Friday, October 4, 2019

AFU - A Unique World Heritage

During the last year I have spent between two and four hours every day sorting, organizing and scanning the very extensive Parthenon archive at AFU. This collection is especially valuable as a research source for a study of the contactee movement of the 1950s and 60s. Edith Nicolaisen, founder of the Parthenon publishing house in 1957, corresponded with many of the well known first generation contactees and organizations. I have scanned 3260 documents from the Parthenon archive, whereof about 1900 letters. The main correspondence file has been scanned earlier by our AFU colleague Leif Åstrand. My estimation is that the total correspondence file must exceed 10,000 letters.

Perusing the various correspondence collections at AFU I notice that very few writers have made and saved copies of their own letters. But Edith Nicolaisen was exceedingly meticulous in all her work and also saved copies of all her own letters. This makes the Parthenon correspondence archive even more unique and complete. I assume this must be one of the largest collection of letters giving the inside view of the contactee movement. With the thousands of documents in the Parthenon archive there is enough material for at least two or three doctoral dissertations, besides being a treasure trove for ufologists.

Letter from Elisabeth Klarer to Edith Nicolaisen 1957

Another treasure trove for ufologists is the AFU Downloads website. AFU has around 80,000 magazine issues on paper, from 57 nations across the world. Of these 22,500 issues are digitized and many of these are aviable to download for free at the our website. Isaac Koi, of AFU’s International Advisory Board, is making an herculean effort to trace editors and publishers of journals and newsletters asking for the rights to scan the contents of old magazine volumes and making them available as PDFs. This is an ongoing work with new magazines added on a regular basis. An invaluable reference source for all types of research into UFO history.

Here you can find complete volumes of many rare old UFO and Fortean magazines: Australian Saucer Record 1955-1962, Saucers, Space & Science (Canada) 1957-1972, Topside (Canada) 1960-1971, Ouranos (France) 1952-1980), Flying Saucers (New Zealand) 1953-1957, Approach (South Africa) 1958-1960, Weltraumbote 1955-1961, Flying Saucer News (United Kingdom) 1953-1956), CSI Quaterly (USA) 1952-1954, Saucer Scoop (USA) 1966-1969 – to name just few.

While I am writing this blog post AFU chairman Clas Svahn, together with Håkan Ekstrand are touring England, visiting ufologists and authors who have promised to donate collections and archives to AFU. In a couple of weeks we can expect another Schenker lorry filled with thousands of books, magazines, organizational archives etc.

313 boxes in London 2012 on their way to AFU

To get an excellent overview and summary of AFU history and collections I suggest reading Clas Svahn´s recently published book Files of the Unexplained, with hundreds of unique photographs. It is almost impossible to give a detailed exposition of all that is happening every year at AFU but you get  a fairly good estimation of our work by reading some of the AFU Annual Reports.

All this work would be impossible without the generous donors from around the world. Take a look at the impressive list of donors at our website, who all have contributed to AFU. On behalf of AFU I once again would like to express our deep gratitude to all our idealistic friends worldwide. After all these years I can still experience a profound fascination, looking back to our humble beginning in 1973, when we started with two bookshelves in the small one room apartment of our late friend, librarian and AFU co-founder Kjell Jonsson.

Kjell Jonsson at our two bookshelves in August 1977

AFU is not only about thousands of books, magazines and documents but essentially an organized effort to understand the nature, origin and implications of the many types of intriguing phenomena, hitherto not generally recognized by mainstream science and society. In a couple of decades when we oldtimers have left this strange planet, or at least left our physical bodies, we hope the torch of research will be carried on by a new generation of  heretic, non-conformist investigators and scholars, who dare to cross the threshold into what Jacques Vallee has named Forbidden Science. And we hope that AFU will be the international center for this inquiry.

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Charlotte Blob And The UFO Education Center

In January 2017 AFU received a rather unusual email from archivist Cheryl Brown and her assistant Gayle Tinnerman. It was an offer to buy the archive of the UFO Education Center, an organization active in the 1970s headed by former George Adamski co-worker and secretary Charlotte Blob. In an email to me January 29, 2017 Cheryl Brown mentioned that the archive included ”personal correspondence with the public, government, Presidential officials and military personnel; audio cassette tapes & 8 mm video, newspaper articles, lecture files, radio & TV files, many hardback & paperback books, Photos (with their negatives), slides, artwork, crystal wine glasses ingraved for G. Adamski & also his personal telescope… the list goes on and on.”

Photo of the UFO Education Center archive

The George Adamski telescope at the UFO Éducation Center archive

The offer had also been sent to several other people a.o. Glenn Steckling of the George Adamski Foundation. He contacted Cheryl Brown and informed her that she could not sell material that was under copyright protection by the GA Foundation. Steckling visited the archive and succeeded in retrieving documents that legally belonged to the GA Foundation. I later tried several times to contact Cheryl Brown as we were still interested in buying the archive but there was no reply and I still don´t know what happened to this unique collection.

