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The Billy Meier Story: UFO's and the Prophecies from Outer Space
(a.k.a. The Silent Revolution of Truth)

Directed by Jack Gerlach
Written by Michael Horn
Ghost Ship
Title: The Billy Meier Story: UFO's and the Prophecies from Outer Space (a.k.a. The Silent Revolution of Truth)
(IMDB listing)

(distributor's catalog page)

Writer: Michael Horn (IMDB listing)
Director: Jack Gerlach (IMDB listing)
Producers: Jack Gerlach and Michael Horn
Distributor: Reality Films

Links: Other Billy Meier Links

YouTube Trailer
A review by Kit O'Connell

  "Is it the biggest hoax... or the most important story in human history?"                  

The answer, of course, is neither. But with a tagline like that you know pretty much what you're getting into when you watch The Billy Meier Story: UFOs and the Prophecies From Outer Space (confusingly also known as The Silent Revolution of Truth in some markets). Distributed by Reality Films, who also offer a host of films related to the eagerly-anticipated 2012 apocalypse, and spear-headed by Michael Horn (Billy Meier's 'American Media Representative'), watching this film is like diving headlong into a disorienting, paranoid world of outer space visitors, grainy super-8 footage of floating trash-bins, and gun-toting bearded cultists from Switzerland.

Who is Billy Meier? While you may not know his name, if you've seen a UFO documentary then you have almost certainly seen his work before. Close your eyes for a moment and picture a flying saucer -- from a photo or film footage you've seen. It floats gently over a green, sparsely vegetated Alpine landscape, perhaps hovering in place or orbiting lazily around a tree. What you've pictured in your head is most likely one of Meier's many photographs or super-8 films. It probably looked a lot like the ones in the trailer for the movie which you can view at left on YouTube (either directly or via the YouTube Trailer link).

During the middle of the twentieth-century, Meier produced hundreds of similar pieces of evidence for the visitation of Earth by extra-terrestrials. In some, the spaceship seems to buzz moving vehicles or teleport startlingly across the sky. Of course, they also resemble the lids of dustbins and other household goods glued together, but this film is evidence of how many have been swept away by the fantasy over the decades.

Obviously, you've realized by now that I'm not a true believer. My attitude on aliens, psychic powers and other 'paranormal' phenomenon is one of a curious skeptic, or perhaps a Charles Fort-like observer. I'm fascinated by the spectrum of human belief and motivated by a desire to understand (rather than to judge) what is behind these phenomena, even if each ultimately exists solely inside the human mind.

If you're still reading this review now, you're likely either already formulating an angry email to me in your head or you seek out this kind of thing for the same reason I do -- to be enthralled by human weirdness. You don't care whether the movie is convincing but whether it entertains.

For the most part, it does. In addition to dozens of shots of Meier's UFO's, the film also features a cavalcade of 'experts,' from a US Army official to an 'IBM scientist' of dubious distinction to a practitioner of Neuro-Linguistic Programming all eager to tell us just how real the Plejaran visitors are. A psychiatrist tells us that Billy Meier may have been diagnosed as clinically delusional, but he could be right about the aliens anyway! We're regaled at length with Meier's improbably epic history, featuring time travelling journeys to meet the savior Himself, an alien apple preserved in formaldehyde, and even a stint as 'the Phantom,' when Meier killed serial killers in the Middle East as a sort of Arabic Dexter. Repeatedly, Michael Horn informs us that special effects experts have been unable to replicate Meier's stunning footage of flying saucers. If you've ever giggled your way through an episode of Unsolved Mysteries then you will probably enjoy this part of The Billy Meier Story.

Unfortunately, the UFO footage, expert testimony, and drawings of angelic blond aliens seem to run out during the final half hour of this one and a half hour movie. Instead, this portion features extremely literal translations from German as Meier, an aging, one-armed man with an impressive beard, shares the message of the star visitors with the viewers. If you've studied UFO mythology than you've heard everything the Plejarans have to say already: we have to disarm our nuclear weapons, stop despoiling the environment, and join in universal peace and brotherhood led by the wisdom of Billy Meier himself as the aliens' representative. Apart from a vaguely disquieting sequence where the chosen prophet discusses violence in the name of self-defense and shows off his gun collection, this part of the movie was a bit of a drag.

If you don't take the film at face value, The Billy Meier Story serves as an engrossing examination of a very well-constructed hoax or delusion and as a character study of some of the people who have been driven by faith or profit to follow. I probably would have enjoyed even the dull bits more if I'd had a couple of buddies to watch it with. If you and your friends enjoy spending an evening with a few beers and some Fortean weirdness, give this one a try. Even if you don't investigate the film, you might enjoy these links I've collected about Billy Meier. Watch the skies, they fly!

Copyright © 2010 Kit O'Connell

Kit O'Connell is a writer, geek and Voluptuary living in Houston, Texas. Kit's poetry has appeared in Aberrant Dreams and Oysters and Chocolate. He can be found online at approximately 8,000 words, his homepage.

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