Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Charlotte Blob And The UFO Education Center

Notice to readers: Since the publication of this blog post there has been an amendment of a ”counterpoint” added to this article. 

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.

After this blog was written I received an interesting document from a former member of Charlotte Blob´s group. These facts certainly gives a very different perspective on the activities of UFO Education Center and Charlotte Blob. I find this article so important that I have decided to put it as an addendum to my blog. I thank Mary R. (who wishes to remain semi-anonymous) for these important insights.


In viewing this blog and article, if I were an ordinary person reading it, the information might be interesting from the vantage point in trying to preserve a piece of history surrounding the UFO phenomena.  But from someone who was personally in the organization of the UFO Education Center (UEC), there are many misrepresentations and just plain incorrect information being promoted within this blog. 

As I read the article, I realized it was virtually a duplicate of what was promoted by the UFO Education Center itself; that of glorifying and trying to legitimize Charlotte Blob and her group.  The article implied that she was carrying on the work started by George Adamski and continuing with a noble cause in the field of UFO's.  I beg to differ - for nothing could be further from the truth.

I joined the group during the mid-seventies when many communes where springing up all over the place.  I had read George Adamski's book, "Flying Saucers Have Landed" back in the 50's when I was a teenager and having then had a personal sighting, it always stuck in my mind as being true.  A couple of decades later I attended a lecture series in my city given by Charlotte Blob and Thomas H. at the local high school.  The lecture struck a chord when I realized it was about George Adamski and UFO's.  As someone who had had many sightings over the years, I always believed and knew such information was undeniable.  After speaking with Charlotte several times, she gave me directions to her Center in Valley Center, California, where she held meetings and discussions on UFO's. 

After about a year of these meetings, I became a part of the Center. In the beginning, it appeared like a nice group of people all living together in the idyllic countryside nearby to Mt. Palomar, where Adamski once had a home and school.  We all contributed in keeping things going.  Some of us had jobs, some of us worked for the group's print shop, and we all learned how to take calls about UFO sightings, check them out if we could, and give talks to the public.  Initially it seemed pleasant and many of us who were there felt we were doing something good for the world.  However, there was much more happening below the surface.

At the time, many of us were innocent of the fact that UEC was basically resembling a cult group.  Some of us slowly became more aware, or sensitive to an atmosphere of negativity and feeling of something not quite right being projected. Personally, I began to question things.  After being in UEC for several months, I noticed people were becoming more secretive of their behavior, or what they said, or who they became close to.  This was usually very apparent after one of Charlotte's "trained surrogates” visited, or when Charlotte herself made numerous phone calls "checking up on people".  Gradually over time, I learned what was really going on, and from follow up contacts with some of the long-time original Adamski co-workers, I too realized Charlotte’s claims were outright distortions, and things she said, including her behaviors, profoundly went against the very concepts she was supposed to be teaching. 

I learned many of my fellow UEC co-workers had suffered abuse of all kinds - physical, verbal, emotional, and even sexual.  Another volunteer and friend Ms. C told me that Catherine R. used to dig her fingernails into her arm when she didn't understand something or even hit her.  Charlotte was known for seducing new men who came into her group, one being only 19 years old while she was in her 30's.  Often, she would make the outrageous claim that such a person was "George Adamski reincarnated" and she was supposed to be with him, it was her destiny.  She claimed Adamski designated her to carry on his work and that she was chosen to do this work – again a totally false statement – for Adamski’s 1965 legal death testament clearly stated otherwise. 

There are so many more instances I could relate, with such being a mere fragment of the many accounts, these are already damning enough.  From one gentleman, I learned information that made me wonder if Charlotte was mentally and emotionally unstable. (she had been diagnosed with schizophrenia in 1968) She threatened people, at one time she waved a loaded gun around, she made up her version of the beautiful philosophy that G.A. taught, she forced people to do things, got angry if money wasn't sent to her wherever she might be, and on and on.  I witnessed that the inner circle of people, the ones who were closest and specifically "trained" by her, or should I say, "brainwashed", were very twisted people.  She had a hold on many of the members, exactly as is reported about cult groups and cult leaders.  It was odd to me that all of us had read the books and philosophy by George Adamski, yet what we were now living, and being subjected to, was nothing like that.  I began to bring up questions and doubts to others. I knew things were wrong. The environment was rapidly changing, and friends I had made from before joining the group and who later became members like me, started showing open hostility toward me because of my questions and concerns. Charlotte and her surrogate Catherine promoted themselves as “all knowing” and hated to be questioned …… a dangerous signal to us all.

