“My goodness Toto. I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore.”
— Dorothy

LOS ANGELES — It’s 11:00 a.m. and a small group of people gather outside the door of a small pink and green stucco house in West Hollywood. There is something curious about the people. Somehow, all their faces seem expressionless, gray.


Inside the house more of the gray-faced people are seated in folding chairs. Nobody talks. Many of the people wear robes, and most have a large Earth-medallion affixed around their necks. Eerie music drones in the background.

After a bit, a man bespectacled, dour-faced man takes the pulpit and
leads the people in a “prayer.” In unison, the group chants, “Om, shanti, shanti. OM, SHANT SHANTI … OMMMMMMMMMMM.” Following the prayer, the man announces, “His eminence, Sir George King!”

A man attired in regal gold papal robes and helmet and brandishing an Egyptian ankh cross takes the lectern. People bow as he passes. Rather than a pope, the man somehow recalls Emperor Ming of Flash Gordon fame.

For the next half hour, King delivers his sermon. It’s a bit
difficult to follow, but primarily, it revolves around bits of wisdom
channeled through him by a group from other planets called the Elevated Masters of the Solar System. These elevated Masters include Jesus, Master Atherius, Saint Goo-Ling and a fellow calling himself Mars Sector 6. Later — via tape — the Master Jesus (who sounds uncannily like Vincent Price) issues a warning to the churchgoers of the dark times ahead. After the sermon is over, the gray faced people gather and talk.

Many of them have an odd, glazed look in their eyes. The people talk in hushed tones, about the work they are doing to save the planet. Some buy books which are sold at a small table in the foyer of the house. The group gathered are all members of the Atherius Society, which, according to the L.A. Times is “the most structured and perhaps the most strictly rigid of all the UFO cults.”

UFO cults are relatively new. But belief in UFO’s and their occupants are not. They have been with us forever. They have been called the Elders, the Gods, the Watchers, Sky People, angels, faeries — and most recently, aliens, or Visitors. Whatever they are, they have been around since the beginning of time.

The flying saucer craze hit America in 1947. Today, in addition to the Atherius Society — cults abound which worship assorted hodgepodge of otherworldly beings, including the MarkAge Metacenter, the Solar Light Center, the Urantia Group, the Solar Cross Foundation and the School Of Thought.

Not all UFO believers are cultists. In fact, they’re a reputable lot, including such luminaries as General Douglas MacArthur,
Jimmy Carter, Jackie Gleason — who had his house built like a UFO — Shirley McLaine actors Robert Davi, Tom Cruise and John Travolta.

But today, one thing is for sure. UFO’s and their occupants have hit the bigtime. According to a Gallop poll 25 million Americans say they’ve seen a UFO, and 68% of those surveyed saying that they believe they are real.

There are more than 50,000 silent contactees — people who’ve had up close and personal contact with aliens — in the U.S. alone. TV has jumped on the bandwagon. Last Wednesday night, NBC devoted two hours of prime time to a UFO special (hosted by actor Robert Davi, who walks through the woods in a black trench coat while reading his cue card throughout the entirety of the show). “Confirmation:

One of the reasons UFO’s are so hot is that they’ve become a staple of one of the most solid markets on the planet (forgive the terminology), the New Age Movement. Shirley MacLaine — former Big Mamma of the NAM gave UFO’s a big push in her first book, “Out On A Limb,” and — along with a contingent of other Hollywood “biggies” has continued to claim the reality of our alien “brethren.”

If one doubts the connection between the UFO and the New Age
Movement, all one need do is to check the ads in any of the UFO magazines. The top sellers, UFO and UFO Universe are chock full of ads hawking everything from Reich Orgone Accumulator Blanket, Light Wands, courses for coming into contact with aliens, healing crystals. There are weekend “consciousness raising” retreats. One group called Extraterrestrial Explorations offers such a weekend, complete with “guided meditations and visualizations, information on ET civilizations, abductions and missing time” for just $275 per person.

