Paul Hellyer and the
Politics of Exopolitics
Nov 5, 2005
Former Canadian Minister of Defence
Paul Hellyer, a former Minister of Defense in the Pearson Government, has announced
his belief that UFOs are real and that the US is developing
weapons systems for space which are to be used against alien
craft entering earth’s airspace.
He voiced his opinions at the
recent "2005 Toronto Exopolitics Symposium". Exopolitics is a new term used to describe
the study of
the politics of extraterrestrial contact.
It is usually discussed in a context
which assumes that enough evidence exists from existing UFO
reports to conclude that some UFOs are craft that are
piloted by beings originating from other planets and solar
Hellyer’s comments received some coverage in the
national media and stirred some interest and reaction from the
public, mostly from those who have some interest in UFOs.
Hellyer’s History as Political
Paul Hellyer was first elected as a Liberal from
Toronto’s Davenport riding in 1949. He was, at that time, the
youngest MP to serve in Canada’s parliament.
He served as a
parliamentary assistant to the Minister of National Defense and
then went on to serve as the Associate Minister of Defense in
the cabinet of Prime Minister Louis Saint-Laurent. He
later served as Minister of National Defense in Prime Minister
Pearson’s cabinet in the mid 1960s and served as Minister of
Transport in the cabinet of Prime Minister Trudeau.
His most notable and controversial
achievement was the integration and unification of Canada’s
army, navy and air forces into a single organization, the
At the time, unification sparked considerable
negative reaction from many members of the armed forces who
objected to the manner in which military traditions such as
separate and unique uniforms were discarded.
After resigning from cabinet in a dispute with
Hellyer sat as an independent and later formed a
political party, the Action Canada Party, before crossing to
join the Progressive Conservative Party. He failed in a run for
the leadership of the PCs before leaving that party to rejoin
the Liberals where he failed to secure a nomination. He later
went on to form the Canadian Action Party in 1995.
In terms of influence, the peak of his political career was
probably in his earlier years when he served as a cabinet
minister. His political views gravitated towards concerns about
the threats to Canada’s sovereignty posed by US political and
economic influence in Canadian affairs. In recent years he is
one of many prominent Canadians who have opposed Canadian
support and participation in the US National Missile Defense
program (NMD) and supported calls for a ban on weapons in space.
It is through these contacts that he began to encounter the
views of persons who believe that the US is planning space based
weapons systems to be deployed against ET controlled vehicles
entering earth’s atmosphere from space.
Paul Hellyer states that his beliefs in ET visitation do
not relate back to insider knowledge obtained from his time
spent as Minister of National Defense from 1963 to 1967.
time he was largely consumed by other pressing public policy
priorities and paid scant attention to high profile UFO
encounters like the Shag Harbour, Nova Scotia incident in
October 1967 or the Falcon Lake, Manitoba encounter in
May 1967 where Stephen Mickalak received chest burns
from a hovering UFO.
Roswell Writings Change Hellyer’s
Hellyer states his recent interest in UFOs was prompted
by viewing Peter Jennings TV documentary on the topic.
read "The Day After Roswell" by
Col. Philip J. Corso,
who once served as the head of the Foreign Technology Desk at
the US Army’s Research and Development department. In his book,
Corso asserts that parts from a crashed alien vehicle were
recovered from the July 1947 incident at Roswell, New Mexico
which the US Army Air Force later explained as a weather
Corso states some parts were
transferred to a "file cabinet" at the Pentagon where
they were used to guide developments in several technologies
such as integrated circuits, night vision systems and lasers.
Col. Philip John
Author of controversial book, "The Day After Roswell"
Many UFOlogists dispute conclusions
that a UFO crashed at Roswell, New Mexico in 1947.
