Question and Answer With Joe Firmage
By Sean Casteel

Joseph Firmage first began to make news in the UFO community in November of 1998 when he published an on-line a book called The Truth. The massive 600-page volume quickly became a hot topic on the Internet and many people began to wonder just who Firmage was.

The Truth, according to a press release Firmage issued at the time, is a "rigorously researched but emotively written presentation of a hypothesis connecting the greatest religious traditions, the cutting-edge of theory in science, and astonishing new documentary finds concerning the past 50 years of U.S. history." In other words, a new overview of many topics already familiar to UFO buffs, but one that Firmage insists is among the best-researched books currently available on the UFO phenomenon. In that same press release, Firmage introduced himself as being a well-known technology executive in Silicon Valley, California. A short time later, he was asked to step down as CEO of USWeb, the $2.1 billion Internet consulting firm that he had founded in 1995, and to take on the lesser title of "Chief Strategist." The stigma attached to any public statement that affirms the belief in the reality of UFOs was clearly already at work on Firmage.

Then, in January of 1999, Firmage made news again by resigning his position as Chief Strategist of USWeb.

Firmage was quoted in The San Francisco Chronicle as saying, "I want to ensure the company is not impacted in any negative way. I do not want to put myself in a position of compromising its day-to-day perception. I was not pressured [to resign]." The article goes on to say that the current CEO at USWeb appreciated the fact that Firmage had put the company's interests ahead of his own.

Meanwhile, Firmage said that he is willing to continue risking his own career in order to further publicize his theories, which include the idea that many high-tech advancements can be traced to the UFO crash at Roswell, after which government officials recovered materials from the spacecraft and reverse-engineered them to develop many of today's high-tech breakthroughs.

We spoke to Firmage by phone in the wake of his resignation, and he gave us his own take on numerous topics, to include the religious connections to the UFO phenomenon, the latest MJ-12 documents, the government's knowledge (or lack thereof) regarding UFOs, and the optimistic view he holds of mankind's continued forward progress.

Q. Can you give us some bio material on yourself? The way you formed your companies and so forth?

Firmage: Yes. This is my tenth anniversary in the world of business. I started my first company in the spring of 1989 called Sirius Corporation. We were one of the very early players in the field of software engineering called "object oriented programming." I raised seven or eight million dollars for that firm. Built a nice little company and sold it to Novell in 1993. Novell at the time was the second largest software company in the world, and I became the vice-president in that organization.

By late 1995, I had, like most other people in this industry, observed the astonishing rise of the Internet, and then I decided to commit my future to building a company focused on the Internet. So we founded USWeb in late 1995. It has since become the largest Internet consulting company in the world.

Q. When and why did you develop your interest in UFOs?

Firmage: I have studied this domain for about ten years. My interest in it grew out of a very deep study of physics. And when one studies physics, one is led to evaluate anomalies in that discipline. The anomalies that are most interesting, or at least the most interesting to me, were the seemingly "physics-defying" nature of UFO reports.

So the question of course that I asked myself as I studied this material was, "Well, are there physics principles that could possibly explain this?" About ten years ago there were very few if any real theories that could explain what was going on. That is now different. The story is completely different now. There are some extremely well-researched theories that are now in print in the best physics journals out there that describe how these craft might actually function from a physics perspective.

So that is what has drawn me back into this domain. I now feel that there's enough credible evidence out there, and there is now sufficiently credible physics, to believe that we are looking at something genuine.

Q. Can you talk about your own contact experiences?

Firmage: Well, "contact experiences" is a strong phrase for what happened to me. I would characterize it more as something like a Near-Death-Experience. It was more of an image that had very real physical effects on me, however. But it was about fifteen months ago. And waking up one morning, a being or an image of a being was appearing in my room. And I proceeded to have a rather unusual conversation with it. We discussed my interest in one day voyaging in space, which was an interest that I've had since I was a young, young boy.

The discussion proceeded to give me the impression that perhaps someday that might just become true. The full encounter experience is described in my book, but what I do want to stress is that I do not know exactly what it was. It was a completely different type of experience than any dream I'd ever had. And it had physical effects that lasted for several minutes. From my perspective, it was a very real experience.

Q. What prompted you to write your own massive on-line book?

Firmage: The accumulation of evidence is so large at this point that it is beginning to be possible in my judgment to see a pattern in the overall phenomenon. There are, as you well know, uncountable numbers of UFO books out there. And most of them are garbage. Many of them are very good. But almost all of them focus on the question of "What is happening?" My book, on the other hand, focuses on the questions, "Why is it happening? What is the macro picture? What is the saga that explains this in a story form? Why is this happening to us?"

So my book focuses on a fundamentally different type of question than most of the others in the UFO literature. And I hope that ultimately it ends up having some value to this clouded domain.

Q. Could you sum up some of the highlights for us?

Firmage: The highlights really are not what people have sort of been led to believe from most of the popular coverage that's occurred. From my perspective, the highlight is even more sensational. So I'm quite surprised actually that people have sensationalized the wrong thing. The sensational idea that I'm putting forth is that the history of religion and the UFO phenomenon are fundamentally intertwined at some level. I am still exploring that connection, and it is a very difficult subject to explore fully because of the inherent problems in looking at essentially ancient records passed down.

But you see throughout every civilization in human history, every culture, a common set of basic ideas about human and "Visitor" interaction. Human-and-deities interaction. As we look at the UFO phenomenon, we may be staring in the face at a phenomenon that fundamentally is interrelated with our history of major world religious events. So what I've tried to do is interpret all of these threads in a single tapestry. As you read my book, you will see how I have intersected the modern UFO phenomenon with ancient teachings of spirituality and also ancient records of unusual phenomena.

