's height (about 1/2 inch) would be readily noticeable in running the film.

There is still another problem with the "lateral strings" portion of the model hypothesis. All the while the model would be oscillating back and forth, and around the tree top, the three hoaxers holding onto the lateral strings would need to keep the strings almost taut, without interfering with the object's pendular-like oscillations. Otherwise, slack in one or more lateral strings would cause it to become entangled in the tree and quickly put an end to the attempted hoax. Two of these strings would need to be some 15 to 25 ft or more in length, and the third about 50 ft as mentioned earlier, so that the hoaxers holding them could stay out of the movie camera's view. (At a distance of 55 ft a 1-ft object having the apparent size of the UFO in the 8mm movie would indicate a camera focal length of about 35 mm, which yields a field of view of width 13°. From this the minimal length of any such lateral strings may be estimated.) The whole operation would be totally impractical, even if the postulated lateral strings were wielded using fishing poles; just ask any fly fisherman! For such reasons we have not seen videotapes presented in which skeptics have attempted to discredit this film segment of Meier's using a model UFO, a long pole, lateral strings and a small tree, whether such tree were to be located 38 ft or 55 ft from the camera.

It may be mentioned that an Italian ufologist, M. Verga, has tried to debunk this movie film segment, pointing to Maccabee's earlier presentation on it. However, he was apparently unaware of these points of genuineness and of why a hoaxing attempt would not have been successful.

•  7A. NO PHOTO OF A TRANSPORT BEAM. Here Maccabee's (1989a) criticism was: "Billy talked of being transported onto the spacecraft, but he produced no pictures (of which I am aware) depicting any phenomenon associated with that transportation." Again, Maccabee failed to mention the strict precautions Meier's ETs took for their craft not to be in a position where others could get any clear daytime photographs of it. I.e., he failed to allow for an alien strategy involving plausible, or semi-plausible, deniability. Any photo showing Meier being transported into a craft would of course have violated this precaution. Most of the time, when Meier was "beamed up" for a contact session, however, or beamed back down, it was by some means of instant dematerialization and rematerialization. Witnesses have on occasion come very close to observing the former (see Moosbrugger, 2001, pp. 117-118), as well as the latter (click here, here or here). Either event occurs far too unexpectedly and suddenly for anyone to be prepared to film or videotape it.

On one occasion a witness in a car accompanied Meier towards a contact session one night as far as was permitted, after which Billy went on alone for quite a ways on his moped, and was then taken aboard by one means or another. From inside the craft up in the sky, Meier was allowed and able to speak to his friend via his two-way radio, one set of which was inside the car. The verification involved his friend sighting the "UFO" (a faintly illuminated oval disc) from the vicinity of his car, and telling Meier over the radio that it was too faint, and asking if he could get Semjase to make it brighter. Just a few seconds afterwards the UFO shone brighter and started blinking in intensity. Though not photographic evidence, this, along with the rest of the report written by the witness himself, indicates that Meier had indeed been taken aboard the craft, and is excellent confirmatory evidence of the reality of his contacts. See also Stevens (1993, pp. 290-293), which includes Meier's conversation during this contact (#73) while he was within the beamship, including his words to the witness down below.

•  7B. BEAMSHIP-INDUCED "CROP" CIRCLES. There was a circular area of dead grass left behind in connection with the Ed Walters UFO case (Walters & Walters, 1994, p. 143, Photo F), and so Maccabee mentioned the "saucer nests" many times left behind after Meier's many contacts for which the beamship had descended to ground level. His apparent criticisms of this were that (a) the grass within the swirls of pressed-down meadow grass in Meier's case did not die, (b) the swirls' diameters of about 6 feet were much smaller than the reported 23-foot diameter of the beamships, and (c) no tests were afterwards performed on the swirled grass or soil underneath.

Regarding (a), the fact that the grass remained alive and growing yet remained bent over next to the ground within counterclockwise swirls (Elders, et al., 1979, p. 60-61; Elders & Elders, 1983, pp. 52-53; Kinder, 1987, photo facing p. 155; Stevens, 1989, pp. 213-220, 464-473; Moosbrugger, 2001, Figs. 37-44), is more impressive than if the grass had died. I.e., killing the grass would be much simpler for a hoaxer to accomplish. These circular swirls were first commented upon by Meier in 1976 (Stevens, 1993, p. 143: Contact #60 on July 29th, 1976), while the first crop circles of similar nature did not start receiving much attention until 1981 when the matter was first brought to the attention of the British press (Delgado & Andrews, 1989, p. 5).

Fig. 13. A set of three counter-
clockwise swirls appearing after
one contact. From the video
"The Meier Chronicles."
Courtesy Lee & Brit Elders.
Fig. 14. Closeup shot of one such swirl.
From the video "The Meier Chronicles."
Courtesy Lee & Brit Elders.
Fig. 15. A set of three counterclockwise
swirls after another contact. From the
video "The Meier Chronicles."
Courtesy Lee & Brit Elders.

