Stanton T. Friedman received BS and MS degrees in Physics from the University of Chicago in 1955 and 1956, where Carl Sagan was a classmate. He worked for fourteen years as a nuclear physicist for companies such as General Electric, General Motors, Westinghouse, TRW, Aerojet General Nucleonics, and McDonnell Doulglas on advanced, classified, eventually canceled projects such as nuclear aircraft, rockets, and nuclear power plants for space. Since the 1980s, he has done related consulting work in the radon-detection industry. Friedman’s professional affiliations have included the American Nuclear Society, the American Physical Society, the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, and AFTRA.
Friedman became interested in UFOs in 1958 and gave his first UFO lecture in 1967. In 1970 he left full-time employment as a physicist to pursue scientific investigation of UFOs. Since then, he has given numerous lectures around the globe, written five books, and worked as a consultant on the subject. He has also provided written testimony to Congressional hearings and appeared twice at the United Nations. He was presented with a Lifetime UFO Achievement Award in Leeds, England, in 2002, by UFO Magazine of the UK. The City of Fredericton, New Brunswick, declared August 27, 2007, Stanton Friedman Day.
Friedman is often referred to as the “Father of Roswell”. He was the first civilian to document the site investigate the incident in 1978. He has since supported the hypothesis the incident involved a genuine crash of an extraterrestrial spacecraft and invoked the general subject of flying saucers (his preferred terminology) represents a kind of ‘Cosmic Watergate’ and a government cover-up of the best data is ongoing. He is also known for his considerable research into the proposed ‘Majestic 12’ and Betty and Barney Hill case.
Friedman has regularly debated many prominent UFO skeptics and criticized the scientific community at large for it’s treatment of the phenomenon, of stating he is not an “apologist ufologist”. In 2009, on CNN, he sat on a panel of ufologists who debated Skeptic Magazine’s Michael Shermer. In 2004, on Coast to Coast, he debated Seth Shostak, SETI’s senior astronomer regarding the implications and credibility of UFO sightings. He also criticized Carl Sagan, a proponent of SETI, for ignoring empirical evidence, such as “600-plus UNKNOWNS” of Project Blue Book Special Report No. 14. Friedman argued this empirical data directly contradicted Sagan’s claim in Other Worlds that the “reliable cases are uninteresting and the interesting cases are unreliable”. Specifically, Friedman referred to the data which he says “shows that the better the quality of the sighting, the more likely it was to be an ‘unknown’, and the less likely it was to be listed as containing ‘insufficient information.’”
Friedman announced his retirement from UFO research in early 2018. Friedman said Kathleen Marden, niece of Betty and Barney Hill, is another author and lecturer that will carry on his work. He also said his first choice would be John Greenewald, creator of The Black Vault, because he is “a sharp young man with plenty of data.”