Articles Contactee Daniel William Fry UFOlogy White Sands

DANIEL W. FRY (1908-1992) CONTACTEE ~ July 4, 1950 – White Sands Proving Grounds

The world of UFOlogy is rife with stories like this. I found this one and decided to take a closer look at it. Please pardon my breaks in the narrative for my analysis. I have a bad tendency to interrupt people in the middle of what they are saying when it makes no sense.

Daniel W. Fry (1908-1992)

Daniel W. Fry chronicled his initial flying saucer contact experience in The White Sands Incident (1954). His report began —

White Sands Proving Grounds, July 4, 1950.

Tonight I joined the ranks of the F. S. B. (Flying Saucer Believers). Not only have I seen one, I have touched it, entered it, and ridden in it. Also, if I can still trust my senses, I have communicated at some length with the operators.

Now that it has gone, and I am back in my quarters, it seems more and more incredible that it could really have happened. With all the scientific brain and talent that is available at White Sands Proving Grounds, why should I, a simple technician, be chosen, either by chance or design, to be the first human of the present day earth, to ride in a true space vehicle? The improbability of the event is so great that I have almost begun to doubt my own sanity. Naturally, if I were to attempt to convince anyone else that I rode in a “saucer” tonight, I would soon find myself occupying a nicely padded cell in the nearest Booby Hatch. Still this is the greatest event in my life, and I can’t keep it entirely to myself, so I am writing this down exactly as it happened while it is still sharp and clear in my memory.

A brief biography about Fry was included in the book that included the following.

Mr. Fry has been employed for the past five years by Aerojet General Corporation, the world’s largest developers and manufacturers of rocket engines.

During the years of 1949 and 1950, Mr. Fry spent most of his time at the White Sands Proving Ground in New Mexico, where he was engaged in setting up instrumentation for the testing of a series of very large motors.

Fry’s experience at White Sands included watching the landing of an “ovate spheroid about thirty feet in diameter at the equator or largest part” and “shaped more like a soup bowl inverted over a sauce dish.” The event occurred at the “almost deserted army camp” after Fry missed a bus. He decided to take a walk after the air conditioning in his room stopped working. A voice communicated with him when he touched the “polished metal” of the craft. A “crisp voice” that “came out of the air at my side” warned him not to touch the hull. Here are some excerpts of what the voice divulged during the ensuing conversation, as recalled by Fry.

“The hull has a field about it which repels all other matter. The field is very powerful at molecular distances but diminishes by the seventh power of the distance so that the force becomes negligible a few microns away from the hull. Perhaps you noticed that the surface seemed very smooth and slippery. That is because your flesh did not actually touch the metal but was held a short distance from the surface by the repulsion of the field. We use the field to protect the hull from being scratched or damaged in landing. It also lowers air friction tremendously when it is necessary to travel at high speed through an atmosphere.”

Um, this is true of all matter. A simple fact of physics is that though it feels to you like you are touching a solid object, you are not. Take two magnets and try to touch them south to south or north to north. Yes with enough force you can do it, but at the atomic level it is a different story. All atoms are enclosed in a shell of electrons. All electrons posses the negative charge and the repel each other. What feels like contact to you is an interaction of electric fields of varying strengths. Highly advanced aliens would know this.

Also, if their field behaved as they claim, I believe the craft would also be invisible, repelling photons which have mass, if as they claim it repels all matter. Back to the story.

“The best way that I can explain it to you is to say that exposure of the human skin to the force field causes the skin to produce what you call ‘antibodies’ in the blood stream. For some reason which we don’t yet fully understand, these antibodies are absorbed by the liver, whose function they attack causing the liver to become greatly enlarged and congested. In cases where the skin is exposed to the field for a minute or more death is practically certain.”

“What we need are minds sufficiently open to receive evidence (even though that evidence be contrary to all preconceived opinion) and minds sufficiently agile to assimilate that evidence and arrive at logical conclusions. The fact that, in spite of being in circumstances completely unique in your experience, you are listening calmly to my voice and making logical replies, is the best evidence that your mind is of the type we hoped to find.”

