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Archivist Delighted to Comb Through Mountain of Late UFO Researcher’s Records

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October 13, 2019                (cbc.ca)

• Nuclear physicist and ufologist Stanton Friedman devoted his life to researching and investigating UFOs since the late 1960s. He was credited with bringing the 1947 Roswell Incident back into the mainstream conversation. Friedman died in May at the age of 84.

• In the months leading up to his death, Friedman began donating his vast collection of records to the Provincial Archives of New Brunswick, in Eastern Canada. Archivist Joanna Aiton-Kerr has received about 300 boxes so far and expects several more cargo vans to come. Aiton-Kerr welcomes this treasure trove of a thorough researcher and a kind-hearted individual that reflects a brilliant, curious mind. She told Shift New Brunswick, “This has been a real education for me, and I don’t know if I’ve ever enjoyed helping to process something more than this one.”

• While Friedman was many things – an accomplished writer and lecturer – he wasn’t much of a filer. “I would say he was more of a stacker,” says Aiton-Kerr. “He would stack records up. And so when we get each cargo van coming to the archives, we have a team of archivists and we just start going through it.” The team has thousands of documents to examine and organize — from subject files with titles like “Soviet Space” to piles of publications he’s gathered over the decades. Aiton-Kerr estimates that they will “have our hands on each piece of paper five or six times before we finally have it organized in a state where we can say, ‘OK, it’s done and researchers can come in and start taking a look’.”

• Kathleen Marden, a UFO researcher who co-wrote three books with Friedman, noted that Friedman “was an outstanding researcher, highly intelligent and had a great sense of humor.” “He did his homework.

• Among the more fascinating aspects of the collection are the thousands of letters written to him from all over the world by people of all ages, many from non-believers sharing unexplained experiences. Aiton-Kerr says that Friedman “was regarded as such a warm, welcoming man” by an affectionate community. One fan sent a papier-mâché mask of an alien head that also resembled Friedman. A colleague asked him if the mask should go in the collection. “He …shrugged and said, ‘Well, I don’t wear it often, you know’.” That marvelous sense of humor coming through.

• “I believe it’s the only collection of its kind,” said Aiton-Kerr. “[C]ertainly in New Brunswick, certainly in Canada, possibly even worldwide, to have such a mass of UFO research by such a respected nuclear physicist.” She hopes to be able to share it with the world in the not-too-distant future.

 

In the months leading up to his death, nuclear physicist and ufologist Stanton Friedman started donating his vast collection of records to the Provincial Archives of New Brunswick.

And he had a lot of records.

         Joanna Aiton-Kerr

Archivist Joanna Aiton-Kerr said they’ve received about 300 boxes so far — that’s about 60 metres if you line them up single file, she said — and she expects several more cargo vans to come.

But the daunting task of archiving the records has been anything but a hardship for her team, she said. It’s a treasure trove that reflects a brilliant, curious mind, a thorough researcher and a funny, kind-hearted individual.

“This has been a real education for me, and I don’t know if I’ve ever enjoyed helping to process something more than this one,” Aiton-Kerr told Shift New Brunswick.

Friedman, the famed UFO researcher based in Fredericton, died in May at the age of 84.

A nuclear physicist by training, Friedman had devoted his life to researching and investigating UFOs since the late 1960s.

He was credited with bringing the 1947 Roswell Incident — the famous purported crash that gave rise to theories about UFOs and a U.S. military coverup — back into the mainstream conversation.

Friedman was many things, including an accomplished writer and lecturer, but what he wasn’t “was much of a filer,” he told Aiton-Kerr.

“I would say he was more of a stacker,” she said. “He would stack records up. And so when we get each cargo van coming to the archives, we have a team of archivists and we just start going through it.”

The team has thousands of documents to examine and organize — from subject files with titles like “Soviet Space” to piles of publications he’s gathered over the decades.

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