Others do not
believe Corso’s specific allegations in his book relating to his
role in applying ET derived technologies from this alleged
crashed UFO to practical recent technological
Stanton Friedman is a nuclear physicist who
investigated Roswell and has books about the Roswell crash
and MJ-12, the alleged top secret US committee created to
Friedman, who now resides in
New Brunswick, casts doubts on Corso’s claims that he was the
central figure responsible for seeding technology derived from
wreckage taken from the ET spaceship which (allegedly) crashed
In response to those who question how he came to
believe the contents of this specific book, Hellyer
states that he personally spoke with an unnamed US General who
assured him that all of this and more was true.
Exopolitics Versus the UFO
For some UFOlogists, Hellyer’s foray into Exopolitics
was not welcomed.
The very notion of a study of the politics
of extraterrestrial contact is hotly contested by many as
they feel that UFOlogists must focus on the scientific
investigation of UFO phenomena. Some reason that there is
insufficient evidence to conclude that some UFOs may be vehicles
incorporating technology far beyond those developed by earth
The reality is that all of this is mostly a debate happening
amongst a very small group of researchers and interested persons
that has little measurable impact on the information shared
through mass media outlets like television, radio and
There are few celebrities of any sort who want to risk their
profile and public following to publicly state their views on
the possible importance posed by UFO encounters,
especially if some have extraterrestrial origins.
politicians have been brave enough to face the ridicule posed by
suggesting there might be anything worthwhile to gain through
the study of UFOs.
President Carter and President
Reagan both spoke
about personal UFO encounters but made few other public
statements about the policy implications posed by these events.
It might be expected that any viewpoint supporting the possible
reality of ET visitation to the planet might be welcomed by
those UFOlogist’s who claim to be open to this possibility. But
due to deep divisions between some UFOlogists and persons who
advance the study of exopolitics, this has not been the
As an example, Paul Hellyer’s statements to the
Exopolitics conference in Toronto were mocked and ridiculed
by filmmaker Paul Kimball of Redstar Films based
in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Kimball’s views are of some
significance as he is one of the few Canadians to have an
interest and financial stake in producing documentary films on
UFO related topics.
His documentaries include "Stanton T.
Friedman IS Real" and "Do You Believe in Majic?" He is
currently working on film documentaries on cattle mutilations
and the ten best UFO cases.
Kimball Believes Hellyer Should
Have Known UFO Secrets
UFO Documentary Filmmaker
One of Kimball’s posts on his weblog
Other Side of Truth" was largely focused on heaping
scorn on Hellyer’s nomadic political career "Ladies and
Gentlemen - Meet the REAL Paul Hellyer".
His earlier post on Hellyer "Paul Hellyer – The Big Fish Flops" raised more
specific issues relating to Hellyer’s statement.
opinion is that if anyone would know about UFO secrets, it would
have been Hellyer:
"Because if anyone in Canada
would have known about the Cosmic Watergate, and UFO
secrets, and alien bases, etc. etc., it would have been the
Minister of National Defense in the mid 1960s."
This statement assumes that the
Minister of National Defense is privy to all secrets contained
within the Department of National Defense.
It further assumes
that any questions concerning the security implications of UFO
incursions into Canadian air space would require a continuing
policy review from the Minister of National Defense.
Canadian policy on the security implications of UFOs was
already determined by our participation in NORAD
continental air defense, established back in the early 1950s?
US Policy Was to Debunk UFOs
There is documentation to suggest that there was considerable
concern about the possible security risks posed by UFOs during
the early post World War 2 time period.
The US Air Force
initiated several studies of UFOs to evaluate the potential
threat to national security. It was initially thought that the UFOs might be secret weapons produced by Germany or the
Soviet Union. It was later determined that the UFOs were not
foreign developed weapons systems and one study in the US Air
Force concluded some UFOs possibly had an "interplanetary
In his UFO books, Major Donald Keyhoe documented
the struggle in the US Air Force between those who favored open
sharing and disclosure of UFO information with the public and
"the silence group" who feared that the public was not prepared
for this information and wanted to keep all unsolved reports
The CIA sponsored
Robertson Panel Report in 1953
appears to have set the policy direction for US government
agencies including intelligence and military agencies regarding
UFOs. It suggested that the credible UFO reports should be
debunked, that only reports of easily explainable occurrences of
meteors and such should be publicized, and that the activities
of civilian UFO study groups should be monitored.
concluded that there was no evidence that UFOs posed a specific
security threat to the US, but that the reporting of UFOs might
trigger the mass hysteria that was observed following the radio
broadcast of "The War of the Worlds".
