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George Adamski

Last Updated: Thursday, July 20, 2006 1:20

Astral Prophet or Palomar Fraud?

Despite having died over four decades ago George Adamski still remains one of the most discussed personalities ever to have been involved in Ufology. Always a controversial figure, Adamski came to be regarded by some as a “prophet” whilst others described him as a total fraud.

Adamski first saw the light of day on April 17th, 1891 in Poland. His parents decided that the U.S.A. offered far more opportunity and the whole family immigrated to Dunkirk, New York State when George was two years of age. Adamski was not particularly well educated as a child but overcame this with self-education.

George Adamski

George Adamski - Prophet or fraud?

In 1912 he joined the U.S. Army and served on the Mexican Border with the U.S. Cavalry until 1916 when he returned to civilian life working at Yellowstone National Park. He is also known to have been employed as a flour mill worker and a concrete contractor in Los Angeles.

Adamski displayed his capable and lively intellect when, in the 1930s, he founded an organization called “The Royal Order of Tibet” which provided a platform for him to expound his own philosophies of “Universal Law”. Quickly, Adamski became known as “the professor” despite the fact that he had received very little in the form of a formal education.

He then established a monastery at Laguna Beach, California, obtain a license from the authorities to make wine for sacramental and religious purposes (Prohibition was still the law of the land, at this time).  Adamski was later quoted as saying:

“I made enough wine for all of Southern California!”

Palomar Observatory

Palomar Observatory
Nick-named "The Professor, Adamski was thought by some to have worked here!

Adamski was quite successful lecturing his own brand of philosophy but all good things must come to an end, which is what happened when prohibition was repealed and his wine was not in demand. Always resourceful Adamski and his wife Mary opened a café at Palomar Gardens on the slopes of Mount Palomar in north San Diego County, California, on which the famous Mount Palomar Observatory had been established. Throughout all of this he continued to teach his form of esoteric philosophy and still held the loyalty of a number of his students who insisted on addressing him as “the professor”. Because of this “misidentification” Adamski was mistakenly taken as working at the Palomar Observatory itself, instead of running a café.

“Pioneers of Space- A trip to the Moon, Mars and Venus”:  purely a science-fiction novel was published by Adamski in 1949 and shortly afterwards he expanded his philosophical lectures to include flying saucers. He based his lectures on his claims that on the evening of October 9th, 1946, he and some friends had observed a gigantic spacecraft whilst gazing at a meteor shower. He further claimed that an officer in the military had later confirmed that the craft was not of this Earth.

Adamski’s UFO experiences continued into 1947 when, in the summertime, he claimed to have watched 184 UFOs cross the skies in groups of 32. He backed these claims up with two photographs which he had taken using his 6 inch telescope.

On 20th November, 1952, along with six other people, Adamski drove out into the Mojave desert and at a location between Parker (Arizona) and Desert Center (California), they observed a large, silver cigar-shaped craft. Adamski’s companions on this occasion were:

Betty Williamson and George Williamson, Lucy McGuiness (Adamski’s secretary), Al and Betty Bailey - acquaintances, Alice K. Wells co-owner of the Palomar Gardens Café.

Adamski set up his telescope in a place some distance away from the his companions where, he was later to claim, a silver disc-shaped craft landed from which there emerged a humanoid being with long blond hair. Communicating telepathically and with hand signals, the being gave his name as Orthon and stated that he was from Venus. He was very concerned about mankind’s interest in nuclear weapons. He warned about the dangers of nuclear war but would not allow Adamski to photograph him. Before going back into his craft, the blond man asked Adamski for one of his film cartridges. He then flew away leaving some strange footprints behind.( Adamski stated that he had actually taken plaster casts of the footprints )

Adamski with a portrait of Orthon.

Adamski with a portrait of Orthon.

Adamski claims to have photographed this

Adamski claims to have photographed this
UFO in December 1952 with his six inch telescope.

On December 13th, 1952, Adamski stated that he had another visitation by a flying saucer, this time at Palomar Gardens and on this occasion he received the film cartridge back that he had given to the spaceman earlier in the year. Adamski claimed that his neighbour, Jerrold Baker, actually photographed the flying saucer and when developed, the film cartridge contained a “symbolic message” and a strange photograph. The message has never been de-ciphered.

In 1953, a record of these events was appended to a manuscript by Desmond Leslie and was eventually published as “Flying Saucers have Landed”. Four of the people present when Adamski had the flying saucer experience in the desert in the previous year signed a notarized statement that they were present and witnessed the events.

In 1955 Adamski published another book – “Inside Space Ships” – Adamski claiming to have met spacemen from both Mars and Saturn.

