Sep 07, 2022 I Nick Redfern

The Real Reasons Why Most Ufologists Are Watched By Government: Not What You Think

It's a fact that over the decades more than a few people in Ufology have been watched by governments all around the world. And, there are more than a few of those ufologists who conclude officialdom is watching them because they're getting too close to "the truth." Maybe, on some occasions, that's true. Most of the time, though, it's all down to politics. As you'll see now. We'll begin with the most famous - and controversial - Contactee, George Adamski. As evidence of this, close to 400-pages of FBI documentation on Adamski have now been declassified. An FBI document of May 28, 1952 reveals that Bureau agents had a credible source who, back in 1950 – no less than three years before Flying Saucers Have Landed was published - had shared with them certain disturbing data on Adamski. The FBI took – and to this day continues to take – careful steps to ensure that its source’s name would not be compromised. What we do know, is that the FBI’s informant claimed to have seen Adamski in the presence of a group of Russians in downtown Los Angeles, California, on several occasions in 1950. Discussing politics, no less. Unfortunately, the available, censored papers don’t specify where exactly in L.A. the meetings occurred, or under what particular circumstances. Nor do we know who was responsible for the source of the story. Also, we have to wonder how the source was so absolutely certain that the group were Russians. Was he or she conversant in Russian? Did the source recognize the accent? Were they themselves Russian, too? If so, what were they doing in Los Angeles?

(Nick Redfern) Soviets, Space Brothers and Russia

Of greater concern, however, was the fact that Adamski’s followers - which reached six figures in number after his 1953 book, Flying Saucers Have Landed was published - were hanging on his every word. That included those words which were relative to the way of the life of the Russians. The FBI file continues: "Adamski, during this conversation, made the prediction that Russia will dominate the world and we will then have an era of peace for 1,000 years. He stated that Russia already has the atom bomb and the hydrogen bomb and that the great earthquake, which was reported behind the Iron Curtain recently, was actually a hydrogen bomb explosion being tried out by the Russians. Adamski states this 'earthquake' broke seismograph machines and he added that no normal earthquake can do that. The FBI continued: "Adamski stated that within the next twelve months, San Diego will be bombed. Adamski stated that it does not make any difference if the United States has more atom bombs than Russia inasmuch as Russia needs only ten atom bombs to cripple the United States by placing these simultaneously on such spots as Chicago and other vital centers of this country [italics mine]. Adamski further stated the United States today is in the same state of deterioration as was the Roman Empire prior to its collapse and it will fall just as the Roman Empire did. He stated the Government in this country is a corrupt form of government and capitalists are enslaving the labor. It's no surprise that the FBI was concerned that Adamski was using the UFO phenomenon to spread communism. Now, moving on...

Now, to the 1960s and the Aetherius Society, one of the most known UFO organizations of that era. So far as can be determined, George King and his Aetherius Society did not attract the secret attention of the world of officialdom until 1957, specifically in May of that year. It was on the 26th of the month that an eye-catching article appeared in the pages of a weekly U.K.-based publication called The Empire News. In an article titled “Flying Saucer Clubs Probe: Peace Messages ‘from outer space,’” the following was revealed: “‘Warnings’ from outer space against Britain’s H-Bomb tests published in a flying saucer magazine take a similar line to Moscow-inspired propaganda. The ‘warning’ – in a special issue of the magazine – is being scrutinized by Scotland Yard’s Special Branch [the origins of which date back to 1883 and which, in 2006, was absorbed into the Metropolitan Police Service’s Counter Terrorism Command]. It is suspected that a number of flying saucer clubs – and some spiritualists as well – are unwittingly being used by the communists. The warning appears in the magazine of the Aetherius Society, which circulates widely among flying saucer enthusiasts.”

(Nick Redfern) The Aetherius Society

Not only that, The Empire News revealed that George King had, as he put it, received a channeled message from advanced entities from the planet Mars. Its decidedly anti-nuke message went as follows: “Have not the latest peace moves come from Russia? You in the West blame Russia and say it is necessary to make these weapons to protect yourselves from them. You in Britain are in a favorable position to show the larger countries the way.”  It’s hardly surprising that a body like Special Branch would sit up and take notice of (a) this development in the world of the Aetherius Society and (b) the pro-Russian words of the Martians. King wasted no time in contacting Scotland Yard, demanding to know why, exactly, he and his group were now under surveillance by government authorities. Well, given both the timeframe and the climate, it should have been glaringly obvious: the authorities saw King’s words (and those of his claimed Martian friends) as nothing less than outright propaganda designed to make the U.K. government look bad and the Russians look good.

Gerald K. Haines – in his position as the historian of the National Reconnaissance Office - wrote a paper titled “CIA’s Role in the Study of UFOs, 1947-90.” It’s now in the public domain, thanks to the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act. It can be read at the CIA’s website. Haines’ paper detailed the history of how, and why, the CIA became interested and involved in the phenomenon of UFOs. Although Haines covered a period of more than forty years, I will bring your attention to one particular section of his paper, which is focused on the 1970s-1980s. Haines wrote: “During the late 1970s and 1980s, the Agency continued its low-key interest in UFOs and UFO sightings. While most scientists now dismissed flying saucers reports as a quaint part of the 1950s and 1960s, some in the Agency and in the Intelligence Community shifted their interest to studying parapsychology and psychic phenomena associated with UFO sightings. CIA officials also looked at the UFO problem to determine what UFO sightings might tell them about Soviet progress in rockets and missiles and reviewed its counterintelligence aspects.”

