Review : Stanton T. Friedman is Real !


A good portion of this weekend has been spent sifting through the various media I picked up at X-Conference. DVDs, books, papers, and videos, enough to keep me busy for quite some time. With that in mind, today I popped into the VCR a film I'd wanted to see for a very long time and finally had the chance to grab a copy of : Stanton T. Friedman is Real ! It's no secret that I'm a huge Friedman fan, always have been. So when I'd heard that there was a film about the man himself, I nearly lept with joy. Luckily, the great Ufologist had some available at X-Conference and now it resides in my sticky little hands. Having just watched the documentary, I now commence to give you all a review of said piece.

Unlike most Ufology films out there, this one does not primarily deal with solving the enigma of the UFOs. No, this film deals with solving the enigma of Stanton Friedman. It is a veritable biography of the man, the kind one would expect to see on A & E, if they were not a part of the entire media conglomerate. The beginning is pretty charming with a nice look at the youth of Friedman, where he grew up, his early influences, and that sort of thing. This is told, of course, by Friedman himself in all his witty glory including some great pictures of a young Stanton Friedman, sans beard ! He talks of his debate team beginning and his eventual turn in drama as two factors which shaped his eventual love of presenting UFO materials.

There's also a lot of good stuff from Friedman's various lectures as the film serves as a sort of "Stanton Friedman's Greatest Hits", including his showing the blacked out government documents, his infamous $1000 bet with Philip Klass, and many of his famous catchphrases such as his dis on SETI ("Silly Effort To Investigate") and his potshots at the scientific community. He also goes behind those witty jabs to explain that his motivation is to turn the tables some and, for once, have the debunkers be the object of ridicule. On a similar note, he also defends his use of the antiquated term "flying saucers" instead of UFOs. His reasoning ? He's only interested in pre-1950's UFO reports, notably Roswell, which were then called ... "flying saucers" as the term UFO didn't come into parlance until about a decade or so later.

Perhaps most fascinating was Friedman's description of his travel schedule and how many lectures and conferences he attends. Despite what may sound like a great life traveling and an easy living giving lectures, Friedman dispels those myths, explaining the often long hours he puts in when he arrives in town to give a lecture, which also include classroom visits and a host of other activities of a similar educational vein. His description is that of a lonely life, traveling from town to town and lecture to lecture trying to educate people on the truth of the UFO phenomenon. I've seen Friedman live twice and heard him on media interviews countless times, but learning about what it is really like to be the "Father of Modern Day Ufology" was an eye opening and illuminating experience.

Suprisingly, a lot of time was given in the film to Friedman's critics, like Karl Pflock. They were allowed considerable time to debunk Friedman's work, but did not attack the man personally. Friedman, of course, had rebuttals to their critiques, as he's probably heard them a thousands times and can explain why they are wrong. As far as discussion of his work goes, a fair amount of time is given to both Roswell and the MJ-12 documents, but it is far from a thorough examination of the topics and more of a discussion of Friedman's role as investigator of those topics.

The film was made in 2002 by redstar films and screened on Canadian TV. It is now available for anyone who wants to check it out. The best place to look is at Friedman's website At 48 minutes, it's the perfect length for a human interest type story and the production values are quite good, especially considering the usual low standards for films related to UFOs.

If you are familiar with Stanton Friedman's work, but not the man himself, this is a must see film. It is certainly far different from any UFO films I've seen as this one focuses on the man himself and not the "lights in the sky" that have been the subject of films ad nauseum. Worthy of note is that it also makes an excellent starting point for anyone trying to introduce UFOs to their "noisy negative neighbors" or family. Friedman comes out of the film with high credibility that transfers over to Ufology and, thusly, may help an uneducated doubter to finally muster, "There may be something to this, after all."

For more Feature Articles by binnall, click HERE