Thursday, April 26, 2018

The Enigma of Sonja Lyubicin

For many years I have collected information and documents about the early 1950s contactees with the object of trying find out what actually happened, to sort out fact from fiction. Not an easy task as the subject is somewhat taboo among scientific ufologists. My efforts so far has resulted in the theory presented in Esotericism And UFO Research.

George Adamski is of course the most well known and controversial but there are several other contactees during this era, often Adamski co-workers who are equally interesting. Some of  them with intelligence connections like Carol Honey. This also applies to the enigmatic woman Sonja Lyubicin. Not very much is known about her life and activities but I have received valuable help, data and documents from several fellow researchers. My special thanks goes to Tony Brunt, Joshua Buhs, Keith Basterfield and Bastien Bouhaniche. And also of course my old friend Timothy Good who for many years provided me with rare documents and transcripts of interviews. Unfortunately I have not heard from Tim for two years. If anyone out there knows what has happened to him, please contact me.

Tony Brunt

George Adamski was and still is a controversial figure in UFO history and this goes even more so for Sonja Lyubicin, as anyone can find out searching the internet. She was born on August 15, 1926 in Belgrad, Yugoslavia. Her parents Nikola Lyubicin and Maria Kina. According to documents from the National Archives of Australia (NAA) Sonja escaped from Yugoslavia in 1947 and became a refugee in Italy. On February 2, 1950 she emigrated to Australia and settled in Brisbane.

In the 1950s she associated with UFO groups in Australia and began corresponding with George Adamski, who asked her to be a co-worker and the IGAP representative for Australia (International Get Acquainted Program - IGAP). In this capacity she published a few issues of a small newsletter, named Letter Talk, beginning in 1958.

On July 21, 1959 Sonja travelled to the U.S. where she began working for George Adamski at Palomar Gardens. In 1960 she married Robert Long, a friend of Carol Honey. She also applied for a social security card in the U.S. as Sonja Long. In 1961 she ended her co-operation with Adamski. Sonja continued living in California and on July 12, 1979 married William Paul Appleton. She then changed her name to Sonya Appleton. They eventually settled in Honolulu, Hawaii where the marriage ended. Sonya died in Honolulu, just before her 63rd birthday, July 2, 1989.

Sonja Lyubicin (Hinfelaar family collection)

This is a short synopsis of the official life of Sonja Lyubicin, the name I will use in this blog. But there was also a very different side to her life. Although many of her claims were fantastic she was not a publicity seeker and never announced publicly that she was a contactee. To her friend Brenda Hinfelaar, Auckland, New Zealand Sonja told of her early life and escape from Yugoslavia: ”Brenda recalled that Sonya said that she had escaped from Yugoslavia during the war or after the communist takeover with the help of space people. She was allegedly flown out in a craft. She said that she had later recognised from Adamski’s craft photography that these were the people who had helped her. Hence, her interest and support for Adamski. She claimed that Adamski’s contact person Orthon had visited her in Brisbane, apparently calling in to her apartment. Surprisingly this appears to have been confirmed by Adamski…” (Email from Tony Brunt, August 24, 2012). 

George Adamski in New Zealand 1959 (Tony Brunt archive)

As a search on the internet will show Ray Stanford and Laura Mundo claimed that Sonja also had sexual relations with Orthon and other space people in Brisbane. I suppose this rumour could have a more worldly explanation in some young, resourceful Romeo having found out that claiming to be a secret spaceman in contactee circles was an excellent dating strategy. A Swedish contactee used a similar dating tactic by convincing female followers that they were incarnated space women. Obviously it worked very well.

In his 1998 article, Some Memories of George Adamski, ufologist Roy Russell, Brisbane also makes a few comments on Sonja Lyubicin: ”… I mentioned Sonya who lived in Brisbane where she claimed she met Orthon. Sonya, in those earlier days back in the 1950s, had much correspondence with Adamski who in one letter told Sonya to stop thinking about the space people so that her life would not become distorted. In later correspondence GA confirmed that Sonya had indeed met Orthon. It was she Adamski asked to begin the Get Acquainted Program in Australia. Sonya was the most unusual and telepathic person my wife, Pearl, and I have ever met. And on this day, walking with George, he turned to me and (to paraphrase) said with a hint of animated puzzlement, ”Sonya? Geez! I don´t know who she is.”

