Images by David Allegretti
Paul Dean is a painter and decorator. He lives in an average home in Melbourne's eastern suburbs with his wife and two young daughters, and he has a penchant for Lego. Oh, and he's absolutely positive the government is lying to you. Paul says UFOs exist, and he has proof.
Paul's house is full of what he claims to be classified documents. They're everywhere, along with his architecturally-accurate Lego skyscrapers. It's clear that somewhere between the two, Paul has spent a long time searching for the truth. I watched him rifle through his documents, before finally asking why are you doing that?
Paul Dean: I'm gathering proof. When I actually look at the evidence—and by evidence I mean radar imaging and quality pilot, air traffic controller, and high ranking government official testimony on unknown phenomena in our skies—and then when I look at the official explanations, I see a massive mismatch. This doesn't necessarily have to be little green men, it just means a lot is going on beyond the scope of public knowledge. No government organisation, no flight agency, no air force or navy, has ever explained the UFO matter to anyone's satisfaction really. That leaves me very, very, very curious as to what's going on.
VICE: Has anyone ever criticised you for searching for UFOs?
No one openly criticises me as such. Instead they say to me why do you bother, Paul? I respond by saying have you ever looked at the evidence yourself? Properly? And every single time they say well, no, and I say, so don't assume anything until you know the facts. So, people don't laugh or criticise or scoff outwardly; but they certainly take the matter so lightly that it borders on criticism.
If you found out that UFOs unequivocally don't exist, how would you feel?
If all UFO events turn out to be not unusual—intelligent craft/phenomena which are beyond human understanding—then it would open more mystery. What maddening, weird hallucinations are happening in professional people's minds or eyes to make them swear they have seen flying saucers bob around in the sky? Also, what is setting off our otherwise perfectly functioning primary radar systems from time-to-time?
So basically, you're sure the government is hiding something?
I'm sure of it. I know they are. I've seen example after example after example and to me that's borderline criminal negligence. And I think that should be addressed and I'd like to be one of the people certainly in Australia—at the Australian government level—to actually do that.
How helpful has the internet been in your quest for truth?
The rise of the internet has been an absolute double-edged sword. Back in the day I would have to go to the national records administration in Washington to get half of these documents. Now, they're all available on the internet. It has brought with it the ability for people to communicate very rapidly. Like a whistle-blower to a researcher, or a researcher to a sceptic. The ability is just instantaneous now.
So what's the draw-back?
That the internet has so much garbage—absolute rubbish. It's depressing how much rubbish is out there about UFOs. I mean the internet's been great, don't get me wrong, but, you certainly can't believe everything you read. It's worse than the papers.
Tell me about your Lego.
When I was younger I had a dream. I wanted to know what would happen if I had enough Lego to build entire cities. Everyone said there's not enough colours. Like you'd need black, grey, white, red, but it still wouldn't look right. Then there's not enough windows, you'd need tens of thousands of little plastic windows. You'll never get all this stuff Paul, they told me. And I was like thirteen and I said one day I will be able to build architecturally accurate cities. I'll just wait for more colours to be brought out and cheaper windows and doors and stuff.
So what are we looking at here?
The white one with blue windows comes from inspiration from a building in North Sydney, and the grey "old" style one comes from pre-Internationalist era skyscrapers, meaning early buildings thought to be high for their time in the 1890s to the 1920s.
Did you ever build space Lego as a kid?
Yes I was quite good at it too. What used to set me apart from other kids was the realism—air tight compartment modules for example. And I used to keep any rocket launch pads away from the space stations because in real life that is what would happen for safety reasons. The spaceships I built were also realistic—rarely did I have guns on the front, you were more likely to find science equipment like antennae and so on.
Why is the truth so important to you?
I have been stuck with UFOs for 22 years and I want some new answers. I think that it's a democratic right for people to know our cash is being spent on behind closed doors, in secret programs. Finally, I just think planes should be able to fly as safely as possible.
Follow David on Twitter: @davidallegretti