Roswell has earned a place in UFO history, the name of George Adamski (left) has also become
synonymous with the UFO phenomena. An uneducated Polish immigrant to the United
States, Adamski claimed to have seen his first ‘spacecraft’ in 1946, and then a
large fleet of them (around 184) in 1947.
Then on 20th November 1952, according to Adamski, he
and six friends were driving near Desert Centre, California, when they spotted a
cigar shaped craft settling gently down on the ground about a mile from the
road. Adamski approached the craft and was allegedly greeted by an
alien with shoulder-length blond hair and wearing what appeared to be a
ski-suit. What made Adamski’s account seem plausible to many people was that his
six travelling companions apparently witnessed the event.
When Adamski detailed his experiences in a book entitled ‘Flying
Saucers Have Landed’ he ensured the work contained photographs of the
witnesses’ testimonies which had been signed before notaries public.
They read "We, the undersigned, do solemnly state that we have
read the account herein of the personal contact between George Adamski and a man
from another world, brought here in his Flying Saucer "Scout Ship". And that we
were a party to, and witnesses to the event as herein recounted."
Over the years Adamski claimed these alien contacts developed
and he was taken on trips to Mars, Jupiter, Saturn and Venus. On one of these
excursions Adamski claimed to have been shown the far side of the Moon where he
gazed upon "cities, forests, lakes, snow capped mountains … even people
strolling around the sidewalks." When the Soviets released photographs of the
far side of the Moon in 1959, Adamski merely claimed that the Soviets had
retouched the prints "in order to deceive the United States." Conspiracy
theorists make similar claims today regarding official photographs.
Clearly Adamski had issues, yet there is a further intriguing
element to his apparently wild story. He died on 23rd April 1965, at
a time before his supporter’s illusions were shattered by the introduction of
cold facts, yet he gave the following account of his first so-called space
flight in 1955, years before Yuri Gagarin became the first known human to travel
in space on 12th April 1961. Adamski claims he was offered the chance to see what space
really looked like from a spacecraft. He stated: "I soon forgot my
disappointment as I looked out. I was amazed to see the background of space is
totally dark. Yet there were manifestations taking place all around us, as
though billions of fireflies were flicking everywhere, moving in all directions
as fireflies do."
Compare these words with those used by astronaut John Glenn
(right) to describe elements of his flight on 20th February 1962.
"The biggest surprise of the flight occurred at dawn … when I glanced back
through the window my initial reaction was that the spacecraft had tumbled and
that I could see nothing but stars through the window. I realised, however, that
I was still in the normal altitude. The spacecraft was surrounded by luminous
particles. These particles were a light yellowish green colour. It was as if the
spacecraft were moving through a field of fireflies." (10)
Whilst capturing the public imagination to some degree, the UFO
phenomenon has never really been taken seriously – at least officially. It is
often dismissed as a fascination of the ‘lunatic fringe’. It is true that since
the end of the Second World War the ‘UFO circuit’ has played host to
information, disinformation, theory and counter theory, all against a supposed
backdrop of alleged governmental conspiracy. Yet to ‘throw the baby out with the
bath water’ is to miss out on an intriguing insight into what taking place on
the world stage in the latter half of the Twentieth Century.
Events that are all richly featured in an incident that
occurred on 21st June 1947, three days before Kenneth Arnold’s
‘sighting’: An incident that occurred in Puget Sound harbour, between Tacoma and
Seattle, Washington State, US. One Harold A Dahl, his teenage son Charles, two other
crewmembers (and the family dog) had been patrolling for salvage logs when they
saw "six huge donut shaped objects in the sky". The objects appeared to be about
100 feet in diameter and of a bright metallic appearance. Dahl ran his boat
ashore on Maury Island (left) and started taking photographs of the objects.
Five of the six
objects were circulating around the sixth which appeared to be in trouble. Then
there was an explosion and this sixth vessel fell Earthwards. The craft
discharged a quantity of metallic residue before seemingly recovering and
disappearing with the five other discs. Flakes of similar material to aluminium
and some additional material (which resembled cooled lava) fell around the
on-lookers. Some fragments hit their boat causing damage, one fragment hit
Dahl’s son and another killed the family dog (16).