Former English department head at Illinois Wesleyan University, Meade Layne left the academic world in the 1940s to pursue a career in parapsychology. In 1945, he founded Borderland Sciences Research Associates (BSRA), an “association of persons interested in ‘borderland’ facts and happenings…facts and events which orthodox or official science cannot or will not investigate.”
To this end, Layne teamed up with psychic medium Mark Probert (the “Telegnostic from San Diego”) in efforts to establish interstellar contact. Probert was among a handful of San Diegans who—while waiting to view a meteor shower on October 9th, 1946—observed the passage of a strange structure in the sky. With the craft still in view, Probert phoned Layne, who encouraged him to establish telepathic communication with this weird flying machine. 1
After the sighting, Probert told a local reporter:
“The strange machine is called the Kareeta. It is attracted at this time because the earth is emitting a column of light which makes it easier to approach. The machine is powered by people possessing a very advanced knowledge of anti-gravity forces. It has 10,000 parts, a small but very powerful motor operating by electricity, and moving the wings, and an outer structure of light balsam wood, coated with an alloy. The people are nonaggressive and have been trying to contact the earth for many years. They have very light bodies. They fear to land, but would be willing to meet a committee of scientists at an isolated spot, or on a mountain top.” 2
Probert channeled The Inner Circle, a group of ascended masters who were in contact with entities known as the Ethereans who visited Earth in Ether Ships from the fourth dimension. The Ethereans—according to Probert—were able to “mat” and “demat” (materialize and dematerialize) as a means to enter and depart the Earth plane by lowering or raising their vibrational levels. Ether Ships, as would be expected, came from a place called Etheria which was “Along side, inside, outside of our world.” All of this is explained (more or less!) in Meade Layne’s The Ether Ship Mystery And Its Solution (1950).
Layne was among the first—if not the first—to propose the interdimensional theory when most contactees were content with Venusians sporting long, blond hair and mouthing syrupy New Age platitudes. It wasn’t until a couple of decades later that the interdimensional theory started to gain traction from cutting edge ufologists like Jacques Vallee and John Keel.
1 Tumminia, Diana G., 2007. Alien Worlds: Social and Religious Dimensions of Extraterrestrial Contact. Syracuse University Press.
2 Layne, Meade. 1972. The Coming of the Guardians. BSRA.
Photos of little green (or silver) men have long been a fixture in ufology and, like everything else, these artifacts get dusted off and trotted out after a period of time has elapsed and run through the grinder again. One such retread that has continued to make the rounds—decade after decade—is a photo that first surfaced in the German newspaper Neue Illustrierte on April 1st, 1950, with the title “Der Mars-Mensch” which showed a strange looking little feller apparently from another planet—Mars, in this case. The accompanying article claimed that the Martian had been in a saucer crash that occurred in “Death Valley.”
A few days later, Neue Illustrierte copped that the Martian story was an April Fool’s prank, but that didn’t stop the photo from spreading through the UFO subculture in the years to follow. Since then the photo—sometimes referred to as “Silverman”—has appeared in numerous UFO books, often including the false narrative that it depicted an alien who had survived a saucer crash.
Saucer scholar Isaac Koi (www.isaackoi.com) compiled a timeline of the Silverman photo and the publications in which it appeared. The first book to feature this freaky photo was Major Donald Keyhoe’s Flying Saucers from Outer Space (1953). Keyhoe described it as “two men in trench coats, each holding an arm of a queer, shiny figure about three feet high. Two girls standing nearby seemed to be awestruck by the little man…Eyewitness G-Man McKennerich, from Phoenix, reports “I was astounded by the importance of this great moment. For the first time I was seeing a being from another world. At the same time I was equally amazed by the desperation of this Aluminum Man. His body was covered with a shiny metal foil. The observatory in Phoenix presumes this is for protection from cosmic rays…”
Conflicting narratives surround the Silverman photo, some of which identified the trench-coated gents as U.S. government agents (G-Men), while other accounts described them as German scientists, and that “Silverman” was not necessarily silver-skinned, but outfitted in some sort of aluminum spaceman suit.
In Space-Craft from Beyond Three Dimensions (1959), W. Gordon Allen referenced that the creature in the Silverman photo had crawled out of a crashed saucer:
A “saucer crewman” very much like the moon man (or spirit) described by Swedenborg in his writings about the inhabitants of different planets of the solar system…This photograph is from Germany (note trench coats and North European types), but the “saucer crewman” is from a UFO that crashed near Mexico City; the corpses were sent to Germany for study…
In 1967, a concerned citizen sent a copy of the Silverman photo to FBI headquarters in D.C. inquiring if the trench-coated men were FBI agents, to which J. Edgar Hoover responded: “I can assure you the photograph you mentioned does not represent employees of this Bureau.”
