Saturday, August 17, 2019

Space People Or Spies?

When investigating physical contactee cases we are faced with one very special and controversial issue. How do we know the visitors are what they claim to be? My favourite heretic among ufologists, John Keel put it this way: ”Suppose a strange metallic disk covered with flashing colored lights settled in your backyard and a tall man in a one-piece silver space suit got out. Suppose he looked unlike any man you had ever seen before, and when you asked him where he was from, he replied, "I am from Venus. " Would you argue with him?” (Operation Trojan Horse, p. 214). From the early 1950s there has been on ongoing discussion whether some ”space people” may actually be foreign spies. This is the theme of the latest book from the pen of prolific author Nick Redfern: Flying Saucers From the Kremlin.

In an article in New York Daily News April 4, 1957 zoologist and Fortean Ivan T. Sanderson said: ”Some of these who tell such stories can´t be dismissed as liars, psychotics or conscious charlatans… So there is a definite possibility that some form a craft have landed here, unknown to the authorities.” It is no surprise that the FBI and various intelligence agencies in the 1950s became concerned about the claims of the early UFO contactees. Daniel Fry helped his alien visitor Alan to find work covertly as an international businessman while engaged in work for peace. Howard Menger and George Van Tassel used secret code words to identify the real space people and their homes sometimes functioned as safe houses for the alien visitors. Obviously communist spies realized very early on that the contactee movement was an ideal community to infiltrate. In his book Nick Redfern give several examples of this hidden work.

In his introduction Redfern writes: ”In the latter part of the 1940s, the Soviet Union embarked on a program designed to use the UFO phenomenon as a dangerous weapon. Not by attacking us with real flying saucers, But, by using the lore, the legend, and the belief-systems that surround the UFO subject. And, in the process, hoping to provoke hysteria and paranoia in the western world.” Rumors that Stalin was the driving force behind some UFO events started already with the Roswell case. According to Alfred O´Donnell, an elite engineer from Edgerton, Germeshausen and Grier, EG&G, the craft and the crew at Roswell originated from the Soviet Union and was a manipulative plot to make the U.S. Government think that an alien invasion was underway leading to a state of fear and terror in the United States.

In the early 1950s FBI informants hinted that some of leading contactees could actually be closet communists used by the Russians in psychological warfare-based operations. FBI began investigating och keeping an eye on George Adamski, George Van Tassel, Orfeo Angelucci a.o. Because of a few statements about Russia and war made by Adamski early in his public appearances Nick Redfern imply communist motives. Citing author Colin Bennett he writes: ”They collectively suggest Adamski may actually have had some genuine alien encounters, but chose to combine the nature of those encounters his personal admiration for communism and the Russians.” But this conclusion must be regarded as definitely wrong. I have never found any later statements by Adamski indicating an ”admiration for communism”. In Messengers of Deception Jacques Vallee suggested that George Adamski and George Hunt Williamson harbored fascist ideas because of Williamsons connection with William Dudley Pelley. George Adamski never met Pelley and certainly never endorsed his prewar fascist ideas. Williamson did work for Pelley´s magazine Valor a few months in 1954 but his interest in Pelley was the channelled material he had presented in books such as Star Guests (1950). There is a tendency among many authors to project political extremist views on the early contactees based on very little evidence. Unfortunately Nick Redfern falls into this trap in his estimation of George Adamski.

Definitely better documented is the chapter on Orfeo Angelucci, A Subversive Element, who actually was contacted by a group of communists. During his lecturing on the east coast in the middle of the 1950s Angelucci was approached by a group of four people who bought him dinner on three occasions in plush New York hotels and bars. He was flattered by their attention but felt very uneasy about their motives until he realised that the group attempted to ”convert me to communism and slant my talks along the Party Line”. When Angelucci refused to go along with their plans the tone became distinctly unpleasant and it was hinted that ”things might become extremely difficult for Angelucci”. He related all the details of the affair and threats to the FBI.

Orfeo Angelucci

How much was and is the international UFO movement used or influenced by communist agents? This is of course a tricky question to answer. According to a man named Charles Samwick, who had a background in counter-intelligence work for the U.S. Army, ”The Communist Party has planted an agent in every civilian saucer club in the United States.” This information was disclosed to ufologist James Moseley in 1955. Nick Redfern documents several instances of possible communist infiltration in UFO groups in countries like Great Britain, Australia and New Zealand, including the controversial Ummo affair. In the final chapter Nick Redfern adress the important question: ”does this strange game of aliens, disinformation and lies still continue in today´s world?” His answer is ”certainly”, providing information even indicating that the Majestic 12 documents could have a Russian origin.

In my extensive investigation and documentation of the Swedish contactee Richard Höglund I advanced as an alternative theory that the story was a cover for Russian espionage. Richard was during a phase in his life a card-carrying member of the Swedish Communist party. He was told by the aliens to start a peace movement and was once asked to provide maps of the Muskö Naval Base, a Swedish underground naval facility south of Stockholm. Richard also translated secret codes on paper for the aliens. He was definitely incontact with a group alien visitors but whether Russian agents interfered in his operations is difficult to determine.

Richard Höglund in Nassau, Bahamas 1968

Flying Saucers From the Kremlin is a fascinating survey of the strange world of UFOs, Cold War secrets and spies. Like a good detective Nick Redfern has a knack for discovering new dimensions to the UFO enigma and unearthing unknown documents. Reading his book makes it obvious that there is still much research needed before all the pieces in this confusing puzzle have been found.