Wednesday, May 1, 2019

#2182: Stan Romanek (?)

A veritable legend in New Age ufology circles, Stanley Tiger Romanek is a self-proclaimed alien abductee and starseed, who has built a substantial collection of “evidence” supposedly “proving” the existence of aliens. His evidence base contains plenty of photos and videos of precisely the type you’d expect, audio recordings, drawings and math equations he claims that he should not be able to know but has nevertheless written down, so the only explanation for knowing them is that he has been given the information from extraterrestrials. He is most famous, however, for the so-called “Boo Video” (with Jeff Peckman), which allegedly captures an alien that is looking in through Romanek’s window, and the documentary (or uncritical paean) Extraordinary: The Stan Romanek Story, released on Netflix. 

Why are the aliens so interested in him, in particular? Well, Romanek does claim to be a very important person – almost a messiah of sorts – and that aliens picked him specifically to bring their message to the people of Earth. And yes: we would recommend empathy were we able to shake a few nagging doubts about certain details. Apparently he gets to ride with these aliens in their spaceships quite often, though, and has been implanted with an alien artifact (he cited this as physical evidence for his alien contacts but when a medical test for the implant was requested, he said it had disappeared), sustained mysterious injuries inflicted by them, experienced telepathic communications with aliens, and apparently even been dressed in women’s clothing by aliens. Indeed, he Romanek has even got himself another family of seven alien/human hybrid children; his earthly wife Lisa was apparently initially surprised to hear about this other family, but it seemed to have sorted itself out at least until Stan suddenly met his space wife, a younger human woman, at an Earth convention; apparently he managed to convince Lisa to accept his space wife into the family in the end as well, though. Romanek has also, entirely according to himself, been accosted by “obviously para-military” men who have attempted to intimidate him into silence, but he managed to drive them away with his martial arts skills. 

The Boo Video and Extraordinary
The infamous Boo Video catapulted Romanek to stardom when it was shown on Larry King live. The alien in question looks sufficiently fake, however, that even convinced ufologists tend to distance themselves from Romanek because he makes them look bad (you can watch it yourself here; you can watch some parodies here). Romanek also filmed a follow-up video of an alien looking into his house from a sliding door, which has, shall we say, not managed to win many new converts to his cause among those not already convinced by his first video. His other evidence really isn’t more convincing either. In fact, much of it is so obviously fake that we cannot honestly shake the strong suspicion that Romanek isn’t a loon at all.

The 2013 documentary Extraordinary is a rather feeble attempt to present Romanek as the messianic figure he claims to be, and unintentionally portrays him, his family and supporters as a frighteningly cultlike affair. Some highlights are described here. In his 2009 book Messages Romanek claimed to relay communications from his extraterrestrial informant, and that an (unnamed) astronomer interpreted the drawings he made of planetary alignments supposedly under hypnosis as pointing to September 21, 2012, a date Romanek suggested would be the one on which the aliens would make themselves known to humanity, or perhaps when the natural disasters he saw in other visions would take place.

Romanek’s career hit an abrupt and serious snag in 2017. As expected, both Romanek and some of his supporters appealed to conspiracy.

Diagnosis: Obviously an intrepid hoaxer – he has even admitted as much himself. The relevant question with regard to whether he deserves inclusion here, is whether he really believes his claims about alien visitations and his own role in them, which is not really inconsistent with being an unrepentant hoaxer. We’ll give him the benefit (or disadvantage, we suppose) of doubt, and give him an entry.

Hat-tip: Rationalwiki

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