- Supposed Psychic and Self-Proclaimed UFO
- Authority Alleges Libel In Unfounded Lawsuit
- Sean David Morton, who has promoted himself as "one
of America's greatest psychics" and as the "world's foremost
UFO researcher", has filed a one-million dollar defamation lawsuit
- Morton was the subject of a series of UFOWATCHDOG.COM
articles, most notably 'The Shameless Psychic and His Prophecy of Lies'
in which many of Morton's claims were called into serious question. Morton
was invited to directly comment on the story, which was later published
in February 2001. Morton failed to respond to several invitations for comment,
including a posted open invitation on the UFOWATCHDOG.COM website.
- In his lawsuit, Morton alleges all information pertaining
to him published by UFOWATCHDOG.COM is "false", including an
autobiography and a list of production/writing credits both authored by
Morton himself. This leaves the question of why Morton would actually claim
something written by him is false.
- UFOWATCHDOG.COM editor Royce J. Myers III calls the lawsuit
"completely meritless and an absolute abuse of the judicial system."
Myers further added, " Mr.Morton is simply trying to use the courts
by trampling on the First Amendment in an attempt to silence one of his
- When asked about Morton's claim of being libeled, Myers
said, "Mr.Morton's allegations are pure fantasy, as are the vast majority
of his UFO and psychic claims. Mr.Morton was invited to comment and has,
by choice, continually failed to respond or comment. Mr.Morton has been
aware of UFOWATCHDOG.COM since it debuted in February 2001. You can't hold
someone else accountable for your own failure to speak up."
- "Mr.Morton apparently will go to any length in trying
to silence someone with something to say about him, as he has named UFOWATCHDOG.COM's
webhost as a defendant, which is ludicrous. Thanks to Mr.Morton's baseless
lawsuit, the webhost has shut down the UFOWATCHDOG.COM website. The webhost
has nothing to do with the content of the website. The lawsuit is clearly
retaliatory and intended to stifle any debate about Mr.Morton's public
claims about UFOs, the paranormal, and his alleged credentials. Essentially,
he's trying to scare anyone from engaging him in the eye of the public
and apparently is under the assumption that issues pertaining to UFOs and
the paranormal are one-sided debates solely for him to participate in."
- Prominent Los Angeles civil rights attorney Carol A.
Sobel, representing UFOWATCHDOG.COM, responded to the complaint. On February
20, 2003, Sobel filed a motion to have the lawsuit dismissed on the grounds
that Morton is "...prevent[ing] Defendants from engaging in protected
expressive activities -- namely calling into question [Morton's] self-proclaimed
national expertise on extraterrestrial life, UFOs, and the paranormal."
- Filed under a special California state law enacted in
1992 to combat what the California Legislature called "...a disturbing
increase in lawsuits brought primarily to chill the valid exercise of the
constitutional rights of freedom of speech", the state law protects
people from defamation and other SLAPP (Strategic Lawsuits Against Public
Participation) lawsuits. The motion allows for the lawsuit to be quickly
dismissed when such complaint arises from the exercise of First Amendment
petition and free speech rights on an issue of public interest.
- Sobel noted in the motion to dismiss the lawsuit, "The
existence of extraterrestrial life is unquestionably a matter of great
public interest. People all over the world are engaged in research to answer
the question of whether such life exists. Needless to say, this matter
is quite controversial, bringing with it vehemently contrasting positions
based on scientific and religious grounds."
- A hearing on the motion is scheduled for March 13, 2003
at 8:30AM in L.A.
- Superior Court in department E at 825 Maple Ave., Torrance,
- Since early 2001, UFOWATCHDOG.COM has been a news source
for both UFOs and the paranormal. Most notably, UFOWATCHDOG.COM has challenged
a number of the claims made by well known UFO personalities, has provided
commentary on the UFO and paranormal fields, as well as having exposed
UFO hoaxes all in an effort to further more rational and scientific debate
regarding issues such as UFOs and the paranormal.
- Contact: <mailto:email@example.com>firstname.lastname@example.org
- Release compiled by C. O'Shaughnessy