Charlotte Blob (1936-2009), born Modersohn. She became interested in UFOs when employed as a ground observer for the U.S. Air Force in 1952, during which time she observed UFOs several times. Later she met George Adamski and around 1964 became his secretary, replacing Alice Wells. When Adamski died in 1965 Blob continued on her own but keeping a close contact with Adamski co-workers. In a letter to Ernst Linder,, chairman of the Swedish Ifological Society, December 29, 1966 she wrote: ”I am not affilliated with any groups, clubs, organizations, or so on, but prefer to stay separate from any so called group thereby not limiting myself.”

In 1963 Danish IGAP representative and Air Force Major H. C. Petersen was oppointed by George Adamski to  build a center for cosmic studies 35 miles north of Guadalajara, Mexico. When Fred Steckling became active in the GA Foundation he continued this plan in 1968, working together with a.o. Charlotte Blob. She also wrote the Introduction to his book Why Are They Here, published in 1969. 

Charlotte Blob in Vista, June 1964

Both Fred Steckling and Charlotte Blob told of personal meetings with space people living among us on earth. In the Daily Times Advocate, December 23, 1973 Charlotte told of one such contact: ”… she was lecturing on UFOs once in a home in a remote section of Wisconsin and only the scientists and teachers invited were given the address. As it got under way there was a knock on the door, and two young men, with golden suntans that you just don´t get in a Wisconsin Winter, she said, asked to come in. Believing that they were students told about the meeting by one of the professors, she let hem in and only after considerable conversation which they carried on in an unusual accent and a singsong tone, and after the intensity with which they followed each speaker and the information he contributed, did she even begin to believe they might be visitors from a ship.”

Around 1970 Charlotte Blob started lecturing on UFOs, space people and the cosmic philosophy together with Mr. Thomas Heiman. In September 1970 they visited the UFO society FUFOS in Denmark, Charlotte lecturing and Thomas playing guitar and singing songs like Silverships From Heaven.  She became quite well known as a lecturer and even made a short appearance, talking about the space people, in the 1971 movie Rainbow Bridge, filmed at the island of Maui, Hawaii. It is a sort of documentary of the life and discussions of various New Age people and hippies. Included are scenes from an outdoor concert with Jimmy Hendrix July 30, 1970. The idea of the film was to shoot an antidote to Easy Rider, showing the positive side of the youth movement.

The Mexico Project was abandoned in 1971 and around 1970-71 there was a growing dissension among the former Adamski co-workers. Alice Pomeroy, who had given three years of voluteer service to Alice Wells in Vista, wrote in a letter to co-workers September 8, 1970: ”The confusion seems to be centering around the group in Mexico (Fred) the group in Valley Center (Charlotte) the group in Europé (Hans Petersen and Dora Bauer) and Vista (the two Alice´s). All of these groups, Except Vista, seem to differ in their loyalties and each one has certain others he wishes to support, pushing the rest aside… This confusion… grows increasingly wider and broader. First Steve and Alice B., as individuals. Then Fred and Charlotte as part of a group. Then Fred´s group against Charlotte´s group, and now Europé against the USA.”

Alice Pomeroy left Vista och in 1970 founded a small magazine the Roundletter and later the International Cosmic Council (ICC): ”A new organization is emerging, borne out of George Adamski´s experiences with our noble Brothers from other planets, and their teachings of Universal Law. Through the study and practice of these teachings, The International Cosmic council will be able to bring new Life to all mankind.” ICC was a shorlived effort and the Roundletter was folded in 1974.

In the beginning of the 1970s Charlotte Blob, joined by Thomas Heiman, founded a new organization UFO Education Center, based at Valley Center, California with a Midwest Headquarters in Appleton, Wisconsin, headed by Miss Catherine Reid,  and a branch in Guadalajara, Mexico. I wrote a letter to Charlotte Blob in 1973 and received some of the Cosmic Newsletter, which she edited. On January 31, 1974 I received a letter from Thomas Heiman, testifying that Charlotte had met the space people and describing their work together.

Thomas Heiman obviously succeeded in influencing Jimmy Carter, before his election as president of the United States 1977. In an article, Jimmy Carter, The UFO President, by Ian T. Cruz, Barcelona, Spain some interesting facts are revealed: 
”Carter, however, did say something very similar during a campaign stop in Appleton, Wisconsin on the morning of March 31, 1976. During a news conference at the airport, Thomas Heiman, Associate Director of the UFO Education Center in Appleton Wisconsin, asked Carter a question.

Heiman: As President, would you air what’s "behind-closed-doors" today in regards to UFOs?

Carter: I don’t know what to make of it. However, some of the sightings have been witnessed by 20 to 25 people, law enforcement officers, and everyone in the cockpit of a major airplane, and so forth. But I can’t tell you what to make of it. If I knew, I’d be the only one in the world who does. But, yes, I would make these kinds of data available to the public, as President, to help resolve the mystery about it.

