Michael Hesemann (born March 22, 1964 in Düsseldorf) is a German journalist and author. In the late 1980s he became known in Germany as an author of several books on UFOs and extraterrestrial visitors on Earth. Later in his career he turned to topics related to Catholicism.
When Michael Hesemann was around 14 years old, his father had a UFO sighting that (as Michael Hesemann would recall three decades later) inspired his son to become a UFO researcher. Hesemann studied History and Cultural Anthropology at the University of Göttingen in Germany.
From 1984 to 1990 Hesemann published the German magazine Magazin 2000, which dealt with paranormal phenomena and religious topics. In 1990, he sold the Magazine and served as its editor-in-chief for the next decade. In 1995, together with his co-editor at Magazin 2000, Hesemann hosted a global ufology congress in Düsseldorf, Germany, where he presented alleged video evidence for the alien autopsy.
In 1999, he was accredited to the Holy See Press Office. In 2010, the Wall Street Journal described him as "a religious historian who helps the Vatican date relics". He is German representative of the Pave the Way Foundation (PTWF) for which he did research at the Vatican archives in 2010.
He co-founded Deutschland pro Papa, a conservative Catholic initiative which claims to represent the "silent majority of Rome-loyal Catholics". In 2013, he compiled an exhibition on the Turin Shroud for the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, touring through Germany and Austria as of 2015.
Together with Georg Ratzinger, Hesemann co-authored "My brother, the Pope".
In 2014 he claims to have located 2000 pages of documents on the Armenian genocide in the Vatican Archives. For this, in October 2016, he received an honorary doctorate of the National Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Armenia.
In the Vatican, he investigated the history of the alleged relic of the inscription of the cross of Jesus, hidden in Rome for nearly 1700 years. It was dated by seven Israeli experts for comparative palaeography –the established method to date inscriptions- into the 1st century. The relic is exhibited in the Basilica di Santa Croce.
His book The Pope who Defied Hitler. The Truth about Pius XII (2008) led him to claim that pope Pius XII, sometimes referred to as the "Hitler Pope", was in fact responsible for saving hundreds of thousands of Jews.
Court order against Hesemann
In January 2013, a court in Hamburg ruled that Hesemann would have to pay a fine up to €250,000 if he continued libelling the German theologian David Berger. According to the ruling Hesemann had falsely affirmed that Berger had been one of the authors of the extreme right-wing Catholic (now closed) web site kreuz.net.