In Praise of
Strange, Strange World
(or How the Man of my Dreams Came Back to Haunt Me)

The reason I am reluctantly writing this story is because it has come to my attention that some serious misconceptions, misconstruences, and misrepresentations about certain facts have been widely circulating in the UFO community for at least eight years now and still continue to surface across the Internet and who knows where else. These facts came to my attention in 1995 when, due to a back injury, I was immobilized for several months and took advantage of my spare time to do some catching up on UFOs. I had not read anything on the subject in almost twenty years and was very curious to see if there was more literature available, and how things had progressed. I was pleased to see that there was a lot of material out there now and read over forty books at the time.

When I ran out of books and was scouring my shelf, I finally noticed a book with a thin spine that I had overlooked so far. I pulled it out and wasn’t particularly impressed with the title and cover. It looked like it contained more of the same material which gets rehashed thousands of times in the books and didn’t seem to have any surprises left to enjoy. But, the completist that I am, I decided I would read it anyway, since it was all I had at hand. It was called UFO Crash Secrets at Wright/Patterson Air Force Base and it was written by James W. Moseley and published in 1991. The author wasn’t known to me but is apparently a known UFO researcher.

Wax reproduction of an original sculpture by L. Corriveau displayed in Strange, Strange World, 1978-1981
I turned the book over to read the back cover and was utterly shocked with my discovery: two photographs of something I was intimately familiar with which I had nicknamed The man of my dreams. It was a model of an alien I had sculpted out of clay for a major display at the Strange, Strange World Pavilion, of which I was the director, at Man and His World in Montreal between 1978 and 1981, when the entire site was closed down permanently. It was unquestionably my alien. So it appeared that The man of my dreams, as I had always called my alien sculpture, had slipped into the netherland of international hoaxes all on its own, and now officially occupied a post in the mythology of the late twentieth century planet Earth. I was both flattered and dismayed. Had someone intentionally manipulated these photos? Who was behind this? My paranoia index rose alarmingly. Questions raced through my mind.

The banner beside the photos read: WORLDWIDE EXCLUSIVE. Soviets release photos of alien bodies recovered from “Flying Disc” crash site. I couldn’t believe my eyes! What a bunch of baloney! How on earth did these photos come to have anything to do with Russians? What an incredible adventure had these photos been taken on! It was two days later when a friend of mine to whom I had shown the book found the inside information that I had overlooked. It was even more incredible. The more I read, the more I became terrified at this discovery. Who were these writers? What kind of research had they done? Where was this coming from? This was how truth got distorted beyond belief, how history got tweaked to mean whatever someone decided it meant when no one was around to verify the facts. It was horrifying to contemplate.


The report stated that in 1991 two photographs purporting to show the remains of an extraterrestrial pilot recovered at Roswell had been circulating in the international UFO community in the form of highly degraded photocopies of photocopies. The text described how “the alien photo was first revealed to the world during the second ”Dialogue with the Universe“ International UFO Conference, organized by Michael Hessemann in Munich in June of 1990. There, Marina Popovich, one of Russia’s leading ufologists released the photograph, claiming to have received it from Professor Felix Zigel, who in turn had obtained it from a Canadian source.” The name of Dr. Hynek appeared in connection to this photo. There was the first kernel of truth so far around which an intricate web of fantasy and intrigue had been woven.

The intrigue was just beginning, not to mention the speculation. The author went on to explain that he had been sent a copy of the photos by a well-known American ufologist who was asking the author to do some research on the subject and keep it quiet. The alien depicted was believed to be one retrieved from the Roswell crash. The most controversial ingredient was that it seemed that Hynek had sent the photo to Zigel. “If true, the Hynek connection was explosive stuff, as he was never particularly forthcoming with regards to the subject of crashed saucers,” concluded Huneeus.

As if this wasn’t enough, the author then went on to say that he later received the same photos from Major Colman von Keviczky, director of ICUFON in New York City, who had obtained them from Michael Hesseman who had obtained them from Dr. Marina Popovich. According to von Keviczky, Prof. Zigel had obtained the photos in 1970 (a full eight years before the figure existed) while he was participating in a highly secret conference of American and Canadian governmental scientists. It was no one less than the head of the American delegation who had loaned the photos to Prof. Zigel. And who might the head of the American delegation be, perhaps Dr. Hynek! Speculation flew ever faster and the information was deemed explosive. I’ll say!