Roy Russell 1965 (Tony Brunt archive)

Australian UFO researcher Keith Basterfield has kindly provided me with copies of documents from the National Archives of Australia (NAA), relating to Sonja Lyubicin. In one file belonging to the Australian Security Intelligence Agency (ASIO) about the Queensland Flying Saucer Research Bureau there is  a short note about Sonja who ”believed she had travelled in space craft to other planets”. Whether this is a rumour in the Queensland group or claimed by Sonja herself is not explained.

Part of document from ASIO

In the Summer of 1959 Sonja headed off to America to work in a secretarial capacity for George Adamski. She was apparently one of the first, in 1961, to notice some disturbing signs in Adamski´s behavior and claims which later escalated with the controversial Saturn trip and Glendale P.O. Box affair. Lou Zinsstag, Adamski co-worker, relates this episode in George Adamski. The Untold Story, co-written with Timothy Good: ”Henk Hinfelaar had adopted the same position as I with regard to Adamski, and in a letter of April 1965 he told me that Lucy McGinnis had confided in him that it was she who had caught out George in psychic activity, to which Honey had also been witness. Lucy realized that George had betrayed himself, and referred to an additional person, Sonja, a young, enthusiastic and loyal helper in the office, who was the first to discover that Adamski was ”going off beam”.” (p. 85)

There has been many theories and much speculation of what happened to Adamski in the beginning of the 1960s when he claimed that he had met ”a new set of boys”. Were they secret intelligence operatives, trained experts in mind control or ”evil” space people bent on destroying his work and reputation? Adamski mentioned to Lou Zinsstag, in a private meeting 1959, that he had powerful adversaries and that ”they are slowly circling me in”. (George Adamski. The Untold Story, p. 35) Whatever happened ”they” obviously more or less destroyed his work and credibility.
Sonja Lyubicin ended her work with Adamski because of the disturbing signs. She had married California aerospace executive Robert Long in 1960, a close friend of Carol Honey, who also worked for the aerospace industry. Lou Zinsstag and Timothy Good interviewed Carol Honey on November 19, 1979 and he found Sonja to be a very enigmatic woman:

Lou Zinsstag and George Adamski (Tony Brunt archive)

”Tim: You wrote that you had independent confirmation that at least two of George´s contacts were genuine. Could you tell us the source of information for that?
Carol: Well, part of it was Sonja… There was no way she could know of things that she was telling me unless she´s actually been part of it. You see I have a secret clearance with the government – I still do, with the Department of Defence – and some of the stuff that she would tell me – there´s no way she could have known, period, unless she´d actually been in on something or had some kind of experience. So there´s no way I can prove it – it´s proof to me but to nobody else.”

Carol Honey had asked Sonja how she could have been so sure already in Australia that George Adamski was a genuine contactee. She said her boyfriend in Australia was working for Australian Intelligence and had one time showed her classified documents with photos of Adamski and other contactees naming which were authentic and which were false. ”She said that because of that she knew he had something. Well, she could have lied about that, too, you know, so what does that prove? But I don´t think she did”.

First page from Sonja´s Letter Talk no 3

After some time Sonja was divorced from Robert Long and on July 12, 1979 married an extremely wealthy man, William Paul Appleton, one of the heirs to the Appleton Rum fortune. He owned much land in Hawaii and that is where the couple settled. By the middle of the 1980s Sonja had split from Appleton but she spent the latter part of her life in Hawaii, where she died on July 2, 1989.

In 1985 a friend of journalist and ufologist Tony Brunt, Kaaren B. visited Sonja, who was living in an expensive apartment in Honolulu. The Russel´s son, Mark, was also visiting Hawaii at the same time and was staying with Sonja. ”They tried to nail Sonya down about her space contacts. All that she would say was that she did a lot of work for the military and wasn´t able to discuss it… Kaaren got the impression that Sonya acted in a liaison role between the space people and the US government.” (email from Tony Brunt, August 24, 2012).

