Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Gustaf Fröding and Esotericism

In the introduction to The Philosopher´s Stone, Swedish esotericist Henry T. Laurency writes: ”There exists a vast literature of which, amazingly, the general public appears to be entirely ignorant.” That this statement also includes most academic scholars becomes very obvious when reading Gustaf Fröding – och jag (Gustaf Fröding – and I) by the author Rolf Erik Solheim. This is a pioneering work about the famous Swedish poet, an in-depth study of the lifeview and worldview of Fröding and how it relates to ideas in The Esoteric Tradition.


Rolf Erik Solheim is a Norwegian engineer (M.Sc.), writer and lecturer who, besides his interest in natural science and technology, for many years has been deeply fascinated by esotericism in literature. When in the Spring of 2013 he, at a hotel in Värmland, found the book Frödings mystik (Fröding`s Mystique) by Olle Holmberg, Solheim ”borrowed” this volume and it was the beginning of a long journey of discovery. Very early on in his research Solheim realized that almost no writer or academic scholar had studied the worldview of Fröding, nor had any understanding of its foundation and sources. Solheim regularly update his findings at the website, Framtiden är din (The Future Is Yours) created together with his wife Anne.

Rolf Erik Solheim during a lecture at Kristinehamn Public Library October 8, 2016

In 2016 Solheim published a summary of his research in the yearbook of the Gustaf Fröding Society now later extended in the latest work Gustaf Fröding – And I. The title has been changed several times as the author also wished to include how his own spiritual search has been affected by this study: ”The journey with Fröding is also a personal journey where I narrate how I wrote the book and how the established Fröding scholars regarded my project almost as a molestation of the mainstream view of Fröding.” (p. 19) Since the Olle Holmberg study, published in 1921, no in-depth study has been made of Fröding´s esoteric worldview. Solheim found out the hard way that all writers including academic scholars are metaphysical illiterates. Hopefully this will change because of the renaissance of academic interest in the once taboo subject Western Esotericism. It is slowly been recognized that The Esoteric Tradition is the third intellectual force or pillar in cultural history besides religion and science.

Yerbook of the Gustaf Fröding Society 2016

Gustaf Fröding spent the latter part of his tragic life at different mental institutions and hospitals. His most precious possession during these final years was a portrait of Goethe. His friend, poet Erik Axel Karlfeldt, visited Fröding and noted: ”Goethe´s ´Geist´ was to Fröding something much more than spirit in the ordinary sense, an all-consciousness. In his Graal poetry the Divine Spark, which according to Fröding exist in every human being, is connected to this all-consciousness.” (p. 46). This deep attachment to Goethe reveal a spiritual affinity as Goethe was a member of the secret Rosicrucian fraternity which he disguised as The Fellowship in the Tower in his second novel Wilhelm Meister´s Apprenticeship.

Gustaf Fröding 1910

An important discovery was made by Solheim in the Fröding archive at Uppsala University Library. Among the 133 volumes many are filled with notes and comments by Fröding himself, especially in the collected works of philologist and Orientalist Max Müller. The comments give many clues to Fröding´s worldview and spiritual quest. When Solheim found these comments he took no less than 600 pictures as reference to his book. Of interest is that one book in the Fröding archive is the Swedish edition of Theosophist Alfred Percy Sinnett´s Esoteric Buddhism.

Gustaf Fröding wrote three small booklets presenting his worldview. The most important bears the title Om lifsmonader. Ett lifsförklaringsförsök (On Life Monads. An attempt to Explain Life), privately published in 1898. The idea of the evolution of consciousness that Fröding tried to formulate in his booklets was usually misunderstood or completely ignored by later scholars and writers, revealing their ignorance of The Esoteric Tradition. Solheim give many examples from literary reviews and books how mainstream academics viewed these works, often referring to Fröding´s mental illness: ”balmy”, ”a curiosity”, ”hocus pocus”, ”reduced capacity for reasoning power”, ”a low point in Fröding´s production” etc.


A major part of the book consists of Solheim´s quotes and references to various historical and contemporary authors who from different viewpoints discuss the same ideas and problems as Fröding. Here we find Plato, Pythagoras, Leibnitz, Goethe as well as Roger Penrose and Max Tegmark. But there is also a few quotes from esotericists Roberto Assagioli and Henry T. Laurency. This may be a bit confusing to the reader as there is no summary of the basic ideas in the core Esoteric Tradition – Helena P. Blavatsky, Alice Bailey, Henry T. Laurency. Italian psychiatrist Roberto Assagioli was the founder of Psychosynthesis but also secretly a disciple of the Tibetan adept who dictated the works published by Alice Bailey. Regarding his connection to the Tibetan, Assagioli kept a strict ”wall of silence”.

Three pages are devoted to Pythagoras and hylozoics with some short comments on the writings of the erudite Swedish esotericist Henry T. Laurency. To fully understand the unique contribution of Laurency to esoteric philosophy, a more extensive chapter should have been included. Especially as Solheim recognize Laurency as an expert esotericist: ”If Fröding had known that the worlds foremost monad thinker a few years after his death would study philosophy at Uppsala University he had possibly asked the All-Consciousness permission to live a few more years to meet him.” (p. 208). Henry T. Laurency studied philosophy at Uppsala University in the beginning of the 20th century.

Together with the author at Kristinehamn Public Library 2016

These few critical comments are not meant to dimish the importance of Solheim´s work. Hopefully new generations of scholars will continue this line of investigation and fully realize how ideas in The Esoteric Tradition has influenced our culture. Gustaf Fröding´s contemporary author Selma Lagerlöf was  also very much influenced by esotericism, which fortunately several scholars have discovered. Next in line is Gustaf Fröding and here Rolf Erik Solheim has laid the groundwork with his excellent and pioneering research.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Akualele Research Group

For the UFO historian and sociologist the 1950s is a period of special interest. As a result of the frequent and global reports of unknown craft in the sky coupled with claims of contact with space people the decade witnessed the emergence of the first civilian UFO societies. They ranged from scientifically oriented research organizations to more or less religious or cultist groups. If you happened to live in Hawaii during the 1950s and had an interest in UFOs there was one man you couldn´t miss – Riley Hansard Crabb, founder of the Honolulu-based Akualele Research Group in 1956. Akualele is a local Hawaiian word for ”fire spirits” or ”flying gods”.