Riding on the crest of a wave, Adamski gained celebrity status and actually made a world lecture tour in 1959, which included being received by Queen Juliana of Holland. Adamski, by now, was an international celebrity but when he declared the first Russian Moon photographs as fakes and then in 1962 announced that he was to be transported to Saturn for a conference of space travelers, his credibility began to wain. In June 1962, his report regarding this space trip was so bizarre that it taxed the patience of even his most ardent admirers. His claims involved being taken through space to various planets and seeing the dark side of the Moon where he observed valleys and cities. His reputation was severely damaged and after publishing his last book, “Flying Saucers Farewell”, his popularity went into decline.

George Adamski died of heart failure in Maryland on 26th April, 1965

Adamski arrives in England

Adamski arrives in England during his world tour.

UFO caught on camera near Kanab
UFO caught on camera near Kanab, Utah on 21st March, 1968.
This UFO is very similar to the craft that George Adamski claims to have seen.
Proof that Adamski was truthful or perhaps evidence that some hoaxers have no sense of imagination!

The following article is a response to the initial article on this site relating to George Adamski (see above) from Bill Hamilton.

George Adamski,  Contactee or Charlatan?

By William Hamilton III

Some say it is the California sun or the Santa Ana winds that created the weird culture of the west coast.  The inhabitants think differently.  Westerners are open to new ideas.  Visitors from another planet are welcome in California. 

I was enthralled as a teenager to read the story of George Adamski who rode out to Desert Center, California on November 20, 1952 to meet a visitor from the planet Venus, an event attested to by six witnesses who signed a notarized statement.  In the 1950s there was still much speculation about intelligent life on our neighboring rocky planets, Mars and Venus. 

Biologists believe that human life is a product of the long evolutionary processes that are unique to Earth.  They consider it extremely unlikely that we would someday encounter human forms from another planet.  This popular view has prevailed to the degree that most scientists reject the stories of the contactees.  They also point out that other planets in our own solar system do not have atmospheres conducive to human life as we know it.  Venus has a hothouse atmosphere and it bears down on the Venusian surface at a pressure 90 times greater than earth's atmosphere at sea level. 

As a teenager I was excited by the prospect of making contact with the visitors or, at the very least, catching a glimpse of their ships over these remote desert regions.  This was not a formal investigation of contactees.  I had very few doubts then.  I felt that the contactees were not concocting stories.  Little did I know that an era was passing, that a future day would come when UFO researchers and investigators would dismiss and debunk contactees as frauds who possessed motives of greed and a need for attention and adulation.  Little did I know that the contactee of the future would report a different kind of experience, that of menacing abductions and examinations conducted by humanoid, but non-human entities.  Little did I know that the future would bring greater mystification rather than enlightenment.

All these human visitors were described by various contactees, those who had written books, and many who had not.  Their descriptions were remarkably similar. 

I drove my first car, a 1953 Mercury on the Palms to Pines highway in 1959 when I drove twins Ray and Rex Stanford from Giant Rock in the Mojave Desert to Mount Palomar in San Diego County California.  We stayed an entire weekend talking to Adamski and examining his photos, plaster-of-paris casts of Orthon’s footprints, and his workshop experiments with radioactive materials and magnets for the purpose of exploring levitation.  Later Ray Stanford wrote a scathing report denouncing Adamski as a fraud even though he himself had published stories about his own contacts with human-like space visitors and the facility he had of using telepathy to establish such contacts. 

Many years later, in the 1970s after Adamski’s death, I had the opportunity of interviewing Alice Wells for a period of 4 hours and subsequently going to the site of Adamski’s first meeting on November 20, 1952 at a location 10.2 miles north of Desert Center, California on the highway to Parker, Arizona where he met up with George Hunt Williamson and his wife, Betty.  I was impressed with Alice’s eyewitness account of the large cigar-shaped “mothership” they had observed on that momentous occasion as well as her description of the man Adamski called “Orthon” as seen clearly by her from a distance with binoculars.  She was emphatic that her drawing of him in Adamski’s recounting in the book Flying Saucers Have Landed was accurate and that she was close enough to see the details of his face and manner of dress.  She also said that a similar visitor dressed in our style of clothing had visited her Palomar Gardens restaurant in the 1950s.  I had no reason to doubt her and the attention to detail in her testimony was excellent.  

Most criticism of Adamski revolves around two factors.  One is his association with metaphysics and the other is his claim that these visitors came from planetary bodies in our own solar system when the advancement of technology revealed that these bodies had no signs of human life or civilization and indeed had atmospheric conditions unfriendly to any plant or animal form of life as we know it on earth.  Overlooked is the fact that these meetings with extraterrestrials may have taken place as Adamski said they did and as witnesses attested to even under oath, but may have either deceived Adamski themselves by telling him they were from uninhabitable planets or told him the truth and made him swear to keep it to himself while giving out a public story.