Most recently, Harold Povenmire in UFO’s and Alien Abduction Phenomena: A Scientific Analysis (2016) published a colorized version of the Silverman photo as the real deal, although what “scientific analysis” he conducted is unclear. Thanks to Povenmire, this new iteration of the Silverman photo soon began worming its way through social media, as a new generation of believers clicked and shared to their heart’s content.
In 1963, Wes Bateman—a self-described “Telepath for the Confederation of Worlds”—initiated communications with an extraterrestrial brain trust known as “Outer State.” Soon after, he and his wife Jo-Nell founded Mental Investigations of New Dimensions (M.I.N.D.) based out of their bungalow in Hollywood, California.
M.I.N.D.’s main mission was to announce that mass saucer landings were forthcoming and to prepare mankind for this eventual ET-human hookup. The Batemans appeared on radio and TV programs where they predicted specific times and places where the flying saucers would appear. Some of these predictions apparently came true—at least according to signed witness statements produced by the Batemans.
During the mid-1960s—according to Bateman—he became a major source of inspiration for the producers of Star Trek, and in particular Gene L. Coon, who along with other Star Trek writers attended Bateman’s UFO lectures and cribbed ideas he discussed such as wormholes and warp drives (not to mention the “Prime Directive”) and incorporated these concepts into the Star Trek television series. 1
1 The Jerry Pippin Show. “Wes Bateman Memorial, 3-11-2009.”
Bateman,Wes. 1993. Knowledge From The Stars. Light Technology Publications.
In 1966, a sharp-dressed, handsome young fellow going by the name of Mel Noel made a splash on the east coast saucer circuit when he checked into a luxury hotel with a pair of stunning ladies on either arm and began wining and dining influential magazine editors and news reporters, recruiting them for a prospective flying saucer flight to the stars.
According to the dashing Mr. Noel, the saucer was scheduled to land on the set of the Jackie Gleason television show in Florida, and those interested would have to apply for a space passport. 1 It was around the time of this supposed flying saucer trip that Noel launched the “Ufology Research Institute” that—according to Don Dornan, a reporter for Time Magazine—was a scam to lure investors to pony up for a phony flying saucer trip.
Among other whoppers, Noel claimed the acquaintance of a mysterious “Mr. Genovese” who had been part of a team of scientists that had worked with Guglielmo Marconi developing a “death ray” during World War II. While still in the development stage, Marconi and his group allegedly demonstrated this death ray to Benito Mussolini, and of course Mussolini was smitten with it and wanted it for his very own. When the Italian dictator demanded they fork over the ray gun or else, Marconi refused and soon ended up dead. Afterwards, the rest of the scientists fled Italy with their death ray blueprints and resurfaced five years later at a secret UFO base in Argentina where they were supposedly working with some blond ETs who had agreed to provide a flying saucer ride from Los Angeles to Mexico in ten seconds flat.
It didn’t take Don Dornan long to figure out that Noel was running a saucer scam, and when he threatened to expose him in a Time Magazine article, Noel told investors that Dornan was a dastardly CIA agent who had sabotaged the forthcoming saucer flight, causing its cancellation. 2
Afterwards, Noel faded from the ufological landscape only to re-emerge in a chapter of Timothy Good’s Above Top Secret (1988) where he rolled out many of the same claims that had previously appeared in The Mel Noel Story: The Inside Story of the U.S. Air Force Secrecy on UFOs (1967). As the “story” goes, Noel allegedly served in an Air Force unit during the 1950s involved in top secret UFO photo recon flights, all of which Don Dornan had long ago debunked but nonetheless ufology has a short memory about such things, and so Noel again resuscitated the story for a while in the early ‘90s with an appearance on a Fox Network UFO special. Not long after this appearance, UFO Magazine ran an exposé on Noel, after which he made himself suddenly scarce again.
For more saucy saucer tales just like this, check out “A” is for Adamski: The Golden Age of the UFO Contactees available where ever internet books are sold.
1 Keel, John. 1988. Disneyland of the Gods. AMOK Press.
2 “The Mel Noel Story” Don Ecker, UFO Magazine. Vol.7, No. 3, 1992.