Riley Crabb with friends in Honolulu April 1949. Probably photo from workplace

Riley Crabb (1912-1994) was especially well equipped to deal with unexplained phenomena. His mother, Mrs. Eunice Crabb, was a student of esotericist and philospher Manly Palmer Hall. As a young man growing up in Minneapolis, Riley, in 1934, discovered the very extensive library of the Theosophical Society in Minneapolis. This collection of Esoterica he ”tried to read through in record time”. Interest in psychic research led to co-operation with  Mrs Nellie Thompson, a clairvoayant lady whose talents were sometimes used by the detectives of the Minneapolis polis force. During these years he also married his first wife Marion Crabb (Marion M. Strese) who was a materialisation medium. It must have been a very special learning experience for Riley living together with a medium with such unusual abilities. At times presumably quite upsetting if Marion didn´t have control of her psychic powers.


Military service took Riley Crabb to Hawaii in 1944. After the war he continued living in Honolulu, marrying his second wife Judith (Judy) Crabb in 1950 or 1951. Interested in both Eastern and Western esoteric traditions Riley, during these years in Hawaii, became a student of the local Kahuna philosophy and magical practices, learning from Kahunas Charles Kenn, Kino Lau, David (Daddy) Bray.

David (Daddy) Bray

In a Round Robin article 1962 Riley Crabb reminisced about these times: ”During the four years I worked at the Naval Supply Center, Pearl Harbor I became well acquainted with one of the safety engineers, a Caucasian-Hawaiian from the island of Molokai. He knew of my interest in Flying Saucers and told me of his own early childhood experiences with Akualele. He had an uncle who was one of the 57 varieties of Kahunas. By appropriate rhythmical breathing and chanting this uncle could call up an Elemental and give it a temporary form in the shape of a glowing ball of light. Another Kahuna across the valley had similiar abilities. They were probably initiates of the same Mystery School. They were friendly rivals, too, and to entertain themselves - and show off their prowess - in the long Molokai evenings, these pagan sorcerers would create highly charged globes of electrical ether and send them back and forth between them! The engineer told me of those long-remembered nights there in the tropic darkness of his home island, sitting at a respectful distance from the Kahuna, and watching open-mouthed as the ghostly, glowing globe came floating down out of the darkness.” (Round Robin, vol. 18, no. 3, April 1962, pp. 30-31)

Interest in flying saucers started in 1950 and in 1951 Riley became a member of Borderland Sciences Research Associates (BSRA), founded by Meade Layne in 1946. He became intensively fascinated by the subject and began lecturing on UFOs in Honolulu 1954. This led to many TV and radio appearances and lectures to both civilian societies, clubs and military personnel. On January 27, 1955 he was interviewed on the popular TV program Betty´s Guest Book, the CBS outlet in Honolulu:

”Betty Smyser: We have a guest who is an expert on a very unusual subject, Flying Saucers. His name is Riley Crabb. This is so nice of you to come down and tell us about a subject which is so fascinating. And, is it believable?
Riley Crabb: Yes, that´s what we´ll find out during your show.
Betty Smyser: First Riley, how did you become interested in inter-planetary travel?
Riley Crabb: One of the radio engineers here in Honolulu, back in 1950, gave me a copy of True Magazine which had one of their first articles on the subject. Prior to that I dismissed them as hallucinations, but the factual material in the article startled me. Shortly after that I had a chance to join the Borderland Sciences Research Associates, a group with headquarters in San Diego. We compile material of this kind and analyse it to see what truth is in it.”


Combined with his lecturing, media appearances, UFO and Kahuna studies Riley was elected President of the Theosophical Society in Hawaii 1955. This combination of interests, esotericism and UFOs, would become the hallmark of Riley Crabb´s continued work. The Esoteric Tradition was the worldview, theory or paradigm he always referred to in his writings and lectures. He explained this background in a letter to Hope Troxell, March 2, 1959: ”I take factural data as reported by contactees in newspapers, magazine articles and books and try to correlate it with the known or accepted teachings of the wise men of our race. I established this method of arriving at understanding when I began lecturing in Honolulu in June, 1954 and also used it as the basis for the work of the Akualele Research Group which I organized two years later.”


It was almost inevitable that Riley would also found a UFO group in Hawaii. He organized a first presentation on February 26, 1956 at Reef Hotel, Waikiki, naming the meeting The First Honolulu Space Convention. Riley suggested the name Saucer Research Group but changed it to Akualele Research Group. During 1956-1957 meetings, or conventions, were held around once a month. Although interest was great it was obviously not so easy to form a research group as evidenced by this leaflet about the Convention April 1, 1956.


But the Akualele Research Group was eventually formed in 1956 and a small newsletter was published regularly, the Akualele Research Group Bulletin. From what I can understand of the newsletters there was very little field investigation of UFO reports. Activity was concentrated around meetings with lectures and social gatherings. Riley Crabb gave a summary of the group meetings in a letter to Morris Jessup, June 10, 1956: ”… space conventions. We´re having about one a month at the Reef Hotel in Waikiki… We expected 20 or 30 people and over a hundred showed up. There were 160 at the last convention. I givet hem reviews of books, analyses of newspaper clippings, and slide illustrations of Flying Saucers and related material. If you ever come out this way we can guarantee you a pretty good audience for whatever you might want to say.”

