Awesome Or Off-Putting: Gloria-Lee Byrd, An Alien Contactee Who Starved Herself To Death

Awesome or Off-Putting is a weekly delve into cryptozoology, ufology, aliens, medical marvels, scientific wonders, secret societies, government conspiracies, cults, ghosts, EVPs, myths, ancient artifacts, religion, strange facts, odd sightings or just the plain unexplainable.

Gloria Lee was a flight attendant turned alien contactee. In 1953 she began receiving mental transmissions from JW, an alien entity who lived on Jupiter. These transmissions, thought Lee, were for the good of humanity, and included things as strange as space station designs.

When the US government wouldn’t listen, though – she began to fast until it killed her.

Here is what Wikipedia has on Gloria Lee:

“Lee claimed to be in telepathic communication with an entity known as JW, who lived on the planet Jupiter, and began to assemble a book of his spiritual teachings as dictated to her. At his direction she founded the Cosmon Research Foundation for the purpose of publication and study of JW’s superhuman wisdom…Membership in Gloria Lee’s organization rose sharply after advertisements were regularly carried in Ray Palmer’s monthly occult magazine Fate. She also hit the contactee lecture circuit and attracted considerable public attention.”

The method in which she would receive her revelations was automatic writing. As far as specific messages the woman claimed to receive from her Jupiter-based master – we couldn’t find anything other than the hugely popular plea for world peace and plans for a space station (or a spaceship, depending on the source). The latter of those seems to have been less than specific blue prints, as we couldn’t find those either.

Granted we only did a quick Google search. We’re sure her two books Why We Are Here! & The Changing Conditions of Your World! are packed full of Jupitarian wisdom.

In 1962 Gloria Lee went to Washington in an attempt to get some government money to put towards her spaceship. Politicians were largely uninterested. To call attention to her ideas she began a fast in her hotel room. She told her followers she would eventually lapse into a coma-like state only to wake up supercharged and ready to roll. Washington was unaware of this. Her food-free protest lasted 66 days and then she died. She was 37.

To make matters even stranger Lee, who claimed telepathic communications in life, communicated to other would-be cult leaders in death. Allegedly. According to

“Immediately after her death, several contactees claimed to have talked to Gloria Lee in her new spiritual existence. Verity of the Heralds of the New Age (New Zealand) and Yolanda of Mark-Age both produced booklets of what they claimed were communications from Lee.”

Don’t feel bad for Lee. In her spiritual state she probably enjoys a nice country estate in the Jupiter country side. We’d take that over picketing DC any day.


  1. janice cramer says:

    I remember living next door to this woman when I was a child in Rolling Hills,
    Ca. I think she had 2 children and she had her home furnished things from Japan. I can’t believe I found this info on her.

    • Vance Pollock says:

      Janice, Would love to hear from you. I’ve just been trying to put together more biographical details about Gloria Lee and found information about her husband living in Rolling Hills and the two children. I can’t access any contact information for you thru this comment board, so if you are reading this or if the moderator can pass my message along to you, my email is obscurist at yahoo dot com -Vance

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