British Skeptic Tries to Duplicate Meier’s UFO Films

And is honorable enough to acknowledge his shortcomings


Michael Horn

For several months I have been in communication with British skeptic, Tony Wharton. And it may surprise people to know that I’ve been actively encouraging his attempts to duplicate Meier’s UFO films and video.

Tony has used small models to make his videos and has put all the videos up at http://www.youtube.com/user/billymeierhoax While he is convinced that Meier somehow hoaxed his evidence, Tony gains more respect from me than all of the other skeptics combined simply because he actually tried his best to duplicate Meier’s evidence, instead of just making wild claims, as the others have done.

You can examine his attempts there and compare them to Meier’s UFO films from the mid-1970s, as seen in The Silent Revolution of Truth (http://theyfly.com/ products/products.htm#srot) and his one video from 1981 at http://www.steelmarkonline.com/media/Wedding_Cake_ship.mpg.

Both James Deardorff (http://www.tjresearch.info) and I have indeed watched and carefully examined Tony’s work. Rather than reproduce the entire texts of the email responses to him from us, I have encapsulated the key points, regarding what we view as the failings of his efforts to duplicate Meier’s UFO films and video.

Tony’s model UFOs:

  • Cast no reflection on the water because of small models close to the camera.

  • Cast no shadows on the ground when direct overhead sunlight casts shadows of tree branches, etc.

  • Movements are jerky and bouncy in an uncontrolled way.

  • Continually make small tilting and/or swinging movements left and right, to and fro.

  • Show little space above the model, only 2 to 5 model widths, in order to avoid filming the support pole.

  • Are never filmed next to, let alone behind, trees, as Meier’s were.

  • Never show a car moving underneath them, as Meier’s do.

  • Aren’t shown hovering over his head, as Meier did in one film sequence.

  • Demonstrate instability, moving constantly, never motionlessly suspended at a tilt.

  • Exhibit no haze effect as would exist if the object was large and at a distance, etc.

  • Never move from, or return to, absolute stillness.

Meier’s UFO films show the:

  • Over-the-tree oscillating craft that remained absolutely motionless, once for over ten seconds.

  • UFOs moving sideways, without any wobble, pausing motionlessly at an angle to the ground, etc.

  • Vast area – up to 32 UFO widths of sky – above the craft, see www.tjresearch.info/bachtel.htm
  • UFO disappear behind a hill, zig-zag back into frame, and then remain absolutely motionless.

  • UFO move from left to center frame, suddenly stop and remain absolutely motionless on a very windy day.

  • WCUFO, which even if only a couple of hundred feet away, has to be several feet in diameter.

Tony’s three UFO models:

  • All bounce around, jerkily, never sit absolutely still, as in Meier's film segment.

  • Show no controlled independent movement, such as is exhibited by the three UFOs in Meier’s film.

  • Suffer from all of the same shortcomings photographically as the individual models.

  • In replicas 14 - 18 the continual jerkiness, to-and-fro swaying, and/or vertical bouncing motions, along with the lack of any haze effect, immediately gives them away as being models close to the camera.

  • The lower one oscillates with a slightly lower frequency than the higher one, just as one would suspect for models suspended from a support at a given height - the one with the longer string takes slightly longer for its oscillation.
  • Cast no reflections in the pond when they are over it, due to Tony being back a bit from the pond's edge. If they were large craft in the distance, several pond diameters away from pond, their reflections probably would have shown up.

In Conclusion

It should also be pointed out that Tony spent hours and hours, over many months, putting together his video clips, while Meier would go out for just a few hours and return with his film(s) – plus often with a roll or two of photographs of the UFOs.

Again, we commend Tony for taking the time to make and display his best efforts. This is, in itself, a far more respectable approach than those of James Randi, CFI-West and, of course, Derek Bartholomaus of IIG, all of whom made great pronouncements that Meier had hoaxed his UFO evidence…and all of whom failed to be able to substantiate one word of their claims.

Perhaps people may now really appreciate the authenticity of Meier and his evidence when they see just that the best, modern efforts at debunking it fall demonstrably short of Meier’s films...from some 30 years ago. And, with information such as can be found athttp://theyfly.com/newsflash94/UFO_Skeptics_Throw_in_the_Towel.htm the only remaining question about the Meier case should be, “Now that you know that it’s true, what are you going to do about it?”


Since this article was recently published, we invited Tony Wharton to respond to the specific point that we raised. He has indeed done so and, once again much to his credit, he took a very respectable position.

Here then is his email to me of August 16, 2008, followed by my response to him:

Firstly, let me take this opportunity to a) thank michael horn for publishing this article, b) having the integrity to take me seriously, and c) giving me the opportunity to respond to this article. I have looked over the article,and have decided that I wont be coming back at you with an attack or a response. I think the article is a relatively fair, and honest assessment of my photographic research. However,there are a few points that I disagree with, but not wanting to get embrioled into some kind of petty,on-going argument, I will let other skeptics, and debunkers pick over the bones, and chew the fat at their own convenience. Michael raised a few points to me in an email, and I will address them now. Just let me make one thing nice,and crystal clear, I still stand by my original claims, however, just because in my opinion I believe the case to be a hoax, does not mean the case is a hoax, to say this conclusively would take Meier himself to reveal this fact. It would take to long to say what I think of Meier’s evidence,and to explain how I support my hoax theory, so you can simply watch my talk/ discussion, and either agree or disagree. To be nothing more than honest, yes I found the filming process relatively easy, however, I did find other aspects of my photography somewhat challenging, and frustrating, such as constructing the miniature detailed models, weather, working with the world’s thinest fishing wire (0.05mm), lots of unusable footage, etc. I will be honest enough to admit that I used 2 arms, and speaking hypothetically, if the Meier case is a hoax, and Meier worked alone,then I take my hat of to him as this would be some achievement for a one armed man. What I say to future skeptics who may be considering taking up the photographic challenge is this- Not at any point did I use any special effects tools, computers, cgi, wealthy film makers, special effects wizards, etc, and again to be fair to Meier, none of these are allowed to come into the equation, only materials which were available to meier in the 1970's can ever be used, and lets not forget, I am unemployed, unskilled, and worked alone with no funding what so ever. There has been many skeptics who have accused Meier of hoaxing the case, who all had access to funding, including the world famous multi-millionaire illusionist-the amazing James Randi, and just as Michael points out above, they all failed to put forward anything of any real substance to back up their claims. So unless you can back up your own argument, and claims, like I have, then you are simply wasting your time. One last thing, for those who continue to email me, and make false accusations, claiming that my work is far too controversial, and attacking towards Meier, and Michael, and that I have no respect for them, let me just say this- just like Michael who expressed his respect for me above, the respect I have for him, and Billy is equal, and mutual, and my style, and approach was only ever intended to generate, and promote interest, and debate into what I, and many others consider to be one of the worlds biggest, and most intresting, and most controversial ufo/contactee cases to date.


Hi Tony,

Thanks for writing and for again taking what I consider to be an honorable position.

And, since you have done so, I will indeed update the article and include both your response and this one of mine.

Let me just make clear again that, by your being honest and ethical, you have also come out a winner here. The purpose, as far as we're concerned, has always been to help the truth emerge. And because Meier's evidence is indeed so challenging to our reality, to most of what we believe in and think is true, for you to step forward to try your best to substantiate your own doubts - which have indeed been shared by many - and to acknowledge your difficulties and shortcomings, is a testament not only to the reality of Meier's evidence but to your being a good, stand up character...and a valuable ally in finding the truth.