Saturday, December 14, 2019

Orfeo Angelucci and the Esoteric Tradition

”His charm, humility, and sincerety are recognized by all who know him, and he is widely regarded as expressing the religious wing of the UFO contactee movement at its best.” This assessment of American contactee Orfeo Angelucci (1912-1993) was given by religious scholar Robert Ellwood in The Encyclopedia of UFOs, p. 21, (edited by Ronald Story). To state that Angelucci expressed the ”religious wing” of the movement is a bit misleading. What he actually did was presenting a somewhat simplified version of the Esoteric Tradition, which was the philosophy of the space people contacting Angelucci. As a member of the Theosophical Society in America and a priest in the Liberal Catholic Church, Robert Ellwood should have recognized the Ancient Wisdom or Science of the Multiverse in the Angelucci story and message.

Orfeo Angelucci

The contacts with space people made in the 1950s were not only a psychological test of the public reaction to contact with alien visitors but also a somewhat novel way to present the Ancient Wisdom. Upon a careful rereading of he classic books of a.o. George Adamski, Orfeo Angelucci, George Van Tassel, Daniel Fry and Howard Menger I discovered that the world view and philosophy of the alien visitors given in these books was actually the esoteric worldview, although expressed in novel terms. But to recognize this fact an in-depth acquaintance with the core Esoteric Tradition (Blavatsky, Bailey, Laurency) is a necessary prerequisite.

After many years of study of the early contactee movement I also found strong indications that this movement was a carefully orchestrated project by at least two alien groups. This is revealed in the article Venusians Walk Our Streets by California journalist och esotericist Paul M. Vest (Mystic Magazine, no. 5, Aug. 1954). From an esoteric viewpoint this is one of the most interesting and informative articles ever written on the UFO contactee phenomenon. Vest´s experiences and articles in Fate and Mystic Magazine has been decisive in my formulation of an alternative Esoteric Intervention Theory.

In the Summer of 1953 Paul Vest was contacted at his home in Santa Monica by the alien visitor ”Bill” who asked Paul to help his group publicize the experiences of Orfeo Angelucci. This was part of a experiment in contacting ordinary citizens in various ways by physical meetings, ham radio, clairvoyance and clairaudience. Paul Vest was exceptionally well equipped to handle this delicate project as an investigator of paranormal phenomena as well as an experienced esotericist with a profound knowledge of the Esoteric Tradition. The alien group behind Bill had obviously done a lot of preparation before contacting Paul Vest. He is given a list of names, addresses and telephone numbers of people in the Southern California area who had been contacted by space visitors or would be useful because of their special knowledge. Later Vest spent several months contacting the people on the list given by Bill to get a verification of his claims.

Paul Vest

Orfeo Angelucci had several physical meetings with space people and at least one trip in their spacecraft. These well known experiences can be found on several websites and his book The Secret of the Saucers can be downloaded as a pdf. Orfeo´s wife Mabel also met the space people on at least two occasions, one of them an encounter with ”Bill”. She was seemingly not amused by the visit from Bill: "Oh, that man gave me the creeps. He rang the doorbell one day and introduced himself with an odd name I can´t remember. He seemed to know everything about us. It frightened me - there was something so strange and downright weird about him." The space people asked Angelucci to go public with his experiences and he started lecturing to groups of people in Los Angeles. Because of the harsh criticism and social stigma resulting from his activities Mabel was very much against his activities. She was concerned for the family reputation and their sons safety: ”Mabel pleaded with me to forget my experiences. I tried to explain to her why I had to tell about them, and we had some bitter misunderstandings on the subject.”
(Orfeo Angelucci, The Secret of the Saucers, p.38).

Orfeo and Mabel Angelucci

On February 19, 1953 Angelucci published a newspaper, 20th Century Times. It was essentually the same information later published as The Secret of the Saucers (1955). He had plans to make this a weekly newspaper but only one issue was published. In spite of his lectures and newspaper he reached comparatively few people. But all this changed in September 1953 when Paul Vest´s article about Angelucci was published in Ray Palmer´s Mystic magazine: ”I was amazed at the public interest and the general acceptance of my story. It appeared that intuitively many persons had been prepared for the account.” (Orfeo Angelucci, The Secret of the Saucers, p.116). Obviously the work and planning of ”Bill” produced the effect hoped for by the space people. During the rest of the 1950s and 60s Orfeo Angelucci was a prominent member of the contactee movement and lectured at many UFO conventions.

Mystic magazine, November 1953

Continuing the tradition from Meade Layne, Desmond Leslie and Riley Crabb I will here give a few examples of esotericism in The Secret of the Saucers, compared with a few quotes from the esoteric writings. Laurency quotes are from the web editions.

”We feel a deep sense of brotherhood toward Earth´s inhabitants because of an ancient kinship of our planet with Earth… We ask that you look upon us simply as older brothers”.
(Orfeo Angelucci, The Secret of the Saucers, p. 9).

