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Toutatis Threatens Totally

Psychic Vibrations

Robert Sheaffer

Skeptical Inquirer Volume 28.4, July / August 2004

Heads up—the End of the World is coming again! This time it’s the asteroid 4179 Toutatis, which, according to no less an authority than the celebrated Swiss UFO contactee Billy Meier, is in danger of slamming into Earth on September 29, 2004 (see According to NASA, Toutatis will make a close approach to Earth on that date, passing within approximately one million miles, which is nothing on a cosmic scale (see 4179_Toutatis/toutatis.html).

But Meier is in contact with the space people from the Pleiades (he calls them “Plejarans”; I suppose that “Pleiadeans” sounds too unwieldy). And according to Michael Horn, who says he is the officially authorized media representative of Meier in the United States (which so far as I know Meier has never disputed), the Plejarans have warned that when Toutatis is closest to Earth, it will suddenly veer off course and head straight toward us. Horn says that it will require a “pre-emptive nuclear strike” to keep this multi-kilometer-sized asteroid from slamming straight into Earth. Before you dismiss this prophecy as the ravings of a demented man, be forewarned that Meier claims a long list of successful predictions (no doubt selectively culled from a much longer list of unsuccessful ones—Meier reportedly has written thousands of pages of predictions). Horn says that Meier predicted back in 1987 that Islamic fanatics would destroy the World Trade Center in New York. If true, this information will be of great interest to the current Congressional investigation into the September 11 attacks: What did Meier know, and when did he know it?

Others are also starting to sound alarm bells. The Web site of the conspiracy-oriented radio host Jeff Rense carries similar warnings (see There is even a claim of a secret government missile program to save us from disaster on September 29. And the biblical prophecy expert Arnie Stanton suggests that the encounter with Toutatis indicates that the Second Coming will be just a few months away. Stanton also warns that a larger, as-yet undiscovered asteroid will definitely smack into Earth sometime in 2006.

This is the first time to my knowledge that the world is ending in 2004. The world most recently ended in May of 2003, when a mysterious Planet X, inhabited by Zetans, was reported to be on its way to a disastrous close encounter with Earth, moving the poles and flooding entire countries. The Web site is still there. It talks a lot about the disasters expected in 2003 but says nothing about there being a year 2004; as near as I can tell, their claim is that a disastrous planetary encounter did occur in 2003, but was covered up by NASA. Before that, the “planetary alignment” of May 5, 2000, was threatened as a trigger for all manner of earthly havoc. And of course, society as we know it ended on January 1, 2000, when every major computer system in the world not only failed, but became contagious, infecting even computers that did not suffer from the Y2K bug. The next scheduled major world-ending is in 2012, when, according to a number of reliable experts, the Mayan Calendar simply “runs out,” apparently making it impossible for time to continue.

During April a major conference on UFOs and “Exopolitics,” called “the X-Conference,” was held near Washington, D.C. (see It featured the usual suspects sounding alarm bells over supposed “government cover-ups” of UFO and alien hijinks. However, the speakers at this conference delved even farther into the vast conspiracy than anyone has dared to delve before. Phil Corso Jr., whose late father wrote in The Day After Roswell how much of our high-technology (such as transistors) was reverse-engineered from the crashed Roswell saucer, explained that the Roswell aliens were in fact simply “us” from the future, returning as time travelers. This he has learned from notes and manuscripts left by his father, explaining that “we” went back in time to warn “ourselves” about the nuclear threat.

There was much controversy over the claims of Dan Burisch, supposedly a Ph.D. microbiologist who has worked on designer diseases for the military at Area 51 in the Nevada desert—and who also studied the extraterrestrial beings in residence there. Burisch warns of a sinister conspiracy between E.T.s and the military to develop deadly diseases to wipe out humans that the conspirators want to be rid of. Burisch is now reportedly in “lock-down” at Area 51, and is requesting immunity from Congress in return for his testimony about this nefarious program. Some of the UFOlogists at the conference cautiously supported Burisch’s tales, others supported the stories even more strongly while accusing the first group of distorting them, and yet a third faction angrily charged that the Burisch supporters were disinformation agents charged with “spinning” wild tales to sow confusion within UFOlogy. (UFOlogists seldom believe that other UFOlogists with whom they disagree are simply mistaken—they are usually either pathological liars or government agents.)

Steven Greer was at the conference to talk about his Project Disclosure, which three years after its much-ballyhooed launch at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., featuring twenty supposedly credentialed military/intelligence/defense-industry witnesses (reported in this column, March/April 2002) has yet to present any of its supposedly solid evidence of UFO cover-ups to any official government investigations. Greer reportedly acknowledged his disappointment that more progress has not yet been made, but he kept the faith. However, the defrocked psychologist Richard Boylan charged that Greer and others are in fact disinformation agents funded by powerful moneyed interests. Apparently the purpose of the disinformation must be to keep UFOlogists from finding out what Boylan considers the real stuff, like alien-hybrid children and “Walk-in” Star Visitors (a contemporary analog of demonic possession).

