Friday, June 1, 2018

Inside Hangar 18 with Dr. Robert Carr


Shocking news was reported in October of 1974: Professor Robert Carr, a former instructor at the University of South Florida, announced that the United States government has secretly captured a complete UFO with 12 dead beings aboard. This was disclosed in an interview promoting his lecture for the Tampa's Flying Saucer Symposium. There was a great deal of excitement, and a fair amount of confusion. When newspapers reported the story the day after the interview, some basic fact-checking showed there wasn’t much substance to it. Upon investigation, the saucer crash story had been told a few times before, in newspapers, UFO periodicals and most famously, in a bestselling book. Carr‘s wife, Katherine was interviewed by phone and said that her husband was only “quoting all that about flying saucers from a book by Frank Scully, but I can’t remember the title. It’s way up on the top shelf where I can’t reach it right now.”

The Tampa Tribune (Tampa, Florida) October 12, 1974

In response to Carr's story, the Air Force allowed reporters inside Wright Patterson AFB to show them there was no Hangar 18, but had several Building 18s:

“Mr. Austin (a news cameraman in Dayton) toured the Air Force Base on October 11th and stated that there were seven building 18's lettered: 18 A, B, C, D, E, F, and G, none of which contained any of the contents as claimed by Mr. Carr.”NICAP’s  UFO Investigator, Nov. 1974
The News Record (University of Cincinnati) Nov. 5, 1974 carried the ZNS story stating that Grant Hudson, a Canadian newsman, found that building 18F had once housed refrigeration equipment used for rocket fuel testing. That was close enought for Carr. He insisted that the CIA moved the evidence after he exposed them.


The News Record, Nov. 5, 1974


The Fortec Conspiracy ≠ Hangar 18

It was reported that Carr’s tale bore many similarities to The Fortec Conspiracy novel by Richard M. Garvin and Edmond G. Addeo. The book was not traditional science fiction, really a mainstream thriller fueled by flying saucer intrigue. The main character, Barney Russom was seeking answers about the suspicious death of his brother at the Foreign Technology Division of Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio. The mystery centered on the deadly secret of six small humanoid bodies preserved in fluid within glass tubes, aliens recovered from a flying saucer crash.

The Morning News, Oct. 31, 1974

The UFO portion of the novel’s plot combined the (hoaxed) Spitsbergen 1952 UFO crash story from Norway with a passage it quoted from the 1966 book, Incident At Exeter by John Fuller:

There have been, I learned, after I started the research, frequent and continual rumors (and they are only rumors) that in a morgue at Wright-Patterson Field, Dayton, Ohio, lie the bodies of a half dozen or so small humanoid corpses, measuring not more than four and a half feet in height, evidence of one of the few times an extraterrestrial spaceship has allowed itself either to fail or otherwise fall into the clutches of the semicivilized Earth people.

Carr was accused of taking his story from the novel, but both were drawing from UFO legends that dated back to 1949. It was mistakenly reported that Carr had taken the location, “Hangar 18” from the novel, but in The Fortec Conspiracy, the alien bodies were stored in a laboratory in “Building 828, Foreign Technology Division.” When asked, Carr said “Ah, I've never read the book," but the novel was taken from a real incident." None of his claims can be traced directly to it, but there was another, older book that we can be certain that Carr did read.


Getting Behind the Flying Saucers


Silas Newton, Frank Scully, and the book they made.

The book that Mrs. Carr couldn’t reach was Frank Scully’s 1950 best-seller, Behind the Flying Saucers, which told Silas Newton’s story of how in 1948, little men were found in a saucer in Aztec, New Mexico. What Carr did was not only resurrect the first saucer crash tale, in effect, he “rebooted” it, embellished it, and populated it with several anonymous military eye-witnesses. Carr was faithful to Frank Scully’s Aztec narrative, but not his numbers; Scully’s saucer was 99.99 feet in diameter with 16 bodies found inside. For some reason, Carr kept all the other details, but reduced the numbers to a 31-foot diameter saucer with 12 bodies. Perhaps Carr's most brilliant touch was in giving the hiding place for the saucer and bodies a name, “Hangar 18,” which made it all sound so much more authentic. Like Scully, Carr worked the fact that the Government and military keeps secrets, and claimed there was a cover-up. Therefore, any official denial of UFOs was, in effect, confirmation.  