Regarding (b), in a serious oversight Maccabee failed to mention that the imprint left behind in the meadow grass, by the craft his alien contactors used most often, always consisted of three such counterclockwise swirls equilaterally spaced. These fit within a greater circular area about 17 feet in diameter. Meier of course already knew that the three circular areas corresponded to the beamship's three broad touchdown supports, and in response to his questioning he was told by his contactor in general terms about there being anti-gravity oscillations associated with these supports that affected the underlying grass or plants (Stevens, 1993, pp. 143-144).

Re (c), these early "crop circles" occurred years before crop-circle investigators had made it an accustomed procedure to test samples of bent-over grain and associated soil in the laboratory (see Delgado, 1992, pp. 145-153). If it had occurred to Meier or his close followers, or to Stevens, to have such tests performed, would they have felt there was a university department somewhere that would look into the matter seriously?

•  8B. TESTING FOR HOAXED PHOTOS. Maccabee claimed, "There is no evidence that Billy carried out any experiments which would help investigators determine whether or not the photos were fake. He did not use a camera provided by UFO investigators." However, he did nothing to discourage Stevens from carrying out such tests. Stevens had a Hollywood studio construct a 1.5-foot diameter, lightweight model of one of the craft Meier photographed in 1975, and brought it with him to Switzerland on one of his trips circa 1979 or 1980. Then, using the same camera Meier had used in 1975-76, plus one of his own, they took photos of the model suspended by a monofilament line from a long pole, with a scenic background, using various lens aperture settings and shutter speeds. They found that when the horizon was in good focus, the model was not. When Stevens focused on the model even when it was as far away as 30 feet, so as to yield a clear image of it, the horizon features were in poor focus. Or, in testing Stevens' camera on a 6-inch model five feet away, "all other objects beyond 10 feet from the camera were badly out of focus" (Stevens, 1981b, p. 12). Also, in comparison with the beamship images in Meier's photos, the model reflected light too brightly and its lines were too distinct (Stevens, 1982, p. 290). The model UFO did not pass the test. Stevens left the Hollywood model beamship with Meier.

It should be noted that according to Moosbrugger (2001, pp. 195-196), while Meier was taking his early Jakobsberg-Allenberg photos on Feb. 27, 1975, he approached the beamship too closely, and both the viewfinder of his Olympus 35 ECR camera and its exposure meter were rendered inoperative from then on (in the book, the wrong photo number is assigned here).

By the time Stevens and his team first arrived in Switzerland in late 1977, Meier had had no photo opportunities for an entire year, and Meier did not then anticipate being allowed to take further photos (which did happen in 1980-81, however). So the thought may not have occurred to supply Meier with some kind of range-finding or stereo camera that he might be able to operate with one hand. By the time of his 1981 photos, someone had equipped him with a zoom-lens video camera, however, as already noted.

•  8C. BEAMSHIP MODELS. Here it is claimed that "Investigators found burned slides of model UFOs...Billy's explanation was that he carved models of the craft to get better pictures." Better than what, one wonders—better than his genuine photos? Early on, after Meier had received criticism that his photos could be hoaxes involving models, he acquired one or more rather crude models of beamships to photograph and see if they would look at all realistic compared to his many genuine photos. According to Kinder (1986, p. 225), he made one of these models himself, carving it. The resulting slides of models didn't measure up at all, so he trashed some of them (Stevens, 1982, p. 285), and was going to trash others but was convinced not to (Kinder, 1986, pp. 225-226). Meier's wife evidently tossed some of these slides into the fireplace, but Billy arrived on the scene in time to retrieve some of them. The accounts differ somewhat (see also Moosbrugger, 2001, pp. 196-199), but none indicate that Meier acquired model UFOs to get better pictures. Instead, it was to see if the critics' claims could be true. Only two models closely resembled a craft in Meier's photos: One was that which Stevens had a Hollywood studio construct, and the other was one that Meier's contactor Semjase temporarily left with Meier in 1975 (Moosbrugger, 2001, Fig. 65). The latter is listed in Meier's photo collection (Verzeichnis, photo #63, Sept. 18, 1975) and clearly labeled as a model. Meier's contactors, however, utilized some six or seven different types of "UFO" craft during his contacts of 1975-81.

It is otherwise unheard of for an ET to leave a model UFO in the hands of a witness or contactee, but in the Meier case it fits in with the large number of contacts and photo ops he had, and the uniqueness of the case in many other respects. The supposed reason why Semjase left this model was so that if the "heat" grew too strong for Meier to take, he could show the model and falsely confess that he was a hoaxer; for who would bother to try to assassinate a confessed UFO hoaxer? But Billy did not go that route, although the many assassination attempts against him commenced in January of 1976 (Moosbrugger, 2001, pp. 251-269). However, I view this alien model "UFO" as being, for the most part, but another piece of plausible deniability, since skeptics can assume it was a model Meier somehow acquired, then used and later destroyed. Semjase insisted on receiving the model back from Meier a few weeks later (Moosbrugger, 2000, p. 198). Otherwise, it would have been an interesting artifact for analysis.

In summary of Meier and models, it would be surprising if an intelligent person who became a UFO contactee and was supplied with many photo opportunities of their craft, and who received criticism that the photos could have been faked through use of models, would not want to take pictures of one or more models to see if the critics' claims were reasonable. Meier found they were not.