Honolulu Star-Bulletin January 19, 1957

First page of Akualele Research Group Bulletin, April 7, 1957

When Riley and Judy Crabb left Hawaii, moving to California in August 1957, it seems that the activity of both Akualele Research Group and the Theosophical Society in Hawaii more or less ceased. This was probably due to the very active and dominant personality of Riley Crabb. His message in the last Bulletin August 1, 1957, indicates that their move will be the end of the group. In the BSRF archive I have only found an incomplete collection of Akualele Research Group Bulletin. There are several issues missing. If anyone of our colleagues reading this blog have access to this newsletter, physical or digital copies would be much appreciated.



Tuesday, May 29, 2018

George Adamski - The New Evidence

In his obituary of George Adamski, published in Flying Saucer Review, July-August 1965, Desmond Leslie wrote of his old friend: ”Our first contact was so strange. My Flying Saucers Have Landed was being rejected by publisher after publisher when I heard, through Meade Layne, of the first desert contact a week previously. I immediately wrote to George asking if he would let me see, and possibly buy his photos for my book. He replied by sending me the whole remarkable set of pictures with permission to use them without fee. What an extraordinary man, I thought. He takes the most priceless pictures of all time and wants no money for them… I am satisfied that his photographs and early contacts are authentic and will in time be proven so.”


Many books and thousands of articles have been written, both  pro and con, about George Adamski. But now, for the first time, his photographs has been digitally enhanced and evaluated by a professional photographer – Rene Erik Olsen from Denmark. He is a painter, photographer and researcher. Olsen documents his investigation in the beautifully illustrated The George Adamski Story – Historical Events of  Gigantic Implications. Information about Rene Erik Olsen and the book can also be found at his website. This unique investigation may be the first step forward in making Desmond Leslie´s hope of authenticating the Adamski  photographs come true.

Rene Erik Olsen

Olsen is not a ufologist but has been marginally interested in the subject for many years and in the 1990s did some illustrations for the Danish group SUFOI and Adamski co-worker H.C. Petersen. In 2001 Rene contacted Glenn Steckling, director of the Adamski Foundation as he wanted to do a computer animation of George Adamski´s contact experience November 20, 1952. From Steckling he received copies from the original negatives. But other projects engaged Olsen for 16 years until 2017 when he finally decided to make digital enhancements of the Adamski photos. It was then he made a revolutionary discovery. There was much more on these photos than even Adamski himself could have guessed.

Olsen have done enhancements of the three out of four Kodak Brownie photos George Adamski took on November 20, 1952. Also one telescope image from the desert contact, used by Glenn Steckling in his talks. The enhancements are done in Photoshop. The image enhancement process in respect to each Adamski photograph is documented. Olsen remarks that it ”does NOT change or manipulate the actural image (change what is already there in the frame), but does make the image sharper, remove noise, make some areas darker or lighter, make shadows lighter or darker and make highlights darker. These are the same image enhancements/processes I use on every image I take”.

In one of the Kodak Brownie photos the upper left hand and right hand corners of the image is very over-exposed. When enhanced this photo clearly shows the large cylindrical-shaped mothership or carrier craft with three smaller craft in the vicinity.


Many times I have looked at the Brownie photo of the rocky valley in the original edition of Flying Saucers Have Landed. In the background a small dark object is visible which is said to be the scoutship rising. I have always found this photo a bit disappointing and have, like Olsen himself, thought this was just the upper part of the craft which could be seen. But an enhancement of this photo show much more details of almost the whole ship. The dome and cabin are very distinct.




The most important and sensational Brownie photo is the forth as an enhancement shows both part of a craft and a figure, not noticed on the original print. Olsen makes this comment: ”Did Adamski know that he took this photo of a ”person” and the craft? I am sure he did. This is the only reason why he NEVER talked about these Brownie photos. He must have known what this picture showed (or potentially showed) and in the wrong hands might have revealed that he was in possession of a photo of an extraterrestrial.”



I am not so sure this is the explanation. In the 1950s no one could have found out what was hidden in the photo. The first image-processing software was developed by Jet Propulsion Laboratory in the 1960s for satellite image processing. There was no Photoshop until the late 1980s.

Glenn Steckling has not provided Olsen with first generation photos from the original negatives of the December 13th photos taken by George Adamski. But Olsen concludes that these classic images represent the same craft as observed on November 20, 1952. Olsen has received good copies of a film taken by George Adamski in Mexico 1957 and the well known Silver Spring film, taken by Madeleine Rodeffer and George Adamski on February 26th, 1965. The enhancements made from still frames of the Silver Spring film reveal many more details than the poor quality copies aviable on YouTube. Olsen has made six enhancements from the film and presents a detailed analysis of how the force field around the craft distort the images and the function of the spheres under craft: ”One ”ball” was kept retracted at all times during the ”display” to make the craft stable and the other two ”balls” were rotated and moved up and down… Had all three ”balls” been retracted the protective field would have been fully operational and not allowed for any details to be shown. The craft would then have been enveloped in the protective magnetic field which would have rendered the craft as a white/light orange form of energy.”

Very fascinating is the analysis of the 45 seconds film taken by George Adamski in Michoacan, Mexico 1957. I have seen it and was like Olsen not very impressed as I couldn´t understand what was going on. A treeline filmed from a moving car with a hardly visible craft in the background, behind some trees. The car eventually stopped and Adamski kept on filming. The enhancements though show some remakable details. The upper part of a craft with semi-transparent column and cabin. We are actually witnessing how the craft is changed from a solid object to a semi-transparent stage: ”… there must be some kind of either very powerful force at work (magnetic force/electromagnetic force) which can make the physical properties of metal (the electron structure of the solid material (metal of the craft) seem to be nullified…”

Photo by George Adamski, December 13, 1952. Notice the semi-transparency of the left sphere.

