God’s Celestial Ambassador:
The Life and Times of Dr. Frank E. Stranges (Part XVII)
By Dr. Raymond A. Keller, author of the international awards-winning Venus Rising book series, available on amazon.com, while supplies last
Peter Kor was the scientific consultant for Raymond Palmer’s classic Flying Saucers magazine (Amherst, Wisconsin), and a good friend of Dr. Frank E. Stranges. Like many ufologists of the late 1950s and early 1960s, Kor was looking for a “middle ground” between the true believers and adamant skeptics of the reality of the elusive flying saucers.
Great Battle in Ufology
To Dr. Frank E. Stranges and many others in the UFO community back in 1959, it had become apparent that a great battle had been raging between the true believers in flying saucers, such as manifested in the likes of Major Donald E. Keyhoe, USMC, Retired, and the membership of his UFO research organization, the National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena (NICAP), vs. a small but persistent group of skeptics mostly centered in the scientific establishment enthroned in academia. Believers like Keyhoe were quick to point out that many UFO reports and physical traces prove that alien intelligences of some sort are in our midst, visiting our world in their spacecraft that we Earthlings generally refer to as “flying saucers.” On the other hand, the skeptics maintained that even the best reports could be explained in non-sensational ways and that the physical traces are too mundane to support any conclusion of alien intervention.
Peter Kor, a science writer for some of Raymond Palmer’s magazines Flying Saucers (Amherst, Wisconsin) and Fate (Chicago, Illinois), opined that, “What both sides seem to have lost sight of is that something extraordinary has been happening with respect to this entire phenomenon. Before proceeding further in this matter, it must be determined whether flying saucers exist or not.” Certainly, the believers participating in this debate back in the late 1950s were greatly outnumbering those in the ranks of the skeptics. Nevertheless, it seemed that the skeptics had gotten much the better of the argument, pinpointing inconsistencies in the extraterrestrial hypothesis and drawing attention to the discrepancy between the countless “encounters” with flying saucers and the lack of definitive evidence for the same. Overall, in about 90 percent of the UFO cases investigated by the skeptics, they seem to have done a far more thorough and better job, i.e., they were able to demonstrate how seemingly solid cases for the UFO could be demolished or called into question by diligent detective work and vigorous analysis. The remaining ten percent in the “unidentified” category could then aptly be dismissed for the simple “lack of sufficient information.”
This trend was disturbing to Dr. Frank E. Stranges. Being a member of NICAP since its inception and a friend of Major Donald E. Keyhoe, the evangelist had a vested interest in counting himself a “true believer.” Over time, however, he came to view the response of some of his fellow believers as “almost pitiful.” Dr. Stranges regularly communicated with Raymond Palmer and the staff at Flying Saucers magazine, keeping them posted on his own investigations and appearances on the lecture circuit around the country in promoting his then most recent book, Flying Saucerama (New York City, New York: Vantage Press, 1959). Dr. Stranges was aware that Peter Kor was a friend of both the prominent Southern California contactee George Adamski and the renowned Arizona astro-archaeologist Dr. George Hunt Williamson; and that Kor was the one responsible for bringing these two together, in the first place, for a lecture on flying saucers at the Masonic Temple in Cleveland, Ohio, back in the early 1950s, before Adamski and Williamson’s alleged encounter with the so-called Venusian cosmonaut Orthon outside of Desert Center, California, on 20 November 1952. Dr. Stranges wondered how Kor could stray so far from being an aficionado of Adamski and Williamson to apparently enlisting in the army of skeptics.
Therefore, Dr. Stranges, resident in Southern California, in a long-distance telephone conversation with Kor at his home in Northeast Ohio, inquired of this seeming change of opinion and received the following answer:
“They (the believers) merely reassert their faith and accuse the skeptics of bias or claim that they are in league with the government, establishment, or the devil, depending on their belief system.” Kor added that, “Not only haven’t they refuted the arguments of their opponents, but they have failed to grow intellectually. They have failed to grasp the implications of their belief and activity in the face of logic and evidence to the contrary.”
“Then you have switched sides and are now backing up the skeptics?” asked Dr. Stranges of Kor, an atomic scientist who once worked at Livermore Labs in California.
“Oh, not at all,” said Kor, further explaining that, “Whereas believers have suffered from a lack of rigor, skeptics have displayed a marked lack of vision. For although they have correctly concluded that flying saucers, as such, do not exist, they have not even begun to deal with the implications of the conclusion. To wit: If flying saucers do not exist, what are the causes, functions and possible consequences of the saucer claims and of the belief system those claims have created and nourished? Being a man of the cloth, Dr. Stranges, I am sure you can understand where I am going with this.”
