Image: Julian Assange
MARTIAL TREZZINI  /  AP
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange held an online question-and-answer session Friday with the Guardian newspaper's readers.
NBC News and news services
updated 12/3/2010 8:05:09 PM ET 2010-12-04T01:05:09

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said on Friday that there were some references to UFOs in "yet-to-be-published" confidential files obtained from the U.S. government.

In an online chat hosted by the U.K.'s Guardian newspaper, he also said that no one has been harmed by his organization's release of troves of secret documents.

"WikiLeaks has a four-year publishing history. During that time there has been no credible allegation, even by organizations like the Pentagon, that even a single person has come to harm as a result of our activities," Assange said in response to a reader's question. "This is despite much-attempted manipulation and spin trying to lead people to a counter-factual conclusion. We do not expect any change in this regard."

Assange said he and colleagues were aware of death threats following the publication of  diplomatic cables on their website.

"The threats against our lives are a matter of public record, however, we are taking the appropriate precautions to the degree that we are able when dealing with a superpower," Assange was quoted as saying.

Answering questions online, Assange also said that anyone making threats against his life should be charged with incitement to murder.

  1. Related content
    1. WikiLeaks developments: Site seeks refuge
    2. Attorney: Assange rape claim ‘not political’
    3. Senators call for WikiLeaks prosecution
    4. Lieberman pressures 2nd firm on WikiLeaks
    5. A look inside WikiLeaks' server bunker
    6. Wiki fallout? Canada's envoy offers to resign

Asked if he has ever been forwarded documents dealing with UFOs or extraterrestrials, Assange responded, "Many weirdos e-mail us about UFOs or how they discovered that they were the anti-Christ whilst talking with their ex-wife at a garden party over a pot plant. However, as yet they have not satisfied two of our publishing rules: 1) that the documents not be self-authored; 2) that they be original.

"However, it is worth noting that in yet-to-be-published parts of the Cablegate archive, there are indeed references to UFOs."

Britain's Guardian is one of a number of newspapers around the world with early access to diplomatic cables seen by WikiLeaks.

The whereabouts of Assange, a 39-year-old Australian, are unknown, but some reports have said he is believed to be in southern England.

Swedish authorities said on Friday that information missing from a European arrest warrant they had issued against Assange for alleged sex crimes had been handed to British authorities.

"We sent it. They asked for complementary information and now they have it," Swedish Prosecution Authority spokeswoman Karin Rosander said.

Bjorn Hurtig, Assange's attorney in Sweden, told Dutch TV that the WikiliLeaks founder would fight extradition if arrested.

Hurtig repeated Assange's denials of a sexual crime in Sweden and said any evidence against him was "very very weak."

"One woman says it's rape another woman says its a sexual offense," Hurtig said. "I will not say if he says he has had sex with them. I will tell you he denies rape he denies sexual offenses he denies having committed any sort of crime against these women or against any other person."

Crippling Web traffic
In his reponses on the Guardian's online question-and-answer session, Assange described Pfc. Bradley Manning, who was detained in connection with the leaked documents, as an "unparalleled hero" — if it was he who leaked the cables to WikiLeaks, he said.

Video: WikiLeaks chief could be arrested today

The Q&A session with was crippled at first by heavy traffic but it was not immediately clear if The Guardian newspaper website was under a denial of service attack.

The Guardian said on one of its Twitter feeds that readers should be patient because the website is under heavy visitor loads.

Assange has not made a public appearance in nearly a month, although he has spoken to journalists over the Internet.

Swedish authorities have issued a Europe-wide warrant for his arrest, while WikiLeaks has been forced to switch to a Swiss domain name after its American domain name provider withdrew service. Its sites have also been hit by denial of service attacks.

'History will win'
"The Cable Gate archive has been spread, along with significant material from the US and other countries to over 100,000 people in encrypted form. If something happens to us, the key parts will be released automatically," Assange wrote in response to a question about the way material is distributed.

  1. Only on NBCNews.com
    1. OWN via Getty Images
      From belief to betrayal: How America fell for Armstrong
    2. pool via Reuters file
      US to Syria neighbors: Be ready to act on WMDs
    3. China: One-child policy is here to stay
    4. NRA: Practice Range
      New 'Practice Range' shooter game says it’s from NRA
    5. 'Gifted' priest indicted in crystal meth case
    6. AFP - Getty Images
      China's state media admits to air pollution crisis
    7. AFP - Getty Images
      French to send 1,000 more troops to Mali

"Further, the Cable Gate archives is in the hands of multiple news organizations. History will win. The world will be elevated to a better place. Will we survive? That depends on you."

Assange also addressed the attention he has been getting while the rest of his organization has remained largely anonymous.

"In the end, someone must be responsible to the public and only a leadership that is willing to be publicly courageous can genuinely suggest that sources take risks for the greater good," he said.

"In that process, I have become the lightning rod. I get undue attacks on every aspect of my life, but then I also get undue credit as some kind of balancing force."

Reuters and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Video: Assange declares that ‘history will win’

  1. Closed captioning of: Assange declares that ‘history will win’

    >>> new trouble tonight for wikileaks . it's had to find a new address on the web, because two u.s. internet servers have dumped it and others are trying to do the same. meanwhile, in a web chat with readers of britain's guardian newspaper , the founder of wikileaks , julian assange, who is wanted in sweden for alleged sex crimes , said "history will win, the world will be elevated to a better place. will we survive? that depends on you." as for the millions of online documents wikileaks has obtained, the camp surrounding julian assange says those secrets remain safely stored in his former military bunker in sweden.

Photos: Wikileaks

loading photos...
  1. (Mike Keefe / The Denver Post, Politicalcartoons.com) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. (Olle Johansson / Sweden, Politicalcartoons.com) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. (John Darkow / The Columbia Daily Tribune, Politicalcartoons.com) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. (Jimmy Margulies / The New Jersey Record, Politicalcartoons.com) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. (Joep Bertrams / Politicalcartoons.com) Back to slideshow navigation
  6. (J.D. Crowe / The Mobile Register, Politicalcalcartoons.com) Back to slideshow navigation
  7. (Olle Johansson / Sweden, Politicalcartoons.com) Back to slideshow navigation
  1. Editor's note:
    This image contains graphic content that some viewers may find disturbing.

    Click to view the image, or use the buttons above to navigate away.

  2. Editor's note:
    This image contains graphic content that some viewers may find disturbing.

    Click to view the image, or use the buttons above to navigate away.

  3. Editor's note:
    This image contains graphic content that some viewers may find disturbing.

    Click to view the image, or use the buttons above to navigate away.

  4. Editor's note:
    This image contains graphic content that some viewers may find disturbing.

    Click to view the image, or use the buttons above to navigate away.

Interactive: WikiLeaks timeline

Discuss:

Discussion comments

,

Most active discussions

  1. votes comments
  2. votes comments
  3. votes comments
  4. votes comments