For another example of the truly stellar quality of contemporary “scientific” UFO research (pun intended), see The Lawton Triangle UFO Hoax at In March 2002, hoaxer Carl Wilson submitted a dubious-looking, indistinct photo of red and white lights against a black background to Jim Hickman, a “research specialist” with MUFON, the largest UFO group in the U.S. He wrote of seeing these lights in the night sky over Lawton, Oklahoma. Hickman sent a copy of the photo to Bruce Maccabee, the best-known “scientific” UFO photo analyst, who has “authenticated” many classic UFO photos such as those from McMinnville, Oregon, and Gulf Breeze, Florida. It didn’t take long for Maccabee to conclude “unless someone has a better idea, I would have to classify this as a True UFO (TRUFO), which might be some sort of Alien Flying Craft (AFC) (or two such craft)?”

Not content with fooling the “experts” once, a few months later Wilson submitted to Hickman a similar photo, purportedly of a UFO seen hovering over Fort Sill, Oklahoma, near Lawton. Hickman again sent a copy to Maccabee, who could barely contain his excitement: “Wow! Got to pull out all the stops on this one! A rare event, two photos of the same (apparently) thing!”

Were these two photos of some alien craft? No, says Wilson: “In reality, these pictures were nothing more than a picture of Microsoft Optical Mouse taken with the room lights and camera flash turned off!” When he revealed his hijinks on the Internet newsgroup alt.alien.research, many asked him whether he was a paid government debunker. He replies, “I did it to demonstrate how easy it is to fool the so-called ‘UFO experts’ and how willing they are to take any claim at face value. But rather than learn from this example, their reaction was one of hostility.” And he reports being harassed in many ways. Wilson concludes, “Clearly many of those involved with or supporting ‘UFO research’ are less interested in ‘Finding the Truth’ as they claim, as they are in silencing their critics.”

While NASA continues to glean astonishing amounts of information about Mars from the Mars Rovers, others are finding plenty of things in the photos that NASA seems to have missed. UFOlogist George Filer, MUFON’s Eastern Director, writes that “Our examination of thousands of images has led us to theorize that we might be observing an ancient civilization. . . . Strangely, the symbols and writing are very similar to English” (see He notes that “The symbols or letters A, E, G, H, P, V, and Y have been found. The Y symbol is the most numerous and often has deep round holes drilled at the three corners.” (The letter B, Filer reminds us, had previously been spotted by the Viking lander carved into a rock way back in 1976.) Filer is far from the only person making such remarkable discoveries. According to a Knight-Ridder news story of March 6, NASA is being deluged by supposed “Mars discoveries” from civilians, including stone tools and dinosaur fossils (see

The most dramatic Mars finding would appear to be from the above-mentioned Boylan: based upon news reports that Mars’s ice caps appear to be melting, he suggests that Mars is being “terraformed” by alien intelligences to make it more habitable (see Boylan informs us that “the U.S. has a tiny forward station on Mars, staffed by astronauts from a secret space program operated by a military black project agency . . . the Star Visitors [also] have a long-term presence on Mars.” The Mars Society proposes the eventual “terraforming” of Mars to turn it into another habitat for humans, but if Boylan is correct, we may arrive there someday to find the work already finished.

In the May/June 2003 issue I reported about the giant scorpions allegedly being bred in Iraq by Saddam Hussein, to be used as secret weapons. While no giant scorpion bioweapons have yet been found, the Web site of the Coast to Coast AM radio show carries a photo of what is alleged to be a “camel spider” supposedly facing our troops in Iraq. According to one caller to that show, “They run 10 mph, jump three feet, are a nocturnal spider. . . . When they bite you, you are injected with Novocain [sic] so you go numb instantly. You don’t even know you are bitten when you are sleeping, so you wake up with part of your leg or arm missing because it has been gnawing on it all night long” (see the purported photo of this critter at

As if to make up for the dearth of giant scorpions, the region is currently in the grips of UFO fever, with sightings running at a high pace, especially in Iran. Sa’dollah Nasiri-Qeydari, head of the Astronomical Society of Iran, told Reuters that people were probably seeing Venus, which was near its greatest brilliance in the evening sky. But Michael Salla, author of Exopolitics: Political Implications of the Extraterrestrial Presence, begs to disagree. Salla, who was educated in Australia and has degrees in government and in philosophy, is currently a Researcher in Residence in the Center for Global Peace, American University, in Washington, D.C. He suggests that the UFOs being seen across the Middle East are “very likely related to Stargate/energy portal activity in Iraq/Iran and the region generally. It is very likely that the whole region comprising Iraq/Iran/ Afghanistan is a vast energy portal that was strategically chosen for this reason as the home base for extraterrestrials known as the Anunnaki during the Sumerian era” (see The anger of Moslems over the U.S. occupation is so intense that, according to Salla, “What they might manifest by all this rage/anger is an opening of the portals and literally the gates of hell opening with the return of the Gods—the Anunnaki—who take the rage around the region as permission to intervene and punish U.S. forces and their allies.” But apparently Bush and his fellow conspirators, who head up a secret “shadow government” in collusion with extraterrestrials, knew about this all along, and this was the real reason for the war in Iraq: “it wasn’t Oil, Weapons of Mass Destruction, or the ‘War against Terror,’ just a desire to be in Iraq if and when the energy portals/Stargates became active.” He warns, “The ultimate result of extraterrestrial intervention responding to regional rage against the U.S. is a military confrontation that could lead to a domineering extraterrestrial race having a major strategic toehold in human affairs.” And wouldn’t that be terrible!

Robert Sheaffer

Robert Sheaffer's "Psychic Vibrations" column has appeared in the Skeptical Inquirer for the past thirty years. He is also author of UFO Sightings: The Evidence (Prometheus 1998). He blogs at