Indeed, many of the “beings” (always anxious to keep up with the
times) are space entities. Robert Shapiro, a channel working out of
Arizona channels such beings as Zoosh — a “being of Light from Alpha
Centaur,” Joopah — “a spiritually evolved being fro Zeta Reticuli,” Then there is Zeohmah, “a kind and compassionate feminine energy,”
who channels through Hollwood’s Douglas Benton.

These days no one particular channel seems to have a contract on who he channels; therefore Shapiro warns his people that other people channel these as well. Shapiro charges $55 per hour for “bringing through” his beings.

Other people, however don’t need a channel. These people — who call themselves Walk-Ins — claim that they are the original owners of bodies have left this plane and that the bodies are now inhabited by aliens from any one of a number of spheres. Alpha Centauri seems to be the most popular.

“The night skies are filled more often with thousands of cosmic eyes. More and more people are stopped on lonely roads by strange forces which reprogram their minds as easily as we alter and reprogram computer tapes.,” These ominous words are from John Keel author of numerous books, including “Disneyland Of The Gods.

“This may sound like the stuff of horror films, but that’s what’s happening. Today, people are being kidnapped right out of their bedrooms, cars, what have you and being whisked off to spaceships where they have operations performed on them,” Keel says.

“We’re not talking about crazies or whackos–you know–the people
walking around with tinfoil on their heads to keep themselves from getting zapped by Martian rays. No, we’re talking about ordinary folks, just like you and me,” he continues.

The typical abduction experience has a definite form to it. With
slight alterations it goes as follows: The abduction generally takes place at night. It can happen in a car, or the person may wake up in bed. Initially, the person is hit by a blinding white light. He then finds himself paralyzed, unable to move. The person then sees a being — who come in various shapes and sizes. Most of them are of the small, friendly looking “ET” variety. Big heads, large eyes. We’re all familiar with this little guy by now.

The person may then find himself in a room, aboard a spacecraft undergoing an operation. Abductees report having needles inserted into their brains or in the abdomen. Men report having their sexual organs examined and sperm samples taken. Women find themselves impregnated, and the fetuses later removed. One fellow on the NBC special on Wednesday claimed, tears flowing from his eyes, to have fathered nine alien children.

Following the abduction, several different scenarios may occur. The first is that the abductee may entirely forget the experience. He may remember it at a later date or not at all. Often, a series of false memories, called “screen memories” or “confabulations” are implanted in the contactees mind, which may, or may not be removed at a later time. In the case the contactee develops further contact with his captor, he is told that he has been “chosen,” or that he is part of an elite group to help humanity save itself. Some abductees are loyal to their captors. Others feel controlled by them.

Many abductees develop increased IQ’s, acquire heretofore unknown knowledge, including the ability to speak foreign languages.The abductee often gains psychic powers. He may develop the talent for OBE (out of body experience) astral projection, levitation, and a host of other disciplines of the New Age.

Less happily (and more often) abductees seem to go into psychological tailspins after their encounters. Many wind up in psychiatrists offices, lose their marriages, go bankrupt. Some commit suicide. Given that the abduction experience is, more often than not, a highly unpleasant one, it’s curious to find so many people reading about it, even seeking it. But these days, with the New Age Movement popular like never before, it seems that anything that guarantees a raising of the consciousness will sell. So be it.

Basically, the UFO movement is divided in two camps. Believers and skeptics. Of course, most of the Believers say they’re skeptical, but it’s quickly obvious that they are anything but.

Two of the Believers who’ve gotten much noteriety are authors Budd Hopkins and Whitley Strieber (both whom were featured on the NBC special). Hopkins is, what in UFO terminology, is referred to as a “nuts and bolts” man. This means simply that he believes wholeheartedly in the extraterrestrial theory, which maintains that the UFO beings come from other planets in space rafts. Much of Hopkins’ recent work revolves around the sexual relations between the aliens and humans. Hopkins espouses the theory that extraterrestrials are impregnating humans, whose fetuses are being removed and then transplanted into the wombs of extraterrestrial females. Hopkins says that an extraterrestrial breeding experiment is under way, and that perhaps a hybrid race is being formed.