Fort Walton Beach Playground Daily News, Oct 13. 1974
“Air Force Denies Spacemen on Ice”
The (Miami) Herald quoted Carr's wife as saying her husband was simply recalling a story "that he'd read in a book by Frank Scully in the early 1950s. That's where he got his information. It told all about the little bodies."

Fort Walton Beach Playground Daily News, Oct 13. 1974
Frank Scully’s book was based on the Aztec crash story he’d been told by Silas M. Newton and his partner Dr. Gee. It made only a passing mention of what became of the small alien bodies from the saucer crash:

Dr. Gee said that some of them had been dissected, and studied by the medical division of the Air Force and that from the meager reports he had received, they had found that these little fellows were in all respects perfectly normal human beings, except for their teeth. There wasn't a cavity or a filling in any mouth. Their teeth were perfect.From the characteristics and physiology of their bodies they must have been about 35 to 40 years of age, judged by our standards of age.

Scully made no mention of a “Hangar 18,” just that after the saucer was dismantled, “it was moved to a government testing laboratory and there it remained while parts were being tested for a considerable period of time.” Later, Jim Moseley of Saucer News interviewed Silas Newton on Dec. 29, 1953, and his notes state:
“Newton told me that there are two hangars at White Sands at which captured flying saucers are kept. About 15 or 16 saucers are now in government hands.”
James W. Moseley, Unpublished manuscript, 1954

Behind the Flying Saucers propelled Frank Scully and Silas Newton into the spotlight and they were honored guests at the earliest flying saucer conferences. Before and after the Scully book, the captured saucer story was told, imitated and and retold, with many variations of it circulated. (See appendix, “The Road to Hangar 18.”) Major Donald Keyhoe, investigated the Aztec story while researching his book, Flying Saucers are Real. "...the little men story had turned out-as expected--a dud... a big joke. But in spite of this, the little men story goes on and on."

In 1974 Carr took Silas Newton’s forgotten Aztec story and gave it new life, repackaging for a generation disillusioned by the assassination of President Kennedy, the Vietnam war and the Nixon Watergate scandal. In the days leading up to his lecture at the UFO conference, the pressure for media interviews was so fierce that Carr had to hire Lawrence Brill as his manager and go into hiding to get any rest.


Carr's UFO Symposium Lecture: The Worst-kept Secret in the World

Robert Spencer Carr
On Saturday, November 2, 1974 Carr gave his lecture billed as “Spectacular - Uncovering of Government Information” at the Flying Saucer Conference. Carr’s premise was that aliens were good, that government was bad, and had orders to shoot down UFOs. Carr opened by describing the “worst-kept secret in the the world,” stating:

“It is known throughout the academic world, the medical world, it is known throughout the Air Force, and above all it is known throughout the CIA, that the Air Intelligence at Wright-Patterson Field has in its possession a spacecraft…”

Carr emphasized that the saucer was not shot down, just had suffered an accidental decompression which killed the crew of twelve. He described the fantastic technology and the advanced beings within, who were small humans. Carr supported the conference’s star lecturer, Erich von Daniken’s in his Ancient Astronaut theory: “Either we are their lost colony or they are our lost cousins... Undoubtedly, there has been an unbroken link going back a long time.” The punchline for the crash story was that all the knowledge from this was being hidden where it would do us no good, under lock and key by the CIA at Wright-Patterson’s Hangar 18.

