GROUP OF PHOTOGRAPHS TAKEN BY "BILLY" EDUARD ALBERT MEIER IN BACHTELHÖRNLI, SWITZERLAND ON 28 MARCH 1976, BETWEEN THE HOURS OF 9:30 AM AND 4:50 PM.
Seven vintage chromogenic prints (each 3 1/2 x 5 inches), with watermark "THIS PAPER MANUFACTURED BY KODAK," six with Meier's inventory numbers written in black ink on rectos, presumably in Meier's hand, five with location, date and time written in blue ink to recto.
Taken in 1975 by "Billy" Eduard Albert Meier, alleged extraterrestrial contactee and the founder of Freie Interessengemeinschaft für Grenz- und Geisteswissenschafter und Geisteswissenschafter und Ufologiestudien (Free Community of Interests for the Border and Spiritual Sciences and Ufological Studies), these images purport to depict an interstellar visit by spacecraft from the planet Erra, with three UFOs hovering over the mountains of Bachtelhörnli, Switzerland in the morning and evening of March 28th, 1976. The present series of photographs (along with lots 214 and 215) are among the most highly publicized and well-documented images of UFO phenomena ever recorded; in particular, one of the photographs (from lot 214) was used to create the famous "I Want to Believe" poster featured in the hit TV series The X-Files. The poster hung in the office of FBI Special Agent Fox Mulder (played by David Duchovny) for the first three seasons of the show, but was changed in the 4th season due to an intellectual property suit brought by Meier, as the creators of the show never obtained permission to use the image. In the 2016 re-boot of the show, the creators made up for this, and obtained permission from Meier to use two of his photographs in the trailer, one of which is part of the present lot (Meier image 187), and the other part of lot 215 (Meier image 61) .
Lt. Col. Wendelle Stevens of the U.S. Air Force was a pilot who collected UFO related media for Project Blue Book. After he retired, he continued to investigate more than 100 UFO cases. One such case was that of the UFO sightings of "Billy" Eduard Albert Meier of Switzerland. When Wendell came across the Meier case, he gathered a team of U.S. private investigators to research the Meier evidence at labs including the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory in an attempt to determine their authenticity. The photos were given to directly to Stevens by Mr. Meier, or sold for the cost of development. From the 1960s to the early 1980s, Meier took 1,476 photos and 34 films, of which about 600 photos and 9 films were of UFOs.
Image numbers 187, 189, 192, 193, 220, 222, and 223 from: MEIER, "Billy Eduard Albert. Photo-Inventarium. Standpunkte zur Person BEAM, Augsburg, 2014.
Ex Estate of Lt. Col. Wendelle Stevens