Tony Brunt is the only researcher of my sources who have personally met and talked to Sonja Lyubicin. Tony met Sonja in the early 1980s during a visit she made to Auckland to visit her friends Henk and Brenda Hinfelaar. She told the Hinfelaars that she had visited the White Sands range in New Mexico for meetings. In his 2012 email Tony Brunt gives a summary of his views on Sonja:
”Sonya was a mystery woman in many ways, making veiled comments about extraordinary experiences that she said that she had had. She was a difficult woman to nail down about the exact nuts and bolts of the ‘secret’ life that she had led and was leading. Whether this air of mystery was a fabrication that hid very little or whether she had in fact carried on a secret life in the UFO ‘contact’ field we may never know. The primary claim she made – or inferred – right until near the end of her life was that she was an occasional or regular contactee with Adamski’s space people. She asserted clearly, but in her typically evasive way, that she also acted in a liaison role with the US government, specifically the military… She was either hiding genuinly secret activity or was a fraud who liked to project an air of mystery.”

Sonja Lyubicin´s greetings to Swedish friend Edith Nicolaisen (backside of Adamski poster)

There is one aspect of contactee life and claims that is seldom mentioned and very well expressed in the classic Winston Churchill quote that ”truth is so precious that she should always be attended by a bodyguard of lies”. If contactees like George Adamski, Sonja Lyubicin and others really are in contact with and secretly working together with benevolent groups of alien visitors, then a certain amount of deception may be necessary to protect themselves. I have found this aspect both in esoteric history and UFO contacts. Helena Blavatsky, the founder of Theosophy, when confronted with an unwanted student or journalist told impossible and ridiculous stories to get rid of the person. Swedish contactee Richard Höglund told ufologist Ernst Linder that his contact experience was a lie, invented as a compensatory fantasy because of a difficult childhood. Later Richard told his close friend Gösta Johansson that he tried to get rid on Ernst Linder investigating him by saying that his contact was a fake. To this day Ernst Linder believes that Richard Höglund was a fraud, so the ”bodyguard of lies” worked. This strategy of "blinds"can of course easily backfire and create more problem than solutions.

What would be my final assessment of the contact claims of Sonja Lyubicin? I really have no definite answer. Perhaps more data could solve the enigma of her life. Sonja was either an adventurous and highly fantasy-prone personality jumping on the contactee bandwagon of the 1950s or a woman with a secret mission, involving alien visitors.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

A Rare George Adamski Interview

While reviewing , sorting and scanning documents from the very extensive BSRF archive donated to AFU I now and then find some unusual and rare items.  Founder and first director Meade Layne established several channels for distribution of borderland science information. Besides the magazines Round Robin and the somewhat more esoteric The Flying Roll associates  regularly received small serial publications called Clips, Quotes & Comments, BSRA Personal Bulletin and BSRA Release.  For many years I have been intrigued by and trying to find Release 1-B-53 published in January 1953 as announced in Round Robin, January-February 1953.

When I read this ad I immediately realized that it must be a historically unique document. A meeting at the Palomar Gardens on January 3, 1953, the home of George Adamski. And this only a few weeks after the historic November 20, 1952 contact in the desert and the return of the craft on December 13, 1952, resulting in the classic Scout Ship photos. At first I assumed that this meeting was a channeling session with medium Mark Probert at the Adamski home, but there is no mention of Mark Probert participating. When I recently discovered Release 1-B-53 in the BSRF archive it proved to be an even more fascinating document – Meade Layne interviewing George Adamski and George Hunt Williamson regarding their contact experience of November 20, 1952. I have never seen this interview acknowledged or referenced by any ufologist or researcher of the 1950s contactees.