A fairly typical statement that sets up any person who questions as an unbeliever. Commonly employed by faith healers the world over.

“When you say that you happen to be here by the merest accident, you greatly underestimate us.”

“I can make my meaning plainer by an analogy. A man seeking scientific knowledge is like an ant climbing a tree. He knows when he is moving upward, but his vision is too short to encompass the entire trunk. The result is that he is likely to get out on a lower limb without realizing that he has left the main trunk. All goes well for a time. He can still climb upward and even pluck a few of the fruits of his progress, but soon he begins to become confused as the solid branch suddenly begins to break up into myriads of twigs and leaves all pointing in different directions. So the seeker of knowledge finds that the great ‘Basic Laws’ which have always been so unshakeable, now begin to divide and to point in opposite directions.

The scientist comes to the conclusion that he is nearing the limit of the knowledge which can be conceived by the mind and that all physical laws ultimately become purely statistical. When he has reached this point he can make further progress only by following a line of abstract mathematical reasoning. This is like travelling on a train in one of your subways. You will probably eventually arrive at your destination, but since you cannot see where you are going along the way, you have no way of being sure that there was not a much shorter and easier way to get to the same place.

Your science is now in this position. For example, your scientist is now obliged to state that the electron is at the same time both a particle and a wave motion. They attempt to rationalize this by saying that the electron is a particle in a wave of probability. This is a condition which cannot be visualized by the mind and the only means of progress are through the subways of abstract mathematics.

“The fundamental truths are always simple and understandable when viewed from the proper perspective. So the branch becomes simple and understandable as a ‘branch’ when viewed from above on the main trunk. In short, what your science must do if it is to continue to progress, is to go back down the limb on which you are trapped to the point where it joins the main trunk and then start up again. This we can and will help your people to do, but only if they wish it and are able to follow the path which we will point out.”

“We are not here to assist any nation in making war but to stimulate a degree of progress which will eliminate the reasons for wars on Earth, even as we, some thousands of years ago eliminated the reasons for conflict among our own people.”

They are clearly having great success.

The voice described the craft as “a cargo carrier with remote control” having “a small passenger compartment with several seats which are plain but quite comfortable.” The voice specified, “I am not in this craft. I am in the central, or what you would call the ‘mother ship,’ which is at present some nine hundred miles above the surface of your planet.”

This is how Fry described his entry into the craft.

Then I heard a single click come from the surface of the ship, a small but sharp click such as might have come from the operation of a single arm relay or a small solenoid, and a portion of the hull just to my left, moved back upon itself for a distance of several inches and then moved sideways, disappearing into the wall of the hull, leaving an oval shaped opening about five feet in height and three feet wide. I moved over to the port or hatch, whichever it might be called, and ducking my head slightly, advanced into the opening. Because of the curvature of the hull of course, my head was inside the craft while my feet were still on the ground.

The compartment into which I was looking, occupied only a small portion of the ship’s volume. It was a room about nine feet deep and seven feet wide, with the floor about sixteen inches above the ground and the ceiling slightly over six feet above the floor. The walls were slightly curved and the intersections of the walls were bevelled so that there were no sharp angles or corners. Of course, the wall nearest me, through which the opening led, was the hull itself and had the same curvature inside and out. This wall was about four inches thick and it was into this wall that the door or hatch had been drawn. The room’s four seats resembled ‘body contour chairs’ except that they were somewhat smaller than the ones to which Fry was accustomed.

In the center of the rear wall, where it joined the ceiling, there was a box or cabinet with a tube and lens which resembled a small moving picture projector, except that there were no visible film spools or any other moving parts. Light was coming from this lens. It was not a beam of light such as would come from a moving picture projector but a diffused glow which, while it did not seem especially bright still furnished enough light for comfortable seeing.

