After claiming contact with aliens, a scientist has a breakdown.
That might sound like the logline to an X-Files episode or somesuch, but in this case it's reality.
In November of 2009, Lachezar Filipov of the Bulgarian Space Research Institute (no, I'm not making this up and no I never knew such a thing existed, either) told Britain's Daily Telegraph and Daily Mail that he and fellow scientists have been interviewing aliens for quite a while now. The extraterrestrials would encode the answers to the queries inside crop circles.
Kevin Smith, not the movie director but a Phoenix-based Ufologist, says that he got in touch with Filipov shortly after the stories ran in the newspapers. Filipov agreed to a candid interview with Smith, claiming that it was his "duty" to make his discoveries known to the world. He did, however, express concern that there were elements of "world governments" that would be unhappy if he did so.
Then Filipov stopped answering his phone. Days went by until finally a TV news team from Croatia arrived in Bulgaria to do a previously scheduled interview with him. Filipov did the interview, but the entire thing ended up being unusable as he was "intoxicated." Smith got hold of the taped interview. Based on his experience as an INTERPOL agent, Smith asserts that Filipov was suffering from sleep deprivation...an old technique often implemented by the former KGB. Repeatedly, the Croats ask Filipov if he has indeed been in contact with aliens. In a final act of exasperation, Filipov looks at the camera and says, "That is the information that if I tell you, they will kill me."
The interview has never been released and Filipov has remained incommunicado ever since.
So let me see if I can get this all straight: we have a scientist who claims to have been in direct contact with alien life. He fears repercussions from shadowy government figures if he goes public about this. He appears to crack up and the last interview he gives is suppressed, yet is acquired by an intrepid man who was once an INTERPOL operative but now hosts a paranormal radio show in Phoenix, AZ. If I pitched this to a literary agent it would be thrown back in my face as "unbelievable."
What is the truth of the matter, then? Well if we apply Occam's Razor, then the simplest explanation is that Filipov is exactly what he appears to be: a man with a substance abuse problem and/or mental illness and is prone to hallucinations. This is especially likely in my opinion when you toss the whole "crop circle" angle into the saga. Faithful readers know how little stock I place in those. But could he actually be telling the truth? As is so often the case with these matters, we may never know.
Just shows to go you, reality out-weirds fiction every time.
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