Aura Rhanes at Giant Rock? (Not!)

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In Aboard A Flying Saucer (1954), Truman Bethurum recounted his amazing interactions with a beret wearing flying saucer captain named Aura Rhanes, who he described as “tops in shapeliness and beauty.”

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Aura Rhanes’ illustration by Carol Ann Rodriguez

Over a three month period starting in July of 1952, Aura visited Truman on eleven occasions, sometimes materializing in his bedroom much to the chagrin of Bethurum’s wife, Mary, who later cited the comely space captain in her divorce petition.

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Truman Bethurum

Bethurum enjoyed another shot at marital bliss in 1960, although unfortunately it wasn’t with shapely Aura, but a weathered old gal named Alvira Roberts, their nuptials taking place on the podium of that year’s Giant Rock Interplanetary Spacecraft Convention.

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Truman and Elvira at the 1960 Giant Rock Convention (Credit: Joe Fex/Ape-X Research)

A couple months back my pal Tim Beckley asked my thoughts about a purported photo circulating on social media that certain people were claiming was an honest-to-Orthon photo of Aura Rhanes herself at Giant Rock! All of this was news to me, and when I finally got a gander of said photo I recognized it immediately as one among a series of photos that originated from the Bob Beck Collection, many of which appear exclusively in “A” is for Adamski: The Golden Age of the UFO Contactees available now from an internet bookseller near you. (Supplies limited!)

Below is the photo in question purported to be Aura Rhanes wearing smoking hot black tights (sans beret) in the company of Long John Nebel and another fellow who I suppose could be Valiant Thor of Stranger at the Pentagon fame.

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Mystery photo of Aura Rhanes at Giant Rock? (Credit: Joe Fex/Ape-X Research)

Not to rain on anyone’s facebook parade, but no, folks, the above isn’t a photo of Aura Rhanes, although I commend the creativity of whoever floated this social media meme-rumor. Those humans actually pictured in said photo are (left to right) Cortland Hastings, Evelyn E. Smith and Long John Nebel.

I have no idea who Cortland Hastings was, and of course we all should know who Long John Nebel was. As for the lady purported to be Aura Rhanes, that was actually Evelyn E. Smith, the author of a number of science fiction and mystery novels, and whose work occasionally appeared in the science fiction pulps of the period, as shown below.

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Below is further documentation that Evelyn Smith was who I said she was, courtesy of the May 27, 1957 edition of Life Magazine with a feature on the Giant Rock Interplanetary Spaceship Convention and a photo of Smith (not Aura!)  described as “The Queen of Space”!

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Now you know the rest of the story!

Andy Sinatra, The Mystic Barber

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Andy Sinatra appearing on Long John Nebel’s Party Line

No relation to Frank Sinatra (or at least none that Frank was ever willing to admit!), Andy Sinatra (aka “The Mystic Barber” aka “The Mystical Tonsorial Artist from Brooklyn”) claimed that at the tender age of one he underwent a medical procedure that led to his oh so young death. “It was a wonderful experience,” Sinatra later remarked to a captive reporter from the Fort Scott Tribune. “As they were getting ready to bury me I suddenly came back to life. And from that moment on I knew that I was different!” And oh, how different he was!

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Originally from Mars, Sinatra at some point was psychically transported to Earth where he came to inhabit the body of an Italian barber from Brooklyn. However—as Sinatra was quick to point out—his present appearance was quite different from that of the average Martian that stood four feet tall and was covered with white hair and reproductive organs on their heads.

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Mr. Sinatra surrounded by his many female admirers

Sinatra—an occasional guest on Long John Nebel’s Party Line—claimed he had astrally traveled to the moon, Mars, and the center of the Earth and was famous for adorning his head with what he called a “psychic machine” consisting of a metal band that wrapped around his head. Not only did Sinatra’s headgear function as a telepathic device, it was also a way to prevent malevolent space people from reading his thoughts, sort of an early version of your classic tin foil hat.