In the Round Robin issue of January-February 1953 Meade Layne endorsed Adamski and Williamson as genuine contactees: ”There is not the slightest doubt, in my mind, about the ”reality” and factuality of the landing and interview, or about the integrity of Dr. Williamson and Mr. Adamski”. The contact had also been confirmed as authentic by one of the Inner Circle members, Yada Di Shi´Ite. During a trance session with Mark Probert, December 1, 1952 the Yada claimed that he and his associates had read the published account, studied the drawing of the footprints and the plaster casts, had visited the homes of all persons concerned and listened to their thoughts and conversations and finally examined the desert site of the incident. The Yada concluded:  ”The story is in the main true. The Disc did land and Mr. Adamski did carry on a conversation with the operator of said ship. But brother Adamski was so excited he does not remember clearly all that was said. This particular ship was from the planet Venus. We would like to remind you however, that the intense heat on that body, due to its proximity to the sun and an atmosphere heavy with carbon dioxide, make it highly unlikely or impossible that beings with the same organic structure as earth-man could abide on its surface. The Venus beings live in the ether of this planet."

Painting of Yada Di Shi´Ite by Mark Probert

There were about a dozen people present at the Palomar Gardens meeting, January 3, 1953, which lasted some three hours. Unfortunately no tape recording was made. The transcription comes from stenographic notes where mistakes and misunderstanding of what was said may easily occur. But still this interview must be regarded as unique and of great interest to all researchers of the UFO contactee enigma. Here I will present a few quotes and comments on what was said during the interview.

”George Adamski: … The mother ship appeared and a B-36 orbing it while the others (planes) were watching.”

In Flying Saucers Have Landed and on several other occasions Adamski and the other witnesses mention the presence of U.S. military aircraft who obviously observed the space ships and what was happening on the ground. Both George Adamski and George Van Tassel later claimed to have been informed by Air Force pilots that the November 20, 1952 contact was filmed from the air. If this information is correct some U.S. military intelligence group was aware of that Adamski was in contact with a group of alien visitors. Was this the reason he was later given a passport with special privileges and also held a U.S. Government Ordnance Department Card, allowing access to military bases and to certain restricted areas? To his Swiss co-worker Lou Zinsstag he once said: ”My heart is a graveyard of secrets”.

Lou Zinsstag

”Francis Ohm: Yes, we understood you had gone on a picnic…
George Adamski: Rick came down here and talked to me and he said, whenever you go we would like to be there. I got an impression to go and notified them by telephone. The mother ship gave instructions as to how to go. It went just ahead of us and we followed it. It stopped and turned and we picked up the instrument and she stayed there – that was where she (the mother ship) wanted us to be. The other one (the Disc) was already sitting there.”

This statement gives a more detailed information on how the group found the contact location than what is presented in Flying Saucers Have Landed.

”George Adamski: As to that woman in the ship – the ship was translucent. The figure might have been a man but looked somewhat like a woman. The stuff the ship was made of was hard as the devil”

The relevant text in Flying Saucers Have Landed reads: ”It was translucent and of exquisite colour. As we approached it, I suddenly became aware of a shadowy form moving within the ship, but there were no definite outlines and I could not say whether it was a man or a woman.” (pp. 205-206).

Photo by George Adamski, December 13, 1952. Notice the translucent "landing gear" on the left

”Francis Ohm: Did you ask directly to go to his ship?
George Adamski: He did not exactly deny me but he did not want me to go in and I could see why. All the time our own ships (planes) were out there. If I had gone in they might have thought he was capturing me. I do not know where our planes came from but they were there.”

Here again is a clear reference that even Adamski himself found it surprising that U.S. planes knew of this visit by the space ships.

George Adamski

There are still many unsolved riddles in the life and contact experiences of George Adamski.  But I am confident that history will prove that, as my late friend, ufologist Franck Boitte expressed it, ”there is in the George Adamski saga much more than meets the eye”.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

From Outer Space To You

It is generally a good idea to return to the classics in any genre. This also goes for UFO literature. Rereading a book after ten or twenty years is a rewarding experience. You will discover new data and ideas you didn´t notice before. The reason, of course, is that you are, in many ways, not the same person reading the book the second or third time. Hopefully you have advanced in knowledge, experience, intellectual and spiritual discernment. I have made it a habit to reread, especially the contactee classics of the 1950s as there is in my view a deeper mystery involved in what happened during that era. The classic chosen for this blog is From Outer Space to You by Howard Menger.