Carr was far less interested in the technology of the UFOs and turned the alien autopsy into the centerpiece of the story. In his tale, the autopsy revealed that the aliens were human like us, but their brains were far more convoluted, indicating that they had lived hundreds of years. In his symposium lecture, Carr said that contact with the aliens could lead to the mental and spiritual enrichment of mankind:

"This great age of the beautiful young man has profound psychic significance as well. Think what an opportunity it would be to develop the psychic powers...to develop culture.. To develop literature, history... the central tragedy of the human race on this planet... is the tragic brevity of human life...
That is the tragedy of human life, and that is one of the secrets that our friends from space...that is one of the benefits they might bring us in this 20th century. If we would only stop shooting at them, and let them land in peace at a designated safe zone in the southeastern United States...southwestern United States, at a certain part of New Mexico, where there are no military installations for many miles...would be plainly designated as a safe landing zone. This is Operation Lure…”
Carr’s hour-long lecture was short on specifics, but in the question and answer session afterward, he was asked about his sources for the information. Carr said there were three witnesses, but they must remain unnamed. 



Illustrations from The Riddle of Hangar 18
by Timothy Green Beckley, 1987 edition

Carr repeated his declaration that the US government would end the cover-up, admit that UFOs were really spacecraft from other worlds, and it would happen soon - before the end of the year.

The Tampa Tribune, Oct. 16, 1974

Fortunately, Carr's lecture was recorded, and portions of it were included in UFOs: Fact or Fiction, a radio documentary broadcast on the Washington, DC station WWDC. Steven W. Kaeser hosts segments from the program and a transcript of Carr’s talk.

Recording:


In our next chapter, we take a look at the reaction from the UFO community, Carr’s legacy and how it changed the world.



Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Robert Spencer Carr and Hangar 18


Carr seems like a minister as he speaks slowly and deliberately in a deep, lilting voice. And, in a way, he is a minister. He preaches an attitude of peace, good will and cooperation with "our friends from space.”
- Jane Baumann in the Clearwater Sun, Oct. 27, 1974

Professor Robert Spencer Carr was the guest of a local radio show on Oct. 11, 1974 to promote the upcoming Flying Saucer Symposium by PSI Conferences in Tampa, Florida. During the interview, Carr made the shocking disclosure of the US government’s cover-up of the crash of a UFO in New Mexico. It created a media sensation that lasted for months in print and broadcast news. But who was Robert Spencer Carr?

Bob Carr was born March 26, 1909, and as brilliant youthful author published in prominent magazines, not only in pulps such as Weird Tales, but also mainstream slicks such as the Saturday Evening Post. His son, Timothy Spencer Carr, contributed a mini-bio to the Internet Speculative Fiction Database that fills in some of the blanks:

He was a child prodigy with published magazine articles at age 10, an international best-selling novel author at age 18 and a Hollywood screen writer at 20... he had 3 novels and at least a dozen short stories, mostly science fiction. Like many of his colleagues, he became a member of the USA Communist party during the 1930's. He actually lived in Russia from 1933 to 1938 (during the worst of Stalin's purges), where he became totally disenchanted with Communism. He returned to the US and renounced his party membership. He refused to testify against his former comrades during the HUAC witch-hunts of the 1950's.

Back in the US, Carr resumed his writing career, which included a substantial body of work during his four years as Director of Educational Research for Walt Disney Studios. He served in the Army during World War II, enlisting in 1944 and becoming a sergeant where he wrote lectures for officers to deliver to the troops. After that, he returned to the motion picture industry for several years, writing and producing educational films contracted by the State Department at the International Film Foundation. It was also during this period that Carr became interested in flying saucers.

