New Saucerian Books is doing a very exciting thing these days: re-publishing classic Contactee and UFO books that are hard to find these days. And even if you do track them down, they often fetch several hundred dollars on eBay. It’s one thing if you’re a collector, but what if you’re just curious to read the books? And that’s why I’m a fan of New Saucerian. (Though the web design could use some work…just sayin’.)
To that end, I picked up a copy of “The Book of Adamski”, edited by Gray Barker, republished by New Saucerian in 2014. For those who don’t know, Gray Barker was a renowned writer and researcher of UFO and paranormal phenomena, including Men in Black, Mothman, and the Contactees. He, along with John Keel, were the biggest names in the ’50s and ’60s, and into the ’70s in the field of paranormal writing.
So I was excited to delve into this book. It’s a loosely structured collection of essays by several people, including Gray Barker, Desmond Leslie, and Adamski himself. It covers the many sides of Adamski’s life–personal, public, and cosmic. What emerges is a very interesting portrait of a notoriously enigmatic man.
Desmond Leslie, Adamski’s co-author of Flying Saucers Have Landed, wrote of the multiple aspects of his friend George:
Then there was another George, beautifully spoken, wise, kind, and deeply aware of the importance of his task. Through this George, I several times glimpsed the presence of a Master, and I was always sorry when the curtain came down again and the worldly mask obscured him.
And also on the controversy that surrounded him always:
Of all the people in the flying saucer world, George Adamski stands alone as its most controversial character. Many others have claimed contacts and been treated with tolerance, belief, or amused contempt, but George had only to open his mouth to bring down a storm of abuse, praise and wonderment.
This is something I’ve noticed while researching my film…for some reason, Adamski gets people’s goat. No one gets upset talking about Truman Bethurum, but mention Adamski, and they go all red in the face. Perhaps it was because he was the most visible of the Contactees. Perhaps it was his somewhat distant, professorial manner. The controversy continues to this day, and many people consider him to be nothing more than a charlatan and con-man.
However, this book paints a different portrait, in the first-hand accounts by the many authors, and from the words from his own mouth. And this kinder, gentler portrait is congruent with the image I’ve gotten of him from people who were acquainted with him.
Even Gray Barker, who considered Adamski’s account “impossible”, says that he got the impression of a “tone of great honesty” in Adamski’s tale:
For George charmed his critics wherever he roamed. No matter how vitriolic his adversaries, he maintained a pleasant attitude which challenged their negativity.
When reading George’s own essays, combined with the above-mentioned accolades, one definitely gets a sense that George was, at the very least, a kind and spiritually generous man. Though his philosophy of Universal Law was nothing earth-shatteringly original (he himself admitted that he was just extolling the virtues central to all major religions), he manages to parse it in a way that makes it feel inspirational. He sums it up thusly:
To be plain, all forms must serve the purpose for which they were created if they are to continue.
Whether you believe him or not, Adamski was determined to serve what he saw as his purpose: that of spreading the message of peace and love. The more you read of his works in such books as Inside the Space Ships, the more you realize that outer space was only tangentially interesting to him. He was truly brought to life by the idea of Universal Law and cosmic order.
But the most exciting part of the book comes at the end, with a lengthy bit about the famous Straith letter, in which Adamski received an apparently real letter from a State Department official claiming to know the truth about the space brothers, and encouraged George to continue his message. It’s a fascinating story, and what makes it more interesting is that this book was published long before the full story was made public. I’m not about to spoil it if you’re not familiar with the story, but stay tuned to this documentary for more information.