•  9A. LIE-DETECTOR & PSE TESTS. "Billy has not (so far as I know) taken a lie-detector test." This is true, but it is surely worth mentioning that he did submit to a psychological-stress-evaluation—PSE—test in 1978. Five of the key witnesses to the genuineness of various aspects of Meier's experiences were also given the PSE, worded differently of course for them than for Meier. After the voice tapes were analyzed, it was found that all had passed the tests; "no indication of conscious or deceitful intentions was detected on the part of either Billy or any of the other participants" (Moosbrugger, 2001, pp. 219-221).

A peculiarity was found in Meier's charts, however, in that his graphical responses uniformly showed considerably less than the expected amplitude (Stevens, 1982, pp. 161-173). Possible explanations put forward for this were that he had been asked stressful questions often in the previous three years, or that he exhibited a uniformly high stress level that might have been due to being in constant pain, or being hypnotized or having positive control over his own autonomic system, as a yogi might have. Stevens pointed out that these were possibly relevant, because Meier had been in bed suffering from stomach cramps for several days just before he took the tests, and he had years earlier studied yoga in India. However, even if Meier's PSE results were then to be considered too uncertain to draw any conclusion from, the fact that all five key witnesses passed their tests does strongly favor the reality of Meier's experiences.

•  9B. DID BILLY VISIT A PSYCHOLOGIST? "Billy has not...been studied by a clinical psychologist (or any other professional). He has not been hypnotically regressed." As far as I know this is true, but also irrelevant for judging his credibility. Although such an evaluation could give indications as to how close to normal the man appears to be, there are quite a few accounts from first-hand witnesses to indicate Meier possesses psychic abilities that are very substantially above-average (Kinder, 1987, pp. 112-114, 213; Moosbrugger, 2001, pp. 75-83; a simple example is presented here). This degree of psychic ability would be considered abnormal by the clinical psychologist, and might cause a psychologist to pronounce him abnormal. However, it would not bear on Meier's honesty. Yet, it should not be surprising that a true contactee can demonstrate strong psychic abilities, as even UFO abductees have a tendency in this direction (Mack, 1994, p. 398; Sprinkle, 1999, p. 137).

CONCLUSION. In summary of Maccabee's article entitled "Billy, no; Ed, yes": with respect to topics under the first half of the title I have found all kinds of problems. With respect to the second half of the title, I believe Maccabee's statements were accurate.

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Creighton, Gordon, (2001). "Note by editor of FSR." Flying Saucer Review 46/4 (Winter 2001/2002), p. 14.

Deardorff, J., (1989). "Pleiades pendulum" (Letter). International UFO Reporter 14, No. 5 (Sept./ Oct.) p. 21.

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Korff, Kal K., (1981), with editorial assistance of William L. Moore. The Meier Incident: The Most Infamous Hoax in Ufology. Self-published.

Maccabee, Bruce, (1989a). "Billy no; Ed, yes." International UFO Reporter 14, No. 3 (May/June), pp. 16-19.

Maccabee, Bruce, (1989b). Pendulum from the Pleiades. International UFO Reporter 14, No. 1 (Jan./Feb.), pp. 11-12, 22.

Maccabee, Bruce, (1989c). Pleiades Pendulum (Response). International UFO Reporter 14, No. 5 (Sept./Oct.), pp. 21-24.

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Sprinkle, R. Leo, (1999). Soul Samples: Personal Explorations in Reincarnation and UFO Experiences. Columbus, NC: Granite Publishing.

Stevens, Wendelle, (1981a). Kal Korff and the "Meier hoax": A response - Pt. 1. MUFON UFO J., (Oct.), pp. 3-5.

Stevens, Wendelle, (1981b). Kal Korff and the "Meier hoax": A response - Pt. 2. MUFON UFO J., (Nov.), pp. 11-14.

Stevens, Wendelle, (1982). UFO Contact from the Pleiades: A Preliminary Investigation Report. Tucson, AZ: UFO Photo Archives (out of print).

Stevens, Wendelle, (1988). Message from the Pleiades, vol. 1. Tucson, AZ: UFO Photo Archives (out of print).

Stevens, Wendelle, (1989). UFO Contact from the Pleiades: A Supplementary Investigation Report. Tucson, AZ: UFO Photo Archives (out of print).

Stevens, Wendelle, (1990). Message from the Pleiades, vol. 2. Tucson, AZ: UFO Photo Archives (out of print).

Stevens, Wendelle, (1993). Message from the Pleiades, vol. 3. Tucson, AZ: UFO Photo Archives (out of print).

Stevens, Wendelle, (1995a). Message from the Pleiades, vol. 4. Tucson, AZ: UFO Photo Archives.

Stevens, Wendelle, (1995b). Personal communication.

Walters, Ed, and Walters, Francis, (1990). The Gulf Breeze Sightings: The Most Astounding Multiple Sightings of UFOs in U.S. History. New York: William Morrow.

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Walters, Ed, and Maccabee, Bruce, (1997). UFOs Are Real: Here's the Proof. New York: Avon Books.

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