In July 1952, Karl Hunrath—a resident of beautiful Racine, Wisconsin—contacted the local police department to report an encounter he’d experienced late one night with a man dressed in a black suit who had entered his home, injected him with a tranquilzer, and proclaimed: “I am Bosco. You have been chosen to enter our brotherhood of galaxies.” 1
Not long after his curious encounter with a purported Man-in-Black, Hunrath invented a contraption he dubbed “Bosco” apparently in homage to his mysterious dark-clad visitor. Encased in a black box, Bosco was said to duplicate the magnetic field of UFOs and could ostensibly “call them down.” At the time, Hunarth was emplyed as a “project engineer” with Oster Manufacturing Co. 2 Known for its Sunbeam brand of small electric appliances, during the war Oster branched out into avionics, which is where Hunarth might have developed certain skills that aided with the invention of Bosco. One of Hunrath’s fellow employees at Oster, and the co-inventor of Bosco, was Wilbur “Jack” Wilkinson, an assistant foreman at the company, who would subsequently follow Hunrath into infamy.
In November 1952, Hunrath quit his job at Oster and relocated to Southern California where he hooked up with George Adamski and gave the “Professor” (as Adamski was sometimes called) the lowdown on how Bosco not only attracted flying saucers, but could also produce enough free energy to provide all the electricity needed to power Adamski’s burger stand at Palomar Gardens. 3 The only hitch was that Bosco was stored in safekeeping in Wisconsin, and Hunrath was going to have his co-inventor, Wilkinson, bring it out to California, so there was going to be a bit of a delay on all the free energy soon to flow Adamski’s way. All of this Bosco business seemed fine with Professor Adamski until—during a Palomar Gardens wine drinking soiree—Hunrath went off the rails about how Bosco could disable flying saucers, causing them to land against their will, and potentially even crash. 4
Why Hunrath wished to bring down the kindly space brothers is anybody’s guess, but this business about crashing saucers so alarmed the good Professor that he told Hunrath to get the hell off his property—that there’d be no disabling flying saucers if he had anything to say about it—and take that infernal Bosco with him! Part of Adamski’s concern was that if Bosco could bring down UFOs then it could most likely mess with military aircraft as well, to which Hunrath replied:”WHO CARES? WE WANT THE SAUCERS!” 5
After witnessing this heated exchange, one of the Adamski’s followers, Lucy McGinnis, notified the authorities that Hunrath’s black box thingy could potentially disable military aircraft! Not long after, both the FBI and Air Force Office of Special Investigations (AFOSI) paid a visit to Palomar Gardens to question Adamski on the matter. In response, the professor informed them, in no uncertain terms, that his former colleague (Hunrath) had gone off the deep end and was quite possibly possessed by otherworldly demons. Adamski referred to Hunrath as an “uncontrollable monster” who practiced “occultism.” 6
Before his relationship with Adamski went south, Hunrath—along with fellow saucer enthusiasts George Hunt Williamson and Jerrold Baker—formed the short-lived “Adamski Foundation,” an organization dedicated to preserving and promoting the works of the good professor.
In August 1953, Bosco co-inventor Wilbur Wilkinson joined Hunrath in California. During this period, Hunrath had apparently fallen under the spell of George Hunt Williamson and his supposed ability to channel entities from other planets. Hunrath, Wilkinson, and Baker spent considerable time at Williamson’s home in Prescott, Arizona, where a pseudo-scientific laboratory had been set up. To this end, Williamson and crew enlisted a diverse array of ET contact methods that included short-wave radio, telepathy, use of an Ouija board as well as the ingestion of mescaline that allowed the men to enter altered states and ostensibly enhance their otherworldly communications. 7 Around this time, the men adopted space brother names: Hunrath was Firkon, Wilkinson was Ramu, Williamson was Mark III, and Baker was Markon. Whether the men actually believed they were aliens, or channels for aliens, or whatever their intent was, isn’t entirely clear, but some of these very same alien names (Firkon and Ramu) later appeared in Adamski’s book Inside the Spaceships. 8
That summer, Hunrath and Wilkerson moved to Los Angeles to seek employment in order to fund their many flying saucer investigations, landing jobs as electricians. Wilkinson settled his family into a rented home near Echo Park, while Hunrath found accommodations at a rooming house in downtown L.A.
On November 10, 1953, Hunrath phoned Hollywood based ufologist Manon Darlaine, alerting her that he and Wilkinson were planning to meet up the next day with a landed saucer and invited her to tag along. Manon politely declined, fearing the men weren’t operating with a full set of dilithium crystals.
The next day, Hunrath and Wilkinson rented a light plane from the now defunct Gardena Valley Airport, and with three hours of fuel flew off into the great unknown, never to be seen again. For some reason, the men neglected to file a flight plan, which made subsequent search and rescue efforts all the more challenging.
Hunrath—who was at the controls of the plane—was not an experienced pilot, and only a week before their flight had taken a refresher course. It was rumored that the men planned to fly in the direction of Prescott, Arizona, a flight line which would have taken them over the remote Southern California desert mountains where it was presumed they had crashed.
Following their disappearance, a Los Angeles Mirror article featured the alarming title PLANE VANISHES IN MYSTERY: Wife Fears Hubby in Flying Saucer Kidnapping in which Mrs. J. Wilkinson of 1933 ½ LeMoyne Ave. stated that her husband might have been nabbed by “interplanetary invaders in a flying saucer.” Mrs. Wilkinson described her husband Wilbur as an “avid believer in flying saucers” and that he and Hunrath “believed the end of earth was nearing and that strange little men from the planet ‘Maser’ were ready to invade.” Mrs. Wilkinson took the Mirror reporter on a tour of her husband’s “den” which was lined with “flying saucer pictures, weird signs, and formulas…” One of the messages on the wall was from “Prince Reggs of the planet Maser.” Mrs. Wilkinson recalled that her husband played her tape recordings that featured “conversations with men, presumably from other planets, who landed here in saucers.” 9
Afterwards, reports surfaced that the FBI had looked into the case of the missing men and came to suspect they may have high-tailed it to Mexico to escape “personal problems” unrelated to UFOs or Bosco. 10
1 Nick Redfern
2 Racine City Directory
3 Barker, Gray. 1965. Gray Barker’s Book of Saucers. Clarksburg, WV: Saucerian Books. (p. 36).
4 Moseley, James. 1971. The Wright Field Story. Clarksburg, WV: Saucerian Books. (p. 24).
5 Barker, Gray. 1965. Gray Barker’s Book of Saucers. (p. 36).
6 James W. Moseley, “Some New Facts about Flying Saucers Have Landed,” Nexus (Jan. 1955).
7 Redfern, Nick. 2014. Close Encounters of the Fatal Kind. New Page Books. (p. 62).
8 Moseley, James. 1971. The Wright Field Story. Clarksburg, WV: Saucerian Books. (p. 25).
9 “Wife Fears 2 Killed by Flying Saucers.” Racine Journal-Times (2 Dec. 1953)
10 Moseley, James & Karl Pflock. 2002. Shockingly Close To The Truth: Confessions of a Grave-Robbing Ufologist. New York: Prometheus Books