Q. It's very encouraging that you interpret the aliens as righteous, benevolent entities who have always imparted the world's religions to mankind. But can you tell us why you hold that view?

Firmage: Well, please don't put words in my mouth. Okay? I did not say what you just said. What I did say was that the two phenomena are fundamentally related. I do not have the view that the history of religion is simply wise, benevolent beings putting blessings out on humankind. Clearly, humanity has been taught both painful and joyous lessons over the millennia. The history of spirituality goes beyond sort of just warm, fuzzy feelings. It's about training and grooming a young species to grow up and look in a more mature way at its surroundings in the cosmos.

There's a reason why this book is so lengthy—because you cannot reduce it to a sound-bite event and then believe that justice has been done to the story-line. So I just caution you against making sweeping statements that increase the contrast too high on what I'm saying.

Q. Well, my point in asking that is other people interpret the phenomenon as a demonic one, or some people interpret the aliens as being icily indifferent—

Firmage: There's a very simple reason why I do not believe this phenomenon is fundamentally hostile. If it were, we would not be having this conversation. Okay? The history of humanity is one of progress and growth. If you simply look at the trajectory of our civilization, you are most likely to find the direction in which we are going. That follows. The trajectory is up and out. It is progress. It is a positive and optimistic future to which we aspire.

That is not to say that there won't be fundamental challenges and crises. And many of them in our near-term future. But I believe that the biggest picture out there is one of peace and benevolence. Because if it weren't, we wouldn't be talking.

Q. Right. When I ask this kind of question of a Whitley Strieber or a Budd Hopkins, what I always get back is that it's a very morally complex phenomenon.

Firmage: Yes.

Q. That can't be stated in black-and-white terms.

Firmage: Yes. And I don't think you could state the history of religion in black-and-white terms. People have been killed in the name of faith, right? The Bible is filled with stories of conflict and war and battle. And also intimately interwoven in all these stories are common threads of teaching, the teaching of fundamental concepts. Whether it's the concept of The Law in Judaism. Or the concept of Love, as Christ taught. Or the concept of Balance, as Buddhists taught. Each major faith in human history has added a piece of character to our fiber. I think that's the macro picture here.

Q. Can you give us an overview of some of the MJ-12 documents you've recently made public? What new material do they contain?

Firmage: Well, the new MJ-12 documents that are in circulation now are one of two things. Either extremely well-prepared hoaxes, or very genuine material. Either way, I think their very existence speaks loudly in favor of the reality of the UFO phenomenon. We are staring in the face of a very real phenomenon. These documents advance the strength of that hypothesis.

The new documents talk in detail about a crash that occurred in the Southwestern desert in 1947. The documents discuss who was involved in the recovery effort, and the military assessment of the technological implications of the event. It discusses everything from rocketry to bio-technology implications. It also names some names of the generals involved and a few of the political figures that were drawn into the loop. Including one young congressman who was briefed, apparently, on the event by the name of John Kennedy.

Q. Do you have some kind of insider's proof that aliens have contributed to our current level of computer technology or other kinds of technology? Is there a kind of "smoking gun" that you can bring before the unbelieving public?

Firmage: I have inside knowledge that the UFO phenomenon is real. I have met with people who are not public nor who will be public in the near-term, that have clearly confirmed the authenticity of the UFO phenomenon. I do not have insider information on technology transfer. So I am not in a position, contrary to many of the published press reports, to definitively confirm that X-technology was derived from Y-event. That is not in my possession. Therefore, I cannot tell you what happened at Roswell, or whether Roswell even happened for sure at all.

But I can tell you that I know for certain that the UFO phenomenon is real. And when you weigh all the evidence, the likelihood of the 1947 event is very high.

Q. Where do you hope to go from here with your research?

Firmage: I am very serious about this domain. I have a lot of money to leverage for the good cause of making known these fundamental truths to humanity. And I do it because I believe that our world has, number one, the need for these events. And, number two, I believe that it has the cultural sophistication to be able to absorb the information.

I will point out that I do not believe that there is a vast political conspiracy at work here. Most of our elected political officials are as in the dark as the rest of the general public. The best information that I have from my inside sources says that the organization responsible for this cover-up was largely privatized several decades ago. It was pulled out of the military/industrial complex and into the industrial side of that equation.

So to expect that either an elected or an appointed official is really going to be able to talk about this intelligently I think is mistaken. There are a few, obviously, who are informed, but the numbers are actually much smaller than people would think.

Q. What do you see as the ultimate goal of all your efforts? You talked about educating the public or preparing the public—

Firmage: Preparing the public for a remarkable, stunning transformation. Even in the UFO community, it's stunning how much our own community of researchers underestimate the implications of this. To sort of blithely criticize the government for maintaining secrets like this I don't think is justified. The implications of this are transformational to human civilization. In both a positive and a challenging sense. Transitioning the world economy to an over-unity energy model, as one small example, is not a straightforward thing to do. It is by no means simple. And the implications for geopolitics and the stability of civilization are deep.

So I personally am a believer that it is now time to release this information. But I think we need to do it wisely and be prepared for the implications when they do occur.

Q. Is there anything you wish to add? Is there some question I haven't asked or some kind of final statement you'd like to make?

Firmage: Well, I just ask that people read the book. I don't ask that they believe. But I do ask that they read it, and that they take what I say seriously. Because this is, from what I can see, one of the best-researched books on this subject in print today.

[The Truth can be found on-line at: in both its original 600-page form as well as a more recent condensed version. Firmage also plans to release The Truth as a hardback book sometime in 1999.

Visit Sean Casteel's "UFO Journalist" web site at:

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