Dan Burisch Story: Dr. Crain's UFO Claims Raise QuestionsDecember 3, 2005
KLAS-TV Las Vegas
UFO stories don't get any wilder than this one. A Las Vegas man has developed a cult-like following around the world by claiming to have worked with a live extraterrestrial at Area 51.
The story told by Dan Burisch is a whopper, but can he prove any of it? George Knapp of the Eyewitness News I-Team has the story of Dr. Dan's alien adventure.
His name today is Dan Burisch. Before that it was Dan Catselas, and when Eyewitness News first ran into him, it was Dan Crain. "Doctor" Dan Crain, he says. But is he a doctor, and has he really been face to face with an alien in an underground lab?
This story has a little bit of everything, including a lot of unanswered questions. When Channel 8 produced a story in 1994 about this volunteer teacher at the Boys and Girls club, he was introduced as Dr. Dan Crain. At the time, Dan Crain, now known as Dan Burisch, was supposedly participating in the most secret program in existence. But the secret is now out. Burisch has a worldwide following -- websites a message boards, books, audiotapes and DVDs.
He has a publicist and a biographer, a high profile for a secret scientist. Burisch says he worked in an underground lab at S-4 near Area 51, the same place first made public by Bob Lazar. Inside he met an extraterrestrial named Jrod and they became pals. He also met angels in the lab and they spoke in Hebrew.
On Frenchman's Mountain, Burisch discovered the first seeds of life on earth. Who believes this stuff? His wife Deborah for one. She signed a sworn statement saying she too works for MJ-12, the secret government. Family friend Marcia McDowell, another alleged secret agent, supports the story too. It's grown more complex ever since we first heard some of it in 1990. It's more complex now.
There are photos of Burisch and his wife in military garb saluting each other. Neither ever served in the military. Intriguingly, they have a sticker on their windshield that allows access to Nellis AFB. Would a real government scientist be allowed to openly dribble out government secrets? We asked former army intelligence Colonel John Alexander.
"It's highly improbable," said Col. John Alexander, retired army intelligence. What about his PHD? Burisch says he earned his doctorate in 1990 at Stony Brook University in New York. The school says he was never a student there. Burisch says his records were erased. But at the time he supposedly earned his degree in New York, records show, he had a full time job in Las Vegas as a parole officer.
He now says he flew back and forth to the school on weekends. Ridiculous, the university says. He met his wife as a parole officer. She was there on drug charges. She's spent 12 years in the PBX department of the Mirage, but that's just a cover job.
We asked MGM Mirage if they know they have a secret agent working for them in a cover job. They do now. Marcia McDowell, another secret operative, who solicited our coverage a few times, is seen in a video as she uncovers a space probe on Frenchman's Mountain and then meticulously dissects it's sophisticated electrical tape and rubber tubing.
Someone else who believes Burisch is his mom, Dodie Crane, although she has some doubts too. "If my son is the biggest bull****er in the world, I want to know about it," said Dodie Crain, Dan's mom.
Like everyone else in this story, Dodie declined an on camera interview, but told us her son, whom she hasn't seen in 12 years, is telling the truth. She's written her own book about it.
For a final opinion on this story, we turned to a man who helped to inspire it and who supposedly was in the secret program with Burisch.
"This is the biggest bull***t story I have ever heard in my life. Anybody that actually believes this guy should be ashamed of themselves. I never worked at Tonopah. I never met this knucklehead," said Bob Lazar.
The sticker on the windshield is from Nellis. The United States Air Force says it's a low level sticker, easy to get, allowing access to the commissary, and that you can get one if you've had a relative in the military, as Deb Burisch has.
Also, Eyewitness News did talk to UNLV where Dan Burisch really did earn a B.A. in psychology. He's listed in the alumni guide as having that PHD from New York, but UNLV told us the alumni guide doesn't verify someone's post graduate credentials, so just because it says PHD in the guide means little.
Dan Burisch is a smart guy and this is an interesting story, which a lot of people seem to believe. We think it is sorely lacking in verifiable evidence. If any surfaces, we'd like to see it.