Carr had a particular fondness for fantasy and science fiction, and his story about extraterrestrial visitors, “Morning Star,” was published in the December 6, 1947 issue of The Saturday Evening Post. In his author’s profile, Carr was described as “a devoted follower of the late Charles Fort, and a member of the Fortean Society,” and that he was a supporter in the possibility “that men from Mars—if not babes from Venus—already have visited the earth.” In Carr’s “Easter Eggs" (later retitled “The Invaders”) from the Sept. 24, 1949 edition of The Saturday Evening Post, two alien ovoid spaceships land, one actually on the White House lawn, the other in Moscow. It gives a hint of  Carr’s thoughts on the advanced mental and psychic powers of extraterrestrials - and our potential to match them. Bette Pringle, a White House secretary, establishes communication:
“I caught a glimpse of something alive inside, about the size of a man, sitting at controls. He tried to talk to me… He seemed to speak inside my mind, not with words but with ideas. With pictures too, pictures no artist could paint.”

Carr and Ufology

1952 marked the end of Carr’s film work and his literary career, his “The Coming of the Little People,” published The Blue Book, for their November issue. However, in July of that year he wrote something memorable for the President of the United States. Little evidence of Carr’s early UFO-related activity survives, but researcher Larry Bryant found documentation of it. Bryant examined letters to President Harry S. Truman from the public on the subject of flying saucers, writing, “The collected letters – or at least that portion that somehow escaped referral to the Department of Defense for reply – now reside at the Truman Library in Independence, Mo. … A White House staffer synopsized each letter in a cross-reference log.”
Carr’s letter to the President was forwarded, but the remarks by the staff note:
Robert Spencer Carr of Clearwater, Fla. (7/31/52)
“Writer encloses miscellaneous material relative to 'flying saucers’ – suggestions for contact. Respectfully referred to the Department of the Air Force for appropriate handling. Requests President’s comment re this. Threatens to publicize his letter if he does not receive an answer. Critical of the Pentagon. (consideration and appropriate handling.)”


During the 1950s, Carr otherwise was not active publicly in UFO activities, but he was a long-time member of the National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena (NICAP). The best period documentation of Carr’s NICAP role in a high-profile investigation into a 1965 UFO occupant encounter.

Carr, during the 1965 Brooksville investigation.

The Orlando Sentinel from Orlando, Florida, September 26, 1965
“A Public relations man from Pinellas County, Robert Carr, a member of NICAP,” told about the investigation of “the Brooksville incident in which a man testified that he spotted a landed unidentified craft with strange creatures walking around outside... Creatures three to four feet long have been reported... Carr also stressed that he does not believe any of the reports involving sightings of space creatures that he has investigated so far.” (Project Blue Book has a 109-page file on the Brooksville case, and on page 44, a clipping of the APRO Bulletin, which mentions Carr’s investigation.


Operation Lure
1973 marked Carr’s next public UFO exposure, in a book by Major Donald E. Keyhoe. Carr was teaching classes in creative writing at the University of South Florida, but became more vocal about his position and beliefs about UFOs as he neared retirement. He’d written to President Truman in 1952 about contacting aliens, and twenty years on, Carr found someone interested in the idea. There was a plan, Operation Lure, which was the title of the ultimate chapter of Major Donald E. Keyhoe’s final book from 1973, Aliens from Space. According to Keyhoe, Operation Lure would be  “The first planned meeting of aliens and humans could be the start of mutual adjustments, leading to great advances for our world.” It was the UFO equivalent of a duck blind, complete with decoys, “an isolated base with unusual structures and novel displays, designed to attract the UFO aliens' attention... three or more dummy UFOs, disc types with domes, built of aluminum... the decoy UFOs and the education buildings flood-lighted from dusk to dawn. It may be several days before there is any reaction, but there are solid reasons to believe the Lure will work.”

The architect of Operation Lure?

The basic idea was first suggested by a NICAP Special Adviser, Robert Spencer Carr, former Director of Educational Research, Walt Disney Studios, a specialist in visual-aid education who has served with the Army Orientation Service and has produced educational films for the State Department. Since the original suggestion, I have privately expanded the plan with aid from Carr, linguists, psychologists and experts in other fields.