The light changed to become a “viewing beam” that was a violet color. “The beam spread over the door, through which I had come, and the door disappeared . . . It was as though I were looking through the finest type of plate glass or lucite window.”

Fry provided an account of being taken to New York City and back in a period of approximately one half hour. He was able to view the light pattern of the city at night from about twenty miles up. When Fry inquired about the speaker’s name, the response indicated that the name ‘Alan’ “is nearly the same as my given name which is A-Lan.” One of the many surprising disclosures was: “. . . I ransacked your mind as perhaps no mind has ever been ransacked before. I think I can fairly say that I know much more about you than you know about yourself.”

At one point during the interlude Fry noticed “a simple design imprinted in the material of the seat . . .” Alan was then quoted as saying, “Oh, I see you have noticed the symbol and recognized its significance.”

“Yes,” I said. “Anyone who has ever read to any extent would recognize the symbol of the tree and the serpent. It is found in the original inscriptions and legends of every race on earth. It has always seemed to me to be a peculiarly earthly symbol and it was startling to see it appear from the depths of space or from whatever planet you call home.”

“These are things which I had hoped to put off until our next contact,” Alan said. “There is so much to tell and so little time. Our ancestors came originally from this earth. They had built a great empire and a mighty science upon the Continent which your legends call ‘Mu’ or ‘Lemuria.’ At the same time, there was also a great empire upon the Continent of Atlantis.

There is no Science behind Lemuria. It was an attempt to explain the propagation of Lemurs around the Pacific Rim. Some people proposed a vast sunken continent which once connected those disconnected islands and continents on which Lemurs can be found. Plate tectonics and evolution have long since replaced an idea that was of no particular value at its inception.

Because of its similarity to the story of Atlantis, it caught the public imagination. There is no evidence of such a place, renamed Mu by new agers because the supposed ancients would have had no reason to call their continent “Lemuria.”

“There was rivalry in science. Friendly at first, but becoming bitter with the years, as each nation flaunted its achievements in the face of the other. In a few centuries their science had passed the point of development which exists here now. Not content with releasing a few crumbs of the binding energy of the atom, as your physicists are doing now, they had learned to rotate entire masses upon the energy axis. Under the circumstances, it was inevitable that the two nations should eventually destroy each other, just as the two major nations of the earth of today are preparing to do.”

Typical Cold War era Sci Fi B-movie jargon. Found in Disney’s “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea,” “The Day the Earth Stood Still,” “This Island Earth,” and a dozen others. And a common message from the Astral Projectors (Projectiles? Projectites? Projectonauts?)

After leaving the craft, Fry recounted the craft’s departure.

The door had closed behind me and as I turned, a horizontal band of orange colored light appeared about the central part of the ship and it leaped upward as though it had been released from a catapult. The air rushing in to replace that which had been displaced upward, impelled me a full step forward and almost caused me to lose my balance. I managed to keep my eyes on the craft while the band of light went through the colors of the spectrum, from orange to violet. By this time it was several thousand feet in the air and as the light passed through the violet band the craft disappeared entirely from my sight.

First question:
I thought the craft repelled all matter so it had no friction moving through the atmosphere? Where did the vacuum effect come from?
Second question:
If I am mistaken about that (as an unbeliever like me certainly could be,) this is White Sands, New Mexico, that is to say, the desert. That much of an updraft would, with certainty, have raised a cloud of dust that would obscure his vision, not to mention likely leave andy living thing gasping for breath. Yet he describes nothing such to be the case.
I’m a nit picker.

A strong sense of depression settled over me then. I felt as though my work and my life had lost all of its significance. A few hours before, I had been a rather self-satisfied technician setting up instrumentation for the testing of one of the largest rocket motors ever built. While I realized that my part in the program was a small one, nevertheless I had felt as though I were at least travelling in the forefront of progress. Now I knew that the motor, even before it was tested, was pitifully obsolete. I was a small and insignificant cog in a clumsy and backward science, which was moving only toward its own destruction. For a long time I stood in the sand, looking from the crumpled path of brush up to the stars.