There are several more photos enhanced and studied by Olsen and also an analysis and  discussion about the technology and propulsion systems used in these craft. An obviously very efficient and powerful clean energy, ”which the Planet Earth sorely could use”, concludes Olsen in his final chapter. The last pages of the book is an Image Section with additional Adamski photos and some very beautiful paintings of craft and the ”crew member” Orthon, as imagined by Olsen. Truly a feast for the eye.

Olsen hope to be able to continue investigating and analysing the Adamski photos and films. Hopefully he will also be given access to some of the original negatives for a more definite study. In my correspondence with Rene Erik Olsen I asked him for a summary of what he hopes to achieve with his book and research: ”My small hope is that George Adamski and his photographic work will be taken more seriously today, as it does give us a glimpse of what Adamski was exposed to – and his problems in trying to present (not convince) his facts to the times he lived in. Today our ”informed and enlightened” generation should be able to gain a lot more from his material – if we consider the evidence at hand with an open mind. I, for one, am considering my next book – a much closer look at the technology and evidence for – those flying crafts that was captured on Adamski´s 8mm and 16mm films and his photos.”
(Email from Rene Erik Olsen, May 28, 2018).

My late friend ufologist Franck Boitte was, because of personal experiences, convinced that ”there is in the George Adamski saga much more than meets the eye.” A new generation of investigators and authors have reopened the Adamski case and provided much new information regarding this controversial contactee: Timothy Good, Tony Brunt, Michel Zirger, Maurizio Martinelli and Warren P. Aston. We can now add Rene Erik Olsen to this list. Their findings also support the theory I have personally advanced that some of the 1950s contactees were authentic and involved in a cultural, psychological influence test made by a benevolent groups of alien visitors with access to Vimana technology.

Desmond Leslie and George Adamski 1954


When a revised and very much enlarged edition of Desmond Leslie´s and George Adamskis´s Flying Saucers Have Landed was published in 1970, Flying Saucer Review editor Charles Bowen aptly named it The Book That Was Dynamite. This classic tome, originally published in 1953, changed the course of UFO history and the life of thousands of people – including my own – when I as a young teenager found it in my parents bookshelf. After almost 50 years in the UFO movement it is very seldom that I wholeheartedly and without reservations recommend a new UFO book. The George Adamski Story by Rene Erik Olsen is a real challenge to the UFO research community. The book is only 99 pages, but it is 99 pages of dynamite. Read it!

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Gerald Light And The Etherians

During the 1950s and 60s there were three channelers or mediums that had a large impact on the ideas and writings presented by Borderland Sciences Research Foundation (BSRF) directors Meade Layne and Riley Crabb. They were Mark Probert, Ralph Holland (Rolf Telano) and Gerald Light (Dr. Kappa). Two of the channelers, Holland and Light, can also be regarded as UFO contactees. Mark Probert and Ralph Holland are quite well known and biographical data is presented both in books, articles and on the internet. But when it comes to Gerald Light information is very hard to find, except a few comments and articles in BSRF´s magazine Round Robin. An internet search will almost only give references to Light´s famous 1954 letter to Meade Layne, with the story of Eisenhower´s meeting with space people.


One of the reasons for this scarcity of data on Gerald Light is probably because the many booklets and pamphlets he wrote were published on low quality paper, which today is so fragile that it is almost impossible to handle without destroying. In the BSRF archive donated to AFU, I have found, besides the original 1954 letter, no less than thirty booklets written by Gerald Light. They are so fragile that it will be impossible to keep them in our regular AFU library so I have digitized all booklets to preserve them for research and study.


I have not been able to determine the year of birth and death of Gerald Light but from a biographical and UFO research viewpoint his 1953 booklet Signs In The Skies is the most informative. He was born in Peking, China, the son of Irish diplomats. In 1930 he worked at the Presbyterian College in Allahabad, probably as a teacher. It was here he realized that his destiny was to go to America:

”When, in 1930, I first learned, as did all mankind, of the discovery of the strange planet Pluto… I first heard this sensational bit of news as I sat at my desk in the Chumbi Valley, a little bit of paradise nestling just beneath the towering heights of the Himalayan Mountains between India and Tibet. In the same mail that brought this news there was a magazine which pictured the amazing buildings which were to be a part of the World´s Fair in Chicago…I knew also that, somehow, I must find my way to Chicago and personally stand before such creations… I had heard the Call – and I set forth upon what was to prove by far the most important voyage I have made in this mortal world of earthly men. In a very real way I was to become an ambassador of the Aquarian Age.”


Gerald Light was no stranger to the occult world and had spent years in meditation and prayer. He was obviously clairvoyant and claims an almost daily awareness of  the ”invisible worlds” and having met and conversed with various beings including devas and nature spirits. The Chicago World´s Fair was held May 27, 1933 - October 31, 1934. It was during this period that Gerald Light arrived i Chicago and it was here he met an extraterrestrial for the first time: ”I contacted my first Flying Saucer at the Chicago World´s Fair in 1933… in 1933 I knew nothing of Flying Saucers”. The encounter occured during a bright Summer morning near the shores of Lake Michigan: ”… as I turned a corner in a rather deserted section of the ground, I came face to face with what I can only call the Presence. He, or She, was not of our earth. This I knew instantly, completely – and fearfully, the moment my eyes met His. Deep within myself I heard, my mind, my soul perhaps, I heard these words: ”Son of Aquarius! Flame of Uranus! Witness the White Company in the Land of the Heights. Hear Our Message, observe Our Genius! Prepare!”

