Stanton Friedman's Massive Collection of UFO Files to be Cataloged by Archivists

Discussion in 'Science and Technology' started by easymon1, Nov 2, 2019.

  1. easymon1


    Stanton Friedman's Massive Collection of UFO Files to be Cataloged by Archivists

    October 31, 2019

    By Tim Binnall

    An enormous cache of files, records, and correspondences amassed by the late UFO researcher Stanton Friedman throughout his epic 60 years of researching the phenomenon is being cataloged by professional archivists in Canada. According to a report from Motherboard, the project began back in January when staff at the Provincial Archives in New Brunswick, where Friedman lived, heard that the iconic advocate for the reality of flying saucers had announced his retirement. In response, they asked if he would donate his collection of UFO material to the archive for preservation and he agreed to the thoughtful proposition.

    As one might expect, the total amount of UFO material collected by Friedman over the last sixty years proved to be considerably voluminous. By way of a staggering five cargo vans, a jaw-dropping 300 or so boxes of paperwork were delivered to the office of the Provincial Archives and they expect even more files to arrive over the next few weeks and months. Archivist Joanna Aiton-Kerr told the CBC that if they lined up all of the material they've received so far it would stretch a stunning 200 feet.

    Upon receiving the documents, the archivists soon realized that they have a rather daunting task on their hands as Friedman had never organized his collection of files. "We can find a single page of a letter or document in one pile," Kerr told Motherboard, "another page somewhere across the room, another page tucked into a book, and so on." Since Friedman's material constitutes thousands of pieces of paperwork and the cataloging project is one of many underway at the archive, Kerr cautioned that it could be quite some time before they are finished sorting through all of the files, documents, and letters contained in the collection.

    According to Kerr, the staff at the Provincial Archives spend one day a week, which they call 'Friedman Fridays,' working on the project. In a testament to just how long the job of organizing the collection might take, she estimated that, at the current pace, it could be a decade before the full range of material is available to the public. And, even if they were afforded two full-time archivists to focus solely on the Friedman collection, which seems to be more wishful thinking rather than a genuine possibility, Kerr posited that it would still require around three or four years of work to complete.

    The project took on additional special significance, beyond the unique nature of the collection, when Friedman sadly passed away in May. "We definitely feel the pressure to make it available as fast as we can," Kerr said, "but we also want to do the work right." To that end, the organization of the papers will eventually be completed and, when finished, will undoubtedly wind up being the largest collection of UFO material ever to be curated by professional archivists and a truly fitting tribute to the man fondly remembered by many as the Father of Modern Day Ufology.
  2. easymon1


    The Largest Single Collection of UFO Material Is Being Cataloged
    That's the good news. The bad news is that the files being cataloged are the ones scattered in the photo you see here.
    by Tim McMillan
    Oct 29 2019, 8:00am

    Archivists are actively cataloging what is believed to be the largest single collection of UFO material in the world.

    stanton friedman98.jpg
    The files belonged to Stanton T. Friedman, a Canadian scholar and nuclear physicist who spent 60 years studying the UFO phenomena and who suddenly died earlier this year. As you can tell from the photo above, this is no small task. Archivists caution that it could take up to 10 years to comb through and catalog everything.

    Unbeknown to many in the UFO community, in the months leading up to Friedman’s death, officials at the Provincial Archives in New Brunswick Canada were already fast at work preserving the renowned UFO researcher’s massive number of files. Admittedly an atypical collection, visitors to the Canadian archives will someday have a chance to check out Friedman’s 60 years of study in the UFO phenomena. In a tease of potential things to come, after a recent visit to the archives, Canada’s CBC shared a photo of a small metal fragment claimed to be from the famed 1947 flying saucer crash in Roswell, New Mexico.