Heiman: On a public basis?

Carter: Yes, on a public basis.

Following the news conference, Jimmy Carter spoke with the questioner Thomas H. Heiman, Associate Director of the UFO Education Center in Appleton. Heiman told Carter of the extensive films and evidence held by the Center. In reply, Carter thanked Heiman for the offer to review the evidence. Further he told Heiman that " a meeting could be arranged sometime after the election" when he could meet with the group and review the material they had.

Following Carter’s election, the White House staff moved to distance themselves from the UFO Education Center. One meeting, with the members of the UFO Education Center, was held in the Executive Office Building with Richard Reiman, from the Office of Public Liaison. Phone calls and letters were exchanged, but despite the fact that Carter had promised to meet with the group, in the end Fran Voorde, the Director of Scheduling for the President gave the group the kiss-off.”

In the 1970s the midwest bransch of UFO Education Center became involved in a complicated cult affair. A young couple, Thomas and Susan Colb observed, in Janury 1973, an orange flashing light in Kiel, Wisconsin. They contacted the UFO Education Center in Wisconsin. Thomas Colb wasn´t very impressed by the group by Susan became very enthusiastic and eventually moved into the Wisconsin headquarters. Susan´s father and the husband Thomas was not happy with this situation. They arranged a rescue party that broke down the front door and carried Susan off. She escaped from them and signed complaints of false imprisonment.

In 1977 Thomas Kolb and Susan´s father contacted the famous deprogrammer Ted Patrick, specializing in rescuing cultists. In October 1977 Ted Patrick ”kidnapped” Susan from the UFO Education Center and in four days succeeded in changing her mind, at a cost of several thousand dollars. Following her release Susan joined Patrick on the lecture circuit where she told that ”It got to the point where we weren´t interested in UFOs anymore. We were completely obsessed with the philosophy of Orthon and with spreading that philosophy.” (James Oberg, UFO Update, Omni, October 1980, p.32.). I have not been able to find out more about what happened in this case and how it affected UFO Education Center.

As Charlotte Blob and the UFO Education Center announced and sold a lot of George Adamski writings and material the copyright issue finally emerged as a controversy among the various Adamski groups. It ended in a long lawsuit between the George Adamski Foundation and UFO Education Center. It was settled on February 9, 1981 where the GA Foundation ”shall have the sole, exclusive, and enequivocal rights and ownership to all publications and copyrights of the late George Adamski.” (Cosmic Bulletin, June 1981).

Not much information is aviable of what happened to UFO Education Center after this lawsuit. Charlotte became involved with the case of the Mexican Dr. Leopoldo Diaz, who claimed to have examined an intriguing alien visitor on November 28, 1976. She eventually married Dr. Diaz and they settled in Mexico. The UFO Education Center archive seems to be lost forever unless the goddesses of fate intervene.

While discussing the UFO Education Center archive with Glenn Steckling a few days ago I received a most unwelcome surprise. In his email to me September 21 Glenn wrote that upon his death the archive of the George Adamski Foundation will be destroyed: ”Upon my death, my attorneys and remaining family have been instructed to destroy by fire that which I have indicated. Archives such as articles and historical newspaper clippings may either go in the library and telescope facility I hope to one day to earn enough money to build upon Mt. Palomar.” This means that Adamski´s unpublished 4th manuscript, Alice Wells memoirs, photos, correspondence and the archive of Carol Honey will end up in flames. To me this is an incomprehensible and tragic decision.

I must admit that this was chocking news and I wrote an email to Glenn asking him to reconsider this unhappy decision. I quote from this email:
Thank you for your detailed email, which I must confess leaves me both somewhat sad and upset. As you know I am a professional librarian and AFU archivist, a co-founder of Archives for the Unexplained, which is today the worlds largest UFO, Fortean and paranormal phenomena archive and library. I have spent my entire life trying to preserve valuable research material and documents from all over the globe, relating to our common interests. Academic scholars, authors, researchers, ufologists and various organizations worldwide are continually donating unique archives and collections to AFU.

When you now tell me that upon your death the GA Foundation archive will be destroyed by fire I simply think you are planning a great mistake and a disservice to humanity. Why destroy the legacy of the man you have worked for all your life? You are of course right that the masses on this planet only want sensationalism and entertainment but there are also thousands, if not millions, who are serious researchers and spiritual seekers and who would greatly benefit by the material and ideas you have preserved at the GA Foundation… The GA Foundation archive is unique in world history and should be preserved for the benefit of coming generations ”

With Glenn Steckling at the annual UFO Sweden field investigator seminar October 20, 2018

I do hope that my old friend Glenn Steckling will change his mind regarding the preservation of the GA Foundation archive. It is the policy of AFU to build, maintain and salvage unique archives from all over the globe – not to burn them. I reiterate once again what I have said so many times: Without libraries and archives we have no history, only anecdotes, myths and hazy memories. Without archives and libraries serious and scientific research becomes very difficult and in some areas almost impossible.