Few people ever left the group and when they did, they were slandered in the most horrible way, like they had committed a crime.  Right before I left, things came to a head with Charlotte over a financial issue.  She was off in Mexico and suddenly demanded that the Valley Center group send her a $1000.  We didn't have it.  It was the print shop that supported her gallivanting wherever the urge took her.  We, at all the centers, worked our butts off making money for her to do as she pleased.  Of course, we were told that she was "doing the Brother's work" and we were required to comply. 

Whenever Charlotte came to any of her centers, she emulated being a queen, even claiming having been one in her past lives demanding such treatment, then sequestered the most comfortable accommodations and supplies, slept half the day and then got up and started lecturing people.  Many people had donated their money or bank accounts to the Center or lied to get money from outside family members in order to support Charlotte.  But going back to the night of the financial conflict, the head printer argued with her about the money and she told him if he didn't send her the money, he was out.  Well, he decided to leave with me.  Several other people were going to leave too, but the next day Tom H. telephoned and hollered everyone out, resulting in some losing their nerve.  So, just the two of us initially left.  We had the where-with-all to see through the false front that UEC presented to the outside world. 

Charlotte was a chameleon with multiple personalities. A different person in front of a camera or in public verses her true self. Today what we would call Bipolar. She was a hypocrite, a fanatic, selfish and cruel; she manipulated people and played with their emotions and made claims about herself that were totally untrue.  She exemplified her misguided mindset which resulted in disloyalty to the very subject she claimed she was supporting, and she did George Adamski’s memory and legacy immeasurable damage.

When we departed the group, it was like a breath of fresh air to get away from there and yet sad at the same time.  What about George Adamski?  What about UFO's?  What about my feelings of the inspiring philosophy?  Where do I go from there?

All was not lost. The man I left with knew about some of the other Adamski co-workers and the Foundation, which was in the Vista area, not so far away.  We set out to find them and meet with them to learn the truth.  We met with the Steckling family and over the course of the next year, and confirmed many unsettling facts about Charlotte and her group, while at the same time encountering the true and unblemished reality of Adamski, his work, and the importance of his message.  We learned that G.A. left his materials with Alice Wells and two weeks before his passing, personally presented Fred Steckling with his briefcase and asked he be entrusted to carry on his work.  Later, Alice Wells made sure that happened.

We also learned that Charlotte was not around when G.A. passed away and had often failed to carry out directives he had asked of her during the brief time she knew him.  She was very irresponsible and flighty. At the time that G.A. passed away in 1965, when all the other co-workers were gathering, Charlotte had run off with another fellow, which became her modus operandi.  Later she tried to ingratiate herself on some of the co-workers, but most of them didn't want her around.  Fred and Ingrid Steckling were very kind people, who lived the philosophy and tried to help Charlotte.  They gave her a chance.  But as with all power-hungry people or ego-damaged individuals, Charlotte wanted to dominate, be in charge and control the situation.  After dealing with Charlotte, her problems and distortions, the Stecklings finally had enough and in 1969 parted ways with her, off to establish a school on their ranch in central Mexico. Afterwards, cut off from the rest of the original Adamski coworkers too, Charlotte copied what Fred was doing by starting her own group domestically. 

Many debunkers and critics of Adamski relish any opportunity to undermine or exaggerate reports that his co-workers had various points of disagreement, or that there were several split-up groups.  According to the article, these groups did not get along, but that was not true.  Aside some personal difference, they all worked hard and collectively together.

When I met the Stecklings and spent time with them alongside Alice Wells and Martha Ulrich, whom had been with Adamski since 1930, I discovered they were in touch and had a working relationship with all the original Adamski co-workers from across the world. They were doing the true work. The one group that stayed apart and didn't get along with the others was Charlotte's UFO Education Center.  I know.  I was there and often heard Charlotte, Catherine, and Tom criticize the other co-workers. 

In the very first paragraph of the article is the incorrect information that Charlotte was a consistent Adamski co-worker and his secretary.  His actual longtime secretary was Lucy McGuiness, and afterwards it fell to Alice Wells; Geneve Hanson, Ingrid Steckling and Madeline Rodeffer also helped in these matters. Charlotte only knew Adamski very briefly. 

The article also mentioned the Adamski 6-inch telescope.  Acquired in 1938 by Adamski from his student Mrs. Johnson, it was donated in 1959 by Adamski to his attorney’s young son.  Decades later, through an estate distribution from that family, it unfortunately ended up at the UEC, and recently sold to an unknown collector by the Blob estate. The article also made it seem like Fred and Charlotte were working together in the Mexico center that Fred established.  That was never true, and she was never there.  They had long split apart by then. Earlier, there were brief times when Charlotte would come begging to Fred to help her, so Fred let her write an introduction to his book, "Why Are They Here?"   I was a witness to the generosity and compassion from the Stecklings to her and many others.

