Jaime Maussan is one of Mexico's best known and most respected investigative reporters. For the last 25 years, he has worked for Grupo Televisa, the largest TV network in Latin America. He anchors Mexico's version of "Sixty Minutes" as well as "Tercer Milenio," a show devoted to esoteric issues of all kinds. Over the years, besides reporting hard news, Maussan has championed such causes as protection of endangered species and preservation of rain forests.
In 1984, he presented the Billy Meier UFO contact case on Sixty Minutes. From then on he became increasingly identified with UFO research. In the spring of 1991, he participated in a TV debate and call-in show on UFOs which lasted for nine and a half hours. One week after the solar eclipse of June, 1991, when the great Mexican UFO flap began, he did a second debate and call-in program that lasted for 12 hours.
During that second program, Maussan showed one clip of UFO video shot on the day of the eclipse. He asked the TV audience to send other videos if they existed. A flood of videos began pouring in. Maussan became convinced that the Mexican UFO flap is evidence of a real and very important phenomenon.
In late September, 1997, Maussan received a UFO video unlike any other he has ever seen. That video, shot in Mexico City on August 6, is already famous, thanks to wide exposure on the internet. But, while controversy rages over the video's authenticity, Maussan and his investigative team continue to seek new witnesses, doing the work that might finally establish whether or not this sensational-looking video shows a real flying saucer.
CNI News editor Michael Lindemann interviewed Jaime Maussan in Brasilia during the World UFO Forum in early December, 1997.
Michael Lindemann: You've spent six years now investigating the Mexican UFO wave. Overall, how do you think your efforts have been received by the mainstream?
Jaime Maussan: We have had many critics from outside Mexico. This is fine. I think it's correct to be skeptical. But my critique to the critics is that they don't come to Mexico to investigate. They want to make their investigation from their own desk. That is not possible. If you want to accept something or deny something, you have to investigate.
Few have come to Mexico to see if this is real. Of those who came -- [Lee and Britt] Elders, crews from Sightings, Unsolved Mysteries, Strange Universe -- many have had their own sightings. For example, Tim White from "Sightings" came, and you can ask him if he had a sighting outside Mexico City, because he did. Ask Bill Kurtis, who is the anchor for the "New Explorers" show [better known as anchor of the long-running "Investigative Reports" on A&E Network]. He was in Mexico three or four weeks ago, and he had his own sighting. He saw many videos, and then he went to Puebla and had a sighting there with his daughter.
The people who come to Mexico, who talk to the people and are ready to watch the skies, probably will have their own experience. Another team from England came in August of 1996. They went to see if they could find a scientific explanation for all the sightings that we've had around the volcano Popocatepetl. They recorded very high electromagnetic energy under the volcano. They said it was the strongest in the world. And at the same time they were recording this, they had a sighting over the top of the mountain, and they were amazed. At that moment, they didn't know what to think about it. That has happened to many investigators.
ML: Let's move to the events of August the 6th. You received a videotape. Tell us how it all began.
JM: The video arrived in an envelope at the television station on September 26. I receive many videos this way. This video came with a letter. I didn't even read the letter. I saw the video and I said, "This is a hoax. It can't be true." I didn't know anything about August the 6th, but it was too clear to be real. But people said, "Watch carefully." So I watched and I watched and I saw many details. I began to think this could be real. So we decided to put this on the air on September 27 and 28, on the "Tercer Milenio" show, because we wanted to find [the location shown in the video]. Were the houses real, the buildings real? On September 29 we found the place. And we found many witnesses there.
On the very first day we found two witnesses. When we found the place, we asked a man who was selling tacos in the street if somebody had seen a UFO around the area. We didn't say anything else. He said, "Yes, my daughter saw a UFO a couple of months ago." So he brought his daughter. Her name is Cassandra, a twelve-year-old girl. She described exactly what we see in the video -- color is gray, hovering over those buildings, [between] 4:00 to 6:00 in the evening. She said everyone in her family thought she was crazy. She said she had asked her father to come out, because he was in the house, but all he said was, "You're crazy." He didn't go out, and he regrets that now. But even in this very first witness we found many elements that tell us this is true. Everything at this moment seems to be consistent.
[Maussan says that the luxury high-rise apartments shown in the video, behind which the "saucer" appears to fly, are in an area that also has some very poor dwellings close by. Cassandra's little house is situated between the luxury apartments and the high-rise business building from which the video was reportedly shot.]
ML: Have you been able to learn anything about the two men who allegedly shot the video?
JM: The letter said that they want to remain anonymous, because "we know what happens to witnesses when they present themselves with something like this." We understood this, even though we tried to get the name of the shooter because it was really important. We found the building [from which the video was shot], but nobody there wants to talk about it. We found one witness who was in there who was very near to the people who recorded this and we asked him for an interview. He didn't give us an interview because he didn't want to disclose or put more pressure on the shooter. It seems that everyone in the building is trying to protect who did it, for reasons I don't know. But this witness told us that he saw the video right after it was recorded, five minutes later, and he was convinced that it was real.