The Soviets, then, were camouflaging their secret rocket tests by spreading false and fantastic tales of UFOs. Haines also noted something that is absolutely key to the story that this book tells and particularly so with regard to the Majestic 12 papers: “Agency analysts from the Life Science Division of OSI and OSWR officially devoted a small amount of their time to issues relating to UFOs. These included counterintelligence concerns that the Soviets and the KGB were using U.S. citizens and UFO groups [italics mine] to obtain information on sensitive U.S. weapons development programs (such as the Stealth aircraft), the vulnerability of the U.S. air-defense network to penetration by foreign missiles mimicking UFOs, and evidence of Soviet advanced technology associated with UFO sightings.

One of those who, in the 1950s, took a deep interest in the Russian connection to the flying saucer phenomenon was the late Jim Moseley, who died in 2012 at the age of eighty-one, and whose opinions on George Adamski we have already digested. For the ufologically-minded, Moseley was without a doubt most associated with his highly entertaining newsletter, Saucer Smear. It was a semi-regular, self-published collection of Moseley’s comments, rants and observations on the UFO research scene. Moseley was someone who, in later years, focused just about all of his time and effort on poking fun at ufologists whenever and wherever he could. He did so in a very witty fashion, too. I should stress, though, that Moseley did have a real, deep interest in the UFO phenomenon itself. And a firm belief in it, too. Right up until the time of his death. What Moseley found out, as he traveled from New York to California and back again, was a significantly varied and entertaining collection of eccentrics, liars, nut-jobs, and – to Moseley’s relief - genuinely interesting eyewitnesses to strange, aerial craft in the skies of 1950s America. Altogether, Moseley interviewed around one hundred people, on a clunky, big recorder, which was no mean feat. The list of interviewees included George Adamski himself and Frank Scully, the man whose 1950 book, Behind the Flying Saucers, led to Silas Newton’s secret recruitment by agents of the U.S. government, as revealed by the CIA’s late Karl Pflock.

Moseley’s coast-to-coast trip was funded by a guy named Ken Krippine. He was a somewhat shady, dubious character who had suggested that if he, Moseley, would do all of the research, then Krippine would write a book on Moseley’s UFO findings. The two would then split the profits right down the middle. Sounds good, right? Well, for a while, yes, it sounded very good. The proposed book, however, did not materialize; at least, not as Moseley and Krippine had originally planned things. No, it wasn’t due to the infernal intervention of the mysterious Men in Black. Rather, it was all due to a distinct lack of interest on the part of just about every publisher that Moseley approached with his well-thumbed and increasingly-creased and crumpled manuscript. Moseley was not one to be daunted, however. Years later – decades, in fact – he put just about all of his old notes and audio-recordings to good use in his hilarious autobiography, Shockingly Close to the Truth, which was written with Karl Pflock. 

It was in 1955 that Moseley, in his own words, “had fallen under the influence” of a man named Charles Samwick. The latter was someone who, before retiring from the U.S. Army, worked in the hall-and-mirrors-filled world of counter-intelligence, which included keeping a very close eye on what the Russians were said to be up to inside the United States. Not only that, Moseley was able to determine that Samwick had, in some hazy, unclear fashion, ties to the CIA’s Robertson Panel and had once helped to bust a Soviet spy-ring in Washington, D.C. Samwick and Moseley soon became good buddies, with Moseley somewhat dazzled and disturbed by one particular thing that Samwick had to say. He told Moseley: “The Communist Party has planted an agent in every civilian saucer club in the United States.” 

Now, let’s focus on Truman Bethurum. He was a contactee who had a decade or so of fame in the arena of the Space Brothers. His 1954 book, Aboard a Flying Saucer, remains a Contactee classic of its kind. Jim Moseley got to know Bethurum well. In the 1950s, Bethurum claimed flirty, late-night close encounters with a beautiful alien space-babe named Aura Rhanes. “Tops in shapeliness and beauty” was the way Bethurum described “the captain” of the ship. The locations of all the action were almost always isolated areas of Nevada’s expansive Mormon Mountains. Most ufologists of the day, very understandably, dismissed Bethurum’s tales as fantasies run wild and free. It’s intriguing, however, to note the following words from Bethurum:

"Two or three fellows who had sons in Korea and who read a lot in the newspapers about the Communist underground in this country, were convinced in their own minds that I was, if making contact with anyone at all, making it with enemy agents [italics mine]. They even went so far as to tell me belligerently that they intended to get guns and follow me nights, and if they caught up me having intercourse with any people from planes, airships of any kind, they’d blast me and those people too.”  Was Aura Rhanes a figment of Bethurum’s imagination? Could she have been an alien? Might she have been one of those “enemy agents” to which Bethurum referred? A Russian plant seeking to manipulate the UFO scene? Taking into consideration all that we have learned so far, we should not dismiss the latter possibility out of hand. On a related matter, it’s worth noting that FBI records demonstrate that in December 1954, the Palm Springs Republican Club contacted the FBI to inquire if Bethurum might be guilty of “trying to put over any propaganda [italics mine].”

Now, with all of the above said, it's abundantly clear that government agencies, during the Cold War, were taking deep interest in Russia, Flying Saucers and communism - all in one. And it was for those reasons that files were opened on ufologists by the FBI. Not because of aliens.

Nick Redfern

Nick Redfern works full time as a writer, lecturer, and journalist. He writes about a wide range of unsolved mysteries, including Bigfoot, UFOs, the Loch Ness Monster, alien encounters, and government conspiracies. Nick has written 41 books, writes for Mysterious Universe and has appeared on numerous television shows on the The History Channel, National Geographic Channel and SyFy Channel.

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