The White Sands Incident was published in a softcover edition by the New Age Publishing Co. of Los Angeles. More information about Daniel Fry is available at Sean Donovan’s, including free Internet editions of books by Fry, an audio interview of Fry with Ben Hunter (sixth on page), photographs, the complete contents of all editions of Fry’s Understanding newsletters, and a “Controversies” page.

Something that I have in common with Daniel Fry is that I spent much of my early life residing in Pasadena, California. Fry was brought to California in 1920 when his guardian was his maternal grandmother. He was married in Pasadena in 1934.

A video of a “1950s missile launch” at White Sands Proving Ground may be viewed here.

Daniel Fry

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Daniel William Fry
BornJuly 19, 1908
Verdon TownshipMinnesota
DiedDecember 20, 1992 (aged 84)
AlamogordoNew Mexico
Known forAlleged abduction
Alleged abduction of
Daniel William Fry
StatusMultiple contactee
First abduction dateJuly 4, 1949
LocationWhite Sands Missile RangeNew Mexico
Taken fromDesert
AbductorSpace Brothers
BookThe White Sands Incident (1954)

Daniel William Fry (July 19, 1908 – December 20, 1992) was an American contactee who claimed he had multiple contacts with an alien and took a ride in a remotely piloted alien spacecraft on July 4, 1949. He was born in Verdon Township, Minnesota.

White Sands incident[edit]

From the White Sands Proving Ground in New Mexico where he worked, Fry had planned to join the July 4, 1949 evening festivities in nearby Las Cruces but missed the last bus. Finding the Bachelor Officers Quarters (BOQ) where he stayed too hot, he decided to explore a path in the desert he had never been down. There, Fry claimed a 30-foot (10 m) diameter, 16 foot (5 m) high “oblate spheroid” landed in front of him, and he talked remotely with the pilot who operated the craft from a “mother ship” 900 miles (1400 km) above Earth. Fry claimed he was invited aboard and flown over New York City and back in 30 minutes.[1] During the flight and subsequent meetings, Fry asserted that he talked with the pilot named Alan, (pronounced “a-lawn”[2]) who gave Fry information on physics, the prehistory of Earth including Atlantis and Lemuria and the foundations of civilization.

Truth or fiction[edit]

Shortly after Fry went public with his story in 1954, he failed a polygraph examination about his claims.[3][4] Fry also took photos and 16 mm film of supposed UFOs, but subsequent analysis[5] of the original footage has provided evidence both the film and photographs were a hoax.

Later, Fry claimed to have received a doctorate; the “degree” was from a mail-order company in London, UK, called Saint Andrew College and was a “Doctorate of Cosmism“.[6]

Many years later, Fry also changed the date the event took place from July 4, 1950, to July 4, 1949.[7]

Understanding Inc.[edit]

Understanding Vol II Issue #9, October 1957

In 1954, Fry published his first book called The White Sands Incident and a year later started an organization called Understanding which published a monthly newsletter by the same name. Understanding was eventually incorporated as a non-profit corporation, which was described in a 1959 pamphlet as “From a start of nine members at El Monte, California in 1955, Understanding Inc., has grown into an international organization of more than sixty units and many members-at-large throughout the world. These units and members have sponsored hundreds of lectures and meetings, circulated thousands of books and magazines to reach many people in the spirit of ‘bringing about a greater degree of understanding among all the peoples of the earth and preparing them for their eventual inevitable meetings with other races in space.”[8]

Using Alan’s ideas as a foundation, Understanding Inc. served to spread alternative social and spiritual ideas by speeches, meetings and in the newsletter. The newsletter, first published in 1956, was typically about 20 pages long, published monthly and ran for 240+ issues until October 1979.

