Friday, August 5, 2016

Edith Nicolaisen and the Esoteric Tradition

In most countries the UFO movement that appeared in the 1950s consisted of two factions, one with a basically scientific agenda and the other more or less inspired by new age ideas and the early UFO contactees. Sweden differed in this respect as a country where the formal UFO societies in the 1950s were exclusively founded by esotericists, often members of the Swedish Theosophical Society (Adyar)This unusual historical development is mainly due to one exceptional woman, Ms Edith Nicolaisen (1911-1986), founder of the new age publishing house Parthenon in July 1957. She was strongly influenced by theosophical and anthroposophical ideas and was a good friend of Theosophist and Danish liberal Catholic Bishop Otto Viking. The Parthenon board consisted of three women, all active in the Swedish Theosophical Society (Adyar): Brita Rodosi, Rut Lindberg and Sonja Lilienthal.

Edith Nicolaisen

Edith Nicolaisen spent eight years studying various languages and Philosophy at the universities of Copenhagen, Paris, Berlin and Heidelberg. Between 1953-1957 she worked as a saleswoman for the Swedish publishing company Diana Bildreportage AB at Hälsingborg. 1949 was a turning point in Ediths´ life. She read An Outline of Occult Science by Rudolf Steiner, whom she later came to regard as "the greatest Western adept of the 20th century" (Letter to Wilbert B. Smith, February 17, 1959). For several years she devoted much spare time reading books on Antroposophy, Theosophy, Rosicrucianism (Max Heindel), Spiritualism and mysticism. From her American Friend Carl Vett she was told about flying saucers and during the summer of 1954 she read the classic Flying Saucers Have Landed by Desmond Leslie and George Adamski, a book that completely changed her life.

Edith Nicolaisen with her sister in Copenhagen 1930

In a letter to Basil van den Berg, September 1, 1963, Edith told of this great moment: "The first book I read was that of Leslie- Adamski´s Flying Saucers Have Landed and something in me recognized the truth, however fantastic it all sounded to my intellect and narrow-minded teaching, we all have received. I am a Danish citizen, who in 1954 was faced with the difficult choice either to accept the doors suddenly flung open for an additional three years college-training in USA for a future career under WHO Geneve... or, to volunteer for the SAUCER-cause here in Sweden, which meant to chose the "thorny and stony" road of the lonesome pioneer. After a fierce fight between intellect and heart, the latter gained supremacy."

Edith Nicolaisen began corresponding with George Adamski in 1954 and the first book published in Swedish in October 1957, was Flying Saucers Have Landed by Desmond Leslie and George Adamski. Her second aim was to form as many UFO and new age groups in Sweden as possible. In October 1958 she and her Parthenon co-workers invited the German new age and contactee oriented ufologist Karl Veit to Sweden. With his help Edith was able to inspire the founding of Malmö UFO-Sällskap (Malmö UFO Society) on October 1, 1958. Later adopting the name Malmö Interplanetariska Sällskap (MIS) (Malmö Interplanetary Society), today the oldest still active UFO society in Sweden and now a local group belonging to UFO-Sweden.. Parthenon published several of the classic contactees of the 1950s: George Adamski, Daniel Fry, Ray and Rex Stanford, Elisabeth Klarer. These books had a strong influence on Swedish ufology in the 1950s and 60s. Edith Nicolaisen corresponded with hundreds of ufologists, contactees, esotericists and new-age activists from around the world between 1950-1986. The Parthenon archive was donated to UFO-Sweden and AFU and is a treasure trove of valuable data for research on the early UFO and new-age movement. The correspondence has also been digitized for easy access.

Swedish edition of Flying Saucers Have Landed

During her first years of acquintance with George Adamski, Edith accepted the view that the space people had organic, physical bodies like earth people. But in 1958 she adopted the esoteric view, shared by a.o. Desmond Leslie and Meade Layne that the venusians were etheric, but could adopt a visible physical body when needed. She gave this explanation to Frederic H. Curtiss, Massachusetts, USA in 1959: "You asked me about my opinion of this ”curious object”. The interplanetarian space crafts belong to the so called ”etheric realm” and therefore they are usually not seen by our physical eyes, unless our interplanetrian friends want to draw our attention to their space-crafts or when they want to contact us – then they slow down the vibratory rates of their ships so that the vibrations can be caught by retina of our eyes and thus seen by our physical eyes." (Letter, September 19, 1959). 