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Satellite And Elementals

”We have a theory. It is not very scientific but it is based on upon the known facts. These creatures and strange events tend to recur in the same areas year after year, even century after century. This, in itself, indicates that the creatures somehow live in those areas which we call ”windows”.”. This idea or theory was formulated by John Keel in his by now classic Strange Creatures From Time and Space (1970, p. 15). He also originated the theory that these phenomena often seemed to appear on certain dates, referred to as The Wednesday Phenomenon. October 29, 1965 was a very special day in Swedish UFO history with a concentration of many unusual events and encounters.

On Thursday night, October 28, American contactees Wayne Aho (1916-2006) and Mrs. Leonora Croft lectured at the Swedish UFO society Ifologiska sällskapet. They were on a world lecture tour and told the audience of their meetings and telepathic contacts with the space people. Aho also mentioned that the space people followed them on this tour and many people had observed the saucers in connection with the lectures.

Wayne Aho

Friday October 29 began as usual for the contactee couple Sture and Turid Johansson, then living in the little village Ösmo, south of Stockholm. But during the day Turid received a telepathic message that the couple should go to a place called Väggarö, south of Stockholm at 10 pm. Turid had once received a similar message by phone when an unknown voice broke in during a conversation with a lady friend and told them to go to Väggarö. Now the voice also said, "be careful, there is a power struggle on Earth". They had visited Väggarö several times before and found it to be a peaceful place for meditation. But this time it would not be so peaceful.

Around 7 pm on the evening of October 29 thousands of people all over Sweden are confronted with a very majestic sight. A large elongated and extremely bright object is observed, slowly gliding across the sky. The object is photographed by Erik Ehnmark in Södertälje, south of Stockholm. There is a lot of speculation of what has caused this phenomenon. Olof Lagercrantz, editor in chief of Sweden´s largest daily Dagens Nyheter, said in an interview that it appeared as a large cigar shaped airship with windows or a train with illuminated windows. After some research it could be determined that the object was the re-entry of the American spy satellite 1965-79A that caused the beautiful spectacle this October evening.

Photo by Erik Ehnmark, October 29, 1965

Trajectory of the spy satellite 1965-79A

This Friday evening many members of Ifologiska sällskapet (Ifological Society) had gathered at an apartment in the center of Stockholm belonging to Ms. Diana Berglöw. Invited were also Wayne Aho and Leonora Croft. When the group heard on the radio of the object just observed over Sweden they was great excitement and Wayne Aho explained that he had received a telepathic message from the spaceman Val Thor, who was commander in one of the ships recently passing over Stockholm. Swedish contactee Sten Lindgren arrived at the meeting around 7.30 and heard Aho announce that several smaller craft would soon be observed over Stockholm. He then went to the balcony to have a better look. In an interview June 21, 1977 Sten Lindgren mentioned that six Adamski-type craft were circling the area:

”Håkan Blomqvist: Could you see them?

Sten Lindgren: Yes, they were in plain sight. Possibly at a distance of 400-500 meters or closer. So much happened so suddenly. We were there to listen to Aho and then all these other things happened. There was a balcony there but not everyone could go out.

Håkan: How did the objects appear? Were they like lights or distinct craft?

Sten Lindgren: Well, the contours I could see were these bells shining read and orange. There was six of them but not at the same distance, circulating all the time.”

Sten Lindgren, December 25, 1984

The group in the Stockholm apartment continued listening to Wayne Aho and discussing all the observations that had happened during the evening. About 9.30 pm Sture and Turid Johansson make themselves ready to go by car to Väggarö, as Turid had been told in a telepathic message. They arrive at Väggarö around 10 pm. On October 27, 1973 I interviewed Sture and Turid of what happened. Here are some excerpts from the tape:

"Sture: When we arrived at the place we were told to visit those entities were already there but we did not observe them until we had parked the car. It was not totally dark but twilight. We noticed them first over the field and then they came very close to the car, about 50 centimeter. We believe they were five or six, between 1,25-1,50 meter with large heads and shining eyes. The eyes were red, phosphorous. The entities didn´t walk but floated around in straight lines. I wished for all my life that another car would come but no one showed up. After some time the entities disappeared over the field and then it was like a saucer tried to land on the car. Our whole car shook and the radio screamed in the back seat. We took cover below the dashboard.

The Väggarö incident. My car at the spot during a field investigation 1973

Ufologist Lennart Johansson at the location where the entities appeared

Håkan: For how long did the observation last?

Sture: Maybe five minutes but for me it felt like eternity.

Håkan: Did you see any ears or fingers?

Sture: Imagine yourself sitting in twilight gazing through the car window. Would you notice the type of ears or fingers the entities had when you are absolutely terrified. You just don´t do that. Then you have to be enormously cold-livered and I couldn´t act like that. But I am sure they had arms."