”The ancients” (initiates) called the planet Venus ”the morning star” (not the evening star) as well as ”Lucifer” (he who brought the light”, the knowledge to our planet). By order of the solar systemic government the Venusian planetary government relinquished some of its members, who took over the management of our planet when biological evolution had reached so far that the brain of ape-man could begin to be mentalized. This was 21 million years ago.
(Henry T. Laurency, Knowledge of Life One, The Planetary Hierarchy, 5.7.1).

”… we function in dimensions unknown to man and hence interpret all things differently”:
(Orfeo Angelucci, The Secret of the Saucers, p.12).
”You have just fully realized that we are not like earthmen in that we function in dimensions unknown to your world.”
(Orfeo Angelucci, The Secret of the Saucers, p.43).

”The last time you saw me, Orfeo, I was in a less objectified projection in your three-dimensional world… but tonight you see me fully objectified… tonight I am no half-phantom, but can move among men as an Earthman… You now know that we can appear and function as human beings.”
(Orfeo Angelucci, The Secret of the Saucers, p.56).

Our planet (Terra) is the only planet in the solar system where organic life is possible. On other planets, man’s lowest envelope (49:5-7) is an aggregate envelope and not an organic one. As a rule there is only one such planet in each solar system. That planet is in fact given a special task.
(Henry T. Laurency, Knowledge of Life Two, Conscious Development, 7.2.9).

Organisms are by no means necessary to the development of consciousness in the lowest physical molecular kinds (49:5-7). On other planets also the lowest envelope is an aggregate envelope. When a 45-self (in his second self envelope) “physicalizes”, so that he becomes visible in the physical world, he uses the first triad the energies of which shape a replica of his “lowest material form”, a replica as similar to the original as possible and consisting of mental, emotional, and physical molecular kinds. Shaping as well as dissolution is the work of an instant. This physical body cannot be distinguished from an organism.
(Henry T. Laurency, Knowledge of Life Two, The Matter Aspect, 6.7.8-10).    

Interplanetary Alcatraz
”For all of its apparent beauty Earth is a purgatorial world among the planets evolving intelligent life. Hate, selfishness and cruelty rise from many parts of it like a dark mist.”
(Orfeo Angelucci, The Secret of the Saucers, p.24).

”I may tell you that to the entities of certain other worlds Earth is regarded as ´the accursed planet´, the ´home of the reprobate, fallen ones´. Others call your Earth the ´home of sorrows´. For Earth´s s evolution is evolution through pain, sorrows in, suffering and the illusion of physical deaath. Belive me, all evolutions are not similar to Earth´s, despite the present beliefs of your scientists.”
(Orfeo Angelucci, The Secret of the Saucers, p.43).

”Regrettably, our very planet is the “slop-pail” of the solar system. Monads of repulsive tendency have been transferred here from other planets and also solar systems, such hateful types as have caused trouble in planets with individuals of attractive tendency. “All bad qualities” are precisely the qualities of hatred, and all too many people have acquired such ones more than 50 per cent. It will take many incarnations before those qualities have been supplanted by good ones.”
(Henry T. Laurency, Knowledge of Life One, The Law, 9.45.3).

Our planet holds a special position, not just in our solar system but also in the greater globe comprising seven solar systems. Nowhere has such a mass of monads of repulsive basic tendency been gathered, nowhere has the tendency to selfish individual character been so intense. Nowhere has mankind incurred such a bad reaping by bad sowing. Our planet is the star of sorrow in our cosmic globe.
(Henry T. Laurency, Knowledge of Life Two, Consciousness Development, 7.17.6).

"...this planet of suffering, sorrow, pain and struggle"
(Alice Bailey, Discipleship in the New Age, p. 385).
"...the unhappy little planet of suffering which we call the Earth"
(Alice Bailey, Discipleship in the New Age, p. 649).
 "conditions of agony and of distress such as are found on our planet are found in no such degree in any other scheme."
(Alice Bailey, A Treatise on Cosmic Fire, p. 416).

Ad for The Secret of the Saucers in Fate Magazine, July 1955

”Once there was another planet in your solar system… that planet was the original home of Earthlings... They made war among themselves… Ultimattely they destroyed their own planet which today exists only as a sterile and barren ring of asteroids and debris in the solar system. In order that those entities might gain understanding, compassion and brotherly love they were born into the animalistic, material evolution of a lesser planet, Earth. Suffring, sorrow, frustration and death became their teacher. Their symbol became the Man-Beast.”
(Orfeo Angelucci, The Secret of the Saucers, p.44).

”The planetary hierarchy foresees that if religions are not freed from fear and aggression, if they do not seek that synthesis which eliminates the mutual antagonism and competition of the nations… then this will in the future lead to a new world war, this time a religious war, which in its bestiality will supersede everything and will spell the annihilation of life on our planet… If so, it would not be the first one. Astronomers have observed that in the wide interval between Mars and Jupiter, instead of one planet, there are hundreds of asteroids (so far they have discovered more than 1700). They were once part of a big planet. Will Terra share its destiny?
(Henry T. Laurency, Knowledge of Life Five, The Black Lodge, 23.19.5).

Of interest regarding this issue is also this quote from contactee George Hunt Williamson:
”We must now decide what to do about your planet Earth. Your bombs will destroy Universal balance. Your Hydrogen Bomb could make an asteroid belt out of you. This happened many years ago to planet of the fifth orbit. We knew what they were doing but we didn´t interfere. We cannot stand by and see another waste.”
(George Hunt Williamson, The Saucers Speak, Neville Spearman 1963, p. 52).