To get a more compehensive view of  how Edith Nicolaisen interpreted the Esoteric Tradition I have made a renewed study of the thousands of letters she wrote to correspondents all over the world. Somewhat intriguing is that she never refer to books by Helena Blavatsky, Charles Leadbeater, Geoffrey Hodson or Alice Bailey - some of the central exponents of esotericism. Neither was she seemingly aware of the Swedish esotericist Henry T. Laurency. With her academic background in Philosophy these authors should have appealed to Edith. Besides, many of her best friends were active in the Theosophical Society. And between 1970-1977 she corresponded with the well known English esotericist and portrait painter Vera Stanly Alder, They met two times in London, 1970 and 1972, and got along very well. Edith planned to publish a Swedish edition of Alder´s books The Finding of the Third Eye and The Fifth Dimension, but had to abandon these plans.

The preface to The Finding of the Third Eye was written by Alice Bailey, amanuensis for the Tibetan adept D.K. Vera Stanley Alder was one in a group of individuals who during the 1930s and 1940s received personal instruction by D.K. as documented in the two volumes Discipleship in the New Age by Alice Bailey. Vera Stanley Alder is given the alias LDO and her instructions can be found on pp. 127-135 (volume one) and pp. 443-459 (volume two). Swedish esotericist Henry T. Laurency wrote an interesting essay on Alder in his book Knowledge of Life Five.

In spite of all contacts and studies Edith Nicolaisen was in many way more of a mystic than esotericist. She freely mixed channeled messages of dubious content and prophecies of doom with esoteric philosophy without comprehending the differences in quality or source. Neither did she understand that the Anthroposophical view of UFOs was very negative (Ahrimanic demons), although this opinion was made clear to her in a letter from Antroposophist and Flying Saucer Review editor Gordon Creighton who wrote: "”I think the creatures in the flying saucers are evil, and I do not think they come from other planets or other galaxies.” (Letter to Edith Nicolaisen May 31, 1966). 

Readers of my latest book, blog and articles are aware of that I have advanced the theory that some of the physical contactees of the 1950s (Adamski, Angelucci, van Tassel, Fry, Menger) were involved in a cultural influence test. An experiment implemented by a group of benevolent aliens, earth based or extraterrestrial, a group with access to “vimana” technology. This test was done in co-operation with the Higher Intelligence Agency, the custodians of the ancient wisdom, using a new type of phenomena as attraction as they used spiritualist phenomena in connection with the founding of the Theosophical Society in 1875. IF this theory is correct those actively involved with these early contactees could also be expected to experience som form of paranormal or UFO manifestations as confirmation of the authenticity of the contact. 

When it comes to Edith Nicolaisen I have found one such UFO encounter of special interest. She described this incident only to her closest friends and correspondents. In a letter, March 1, 1962, to the Cosmic Brotherhood Association, Yokohama, Japan she writes: "In November 1955 on a moonlit evening between 22-23 p.m. about 15 km south of Linköping while waiting in my car for a train to pass, I suddenly caught sight of a beautiful green-light far above the way-lin´s green signal-light. In order to see better I rolled down the car-pane on the left side and put out my head – and there a few hundred meters above the ground a big bell-shaped ”Flying Saucer” with portholes and landing gears was suspended in the air.. In the clear moonlight it looked like a magnificient silhouette of the world-famous Venusian-scout-design. From one side of the portholes shone a shaft of green light and from the other a shaft of orange light. (The colours and the intensity reminded much about our most beautiful neon-light advertisements.) As I had time to watch this ”silhouette” suspended in the air for 2 á 3 minutes before it disappeaed of sight, I noticed the details as above described. The next day a local newspaper reported that five people south of Linköping had observed a ”Flying Saucer”. The description of the observers tallied with my own observation."