Drawing by Sture Johansson

After this frightening experience Sture and Turid just sit in the car for a while before going home. But they arrive home in the early morning. Several hours are missing. They never wanted to know what eventually had happened during that missing time. When Sture Johansson later became a famous deep trance medium I asked the entity (Simenon) speaking through Sture what had actually happened on October 29, 1965:

”Håkan: I am thinking about the negative entities that my friends Sture and Turid encountered. What are they, where do they come from?

Turid: The ones at Väggarö.

Sture (Simenon): Yes, the negative forces appear in many shapes. They are created by humans themselves and have a certain intelligent life. As long as they are nurtured they live… A sort of vampires, you could say.

Turid: Thought energies with no soul maybe – from us?

Sture (Simeno): Yes, and they can also appear in physical shape. We know of these thought creations.

Sture and Turid Johansson

Håkan: May I ask, was it a magician that created the thought forms Sture and Turid observed at Väggarö?

Sture (Simeno): I am aware of this, yes.

Håkan: Were these entities created or did they simply exist at this place?

Sture (Simeno): Are you defining a magician as someone evil?

Håkan: No, not necessary. But was there a magician behind this event, someone who had sent them?

Sture (Simeno): Yes.

Turid: We were very frightened and then you often have a black-out, paralyzed. Did we leave the car?

Sture (Simeno): No.

Turid: Yes, that was an assurance to hear.”

So, what actually happened on this fateful day, October 29, 1965, in Sweden? Was it simply a bizarre coincidence that the spy satellite re-entered over Sweden at the same time as several contactees told of telepathic and physical close encounters? In 1965 there were very few active field investigators in Sweden and to my knowledge no one interviewed the many witnesses gathered at the Stockholm apartment. Today we are left with more or less anecdotal accounts of what happened. But the events on this date is certainly intriguing. Maybe the Gods played a joke on us that October evening.

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

K. Gösta Rehn And George Adamski

Continuing my organizing and scanning of the Parthenon archive at AFU I now and then come upon fascinating and historically unique documents. Sometimes I also discover documents that make me raise my eyebrows in astonishment. A real surprise this week was finding the early correspondence between two pioneers of the Swedish UFO movement, K. Gösta Rehn and Edith Nicolaisen, discussing translations of the books by George Adamski and Desmond Leslie. Rehn was a hardline intellectual rationalist, advocating a materialist-reductionist worldview and a fierce opponent of the classic contactees, whose writings he regarded pure fantasy. Imagine then my surprise when finding correspondence where Rehn present himself as a fervent supporter of George Adamski and his philosophy.

K. Gösta Rehn

K. Gösta Rehn (1891-1989) was an intellectual and erudite scholar. He was well acquainted with the latest works in Humanities as well as Natural Science and wrote articles on economy, neurology, sematics, philosophy and psychology. In 1954 he read Donald Keyhoe´s classic Flying Saucers From Outer Space and became intensely fascinated by the UFO enigma. Rehn made a Swedish translation of the Keyhoe book which was published in 1955.

K. Gösta Rehn was 60 years when he became an APRO representative in 1958. In spite of his age he was in good health with an exuberant intellect and soon engaged in field investigations, documenting Swedish close encounter cases and regularly sending manuscripts to be published in The APRO Bulletin. He introduced himself in a letter September 12, 1958: "I am grown-up, all right, 60, not a crank or crack-pot, ex-American with 20 years stay in the USA, since 1939 amanuens in the Swedish State Power Board, Stockholm. I have been writing some articles for a Swedish magazine, engaged in cultural debate. I am a Batchelor of Law and Batchelor of Arts (Fordham)."

In 1956 Miss Edith Nicolaisen (1911-1986) was heavily engaged in planning for the founding of the Swedish publishing house Parthenon, which started in 1957. She had spent eight years studying at the universities of Copenhagen, Paris, Berlin and Heidelberg. Her academic credentials are impressive: Modern languages such as English, German, French, Latin, Russian but also Philosophy, History, Science, Mathematics a.o. Fluent in several modern languages she worked as a translator, after the Second World War, for the United States Armed Forces in the European Theater and also in the Civil Censorship Division. Always with excellent ratings in work and personal qualifications. Between 1953-1957 she worked as a saleswoman for the Swedish publishing company Diana Bildreportage AB, Hälsingborg.

Edith Nicolaisen

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. She wrote her first letter to Adamski on August 12, 1954 detailing her plans to publish his book in Swedish. She succeeded in getting the publishing rights for Swedish editions of Flying Saucers Have Landed and  Inside The Space Ships. As K. Gösta Rehn had translated Keyhoe´s Flying Saucers From Outer Space she wrote a letter to Rehn in 1956, asking for his help. Rehn replied in a letter May 25, 1956, which is a real surprise: ”I have read Inside The Space Ships by Adamski and found it very interesting and worthy of an elaborate translation. I am also in total sympathy with the outlook both Adamski and you represent and have studied the booklets (Graal a.o.) lent by you.” In the letter Rehn also mention that he is very well qualified as a translator with a profound knowledge of philosophy, psychology etc. In her letter May 26, 1956 Edith Nicolaisen asked if Rehn would like to translate Inside The Space Ships.

