Friday, February 2, 2018

Franck Boitte and George Adamski

For several years I have been a member of EuroUfo –The Virtual Community of Scientifically Oriented European UFO Researchers, sharing information and news on the joint mailing list EuroUfoList. One of the members of this community was the late French ufologist Franck Boitte (1940-2017). His comments on the EuroUfoList were often very harsh and critical so I naturally assumed him to be a hardline skeptic. But I was in for a surprise. On July 22, 2017 I received an email from Franck Boitte with favorable comments on my review of The Incredible Life of George Hunt Williamson by Michel Zirger and Maurizio Martinelli. To my utter amazement Boitte told me that he had met George Adamski and was convinced ”there is in the George Adamski saga much more than meets the eye” and that he had spent three years translating Maurizio Martinelli´s part of the manuscript from Italian to French.

Michel Zirger and Franck Boitte

Michel Zirger and Franck Boitte

Franck Boitte was born in Brussels, Belgium 1940. His UFO interest began in 1954 after reading articles by Aimé Michel. Because of his acquaintance with Patrick Morlet, son of Mrs. May Morlet founder of the Adamski-oriented organization Belgian UFO Informations (BUFOI), Boitte was invited to a lecture by George Adamski during a private meeting in 1963. But he soon left the group because of its cultist atmosphere and lack of field investigation. Beginning in 1972 and joining SOBEPS, Boitte, during a twenty year period, interviewed more than 250 UFO witnesses. During his later years he migrated to France and in 2002 became a member of the skeptic PARA Committee (Belgium) and SCEAU, the French UFO archive organization. Franck Boitte died on December 11, 2017.

Franck Boitte

When I learned that Franck had met Adamski, and that he ”totally convinced the young university student I was then of the genuiness of his psychic abilities”, I naturally wanted to know more of his views on the controversial contactee. In a subsequent email Franck mentioned he had published three booklets in French with memories of the meeting and his involvement in UFO research. They were published between 2006-2009. Not fluent in French I suggested he should consider en English translation of these obviously important historical documents. ”Encouraged by your recommendation. I also started to translate the first of my three booklets”, he wrote in a email July 24, and also asked for my help with his draft translation. Eventually I received all three booklets for revising and help to correct translation inadequacies. In the English edition these booklets were titled: 21 May 1963: My Meeting With George Adamski (1), The Adamski Succession (2), A Never Ending Story (3).

Because of our common interest in George Adamski and the translation project our email correspondence soon became more personal and Franck told of his wife Chantal, using the nom de plume Sibylle, whom he had married June 15, 2002. She was an exceptional and unusual woman with several UFO close encounter experiences and two abductions. Sibylle also considered herself to be a fairy incarnated on this planet: ”Already ”gifted” since her younger age by so-called ”paranormal” capabilities, she as a result of her ”contacts” developed hightened abilities in sight-seeing and magnetism she used (God forbade, for a fee) to despite repeated accusations of charlatanism, help to relieve and sometimes cure people who came to consult her from their physical or psychological ailments and eventually assist the authorities to solve criminal affairs or locate missing persons.” (Email, July 25, 2017).

Unfortunately Sibylle had died of Type 2 diabetes on April 8, 2017 and when Franck told of this personal tragedy I tried to comfort him by hoping he had close friends nearby to ease the existential pain and loneliness. His reply was a joy to read: ”Happily enough, I preserved some. And, me think I´ve recently found a new one… :-) Being some sort of (mildly gifted – it could maybe be a contagious ”illness”) paragnost myself the death of my wife inspired me this: ”Instead of whining about the hardships that befall us, let´s welcome them as blessed opportunities to achieve greatness”.” Franck had also read my latest book, Esotericism and UFO Research, commenting ”esoteric erudition impressive”. The ufologist I had presumed to be a hardline skeptic proved instead to be sensitive and profound philosopher, a spiritual searcher and an openminded investigator of the controversial claims of George Adamski.

In his first booklet Franck Boitte begin by stating that he does not pretend to prove anything about the veracity of the statements of the Californian contactee about his alleged encounters with possible creatures from space. ”On the other hand, I am convinced that this matter is much more complex than meet the eye and it is very regrettable that from the beginning it was buried under the mantle of ridicule so that it was never properly investigated while, as is often the case in ufology, there was a possibility time to do so.” His intention with the booklet is to relate a personal experience that ”carried a profound transformation of my way of thinking and life. And in my way of apprehending what is commonly called ”reality”.”