The panel felt that the
mass media could be used to discredit UFO sightings. It was also
concluded that there was no evidence that UFOs were actually
advanced vehicles piloted by beings from other planets.
The official study of UFOs by the US Air Force did
Project Blue Book until the
1968 University of Colorado "Condon
Committee Report" advised that Blue Book
should be shutdown as there was nothing further to be gained
from the study of UFOs.
But even though Project Blue Book
continued through the 1950s to the late 1960s, it was largely
ineffectual in conducting serious research into UFOs and its
direction was largely to abide by the policy framework
established through the Robertson Panel Report.
The more serious and contentious question is whether some
persons connected with the study of UFOs decided to continue
studies in a compartmentalized and secret organization and
program. Those who support this view refer to documentation
suggesting such a group, possibly called
MJ-12, has been operating in
the US since the late 1940s or early 1950s.
A key contention is
that the existence of this organization and its activities are
hidden behind walls of internal security from any and all
elected and publicly accountable officials such as presidents,
cabinet members, senators and members of congress. This secrecy
is allegedly maintained by threats and intimidation.
information does leak out, it is countered by the deliberate
leakage of "disinformation" which masks the truth behind many
seemingly related but false or partially false allegations.
Some theorists believe that some of the information about these
programs is released in a controlled manner to eventually
prepare the public for a broader and more open disclosure of the real history of UFO studies.
What About Canada?
Did Canada have an active UFO study program in the
mid-sixties? Did the Canadian government ever formally establish
a policy direction concerning the potential national security
implications posed by UFOs?
While there has certainly been many UFO encounters involving
RCAF aircraft and radar installations, there does not seem to
exist a paper trail showing the policy direction that guided
reaction to these events.
The RCAF did perform some study of UFO
incidents, but there is not any clear indication of the policy
objective that framed this study. It is quite possible that the
elected arm of the Canadian government, the PMO and cabinet,
have never prepared a policy directive concerning the study of
and response to UFO incidents.
Perhaps there has never been
sufficient pressure to require a government policy response.
Perhaps government bureaucracy including National Defense
has preferred to set their own internal policy.
The media has
largely ignored reporting of UFO events since the 1950s and the
public is itself fragmented by differing belief systems and
focused on more tangible and immediate priorities.
In Canada, the study of UFOs was offloaded to the National
Research Council in 1968, the year that the US disbanded the
USAF "Project Blue Book" study of UFOs. There were few
scientists at NRC who harboured any willingness to show interest
in the objective study of a "frivolous topic" like
UFOs, except for the purposes of finding and locating fallen
The timing of the offload of UFO study
responsibility suggests that Canada was simply following the US
lead in its policy towards the study of UFOs.
Since the mid 1950s, Canada has participated in NORAD which
provides security of Canadian and US air space from foreign
incursions. The response to any unidentified return that shows
up on NORAD radar systems would abide by the policies and
regulations established by the joint US and Canadian NORAD
It is therefore quite likely that our
response to UFOs detected by the military would abide by NORAD
policies which are likely largely developed by US military
It is theoretically possible that the US has actually
discouraged Canadian government research into UFOs because they
might be concerned that the results of such studies might be
released to the public or may be obtained by competing foreign
There Never Was a Project Magnet
It is difficult to catch Paul Kimball’s line of reasoning on
Apparently he sees Hellyer’s disclosure that
as a defense minister, he knew little or nothing about UFOs as
proof positive that the Canadian government has never had an
interest in UFOs. He might be right that most people in
government were at most puzzled by what they heard.
were certainly some people in the Canadian military that had to
be concerned about what was reported by pilots and radar
observers in various military encounters with UFOs.
