Mr. Friedman trusted in the veracity of many eyewitness accounts of alien visitations and abductions, and accepted reports of burn circles, landing gear marks and small footprints as evidence of flying saucer landings and takeoffs.
He happily debated doubters and debunkers.
During a radio appearance in 2004 on “Coast to Coast AM with George Noory,” Mr. Friedman faced off against Seth Shostak, senior astronomer of the SETI Institute, in Mountain View, Calif. SETI (for search for extraterrestrial intelligence) performs experiments to detect radio or light signals from outer space that might reveal the presence there of sophisticated beings.
“They want us to provide a body, and we want them to provide any kind of evidence that there’s anybody out there sending signals,” Mr. Friedman said.
Mr. Shostak said SETI had not found evidence of “cosmic company” on Earth.
“While he’s claiming that he’s found the evidence and they’re here, I don’t find that evidence terribly compelling,” Mr. Shostak said of Mr. Friedman during the radio program, adding that “if we do find something, it won’t be claims like the ufologists’, but claims that can be verified by many people in many ways where there will be no doubt.”
Mr. Friedman’s renown in the world of ufology brought him an appearance — caricatured as himself, but called “Dr. Stanton” — in a 1998 issue of the “Betty and Veronica” comic book series, in which the title characters attend a U.F.O. convention in their fictional hometown, Riverdale.
When Veronica cautions Betty, “Don’t turn into one of these spaceheads,” “Dr. Stanton” responds: “Excuse me, miss! The term is ufologist!”
Stanton Terry Friedman was born on July 29, 1934, in Elizabeth, N.J., and grew up in nearby Linden. His father, Louis, was a blue-collar worker, and his mother, Florence (Zeitlin) Friedman, was a homemaker.