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10 Prominent Ufologists Who Were Actually Fakes

by Jeffrey Morris
fact checked by Darci Heikkinen

A UFO—Unidentified Flying Object—represents flying objects that cannot be immediately identified or explained. Upon investigation, most UFOs are identified as known objects or atmospheric phenomena, while a small number remain unexplained. Since the popularity of UFOs as a phenomenon, many people have tried to ride this wave to gain popularity or make money.

While some people are curious about getting answers to unexplainable aerial phenomena and flying objects, some fabricate sightings of UFOs and aliens and create false “evidence” to back up their claims. These are ten prominent ufologists who were actually fakers:

Related: Top 10 Craziest Ancient Aliens Theories

10 Bob Lazar

Bob Lazar – Why He’s Lying

Robert Scott Lazar, better known as Bob Lazar, is an American businessman who claimed he was hired in the late 1980s to reverse-engineer extra-terrestrial technology. This supposedly occurred at a secret site called “S-4,” a subsidiary installation allegedly located several miles south of the United States Air Force facility popularly known as “Area 51.”

Investigations into Lazar’s past quickly raised serious concerns about his reliability. It was soon discovered that he lied about his education and previous employment. Ultimately, his character proved to be questionable, as he was convicted of different crimes, which included involvement in a prostitution ring and selling illegal chemicals. Eventually, the identity of Bob Lazar as a UFO hoaxer became fully revealed, as none of his claims could be substantiated by the slightest evidence.[1]

9 Stanley Tiger Romanek

Alleged Abductee Shows Physical ‘Proof’

Stanley Tiger Romanek is a legendary UFO hoaxer, documented con artist, and convicted sex offender. He was the subject of the documentary film titled Extraordinary: The Stan Romanek Story. His claims include being abducted by aliens, being implanted with an alien material, and sustaining injuries inflicted by aliens. Romanek belongs to a growing community of people who claim they have been personally touched by extra-terrestrials. However, he was soon discovered to be a fraud.

In 2008, Romanek claimed he had captured an alien on tape peeking through his window. He was subjected to a lie detector test over the authenticity of the tape and failed the test. He then alleged without evidence that he had medical conditions that prevented a lie detector test from working on him.

Later in his life, Romanek was found guilty of felony possession of child pornography. On December 14, 2017, he was sentenced to serve two years in a community corrections facility. On November 30, 2020, he was sentenced to ten years of sex offender intensive supervised probation for violating the terms of his original sentence.[2]

8 Eduard Albert Meier

Billy Meier UFO Case | New evidence of hoax in WCUFO photos at night

Eduard Albert Meier, more popularly known as Billy Meier, is the founder of a UFO religion known as the “Free Community of Interests for the Border and Spiritual Sciences and Ufological Studies.” Like Romanek, Billy Meier is an alleged “contactee” who created UFO photographs that showed “alien” spacecraft. Meier claimed to be in regular contact with extra-terrestrial beings he called the “Plejaren.” The irony in Meier’s case is that he has been widely criticized as a fraud, even by UFO enthusiasts like himself.

Meier claimed that the “Plejaren” gave him permission to photograph and film their “beamships” (spaceships) so that he could produce evidence of their extra-terrestrial visitations. In 1997, his ex-wife, Kalliope, told interviewers that his photos of the so-called “beamships” were actually spaceship models he crafted with items like trash can lids, carpet tacks, and other household objects. She also revealed that all his stories and adventures were fictitious.

The most embarrassing revelation that dealt the final blow to Eduard Albert Meier’s credibility is that his ex-wife revealed that the photos of two extra-terrestrial women Meier referred to as “Asket” and “Nera,” were actually photos of Michelle DellaFave and Susan Lund, members of the singing and dancing band known as The Golddiggers.[3]

7 Ed Walters

Strange But True Encounters (Gulf Breeze UFO Incident), 20 September 1996 part 1

Ed Walters is the brain behind the Gulf Breeze UFO incident, which was a series of claimed UFO sightings in Gulf Breeze, Florida, in late 1987 and early 1988. The hoax started when the Gulf Breeze Sentinel newspaper published a number of photos supplied to them by a local contractor named Ed Walters. Although a handful of UFO enthusiasts believed the photographs were genuine, many people doubted the authenticity.

Walters went too far in his claims when he said that the UFO craft landed on Soundside Drive and deposited five aliens on the road. He stated that the aliens stared into his window. At that point, the aliens communicated with him in English and Spanish via telepathy and presented him with a book showing pictures of dogs. People who would later reside in Ed Walters’s house claimed that they saw evidence of his fabrication of the whole fallacy.[4]

6 George Adamski

The Man From Venus – The George Adamski Story | Mysteries & Monsters (UAP Documentary)

George Adamski was a Polish-American author who became widely popular not for his literature but for his ludicrous claims of having traveled in an alien spacecraft to the moon and other planets. Adamski was the first and most famous of the several so-called UFO “contactees” who came to prominence during the 1950s. During his lifetime, Adamski styled himself as a “philosopher, teacher, student, and saucer researcher.”