Carr placed special emphasis on the need for the lure to have projected movie images on an outdoor screen, noting that there had been many UFOs attracted to drive-in theatres. Once friendly contact was established, Carr believed the aliens could begin sharing “the benefits they might bring us.”

With his name and plan published in Keyhoe’s book, Carr began exploiting it, using it as evidence of his expertise in the UFO topic. In January 1974, at the University of South Florida, Carr engaged a USF Astronomy professor on stage in a debate, “UFO - Believe It or Not.” It was during this debate that Carr made his first public claim about captured flying saucers. The Tampa Tribune, Jan. 16, 1974 reported:

One of the best-kept secrets of the United States Government is that in Hangar 18 at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton, Ohio, there are two flying saucers of unknown origin, a University of South Florida instructor said yesterday.

The Tampa Tribune, Jan. 16, 1974

This article on Carr’s debate seems to be the the first time Hangar 18 was named as the hiding place for UFO secrets, at least in print. If Carr wasn’t the first to name it, he certainly is responsible for making the name Hangar 18 famous. The story only was good only for some local news coverage at the time, but it exploded in the Fall with further disclosures. Hangar 18 was just the opening of Carr’s message, though. The crashed saucer story was a teaser to demonstrate what the UFO cover-up was depriving us of, to highlight how much more we could learn from the aliens by using Operation Lure to establish contact.



Dr. Carr’s Radio Disclosure

Robert Carr retired from the university in June 1974, and took up a new career as a UFO lecturer. PSI Conferences (PSI for Psychic, Spiritual and Intuition) hired him for the Tampa “Flying Saucer Conference,” and on Oct. 11, 1974, during a local radio show interview to promote it, Carr told his story of captured saucers again, but in far greater detail. This time, it made international news, and Carr was hounded by newspapers,  radio and television reporters for more information. Local radio started the buzz with the Carr interview, and the Zodiac News Service (ZNS, provider of bizarre and offbeat stories to progressive radio stations, college, community and underground newspapers) helped broadcast the sensational news nationally.

It's Out of This World...
(ZNS) Professor Robert Carr, a former instructor at the University of South Florida, announced last week that the United States government has secretly captured a complete U.F.O. with 12 dead beings aboard. Now. Professor Carr is predicting that by December 15th - in about eight weeks the U.S. government will launch a carefully-engineered effort to prepare American for an announcement of the existence of extraterrestrial life. the professor created a minor sensation last week after stating in a Florida press conference that the Pentagon has recovered a perfect "flying saucer" that allegedly had crash-landed in the desert near Aztec, New Mexico, in 1948. Professor Carr says that his sources for the incredible story are three men directly connected to covering up or protecting the project—a biologist who examined the bodies; a security guard who protected the ship in a hangar at the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio; and a high ranking military officer who reportedly viewed the bodies of the 12 small beings while autopsies were conducted on them. The professor states that all his sources report that the 12 beings were apparently the victims of a decompression accident when the ship was punctured alter entering the Earth's atmosphere. All witnesses, he says, described the visitors as being exactly like small humans —three to four feet tall; white skinned; light haired; blue eyed; in perfect physical condition, but with highly-developed brains. The professor insists that the 12 bodies are still in "deep freeze" at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, and that the ship is being concealed in a hangar at the air base. Wright-Patterson Air Force officials flatly and unequivocally deny the entire account.
Albany Student Press, Oct. 29, 1974

Carr’s mission was to launch Operation Lure, but all most people heard was, “Wright-Patterson Field has in its possession a spacecraft… blah, blah, blah.” Many people hearing the news break on radio took it to be an explosive new disclosure, mistakenly thinking Carr was describing a recent UFO capture, not a story from 1948. Reporters were just interested in the saucer and bodies in Hangar 18, so the plan for peaceful contact was seldom mentioned. The press coverage of the story was huge, carried in newspapers across the US and Canada by syndicated newswires such as the Associated Press and United Press International.