Understanding Inc. peaked in the early sixties with about 1,500 paid members and 60 or so “Units” in America. Mid-way through its waning years in 1974, Understanding was donated[9] 55 acres (220,000 m²) of land including eight buildings near Tonopah, Arizona by Enid Smith. The buildings, first intended as a religious college, had the coincidental feature of being round and saucer shaped. Understanding Inc. had fully taken the property over by 1976 but given Daniel’s tight finances during his retirement and the falling Understanding membership, the property fell into disrepair. In late September and early October 1978, the kitchen and the library were burned to the ground by an arsonist and never rebuilt.

Understanding Inc. was considered by some to be a cult,[10] but Daniel insisted that it wasn’t in a 1969 Daily Courier article: “The group is not mystic, he says, and is not a flying saucer watching organization although some members hold definite beliefs and interests in both areas. Understanding Inc. which is a non-profit, tax exempt corporation, works on the principles that there is nothing that members are required to believe or accept or do, Dr. Fry said.”[11] During the early 1970s, Professor Robert S. Ellwood of the University of Southern California studied many new and unconventional religious and spiritual groups in the United States. During his research, he attended a meeting held in Inglewood, California by members of Understanding, Inc. and noted that, “There is no particular religious practice connected with the meeting, although the New Age Prayer derived from the Alice Bailey writings is used as an invocation.”[12]

From 1954 onward, with little reimbursement, Fry gave thousands of lectures to organizations such as service clubs, radio and television stations. He also published other books such as Atoms, Galaxies and UnderstandingTo Men of EarthSteps to the StarsCurve of DevelopmentCan God Fill Teeth? and Verse and Worse. He, along with other contactees would attend the yearly Spacecraft Convention at Giant Rock in Yucca Valley, California for the next twenty years, hosted by a friend and fellow contactee, George Van Tassel.

Key points in Fry’s life[edit]

The first key point was in late 1919 when Emily, Fry’s grandmother who was his sole guardian, made the decision to move to South Pasadena, California to be near Fry’s uncle Walter.[13] Fry would live in and around the South Pasadena area for the next 35 years and get in on the ground floor of the early rocket research which Pasadena was host to in the 1940s and 1950s.

The next important point was in 1949. After the war, when there were massive layoffs, Fry had moved to Oregon to find a way to make a living, and because of Fry’s work with Edmund Sawyer at Crescent and other related rocketry work, he got a job with Aerojet setting up instrumentation to test rockets at the test range in White Sands, New Mexico.[14] It was that year that he had his reported “incident” with Alan which altered the trajectory of his life.

Most of the events following 1919 and 1949 were a result of the changes that had happened during those years. After 1919, Fry turned his working knowledge of explosives into jobs with rockets, which evolved, thanks in part to his early involvement with Crescent, into jobs with rocket instrumentation.

After 1949, because of his alleged contact with Alan, he became a founding member of the contactee movement, formed Understanding, published 240+ issues of the Understanding newsletter, authored multiple books and gave thousands of lectures, interviews and talks. Fry became the 1972 vice-presidential nominee of the Universal Party along with the presidential nominee and fellow contactee Gabriel Green.[15]

In December, 1978, Fry would note with frustration the dwindling membership and the library and kitchen at the Tonopah site were burned to the ground by an arsonist. Shortly before the fire, Daniel would turn over the Understanding organization to Mr. and Mrs. Sellman and move to Alamogordo, New Mexico with his second wife Florence.[16] Less than a year later, the Sellmans quit, along with a number of other long time board members like Tahahlita, because of Daniel’s refusal to negotiate a settlement over the Tonopah site lawsuit related to Enid Smith’s contested will. With the Understanding organization in tatters, the publication of the newsletter ceased in 1979 after 20 years. A year later Florence died from breast cancer.