Whitley Strieber, author of the best-selling books “Communion,”
and several follow-up books, is the much more esoteric (and therefore popular amongst the Believers) of the two. Strieber believes that the Visitors — as he calls them — are here to raise our consciousness, and that they are not necessarily from another planet, but perhaps inter- dimensional rather than extraterrestrial. Despite his many painful, often terrifying experiences, Strieber believes that contact with the Visitors may be the only way for man to escape his limited consciousness. “Fifteen minutes with them,” according to Strieber, “can equal fifteen years of meditation.” (Of course, if one thinks that meditation is a total waste of time, this isn’t saying much).

The skeptics, of course, don’t buy any of it. The leader of this
side of the movement is Phillip J. Klass, a rather jovial fellow who seems to relish his role as the enfant terrible of the UFO movement. Klass states that after more than 21 years of investigation, he has not encountered one single case that did not have a prosaic explanation. Klass’ position is that it’s all hokum. In order to prove his point, he issued a $10,000 offer to any UFO abductee who can prove his case- provided that FBI substantiates the kidnapping.

Klass is a member of the Skeptics Society, or the (CSICOP), and has been gleefully debunking UFO believers since 1966. Unfortunately, the bulk of the members of CSIOCP are — unlike Klass — a rather humorless lot. Headed up by humanist Paul Kurtz, their position is that the supernatural does not exist, that everything under the sun has a rational or prosaic explanation. This puts the skeptics in the uncomfortable position of coming up with explanations for things which in fact have no rational explanation, and of looking, on many occasions goofier, more obsessive and certainly more tight-assed than the UFO buffs themselves.

Two of the better known UFOlogists, John Keel and Dr. Jacques
Vallee, fall somewhere in the middle of all this. Though they both believe that something is happening, they have both rejected the exterrestrial theory. Rather, each has come to see it as a historo-religious phenomenon, and more importantly, to note its links with the world of the occult. Says Vallee, in Dimensions, “To put it bluntly the UFO phenomenon does not give evidence of being extraterrestrial at all. Instead it appears to be inter-dimensional and to manipulate realities outside of our own space time continuum.”

Keel, the author of the cult classic, “The Mothman Prophecies,” and “Operation Trojan Horse, likewise gives short shrift the notion of space creatures here to save us. “The modern UFO scene is a sociological minefield because it has produced a worldwide propaganda movement of willing evangelists advocating the existence of people from another planet who altruistically intend to save us from ourselves. Yet there is no more hard evidence for the reality of UFOs than there was back in 1947,” Keel writes in “Disneyland Of The Gods.”

Moreover, both Keel and Vallee contend that the UFO phenomenon is
nothing new. It has, in fact, always been with us. States Keel.
“This phenomenon has always existed and lies at the root of all our religious beliefs, our myths and superstitions, the ancient arts of witchcraft and black magic, and the fundamental fictions that have given us most of our social and political ideas.”

But what is “it”?

“I don’t know,” said Keel from his home in New
York, “but whatever it is, it’s been around since the beginning of time. The Bible is full of this stuff. The bible is full of missing time cases. Go back and read it…it’s all there. Forget about the theology, just go back and read it. It’s all there.”

Whether or not they know what it is, both Valle and Keel agree
as to the results of the contact experience on the contactee. Says Vallee, “They come out of it with a religious perspective. But all the details are contradictory and confusing. The outstanding characteristic of the contactee is incoherence. They are like people after an auto accident. All they know is that something very serious has happened to them.”

Next week: The Occult Connection

If you are interested in further information on “They’re Here: Alien Abduction Expose,” an unreleased confidential report which is the result of an eighteen-month undercover investigation by S.L. Goldman — please click

Note: Read our discussion guidelines before commenting.