Nature and Significance of the Saucer Mystery
In Peter Kor’s assessment of the phenomenon, neither the believers nor the skeptics grasped the true nature and significance of the flying saucer mystery. There was a definite failure on both sides of “thinking outside the box.” “The reason,” noted Kor, “is that both sides have shared the same basic framework of explanation. As that framework began to be proved inadequate, the skeptics thought the job was done and believers resorted to name calling and mysticism.” In pondering Kor’s analysis, Dr. Frank E. Stranges and other ufologists were coming to the conclusion that a new level of conceptualization of the flying saucers was needed in order to restart the process of resolving this issue. Dr. Stranges confided in Kor and Palmer that he was willing to temporarily set aside his emphasis on a purely extraterrestrial hypothesis in order to return to a more basic approach leading to an overall solution. Ufologists Palmer, the editor of Flying Saucers magazine, and Dr. Frank E. Stranges, the evangelist, theologian and private investigator, found themselves in agreement with Kor, the physicist, and his premise that a solution to the UFO enigma could be found through the “three-fold process of demonstration, revelation and comprehension.”
The demonstration mode of solution is proof through direct observation. This may come in many forms. A flying saucer might land in a public place, being witnessed by thousands of people, perhaps even being photographed or filmed. Perhaps government officials might even display the remains of a crashed disc, along with its pilot and other occupants. A contactee might turn up with an artifact that he or she brought back from a flying saucer or some kind of message that could be shown to be of a true alien origin. Maybe the United States or some foreign power will conduct a public test of an advanced aerospace vehicle, demonstrating how its flight characteristics and other capabilities played a major part in producing a plethora of flying saucer sightings. There might even be a laboratory where scientists are conducting experiments in inter-dimensionality, whereby the existence of a previously unseen realm, and lair for the flying saucers, has been revealed.
Peter Kor, when considering these various forms that the solution may take, astutely remarked that, “The observations that serve as the basis for the demonstration must satisfy the following requirements: First, the observations must be consensual. The observers must agree about what is observed, regardless of their beliefs. Second, the observations must be repeatable. What is observed must be available to the public at large, not to merely a few claimants during a one-time or otherwise restricted observation. Third, the observations must be substantial. What is observed must be sufficient to justify the nature of the solution claimed.”
Of course, to illustrate this last requirement, the mere claim by authorities that messages, photographs or devices displayed represent the activity of extraterrestrials would not be sufficient. “In such a case,” noted Kor, the issue would not be the existence of messages, photographs or devices. The issue would be the nature of such items; and it is that nature that would have to be demonstrated.”
I think of the ending of H. G. Wells’ The Time Machine (New York City, New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1895), where the time traveler, after visiting the far future, brings back to his own time and place strange flowers growing out of season and shows them to a group of scientists, explaining that it is his proof of having visited another time, but without showing them his invention or demonstrating how it works. The strange flowers did raise a lot of questions in the group, but most, apart from his closest friend, thought he was delusional. While he previously made a small model of his time machine disappear, those present simply dismissed it as a parlor trick.
Clearly then, the appeal of this kind of solution is its simplicity; demonstration is its own proof. One need only witness the demonstration to know the solution. The researchers of the UFO phenomenon concern themselves with field investigations and public relations (PR), on behalf of the organizations they represent. Their investigations are designed to find definitive, physical evidence, or to provide actual clues for establishing contact with the flying saucer occupants. The PR is also aimed at gaining public support for further inquiries that might lead to protests at pressuring the government to come forth with the definitive evidence that most of the believers are convinced that it possesses. For Peter Kor, the physicist, “The demonstration type of saucer solution assumes that flying saucers are what they appear from reports to be- extraordinary machines or phenomena. However,” he interjected, “if flying saucers do not exist, demonstration is impossible and the search for such a solution will be fruitless, as it has been for all of these years!”
Peter Kor, in working with serious researchers of the flying saucer enigma with veteran science and science fiction publisher, Raymond A. Palmer from Amherst Wisconsin, noted that once the investigator had inevitably given up on the demonstration approach in searching for a solution to this matter, the odds were good that he or she would resort to the revelation mode. “Basically,” stated Kor, “revelation substitutes intuition and conviction for reason and demonstration. Whereas the advocate of demonstration pursues facts and fragments, the seeker of revelation looks for signs and meanings.”
Of course, the underlying premise in the revelation attempt at a saucer solution is the assumption that flying saucers exist in some form that is not directly accessible to humankind. In cases where revelation is employed in seeking for answers, some mediator, such as an astral spirit or seer, i.e., a human being with an accelerated and/or altered consciousness, would be necessary to reveal that which is ordinally hidden from view, or occulted. Kor opined that, “Attempts to solve the saucer mystery by revelation might involve experiments in extrasensory perception (ESP), hypnosis, trance mediumship, hallucinogenic drugs, automatic art or writing, ritual magic or even intense religious experiences. Unfortunately, these methods cannot result in a bona fide solution. They produce changes in personality, not truths about reality. They are not geared to satisfying objective tests, but to meeting subjective needs. Those ‘researchers’ who pursue the revelation modus operandi may find a new identity, but they will not resolve the saucer mystery.”
Dr. Frank E. Stranges, being a minister of the gospel and familiar with religious experiences and manifestations common to the Pentecostal traditions in the Assembly of God Church in the United States, upon speaking with Peter Kor, came to the realization that there was a high degree of subjectivity in the revelation mode and that any framing of the flying saucer enigma in the context of this modality would require more than a personal testimony to convince any larger number of people of the veracity of the phenomenon, or its spiritual significance for humankind.