Professional life[edit]

In his professional life, Fry worked as a “powder man” or explosives supervisor in the 1930s and 1940s on such jobs as the Salinas Dam near San Luis ObispoCalifornia, for the Basic Magnesium Corporation and on the Pan American Highway in Honduras. From 1949 until 1954, Daniel worked at Aerojet designing, building and installing transducers for control, feedback and measurement of rockets during flight and static tests. From 1954 onward, Fry helped build[17] the Crescent Engineering & Research Company into a multimillion-dollar company along with the founder, Edmund Vail Sawyer, eventually becoming the Vice President of Research[18] and a stockholder. Crescent made parts related to rockets including transducers,[19] and did JATO rocket nozzle rework during the war.[20]

In the early 1960s, Fry sold his share in Crescent and moved to Merlin, Oregon. In the October 1963 issue of Understanding, he wrote, “During the past year and a half, Understanding has been in the process of a gradual shift of location from southern California to southern Oregon.”[21] In Merlin, he ran the Merlin Development Company[22] until moving to Tonopah, Arizona in the 1970s. There he looked after Enid Smith until her death and managed her estate including property she had donated to Understanding, Inc. Shortly before Understanding ceased to function in 1979, Daniel retired to Alamogordo, New Mexico but a few years later restarted publication of the Understanding newsletter, by now reduced to a single 8″ x 14″ page, which he continued until 1989.[23]

Personal life[edit]

Daniel William Fry was born on July 19, 1908 near a small steamboat landing on the Mississippi River called Verdon Township in the northern part of Aitkin CountyMinnesota to Fred Nelson Fry and Clara Jane Baehr. Clara died in 1916 and left Daniel and his older sister, Florence, to be raised by their grandmother while Fred found work where he could as a carpenter and labourer. Fred died two years later in 1918 during the influenza pandemic and left Daniel orphaned at the age of ten. He and his sister were reared under the guardianship of his grandmother and came with her to South PasadenaCalifornia in 1920. Daniel attended the now defunct El Centro Elementary school and went to high school in Antelope Valley.[24]

His parents left practically no estate and at the age of eighteen he found himself entirely dependent upon his own resources. He completed high school but because of increasing unemployment that preceded the 1930s depression he abandoned plans for university. However, he found what jobs he could and studied during the evenings. He worked through the subjects he would have taken at university by using material from the Pasadena Public Library. He became interested in chemistry and eventually specialized in the use of explosives finally settling on the new field of rocketry.[25]

He married his first wife, Elma, in 1934 and had three children. He divorced Elma in 1964 while living in Merlin, Oregon and took up common-law residence with Bertha (aka Tahahlita) until moving to Tonopah, Arizona in the mid 1970s. There he married Florence, and before Florence died of breast cancer in 1980, they retired to Alamogordo, New Mexico. Fry then married Cleona, a local Alamogordo resident in 1982 and they remained married until his death there on December 20, 1992.[26]