”… this Being bore but slight resemblance to a human man. A single, solitary eye blazed in his forehead. It pierced me to the quick of my soul. This ”eye” was more than an eye. It is the one thing I remember most clearly about this astonishing personage from worlds beyond our own. The ”eye, which seemed almost to be a composite brain in itself, was perfectly round and divided into hundred of facets of surfaces somewhat like a multicolored jewel. Surrounding the eye, which rested in the center of a large head, beautifully shaped and bordered with a kind of hair which looked more like fine metallic wires than ordinary hair, around the eye was a vivid circle of delicately contrived muscles. These were automatic in their action, similar to the pupil of a cat´s eye, expanding or contracting according to the requirements of the light touching it. This Being stood easily twelve feet in height, yet the body was a s large as our standards of proportion would expect. He was slender, almost to the point of delicacy; yet for some reason I sensed that his weight was enormous. I had the impression that I was observing a man of granite and lead, rather than of flesh and blood.”

A couple of years after this seminal event Gerald Light traveled to Wyoming to spend a year at the Teton Mountains. On the night of September 16, 1936 he observed a hugh spherical object emerge from the top of the highest peak, the Grand Teton. Golden sparks emitted from the object which illuminated the landscape. It made a wide circle around the mountain top and disappeared. ”Since that foreboding day nearly twenty years ago, I have personally and consciously contacted the People of the Space Ships many times”, narrates Light. ”I had met The Masters. The Masters! I had met Those overwhelming Beings Who, verily! Are The Lords of the Universe!... Today I am in frequent contact with These Forces That Control the destinies of many planets; subjectively, that is, in my sleep and hours of meditation and prayer.”


There is not much information about Gerald Light´s activities in the 1940s. He appears to be one of the founders of The Aquarian Society in 1941. An association of occultists and Christian mystics working for the coming of ”The Lord Aquarion” (Christ) who ”entered the Etheric Aura of our Earth on Christmas Day 1941” and will stay until Christmas Day 2011. In the 1950s Gerald Light founded The Lodge of Light in Los Angeles and then his contact with Meade Layne of BSRF began. The Lodge of Light published 36 lessons, Harmonics, many small booklets, a bulletin and also a magazine named Galaxies.


I have read most of the booklets written by Gerald Light. They are a curious mixture of various occult ideas, esotericism and messages from the Etherians. Light has a tiresome tendency not being able to get to the point. Eighty percent of the text could easily be discarded as general talk. Some of the booklets give me the same reading experience as when confronted with the intellectual and philosophical quicksand of the Krishnamurti works. In one of his Etheric Notes Light mention that there is often great confusion at the question and answer period after his lectures. He compares this situation with ”reciting The Iliad to the gold-fish in my lily pond expecting them to follow me verse by wondrous verse.”

Long Beach Independent, February 20, 1954

Light claims to have been a student of the mystic and philosopher George Gurdjieff which is reflected in several booklets: ”The Etherian technique for achieving ”immortality” (relative of course) is reasonably simple in the early lessons, and possibly quite enjoyable to some as it has to do with eating and drinking and use, generally, of all our five senses… Briefly, my instruction on this point was to taste every bit of food as though my future life depending upon recognizing all of the separate flavors contained in the food. Smell, - the same way. Look, see, in the same attitude… Let me refer you to Gurdjieff… He was famous for his ability to consume tons of food, and not get unusually fat. His office was lined with shelves crammed full of exotic and peculiar delicicies which he nibbled on constantly… Asleep his body could be lifted by two men; awake, a dozen of us could not budge him. To this day I carry a scar on my left wrist, the result of his hand being laid casually over mine. The pressure, inert weight, was so great it burst the tissues and skin of my left wrist.” 
(Gerald Light, Etheric Notes 2).


It is almost impossible to distinguish a clear wordview from the writings of Gerald Light. There are many contradictions. Sometimes it is only the Etherian Masters who have real knowledge of the universe while all other metaphysical systems and Masters are obsolete. While in the next booklet reference is given to the classic Esoteric Tradition. The following to quotations could even be interpreted as that the Etherians are materialists:

”Could it be, with abject apologies to the CS`ers, that there is nothing but matter? That Matter is the One Supreme Element of the Universe of Universes. The God of Gods, the Heavenly Absolute of Absolutes??? The Etherians say – Yes! They of OuterSpace declare Matter to the the All of All. The magnificently superior Beings streaking through our skies insist that ”beyond matter there is nothing”.
(Gerald Light, Etheric Notes 4).

”Why do we lose our chemical instruments, when the mountains, the seas endure ”forever?” Because, The Etherian Friends tell us, because we have no conscious awareness of the ”divine” or eternal nature of our chemically-compounded bodies. Why is this true? Largely because we simply choose to ignore the reactions of these chemicalized organs as we live our daily hours through.”
(Gerald Light, Etheric Notes 5).

An internet search for Gerald Light will almost exclusively yield references to his classic 1954 letter to Meade Layne on Eisenhower´s meeting with extraterrestrials. The obvious questions is of course why would an relatively unknown California occultist be invited to such a historic event? Given that this contact actually happened I can think of two options.
1. Gerald Light witnessed this event but with the help of remote viewing or astral travel.
2. He heard rumors of the Eisenhower contact with extraterrestrials and made it his own story.


There are in fact several individuals who claims to have witnessed the contact. Some of these stories have been summarized by Timothy Good in his latest book Earth An Alien Enterprise. Very intersting is also the follow-up research made by William Moore. He tried to get to the bottom om the rumor by checking official sources at the Eisenhower library and in 1979 interviewing the widow of dentist Dr. Purcell. The official explanation of Eisenhower´s sudden disappearance from Palm Springs February 20, 1954 is that he at a dinner knocked a cap off a tooth and had been taken to a local dentist for treatment. Moore found that Dr. Purcell´s widow were unable to recall any specifics relating to her husband´s alleged treatment of the president. Neither is there any record at the Eisenhower library of any dental work performed in February 1954 although the library maintains extensive records relating to the president´s health. Moore concludes: ”Clearly something occurred involving President Eisenhower on the evening of February 20, 1954. Whether it was a trip to the dentist, a trip to Muroc, or something altogether different and unrelated, remains a matter of conjecture.” 
(Ike and The Aliens, Focus, vol. 1, no. 2, April 30, 1985.)