Rehn answered that he was very interested in undertaking the translation and continued: ”I find Adamski´s book fascinating and well written. He convinces us of this ”invisible reality of a magical, romantic and spiritual quality”, as related by Ingeborg Fjellander in the ”Grail Legend”. It is noble-minded in its presentation of mankind´s discord and inability to live in peace. It is evident that beings on other planets have developed a technology and wisdom far superior to ours. Yes, it is only natural to suppose that some of these beings are here unnoticed among us on earth, continuing the message of Jesus. The electromagnetic vibrations is the force of nature used by the saucers, which is in accordance with Cramp´s book ”Space, Gravity And The Flying Saucers”… This book, which is in my collection, is also in need of translation, as Adamski´s first book ”Flying Saucers Have Landed”, which I have read. That Adamski has been allowed to visit and see the inside of the saucers is a wonderful experience.” (Letter from K. Gösta Rehn to Edith Nicolaisen, May 29, 1956.

Maybe because of her female intuition or because she ”smelled a rat” Edith Nicolaisen was somewhat apprehensive regarding Rehn´s enthusiastic support for Adamski and she expressed this hesitation in the correspondence. Rehn was obviously somewhat offended by these remarks and wrote in a reply: ”I don´t quite understand how you beforehand can doubt my ability to translate the inspiring, sublime expressions used in ”the three Masters speak”. I believe we are on the same wave-length here… I hope you will look upon me as a kindred soul, tender-hearted, loving, cherishing our common interests. (Letter from K. Gösta Rehn to Edith Nicolaisen, June 2, 1956).

To decide whether Rehn was the best person to translate the Adamski books Edith Nicolaisen wrote that she listened to ”my inner voice”. Edith also reiterated that she did not work for personal gain but for the cause of humanity, serving the Master and his work on this planet. Her final decision regarding co-operating with Rehn was expressed in a letter July 27, 1956: ”My answer to you in my letter dated Copenhagen 26.6.56 had the intention to find out, if your enthusiasm was inspired by entire unselfish love to your fellow man, - eager to enlighten him and warn him against all the disasters mankind is going to encounter, if our so-called civilized world is continuing on the road of materialism and atheism, - or whether your enthusiasm was inspired by selfish interests, just as 95% of all enthusiasts and footballfans etc. you meet today everywhere. By selfish interests, I mean just to nourish your own curiosity-hunger and to get as much joy out of it for your own personal benefit – without running any risk at all or undertaking any responsibility whatsoever. So I had my reason, when I proposed that some high spiritual-minded person should undertake the translation of the Masters´speeches… it seems to me that you take the attitude of an American business man, for whom the money-question and the security is the deciding factor and not the cause for which we are going to work.”

The correspondence continued for a few more weeks but in September 1956 Edith Nicolaisen realized that co-operation would be impossible as she and Rehn were too far apart in ”wave-length” to attain a harmonious and positive communication. In this respect her intution would prove to be correct.

In 1958 K. Gösta Rehn became the APRO representative for Sweden and from now on his attitude to George Adamski and other contactees was completely changed. Whenever possible he heaped ridicule and sarcastic comments on contactees and the contactee movement. A complete about-face compared to his former views as expressed to Edith Nicolaisen. In a letter to J. Allen Hynek, October 6, 1961, discussing the theories of Dr. Leon Davidson, Rehn wrote: ”There is a lot of arguments against Davidson´s fancy idea. I grant there may be some truth in his idea that CIA played a sort of Disney-land hoax upon poor psychopathic Adamski – just in order to spread his crazy stories and to discredit the saucer problem in USA and elsewhere. All the world laugh at flying saucers just because of the great number of nut stories disseminated.”

Jim and Coral Lorenzen

Rehn naturally received a lot of criticism for his hardline, black and white attitude towards George Adamski and other contactees. To some of his correspondents he did express doubts about these conclusions: ”I received information from America on Adamski that appeared correct, but maybe they are wrong. So many have objected to my writings on Adamski that I think I repent. You claim to have evidence that his photos and contacts are valid, so I guess I will have to revise my opinion. But you also know that scientists are not happy with occultism and Adamski.” (Letter from K. Gösta Rehn to Lars-Uno Bernhardsson, August 22, 1969).

These doubts were soon forgotten and when Daniel Fry visited Sweden in 1970 Rehn was back at his usual scathing criticism of contactees, Parthenon and Edith Nicolaisen. Here a few quotes from various letters:

”Adamski and Menger are superstitious fantasy products. Several of these have been translated and distributed in Sweden, to the detriment of the saucer cause.”
(Letter from K. Gösta Rehn to N. Ericson, July 30, 1969).