Here’s a UFO-ish Sci-Fi song I recorded several years ago that appeared on my album Psychedelic Secret Agent.
I dreamt I saw a ship
In a sea of stars
A journey far beyond
Jupiter and Mars
Like sailors on the sea
Searching for new lands
Sailing through the stars
Beyond the sight of Man
In rocket ships of chrome and steel
With visions in their eyes
Of future planets and bright suns
Shining in the sky
Beyond the stench of planets burned
By Mars, the God of War
Leaving behind the blood and tears
Of all that came before
Aboard a ship of dreams
In a sea of fears
With visions of a new lands
Whispering in their ears
I dreamt I saw a ship
In a sea of space
A journey far beyond
This dying human race
Like sailors on the sea
Searching for new lands
Sailing through the stars
Beyond the sight of Man
Like sailors on the sea
Into the unknown
Sailing through deep space
A million miles from home
On March 2, 1965, a 66-year-old retired longshoreman named John Reeves was out snake hunting one afternoon in the scrub flats near his home in Brooksville, Florida, when he came upon a landed saucer that was “bluish green and reddish purple,” resting on four legs and roughly 30’ in diameter. As Reeves cautiously approached the craft, he encountered what appeared to be the pilot, a “robot-like” creature with a domed space helmet. After they stared down each other for a minute or so, the robo-creature pulled out a space camera, held it up to its dome and clicked, followed by a blinding flash. A startled Reeves turned to dash away, and in so doing became tangled up in a bush, stumbled, and fell to the ground, dropping his eye glasses.
The space robot—who it turns out wasn’t such a bad guy after all—bent over and retrieved the glasses, handing them to Reeves. The robot then rode an escalator like staircase back up into his ship and:
“A lot of little blades around the rim of the saucer started to move unison like the slats of a venetian blind. They opened and closed, then the rim started going around counterclockwise. It made a whooshing and rumbling sound as it speeded up its spinning. The staircase pulled up inside…Then the four stilts or legs retracted, and the saucer went straight up with that whooshing sound. I watched, and it was out of sight in less than 10 seconds in the cloudless sky.” 1
After the saucer zoomed away, Reeves examined the landing area and discovered a set of the boot prints, in addition to “two sheets of strong but very thin tissue, unlike anything I’d ever touched before. Both were covered with strange writings or marks that looked like Chinese.”
The following day, Reeves appeared on St. Petersburg radio station WFFB to share his amazing story. Afterwards, he met with Air Force investigators who accompanied him to the saucer site where he directed them to the robot’s boot prints. At this time, Reeves turned over the strange papers to the Air Force officers for analysis. Reeves later claimed that when the papers were returned, the Air Force pulled the old switcheroo, substituting fake papers for the real ones. The Project Blue Book Report stated that:
“Two papers that contained unreadable hieroglyphics were reportedly dropped by an occupant of the spacecraft. An analysis was made of these papers by the Institute of Paper Chemistry in Appleton, Wisconsin. This analysis indicated that the paper is composed of fibers which are common worldwide. The fiber composition corresponds to that used in lens and stencil papers. The hieroglyphics on one of the papers was deciphered by simple substitution and was determined to be the work of an amateur. The deciphered hieroglyphics read as follows: ‘Planet Mars—Are you coming home soon—We miss you very much—Why did you stay away too long?’ Since no other implications were apparent, it was not feasible for the Air Force to expend further time and money in deciphering the second sheet. Based on the above, it is the opinion of the Air Force that an attempt was made to perpetrate a hoax.” 2
On August 6, 1968, Reeves came across another landed saucer, but this time instead of a robot creature, he encountered a crew of beautiful space people, tall and thin with porcelain skin who informed him that they came from planet Moniheya, which we Earthlings know as Venus. The Moniheyans were outfitted in tight-fitting jumpsuits that accentuated their trim, thirty something hot looking bods. (Reeves later learned that his space friends were actually much older than they looked!) On this same occasion, Reeves was treated to a trip to the dark side of the moon, which transpired over the course of six hours. He described the inside of the spaceship as a glass room full of instruments with three-dimensional TV screens that were used for navigational purposes.
While moon-traipsing, Reeves scooped up a handful of lunar dust and poured it into a medicine bottle to smuggle home with him, as well as a large moon rock that he stuffed into his trousers. (“Well, hello there, Earthling. Are you just happy to see me or is that a moon rock in your pocket?”) However, Reeves never showed any of this moon dust to the authorities back on Earth because he was worried it would be confiscated in the same manner as his alien papers.