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Over time, Sinatra’s psychic headgear evolved into a grander version of its original primitive design and featured a beanie topped with something resembling a bazooka. This is the version Sinatra wore on February 4th, 1962, when—with the assistance of an “invisible army of Martians”—he saved the United Nations from destruction (from evil aliens!) by performing a mystical ritual before a group of curious onlookers who wondered who the hell this guy was with the crazy bazooka beanie.

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The Mystic Barber at the U.N.

The Mystic Barber’s greatest claim to fame came on September 10th, 1962, when he attempted to make contact with flying saucers on a live broadcast of The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. According to Jim Moseley, Sinatra got stiffed for his $100 appearance fee because Sinatra’s performance was “incoherent.”

For more marvelous space age tales such as this, you’d be advised to pick up a copy of “A” is for Adamski: The Golden Age of the UFO Contactees.

 

 

 

Lee Crandall, The First Human To Ever Visit Venus!

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Lee Crandall

Southern California native Lee Crandall was the first human ever to visit Venus…according to Lee Crandall. This momentous occasion occurred on August 31st, 1954, when he was treated to the requisite spaceship trip…but we’re getting ahead of ourselves. Let’s begin at the beginning.

Crandall’s outstanding Venusian adventure began one summer day in sunny L.A. (June 10th, 1954 to be exact) as he was hurrying to catch a bus and bumped into a tall man in a brown suit. Crandall profusely apologized to the brown-suited fellow who then proceeded to vanished into thin air.

Crandall’s next encounter with the incredible disappearing man occurred on June 30th   when to his “utter amazement there in the doorway stood the tall man in brown.  For at least three minutes, he stood there, smiling, then turned at an angle and with a faint whizz sound, vanish again from my sight. By now I began to doubt my own sanity!”

A couple weeks later, the brown suited fellow materialized at Crandall’s workplace and this time actually said something: “Mr. Crandall, I’d like to talk to you outside.” The gist of the conversation was that he—the brown suited mystery man—wanted to be Crandall’s friend. Oh, and incidentally, he was from Venus. When Crandall displayed disbelief, the alleged Venusian stated, “Believe me it is so, and trust in my friendship.” With those words, another vanishing act occurred.

On August 17th, Crandall was awakened in the middle of the night by his doorbell. When he asked who the hell it was calling at such an ungodly hour, a calm, mellow voice replied: “This is your friend, Lee.” Crandall opened the door to discover another similarly brown suited stranger—a handsome fellow around thirty five years of age named Brother Bocco—who explained that he’d come on behalf of Brother Taho (the other brown suited disappearing guy.)  Bocco informed Crandall that his mission was to deliver him to Venus! However, Crandall wasn’t too keen at that particular moment to travel all the way to Venus in the middle of the night, so he declined the offer and Brother Bocco predictably vanished.

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Brother Bocco

Crandall’s next encounter occurred on August 27th when Brother Bocco showed up on his doorstep and brought along a scout ship that hovered outside “throwing light in delicate pastel shades, so soft were the upshooting rays that they could only be compared to raised feathers or to petals of an ethereal flower.” Once again the spaceship trip was offered. This time Crandall accepted the invitation and left a note for his parents that said: “Folks, gone to Venus. All is well. Lee.”

Their scout ship landed near a majestic white temple where a large crowd of brown-suited Venusian men had assembled, many of whom were kneeling in prayer. The sea of brown suits parted, as Bocco and Taho led Crandall to an alter where “three important men” performed some sort of Venusian baptism placing Lee’s hand in “a white downy substance they called water.” The three men explained that they were all about Universal Peace and that Crandall would be their “active agent for this Great Universal Endeavor of Understanding, which would soon be revealed.”