”Parthenon is leading you astray with their twaddle about superstitious fantastic stories. Most of the UFO pilots are 120 cm short and not at all as Adamski describes them.”
(Letter from K. Gösta Rehn to Mats Nilsson, March 3, 1970).

”Dear Coral,
Help… Help!!! Daniel Fry is in Sweden… What will happen if faker Fry succeeds getting time on TV – irreparable damage!!... he has written three masterpieces of drivel (yes some translated here by the occult, shitten, little woman publisher here)… Believe me, I shall feel his pulse. Coming up here, thinking he can fool stupid Swedes.”
(Letter from K. Gösta Rehn to Coral Lorenzen, July 28, 1970).

”I met Fry at a gathering. ”Doctor” Fry looked like a somewhat dilapidated, shrunk little heap of a middle-aged man, face like a red, wrinkled apple. It is beyond me how he could talk – very fluently, breezily, in cultivated intellectual-technical terms – for hours.”
(Letter from K. Gösta Rehn to Coral Lorenzen, August 24, 1970).

Daniel Fry (left) in conversation with K. Gösta Rehn 1970

What made K. Gösta Rehn change his mind so definitely regarding Adamski and other contactees? Or did he really change his mind? Could the 1950s letters to Edith Nicolaisen have been just a front to make some money on translation, as hinted by Edith - who later would be referred to as ”the occult, shitten, little woman publisher here”.

Rehn could have adopted much of the generally critical opinion on contactees from Donald Keyhoe and Coral Lorenzen. In a letter to Rehn, August 5, 1970 Coral wrote: ”I don´t know what to do about Fry – we generally ignore characters of his ilk. They like attention of any kind, good or bad, and we don´t want to get drawn into any kind of debate or verbal exchange. I can tell you one thing; he was not any kind of a scientist at White Sands… Fry was a lousy electrician, and that was all.”

K. Gösta Rehn was, in spite of his materialistic philosophy, a visionary. In the 1972 book, Tefaten är här (UFOs. Here And Now, English ed. 1974) he writes: "The saucers give us inspiration, a promise of contact with cosmos." He used to say the he experienced the mystical in his love for music. In the Rehn files at AFU I found a document from a Swedish employer giving this assessment of his character: "Hard working but something of a dreamer".

Sunday, August 25, 2019

The Cultural Impact Of The Contactee Movement

One of the failures of the scientifically oriented ufologists of the 1950s and 60s was neglecting to thoroughly investigate and document the first generation contactees and their experiences. By dismissing them all as charlatans and mystics lots of interesting empirical data was lost. But mainstream ufologists also neglected or didn´t recognize another important aspect of the contactee era. The core contactee movement as represented by a.o. George Adamski, Orfeo Angelucci, George Van Tassel, Daniel Fry and Howard Menger actually represented a unique and positive cultural impulse and a philosophy of hope for a whole generation of humanity. They advocated a philosophy in accordance with the Esoteric Tradition, the third intellectual force or pillar i cultural history alongside science and religion.

Open minded contactee research was not regarded as scientifically respectable by the early UFO-organizations like APRO and NICAP. Neither was the message of the core contactee movement regarded as anything of value by these groups. In The Gods Have Landed religious scholar J. Gordon Melton summarize this general view of the contactees: ”That such people began to populate the gatherings of flying saucer buffs became a concern of many who proceeded to condemn them as kooks or dismiss them as the lunatic fringe. There were few who saw any value in what the contactees, as they came to be known, had to say. They were an embarrassment to sober research into the unusual aerial phenomena called unidentified flying objects.” (p. 1).

This very negative assessment of the contactee movement was also reflected in the academic world. In his 1976 doctoral thesis The UFO Controversy in America, historian David Michael Jacobs wrote: ”This group was completely different from the psychologically aberrant individuals who, apparently because of mental problems, had delusions of communicating with extraterrestrial beings. These people often claimed to receive signals from outer space or to have mystical encounters with spacemen. Their experiences did not constitute deviations from their daily lives, and their stories usually were incoherent, inconsistent, or part of a pattern of psychical or occult experiences. Like the first group, these people generally did not seek publicity or fabricate hoaxes intentionally. The contactees represented an entirely different type of UFO witness. They exhibited behavior consistent with the assertion that they fabricated hoaxes… The five major contactees who rose to national stardom in the 1950s were George Adamski, Truman Bethurum, Daniel Fry, Orfeo Angelucci, and Howard Menger.” (p. 96, pocket edition).

The contactee movement of the 1950s was of course of a very mixed quality. It housed a plethora of more or less bizarre cult figures like George King, founder of the Aetherius Society and Ruth and Ernest Norman who in 1954 founded Unarius Academy of Science. And then we had the many mediums who jumped on the bandwagon and instead of channeling orientals and relatives from the spirit world changed to messages from space people. In a letter to George Adamski, written soon after Flying Saucer Have Landed was published in 1954, esotericist Desmond Leslie wrote: ”I don´t know what has happened , George, but all the mediums have suddenly disposed of their Indian guides, etc., and have replaced them with space people traveling in Vimanas.”