ML: What do they do in that building?
JM: Most of the offices are administrative for a consulting agency for American companies coming into Mexico. There is one publicity company in there. We went there because we were suspicious of that company. They gave us a letter saying that they didn't do it and didn't have anything to do with it. It seems true, because everything points to the other offices as the place where this was recorded. [The video] was not recorded from the lower level where the publicity company is, but from the upper level [actually an outdoor balcony on the fourth floor] where the administrative company is. Besides, this publicity company just makes stills for TV. They don't make animation.
ML: I've heard that in the soundtrack of the video, where the two men sound extremely excited, the accent of their Spanish suggests that they are not Mexicans. Can you comment on that?
JM: The witness [in the business building], who didn't know anything about the audio, told me that the man who recorded this was from Central America. At this moment I don't want to say the country, because I don't want to give any clues to who this man is. I have asked many times on TV for him to come out. If he doesn't want to come out, what should I do? Should I take the police there? Should I expose him? I don't think it's ethical. I've been told he has a wife and two daughters in his country, and he can't bring them into Mexico for some reason. That's probably why we don't know who this man is.
At this moment, I think I have to wait until he decides voluntarily to come out. I wanted to tap the phones. I wanted to take the police there. I wanted to ask a [government agency] to help me find this man if he was an illegal alien in Mexico. And then I said, "No way." I mean, I'm going over the edge. I've investigated this, found witnesses, found the place. Other experts like Bruce Maccabee have made incredible analyses of this video. That's what we should do. I can't pressure this man to come into the open if he doesn't want to.
ML: I'm sure you're aware that some people in the United States think the video is a clever digital hoax. What can you say on that?
JM: If this is a hoax, would it be done first in Mexico? If this can be done, why has it not been done in the U.S., where we have more people using computers, better experts and specialists in virtual reality? Why don't we have any example at this moment from the U.S., and this happened in Mexico first?
But I'm not saying this is real. I think the word to be used at this moment is "consistent."
ML: Let's get back to the other witnesses. You say you found the little girl after you broadcast the video on TV. How can you be sure she didn't see it during your broadcast?
JM: I can't be sure. She told me she didn't see it. She didn't even know that our show broadcasts on Saturdays and Sundays. She said she liked the program but didn't know when we were on. But how can you be sure?
ML: After she gave you her story, did you show her the video? How did she react?
JM: Her reaction was, "That's what I saw! That's what I saw!" That's all she said. She was very impressed with it. And I videod her face, watching her reactions to see if I could discover something else. I didn't see anything wrong with her. So far, that girl has convinced me more than anything else.
ML: Can you tell me about the other witnesses? As I understand it, you found a grown woman who claims to have gotten a burn from this UFO. Is that true?
JM: We have at least twelve other witnesses. A general manager from a restaurant. A young lady photographer, probably 23-25 years old, who was doing a session with a model. She didn't have the camera ready, and she saw [the UFO] just for a moment, no longer than that. The model with her said the same story. We have another man who heard them shouting at the sky. We have more kids that can draw the object exactly. The photographer claims that she had [on] a short-sleeved shirt, and she got burned on her arms and face, like sunburn, that lasted for a month. She said it wasn't painful. Her sighting wasn't long, no more than a minute, very close. She saw the bottom of the object.
ML: If she was underneath it, she had a different view than the rest of us. What did she tell you about it?
JM: She saw the same shape, but she said she saw lights. Others also said they saw lights underneath. They said the movement [the turning] was much faster than it looks in the video. She said she felt like a force pushing her to the ground, very heavy. From the beginning she said it was a "very heavy cloud, very dark." It was a very cloudy day with low clouds, but then in the middle of those a very dark one came, and then she saw the bottom of this thing in the middle of that cloud. That's when she decided to take a picture, but when she came back with the camera, the thing was not there.
ML: Did she hear anything?
JM: Yes. She said it was like "gas escaping," a "sssssssss" sound, very low.
ML: It's just possible that you've got "The Video," the one we've all been waiting for. Do you have a strategy for what to do next?
JM: Lee Elders is helping me to release this to the American public. He's asking for money for this because he wants to help me. I've had many economic problems. You know how it is to have this investigation going on for six years without any funding. He said now's the time to get some money. I don't know how much money, but if we don't get it, I would release it anyway. I can't say no to help, but that's not the purpose of this. And if he's not able to get what he wants, then I'll release it.
Original file name: CNI - Maussan interview.final
This file was converted with TextToHTML - (c) Logic n.v.