 George Adamski had described his meeting with a man at Desert Center and remarking that the flesh of his hand was as smooth as a baby's, but firm and warm.  His hands were slender with long tapering fingers.  He was only five feet six inches in height and looked like he weighed about 135 pounds.  Adamski estimated his age at 28.  He had a round face with an extremely high forehead; large, but calm gray-green eyes, slightly aslant at the outer corners with slightly higher cheek bones than an Occidental; a finely chiseled average size mouth with beautiful white teeth that coloring that is an even, medium-colored suntan...and it did not look like he ever had to shave for there was no more hair on his face than a child's.  His hair was sandy in color and hung in beautiful waves to his shoulders.  His clothing was a one-piece's color was chocolate brown...a band about eight inches in width circled his was definitely a woven material...there was a sheen about the whole garment...saw no zippers, buttons, buckles, fasteners, or pockets of any kind...nor seams as our garments show. He wore no ring or ornament of any kind.

Contrast Adamski's description with that given by Travis Walton when he was abducted in 1975.  Travis saw a human being, a man about six feet two inches tall.  He was muscular and was evenly proportioned.  He wore a tight-fitting bright blue suit of material that looked like soft velour.  He had course, sandy-blond hair of medium length.  He had a dark complexion, like a deep, even tan.  He had no beard or mustache.  In fact, stubble or dark shadows of whiskers were not even visible.

Contactee Orfeo Angelluci saw a beautiful man with extremely large, dark and expressive eyes and noble features.  He was wearing a kind of uniform, bluish in color, perfectly tailored and tightly fitted to the outline of his body.  But it was apparently without seams, buttons, pockets, trimmings, or design of any sort.

 Howard Menger describes a beautiful woman he met sitting on a rock.  She had on a uniform which had a shimmering, shiny texture...the clothing had no buttons, fasteners, or seams that he could discern. 

Human extraterrestrials have been reported in Mexico, South America, and Europe as well.  All of them have demonstrated extraordinary telepathic abilities.  The uniforms they wear, first described by the contactees, and are similar to those described by abductees in a later era.  Some of these visitors reportedly blend in with us and could not be readily identified if they wore our clothing and make-up.  This implies that they have a genetic kinship with earth humans and have evolved under similar biochemical and biophysical conditions to those found on earth.  Their actual origin is unknown, but if they are from other planets or dimensions, then their existence is a challenge to our scientific dogma.

The controversy concerning Adamski continues to this day.  A few ardent supporters believe Adamski reported true experiences, and that his photographs of mother ships and scout ships are among the best UFO photos in the world.  However, the majority of UFO researchers believe Adamski wove tall tales, that his earlier work of fiction, Pioneers of Space, foreshadowed his non-fiction tale, Inside the Spaceships; that he photographed small models through his telescope, models that he had constructed in his workshop.  At one time it was thought that the scout ship had been identified as a chicken brooder, a lamp, or the top of a water cooler, which had been made to look like a flying saucer. However, none of these explanations were ever convincingly proven.  The fact that many other photos of this bell-configuration have been taken in different parts of the world, and that many independent witnesses had seen such a shape attests to its authenticity.  Today, we know that photos can be easily hoaxed, but this does not mean that Adamski's photos were hoaxed. 

The controversy over Adamski’s photos of motherships and scouts still rages on and is further complicated by color film taken by Adamski on various occasions, one of which was sent to a naval laboratory in San Diego and never returned.  This film was taken in Mexico and I was one of the few who saw the film before it disappeared and must say it was very impressive. There was no evidence that his photographs were hoaxed despite claims by skeptics. 

The recent claim that Adamski had built models based on the ones built by Agnew Bahnson in his experiments with Townsend T. Brown in Bahnson’s electrogravitic laboratory has really reversed the true story which is that Bahnson corresponded with Adamski after reading his book and asked Adamski if he had learned technical details that he, Bahnson, could experiment with in his lab. 

One man who is very skeptical, yet fascinated with the contactee era is Jerome Clark who wrote a monthly column on UFOs for FATE magazine.  He considers that contactees such as the well-known George Adamski were charlatans.  He considers that the evidence against the early contactees was overwhelming and that Adamski and other contactees were caught telling falsehoods on more than one occasion.  The remarkably clear photos that Adamski took of Venusian scout ships were fakes.  Some believe that Adamski built models and others feel that he dressed up some common piece of apparatus such as a chicken brooder to look like a flying saucer, this despite eyewitness claims that craft  resembling the Venusian scout ship were seen in different parts of the world.  Tales of the so-called Space Brothers were no more than contrived fantasies to put one over on the unsuspecting public.

Isabel Davis who, in 1957, was an officer of Civilian Saucer Intelligence of New York, once wrote a scathing critique of the contactee's claims entitled, "Meet the Extraterrestrials."  One criticism that she levels at the spacemen in the contactee's stories is that they never provide unequivocal proof.  And, of course, they claim to originate from planets that scientists know harbor conditions hostile to any kind of life, much less humanoid life. The main criticism of Adamski's claims is that his visitors claimed to have come from Venus, Mars, and Saturn.