On another trip, Reeves visited Moniheya, which included viewing such natural wonders as two suns, a pink sea (with Loch Ness type monsters) and blue rain. Reeves spoke of two amazing modes of public transportation he encountered, one of which was moving sidewalks, and the other rockets that cruised around just above the ground, kind of like Volkswagens with wings.
While there, his space friends awarded him the official flag of Moniheya, which like his precious moon dust Reeves decided to keep locked away in a safety deposit box, only showing a few select Earth friends on rare occasions, although he did make a duplicate of the flag which he hung on a wall in his home for visitors to admire.
Reeves became known as “the Brooksville spaceman.” He would often set up a stand at the local shopping mall to show off his display of UFO photographs and news clippings. Reeves gained the reputation as a kind hearted fellow, who for many years ran a trailer park where he would feed people down on their luck or let them slide on rent if times were tight.
As a monument to his outer space friends, Reeves erected a full sized model of the Moniheyan spaceship in his front-yard with a plaque that read: “The spaceship that took John Reeves to planet Moniheya, millions and millions of miles from planet Earth, landed here October 5, 1968.” As Douglas Curran wrote in In Advance of the Landing: Folk Concepts of Outer Space:
“Harassed by vandals and county tax collectors, Reeves sold his property in 1980 to the state, which razed his house and UFO monument. Letters of protest poured in from throughout Florida objecting to the ‘desecration of John Reeves’ expression of hope.’ Now eighty-six years old, Reeves lives in a trailer on a side street in Brooksville. His newspaper clippings are kept in an old suitcase that he hauls out for anyone who wants to see. A dog-eared book contains the autographs of people who came to see his UFO monument, among them Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin, Pat Boone, and Tuesday Weld.” 3
For more amazing saucer stories, pick up a copy of “A” is for Adamski: The Golden Age of the UFO Contactees available now while supplies last!
1 Clark, Jerome. 1998, The UFO Encyclopedia: the phenomenon from the beginning. 2nd ed. Detroit: Omni Graphics. (Pg. 162)
3 Curran, Douglas. 2001. In Advance of the Landing: Folk Concepts of Outer Space. New York: Abbeville Press. (Pg. 110)
In 1947—while working as a sign painter in Long Beach, California—Allen Noonan was purportedly transported up into a Galactic Mothership operated by Extra Territorial Intelligence (ETI). At this time, Noonan was selected to fulfill the role of New World Comforter and human channel for the Everlasting Gospel of the Space Brothers. On direction from on high, he changed his name to Allen Michael, which you must admit is a lot cooler name than Allen Noonan. 1
In 1956, during a visit to Giant Rock, Michael was treated to a second ET experience when a flying saucer appeared with three beings named Favelron, Celeste, and Jameston, who—after introducing themselves—threw Allen kisses before accelerating away in a flash of light.
During the 1960s, Michael started a communal experiment called “The One World Family Commune”. In 1967, Michael’s commune opened a vegetarian restaurant called Here and Now in San Francisco. In 1970, the group moved across the bay to Berkeley and opened a second restaurant/co-op called One World Family Natural Food Center. It was there that Michael started once-a-week public channeling sessions with the space brothers and on one occasion several members of his group joined him on a trip to the planet Altamira. LSD sessions apparently played a large role in these experiences, which explains a lot. At the 2007 Roswell UFO Festival, Allen Michael’s son, Dennis Noonan, informed me that during the 1970s the group conducted successful UFO “summoning rituals” at Mount Tamalpais under the influence of acid.
In 1970, the FBI arrested Michael for selling eighth of an ounce of marijuana and he was sentenced to six months in prison. After his release, Michael moved his gang of acid tripping space cadets to a mansion in Stockton, California. During this period, the group explored the ideal of “Uni-Communism” promoting monogamous love, natural food, and vegetarianism.
As a further means of promoting the ET message, Michael founded the “Utopian Synthesis Party…the party to end all political parties and have a real party!” as part of a presidential run launched for the 1980 election. (Your humble author, who wasn’t thrilled with either candidate that year, Carter or Reagan, actually voted for Michael in the general election as a write-in candidate. I shit you not.)
Michael and his One World Family even tried their hand at rock music with an LP entitled Quasar. According to my esteemed contactee research colleague, Greg Bishop, writing at the WFMU blog:
“In 1976, they went into the studio to record music based on Michael’s space age philosophy. Since it was the mid-1970s, the music was ‘white people funk.’