Meade Layne frequently commented on the experiences of Gerald Light in Round Robin. And he appears to have a very high regard for his contacts and knowledge: ” When publishing his Etheric Notes, Layne wrote: ”In my opinion, as a student and novice of occutism and the physical sciences, this is the most important material of its kind which has yet appeared in Borderland Sciences publications… Gerald Light, better known to our readers as Dr. Kappa, will be remembered for his singular and unhappy adventure with Etherian visitors (described by us  three years ago – Transcripts IV and V, 1950. He is a man of rare gifts and unquestionable integrity, and in my opinion a very great occultist.” Meade Layne also made the note that ”We accept the M.P. controls, who are always sui generis.”
(Round Robin, vol. 9, no. 5, Jan-Feb. 1954, p. 2).


Riley Crabb, who entered as director of BSRF in 1959 was seemingly of a different opinion regarding Gerald Light.  In 1960 Riley Crabb received an undated letter from Theosophist Evna Edmundson, who expressed grave doubts concerning Light. He had been invited to speak for the Theosophical Society headed by Edmundson. As she was very knowledgeable about astrology she, before the lecture, asked Light som questions. But he proved to have a very superficial knowledge of the subject and only delivered a few platitudes: ”I gave him plenty of rope and he ”hung himself in moments” with me”. Just as the lecture was about to begin Gerald Light slipped out, telling someone at the door he had another engagement.

In his reply, January 18, 1960, Riley Crabb wrote: ”Certainly appreciate your reply to my query about Isabel Devereux. Frankly I was curious about her relations with the occult Gerald Light. I have heard she sponsored him in some classes there in New Orleans in 1954, I believe. Then apparently she discovered he wasn´t all he claimed to be and tried to expose him. If she succeeded in this apparently it had no effect because I have recently received publicity from him, with a New Orleans address. Many of our associates are still intersted in him and his work and are asking about him. If my advice is to be of any value to them I must know the truth. I certainly wouldn´t want to be responsible for urging anyone to study under a charlatan.”

Riley Crabb

About ten years later Riley Crabb had obviously formed an opinion on Gerald Light and his contacts very far from that of Meade Layne. In his 15-part series articles, Inspired By The Dark Forces he wrote: ”Was Himmler really human or was he a humanoid , a soul-less monster, an invader from some dying planet, desperately trying to gain a foothold on this one?...In his writings to Meade Layne back in the 1950s, Gerald Light gave us a eyewitness description of such a Pagan God from beyond Saturn…  Gerald ”Dr. Kappa” Light was a devoted student of Gurdjieff, and Gurdjieff was one of Aghartas free agents in Europé during the buildup of the Nazi power in the 1920s and 30s. Before World War he was at the court of the Dalai Lama in Lhassa, instructing that holy? Man in the arts of black magic. In view of all this I´m inclined to suspect that Light´s Uranian-Aquarian was really a Plutonian trying to direct the world crisis to His own purposes… through the Nazis and other extremist groups.”
(Round Robin, vol. 27, no. 6, Nov-Dec. 1971, p. 33).

Whatever the truth about Gerald Light he was a fascinating figure in the underground world of mystics and occultists. He claimed to have been a member of most of the known metaphysical and esoteric societies in the 20th century and have a library consisting of  more than six thousand volumes upon every phase of occultism and mysticism. But I can only wonder at the spiritual discernment of a man who listen in awe to a giant, one-eyed robot-like humanoid, who suddenly materialize proclaiming: ”observe Our Genius”.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

The Riley Crabb Correspondence

Readers of my blog are aware of that the very extensive and unique archive of Borderland Sciences Research Foundation (BSRF) has been donated to AFU, arriving in two large shipments. The major part, 72 boxes, donated in July 2016 by present BSRF director James Borges, Eureka, California. The second shipment, seven boxes, donated in April 2018 by Thomas J.Brown, New Zealand, director of BSRF 1985-1995. Of special interest to me has been the large correspondence file of my late friend and mentor Riley Crabb (1912-1994), director of BSRF 1959-1985. So far I have reviewed and digitized 300+ letters to and from Riley Crabb, written between 1952-1989. This collection gives a profound and fascinating insight into his life and work of inestimable value to ufologists, esotericists and researchers of paranormal phenomena.

Riley Crabb

Riley Crabb was born on April 2, 1912 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. In 1934 he discovered the library of the Theosophical Society in Minneapolis and became an avid reader of all the literature he could find. In this search he may have been inspired by his mother, Mrs. Eunice Crabb, who was a student of philosopher and esotericist Manly Palmer Hall, founder of the Philosophical Research Society. In Minnesota Riley married Marion Crabb. During World War Two military service took him to Hawaii and he returned to the islands in 1946 working as journalist for the mid-Pacific edition of Stars & Stripes. The career continued as publications editor and information specialist at Naval Supply Center, Pearl Harbour. A job he handled with great skill receiving a $200 cash reward from Rear Admiral J.L. Herlihy: ”… in recognition of your superior performance of assigned and additional duties”. (Letter from Rear Admiral J.L. Herlihy, Oct. 5 1955). It was in Hawaii that Riley Crabb met his second wife Judy and the couple settled in Honolulu.

Riley with his mother Eunice Crabb

Interest in UFOs began when Riley found an article on flying saucers in True magazine 1950. Already in 1951 he joined Borderland Sciences Research Foundation and started lecturing on UFOs in 1954. This resulted in founding of the Akualele Research Group 1956. Akualele is a local word for ”godly fireballs” or ”fire spirits”. During this time Riley Crabb was also President of The Honolulu Lodge of The Theosophical Society in Hawaii and deeply fascinated by the native kahuna religion and magic of Hawaii, which he learned from Charles Kenn, David ”Daddy” Bray Kino Lau and others.