Now to substantiate some of this, Zigel was long dead, but a close friend and colleague of his assured the reporter that Zigel had never participated in such a conference and had never been to Canada. Could this be true? Was he hiding something? The intrigue continued to pile deeper and deeper. The name of Dr. Wilbert Smith who had died in 1962 also emerged as another possible source of the photos. But if not Smith then who? The author could simply not imagine any other possibilities. This, of course, was turning the clock back a full sixteen years before the existence of the Man of my Dreams and clearly turning him into the man of their dreams!

Wax reproduction of an original sculpture by L. Corriveau displayed in Strange, Strange World, 1978-1981
The more I read, the more flabbergasted I became, sometimes bursting out laughing at the contrived and fanciful theories. But worst of all was the element of truth buried so deeply that it was very disturbing. Hynek did know of these photos. He did have them in his own possession. I know this to be the case because I gave them to him myself. He quite possibly gave them to others. But under what circumstances? What had Hynek said when he sent the photos to his colleagues? Had he deliberately misrepresented them? Was he using these photos to his own purposes, or did he simply share them in good faith with other scientists? If he felt so good about them why didn’t he share them with a much broader UFO community? Why did these photos not become known worldwide, aside from the fact that the Internet was not quite up to speed yet and communication had not reached the heights it enjoys today? Did Hynek himself forget from where he had obtained the photos by the time he decided to show them? Did he lose the rest of my press packet? Why all the secrecy? Was it secrecy? I did not stay in communication with Hynek after our contact, and we had not had much communication before our CEIII, so he may well have forgotten most of the event, since it was probably just another publicity gig he agreed to do in the heyday of his fame especially after Close Encounters of the Third Kind. But now we’ll never know... What an incredible position to be in! I felt like I was in the middle of a Sherlock Holmes mystery with an unsolved puzzle I had instigated. I was thrown into incredible musings. One never knows the full consequences of one’s acts. When do they stop rippling out? This had happened twenty years ago but was evidently still happening today. I was amused and horrified by it all.

I will ask the reader to allow me to continue my account of the article in the book. Huneeus went on to say that he finally had caught up with Popovich in Russia and she had said that Russian extra-sensors/psychics “the people who can determine whether this is true or a hoax, got together and said that this was a moulding of a real living entity which perished; it is a molding of a living entity which was photographed.” Popovich was categorical. Imagine that! It really gave me confidence in psychics! Whole groups of them at that! Was this all? No sir! There was more! The photo had continued to travel around the world and surfaced regularly at conferences of all kinds, even some attended by astronauts—was it Neil Armstrong or Edgar Mitchell? Somebody like that... Popovich didn’t seem to know who she had met, but it was some astronaut...

Wax reproduction of an original sculpture by L. Corriveau displayed in Strange, Strange World, 1978-1981
To cap it off, Stanton Friedman, the Roswell specialist, was later shown the photos by the author and he commented that the oriental eyes fit the descriptions of witnesses. How perceptive of Mr. Friedman to recognize that quality! It’s just too bad he didn’t recognize the figure since he had seen it in person also! The article ended with more speculation that trailed off in more rubbish.

My reaction, though somewhat amused, was mostly to be highly disconcerted. It was very upsetting to see that two UFO experts among the very best had not even apparently remembered the experience of encountering my alien not just in photographic form but in full-fledged three-dimensionality, as if they got to see aliens corpses or convincing models everyday, and were totally blasé about the whole subject!

I didn’t know what to do about the situation. I consulted with my friend, E. J. Gold a.k.a. Gorebag and asked his advice. He had visited the exhibit in 1978 and 1979 and had taken many photographs of my pavilion and the model. We kicked around several scenarios and talked about the pros and the cons for days. But in the end, we agreed, we should tread lightly. The theories were so wild that it might not be safe to burst the balloon. The UFO community was so riddled with disinformation, government plants and intimidation that it felt a little dangerous to get embroiled in the middle of it. How would we be treated? probably not well. After much consideration and pondering we decided to forget about it and not do anything at all, which is what we did until the Man of My Dreams came back to haunt me again.

About a year later, we both discovered the Internet. In the course of surfing the web, we started seeing photos of my alien all over the place. It was and still is absolutely amazing to me. The scale that this was happening on. And continues to happen on. Apparently it had been on the cover of a magazine in Germany, a magazine in Quebec, quite a number of documentaries and who knows what else. This is what was surfacing with just a little probing! Some UFO researchers seemed to know it was related to an exhibit but a much larger segment of the community had no information about this basic fact. The alien was purported to be a life/death mask of one of the aliens recovered from Roswell.