The Orlando Sentinel, Oct. 12, 1974
There was a great deal of excitement, and a fair amount of confusion. When newspapers reported the story the day after the interview, the story began to be challenged. Next:



Friday, May 25, 2018

UFOlogy 1974: The Flying Saucer Symposium in Tampa



With the success of PSI ’74, and the strong interest shown in the UFO programming, Lawrence Brill and PSI (Psychic, Spiritual and Intuition) Conferences decided to do it again, but as a three day "Flying Saucer Symposium." 


Bestselling author Erich von Daniken was booked as the headline speaker, and other guests included Ralph and Judy Blum, Herbert Schirmer, Robert Spencer Carr, and psychic healers and performers. Psychic Bernadene Villanueva, who had helped launch the earlier PSI ‘74 conference, did not attend, perhaps due to her engagement that weekend in Long Beach, CA, in “an amazing evening of demonstrations of prophecy and healing.”

A tongue-in-cheek editorial by Jim Fain, editor of the Dayton Daily News from Ohio was carried by many other US newspapers under various titles, including, “Flying Saucer Study For Psychics Parley.” This version is from The Palm Beach Post, Oct. 18, 1974.

The conference was heavily advertised in area newspapers, and in radio ad television interviews. 
The Tampa Tribune Oct. 17 1974
WPLA Advertisement:

Do You Believe in Flying Saucers?
U.F.O.’S - Ancient Astronauts ... & ESP will be the subject of discussion on WPLA’s public affairs program “Project 74” Wed 9:15 AM Oct. 23rd.

In a Florida interview promoting the conference, Robert Spencer Carr made a spectacular disclosure that was picked up and carried in the national news, and it will be discussed in a separate section.

Brill’s other guests were newsworthy, too, and during the promotional period for the conference, some of them appeared on national TV shows. The listing for Tuesday, October 29, 1974, the NBC Tomorrow Show, a talk show hosted by Tom Snyder:
1:00 TOMORROW - The subject is UFOs. Guests are Herb Schirmer, former police chief in Ashland, Nebr., who will discuss his trip aboard a UFO and Ralph Blum, UFO investigator. 

Flying Saucer Symposium

"Flying Saucer Symposium" was held Nov. 1, 2 and 3rd at the International Inn in Tampa, except for the Erich von Daniken lecture, which was held at Tampa University’s McKay Auditorium. Lectures were priced separately, usually four to five dollar each, but a 3-day ticket to the entire symposium was sold for $37.50.
The events drew about 400, 700, or 1000 attendees, according to various reports.


International Inn in Tampa


Friday Nov. 1

Ralph Blum, and his co-author Judy Blum of Beyond Earth
UFO “Rap Session, Private & Film Special: “In Search of Ancient Astronauts”
Ralph and Judy Blum served as moderators for the symposium, and opened it with a discussion of their work. The Blums became UFO believers while researching a project for NBC and produced a book that reflected the times, giving heavy coverage to the 1973 cases, the Pascagoula Abduction in particular, but also covering “ancient” UFO sightings up to airships, and modern cases, including that of Herb Schirmer, also a guest at the symposium. Interviewed afterwards for the Nov. 21, 1974 Tampa Bay Times, a reporter posed a non-question: 
“Parapsychology, acupuncture, psychic healing, you give indication in your book that they all have to do with UFOs.” 
Ralph Blum replied, “They do. A little 9-year-old kid came up to me the other day and said, ‘Hey man what if ESP is how the spaceship pilots talk.’ A nine-year-old. A generation born to the knowledge that man can leave the earth. Star Trek. 2001. All of it is there.” 

Saturday, Nov. 2

Dr. Robert S. Carr of NICAP
“Spectacular Uncovering Govt. Information”

Carr’s lecture will be examined at length in a more detailed piece, but his ultimate goal was to establish contact with aliens from UFOs, and he offered some advice:
“If you see the occupants collecting soil or vegetation, as they are prone to do, hold your hands up to show you were not armed. Advanced carefully, making friendly gestures with your arm extended and think friendly thoughts. Repeating, ‘I love you, I love you’ in your mind will help.” (Quoted in Tampa Bay Times, Nov. 20, 1974.)