A month after his initial Venusian adventure, Crandall was visited by Brother Bocco who invited him for a return trip. En route they passed through a series of “hemispheres,” one of which consisted of “hundreds of beautiful feminine creatures, all blondes, all clothed in white trailing garments, floating in a swimming position…”

 

While on a “show me” trip, Crandall’s Venusian hosts brought to his “attention large barrels full of feathery like material. They said this was what the ship was made of. This material would be processed and molded into shapes with their hands, then magnetized. They said that magnetism was the propelling energy providing motion for these strange feathery mechanisms…After a complete tour of this strange laboratory we left and once again re-entered the ship, this time dropping below the first plane I had landed on, to a lower plane. This is where the women live. Thousands of them were gathered there assembled in a large open space for the purpose of looking at a man from Earth…They were all around thirty-five years of age, had long brown hair, beautiful eyes, olive skin, large mouth and very full lips. They were simply beautiful creatures…all dressed in white ankle-length garments, long sleeves, with no jewels or make-up…Their leader was introduced to me Sister Sistrano. In very good English she welcomed me on behalf of the group and five of them came forward to greet me, bowing their heads. The leader said that the music I would now hear would come from the humming in unison of these five performers, blending in the most wonderful harmony of vibrant subdued sounds. These continuous vibrations were encircling the planet in one sonorous wave…After bidding these beautiful creatures farewell, we again boarded our ship and moved back down to what I shall call the middle plane of the planet…”

Crandall’s account (published in a booklet called The Venusians) included exhaustive (and achingly ponderous) details of Venusian physiology. At the time, Crandall was studying to become a chiropractor, and so apparently felt the need to share his vast knowledge of human and Venusian anatomy with his readership.

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In a 2003 post at UFO Updates, the sometimes contrary contactee Ray Stanford noted that “Lee Crandall delivered a half-used bar of Ivory Soap (with white chicken feathers pressed into it) to his publishers and told them it was a spare piece of Brother Bocco’s Venusian spaceship made of “…magnetized white dove feathers, given in consolation of your spines not being sufficiently crystallized as to enable you to see and approach the spaceship personally…”

Watch Lee Crandall tell his story through the amazing technology of moving pictures!

Read Lee Crandall’s amazing story here!

Barbara Hudson & Those Sexy Saucer People

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Barbara Hudson posing with plaster models of the “Flatwoods Monster”

At the Giant Rock Conventions of the 1960s (and other ufological outings), Barbara Hudson became a running mate of sorts with Gray Barker and Jim Moseley, forming a trio that average middle America probably viewed with a certain degree of curiosity: Two hard drinking white male Ufologist-Pranksters—one gay and one straight—in the company of a young, attractive African-American woman who claimed she belonged to a secret organization called “The Group.” According to Gray Barker, Hudson “radiated both a dainty femininity and a certain sexiness” amid an “aura of mystery.”  Barker no doubt  helped foster this mysterious aura with his claim that he observed Hudson’s doppelgänger at the 1970 Giant Rock Interplanetary Spacecraft Convention, although one could attribute such tales to Barker’s penchant to stretch the truth or, conversely, from seeing double after a few too many nips of demon alcohol.

Hudson’s entrée into the ‘60s saucer scene began when three mysterious men (presumably in black) showed up at her apartment in New York City one evening and informed her that she’d been chosen to become a member of a secretive outfit involved with UFOs. The three mystery men drove Hudson to a remote stretch of Long Island, along the way treating her to a demonstration of exotic ET gadgets. When they arrived at the secluded Long Island compound, Hudson was introduced to other members of “The Group,” a secret alliance of humans and ETs who had joined forces to reveal the startling truth of the flying saucer mystery!

“The Group” was responsible for Hudson’s involvement with the UFO conference scene, and in fact directed her to attend one of Jim Moseley’s conventions so they could “keep an eye on things.” According to Tim Beckley, Moseley’s interest in Hudson was not only UFO related, but the two enjoyed a romantic relationship. Hudson—along with Barker, Moseley and Beckley—traveled to Point Pleasant during the Mothman craze, and some of her activities there are chronicled in Gray Barker’s The Silver Bridge (1970).

Tim Beckley heard many of Hudson’s stories firsthand and felt that she related them with conviction, although—as Beckley informed your humble author—there was no way to verify her claims, all which added to Hudson’s “aura of mystery.”

At one time or another—according to Beckley—Hudson was writing a ufo themed book, which—it appears—was never completed, although an excerpt from Hudson’s book-in-the-works appeared in Beckley’s ufo newsletter from1968 entitled “A Visitor From Saturn?” by Barbara J. Hudson. (Make note of the “J” in her name.)