The atomic physicist Peter Kor now comes to the so-called “trump card” in the deck of saucer solutions, the comprehension mode. “Not only don’t the great majority of ‘researchers’ understand the nature and significance of this modus operandi, but few of them would be able to execute it if they did understand.
“Basically,” Kor explained, “comprehension is a proof by rational conceptualization. Comprehension is necessary whenever a happening or situation is not explainable in terms of immediate happenings or appearances. In such cases, observation must be augmented by conceptualization so as to bring the phenomena and facts involved within the range of predictability.
“Comprehension is a form of demonstration, whereas demonstration provides proof by direct observation, comprehension produces proof via indirect observation. To wit: Evidence leads to conceptualization which produces a new explanation that is then tested against future observations.”
As Peter Kor promulgated these three modes whereby the seeker of the flying saucer solution might pursue her or his quest, the Reverend Doctor Frank E. Stranges had reached a critical point in his career as a ufologist. It was time for a reassessment of his belief structure and a closer examination of those flying saucer and occupant cases that sparked his interest in the phenomenon.
God’s Celestial Ambassador:
The Life and Times of Dr. Frank E. Stranges (Part XVIII)
By Dr. Raymond A. Keller, author of the international awards-winning Venus Rising book series, available on amazon.com, while supplies last
In contemplating the establishment of a local UFO group in the Greater Los Angeles, California, area, Dr. Frank E. Stranges felt a certain “scientific decorum” would need to be maintained in order to create some semblance of credibility with the public at large.
Setting Up a UFO Research Group
Peter Kor, in countless articles in the paranormal publications edited by Raymond A. Palmer, firmly asserted that any comprehension of the saucer situation depended on the recognition of the following truths:
- The entire saucer mystery and the movement it has spawned are based solely on unsubstantiated claims.
- Not all claims are equal.
- The patterns in the evidence are more important than the details.
Dr. Frank E. Stranges, in his contemplation of starting his own UFO investigations group in Southern California, believed that adherence to these tenets by the membership would at least secure some degree of credibility for any organization that he would establish and move forward with.
For the rational researcher of unidentified aerial objects and associated phenomena, her or his principal task would be to account for the claims themselves and not for what such claims allegedly involve. What this means is that any focus on the “objects,” “humanoids,” or even “phenomena” should be assiduously avoided. The researcher that succumbs to this error is making an assumption for something that has clearly yet to be proved. Making such an assumption insinuates that what is claimed to exist actually does.
Physicist Peter Kor pointed out a unique paradox regarding the inequality of saucer claims, to wit:
“While most ‘researchers’ would agree with the statement that ‘Not all claims are equal,’ they would not base their agreement on the correct standard. They would say that the best reports are the ones that are the most sure- such as cases with many witnesses, trained observers, instrument detection, etc. Yet these are the very cases that are the least extraordinary. The most substantiated reports are the least significant in content; and the claims that are the most significant in content are the least substantiated. The best cases vis-à-vis the nature and importance of the saucer mystery are the ones with the most extraordinary content, not the ones with the most substantiation.”
What Kor is saying here is that ‘researchers,’ so-called, have missed a crucial point due largely to their preoccupation with the term “UFO” to describe what is “observed.” Literally, a UFO could be a light, shape or object that cannot be identified on the basis of an on-the-spot observation or after-the-fact information. However, the lack of identification is not proof that the thing observed is in any way extraordinary. In other words, the witness might not have observed accurately; or, the observation might have taken place in such a way or under such conditions as to mask the very characteristics that would have made identification easier.
Yes, in the ufology community, even today, we as ufologists have all come to the conclusion that the very term “UFO” is quite an ambiguous one. It distinguishes between those “objects” that can conveniently be explained as conventional or “natural” as opposed to those that simply cannot be explained in any sense whatsoever. However, it does nothing to distinguish between those “objects” that might turn out not to be extraordinary as opposed to those that really are.
Throughout the decade of the 1950s and into the early 1960s, the historical ufologist would have to admit that those UFO cases with the most extraordinary and significant content would be those purported to have taken place at the level of close encounters of the third kind, by the experiencers that have come to be known as the contactees. Peter Kor, in those instances where he was researching such cases, preferred to use the term “flying saucers” as a reference to the “probes” and “ships” as described by the contactees themselves, thus to distinguish these particular objects from the more mundane UFOs popping up so frequently in the more ambiguous reports. Whereas the eyes of those reporting UFOs generally could have tricked in so many ways, those who encounter flying saucers and/or their occupants would be considered to be too intimately involved in the experience, at that time largely landings and friendly contacts with mostly human-looking alien beings. These contactees, involved in so intense a contact, would most likely not be uncertain or hesitant to testify as to the reality of the phenomena they were experiencing, i.e., less likely to make innocent errors. “Thus,” in the estimation of Peter Kor, “a comprehension of the saucer situation rides on an explanation of the claims of visitation.”
