May 15, 2019 I MJ Banias

Legendary Physicist and UFO Researcher Stanton Friedman Dies at 84

Stanton Friedman, a respected nuclear physicist, and UFO researcher passed away yesterday evening in Toronto, Canada. An official announcement by his family has been made to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation earlier today.

Friedman was born in July of 1934 and resided in Fredericton, New Brunswick. Friedman completed his degree in Physics from the University of Chicago and worked for various companies including General Electric and General Motors. A well-respected scientist, Friedman belonged to several academic organizations including the American Nuclear Society and the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.

Friedman in 2013 receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award. (Image courtesy of Open Minds)

In 1970, Friedman made a splash in the UFO community when he began to investigate the UFO phenomenon full time. Speaking at countless conferences, authoring several books and over 80 articles on “flying saucers,” Friedman became a household name in the study of UFOs. He often drew the ire of the skeptical community and was even the target of the infamous debunker Phillip Klass. Somewhat of a legendary story in the UFO community, Klass entered into a monetary bet with Friedman regarding the typeface of the famous MJ-12 documents. Klass offered Friedman $100 for every legitimate document he could find with the same typeface, and in a brilliant move, Friedman provided Klass with fourteen such examples. Klass, begrudgingly, sent Friedman $1000 (the other $400 never materialized).

Friedman continued his work into the phenomenon and made many friends in the UFO community. Science writer and UFO researcher Chris Rutkowski was friends with Friedman, and often opened his home to the man when he visited Winnipeg. Friedman, known to be quite economical, would often crash on Rutkowski’s couch instead of staying in a hotel room.

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Friedman and Rutkowski in 2001. (Image courtesy of C. Rutkowski)

In an interview with Mysterious Universe, Rutkowski expressed his sadness at the loss of one of Ufology’s most legendary figures,

He was a mentor and will be missed. One of the last "nuts and bolts" Ufologists, who was not afraid to take on skeptics and jaded media.

In an outpouring of support on social media, many of his colleagues and friends have offered their condolences, memories, and fondness for Friedman and his family. The UFO community has lost an important figure, and more importantly, a role model.

MJ Banias

MJ Banias is the author of “The UFO People: A Curious Culture” and curates the popular Fortean blog “Terra Obscura" and YouTube channel. He has appeared on multiple radio shows and podcasts including Coast to Coast AM, and his work has appeared in Fortean Times Magazine, FATE Magazine and in the book, “UFOs: Reframing the Debate."

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