In several earlier blog entries I have presented various aspects of the controversial contact experiences of Howard Menger. He is one of the few public 1950s contactees I regard as genuine, although he later became involved with a secret U.S. military intelligence group, which complicated his life and contacts. The evidence for the reality of Menger´s contacts are many and varied but here I will concentrate on the philosophical and spiritual message of his book as related to The Esoteric Tradition or The Ancient Wisdom.

Howard and Connie Menger

A short summary of my arguments for advocating this position:
1. Many years of field investigation and research on physical contactees have convinced me that contacts and co-operation with alien visitors from somewhere is a reality.
2.  There is both empirical and circumstantial evidence indicating that the following 1950s public contactees were authentic: George Adamski, Orfeo Angelucci, Daniel Fry, George and Dorris Van Tassel, Howard Menger.
3. The experiences and articles of journalist and esotericist Paul M. Vest and others imply that several individuals in the 1950s were openly or covertly involved in a psychological and sociological test implemented by a benevolent group of alien visitors.
4. The message or worldview presented by this group is generally in accordance with The Esoteric Tradition.
5. The assertion, in the 1930s and 1940s, by Alice Bailey´s teacher The Tibetan D.K. that ”extraplanetary beings stand ready to intervene” and ”offer their help at this time”.

The following quotes are from the original 1959 Saucerian Books edition of From Outer Space To You. I will not refer to statements in the book of basic facts in esotericism such as multiverse reality, evolution of consciousness, reincarnation, karma etc. but to more specialized information also found in The Esoteric Tradition.

”I was worried about my inability to fully comprehend all they were telling me. I had little or no education in the sciences. They told me not to worry, because many of their contacts were trained scientists who could understand their technology and now could even duplicate some of their instruments. "It's fairly easy to find contacts like these, Howard. But people like yourself is a different matter. While scientists can perform certain tasks, few of them would be able to bring the spiritual message to people, as you will be doing.” (p. 91)

This is an interesting aspect of the test made by the alien visitors as contactees were obviously selected based on different qualities and education. In the writings of Howard and Conny Menger the philosophical and esoteric dimension is very prominent, often more so compared to other contactees. Another example is journalist Paul M. Vest who was told by the visitor named Bill that he was approached because ”they are well aware of your deep interest and unusual experiences in the field of metaphysics, religions and the supra-normal”.

Photo of spaceman in front of ship taken by Howard Menger 1956

”Science asks for proof, but how can we prove something which is beyond our sciences? Scientific proof is based on what we perceive with our five senses, not what we know with the use of even more valuable senses. But, somehow, out of these advanced ideas must come a science, a system of some kind; else our unchartered paths will become even wilder. Such a science, a cosmic science, which will involve investigations in to the realm of other senses and dimensions, has already had its humble beginnings; but its patriarchs, like those ancient iconoclasts who announced the world was round and was not the center of the universe, have been persecuted.” (p. 123)

Here is presented a very distinct reference to The Esoteric Tradition as the science of the future. Not some naive and irrational philosophy but a true science of the multiverse as exact as any academic disclipline. The Tibetan teacher D.K. often explained this to his amanuensis Alice Bailey: ”One point should here be stated: Esotericism is not in any way of a mystical and vague nature. It is a science – essentially the science of the soul of all things – and has its own terminology, experiments, deductions and laws.” (Alice Bailey, Education In the New Age, p. 64) The philosophical system is Hylozoism, expertly elucidated by Swedish esotericist Henry T.Laurency.