Also important to Peter Kor were the patterns in the evidence for UFO and alleged alien encounters. He even felt that these patterns assumed a greater importance than the details in these cases. Back in the 1950s and early 1960s, most saucer investigators spent the majority of their time cataloging the specific features of particular sightings and encounters. Apart from Keyhoe’s NICAP, little if any effort was being made to divine the patterns that such features defined. Dr. Frank E. Stranges, being an admirer and friend of the retired Marine Corps Major Donald E. Keyhoe, felt that Kor was absolutely correct about this. If he was going to establish a credible NICAP chapter in Southern California, or even his own national or international UFO group, he would have to make sure that he and those under his direction avoided the tendency to merely catalog sightings and saucer events, i.e., simply mimicking “scientific procedure.”
Kor explained it thusly to the readers of his privately published newsletter, distributed exclusively to those in his “inner circle:”
“He (or she, the ufologist) has visions of scientists examining specimens, conducting experiments and writing technical reports that detail the anatomy of what is being studied. Therefore, the ‘researcher’ feels compelled to produce reams of data about every sighting or encounter he (or she) investigates. Reports are filled with such information as the size, shape, color, altitude and velocity of the objects seen; the configurations of the stars and planets at the time of the encounter; and the features, noises and behavior of any creatures that might have been involved. Just as the scientist reveals more of the nature of what he (or she) is studying with examination and experiment, so does the ‘researcher’ believe that each detail gleaned from a claimed encounter is inexorably building a picture of the aliens he is pursuing.”
Members of MUFON, if all of this sounds familiar to you, read on, for Kor continues, “Unfortunately, for the ‘researcher,’ the analogy is fallacious. Not only doesn’t the ‘researcher’ have a specimen to examine, but he cannot even prove that the aliens or extraordinary phenomena that he (or she) is supposedly investigating actually exist!”
Assessment of the Situation
Dr. Frank E. Stranges had a great estimation for the truly scientific approach of such luminaries in the field of ufology as Peter Kor, Major Donald E. Keyhoe, and later Dr. Jacques Vallee, the computer expert from France, and Dr. J. Allen Hynek, the astronomer from Northwestern University outside of Chicago, Illinois, who was serving as the Air Force consultant on UFO investigations at Project Blue Book. These were gentlemen truly “thinking outside the box” when it came to UFO investigations, looking for discernable patterns in all the sightings and encounters, and not just jotting down the countless observations of “lights in the sky.”
These ufologists were among the early ones to notice that the various details unearthed from the countless UFO reports largely negated one another. For instance, in every claim that involved significant features that had been previously reported, there were scores of other claims that reported features that were drastically different. The only way to create a consistent picture of what was allegedly being encountered could only be accomplished by arbitrarily endorsing some claims while rejecting others. Frankly, there was no intellectual honest in such an approach; and as far as “science” goes, it was totally bereft of any semblance of it. Looking back in the history of UFO research, a good example of such a negligent approach might be found in the University of Colorado at Boulder physicist Dr. Eduard U. Condon’s famous and so-called Scientific Study of Unidentified Flying Objects (Boston, Massachusetts: E. P. Dutton, 1969), a.k.a. the Condon Report, produced with tax dollars, I might add.
Kor explained his thoughts on this matter, thusly:
“Preoccupation with the specific features of the saucer claims not only gives those claims a false sense of tangibility, but obscures the general patterns in the evidence on which a comprehension of the saucer situation depends. For example, to focus on the ‘structure’ and ‘propulsion’ of a ‘space machine’ that a person claims he (or she) encountered makes it easy to evade the fact that no such claims are accompanied by the definitive evidence that is characteristic of machines. Since the pattern of no proof is demonstratable, while the claims, themselves, are not, the pattern must take precedence over the claims. Thus, the rational searcher will use the pattern as a basis for finding a new explanation for the claims, rather than accept the claims at face value and have to resort to increasingly bizarre explanations to account for the resulting confusion.”
While the government had long been carrying out a program of obfuscation with regard to the flying saucer phenomenon, it appears that the primary obstacle to a saucer solution was the lack of comprehension on the part of those in the hierarchy of the ufology universe. Dr. Stranges, in private conversations with Peter Kor, Raymond Palmer and others, quickly realized that many of the researchers in this emerging field were truly afraid of making any rigorous inquiry. Perhaps the flying saucers that they have been so pursuing for so long might not actually be “out there” after all. And maybe these ufologists, so-called, might even prefer a euphoric fantasy to the stark reality of the situation.
It was a time for making hard choices. Unless some breakthrough would emerge, Dr. Stranges would have to concede that Peter Kor’s pessimistic assessment was the correct one; and perchance he was wasting his time dabbling in this field of ufology. If the situation was as dire as Kor thought it was, then the ufologists had a lot more to learn than just the hard sciences. Unless they came to a realization that there are greater values involved than psychological salvation and ideological competition, then the field of ufology would go the way of all pseudo-science that had preceded it. As the great metaphysician Helena Blavatsky (1831-1891), co-founder of the Theosophical Society had noted, “There is no religion higher than truth.”
