The Memorable November Twentieth

By November 20, 2017 Contactees, UFO No Comments

I am George Adamski, philospher, student, teacher, saucer researcher. My home is Palomar Gardens, on the southern slopes of Mount Palomar, California, eleven miles from the big Hale Observatory, home of the 200-inch telescope–the world’s largest.

That’s how George Adamski begins his section of the book Flying Saucers Have Landed, which was mostly written by Desmond Leslie.  Where Leslie’s portion of the book was a rather dry accounting of ancient alien theories and UFOs throughout history, Adamski’s was a first hand account of what happened to him on the afternoon of November 20, 1952–the day, he said, he met a man from Venus named Orthon.

It was about 12:30 in the noon hour on Thursday, 20 November 1952, that I first made personal contact with a man from another world.  He came to Earth in his space craft, a flying saucer.  He called it a Scout Ship.

– Flying Saucers Have Landed, p. 185

Having achieved some notoriety for flying saucer photographs he’d taken at his home on Mt. Palomar, Adamski had made the acquaintance of Mr. and Mrs. A.C. Bailey of Winslow, Arizona, as well as Dr. and Mrs. George Hunt Williamson of Prescott, Arizona.  (It should be noted that “Dr.” George Hunt Williamson was not in fact a doctor of any kind, and he later became a Contactee in his own right, going by the various names of Michael d’Obrenovic and Brother Philip).  In the wee hours of November 20, Adamski and his associates Alice K. Wells and Lucy McGinnis met up with the Williamsons and Baileys outside of Blythe, California.  They were hoping to spot a flying saucer landing in the desert.  George, it seems, had a feeling that something good might be happening that day.

They arrived at a spot 11 miles north of a town called Desert Center.  George had a feeling that they should stop, and so they did.  They wandered around for a while, and enjoyed a lunch along the side of the road, while some planes flew overhead.

Suddenly and simultaneously we all turned as one, looking again toward the closest mountain ridge where just a few minutes before the first plane had crossed.  Riding high, and without sound, there was a gigantic cigar-shaped silvery ship, without wings or appendages of any kind.  Slowly, almost as if it was drifting, it came in our direction; then it seemed to stop, hovering motionless.

– Flying Saucers Have Landed, p. 188

One of Adamski’s photos of the mothership over Desert Center, taken through his telescope.

The group was understandably excited.  George however, felt that something was missing.

And in spite of all the excitement, I knew this was not to the place; maybe not even the ship with which contact was to be made, if that was in the plan.  But I did feel this ship had a definite ‘something’ to do with it all.

– Flying Saucers Have Landed, p. 189

George felt convinced he was in mental contact with the occupants of that ship. He commanded to his friends “Someone take me down the road–quick!  That ship has come looking for me and I don’t want to keep them waiting!”  They drove down the road a ways until George told Lucy, his driver, to stop.  At that point, he jumped out of the car with his telescope and some camera gear, and headed out into the desert.  Al Bailey and Lucy McGinnis helped him set up his telescope, then George told them to get back to the others, as he had the gut feeling that this contact was to be with him and him only.  They returned to the group, who continued to watch George, now a speck in the distance.

A few minutes later, a flash in the sky attracted George’s attention.  He looked up to see a small flying saucer descending toward the hills nearby.  George snapped several photos of the craft, which he reproduced in the book.


Suddenly my reverie was broken as my attention was called to a man standing at the entrance of a ravine between two low hills, about a quarter of a mile away.  He was motioning to me to come to him, and I wondered who he was and where he had come from.  I was sure he had not been there before.  Nor had he walked past me from the road.  He could not have come from the side of the mountains on which we were.  And I wondered how he might have crossed over and descended any part of them without me having noticed him?

– Flying Saucers Have Landed, p. 194

Thinking it was a prospector or rock hound, George walked toward the man, in case he might be in need of help.  As he approached, he noticed two unusual things: His trousers resembled ski trousers, certainly odd apparel for the desert, and his hair was long and blond, falling to his shoulders.  Not exactly the style of the day in 1952.  Suddenly, a feeling of great peace and calm came over him: “Now, for the first time I fully realised I was in the presence of a man from space–A HUMAN BEING FROM ANOTHER WORLD!”