The claims of George Adamski could not stand the test of public scrutiny. All investigators concluded that his claims were an elaborate hoax and that Adamski himself was a charlatan and con artist. Adamski published three books describing his meetings with Nordic aliens and his travels with them aboard their spaceship. At a press conference in March 1965, he predicted that a large fleet of flying saucers would soon descend on Washington, D.C. Even now, humanity is still waiting for his promised alien invaders.[5]

5 James Gilliland

James Gilliland is the founder of Gilliland’s ECETI Ranch. He claimed to have established enlightened contact with extra-terrestrial intelligence. James Gilliland has taken his movement a step further by hosting Unidentified Flying Object (UFO) sighting events since 2003. Gilliland reported frequent UFO sightings and unexplained light shows on his ranch. However, multiple investigations revealed that Gilliland’s claims were actually hoaxes.[6]

4 David Icke

David Icke: Conspiracy of the Lizard Illuminati (Part 1/2)

David Vaughan Icke is a former footballer and sports broadcaster who is also an English conspiracy theorist. He has written over 20 books and has spread his conspiracy theories in more than 25 countries across the world. David Icke claimed that there is an inter-dimensional race of reptilian beings, which he referred to as the Archons or Anunnaki, which have hijacked Earth.

Icke also claimed that a genetically modified human-Archon hybrid race of reptilian shape shifters—the Babylonian Brotherhood, Illuminati, or “Elite”—manipulate events to keep humans in fear so that the Archons can feed off the resulting negative energy. When David Icke extended his conspiracy theories to include COVID-19, he promptly got banned in Europe as well as 25 other countries.[7]

3 Travis Walton

Travis Walton Abduction, 1975

Travis Walton was born in 1953. In 1975, as a 22-year-old, Travis Walton was a member of a seven-person logging crew working on a contract to thin out small trees from an area known as Turkey Springs in the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest. On November 5, 1975, logging crew chief Michael H. Rogers reported that Travis Walton was missing. When Navajo County Deputy Sheriff Kenneth Coplan and Rogers visited Travis’s mother to inform her of the disappearance of Travis Walton, the Deputy Sheriff was shocked to discover that the family believed in UFOs and took the news calmly.

When Travis Walton returned after a few days, the doctor who attended to him noticed puncture marks consistent with intravenous drug use. The doctor noted that the puncture marks were 24 to 48 hours old, and Walton returned on the fifth day after his disappearance. Walton claimed that he lost consciousness when struck by a beam of light from a flying saucer and that he awoke in a hospital-like room, being observed by three short, bald creatures.

Walton said he could not remember anything else regarding the incident aside from that he found himself walking along a highway five days later with the flying saucer departing above him. Walton has been proven to be a hoaxer who made up lies to earn good money. It is worthy of note that Walton failed a lie-detector test to verify the authenticity of his claims on live TV. Moreover, there were several made-up UFO abduction stories at about the time Walton made up his own abduction.[8]

2 Steven Greer

We Went Alien Hunting With Conspiracy Theorists

Steven Greer is an American ufologist and retired physician who founded the Center for the Study of Extraterrestrial Intelligence (CSETI) and the Disclosure Project. These two organizations seek the disclosure of alleged classified UFO information and also act as a research-based initiative to contact extra-terrestrial civilizations. CSETI uses “Rapid Mobilization Investigative Teams” with the aim of arriving at UFO landing sites as quickly as possible.

What makes it easy for people to detect Steven Greer’s fraud is that he specialized in producing and selling documentaries that made decent profits. Steven Greer uses a competent camera and media production team to produce high-quality videos that are difficult to resist. This is how he spreads his hoaxes. Steven Greer’s documentaries contain interesting ideas, but they are usually buried beneath so many layers of fallacy and deceit.[9]

1 Dr. Jonathan Reed

This Man Made a Horrifying Alien Autopsy Video | Jonathan Reed (EXPLAINED)

Dr. Jonathan Reed is at this spot because his claims were the most bogus. While many ufology hoaxers were content in claiming the existence of aliens to scam people, Reed took it to the extreme by claiming that he had shot and killed an alien for vaporizing his dog with an energy weapon. His story did not end there. He further claimed that the alien came back to life and captured the entire action on camera, but government agents seized all his good videos, leaving him only with a blurry one.

When several people asked for his video “evidence” to be analyzed, he blatantly refused. Eventually, a UFO Watchdog site discovered that the said “Dr. Jonathan Reed” is actually a Seattle, Washington, resident named John Bradley Rutter who has no college degree.[10]

fact checked by Darci Heikkinen