For Dr. Stranges, the search for truth must not be compromised. Given his own background, he saw the revelation mode as his best option in finding a solution to the flying saucer enigma. Therefore, the evangelist devoted himself to prayer and deep meditation on this subject. He needed an answer from God and patiently waited for it, not knowing what form it might take. Little did he realize that the traditional Contactee Era was soon coming to an end and that he would play such a central role in revitalizing the whole of ufology by providing an amazing contact account of his own, with an angelic messenger from Venus, no less!
God’s Celestial Ambassador:
The Life and Times of Dr. Frank E. Stranges (Part XIX)
By Dr. Raymond A. Keller, author of the international awards-winning Venus Rising book series, available on amazon.com, while supplies last
Dr. Frank E. Stranges opted for a theological approach in searching for answers to the flying saucer enigma. Artwork source: http://www.kepler-salon.at/en/Veranstaltungen/UFO-Religionen-und-Astronautengoetter-Neue-Religionsvorstellungen-im-Raumfahrtzeitalter.html.
Opting for the Revelation Modality
Of the three options given Dr. Frank E. Stranges in approaching the UFO phenomenon by the physicist and writer for Ray Palmer’s bevy of publications, i.e., the demonstration, revelation and comprehension modalities, it was the revelation modality that the esteemed Assembly of God reverend would ultimately turn to. Writing in 1960, and looking back to the years prior to his meeting in the Pentagon with Valiant Thor, an emissary from Venus, Dr. Stranges emphatically declared that, “I have met men and women from all walks of life. Many of these people are continually looking for truth, seeking for the very truths that will cause a better way of life to come up over the far horizon. Nevertheless, if we can but place our trust in God, and lay hold on the blessings and provisions that are made for us through the Lord Jesus Christ, we might make the discovery that these great ‘revelations’ are within the grasp of every honest believer.” In this, Dr. Frank E. Stranges was going back into his own background as an evangelist while trying to discover some theological explanation for the ever-multiplying presence of the flying saucers traversing our atmosphere.
As in the seeming “extraterrestrial” contact case of Elizabeth Klarer from South Africa, Dr. Frank had noted characteristics in the encounter that bordered on the supernatural, even the spiritual, so to speak. With this aspect in mind, perhaps the whole matter of the flying saucers is one that should prompt theological reflection, much more so than a purely scientific approach. Dr. Frank reasoned that above all else, he was a Christian; therefore, it was natural for him to interpret everything that took place in his world within the context of Christian theology. And in such a context, the appearance of the elusive UFOs might be viewed more as a witness to his faith, rather than some purely anomalous and nondirected phenomenon.
Yes, a well Bible-versed Christian could develop a theological response to almost any issue, to include UFOs. The reverend learned that in order to engage his Christian theological views with the phenomenon, however, he would need to master the techniques of listening and questioning. Listening is an activity that involves active waiting. During the waiting period, the good listener allows for new information, will allow themselves to be surprised, yet, at the same time, remain open enough for further illumination emanating from the Holy Ghost. As the process of questioning, this can be seen as a corrective to complacency. One can subject the answers of yesterday that we had previously assimilated as open to new avenues of questioning. In this manner, we can embrace new situations and gain new insights. If the aim of listening is receptivity, then the aim of questioning must be honesty. There is a saying among religious people that, “Theologians are like snowflakes. No two are ever alike, no matter how much they agree.”
Preface to the Meeting with Valiant Thor
There have been many more reports of alleged encounters with Valiant Thor, the space commander from Venus and that cloudy planet’s ambassador to Earth, since Dr. Frank E. Stranges’ reported meeting with that exalted being in the Pentagon at the close of the decade of the 1950s. The reverend, prior to relating his account of this historic meeting, noted that, “As you carefully study the questions and answers supplied me by this friend from outer space, you will find that, unlike many other ‘contact stories,’ Val does not minimize the fact that Jesus Christ is the First and the Last, the Alpha and the Omega, and the Beginning and the End.”
Recently, our attention has been directed to a young lady in France who purports to have met Valiant Thor, but acknowledges nothing of that Venusian’s testimony of Jesus Christ. However, Dr. Frank explained that this testimony of Valiant Thor regarding Jesus Christ was the litmus test for believing in him (Val) and his profound mission of peace here on Earth. Wrote Dr. Frank E. Stranges, “That is one great reason why I believe that Val has spoken the truth and nothing but the truth concerning his mission to this wayward planet.”
In the exceptionally cold month of December 1959, Dr. Frank E. Stranges was on a book tour for his now famous Flying Saucerama, in conjunction with conducting evangelical crusades in our nation’s capital and the surrounding suburban areas ringed around the District of Columbia in Maryland and Virginia. At one of his crusades in the capital city itself, the reverend spoke of Adamski, Klarer, Menger and other of the more prominent contactees, and wishfully made it known that it was his fondest desire, and the focus of his prayers, to meet a being from another planet, whom he presumed would be an angel sent from the very throne of God. It was at this revival meeting that just such an invitation was presented to Dr. Stranges by an individual who identified themself as a “born-again Christian with a sound mind and a good position at the Pentagon Building,” who offered to conduct the gospel minister into the esteemed presence of this extraterrestrial visitor, if he had the nerve to follow through with it.