Kimball goes on to say "There was no super secret Wilbert Smith
research project" in his efforts to debunk the notion that the
Canadian government ever had any interest in studying UFOs.
project he is referring to is "Project
Magnet", a program run by Department of Transport
scientist, Wilbert Smith.
The project was concerned with the idea that the earth’s
magnetic field might be the force used by the flying saucers for
their propulsion. It later led to a small UFO detection station
at Shirley Bay near Ottawa, Ontario.
was funded by government from 1950 to 1954 and the UFO detection
station was publicly funded from 1952 to 1954. Although the
project was supposedly secret, the UFO detection station was
written about in several newspaper articles.
It appears that
publicity surrounding the station possibly contributed to the
government’s decision in 1954 to discontinue funding for the
Detection Station at Shirley Bay near Ottawa
This photograph was published in the Toronto Globe and Mail,
on the same day
as a USAF F-89 disappeared after merging
with a UFO on
radar in Canadian air space over Lake Superior.
Paul Kimball goes on to state,
"There was no secret plan to get an alien spacecraft to land in
I guess the point here is to disprove any notion that
the Canadian military had any interest in the UFO phenomena.
Here Kimball must be referring to the article printed in the
Ottawa Journal in July 1967, "UFO Landing Site was 13 Year
The article states,
"The Canadian Government 13
years ago made available the defense research board
experimental station at Suffield, Alberta as a landing site
for Unidentified Flying Objects, defense minister Paul
Hellyer has now disclosed."
The article goes on to state:
"Nothing ever materialized from
that top secret project.
No extraterrestrial flying objects
ever sought to land on that 1000 square mile restricted
tract of land over which no aircraft, civilian or military,
was allowed to fly without special permission.
behind the classified project was that if any UFO
tried to make contact with earth it could land at the DRB
station without being shot down by defense
This Canadian Forces Base is located northwest of Medicine Hat,
For decades it was Canada’s primary research centre
into chemical and biological weapons.
It is also alleged to have
been designated as a top secret reserved "UFO landing site" back
in the early 1950s.
Yurko Bondarchuk refers to
the alleged site in his 1979 book "UFO Sightings, Landings
and Abductions – The Documentary Evidence".
He revealed that
Captain Douglas Caie, Public Information Officer from
National Defense Headquarters in Ottawa stated regarding the
alleged UFO landing site at Suffield,
"We have no record of any such
program… From the information I have, we never had one."
According to the 1973 book "Aliens
from Space" by Donald Keyhoe, US Air Force
intelligence learned of the restricted landing site at Suffield
According to Keyhoe, the site was established
when efforts by the RCAF to "bring down" a UFO failed. The
intent was to lure the aliens into landing but there was
apparently nothing to indicate the area was reserved for alien
In the 1950s through to the 1970s, the experimental station at
Suffield was Canada’s main centre for research into chemical and
biological WMDs (weapons of mass destruction). This
included the testing of mustard gas and sarin on
soldiers and other human test subjects.
Suffield was also
the primary Canadian test site for biological weapons such as
anthrax, plague, ricin and botulinum toxin. It is also alleged
that the RCAF has engaged in many pursuits of UFOs with its
fighter jets since the 1950s.
It is perhaps little wonder that
the UFOs would not choose to land at a site controlled by
Canadian National Defense which is devoted to chemical and
biological weapons research.
What was the source for this story? Why would the government
designate a military base as a "safe landing site" for UFOs?