When Charlotte created her own group, she also extended her version of Adamski's Cosmic Bulletin, calling hers the Cosmic Newsletter.  It was full of flowery writings and drawings promoting Charlotte and her claims of meeting with space people.  From what I learned, she never had any such real contact and had the habit of self-aggrandizement with the support of her followers.

Dr. Diaz arrived at the Valley Center group shortly after I left.  Charlotte had met him in Mexico and had stolen him away from his wife and family.  She was following her outrageous habit of claiming he was the "new George Adamski".  I never understood how the people in her organization could possibly believe such absurd, ridiculous lies.  I don't know if she ever legally married Dr. Diaz, but they had a son together. From my sources, he eventually left Charlotte and went back to his family in Mexico. 

Within a year or so after I left UEC, the local newspapers carried the stories of the "cult affair" with a former member who had been recovered and deprogrammed. A Security detail had raided the Wisconsin Center and removed the young lady from the premises – never to return. Because of my experiences, I had studied and acquired knowledge about cult groups and how they operated, and it was very clear to me and the man who left with me, that Charlotte's group was most certainly a cult.  It had all the characteristics of cults and Charlotte fit the description and definition of a cult leader.  Several people from the Valley Center group left shortly after of our leaving.  One woman ran away from UEC and stayed with me for several weeks, telling me of her abusive encounters by the heads of UEC.  Because of the newspaper articles, UEC put out a type of documented booklet stating complete denial of UEC being a cult group.  I remember reading it.  It gave false testimony claiming UEC had helped people understand about cults and had helped people in cults, which was a joke, because that's exactly what they were.

Also, during this time, the G.A. Foundation had heard our direct witness account of how UEC was using, printing, and illegally selling copyrighted materials of Adamski.  The copyright issue was NOT a controversy or topic among the other Adamski groups, as stated in the article. Verification via the U.S. Copyright office is clear. The lawsuit matter of the copyrights was ONLY between the principles of G.A. Foundation and those from the UEC, because UEC had violated the copyrights which were held by the principles at G.A. Foundation. Simple research into the U.S. Copyright Office easily verifies the principles of GAF’s legal ownership.

I, and another person, gave testimony by deposition as witnesses to the violations.  The lawsuit lasted over a period of several years before settlement.  During the time of the ongoing lawsuit, aware of their legal guilt, Charlotte instructed the remaining members to scatter and in effect, "hide" from further possible court subpoenas and depositions.  I know this because another UEC volunteer showed me letters from members who were living and working in northern California. Charlotte was trying to unsuccessfully cover her tracks. Eventually everything died down, they disbanded, and we stopped hearing anything about UEC. 

One thing that stood out in my mind after meeting the Stecklings and seeing the incredible wisdom and respect for George Adamski displayed by them was the fact that the lawsuit could have really gone after Charlotte and her group in a way that would have financially ruined her and expose the kind of person she really was.  It could have made her and UEC look like the corrupt cult group it became.  But the Stecklings were not vindictive people and were concerned that an off-beat person like Charlotte and her group would only cause an incredible stain on the tremendous work of George Adamski and the truth regarding UFO's.  So, they only kept the lawsuit within the parameters of the copyrights and did not seek to recover any financial compensation for the tens of thousands of dollars spent in legal costs, nor for additional damages, which they were certainly entitled too.  I admired them for that.

Since then I remained close friends with the Steckling family and suffered the loss of both Fred and Ingrid over the years.  I stay in contact with Glenn Steckling, share and can understand his concerns and frustrations in dealing with all the outlandish UFO folks and organizations that engage in distortions and exploitation within the UFO field.  The decades of progressive work done by his family speaks for itself, and Glenn has faithfully executed these tremendous responsibilities since his Directorship. He has his reasons for saying he will instruct the destruction of “some selected” Adamski archives upon his death. As legal inheritor and executor, such is one of his many mandates. Everyone is entitled to some privacy and not everything is for public consumption, idle curiosity or sensationalism. All too often, that which is not supported by personal experience easily becomes misconstrued, misunderstood and is distorted and misused, leaving an unrecoverable trail of damage. This field is already proof positive of this reality and is saturated with those prepared to easily opinionate over something they have no credible information about.

One of the Adamski Foundation's many functions is to provide balance against such activities as much as reasonably possible. The George Adamski legacy and its truth is probably the most important information that could ever be given to the world regarding life on other planets.  It needs to remain faithful and unwavering in its reality.

I personally certify to the content and truth of this document.
Submitted by Mary R.  (Certified Therapist)