    After working for a number of years as a nuclear physicist with companies such as TRW Systems and McDonnell Douglas, in 1970, Friedman dedicated himself to investigating UFOs full-time. In the ensuing 49-years, Friedman give numerous lectures, wrote several books, and became one of the most prominent figures to ever study unexplained aerial phenomena. After most had accepted the Army-Air Force’s explanation of a weather balloon, Friedman is widely credited with reviving questions surrounding the possible crash of alien spacecraft outside Roswell, New Mexico. Friedman unabashedly claimed that aliens had visited Earth.

    Joanna Aiton Kerr, manager of the Provincial Archives, told Motherboard that after hearing Friedman was retiring from UFO research, archivists reached out in January and convinced him to let them preserve his collection. Kerr says it took five cargo vans to move all of Friedman’s substantial records. Ultimately, the timing of the decision to secure Friedman’s files was somberly prophetic, as Friedman suffered a fatal heart attack in May while returning home from giving a UFO lecture in Ohio.

    Grant Camron, one of the few Ufologists who’s had a chance to visit archive, says he was pleasantly surprised to see Friedman’s files at New Brunswick’s official records repository. “They do not collect this kind of stuff and Stan was not born in New Brunswick,” said Camron.

    Having located numerous previously unknown government documents on UFOs, Friedman was known for being quite a researcher. However, according to Kerr, the most daunting aspect of archiving the records comes from the fact Friedman never organized his files whatsoever.

    “We can find a single page of a letter or document in one pile, another page somewhere across the room, another page tucked into a book, and so on,” Kerr said. Camron said though the collection was larger than he expected, the fact Friedman never organized and filed any of his documents was the biggest surprise for him as well. “When you heard him speak he would reference documents and it led to the assumption it was carefully organized,” Camron said.

    Kerr, who also chairs the Canadian Council of Archives, said there are three full time employees in the private records section where Friedman’s collection are being shifted through. However, unfortunately, Friedman’s files are only one in a number of collections provincial archivists are working on. No one can be dedicated to working on the famed Ufologist’s collection full-time.

    Because the records are both sizable and in such disarray, Kerr said ideally she’d like to have two archivists focused solely on getting Friedman’s files cataloged and stored. “Maybe someone will start a GoFundMe or some such thing to raise money so we can hire a couple extra archivists on contract,” Kerr mused.

    Even with two full-time employees working on them, Kerr says it could still take 3-4 years to finish organizing Friedman’s files. “There is definitely a demand to see the records and we definitely feel the pressure to make it available as fast as we can—but we also want to do the work right,” said Kerr.

    Kerr says roughly 25 boxes of materials from Friedman’s records have been processed and are accessible for visitors of the Provincial Archives. As far as making Friedman’s archives accessible online, Kerr indicated the process of digitizing the records would be “mammoth task” that currently isn’t logistically feasible. Right now, Kerr says her and fellow archivists spend one day a week working together on the late UFO researcher’s files, while listening to a space-themed playlist Kerr’s husband put together for them. “We’re calling them ‘Friedman Fridays,’”said Kerr.

    Both skeptics and believers alike offer high praise to Kerr and her team for taking on the task of archiving Friedman’s records. Micah Hanks, the skeptically open-minded author and host of the popular podcast The Micah Hanks Program told Motherboard, though he doesn’t necessarily agree with all his conclusions on UFOs, he is thrilled to know Friedman’s archives will be preserved and publicly available.

    “As we learn more about the possibility that there could be aerial technologies of unexplained origin in our airspace, Friedman’s collections will no doubt continue to be useful historical references,” said Hanks. Having written over a dozen books on UFOs himself, Camron said “the collection is like looking through King Tut’s tomb.”

    Kerr says she thinks it’s possible Earth has been visited by extraterrestrials, however, admittedly, she hadn’t previously put much thought into the whole UFO subject. In light of this, Kerr and her team seem to be thoroughly enjoying going through Friedman’s collection. Kerr says she’s been fascinated by the number of correspondences Friedman received from people who described having personal encounters with UFOs or extraterrestrial beings.

    “People wrote him from all over the world. People phoned him—he recorded many of these calls and we have the tapes too. It’s fascinating stuff,” Kerr said.
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2019