Alice Bailey

”Let us assume that there is on this planet a group of scientifically minded and spiritually dedicated men and women who are working to accomplish this great task. And, let us further assume that they have already established contacts with equally dedicated people of other planets. To continue their work and remain effective, they must of necessity remain behind the scenes.” (p. 7)

This is actually Connie Menger explaining the ongoing relation and co-operation between our planetary guardians (Hierarchy) and people of other planets, often mentioned in the esoteric literature. That there is co-operation between the planetary and interplanetary guardians was confirmed by that extraordinary organization Borderland Sciences Research Association (BSRA) in 1951. Here is a quote from Seance Memoranda From the Inner Circle, November 28, 1951: ”There is a certain secret work going on at present between the Etherians and certain high earth authorities (You understand, I suppose, that I do not use the word ”high” in the usual sense. I am referring to those belonging to some of the secret Lodges on Earth). This work has to do with the great possibility of the Earth´s destruction… These men have landed in Australia in a secret landing field. They have not only been to Scotland, but to high authorities in England, and to a few of your men and women here of high standing (I refer to the secret Orders).” (p. 30)

”There are also space craft, though of inferior design, which are built by people of this planet. These people are in communication and in service with people from other planets. They are people who possess a high spiritual understanding and have reached an awareness of natural law; therefore they have been entrusted with information enabling them to construct such craft.” (p. 159)

Howard Menger

This statement is intriguing and could be compared with the esoteric intervention theory as expounded by Jacques Vallee. Connoisseurs of esotericism are aware of that the core group of planetary guardians (adepts) have no need of ”saucers” as their knowledge of ”magic” makes such transportation uncalled-for. But secret lodges working together with the planetary and interplanetary guardians could very well have received basic knowledge of Vimana construction. To my knowledge there is no reference to such help in the so far published esoteric literature. A very controversial contactee declaring that secret brotherhoods use flying saucers is the late Richard Kieninger, which I have discussed in an earlier blog entry. In esoteric literature we find only mention of Vimana technology during the Atlantean period: ”Most of our modern scientific knowledge was possessed by these priest-kings and constituted in the eyes of the masses a form of wonderful magic. Sanitation, hygiene, means of transportation and air machines were developed and of a very high order; these were not the result however of man´s achievement, but gifts from the Hierarchy, developed or constructed under a wise guidance.” (Alice Bailey, The Externalisation of the Hierarchy, p. 122).

”My friend, this earth is the battlefield of Armageddon, and the battle is for men´s minds and souls… You don´t know Howard, that there is a very powerful group on this planet, which possesses tremendous knowledge of technology, psychology, and most unfortunate of all, advanced brain therapy… This group has been infiltrating religious organizations to dupe your peoples into a distorted concept of a truth which enveloped your planet thousands of years ago. They are using the credulity and simple faith of many people to attain their own ends.” (pp. 143-144)

This is not a very comforting message. Esotericists are aware of that our planet has been chosen as a sort of interplanetary Alcatraz and that there is also an organized effort to keep humanity enslaved by inhuman and destructive religious ideas. This was clearly explained already during the first communications in the 19th century by the Adept K.H.: ”… the chief cause of nearly two thirds of the evils that pursue humanity — ever since that cause became a power. It is religion under whatever form and in whatsoever nation. It is the sacerdotal caste, the priesthood and the churches; it is in those illusions that man looks upon as sacred, that he has to search out the source of that multitude of evils which is the great curse of humanity and that almost overwhelms mankind… It is belief in God and Gods that makes two-thirds of humanity the slaves of a handful of those who deceive them under the false pretense of saving them.” (The Mahatma Letters to A.P. Sinnett, Letter 10, September 1882, pp. 57-58).

Today most of the world religions have been reformed by the ideas from the Renaissance, The Enlightenment and The Modern Project. Unfortunately this is not the case with Islam, who in its present form must be regarded as a grave menace to freedom and world peace. Unless powerful reformers does not appear within Islam during the coming decades, there is a real danger of a brutal clash of civilisations or religious war.

The future prospects of humanity on this planet are not very bright unless something extraordinary happens. The coming of the planetary guardians may be the historical event that will change history. Many years after the active contact experiences Howard and Connie Menger summarized the whole episode with the visitors in their book The High Bridge Incident: ”Even if they were not extraterrestrials, they were intelligent, advanced people who had a technology to be envied and a philosophy that was inspiring. Maybe, they are the prototype of the enlightened, advanced human race on earth to come. If so, we can have hope for the future.” (p. 108).