AFFA and PONNAR Orbit Earth and
What I have found quite interesting about this, aside from
Kimball’s denials, is the whole history of Smith as it
relates to Canada’s UFO studies of that period.
investigating this whole episode of the alleged UFO landing site
at Suffield, I was quite surprised to find out that there might
be a connection between this "bit of Canadian UFO fantasy" and
our favourite UFO/ET proponent, Wilbert Smith. This story
goes back to a UFO researcher named Grant Cameron.
Through his interest of the alleged
alien landing site at Suffield, he engaged Hellyer in a
long period of correspondence with the purpose of locating
certain information about the site. Grant Cameron wrote
Hellyer several times in the 1970s, trying to determine
the identity of the top defense department official who had
revealed the existence of the secret Suffield "UFO landing
Hellyer was never able to recall the name of the
official, but told Cameron that he had searched his files at
National Archives but was unable to locate his UFO file, which
apparently contained notes from defense briefings on UFOs.
The story does not stop there however. Cameron states
that in 1978 he interviewed Wilbert Smith’s widow and
asked her if she remembered anything about the Suffield UFO
In her version of the story, her husband had been
making efforts to convince government officials that the aliens
existed and that they should make efforts to talk to them face
to face, to learn who they were and what they wanted.
Canadian radio scientist and prominent "UFO Contactee"
Magnet and UFO Detection Station for the federal government.
Here the story begins to get very
weird. In August 1954, the technology publication "Aviation
Week and Space Technology" reported that Dr. Lincoln LaPaz was conducting a study of two "satellites" which had
been recently discovered orbiting the earth at 400 miles and 600
miles above the surface.
According to the article, the
satellites had caused worries in the Pentagon as they
were initially believed to be artificial. This was three years
before the Soviet Union launched "Sputnik" the first human
manufactured artificial satellite into orbit. The story was
subsequently covered by several newspapers.
Some people believed that the two mystery satellites were alien
One of these people was a Mrs. Frances Swan,
who lived in Eliot, Maine. She claimed that beginning in April
1954 she began receiving channelled messages from the commanders
of two alien ships orbiting the earth, AFFA who commanded ship
M-4 and PONNAR who commanded ship L-11. For some reason or
another, AFFA was the main alien contact for Swan and other
Wilbert Smith, who was a strong believer
in aliens, maintained contact with Swan and other "AFFA"
He also allegedly tried alternative methods for
establishing contact with AFFA on his own or through various
Back to the story of the Suffield
UFO landing site…
Mrs. Smith told Grant Cameron that Wilbert
believed that if the government stopped shooting at UFOs, then
he might be able to get spaceship commander AFFA to land for a
Apparently AFFA had given this indication in a contact
to Swan. Smith indicates that he approached a top secret
committee in government to relay this request and they had
agreed to allow AFFA a safe place to land. When Smith
relayed this agreement back to AFFA, he was told that AFFA would
also require assurances that he would also be free to take off
without any interference. According to Cameron, Mrs. Smith told
him that the top secret committee would not agree to this, and
so the landing never took place.
As weird as this story is, it is at least partially true. We
know that Wilbert Smith was "a UFO contacteé" and a "true
believer" that some of the UFOs were spaceships flown by aliens.
Mr. Smith really did receive government funding for his "Project
Magnet" and the "UFO Detection Station" at Shirley’s
We know that Paul Hellyer did apparently reveal that Suffield Research Station had been designated as a top secret
UFO landing site sometime back in the mid-1950s.
statement revealing this site was apparently made when he
attended the official opening of the "UFO Landing Pad" in St.
Paul, Alberta, which was a community project for Canada’s
From Mrs. Smith’s telling, the aliens never landed because the
Canadian government wouldn’t consent to granting the commander
permission to freely leave.
What Hellyer was told and
what was in his notes seems forgotten and lost with his vanished
UFO file. The Suffield story seems to at least be partially true
and it would be fascinating to know the complete real story
From what we know sitting in our stuffy armchairs reading these
stories and perhaps getting a good chuckle or two, is that AFFA and
PONNAR appear to have left earth orbit,
probably not impressed with the diplomacy extended by the
Canadian government of that time.
