2017 May

Contact in the Desert and an Anti-Contact Conspiracy?

By | Contactees, Ramblings, UFO | 5 Comments

One feels that anything can happen in the Mojave Desert, making it the perfect setting for the increasingly popular UFO convention Contact in the Desert.

CITD is nestled between key landmarks in Contactee lore: 13 miles south of Giant Rock and the Integratron (the lands of George Van Tassel), and 70 miles northwest of Desert Center, the site of George Adamski’s famous encounter with the Venusian Orthon in 1952.  It’s also a who’s who of UFOlogy.  This year, I met Giorgio of Ancient Aliens, reconnected with Mike Bara and Kathleen Marden, spoke with Richard Dolan on the subject of Edward Ruppelt vs. the Contactees, and watched a couple of fascinating lectures by the legendary Jacques Vallee.

I’m not saying it’s Giorgio, but it’s Giorgio.

Jacques Vallee

But other than those Vallee lectures, I didn’t attend many of the talks.  I was more interested in meeting and talking with the researchers and with attendees who’ve had experiences.  However, I’ve noticed a pattern over the years that bothers me: Whatever happened to these guys?

George Adamski, George Hunt Williamson, George King, Orfeo Angelucci, Dana Howard

Contact in the Desert is, as the name suggests, a convention about making contact with ET intelligence.  Every year, there are lectures about the Annunaki creating the human race to mine gold; conspiracy theories discussing UFO coverups; the latest evidence of bases on the moon or Mars.  Generally, they’re great lectures, but at no point is there a mention of Adamski, King, or the other mid-century Contactees–save one: George Van Tassel.  His Giant Rock Spacecraft Convention of the 1950s-1970s provided a template for CITD, and his Integratron is a draw for many of the attendees.  But even then, Van Tassel is referred to only in relation to Giant Rock and the Integratron; no recognition is given to the messages he conveyed as a Contactee.

And it doesn’t seem to be an oversight.  I’ve heard several complaints from the representatives of the classic Contactees that they’ve been shut out of CITD: their requests for booths or lectures are rejected.  While it’s possible this is part of a larger trend, CITD is the only convention I’ve heard such complaints about, and perhaps that is because it is the most similar to the old Giant Rock Conventions.  If these allegations are true, one wonders why a contact convention that hearkens back to the original contact convention would shrug off any identification with the very individuals who started the movement.

Rejecting the Contactees is a well-worn tradition in UFOlogy, started by the likes of Edward Ruppelt of Project Bluebook, Donald Keyhoe of NICAP, and Isabel Davis of CSI.  Keyhoe was irritated by the lack of evidence from the Contactees, while Davis flat out accused them of being “mentally imbalanced.”  But many UFOlogists have a different take: Greg Bishop, host of Radio Misterioso and author of a number of books on the broader subject of UFOs and the paranormal, has made the point that the Contactees were an important movement in UFOlogy because they were mavericks who dared to think outside accepted UFOlogical dogma.  Richard Dolan said he was glad I was making this film because it is a subject of historical interest that has been largely ignored.

This year’s convention, as is the case every year, focused primarily on conspiracy theories, modern day contact/abduction encounters, and above all, Ancient Aliens (both the show and the concept).  This year, I got to meet this guy:

That’s Erich von Däniken, the man who created the ancient astronaut theory in 1968 with this book Chariots of the Gods?.  Except…wait a minute…

In the early 50s, George Van Tassel spoke of the “Adamic Race” of ETs who colonized the Earth and created modern humans.  George Hunt Williamson published Other Tongues–Other Flesh, focusing on his discoveries of ancient ET contact in 1957.  George King of the Aetherius Society claimed that our great religious figures, such as Jesus, Buddha, and Krishna were ETs sent to Earth to guide us through our spiritual evolution.  All of this happened years before von Däniken wrote a syllable on the subject of ancient astronauts.  As hundreds of people sat in the amphitheater listening to lectures about astral projection and channeling ETs, I imagine very few were thinking about King encountering the Logos of Mother Earth in his astral form, or his channeling of the Cosmic Master Aetherius.  At workshops on various conspiracy theories like government cover-ups, I imagine very few thought about Van Tassel’s concern that we were being kept in the dark about the impending catastrophic flip of Earth’s magnetic field.  And while the overall message of the conference was largely love one another, I suspect very few attendees were familiar with the principles of Universal Law espoused by George Adamski.  For all the love of the Giorgios, why no love for the Georges?

It certainly doesn’t appear that there is an objection to the original contactees based on content alone.  So what’s going on?  Is it just general ignorance of the subject matter?  How aware are people of the original contacts in the desert by Adamski and Van Tassel?  Contacts that allegedly occurred a short drive from this very conference.