As very few mainsteam ufologists cared to investigate the early contactee claims they also failed to notice the positive cultural impact from the core contactee movement. Daniel Fry founder of Understanding, Inc. 1955 expressed the aim of his organization in these words in various leaflets: ”Understanding is a non-profit organization dedicated to the propagation of a better understanding among all the peoples of the earth, and of those who are not of earth.” In a later brochure the purpose was somewhat expanded: ”Understanding, Inc. is a non-profit corporation dedicated to the propagation of a better understanding among all the peoples of the earth so that they may live in harmony and be better prepared psychologically and sociologically for the space age. It is made up of many types of people who have come together to seek  better understanding of each other and of the mysteries of the universe.”

One of the members of Understanding, Merlin Unit no.1, Mrs. Aleta Johnson, wrote a very insightful summary of the purpose and work of the organization. The article was published in Understanding Magazine, September 1972, and is reproduced here in extenso.

A ufologist who also understood the cultural impact of the contactee movement was journalist Cleve Twitchell, author of The UFO Saga (1966), a congenial presentation of some of the 1950s contactees. Twitchell attended a lecture by George Van Tassel in San Francisco, December 1958 and became intensively fascinated by the subject. He spent several years interviewing close encounter witnesses and contactees, attending lectures and conventions. In 1960-1961 Twitchell was director of the El Monte, California Unit No. 1 of Understanding. After these years of inside experiences in the contactee movement Twitchell concluded: ”… it should be remembered that many individuals of the past who today are regarded as pioneers of their time were in their own days considered crackpots. And so perhaps it is not illogical to assume that some of today´s flying saucer ”crackpots” are tomorrow´s great men in the making… Whatever the case, an excusion into the UFO world has benefits. There is much to be be gained in the way of broadening one´s horizons, encountering some worthwhile philosophy and simply opening one´smind. The philosophical aspect, causing men to reflect upon himself and his tiny place in an enormous universe, is perhaps the greatest contribution the saucer field has offered to those who have observed or taken part in its activities.” (p. 93)

Cleve Twitchell

George Adamski did not found a formal organization like Understanding but in 1958 initiated his International Get Acquainted Program (IGAP). The movement conveyed a general message of hope, peace, goodwill and inspired members to contact and friendship with people from all over the globe, regardless of race, creed or color. Lou Zinsstag, who became the Adamski´s Swiss representative in 1957 tried to convey the importance of this decision in her book George Adamski – The Untold Story, written in collaboration with Timothy Good: ”… in the early Fifties, my interest become polarized around UFO literature. This was the turning point in my life. From then on, I led a full intellectual and emotional life. My world was full of penfriends, many of whom I met in later years. Some wonderful friendships and moving human relationships were founded…” (p. 4).

Lou Zinsstag

In the Summer of 1954 Danish citizen Edith Nicolaisen read Flying Saucers Have Landed by Desmond Leslie and George Adamski. It became the prime heureka moment in her life and led to the founding of the publishing house Parthenon in Sweden 1957. 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. in fact Edith Nicolaisen can be regarded as the mother of the Swedish UFO movement. The aim of Parthenon was presented in a small leaflet: ”Parthenon was founded in 1957 as a link in the global work dedicated to peace and enlightenment, and for the purpose of awakening the Scandinavian people, especially the young generation, to a perception of our time´s epoch-making interplanetary occurences… It is our hope that the Scandinavian youth will join in this educational work. Future generations will thus be given the opportunity of a harmonic development in a new world where universal brotherly love within a fellowship spanning the whole world has swept away all the present barriers between human beings: national, social and political; different creeds and philosophies, racial prejudices etc.”

There are few books written by people who were involved in the contactee movement and also tried to grasp the big picture. An exception is Flying Saucer Pilgrimage (1957), written by Bryant and Helen Reeve. This early work gives a very good overview of the contactee movement of the 1950s. In an interview in the book Helen Reeve is asked whether their pilgrimage has finished?: ”No. We feel it has just begun. Our appetite for knowledge of the space-ships, the space-people and outer-space itself has been whetted by our trip. We want to know more. The quest for knowledge of outer-space has turned into the quest for knowledge of LIFE itself – and that never ends!”

Readers of my blog are aware of that I have advanced the theory that a core group of contactees was involved in a psychological and cultural influence test in the 1950s. An experiment implemented by a group of benevolent aliens, earth based or extraterrestrial, a group with access to “vimana” technology.  Some of the people contacted tried their best to implement the projects and ideas received by the visitors. Others couldn´t stand the psychological strain and social stigma of the experiences or invented fake stories when the real contacts ended. But the cultural impact of this experiment was awesome, inspiring millions of people, some in humanitarian projects, others into UFO research and or a personal spiritual quest. There are few serious ufologists today who have noticed or commented on this positive cultural effect of the contactee movement.