Dr. J. H. Bruening of The University Of Mississippi 
“Moving Pictures of UFOs”
 
A newspaper summarized Bruening’s theory: “UFOs are paraphysical, ultraterrestrial; they exist in another dimension at a different frequency and are not limited by our time coordinates.” Bruening was aligned with the mystical concepts about UFOs promoted by Meade Layne’s Borderlands Science group, John Keel and Jacques Vallee. The films he showed were of the Adamski type, and one sounds like the Benedum airport” saucer film made and marketed by the legendary Gray Barker.
Dr. J. H. Bruening, professor of parapsychology at Ole Miss, screened three films of UFOs. Dancing in the air like falling leaves, the domed discs started and frisked over open fields and airport runways, captured on film by amateur photographers quite by chance.Beings from a parallel universe, or visitors from other planets channeled here through another dimension, are attempting to educate us by UFO displays, Bruening theorizes. “They come and go seemingly to and from nowhere, without regard for the loss of time and space,” he says. Dimensional warps, Bruening says, explain the sudden entrances and exits, paralleling UFO phenomenon – levitation, teleportation, telepathy – to similar effects seen in spiritual seances. (Quoted in Tampa Bay Times, Nov. 4, 1974.)
Herbert Schirmer & Ralph Blum
“Victim Tells Complete Story Never Told”
Ex-policeman Herb Schirmer gave a somewhat jumbled account of his UFO sighting from Ashland, Nebraska, on December 3, 1967, and the subsequent hypnotic regression that produced a story of extraterrestrial contact. Not really an abduction, Schirmer supposedly toured the flying saucer and had a chat with an alien about their plans for a gradual and friendly "invasion." Much of his talk focused on the aftermath of the incident, and his rejection by the local community.
The Schirmer lecture was recorded, and is hosted on Steven W. Kaeser’s site:
http://www.konsulting.com/Schermer%20Layer-3.wav

Erich von Daniken
“Author of Chariots of the Gods”
Erich von Daniken’s lecture drew the largest audience, but dealt with the most familiar material, the author merely repeating material from his bestselling books on the “Ancient Astronaut” theory.
“Seen through the eyes of a primitive intelligence, foreign cosmonauts would be perceived as mighty gods. All of the mythology says the gods will come back. It is better for man to be prepared for such a cultural shock.

Clearwater Sun, Nov. 4, 1974

Sunday Nov. 3

The final day’s lectures focused on psychic matters rather than the extraterrestrial.
A description from The Morning News (Wilmington, Delaware) Page October 31, 1974,
“Outer space is back in vogue” by Al Kramer:
The last day of the symposium switches from the mysteries of space to the spiritual on earth. On the bill are a faith healer, a woman who will explain that "the blind can see," an acupuncture demonstration "with real needles," and a lecture by a "superpsychic" on the practical uses of ESP. 
Rev. Leroy E. Zemke, pastor of Temple of the Living God of St. Petersburg
Spiritual/Psychic Healing: “How and Whys of Healing” 

Evelyn Monahan author of “Put Your Psychic Powers to Work”
“The Blind Can See” 

Dr. E. Stanton Maxey (Stuart FL) “Acupuncture Demonstration with Needles, Also Health Foods."
Maxey was the author of the article, "A Surgeon's Observation on Psychic Surgery" in which he discusses his encounters with several psychic surgeons of the Philippines.

Dr. David Hoy (aka Dr. Faust)
“‘Super Psychic’ Practical Uses of ESP”
 
"Known from coast-to-coast for his radio and TV telephone psychic readings..."

Lawrence Brill admitted the last day's events were a mistake. "I underestimated the draw of UFOs. I should have scheduled more on UFOs."