Photo by George Adamski December 13, 1952

Edith had mentioned this observation already in 1956 to Desmond Leslie. Later she also told Leslie of a detail about the craft she had observered that puzzled her: "As I have had the opportunity to watch space-ships on many occasions I know that the photos of G.A. are genuine. Particular two occasions, I remember: In 1955 here i Sweden about 15 km south of Linköping I watched a Venusian scout-craft with four port-holes howering for  several minutes and at a very close distance. And in 1956 while standing on a mountain..plateau in the Austrian Alps, a huge mothership passed silently, but with great speed close to the plateau, both mentioned spacecrafts were of the exact type and appearance as those G.A. took by help of his telescope and Brownie-camera from Palomor Garden… If you happen to have photos of a scoutcraft with four portholes in your files, I should appreciate  veiry much to get photoprint in black-white reproduction. Unfortunately only three portholes can be seen on the scout-craft which G.A. took.  In O.p.R. he speaks about four portholes."

Desmond Leslie with George Adamski in 1954

She wrote to several ufologists worldwide to relate and discuss this problem of three or four portholes on the scoutcraft. Her detailed observation and puzzlement on this issue does give some credence to the observation. Here a quote from a letter to Gray Barker March 9, 1968: "If you find a photo-print of a Venusian-Scout-ship – the Adamski-type with four portholes, please let us know, as all the photoprints which we received from G.A. for the mentioned two books had only three portholes. Personally, I know that G.A. is right, when he speaks about four portholes, as I have seen a Venusian-space-craft (of exact the same type and form as that reproduced on the cover of the English edit. Of ”Flying Saucers Have Landed”) at a very close distance about 15 km south of Linköping here in Sweden in 1955 – and it had four portholes."

As Edith mention a newspaper article reporting that five people had observered the same craft outside Linköping I have tried to find this article but so far no luck. If someone could locate this article it would indeed be a fascinating confirmation of her close encounter. Perhaps in this way Edith Nicolaisen really became a part of or involved in a psychological and cultural test implemented by a group of benevolent alien visitors - the Esoteric Intervention Theory. And this in spite of her personality faults, idiosyncrasies and rather fanatical missionary zeal. Future history and research can hopefully give us the truth about this mystery. That will probably not happen until the real history behind mainstream history is revealed. Then we will better understand the significance and work done by outsider scientists, heretics and the individuals whos dharma it is to be part of the pathfinder force trying to create a real new age on this planet, where all human beings strive  for the good, the true and the beautiful 

Edith Nicolaisen often bitterly complained about the difficulty in finding trustworthy and dedicated co-workers in her mission. She was not an easy woman to get along with. Stubborn, demanding and with an iron will. She worked 14-16 hours every day and often exhausted her frail body. But in spite of her faults she succeeded in her endeavors, inspiring hundreds of, especially young people, to enter UFO research or a study of the Esoteric Tradition.  She was a pioneer and a woman with a mission so I give the last word to Edith Nicolaisen expressed in a letter to Daniel and Tahalita Fry, January 10, 1975: " The mentioned photo of the scout-ship taken by Tahalitha at Merlin, menas a treasure to me too, due to the fact that in November 1955 on my way to Stockholm a scout-ship of exact the same appearance manifested above my head 15 km south of Linköping while waiting in my little car for a train to pass, it was late in the evening – and may be, in order to draw my attention, - a strong green light was beaming from one side of the craft and a strong orange light from the opposite site. Later I understood it meant a greeting and an encouragement from our Brothers to overcome all adversities and difficulties which the information-work about the UFOs and the Brothers messages to man of Earth would cause here in Sweden, indeed beyond imagination and description. Thanks to these greetings and encouragements in critical hours, I got the  needed inner strength to face and to overcome the adversities of all sorts and to continue the new-age-information-work of Parthenon during the latter 17th years here in Sweden."

Photo by Tahalita Fry, Oregon November 1968