Wax reproduction of an original sculpture by L. Corriveau displayed in Strange, Strange World, 1978-1981
So the discussion was opened again. Should we tell the world the truth and show more photos, or should we keep quiet and watch? I didn’t like the idea of going public at all. It was very scary. We would be facing all camps, and they would probably all hate us. We could be in danger from anywhere. Another reason I had for not wanting to go public was simply that I do believe the government has in its possession the remains of several EBEs as they like to call them, Extraterrestrial Biological Entities, recovered from crashes. Maybe it was good that my model was believed to be an actual specimen... I certainly believe that there is a massive coverup of international proportions. How could an international coverup of such magnitude exist when much smaller things are blown apart in the blink of an eye? Because all governments agree, no one is in control of the situation with the aliens. The aliens are doing exactly what they want with or without governmental cooperation. They don’t follow quotas in abductions, they take as many as they want—far more than agreed upon. And what can the government do to retaliate? Think about it. They can do nothing. The battle is over. The war is won—by the aliens. Lucky for us, they’re being rather nice about it. Quiet too for the most part. Just going about their business, which is all they wanted to do in the first place. So clearly, the president has no control over the situation and cannot do anything about it. And that is why they silenced Jimmy Carter and many others before and after him.

Holding these views, which many could consider extreme but which I consider informed and inclusive, I did not want to hinder the search for truth that was of paramount importance in this matter. I believe the coverup is based on fear of public reaction. No one involved with the UFO phenomenon really understands its nature. It seems to be part of a multiverse—a what?—we are not yet capable of grasping. I believe Jacques Vallee comes closest to pinpointing its reality. But I also believe, in a sense, that just about all theories about UFOs and aliens are correct. They are all of those things and more. They are not just one phenomenon. And most of all, those who are interacting with life forms on this planet are doing so according to their own agenda, which, even when friendly with humans, is not necessarily beneficent or benign. Friendlies hurt too. Contactees are controlled to a great extent. Abductees suffer pain and many terrible side-effects. People’s lives are ruined. Others are improved. Some are encouraged along the psychic path. Many are deluded. All of the social components, strategies and problems of our society are transposed onto the UFO mythology.

In spite of all my objections, I was finally persuaded to tell my story so the Man of my Dreams could be tucked away and laid to rest in the Hall of Fame of the more quiet corner of the UFO realm labeled “famous exhibits”. It would be an interesting experiment to observe...

You can be sure all hell broke loose before I was even finished writing my story. We were immediately threatened that we did not have the copyright to our photos and did not have the right to publish them. We were addressed with scorn and ridiculed by some, encouraged and supported by others. A few mirror sites were dissuaded from hanging the story because of intimidation from various UFO groups. It became an issue of rights. E. J. had photos that were being judged without even being seen. The exhibit was reduced to “some woman’s project”.

Well, this wasn’t just “some woman’s project”—it was part of the permanent exposition which remained for about fifteen years after the superbly successful Expo ‘67 in Montreal, a project championed by its visionary mayor, Jean Drapeau, who welcomed the creation of a magnificent International Exposition that eventually left a legacy of design and cultural riches the likes of which have never been seen since. And I’ll even bet the specific pavilion which concerns us directly—Strange, Strange World—remains the most beautiful UFO exhibit ever made—to this very day. (At this point, I am hoping to reproduce in full-scale for public exhibition the installation I made in 1978 of the Man of My Dreams.) The world will be the judge. What I do know is that nearly two million visitors streamed through its doors during the whole of its thirteen years of existence, and every single one of them was awed by the scope and beauty of its 10,000 square feet of exhibit space which had its own share of celebrities take the tour which could last as long as four hours if every single text was read.

So now I would like to tell the full story of how I came to make the Man of my Dreams, since the reader knows how he came back to haunt me, with the help of documentation which is part of my portfolio, magazine and newspaper articles about the pavilion, a lecture I gave in 1982 to the French Canadian Association for the Advancement of Science in a symposium on museums and the idea of implementing a science museum in the province, and the many photos I could gather from my own records and from the vast photographic collection of celebrity photographer, E. J. Gold, who has been a great friend of mine for over twenty years and who visited my exhibit in 1978 and 1979 and took numerous photographs at that time. (You can see close to 5000 of his photos in the photobiography I assembled of him in a book titled More Color...Less Soul. Anyway that’s another story I’m not writing about at the moment.)
-- Linda Corriveau


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