So, I asked a number of attendees if they had heard of the Contactees of the ’50s.  A few people were savvy, but most had only a vague idea of “that guy in the desert”, or “the people who talked about Venus”.  No one had heard of George King, or Hunt Williamson, or Dana Howard, or Orfeo Angelucci, or Dan Fry, or any of the others who laid the groundwork for the very convention they were attending. Whether there is a concerted effort to pretend Adamski et al never happened, I cannot say.  But whatever the cause, it seems to justify one of the key reasons I’m making this film: to fill a gap in the popular awareness of UFO history, and to let people make up their own minds about the subject, instead of brushing the Contactees under the rug the way UFOlogy has been doing for decades.


New Poster

By | Filmmaking, Production Art | No Comments

There’s nothing like a deadline to give you a kick in the pants to get things done.  I will be attending this year’s Contact in the Desert in Joshua Tree, California, as I’ve done most years.  It’s a great time, a lot of fun, and gives me a way to meet the people in the UFO “biz” as it were.

This year, since I’m aiming for a release of this film this fall, I wanted to do some promotion, and so I created a new poster for the film.  Here ’tis.


Special thanks to Gerard Aartsen for letting me swipe the title of one of his books as the tagline for my film.

I will be handing out postcard versions of this guy at the conference, so if you attend, find me and get one!

Illegal Aliens?

By | Uncategorized | 2 Comments

A few days ago, I posted a link on Facebook to an article about the White House’s new “criminal aliens” hotline.  Though the hotline was intended to be a place to report undocumented immigrants dashing across the border, it has been flooded with calls reporting space aliens.  It is the latest in an increasingly long line of actions aimed at protesting the Trump administration’s draconian policies regarding immigration.

Then, reader Loren (thanks Loren!) directed my attention to these two articles, which go into the legalistic particulars that pertain to the arrival of extraterrestrials on Earth.  I’m no legal expert, so while I find them interesting reading, I can make no claims as to the soundness of their logic.  In the first article, the author explores the three possible types of first contact: Remote (contact via radio telescope, such as was depicted in the movie Contact), Direct (a craft landing at a site that is well-suited for the purpose, such as an Air Force base), or surprise (a ship landing in a park or in the middle of a major city, as in the film The Day the Earth Stood Still.)

There are only vague ideas of jurisdiction in these events, though the author does say that due to the state of emergency declared by Truman in 1950 and also by Nixon in the 70s, the President has broad authority to deal unilaterally in an alien contact scenario.  It is likely that in the last example, a surprise contact, that the being or beings would be detained and whisked away to a safe space in order to protect national security (and, presumably, to extract advantages in technology that could be used over ones enemies).

These legal arguments make certain assumptions; namely that they are “alive, three-dimensional and physically detectable, intelligent and possessing a ‘will to live'”.  Indeed, if Douglas Adams’s Hooloovoo, the “hyperintelligent shade of blue” were to show up, I feel there is little we could do about them.

However, there is precedent for just this sort of occurrence–a surprise contact by a being meeting all the above criteria–in Contactee lore.

In his book Stranger at the Pentagon, Dr. Frank Stranges tells the story of Valiant Thor, commander of the Victor-1, a ship from the planet Venus.  According to the book, Victor-1 landed in the outskirts of Alexandria, Virginia in 1957.  Immediately upon landing, he was detained by police.  (Granted, this was at Thor’s request)

Valiant Thor and friends speaking at Howard Menger’s UFO convention.

According to Stranges, Valiant Thor was then taken into custody at the Pentagon, where he lived for three years.  While this was portrayed in the book as more of an asylum situation as opposed to detention, what was made very clear is that Thor was not detainable.  He remained in a suite in the lower levels of the Pentagon for three years out of the goodness of his heart.  He had arrived on Earth to spread a message of love, to give secrets both scientific and philosophical to the upper echelons of government in order to raise the evolutionary level of the planet.  Specifically, Strange says, he met with President Eisenhower and Vice President Nixon.  They were less than receptive, saying that such secrets would destroy the stability of governments on the planet.

And so, Val just left.

There was nothing to hold him down, nothing we could do.  The only thing compelling Valiant Thor to abide by human laws was his willingness to do so.  Once that willingness no longer served his purpose, he chose to end his incarceration and simply vanished.

This example is a clear demonstration of the distinction between what the Contactees tell us the Space People believe and what our own human tendencies are.  On Earth, when faced with people of a slightly different cultural background or shade of skin, many people call for stronger laws and border walls and deportation squads.  There is fear and a desire to keep full communion with our fellow humans at bay, leading to an ever-expanding cycle of distrust.  The space people, from their “flying saucer’s eye view”, do not see such petty distinctions.  Their philosophy is summed up, ironically, in the words of Richard Nixon, speaking to the astronauts of Apollo 11:

Because of what you have done the heavens have become a part of man’s world, and as you talk to us from the Sea of Tranquility, it inspires us to redouble our efforts to bring peace and tranquility to earth. For one priceless moment in the whole history of man all the people on this earth are truly one—one in their pride in what you have done and one in our prayers that you will return safely to earth.