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As I was recently perusing the Jim Moseley memorial site, I came upon a page dedicated to a 2014 “Internet Roast” of Moseley that included this post by long time ufologist Tom Benson, who recalled:

“I initially observed your activities at the National UFO Conference (NUFOC) located in a semi-rundown motel in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania in 1974, long after you began your chasing Saucers career in 1953. At this Con, you were mainly introducing speakers including Jan Barbara Hudson, author of “Those Sexy Saucer People” (Greenleaf, 1967, Saucerian ?), and hawking back issues of Saucer News…”

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Among the most rare of old school ufo books is the aforementioned and wondrously titled Those Sexy Saucer People  (1967) authored by a fellow named George H. Smith under the pseudonym of Jan Hudson, copies of which nowadays are nearly impossible to find and go for in excess of the super ridiculous price of $300 smackeroos. George H. Smith, according to this link, authored a number of saucy adult-themed titles for Greenleaf Press, such as Orgy Buyer and The Sex and Savagery of the Hells Angels, all of them under a variety of pen names, one of which was Jan Hudson.

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Back cover of the scintillating and saucy “Those Sexy Saucer People”

Tom Benson’s remarks might lead some to suspect that it was actually Barbara Jan Hudson who authored Those Sexy Saucer People—or that Hudson may have supplied content for the book—which seems entirely possible because, as noted, she was working on her own book at the time. Taking my working theory one step further, Hudson then provided a rough manuscript to George H. Smith, who worked his literary magic on it, as demonstrated on the passage below:

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“White slavers from space!” Page 121 of Those Sexy Saucer People

Tom Benson also noted that Gray Barker’s Saucerian (?) Press may have also been involved in some way, which got me to thinking that maybe Those Sexy Saucer People was a project that Barbara Hudson was working on for Saucerian, and then the book was later picked up by Greenleaf Press for mass distribution. (Maybe.)

When I ran my working theory by Tim Beckley—that Barbara Hudson had played some sort of role in authoring Those Sexy Saucer People—he pretty much pooh-poohed the idea, and seemed confident that neither Barbara Hudson or Gray Barker had anything to do with the book, and in fact he vaguely recalled having known George H. Smith, as well as the publisher for Greenleaf, William Hamling, who also published a number of pulp magazines of the period, many of which were not only adult themed but also included science fiction and flying saucers, and that Ray Palmer—who some regard as the father of the flying saucer pulps—had been associated with Hamling as an editor, author and co-conspirator.

Anyway—after Beckley let the air out of my Barbara Hudson Sexy Saucer People balloon—I thought I’d take one more stab at chasing down this mystery and contacted David Houchin of the Gray Barker Collection at the Clarksburg Library to see if he had any knowledge of a possible book that Barbara Hudson had been working on for Saucerian Press at one time or another—or if he was aware of any material in the Gray Barker Collection related to Those Sexy Saucer People. As it turned out, Houchin did indeed possess a copy of Those Sexy Saucer People in all its lurid glory, which is on proud display at the Clarksburg Library, but unfortunately Houchin could find nothing in the files related to Barbara Hudson writing a book on the sexy saucer theme.

But—as fickle would have it—there was a 20 page document in the Gray Barker Collection entitled—you guessed it! — “Sexy Saucer People” that had nothing to do with the book by the same/similar name—or with Barbara Hudson, for that matter. Go figure.

Click here for a PDF copy of “Sexy Saucer People” (not to be confused with Those Sexy Saucer People) courtesy of the Gray Barker Collection.

Thanks to Erickson, a fellow seeker with the Scheme Gene Research Community, who shared the images in this post from the ultra rare Those Sexy Saucer People. Erickson, it should be noted,  has willed to me his copy of the book if he happens to get run over by a flying saucer anytime soon.

For more amazing stories featuring real UFO contactees pick up your very own copy of  “A” is for Adamski: The Golden Age of the UFO Contactees while supplies last!