Dr. Stranges had heard rumors while on tour in various states of the Union that such a being existed, an entity that looked pretty much like a typical male human being who was allegedly being entertained secretly by a few high officials. Therefore, he accepted the invitation. When he rendezvoused with his new contact a couple of days after their initial meeting, Dr. Stranges could hardly believe just how easy it was for him to follow his Christian friend, passing all of the security guards at the Pentagon and easily gaining admittance to a man hailing from another planet. The evangelist, when pondering all the circumstances leading up to his interview with the extraterrestrial, and the meeting itself, noted that, “Since that time, I have pondered this event in my own mind, over and over again. I thought how privileged I was to have had this interview.”
When the morning for the scheduled meeting arrived, his contact had made all of the necessary arrangements. Of this, Dr. Stranges wrote that, “I was in a car on my way to meet and speak with a visitor from the other end of our telescope. A man who gave me a feeling of perhaps being among those who, before me, have carried on similar conversations with men from outer space. As the car drew closer, I began to formulate questions in my mind that I would place directly to him. I was then ushered into the vast network of the world-famous Pentagon Building in Washington, D.C. I cannot possibly express just how I felt when I followed the outlined plan for me to pass directly through the security guards. The next thing I knew, I was standing in front of a closed door. My host instructed me to walk in and commence with my interview, then left me standing alone.”
Interview With an Extraterrestrial
In Dr. Frank E. Stranges’ own words, here is his account of the famous meeting with the Venusian Victor 1 spaceship commander and ambassador from Venus:
“Being a minister of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, as well as a student of the Bible for many years, coupled with the fact that I had been a special investigator, I felt as though my senses were functioning properly and that I knew exactly what I was about to do. I have always been keenly aware of fakes and frauds, even in the ministry. Of this, I was constantly on my guard.
“As I opened the door, to my left were three desks equipped with typewriters and other general office equipment. At one desk, which was back-to-back with another desk, sat Army “brass” busily engaged in what appeared to be paper work. The other man, a sergeant, was typing away. None of these three men lifted so much as their eyes when I entered the room. It was as though I did not exist, as far as they were concerned.
“I then saw one lone man standing with his back to me, looking out a window. As I approached him, he turned slowly and looked at me. It was as though he looked straight through me! With a warm smile and outstretched hand, he slowly started toward me. I felt strange all over. He then raised his hand toward me in a gesture of friendliness.
God’s Celestial Ambassador- The Life and Times of Dr. Frank E. Stranges, Part XXXVII
By Dr. Raymond A. Keller, a.k.a. “Cosmic Ray,” international awards-winning author of the Venus Rising book series (Terra Alta, West Virginia, 2015-2022), available on amazon.com
Project Blue Book Closure
On 26 December 1969, the Secretary of the Air Force, Robert C. Semans, Jr., stated that his branch’s official UFO investigation, Project Blue Book, was being closed, immediately. Semans had sent a memorandum to Air Force General John D. Ryan declaring that due to the findings of the Air Force-funded University of Colorado at Boulder’s Scientific Study of Unidentified Flying Objects, headed up by that academic institution’s most prominent physicist, Dr. Edward U. Condon, a determination was made at the highest echelons of the Air Force that the continuance of Project Blue Book could no longer be considered justified either in the general interest of science or on the specific grounds of promoting national security. The published findings of the Colorado investigation, which lasted from 1966 through 1969, was commonly referred to as the Condon Report. It was made available to the public in a mass-market edition consisting of a whopping 965 pages through New York Times/Bantam Books, New York, New York, in January 1969.
Condon Report Ignored Contactee Testimonies
Overall, by the time it was over, the University of Colorado investigation cost the American taxpayers $539,000. According to evangelist Dr. Frank E. Stranges, however, in an editorial to his National Investigations Committee on UFOs (NICUFO) membership in the January 1969 UFO Confidential Newsletter (Van Nuys, California), titled “Air Force ‘Bows Out,’” the so-called Condon Report availed little or nothing. For despite the hundreds of thousands of dollars forked over to the university by the Air Force, Dr. Frank insisted that, “They (the scientific team at the University of Colorado at Boulder) did not investigate the more serious reports regarding UFO sightings by responsible individuals. To our knowledge (the board of directors at NICUFO), not one of the so-called ‘contactees’ were called in to give testimony. Furthermore, the UFO investigation team comprised by six of this nation’s top scientists was not all made public. The secret Congressional hearing did not include those persons who had claimed space contact.”
It is interesting to note that by the end of the 1960s, the stigma surrounding an advocation of the extraterrestrial hypothesis for the UFO phenomenon had no longer signaled a death knell for a scientist’s standing in the global academic community. This is why it is so perplexing that Condon and others of his ilk were in such deniability when it came to the existence of some UFOs as possible manned extraterrestrial vehicles. In my opinion, the ice was broken, insofar as this controversy goes, back on 29 July 1958, when the Associated Press ran a news release of the Aerial Phenomena Research Organization (APRO) out of Alamogordo, New Mexico, titled, “Dr. Jung Says Flying ‘Disks’ Suggest ‘Quasi-Human Pilots.’” It seems that the famous Swiss psychiatrist, Dr. Carl G. Jung of Zurich (1875-1961), had been working closely with the officers of APRO for some time in the investigation of UFO reports on many levels, i.e., those reports that were coming in to its headquarters and UFO Filter Center at Alamogordo.