Present Media Climate Discourages
Interest in UFO Study
It is difficult to assess what impact Hellyer’s comments
have had on the Canadian public.
I have had a few people mention
to me that they had heard something about this, but they seemed
largely unaware of any details concerning Hellyer’s comments.
The National Post published a column by regular political
columnist Andrew Coyne. In his piece, "Holding Editors to
Account", Coyne seems amazed by Hellyer’s belief
in a decades long government conspiracy to withhold secrets
about UFOs from the public, and thinks this might mean that
Hellyer has lost his marbles.
He links Hellyer’s "conspiracy
views" with those of someone who believes the US government
created the Islamist terrorist network that they are now
Coyne proclaims his belief in factual reporting
but calls on newspaper editors to be more selective and "exclude
the obviously marginal".
"There is a time and a place to
debate whether the earth goes around the sun or the
contrary, but we should have little time to address other
matters if we were perpetually revisiting old controversies,
or disproving every fantasy."
I guess this explains why large
media outlets almost never report any UFO unless it can
be easily explained as a meteor.
It is a very rare event for any large media outlet to present
any news relating to UFOs and alien visitation with a straight
face. Discovery Channel did recently produce a
satisfactory summary of the Exopolitics conference in Toronto
but they prefaced it with a goofy cartoon UFO landing.
this was done to assure the audience that they were not
intending anyone to take this in any way seriously.
The same thing happens on
CBC Radio anytime they have Chris Rutkowski providing reports from his annual survey of
Canadian UFO events. It is always prefaced with yuk- yuk UFO
I once heard an interview on "As it Happens"
with an Indiana police officer who was witness to a huge triangular UFO that was seen by several officers in adjacent
counties. The interviewer could hardly contain her smirking
attitude while the officer tried his best to provide cool
responses to her demeaning line of questioning.
interview was concluded she was almost rolling on the floor in
giggles as she said,
"Pardon me, but I really have to
wonder what it is that they put in the water down there!"
It is hard to believe that such
consistent disrespect can be dished out so casually
by mass media outlets when it so clearly shows contempt for the
views and beliefs of large parts of their reading, listening and
The best that audience members can do when
this bias and derogatory demeanour is displayed in the media is
to complain to these media outlets.
As long as the present climate of ridicule persists in the large
media organizations, this climate will discourage any serious
researcher from publishing material on UFOs and will discourage
agencies from funding this research.
Hellyer Believes in Public Role in
Government Response to Alien Contact
Hellyer has stated his belief that elected governments
have been largely excluded from information which is held within
the bureaucracy about UFOs.
He has in fact used his own
experience to buttress this argument.
UFOlogy has not made great strides in finding conclusive,
unambiguous evidence for the ETH (Extra-terrestrial
hypothesis) or any other theory on the origin for unexplained
UFOs. Despite this failure, many UFOlogists have evaluated the
evidence and concluded for themselves that the ETH is the
most likely explanation for the phenomena.
Given the potentially
serious implications of this hypothesis, it makes sense to
seriously investigate the potential implications of this
hypothesis and to seek answers to the following questions:
Who are the visitors?
What do they want from us?
How are our governments
reacting to this presence?
Are government agencies
hiding information about UFOs from the public?
Paul Hellyer is the perhaps
the first former senior Canadian government minister to
suggest that these questions are important policy questions and
that the public has a right to be involved in the development of
policy regarding the response of government to possible
extra-terrestrial contact events.
It is the duty of UFOlogists to seek truth and clarity in the
reporting of UFO incidents.
It is also our duty as citizens to
seek the answers to the key questions posed in Exopolitics
forums if we are at all open to the possibility that some UFOs
may indeed be advanced vehicles fabricated and possibly piloted
by beings from extraterrestrial civilizations.
And while many of the stories circulating in the UFO field are
arguably in the category "too good to be true" you never
know, you really, really never know…