The early contactees described meeting human extraterrestrials wherever their point of origin.  These human visitors had very symmetrical features; their skin was clear and translucent; their fingers were more flexible than ours; and their irises had different hues and colors than those seen on earth.  They are never reported to be fat, thin, or ugly.  Their hair, teeth, nails, and eyes were all without defect.  It's as if they perfected control over their genetic breeding and produced healthier and longer living specimens than terrestrial humans. 

          Once in 1960, a young contactee named Paul took a photo out of his wallet allegedly showing a picture of a woman from another planet.  She appeared to fit the description given by many contactees.  Her eyes were the most electric blue I had ever seen. 

Another, little-known California contactee of the fifties was Calvin Girvin.  Calvin reported many contacts with a human saucer pilot named Cryxtan.  Calvin also reported going aboard one of the scout ships.  Calvin was also in the Air Force and was interrogated by the AF Office of Special Investigation.  Last heard from, he was living somewhere in Hollywood.         

From time to time present-day abductees report an encounter with Nordic-looking alien beings that bear a resemblance to the ones described by the contactees of the fifties.  Recently, a coffee shop friend found out that I was a field investigator and was eager to tell me of the odd events that had entered his life when he was a pre-teen.  Like the old-timers, he claimed that a man from Mars came to visit him, and, one day, took him for a ride to the planet Mars where they entered an opening in the ground.  A shaft descended five miles toward the planet's interior where he encountered the inhabitants of an ancient underground Martian civilization.   

          The contactee experience has its own characteristics.  Some of these characteristics are shared with the abductee experience, but most are unique to a contactee scenario.  Most Ufologists of the nineties have been led to believe that the contactees were charlatans out to spread religious philosophies, and this has proven a stumbling block to any proposed scientific investigation of the contactee's claims.   


          A typical contactee scenario usually proceeds in this fashion:


          1)  The contactee has an urge or impulse that he or she perceives to be coming from an outside source and this urge seems to direct them to some remote location.  There is an air of expectancy.


          2)  The contactee is usually approached by a human being wearing a one-piece uniform that has disembarked from a flying saucer.  The human can access the contactee's mind with telepathy.  The visitors do not display any difficulty with English or any other spoken language. 


          3)  Either the meeting terminates or the contactee is taken on a tour of the ship or a ride to a mothership.


          4)  The contactee does not experience a loss of time or lapse of memory.


          5)  The contactee is usually given a message or project to accomplish.  One of the common themes of the messages given to the early contactees is that we are upsetting the balance of nature. 


          Many Ufologists who study abductee (or, using the newer term -- experiencer) cases generally accept that there were no legitimate contactees and that there is no precedence for the abductee scenario. 


          Objections to the case for the contactees are:


          1)  The contactee doesn't have any first-hand eyewitnesses.  Although true of the vast proportion of abductees as well, it was felt that the contactee should have someone else that would attest to the reality of the experience.  As we have related here, George Adamski, for one, had six eyewitnesses to his first contact.


          2)  The early contactees claimed that the visitors came from planets in our local solar system such as Mars and Venus.  Space probes have proven that other planets in our system could not sustain life as we know it.  It might be possible that humans with advanced technology could build protected habitats on or under the surface of neighboring planets, but they would not have originated there.  Other possibilities include coming from a different frequency/density/dimension of the other planet in our system, but the visitors did not always explicitly state this as their origin.  Perhaps they were deceiving the contactees or the contactees colluded with the visitors to protect their identity and origin from enemies also contacting earth humans.  Otherwise, we are left with the conclusion that the contactees fabricated this part of their story or their whole story.  This last conclusion is, of course, the one that wins the most votes among researchers.


          3) One of the primary objections to the contactee was the apparent zeal with which they spread quasi-religious messages.  This was disturbingly cult-like.  The feedback of adulation and attention given the contactee may distort whatever legitimate experience he/she may have had.


          4)  The contactees were not very cooperative with researchers; extensively ridiculed, they were not interested in providing proof of their experiences to still another skeptical inquirer.


          5)  One of the biggest objections to the contactee experience is that the visitors were reported looking human and able to pass undetected amongst us if dressed in our clothing.  Humans were a product of earth's evolutionary development and could not possibly arise on other worlds.  Yet, reports of human entities from UFOs will not go away.  We still hear of encounters with them from the new experiencers. The existence of humans originating from an extraterrestrial or extra dimensional civilization is a comforting thought to our aloneness in the universe. 


          This article recounts just some of my experiences with the early California contactees.  I was convinced that the flying saucer mystery had a simple solution and that the mystery would be unveiled before the next decade of the sixties had passed.  Little did I know that we were facing complex phenomena that would continue to baffle us all to the present day.



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