Dr. Carl G. Jung Changes Paradigm on Flying Saucers
In the afore-cited Associated Press release, the Swiss psychiatric authority remarked that in his reevaluation of the flying saucer phenomenon, he had arrived at the conclusion that “Unidentified flying objects are real and show signs of intelligent guidance by quasi-human pilots. I can only say for certain these things are not a mere rumor. Something has been seen. A purely psychological explanation has been ruled out.”
Previous to this press release, Jung was of the opinion that flying saucers were a mass projection of cold-war angst, a manifestation of a changing consciousness in an age of threatening nuclear confrontations and the dawn of the exploration of outer space and the fears of what we might encounter “out there.” The highly-respected scientist explained that, “I have gathered a mass of observations of UFOs since 1944. The disks do not behave in accordance with physical laws, but as though without weight. If the extraterrestrial origin of these phenomena should be confirmed, this would prove the existence of an intelligent interplanetary relationship. What such a fact might mean for humanity cannot be predicted.
“But it would put us without doubt in the extremely precarious position of primitive communities in conflict with the superior culture of Western civilization. That the construction of these machines proves a scientific technique immensely superior to ours cannot be argued.”
Dr. Jung’s keen observations formed the basis of a paradigm shift in the world’s scientific community. Up to this time, scientists were satisfied to just take the word of the United States Air Force Project Blue Book personnel. After all, they had been investigating the so-called “flying saucers” for the previous ten years and have consistently maintained that they have produced no evidence that such things exist. As of November 1957, Project Blue Book investigators had checked out 5,700 UFO reports. The majority of these objects turned out to be weather balloons, aircraft seen under unusual weather conditions, astronomical phenomena, birds, fireworks or hoaxes, etc.
In all cases where individuals claimed contact with the occupants of a landed flying saucer, the Air Force investigators dismissed it outright as a hoax or the delusions of a psychologically unstable person. It was just too much of a strain on credibility. But Jung took a different approach and found that at least in a few of these contact cases, as mentioned earlier, “A purely psychological explanation is ruled out.” Lou Zinsstag (1905-1984), one of the more prominent female ufologists from Europe at the time and a cousin of Dr. Carl G. Jung, upon visiting him at his home in Zurich, asked him why he had changed his mind about UFOs in favor of the extraterrestrial contact hypothesis, to which the famous doctor replied, “In the future, when we are traveling to other worlds in space, I just cannot see ourselves dancing around for years in the atmosphere of another planet, aware of its being inhabited, without landing some day and shaking hands, any hands, even those of an old guy like myself!” Saying this, he gave his young cousin a smile and a wink.
News of the Apollo 11 UFO encounter on the Moon was only covered in European media, much to the dismay of Dr. Frank E. Stranges and other American ufologists. Artwork source: All Posters.
Apollo 11 Moon Mission Censorship Critiqued
Dr. Frank E. Stranges was also concerned about an extraterrestrial presence on the Moon. Noted the California doctor and evangelist with regard to his work with NICUFO, “We are also interested in knowing why the UFO sightings took place during the Apollo 11 Moon flight were not reported to the American people, but had to be brought to light in foreign newspapers, radio and television media.”
It is a certainty that with Apollo 11, the Eagle landing module touched down on the Moon and that American astronauts Commander Neil Armstrong and Lunar Module Pilot Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin, Jr., set foot on our natural satellite’s surface on that fateful day of 20 July 1969, at 9:32 Eastern Daylight Time, as measured by Earth’s chronometers. Michael Collins was the Command Module Pilot overhead in lunar orbit for this historic mission. All-in-all, the Moon landing was a most spectacular achievement for the United States, especially considering our fledgling space technology to which we are only now trying to repeat with the Artemis Moon rocket program. Every magazine and newspaper ran photographs of Armstrong’s and Aldrin’s footprints left in the lunar regolith.
In his highly authoritative book, UFOs and the Complete Evidence from Space: The Truth About Venus, Mars and the Moon (Walnut Creek, California: Pintado Publishing, 1987), former Navy electrician nuclear submarine crew member and director of the Public Interest Space Sciences Center in Walnut Creek, California, Daniel K. Ross, wrote: “The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) knew there were other footprints on the Moon, though not at the chosen Tranquility Base, and not oversized astronaut boots. After Apollo 11 landed, two UFOs hovered near the site; and Edwin Aldrin took several photographs of them before he and Armstrong climbed out of their Lunar Module. That fact is a certainty according to Flight Communication Director Maurice Chatelain. What is also a certainty is that NASA had fully prepared our astronauts on how to deal with the fact that they were traveling to an inhabited world, and to expect harmless surveillance by extraterrestrial spacecraft.”