This is most evident on the first track ‘Share the World’ which opens with a standard wah-wah guitar, and assures us that ‘We can all share the world/ It’s the grooviest thing.’ The second track, ‘Sound’ is the standout. Michael riffs on the word in glorious echoplex, obviously delighted with studio effects and what was being done with his voice. ‘My words go forth to fulfill the things for which they are sent…Call forth those who travel on instant, weightless, timeless lightbeams of sound…SOUND…SOOUUNNDD!!’ ‘Man and Woman’ appears to be standard new age fare glorifying the roles of the sexes, accompanied by an inexplicable accordion intro and break. On ‘One World Bill of Rights,’ Michael’s (or the Space People’s) words are read by a young woman. Perhaps Michael thought that people would be more apt to listen if a female voice read the new plan for a perfect society…”
During the 1990s, Michael hosted a public access TV show called Galactic Messenger. His group maintains a website at www.galacticmessenger.com
1 Allen, Michael. 1977. UFO-ETI World Master Plan, Santa Rosa, California: Starmast Publications.
In May 1957, Helen and Betty Mitchell of St. Louis, Missouri, were approached at a coffee shop by two men named Elen and Zelas who said they were from Mars. The manly Martian duo further informed the Mitchell sisters that they’d been monitoring them since birth (for a special mission on Earth!) 1
At first, the Mitchell sisters were a tad suspicious, but when the two purported men from Mars recounted several childhood incidents that had occurred to the Mitchell sisters—that no one could have possibly known about outside of immediate family members—Betty and Helen became suddenly convinced that the mystery men were on the level and most assuredly from the red planet!
Shortly after their initial encounter, Helen and Betty returned to the coffee shop to meet again with Elen and Zelas and at that time were given instructions on how to build an advanced communication device to remain in constant contact with a Martian mothership piloted by Commander Alna.
In November, Helen was taken aboard said mothership and “told the magnetism of the craft would not affect my watch since it would be balanced by the magnetism of my own body. However, while in the mother craft the magnetism of it caused my watch to stop, and it was de-magnetized in a small machine before I left.” It’s the little details that matter. After Helen got the whole magnetism thing figured out, the Martians shared with her advanced scientific information and then demonstrated a space-age version of shuffleboard controlled by psychokinetic powers.
In the aftermath of Helen’s excellent mothership adventure, the Mitchell sisters maintained communications with their Martian friends, which included information on a wide variety of stuff they were instructed to pass on to the people of Earth. Martians—like their Venusian counterparts—apparently spent a lot of time obsessing over atomic bombs and how the people of Earth might end up doing to our current civilization what the Lemurians did to theirs. (Or to quote George Adamski’s friend Orthon: “Boom Boom!”)
Beaming with the space brother’s message, the Mitchell sisters made the scene at saucer clubs and UFO conventions, where they preached to the contactee choir about atom bombs and Atlantis and the dawning of a new age where mankind needed to get its act together and transcend our war-like ways.
At a meeting of the Kansas City Saucer Club, Helen Mitchell shared her knowledge of interplanetary languages by presenting this example: “Me! Bez de Son. Ras, de ta ol de leon qua sone twila urn bon-ta-bon Zabat dar um ta daga de tra-ce-te de tai o um bont. Zabat rma zabat ott tar ma qua zabat gavon-ta-bon um-quat que. Ban gav ban um ta ban ta zabat, nas qua pa qua zabat ta ol dat urn ta rama. Mel Bez de son.”
According to Helen, the above translated to: “Peace be with you. Beloved, in the light of mind evolveness one chooses to serve, and so doing turns the forces of Love in this attraction toward him. When searching is difficult it proves advancement, for adversaries must work strongly to prevent involvement. Let darkness fade to the nothingness that it is, not potential or manifesting as is the light which takes its place. Peace be with you.” Unfortunately the translated message seemed almost as incomprehensible as the un-translated version.
In 1965, the Mitchell sisters turned up missing, which suggested to some they’d been taken on an extended trip to Mars. 2
For more fun stuff like this check out “A” is for Adamski: The Golden Age of the UFO Contactees.
1 Mitchell, Helen & Betty. 1959. The Space People We Met: The Story of the Mitchell Sisters. Clarksburg,WV: Saucerian Books
2 Beckley, Timothy Green. On The Trail Of The Flying Saucers, June 1969 issue.