Wednesday Weirdness Roundup: Awesome Alien Stories

…that turned out to be b.s.

  • By now you’ve probably heard that the UN has appointed an “alien greeter” to welcome ETs to Earth. Malaysian astrophysicist Mazlan Othman was selected for the unprecedented task, probably because she already heads a “little-known” UN department called the Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA), based in Vienna. Well, it’s a hoax. UNOOSA really exists, and Othman does head it, but she told the Guardian she has not been asked to become an alien ambassador. The story was first reported by Sunday Times science editor Jonathan Leake, who appears to be standing behind his reporting. The reason for the discrepancy has not yet been explained. Several bloggers, like Loren Coleman, have pointed out the interesting fact of Othman’s name: M. Othman.
  • I recently came across an episode of the Mexican TV show OVNI (UFO) that claims a clan of “Nordic” aliens are living on Friendship Island off the coast of Chile. Since the early ’80s, various contactees have claimed to be in radio and/or telepathic communication with these aliens, and one man insists the aliens cured his cancer. There are even tape recordings of some of the radio conversations. However, the most interesting part of the story is not the ET colony, but the fact that there is no “Friendship Island”. This website gives a good rundown of the story’s origins.
  • Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, the newly re-elected head of the World Chess Federation (FIDE), professes to believe that aliens brought chess to Earth (along with corn and the Internet). Ilyumzhinov is a colourful character, to say the least: A mechanic who became a multi-millionaire, he was elected the first president of the Russian republic of Kalmykia in 1993. In 2006, he claimed that aliens summoned him to the balcony of a Moscow aparment in 1997 and invited him aboard a tube-shaped UFO. He was given a tour of the ship by “people in yellow spacesuits”, then taken to “some kind of star”. State Duma deputy Andrei Lebedev reportedly called for an investigation into the incident, concerned that Ilyumzhinov may have given state secrets to the visitors.
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