The man extended his hand, as if to shake.  George tried to do so, but the man rejected this with a “smile and slight shake of the head”.  He then demonstrated that beings from other worlds greet each other by placing their hands palm-to-palm, without grasping.

The man was slender, about 5’6″ tall, and appeared to be about 28 years old.  He had a round face and extremely high forehead, large but calm grey-green eyes, slightly slanted.  His skin was the shade of an even, medium suntan.  He wore a garment that appeared to be one-piece, chocolate brown, and with a wide belt about his middle, yet the fabric was of a fine weave not similar to any fabric on Earth.

A drawing of Orthon by Alice K. Wells, who claimed she could see Adamski speaking to this man in the distance through binoculars.

The man did not answer George’s questions verbally for the most part, but through sign language and some degree of what Adamski called “thought transfer”, he established that the man came from the second planet from the sun–Venus.  That was the only time the man spoke, to repeat George’s spoken question “Venus?”  The man replied “Venus.”

George asked the man why they’d come, and received mental impressions that suggested they came in peace, and were concerned about “radiations going out from Earth.”

I asked if this concern was due to the explosions of our bombs and their resultant vast radio-active clouds?

He understood this readily and nodded his head in the affirmative.

My next question was whether this was dangerous, and I pictured in my mind a scene of destruction.

To this, too, he nodded his head in the affirmative, but on his face was no trace of resentment or judgment.  His expression was one of understanding, and great compassion; as one would have toward a much loved child who had erred through ignorance and lack of understanding.

– Flying Saucers Have Landed, p. 198

After some more conversation in this manner, George asked if he’d come from that saucer he’d seen floating down.  The man turned and pointed into the distance, where George saw that very craft floating there, motionless over the desert floor.  He then got the impression that the large craft they’d seen earlier was a mothership, which carried these “scout ships” from Venus to the Earth.

Remembering a question that had often been asked of me by people with whom I had talked, I asked why they never land in populated places?

To this he made me understand that there would be a tremendous amount of fear on the part of the people, and probably the visitors would be torn to pieces by the Earth people, if such public landings were attempted.

I understood how right he was, and within my mind wondered if there ever would be a time when such a landing would be safe.

– Flying Saucers Have Landed, p. 202

They continued “speaking” for some time, discussing subjects ranging from whether Venusians believe in God (yes), whether the other planets in the solar system are inhabited (yes), and even whether their craft have ever crashed on Earth (also yes.)  For all the questions George asked, he forgot to ask one: the man’s name.  (Later, Adamski attributed the name “Orthon” to this man, but stressed that this was not the man’s actual name).

Orthon pointed toward his feet, particularly to his footprints, and it was at that point that Adamski noticed that the prints had unique markings.

Then they walked toward the scout craft, which was “translucent and of exquisite colour”, and he could discern other forms moving through it, as you might see people moving behind a wall made of glass bricks.  The sunlight glinted off the craft, giving off a prismatic effect.  Though Orthon warned him away, George stepped too close to the craft, and his right shoulder was caught in the “attraction-repulsion” effect of the engines, which threw his arm up, then down and back toward him.  He staggered away from the craft, his arm numb.

Orthon indicated the photographic plates that George had taken of the scout ship, and George gave him one.  Then he asked if he could take a ride in the ship, and Orthon shook his head, and that it was time for him to leave.  Orthon entered the ship, which lifted off, and disappeared into the sky.

The contact group on November 20, observing Orthon’s footprints in the sand.


The article which ran in the Nov. 24, 1952 edition of The Phoenix Gazette, with George’s photo of the scoutship rising above the knoll.

Reuniting with his friends, they examined the footprints that Orthon had left.  Williamson, being an anthropologist (or claiming to be one, anyway), had some plaster of paris in his trunk, and made casts of these footprints.  While they were doing this, they noticed military airplanes circling overhead.  Their presence was later confirmed in Project Blue Book, reporting on a sighting of a craft in the vicinity of the Salton Sea on November 20, 1952.  The group, with George’s permission, submitted an account of the experience to the Phoenix Gazette, which printed a report of it with photos, on November 24.

And the rest is history.

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