  1. ^ “The White Sands Incident“, Daniel W. Fry, 1954, published by Franklin Thomas.
  2. ^ “How is “Alan”, the name of Daniel’s supposed alien, pronounced?“, Daniel Fry Dot Com, An audio clip from a Long John Nebel interview where Daniel says the name
  3. ^ “My Experience With the Lie Detector“, Daniel Fry, September 1954, “Saucers”, Vol. ii, No. 3, pages 6-8.
  4. ^ “The Case of Dan Fry“, Jacqueline Sanders, 1955 “Saucerian”, No. 5, pages 38-40.
  5. ^ “Fake UFO Films?“, Sean Donovan, Daniel Fry Dot Com, March 2006.
  6. ^ “Did Daniel Have a Doctorate?“, Sean Donovan, Daniel Fry Dot Com, October 2005.
  7. ^ “Alien Base“, Timothy Good, 1998, Century, London, England, ISBN 0-7126-7812-3, pages 75-76.
  8. ^ “Understanding, Incorporated – History, Present Status, Future Objectives“, 1959 Pamphlet, Understanding Inc.
  9. ^ “Understanding“, May 1976, Vol. 21, No. 4, pages 14-15.
  10. ^ Index of Cults and Religions: UWatchman Fellowship ministry
  11. ^ “Understanding Inc., We Don’t Sit Around Watching Saucers”, Grants Pass Daily Courier, Grants Pass, Oregon, Dec. 26th, 1969, Section B, page 6
  12. ^ Ellwood, Robert S. (1973). Religious and Spiritual Groups in Modern America. Prentice Hall. ISBN 0-13-773317-8. Pages 143 – 145: “Understanding, Inc.” and “Reading Selection: Understanding, Inc.”
  13. ^ “Contactee – Was Daniel W. Fry Telling the Truth”, Sean Donovan, ISBN 9780987975003PDF eBook, pp. 32
  14. ^ “Contactee – Was Daniel W. Fry Telling the Truth”, Sean Donovan, ISBN 9780987975003PDF eBook, pp. 41
  15. ^ “Contactee – Was Daniel W. Fry Telling the Truth”, Sean Donovan, ISBN 9780987975003PDF eBook, pp. 129, 181.
  16. ^ “Understanding“, November & December 1978, Vol. 23, No 8., pages 19-23.
  17. ^ “They Rode In Space Ships“, Gavin Gibbons, 1957, Citadel Press, page 5.
  18. ^ Toward the Exploration of Space, Edmund V. Sawyer, page 130
  19. ^ Toward the Exploration of Space, Edmund V. Sawyer
  20. ^ “The Pacific Rocket Society and the Founding of the International Astronautical Federation 1944-1960, a memoir”, Edmund Sawyer, Chapter 19 from “History of Rocketry and Astronautics”.
  21. ^ “Understanding“, October 1963, Vol. 8, No. 10, page 19.
  22. ^ “Understanding“, August 1961, Vol. 6, No. 8, pages 3-4.
  23. ^ Last Issue of Understanding, June 1989
  24. ^ “Verse and Worse“, Daniel Fry, 1979, Exposition Press, Hicksville, New York, page 4.
  25. ^ “They Rode in Space Ships“, Gavin Gibbons, 1957, Citadel Press, page 4.
  26. ^ “Alamogordo Daily News” Monday, December 1992, page 12.

External links[edit]