Riley Crabb during a Televison show in Honolulu

During 1955-1956 Riley corresponded briefly with astronomer and ufologist Morris Jessup. In one of his letters Jessup planned to write about the more esoteric ”Elder Brother theme”, but nothing came of this idea. As esotericist Riley Crabb realized, in the 1950s, that his special project or mission was to study the UFO enigma in relation to the Esoteric Tradition: ”With my years of study and membership in two Mystery Schools, the Rosicrucians and Theosophy, my particular field seems to be to relate the teachings of the Schools to the coming of the Saucers.” (Letter to Elvira Cleary, May 24, 1958). This was to be the unique approach during all his years of research and writing, thereby following in the footsteps and tradition of prominent esotericists such as Meade Layne and Desmond Leslie.



In August 1957 Riley and Judy left Hawaii and settled first in Barstow, California where Riley found work as Assistant Employee Relations Officer at the Marine Corps Supply Center. He tried to find a Civil Service job in San Diego but in June 1958 the couple instead left Barstow for Camarillo, California. Riley had applied for work as Visual Information Specialist at the U.S. Navy´s Pacific Missile Range, Pt. Mugu. Immediately after coming to California Riley began lecturing to various UFO- and other societies, especially the many local units of Understanding, founded by contactee Daniel Fry in 1955. He also maintained a voluminous correspondence with friends and fellow researchers. In this respect both Riley and Judy soon found themselves in demand as teachers and counsellors in the rather wild occult underground world of southern California. As esotericist Riley always tried to advocate balance and common sense in UFO and spiritual studies and investigation: ”I just wonder how long you must continue developing the devotional side of your nature before striking a balance? There comes a time in spiritual progress, you know, when love must be balanced with knowledge. By this I mean detailed knowledge of the higher worlds… You wont find this needed information in Joel Goldsmith or in Krishnamurti, nor in Christianity. All of these emphasize only one aspect of the Trinity, the devotional or love aspect. If you continue to shy away from the detailed knowledge of the higher worlds, which Theosophy can give you for instance, unbalanced development may eventually cause you as much unhappiness as did your previous condition.” (Letter to Gay, January 11, 1959).

The Prospector, June 27, 1958 

In the same letter Riley also presented some critical comments on the UFO contactee scene in California: ”When they run out of personal experiences to tell, what have they got for the second time around the lecture circuit? One sad result is that the psychic racketeers move into the resulting vacuum with their phony stories. I try to sustain the points made in my talks with quotations from leading scientists, philosophers and other recognized authorities in their respective fields.”

During the Spring of 1959 Meade Layne´s health and eyesight declined and he started hinting in letters that he would have to close BSRF if a new director couldn´t be found. Riley and Judy travelled back and forth to San Diego several times discussing this issue. Finally they decided that BSRF must be saved at all costs and revealed their plans in a letter to Fred: ”Meade Layne, director of Borderland Sciences Research Associates,… has asked me to take over. Judy and I are going down this weekend to try to settle the deal and to see if I cant make a good living out of it for both of us. It certainly would be wonderful to put full time into BSRA as it is the ideal combination of Flying Saucers and metaphysics research, with a world wide mailing list and plenty of opportunity for writing and lecturing.” (Letter to Fred, April 30, 1959).

Riley Crabb ended his Civil Service career at Pt Mugu and on May 16, 1959 Riley and Judy moved to San Diego, where the BSRF headquaters was situated at 3516 Adams Avenue. Meade Layne resigned formally as director on June 1, 1959. Riley was now director, including editor of Round Robin and Judy secretary and treasurer. Taking over the BSRF business was a bigger job than they had anticipated. The headquarters was more run down than was at first apparent. But there was also another problem. Although BSRF was a non-profit association Meade Layne insisted on selling it as a business to his successors. They finally agreed on $1,200 to be paid at the rate of $50 a month. In Round Robin, October-November 1960 Riley Crabb explained that ”… Mr Layne had no legal or moral right to sell it; nor for that matter did I have any right to buy it”. But Riley and Judy accepted these terms as they regarded BSRF as such a unique organization that it must somehow survive. Soon they also discovered that BSRA had been incorporated as a not-for-profit foundation in 1951 but Meade Layne had never bothered to turn in any annual reports. To manage the first year they had to spend all their personal savings but they also received donations from members and survived the first hard years. BSRF was now there sole source of income. There is some problem whether to use the acronym BSRA or BSRF. Borderland Sciences Research Associates (BSRA) was an informal group created by Meade Layne in 1946. Borderland Sciences Research Foundation, Inc. was formed into a legal corporation on May 21, 1951. At the first board meeting in 1959 Riley Crabb suggested that the new name should be Borderland Sciences Research Associates Foundation. But usually the shorter version is used in writing.

Riley and Judy Crabb now began the hard work of getting BSRF into order while planning for a new home. The chose the small, peaceful town of Vista, California, and found a home at 1103 Bobolink Drive, which also eventually became the new BSRF headquarters. I´ve always admired Riley Crabb´s ambition and motto presented in his first Round Robin editorial, July-August 1959, under the headline, About the New Editor: "Since coming to the mainland my lectures have been concerned with the problem of relating Flying Saucer data, and phenomena, to the teachings of the Mystery Schools. I believe you´ll agree this is no easy task. If I have one goal in life it is un uncompromising search for Truth, whatever that might be, and wherever it may lead."

