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George Adamski Got Famous Sharing UFO Photos and Alien ‘Encounters’

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Article by Greg Daugherty                           January 9, 2020                           (history.com)

• George Adamski is perhaps the most famous UFO contactee and is certainly one of the most controversial characters in UFO history. Throughout his life, Adamski took photos of UFOs, wrote books and told stories of his encounters with human-like extraterrestrials from other planets in our solar system, gaining international fame as well as criticism.

• Adamski was born in Poland in 1891, coming to the U.S. with his parents and growing up in northern New York state. He had little formal education. In 1934, he told a Los Angeles Times reporter that he had lived in Tibet as a child, and planned to establish the first Tibetan monastery in Laguna Beach, California. In 1936, he told the newspapers that he was going to establish the world headquarters of an organization called ‘Universal Progressive Christianity’ in Laguna Beach. He also offered a tax plan to end the Great Depression in 1938.

• After World War II, Adamski’s ambitions turned to UFOs. In October 1946, he spotted his first UFO – a motionless black cigar-shaped craft. In August 1947, he witnessed a procession of 184 UFOs in the sky. By 1949, he’d attached a camera to his six-inch telescope and began scanning the skies. Adamski estimated that he took about 500 flying saucer photos, from which he got a dozen good quality shots. Newspapers and magazines published Adamski’s photos, and he gave lectures on UFOs. He also operated a tiny restaurant with a small telescope set up out back (in a rural area between Los Angeles and San Diego).

• In 1952, Adamski reported that he had met and conversed with a visitor from Venus in a California desert using a combination of hand gestures and mental telepathy, which he recounted in his 1953 book: Flying Saucers Have Landed. His 1955 sequel: Inside the Space Ships, recounted meeting human-like emissaries from Mars and Saturn. Adamski claimed that every planet in our solar system had human-like inhabitants, as did a base on the dark side of the Earth’s Moon.

• In his books, Adamski claimed that his extraterrestrial friends took him aboard a scout ship, flew him to a mother ship hovering over the Earth, gave him a ride around the Moon, and treated him to a colorful travelogue about life on Venus. He said that a 1,000 year-old man shared with him the secrets of the universe, some of which he was not allowed to divulge back on Earth.

• Adamski recounted his meeting in November 1952 with a human-like visitor from Venus in a remote part of the California desert. “The beauty of his form surpassed anything I had ever seen,” said Adamski. “(His) hair was sandy in color and hung in beautiful waves to his shoulders, glistening more beautifully than any woman’s I have ever seen.” The Venusian had come to deliver a message: ‘Earthlings should stop messing around with atomic bombs before they destroy their entire planet.’

• Project Bluebook investigator J. Allen Hynek called Adamski’s flying saucer photos ‘crude fakes’. Hynek’s Bluebook partner, Edward J. Ruppelt, visited Adamski’s restaurant in 1953 to find Adamski hawking his UFO photos. While Ruppelt didn’t believe him, he wrote that he was impressed all the same. “To look at the man and to listen to his story, you had an immediate urge to believe him,” said Ruppelt, … he had “the most honest pair of eyes I’ve ever seen.” SciFi writer Arthur C. Clarke also denounced Adamski’s work and called his believers “nitwits.” But in 1959, Queen Juliana of the Netherlands invited Adamski to her palace to discuss extraterrestrials. Adamski is said to have also had a secret meeting with the Pope in 1963.

• In 1961, Adamski published his last book: Flying Saucers Farewell, and continued to lecture widely. In 1965, Adamski predicted that a large fleet of flying saucers would soon descend on Washington, D.C. He died in April 1965 at age 74.

• Since his death, Adamski’s critics have tended to portray him as a harmless, small-time con artist. Others like Arthur C. Clarke and J. Allen Hynek have accused Adamski of discrediting the entire field of UFO research. But Adamski stuck by his story to the end. In his first book, Adamski gave an upbeat but ominous message: “Let us be friendly. Let us recognize and welcome the men from other worlds! They are here among us.”


To some, he was a prophet. To others, a laughing stock. Even today, more than half a century after his death, George Adamski remains one of the most curious and controversial characters in UFO history.

Adamski had multiple claims to UFO fame. Starting in the late 1940s, he took countless photos of what he insisted were flying saucers. But experts, including J. Allen Hynek, scientific consultant to the Air Force’s Cold War-era UFO investigation team Project Blue Book, dismissed them as crude fakes.

                 George Adamski

Then, in 1952, Adamski reported that he had met and conversed with a visitor from Venus in a California desert, using a combination of hand gestures and mental telepathy.

His story would only get stranger from there.

A star gazer is born

Adamski chronicled his alleged adventures in several books. The first, Flying Saucers Have Landed (1953), coauthored with Desmond Leslie, recounted his chat with the Venusian. Widely read at the time, it later gained a new generation of fans in the trippy 1960s.

Adamski’s 1955 sequel, Inside the Space Ships, described further meetings, not only with the Venusian but also with emissaries from Mars and Saturn.In Adamski’s telling, every planet in our solar system was populated with human-like inhabitants, as was the dark side of the earth’s moon.

In the 1955 book, Adamski claimed that his new friends took him aboard one of their scout ships, flew him to an immense mother ship hovering over the earth, gave him a ride around the moon and treated him to a colorful travelogue about life on Venus.

Along the way, he was also tutored by a space man he called “the master.” The master, who was said to be nearly 1,000 years old, shared the secrets of the universe with Adamski, only some of which he was allowed to divulge back on earth.

Preposterous as his stories seemed, Adamski became an international celebrity and lectured widely. Queen Juliana of the Netherlands raised a public stir after inviting him to her palace in 1959 to discuss extraterrestrial doings. Adamski supposedly claimed a secret 1963 meeting with the pope, as well.

Adamski soon had followers all over the planet. But not everybody was on board. Arthur C. Clarke, the author of 2001: A Space Odyssey, not only denounced Adamski’s work but characterized his believers as “nitwits.”



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