George Adamski in Denmark 1963

What happened on that fateful day May 21, 1963 was put down on paper a few days after the meeting. 23 years old, Franck is invited to attend a BUFOI meeting in Antwerp to hear a lecture by George Adamski. Describing himself at that time as an ”academic knight headed by snooty rationalism” he intend to ”corner the Missionary of Space and bring him to contradict himself.” But Franck never get a chance asking his questions, instead he is confronted with exceedingly personal statements about his life by Adamski, without his name being given:
”… suddenly the monologue takes an unexpected turn which immediately restores me in full possession of my faculties : "Take this young man there, for example ... The young man over here (eh, but it's well of me of which it is finally question !). Always without looking at me : "Some people - just like this young man - have been told that I was just a lousy crackpot seeking publicity. Let us consider that statement for awhile. Let us see how youngsters like him become convinced by that kind of rhetoric. Let us just imagine... Maybe his father is a businessman, practicing a liberal profession as they say, in relation to law or legislation. Perhaps he is in the process of completing a graduate degree in business or economics studies while aspiring to pursue another profession. Imagine again he has a sister younger than he who is about to get married because she is pregnant. Perhaps the father of this child will later work a certain number of years with the one who will become his brother-in-law ... ".

Totally flabbergasted now, I forget my questions. With his implacable accumulation of "perhaps", Adamski was exactly describing my family situation and part of what would probably be my future. How can he do this without ever having met me? Even today, I still have not found a completely satisfactory answer to this question.” (pp. 5-6) Later Franck asked May Morlet if she had told Adamski anything about himself which she denied.

George Adamski with co-worker Ms. Lou Zinsstag

In booklet no 2, The Adamski Succession, Franck mention an interesting conversation with his friend Patrick Morlet many years after they both had left BUFOI. Patrick had then no longer any interest in UFOs but told of observation at close range of an Adamski-type scoutship that he and his wife Brigitte had observed during holidays in Switzerland: "We had been distanced from the group and were admiring the spectacle of snow-capped mountains surrounding us when suddenly, emerging from between two cumulus, appeared that big domed bell shaped vessel with portholes. On its underside were present the three spheres that are to be seen on Adamski's pictures. It was the very same landing gear, the only difference being that the vessel did not shine like chrome, but had a rather a golden shine... The ship tilted and started to rise in the clouds where it quickly was lost from sight. We hastily joined the group that had continued on its way. Nobody had seen anything special. Shortly after, several jet planes flew over the area.” (p. 4) Franck asked Brigitte about this experience and she replied “Yes, that´s actually what happened.”

Photo by George Adamski, December 13, 1952

In 1901 the Canadian psychiatrist Maurice Bucke published his magnus opus Cosmic Consciousness. A Study in the Evolution of the Human Mind. In this work he recorded his personal mystical experience and presented the theory that cosmic consciousness is the next step in the evolution of human development. There are many books detailing the experience of unio mystica, peak experience or cosmic consciousness and it proves to be more common than usually realized. In the chapter A Possible Contact With the Divine, booklet nr. 2,  Franck Boitte documents a personal mystical experience:

“I have already told elsewhere that in the course of my life I have experienced a dozen events (none of a UFO nature) that, even if others who have not experienced them might think the opposite, I dare to consider as "paranormal". For no reason, one of these experiences took place around 10:00 am on Sunday, October 25, 1998. As I gradually came back to "reality," my whole body was bathed - I cannot find another expression - by an incredible sensation that I cannot better describe otherwise than one of unconditional and absolute love... I had never experienced anything like it, and for the religiously inclined, its only possible explanation couldn't have been nothing else that it was of divine origin, whatever that might mean. The only thing I can say is that I wish all my possible readers be favored of the same experience... I was reclining on my right flank, with my back turned to the window, my left hand at temple height, as if to protect myself from the too bright sunrays which flooded the bedroom though the by Sibylle discarded tentures wall hangings. It lasted a maximum of tenth of seconds and gradually inundated my supine body with such intensity that couldn't help but beg "God" or who could be responsible to these delicious moments they would last a bit longer. The “it” inexorably began to recede little by little while I tried in vain to “hold” it.... I have no explanation for this incredible experience, which I immediately related to Sibylle.”

Booklet no. 3 contain further studies and theories regarding George Adamski. On May 24, 2009 Franck received a rather surprising letter from Jacques Vallee where he admit the mistake of not at the time seriously investigating the early contactees: Thanks for your memories of Adamski, which are not only exciting but so well described that they bring me back to this curious and rich era. We were guilty of arrogance when we considered all the Contactes as amusing "snickers" or dangerous charlatans (which they were often ...) without realizing that they also touched on real mysteries, to which no one could escape – unaffected." Franck Boitte end his third booklet with the admonition that much important research work remains to be done on the life and contact experiences of George Adamski.

Giving a summary of his life and philosophy in an email July 26, 2017 Franck wrote : "It comes I am an aging man who has seen much and had had many inspired Teachers. You maybe know the saying "Where the pupil don´t outpast his Teacher´s learnings, then the Teacher failed". Adamski and my wife were among the Teachers I was privilegied to have." Franck had hoped to get his booklets published on Kindle but didn´t find the time to implement this project before his death. In his last email, October 17, 2017, he wrote : "Full starry sky above my head ! All job done, all engines running". In Franck Boitte I found a friend – and lost a friend in only four months. I was deeply saddened when the news of his death reached me. This blog is my hommage to a most unusual man and fellow UFO researcher. Bon voyage Franck!