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A retired McGill professor is convinced we have been visited by UFOs and extraterrestrial life forms.
In fact, Don Donderi knows people who claim to have been abducted by aliens from outer space.
Donderi teaches a course at McGill University called UFOs: History and Reality. The course, part of McGill’s Community for Lifelong Learning, outlines why “UFOs are real and extraterrestrial.”
Donderi, who holds a PhD in psychology from Cornell University, spoke to the Montreal Gazette about his lifelong interest in UFOs and why he believes aliens exist “beyond a reasonable doubt.”
This interview was condensed for space reasons.
Q. How did teaching this course come about?
A. Well, I’ve been interested in the topic since I was 10 years old. I was certainly literate at 10 and I was following what was going in the papers and magazines in the United States, where I grew up.
And in 1947, there were (UFO) sightings. There was a famous sighting by a guy named Kenneth Arnold who was a private pilot who flew up in the Cascade (mountain range in Washington) and he saw and reported nine silvery objects flying over the mountains. He was very articulate in his report. … The story got into AP (Associated Press) the next day in June of 1947. And the AP headline writer coined the phrase ‘flying saucers’, which is where it all began.
Q. Wasn’t that the same year as the famous Roswell UFO incident in New Mexico?
A. It’s the same year actually, just a few weeks later. The whole Roswell thing came just after the Kenneth Arnold sighting in 1947.
Q. What’s your take on what happened at Roswell?
A. The U.S. government recovered the remains of a crashed unidentified flying object or to be more correct, an extraterrestrial vehicle.
Q. Do you believe aliens were found at the crash site?
A. It is believed that they also recovered bodies of dead aliens.
Q. Why so much silence and secrecy for all these years?
A. Well, that’s a very good question, and I raise it in my course. … The technology involved is extremely advanced; the implications for human society are incredible and possibly upsetting because we are under surveillance by technologically superior beings from other planets. We don’t know how to do what they do. We don’t know what their motives are or their interests are. And at the moment, as far as I know, we don’t have any active defences or preparations to deal with the situation. So it’s obviously upsetting. Secrecy is because when governments, any government, gets hold of new technology, and want to figure out how it works, their first interest is protecting their own turf on this and not sharing it with the world.
Q. How certain are you of life beyond our planet?
A. I’m 100 per cent certain of that. The way I put it in my course and to the public is this: I have three main propositions. One, some of what people report as UFOs are extraterrestrial vehicles. That proposition, I believe, is established beyond reasonable doubt. And if you know your law, you’ll know that’s the standard for a conviction of a felony. Proposition 2 is that some of the extraterrestrial vehicles have ET crews, and proposition 3 is that some of these ET crews ‘catch and release’ humans to study them, so-called alien abductions. Proposition 2, I think, is established beyond a reasonable doubt, and proposition 3 is bound on probabilities.
Q. Do you personally know anyone who was abducted by aliens?
A. I know many people. I’d say 10, at least, who have claimed to be abducted. And in many cases, I respect their claims because I think they’re based on sound evidence.
Q. There are doubters, of course. How do you handle skepticism?
A. Listen, skepticism is absolutely OK. If you pick up my book (UFOs, ETs and alien abductions: A scientist looks at the evidence, 2013) which you probably won’t do, you’ll find I have a great deal of respect for skeptics who are doing their best to make sure what they know and what the world knows is based on reasonable sound evidence. That’s good. I’m a scientist.
Q. With the proliferation of drones, wouldn’t it be easy to fly one above Mount Royal and say: ‘Hey, look up, it’s a UFO!”
A. Exactly. One of my better friends, who is a drone user commercially — takes real estate photos for people — he and I and everyone else in the field knows it’s perfectly possible to fake UFO photographs and experiences.
Q. Have you ever seen a UFO yourself?
A. Only the kind that wouldn’t impress anyone as sound evidence because nocturnal lights, which is a technical term, are a dime a dozen and you couldn’t be sure at a distance what it was.
Q. What are the chances of a UFO landing on Ste-Catherine St. and an alien climbing out to shake my hand?
A. (Laughing) Ah yes, the famous White House lawn landing. I have no idea; I can’t possibly tell you on the basis of anything I’ve learned on the subject. Except that … whoever shows up will go away and not come back here for a while.