Lectures and Merchandise

The Tampa Tribune, Nov. 3, 1974.
The speakers were the star attraction, but there was also merchandise. After his lecture, Robert Carr got in a plug for it when he was asked where flying saucers came from. “I have asked three astronomers and four astro-physicists the same question. This is the consensus...and it is also the consensus in the excellent selection of books out in the lobby....that the UFOs come from outside our solar system.”

There was far more than just books on sale, psychic readings, acupuncture demonstrations, UFO detectors… Rik Cosmic's electric mushrooms…

The Morning News (Wilmington, Delaware) Page October 31, 1974 had Lawrence Brill reflect on what was to come in, “Outer space is back in vogue” by Al Kramer:
Brill is already looking forward to future ventures in the realm of the unknown. He's thinking about a follow-up symposium in Atlanta and has scheduled a "conference" aboard a cruise ship in February. "It will be for about 200 people who can get together and . . . er . . . you know, talk about things they have in common, UFOs, the psychic and astrology.”
The last known event hosted by PSI conferences was:
Astrology & ESP Classes Starting Nov. 12, 13 , 14 Day and Evening Sessions...
“Develop your Awareness”

Sadly, Lawrence Brill died the next year. His vision of a series of multi-disciplinary paranormal symposiums was not realized.


Racine Journal Times, Dec 22 1975

Lawrence Brill was a bit ahead of his time, but others would see that his dream of a conference on UFOs, psychic and paranormal topics aboard a cruise ship was brought to life.



PSI’s 1974 Predictions of UFO Disclosure

An interesting bit of trivia: A least five of the prominent guests from the two PSI Conferences shows predicted some kind of UFO revelation or disclosure in the near future.


Jeane Dixon predicted that UFOs would soon be in contact with the Earth. In 1976 she tried again saying, “I know that these aliens, who are really just better developed humans from a planet on the opposite side of the sun, will begin transmitting their secrets to us no later than August 1977.” (OMNI magazine, Nov. 1978)

Bernadene Villanueva, who helped put the psychic in PSI, predicted in the fall of 1974, "Within the next 18 months we will see absolute, conclusive proof of UFO's." (National Enquirer, Nov. 5, 1974," as quoted in The UFO Verdict,  by Robert Sheaffer, 1981.)

Charles Hickson, of Pascagoula Abduction fame: “I think before the year is out, that our government is going to - particularly our Air Force - is going to come out to the American people and tell them that these things do exist." (WWDC radio program, “UFOs: Fact or Fiction?” on Nov. 14, 1974.) 

Ralph Blum, author of  Beyond Earth: Man’s Contact with UFOs, said, “I believe the government already knows that UFOs are piloted by aliens from another star system… Perhaps within the year… The government is ready to tell what it knows.” (Grit News Section August 11, 1974)

 Robert Spencer Carr, speaking at a PSI press conference in Oct. 1974:
“Five weeks ago, I heard from the highest authority in Washington that before Christmas the whole UFO cover-up will be ended. There will be a public admission that UFOs have been real, and that for the past 25 years, the Air Force have known they were piloted by human-like beings.” (The Tampa Tribune, Oct. 16, 1974)


Of all the Flying Saucer Symposium speakers, it was Robert Carr that made the biggest news and overshadowed the entire conference. While few know his name today, Carr’s story rocked the world - and changed the course of history. UFO history, at least.

In our next chapter, we examine Robert Spencer Carr and his shocking claim of the saucer and alien bodies inside Hangar 18.
The Tampa Tribune, Oct. 16, 1974


For more original newspaper clippings and larger versions of the ones above, see our
News article page on the Tampa Flying Saucer Symposium.


Frank Edwards: Making UFOs Newsworthy

Dr. J. Allen Hynek on UFO literature (in  The Edge of Reality , 1975): “If I were to recommend anything in the popular category, I would cho...