Phillip H. Krapf is a retired Pulitzer Prize winning journalist. His work as an author is known mainly for his detailed claims to have been repeatedly abducted by an alien race known as "The Verdants." In his books he depicts the Verdants as a colonizing race spread across much of the galaxy seeking to initiate relations with Earth on behalf of the "Intergalactic Federation of Sovereign Planets." In late October of 2001, Krapf released a statement saying that the September 11, 2001 attacks had put the aliens "contact mission" (for which he had long previously scheduled a press release about a week beyond the date of the attacks) in indefinite suspension.
Krapf began work in 1963 as a reporter for a local newspaper in San Fernando, California, where he progressed to the rank of managing editor, receiving several journalism awards. His work for the LA Times spanned 25 years of a 30-year career and culminated in his sharing a Pulitzer Prize with other members of the Metro team for the paper's reporting on the 1992 Los Angeles riots.
According to Krapf's account, he went to bed on the evening of June 10, 1997 only to be awakened by a blue light in the room that he could not attribute to a television or any other source. The light constricted and became the vehicle for his abduction. In seconds he appeared on an examination table in a large room on an alien spacecraft and was introduced to some of the aliens he would spend several days conversing with and learning from. These individuals, with reference to a lushly vegetated home planet, called themselves the Verdants and identified themselves as the largest of numerous thousands of civilizations in their well travelled universe. They also distanced themselves from some of the less pleasant reported types of alien abduction activity.
Krapf, hitherto a self-described skeptic, says he accommodated himself to the shock and came to learn through an introductory orientation program about the aliens, their non-hostile intentions (he described himself as reconciled to his own taking), a complex intergalactic federation of sovereign planetary civilizations, and the general protocols surrounding a civilization's approach to its first exploratory steps into space. He was also informed that while earth was an uncharacteristically internally diverse civilization, preparations were underway to introduce its population to the new concept that extraterrestrial life was a fact, involving close cooperation between the Verdants and humans of general respect and credibility.
Krapf says he was asked to write a white paper regarding the plan, as a reference resource for individuals unfamiliar with the preparatory efforts. He turned the account into a more personal factual narrative report, including his individual reactions to the new culture shock and intense interest in the experience.
The book makes unusual claims but also includes intriguing discussions of technical details, a discussion of a purportedly 600 million year old civilization with maximal or "perfect" intelligence, having bioengineered themselves to a ceiling lifespan of approximately 20,000 earth years. Krapf further describes discovering to his own shock (being an atheist) the extraterrestrials' civilizations' individual yet ubiquitous religion, reportedly involving direct scientific evidence but only sketched in general description. He also relates the brief episode of being sexually propositioned at one point by a particular individual, a surprising turn which he politely declined and relegates to part of an intercultural learning process between the characters. He also attempts to anticipate several normal prospective objections to the credibility of his account.
In a followup book, The Challenge of Contact (Origin Press, 2003), Krapf amplified on his post-experience life, two follow-on visitations, and the freeze on the disclosure program which as noted above he said the September 11 attacks resulted in, which took place only weeks prior to what would otherwise have been the beginnings of the first steps of disclosure. Among other things he alludes to clandestine politico-economic entities with specific disinterest in any progress toward a worldwide awakening to the reality of the extraterrestrial phenomenon. He alleges that the human race was effectively assessed as borderline in its collective moral development, would be contained if it were to attempt to seriously explore space while still warlike, and is essentially at the moment now on probation as to whether its good and decent elements will prevail in containing and arresting its sociopathic elements. Whether the attacks themselves or other related factors were key to the decision is not made explicit.
In a third publication, Meetings with Paul (Origin Press 2008), Krapf discussed a figure in greater length mentioned in his first book, whom the Verdants identified to him as his "angel". While a skeptic might argue the subjects are connected merely as New Age ephemera, the rationality inculcated by Krapf's apparently sincere initial atheism allowed him to explore the possibility such entities were empirically real based on the Verdants' comments and his own experience with Paul's claimed physical manifestation. The work takes up chiefly his discussions of spirituality with Paul independent of conventional theological constraints, but also updates the "controversy surrounding my initial performance as the initial spokesperson for the contact" and the contact-readiness and ambassadors situation since the 911-related suspension of disclosure plans.
Subsequent to his first book's publication, Krapf made several popularly received appearances on late night talk radio programs such as the Mike Jarmus Show and Coast to Coast AM.
- Krapf, Phillip. (1998) The Contact Has Begun: The True Story of a Journalist's Encounter with Alien Beings. Carlsbad, California: Hay House, Inc. ISBN 1-56170-506-3
- Reissued in 2004 by Origin Press. ISBN 1-57983-014-5
- Krapf, Phillip. (2000) The Challenge of Contact: A Mainstream Journalist's Report on Interplanetary Diplomacy. San Rafael, California: Origin Press ISBN 1-57983-008-0
- A 2nd edition, "revised and updated after 9/11", was released in paperback in 2002 by Origin Press ISBN 1-57983-009-9
- Krapf, Phillip. (2008) Meetings with Paul: An Atheist Discovers His Guardian Angel. San Rafael, California: Origin Press. ISBN 1579830218, ISBN-13 978-1579830212.
- thechallengeofcontact.com Krapf's website, currently down, as last recorded on archive.org
- email Ufologist Glenn Campbell page with inquiry and brief response received on Krapf's position with the Times
- (PDF) Statement to the UFO community updating events since 9-11 (on publisher's website)
- 3-minute interview clip with Robert O. Dean on YouTube