Thursday, July 13, 2017

Desmond Leslie, George Adamski, and Ancient Aliens

George Adamski and Desmond Leslie, authors of Flying Saucers Have Landed, 1953.

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George Adamski had a series of UFO sightings, but became a major flying saucer celebrity after the release of his 1953 book, Flying Saucers Have Landed, where he told the story of encountering and communicating with Orthon, the pilot of a landed extraterrestrial spaceship. Better still, he had an abundance of evidence: multiple witnesses, physical traces and photographs! He later took movies of the saucer and continued to have contact and adventures with the visitors from space and share their message of peace and love with the people of Earth. 
(For the story on how Adamski's claims were challenged, see 

Orthon's spaceship, as photographed by George Adamski.

Desmond Leslie

Desmond Leslie's contribution is all but forgotten, but he was the primary author of the book. Adamski's section was added since it was a sensational new case, and it helped propel sales to the international bestseller status. Leslie's text examine old texts to find evidence of UFOs throughout history. 

A contemporary review of Flying Saucers Have Landed by P. Schuyler Miller adds some valuable insight:
"...the Leslie-Adamski book merits serious consideration by saucer students only in so far as Desmond Leslie, a British occultist, extends the documentation of saucers and saucerlike phenomena through obscure sources and into ancient times. Drawing on the works of Madame Blavatsky, Ouspensky, James Churchward, Ignatius Donnelly, Annie Besant, C. W. Leadbeater, A. P. Sinnelt, ‘The Tibetan’ and other occultists...

Fanatics of the Leslie - Adamski school need no physical explanation for flying saucers, since by definition unexplained phenomena belong in the realm of the occult, and the occult ‘explains’ all things.”      Astounding Science Fiction April 1954
More recently, UFO historian Jerome Clark wrote about Leslie's lasting influence:
"In his section of 'Flying Saucers Have Landed' (1953), Irish occultist Desmond Leslie drew on esoteric lore (including James Churchward’s literary-hoax 'history' of the lost continent Mu), Celtic legends, pyramidology, and Eastern holy works...
If Leslie’s speculations owe more to occultism, science fiction, and crankish sensibility than to history as ordinarily understood, their echoes would resound through the 1950s and beyond, first in the saucerian ruminations of George Hunt Williamson, M. K. Jessup, Brinsley le Poer Trench, and W. Raymond Drake, then in the 'ancient astronauts' genre inspired by Jacques Bergier, Louis Pauwels, Robert Charroux, and most prominently, Erich von Daniken." 
From "A Brief History of UFO History"

Although many today are unaware of the source, both Desmond Leslie and George Adamski laid the foundation for what ufology is today. They deserve to be remembered for all they've done.

Unlike many of the most interesting UFO cases featured here at The Saucers That Time Forgot, Project Blue Book does have files on George Adamski's stories.
Project Blue Book: Mt. Palomar, CA, 25 Nov 1949 

1 comment:

  1. Orthon's "ship" looks like a 1940's office or clinic overhead lighting fixture. Ah, those were simpler days when a blurry photo of something familiar and mundane such as a hub cap could be claimed to be a flying saucer.


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