Several weeks ago,'s founder Julian Assange went into hiding after reports suggested the Pentagon had launched a "manhunt" for him. Looks like he escaped their predator drones: He was a surprise guest at TEDGlobal in Oxford, England.

Looking as much the benevolent alien invader as always, Assange didn't say much about the supposed manhunt during a Q&A with TED founder Chris Anderson. According to CNN, Assange said he canceled three US appearances because of "unreasonable statements by U.S. officials in private that they may not follow the rule of law" in dealing with the super-secretive founder of the whistleblower website.

"I received advice from figures like [investigative reporter] Sy Hersh to exercise caution," Assange said, adding that U.S. officials have now adopted a "reasonable" attitude in private.

He did touch on the recent arrest of Wikileaks' most famous source: army intelligence specialist Bradley Manning. Assange again denied that Manning sent Wikileaks over 150,000 sensitive diplomatic cables in addition to that Iraq attack helicopter video, as he claims.

Assange's reappearance comes among speculation that Wikileaks' website is falling into disrepair. Perhaps this was meant to assuage critics. But the rumors won't die off until Wikileaks and Assange release their next high-profile leak. Let's see that Afghanistan air strike video.

[Photo of Julian Assange and Chris Anderson by TEDglobal]