Orfeo Angelucci

Swedish esotericist and founder of the publishing house Parthenon, Edith Nicolaisen,  corresponded with Orfeo Angelucci 1958 – 1962. She was given the publishing rights for The Secret of the Saucers but unfortunatly this was one of her many projects that was never implemented.  Edith´s co-worker in Parthenon, Mrs. Gertrud Bengtsson, had made a translation of the book and she asked Angelucci to write an addendum for the Swedish edition of the book. Four pages were sent to Mrs. Bengtsson and as this document has never been published before here are a few quotes of interest:

Gertrud Bengtsson, pen name Hillevi Lindahl

”It is the month of May, 1962, just ten years since the first experiences given to me in this wonderful age of new awakening. A large volume could be written about these ten years, but the main events, the rapid unfolding into the new awareness, the vibrant days, began May 23, 1952 and extended to the very end of the year 1954… It is not easy for me to add this letter, fully ten years later, for I re-endorse every word, every meaning, every effect. I am happy to make this attempt for the Swedish edition of the book, which is due for publication in 1963…

Mabel, my wife, still remains a phenomenon. Her smile is as dolcent as it ever was, her laugh as warbling and full as a spring day. She still does not believe all of what I have told, but she still holds nothing against me for it… In the past ten years Earth has made only a glimmer of progress, and even that glimmer is in the material things, such as electronics and satellites. In the moral and spiritual and ethical dimensions there has been more backward sliding than forward progress… my own involvement started May 23, 1952, the very first to announce a contact… I felt this would be the beginning of a golden age, the final emancipation of mankind from the last fetters of ignorance. And soon others were heard from, who also announced contacts. These were George Adamski, George Van Tassel, Truman Bethurum, Dan Fry, others, too may to list here.

I continued for a while to attend meetings, lectures, an some of my own activities. Finlly I dropped my own lectures, and devoted more time to attending thos of other contactees. George Van Tassel was in the desert, near Yucca Valley, California, and in 1954 he continued with the idea of conventions… Those who were able to accept the flying saucers as visitors from other places, far advanced from us on earth have the reward of knowing that our progress in the cosmos is not a lonely, unseen, and un-recorded series of events. We know it is part of the Cosmic Plan, the eternal existence, and the everlasting state of things. So, ten years have not blunted us, but sharpened us. It is the glory of the Truth, which only a few at a time can experience.”
(Document sent in letter to Mrs. Gertrud Bengtsson, Sweden, May 1962).

Orfeo Angelucci speaking at the Giant Rock Spacecraft Convention October 14, 1961. Photo by Swedish ufologist Kerstin Bäfverstedt

Something must have happened to Orfeo Angelucci in the 1970s, that changed his views and perspective. He published some booklets, very far from his earlier UFO experiences and philosophy. The Worst Crisis was published in the beginning of the 1970s and the tone of this document reminds more of a fundamentalist Christian from the Moral Majority than a UFO contactee. His hope is now not the space people but evangelist Billy Graham:
”The time is near when one who is truly a shepherd of men will step forth, break the chains that hold mankind, crumble the false things, and rebuild it all. I, for one, feel there is such a one among us. Many of u shave seen him, heard him, and have seen him struggle before the throngs as though straining at the leashes that hold him… Today, this world has experienced everyhting, good and bad. Man is landing on the moon physically, while going into the much spiritually. But it won´t. If this wonderful leader who is among us feels unequal to breaking the chains of rusty links that hold him, he can at least point to one who can do so… Even as a born and abiding Catholic, I nevertheless discern this wonderful Brother and World Helper, as the one now known all over the world. He is BILLY GRAHAM.”
(Orfeo Angelucci, The Worst Crisis and You, p. 28).

Even more surprising is an interview with Angelucci made in the late 1980s:
”… he appeared in a PBS documentary called California Saucers a revealed a new spin on his previous otherwordly encounters: ”What I think happened was that I dreamed a lot of my experiences which came back through my subconscious in visions.”
(Adam Gorightly, Greeg Bishop, ”A” is for Adamski: The Golden Age of the UFO Contactees, p. 21). Whether Angelucci refer to some of his later more visionary experiences or all of his space contacts I don´t know, as I haven´t found this interview on the web. Hopefully more data on this enigma will come forward.

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. More research on this aspect of the first contactees should be of interest both to ufologists specializing in contactee studies and academic scholars of Western Esotericism.

Whatever happened to Orfeo Angelucci during his later years this assessment of him by Bryant and Helen Reeve reflects very aptly the author of The Secret of the Saucers:
”.. we discovered that we were indeed talking with an individual of great spiritual advancement, discernment and experience. By this we do not mean that he was what people call a ”religious” person far from it. There is a tremendous gap between religious orthodoxy, and the type of cosmic advancement we found i Angelucci.”
(Bryant and Helen Reeve, Flying Saucer Pilgrimage, p. 223. They interviewed Angelucci on September 19, 1955).