Thursday, 4 September 2008

Did IQ's just drop sharply while I was away?

You have to admit that Stan Romanek is an interesting guy.

Now I'm not a big fan of the whole alien thing. That's not to mean I don't think there's life on other planets. The universe is so large and complex that simple statistics suggest that of the billions upon billions upon billions of planets out there the chances are that one or more would be conducive to life.

So I think we can safely say that life on other planets is a probability. But I just don't think an alien visitation to earth by the “greys” is likely. For a start, outside of the impossible distances any being would have to travel, I'm inclined to think that aliens are more likely to look like something that H. R. Giger would design and less like something that Steven Spielberg would. Evolution is all about life forms adapting to their environment to survive and thrive. So unless there's a planet exactly like the Earth out there and the next stage of human evolution is for us to disrobe and grow beer bellies and bulbous foreheads then the chances of aliens being little grey people with big eyes is seriously remote. The chances of them being big phallic shaped things full of teeth that bleed acid and enjoy impregnating John Hurt I would put at fair to middling.

But with all that being said Stan Romanek is an interesting guy.

If you're reading this and wondering who the heck Stan Romanek is, he's either a lunatic or the unluckiest guy on the planet. Basically Stanley's gained notoriety over the past year after holding a press conference in his native Denver in which he allegedly presented a video showing an alien “peeping tom”. Larry King picked up the story and before you could say “it's a puppet isn't it?” Stan was on almost every syndicated news channel in America telling the world about his experiences.

Now if it was just a random alien trying to catch a look at Stan's wife in her birthday suit then maybe he would have marked it down to experience and moved on. But the problem is Stan and aliens have history. According to Stan's official website he's been stalked by UFOs, chased by flying saucers, and was even abducted once after opening the door to three “non humans” at 2am one breezy morning (Gee note: Doesn't that sound like the politest abduction ever? Ding dong. “Yes? What is it?” “I'm awfully sorry to wake you sir but, um, well this is all quite embarrassing. I'm afraid we're going to have to take you away in our spaceship to be probed. Sorry about that. We've taken the liberty of packing an overnight bag for you though. And a picnic.”).

Apparently this all started in December of 2000. And in the following 8 years Stan claims to have had over 100 unique experiences with aliens, orbs, UFOs and the like (Gee note: Is that what life is normally like for other people? I mean the number of weird things that have happened to me in the past eight years comes in at a big fat zero. In fact the most excitement I've had in that time was discovering a new form of cheese I liked back in February 2006. It's called Brie. And it's very nice.). The video itself was shot on July 17th 2003. Apparently the reason it took so long to “comes out” (Gee note: Good one Larry) was because “um well there's a lot of physical evidence that we, er, wanted to get looked at by real scientists.”.

Dude. C'mon now. Video analysts sit in front of computer screens all day long shuffling back and forth between single frames, crunching their eyelids together to spot the tinniest inconsistencies. It's a profession that positively attracts geeks. Give anybody the option of watching a film featuring a perverted extra terrestrial and they'd likely agree to it. Offer it to a video analyst and they'd likely snatch your hand off.

Ah yes the film itself. You may have noticed that I haven't really described what happens in it. That's because I haven't seen it. In fact no one outside of that press conference has. Even Larry King had to run a “reconstruction” which was so poorly labelled as one that a large portion of the people who saw the interview took it to be the real deal and started making copycat videos to prove how easily it could be faked. Instead Romanek has only released a single poorly lit still of the video.

By a complete coincidence Stan has a DVD coming out at the end of the year.

And that's the problem I have with all of this. Stan Romanek hasn't released the video to the general public, waiting instead to cash in on it with a DVD. Until then he's making what one can only assume is a healthy living speaking at various UFO conventions and with radio interviews. Now the argument is always going to be “Why shouldn't he? If he's genuinely got the goods then he should try and make some money out of it”. Which is fine, but if the Georgia “Bigfoot” incident has taught us anything it's that if someone doesn't open up their evidence to public scrutiny then it's probably because it can't stand up by it's own merits.

If Romanek has been through what he claims then he deserves our utmost respect. But the truth is his story is such a wild one that one can't be blamed for feeling slightly sceptical about it. Add in the fact that he's been through hypnotherapy, widely criticised as being responsible for creating “false memories” and it all starts to look like Stan may not be on the level.

Like I said Stan Romanek is an interesting guy. But may not, through no fault of his own, be the most reliable one.

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