Riley and Judy Crabb at their new home in Vista, California, May 1962

Beginning with the January-February 1960 issue the name of the journal was changed to Round Robin. The Journal of Borderland Research. Riley Crabb soon became a well known and much appreciated lecturer on borderland subjects and the couple were often travelling to many cities acrosss the U.S. Lectures and donations was an important part of the income. As esotericist Riley was well aware of that the use of drugs was not the correct path in spiritual development but he was not afraid to make a test on himself. On December 28, 1964 he wrote to Dr. Timothy Leary describing an experiment with Mescaline. This was before Timothy Leary in 1966-1967 became the guru of the counterculture movement, with his famous phrase ”turn on, tune in, drop out”. Riley wrote: ” ”… I had a psychedelic experience at their Socorro, New Mexico clinic in the Spring of 1963… My reaction to the mescaline was positive, a very deep and satisfying spiritual experience.” Riley had been given half a gram of Mescalin at the clinic of Drs. John and Louis Aiken, Socorro, New Mexico. The visions hade lasted for six or seven hours and Judy sat beside Riley during the experiment and tape recorded the session. A very detailed description of this experiment was published in a 15- page article in Round Robin vol. 19, no. 5, July-August 1963.

Trevor James Constable and Riley Crabb, June 1962

Riley Crabb had for several decades a deep inpact on many ufologists. Still he has no separate entry in Ronald Story´s The Encyclopedia of UFOs or Jerome Clark´s The UFO Encyclopedia. One of the American ufologists that regularly corresponded with Riley Crabb and asked for advice and opinions was Joan O´Connell (Joan Whritenour), editor of Saucer Scoop 1966-1970. In one letter May 25, 1973 she wrote ”You know, I just don´t READ your material, I STUDY it. And I have for years.” After Joan had some problems with the controversial contactee Ted Owens, Riley Crabb wrote: ”… his connections with elementals he calls Saucer or Space Intelligences. My favorite Kabala teacher, Dion Fortune, warns us to beware of the self-trained occultist. In my estimation, Owens falls into that category. The fact that he drained you of energy during a visit points toward elemental vampirism. They get drunk on human vitality… That he is a truly dangerous character is proven by the willingness to call upp great storms and other destruction without a second thought or concern about the misery, death and destruction he is causing. He thinks he is using the SI´s to cause these spectacular demonstrations of elemental power, but in the long run he will discover that the Elementals are using him for their purpose. When he has served his purpose he´ll be tossed aside like a wet dishrag.” (Letter to Joan Whritenour, November 1, 1971). This warning is similar to the conclusion I reached after having read Dr. Jeffrey Mishlove´s book The PK man.



When reading Riley Crabb´s articles and booklets you immediately notice his profound knowledge of The Esoteric Tradition. There are constant references to Helena Blavatsky, Charles Leadbeater, Alice Bailey and many others. Regarding Alice Bailey he commented: ”D.K.`s Treatise On Cosmic fire should be in every metaphysician´s library.” (Letter to Joseph S. Haas, August 30, 1983). But Riley and Judy also wanted a more practical magical work, hence their study of Dion Fortune and Kahuna magic: ”The magickal system Judy and I study, the Cabala of the Western Mystery Tradition, has built-in safeguards for the calling forth and directing of these forces in constructive work. We are also well aware of the fact that our work is overshadowed by Inner Plane Teachers who supply knowledge and protection which saves us from burning ourselves to death in certain Alchemical experiments. The Arcane School of Alice Bailey is not our Path but we don´t hesitate to dip into the magnificent literature channeled through her for the edification of Students of the Mysteries here in America.” (Letter to Carl B. Cahill, October 30, 1976).


In 1984 Judy Crabb suffered from various health problems so Riley had to reduce his BSRF work and lecture engagements: ”This belated reply to yours of Aug 4th indicates how far behind I got attending five conventions in the Summer. Maybe I´ll have to cut down next year, or even pass them all up if Mrs. Crabb´s health does not improve. Right now I´m a male nurse, as well as housekeeper and director of BSRF, and janitor, and am not accepting any lecture invitations.” (Letter to Mary Marie Satterlee, American Society of Dowsers, October 14, 1984). Unfortunately Judy´s condition did not improve and she became bedridden with a combination of pneumonia and acute pancreatitis. Judy Crabb died on July 12, 1985. In Round Robin, vol. 41, no. 5, September-October 1985 Riley wrote In Memoriam:”Do not stand at my grave and weep. I am not dead. I do not sleep. Judith Miyama Crabb, July 31, 1909 – July 12, 1985”.

Riley Crabb at the home in Vista

After Judy´s death Riley found a new director of BSRF and editor of Round Robin in Thomas J. Brown who entered his responsibilities beginning 1986. Riley left for New Zeeland where he married theosophist Phyllis Hall in December 1985. He continued writing articles and booklets until his death in January 20, 1994. Unfortunately his widow consigned Riley´s private archive to the municipal dump. Perhaps this was not only the fault of Phyllis Crabb. In a letter to me May 27, 1984 Riley said: ” :”I did find the 1973 file in the attic and am enclosing a Squance letter for you to follow up on. All of this old material is going to the dump when I sell out here, hopefully later this year.” This attitude to archives is tragical and for me and my AFU colleagues impossible to understand. Why destroy your life work?

The Auckland Sun, February 22, 1988

Riley Crabb was in many ways a pioneering and unique researcher in the Forbidden Science. His approach to esotericism was eclectic and open minded, sometimes, in my opinion, too openminded, when presenting channeled messages. But he was an accomplished esotericist which he proved in his comment in a letter to me after I had sent him The Knowledge of Reality by Swedish esotericist Henry T. Laurency: ” ”Yes, we did receive the Laurency opus and thank you very much. It appears that he is an initiate of some standing in the Western Mystery Tradition, and has some interesting, even startling, observations on philosophy and occult science, past and present. The Knowledge of Reality is a welcome addition to our reference library.” (Letter to me, December 18, 1981).

I am deeply grateful for having known and corresponded with Riley Crabb. He was a mentor and a friend – even though we never met. It is a privilege for AFU today to be the custodians of the unique BSRF archive. A treasure trove of information for coming generations of scholars and researchers.