“Widely dismissed as a hoax, Billy Meier’s photographs of “Pleiadian beamships” immediately generate a feeling of scepticism…”
One aspect of the entire UFO phenomenon that continues to be a source of ammunition for sceptics is the lack of a clear photograph of a supposed flying saucer. The majority of photos are either taken from such a distance or so inexplicably out-of-focus that a clear, definable craft is rarely discerned. Photographers of such ‘alien craft’ usually post their photos on the internet accompanied by an enlarged section illustrating the object, complete with heavy pixelation. So what could be nothing more than a high-flying Frisbee is often presented as an authentic UFO captured on camera.
No UFO photos compare with those taken by the now legendary Billy Meier. His is perhaps the most controversial and infamous case in the UFO community, contributing to many years of debate regarding the authenticity of both his photographs and his claims of alien contact and the information disseminated to him. Widely dismissed as a hoax, Billy Meier’s photographs of “Pleiadian beamships” immediately generate a feeling of scepticism – the photographs look too good to be true, and the “beamships” themselves display the distinct appearance of their time (that being, Planet Earth in the 1970s). Yet, when examined by experts in both special effects and photography, it was concluded that the images had not been manipulated.
Eduard Albert “Billy” Meier was born in Switzerland in 1937 and claims to have seen his first flying saucer as a child, after which he consulted with a local priest. The priest acknowledged that he knew of the existence of these visitors from outer space, and told Billy to try to learn telepathy by which he could communicate with these beings (because those Swiss clergy are open to anything!). Apparently it worked, and years later, after travelling the world (and losing an arm in a bus crash in Turkey), he would move back to Switzerland with his wife and resume communications. It was during this time (specifically 1975 – 1978) that Billy began to take his photographs and receive information from his space-travelling buddies.
The controversy was always about the photographs. Billy would have his photos developed locally, but his organisational skills were lacking, meaning that no photograph that was ever examined by experts was an original. When Billy began to gain notoriety, he developed somewhat of a cult following, with various individuals descending upon his home. Negatives and first prints of the majority of his snaps were “borrowed” or went missing. But it was this same throng of people that deepened the mystery, for it left no room for Billy to secretly construct models of “beamships” and stage what would amount to elaborate hoaxes without being seen by someone. Some of Billy’s photographs depicting craft hovering above an expansive valley defied the hoax explanation. Others searched Billy’s premises in search of evidence of model construction and the like, but nothing was ever found to refute Billy’s claims. And others still claimed to have seen Billy on occasion materialise out of nowhere, having just been dropped off by his Pleiadian friends after a cruise in their spacecraft.
It must be pointed out that Billy Meier has one arm, dropped out of school in the sixth grade and was virtually penniless at the time of his encounters, supporting a wife and three children. The idea that the man fabricated the entire series of events is highly dubious, yet, at the same time, not without possibility. Many have tried to debunk Billy as a notorious hoaxer, and there is indeed much evidence to suggest that later in his life was exploited by those seeking financial gain. A great deal of photographic ‘evidence’ of beamships taken after his conversations with the Pleiadians ceased, are clearly fakes. Photos were released supposedly showing a female Pleiadian, but it was later revealed to be a dancer on the Dean Martin TV show. Another photo supposedly depicted a dinosaur, taken when Billy time travelled with his space pals. However, this turned out to be a shot of an illustration from a book on dinosaurs, manipulated to appear authentic. It has never been clear whether these obvious fakeries were perhaps the work of bodies wishing to discredit all of Billy’s claims. During his conversations with the Pleiadians, Billy was given information that he later wrote down, including a rather detailed description of the manner in which the Pleiadians transformed matter to travel through space. It was writings such as these that baffled many scholarly persons, who were at a loss to explain how Billy would be able to present such ideas without the necessary education.
And then there was the metal triangle. It was given to Marcel Vogel, a chemist at IBM, who studied the composition beneath on electron microscope and was alarmed at what he found. Among other compounds, most bafflingly it contained Thulium, which had only been processed with the advent of the atomic bomb, and was exceedingly rare and precious. “Someone would have to have an extensive metallurgical knowledge even to be aware of a composition of this type,” Vogel was quoted as saying. That a semi-illiterate, one-armed security guard from Switzerland would have access to such a material again defied explanation. To the sceptics, the triangle was just another hoax in a long line of deception, as the triangle mysteriously disappeared from Vogel’s possession just before he was about to present the object to other scientists for examination.
And the Pleiadians themselves? Well, they’re an advanced, peaceful civilisation from the Pleiades – a small cluster of stars in the Taurus constellation – and they’ve become folk heroes to the mass of believers who wait in anticipation of the day when they reveal their existence to mankind as a whole. Yet, as described to Billy, this day is near but still far away. Apparently they are the sires of Man, are not little green or grey men but have our appearance and, of course, a special interest in our affairs. However, they are forbidden from interfering in the course of events on Earth by a federation of alien races. Instead, specific individuals such as Billy Meier are contacted and fed information that is slowly and gradually disseminated throughout the world. If it were any other way, say the Pleiadians, Mankind would either panic or, as in times past, simply idolise them as ‘gods’, which is not what they want. Yet they have a presence on Earth, along with other alien races, and apparently maintain underground bases on our planet.
The entire Billy Meier case seems a fantastic flight of fancy that, on first glance, gives the appearance of being the most elaborate and obvious of hoaxes. Yet, was such a nondescript individual such as Billy, with little education and financial means, able to pull off such a ruse? Lee Elders, who published a book of Billy’s photographs, once stated that no one would ever prove the Meier case to be true, but nor would anyone ever disprove it either. That Billy Meier is the most unlikely of prophets lends credence to the idea that perhaps (just perhaps) the story is true.