Ross also informs us that, “They (the astronauts) were further instructed as to why humankind on Earth was not ready for this information. It seems the space program was designed to concentrate on advancing our scientific technology, and to expand humankind’s thinking, step-by-step in a controlled manner. It was the perception of the authorities in control that our civilization was not progressed enough to come face-to-face with evidence of extraterrestrial life. That evidence could be, and would be, completely censured from all lunar mission communications and operations. Apparently then an astronaut would be seen stumbling around the lunar surface, not stumbling into life on the Moon. According to those in control, that is all that the public would be able to accept.”
Who Is Hiding the Truth, and Why?
Dr. Frank, speaking for the NICUFO membership and the public-at-large, wanted to know the answer to the persisting questions: “Who is hiding the truth about UFOs and why are they doing it?” The NICUFO director believed that Dr. James Harder (1926-2006), a professor of civil and hydraulic engineering at the University of California at Berkeley, was “right on” when he declared, that in his opinion, at least, “Sufficient evidence had been presented at the Congressional UFO hearings that followed the Condon Report that proved beyond a doubt a positive case for UFOs.” Yet, Dr. Frank surmised that the Air Force brass, acting upon political pressure from the Nixon administration, beholding to corporate interests, as it were, decided to “play it cool” with regard to the matter of UFOs and just announce that their branch of the armed services would “bow out” insofar as anything to do with UFO investigations was concerned, and thereby shutting down its long-standing Project Blue Book.
Chief Skeptic Opines
Dr. Frank was particularly upset to hear that some in the scientific community, siding with the Condon Report recommendations, were taking a strong stand against even the continuance of civilian UFO investigations groups. Dr. Donald H. Menzel (1901-1976), the first theoretical astronomer in the United States and in 1971, the chief astronomer at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, declared that, “Amateur groups, especially, who believe that UFOs represent spacecraft from other planets, can do considerable harm to science.”
For the California evangelist, Dr. Frank, in addressing Dr. Menzel’s bloviation, assessed that, “The real harm comes when both scientists and the military can be scared off when the bulk of available scientific evidence proves beyond a doubt that we are dealing with a power that might upset their applecart by not conforming to the established laws of aerodynamics, as the evidence has clearly shown for the past 21 years.”
Dr. Menzel was adamant in his assertion that the United States government should get out of the UFO business entirely. Said the astronomer, “The government should withdraw all support for UFO studies, as such.”
To Dr. Frank, this was a very short-sighted attitude for the astronomer to take. The subject of UFOs, i.e., unidentified flying objects penetrating United States airspace, would certainly come with inherent national security concerns. And besides, the United States government spends billions of dollars every year on controversial and seemingly fruitless projects. As to Dr. Menzel’s comments in the previous paragraph, Dr. Frank stated, “This is all well and good; though I am certain, on the other hand, he would most likely fully endorse studies of the sex life of the Ethiopian cockroach. This type of attitude, I believe, is in reality an abomination in the scientific community.”
UFOs From an Historical Perspective
For Dr. Frank and other ufologists, there was no point in the government ignoring a phenomenon that literally has existed on the Earth for centuries. “UFO history dates back as far as 4,000 B.C.,” noted the evangelist, while further referring to the Holy Scriptures when he affirmed that, “Biblical history bears testimony of unknown objects being sighted and recorded. Can we take this together with facts, figures, names, dates and places, as reported for the past 21 years and carelessly sweep them under the rug of ignorance and fear? Or shall we again attempt to gain scientific information that will shed light on this unusual and perplexing problem and honestly evaluate the bulk of evidence?”
There was a committee chaired by Dr. Frank at NICUFO to evaluate both the findings of the Condon Report and the scientists’ panel review of the Condon Report in the Congressional hearings that followed. After careful consideration of the above, the California evangelist, together with his committee members, unanimously recommended the following with respect to future UFO research in America:
- That an active sky watch program be set up.
- That the service of qualified and experienced experts be obtained. This would be expensive, to be sure, but equally as important, if not more so, than the numerous United States government’s giveaway (welfare) programs.
- That international cooperation with groups who are interested in an active UFO program be encouraged.
- That annual findings be presented before the entire world to be able to see and hear whatever progress has been made.
- That no military or political interference be permitted.
In light of the facts that the Project Blue Book Air Force team consisted only of three men in a small office on the premises of Wright-Patterson Air Force Base at the beginning of 1969, its closure was probably of no major significance to United States military readiness overall. Its closure was largely a symbolic act to lull and pacify the American public with regard to the true presence and nature of the UFOs in our skies overhead. As we later learned, all branches of the military and offices of the government at every level, to include local law enforcement, continued to investigate UFOs internally. For example, one only has to look at the recent revelations from the Department of the Navy with regard to the so-called “Tic-Tac” sightings by that branch’s military pilots flying out at sea.
Dr. Frank said it best: “The record speaks for itself. Responsible men and women the world over have seen UFOs. Experienced airline pilots, scientists, radar experts, military leaders, statesmen and stateswomen, etc., have all been a vital part of the entire picture. Let us not go down in history as being a nation too lazy or frightened to consider the suggestion that we are not alone in the universe.”
(Editor’s Note: Stay tuned to this website for Cosmic Ray’s Part XXXVIII on the enigmatic Dr. Frank E. Stranges, wherein the evangelist speculates on just what the United States Air Force really knew about UFOs in 1970. -Lon).