Daniel Fryat Wikipedia’s sister projects

Claimed sightingsGeneralList of reported UFO sightingsSightings in outer spacePre-20th centuryTulli Papyrus (possibly 15th century B.C.)Ezekiel’s Wheel (circa 622–570 B.C.)Air ship of Clonmacnoise (740s)1561 celestial phenomenon over Nuremberg1566 celestial phenomenon over BaselJosé Bonilla observation (1883)Airship wave (1896-7)Aurora (1897)20th centuryLos Angeles (1942)Kenneth Arnold (1947)1947 crazeFlight 105 (1947)Roswell (1947)Rhodes (1947)Mantell (1948)Chiles-Whitted (1948)Gorman Dogfight (1948)Mariana (1950)McMinnville photographs (1950)Sperry (1950)Lubbock Lights (1951)Nash-Fortenberry (1952)Washington, D.C. (1952)Flatwoods monster (1952)Kelly–Hopkinsville (1955)Lakenheath-Bentwaters (1956)Antônio Villas Boas (1957)Levelland (1957)Barney and Betty Hill abduction (1961)Lonnie Zamora incident (1964)Solway Firth Spaceman (1964)Exeter (1965)Kecksburg (1965)Westall (1966)Falcon Lake (1967)Shag Harbour (1967)Jimmy Carter (1969)Finnish Air Force (1969)Pascagoula Abduction (1973)John Lennon UFO incident (1974)Travis Walton incident (1975)Tehran (1976)Petrozavodsk phenomenon (1977)Operação Prato (1977)Zanfretta incident (1978)Valentich disappearance (1978)Kaikoura Lights (1978)Robert Taylor incident (1979)Val Johnson incident (1979)Cash–Landrum incident (1980)Rendlesham Forest (1980)Trans-en-Provence (1981)Japan Air Lines (1986)Ilkley Moor (1987)Voronezh incident (1989)Belgian UFO wave (1990)Ariel School (1994)Varginha (1996)Phoenix Lights (1997)21st centuryUSS Nimitz UFO incident (2004)Campeche, Mexico (2004)O’Hare Airport (2006)Alderney (2007)Norway (2009)USS Theodore Roosevelt UFO incidents (2014)Jetpack man (2020–21)High-altitude object events (2023)Confirmed hoaxesMaury Island hoax (1947)Twin Falls, Idaho hoax (1947)Aztec, New Mexico hoax (1949)Southern England (1967)Majestic 12 (1985)Gulf Breeze (1987–88)Alien autopsy (1995)Morristown (2009)
Sightings by countryAfrica (South Africa)AlbaniaArgentinaAustraliaBelarusBelgiumBrazilCanadaChinaFranceGreeceIndiaIndonesiaIranItalyMexicoNepalNew ZealandNorwayPolandRussiaSpain (Canary Islands)SwedenUnited KingdomUnited States
Types of UFOsBlack triangleFlying saucerFoo fighterGhost rocketsGreen fireballsMystery airshipSpace jellyfish
Types of alleged
extraterrestrial beings
Energy beingsGrey aliensInsectoidsLittle green menNordic aliensReptilian humanoids
StudiesThe Flying Saucers Are Real (1947–1950)Project Sign (1948)Project Grudge (1949)Flying Saucer Working Party (1950)Project Magnet (1950–1962)Project Blue Book (1952–1970)Robertson Panel (1953)Ruppelt report (1956)National Investigations Committee On Aerial Phenomena (1956-1980)Condon Report (1966–1968)Institute 22 (1978–?)Project Condign (1997–2000)Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program (2007–2012)Identification studies of UFOsUnidentified Aerial Phenomena Task Force (current)
HypothesesAncient astronautsCryptoterrestrialExtraterrestrialInterdimensionalPsychosocialNazi UFOsTrotskyist-Posadism
Conspiracy theoriesArea 51 Storm Area 51Bob LazarDulce BaseMen in blackProject Serpo
InvolvementAbduction claimsHistoryEntitiesClaimantsNarrativePerspectivesInsuranceOtherImplantsCattle mutilationClose encounterContacteeCrop circlesGovernment responses GEIPANOrganizationsUfologists
CultureConventionsFictionReligions list
SkepticismList of scientific skepticsCommittee for Skeptical Inquiry
hideAuthority control 
NationalUnited StatesJapanNetherlandsPoland


The UFO contactee no one investigated

There is one aspect of American ufology that has always puzzled me. Why have no serious investigators ever made in-depth studies and documentation of the first generation contactees? Instead there has been an almost total preoccupation with abductions and crash retrieval stories. The first ufologist who made an effort, in a more open minded way, to document these contactees was the British investigator Timothy Good in co-operation with Lou Zinsstag (George Adamski – The Untold Story, 1983).

Instead of thorough investigation accomplished ufologists like Jim and Coral Lorenzen, Allen Hynek and Jacques Vallee simply dismissed these first generation contactees as charlatans. Especially Hynek and Vallee should have suspected there was a deeper level to some of these often wild claims as both were, more or less in secret, scholars of esoteric traditions. But they totally missed this aspect and Allen Hynek commented on their philosophy as “platitudes in stained glass attitudes” (Hynek & Vallee; The Edge of Reality, p. 181. A somewhat more profound inquiry could have revealed to these two gentlemen the possibility of an actual Esoteric Intervention behind the scenes, orchestrated by the Higher Intelligence Agency (HIA).

Because of this neglect in research much data is now forever lost. Most of those involved with the first generation contactees are gone. Research will have to be made with second generation data, correspondence and interviews with relatives. My hope is that American researchers will, as soon as possible, initiate research projects with the following contactees: Orfeo Angelucci, George Van Tassel, Dorris Van Tassel, Carol Honey, Helen & Betty Mitchell, Eugene Drake, Howard MengerPaul Vest and Millen Cooke. This should include studies of the first directors of Borderland Sciences Research Associates (BSRA), Meade Layne and Riley Crabb. Renewed investigations into George Adamski and Daniel Fry is of course also of primary interest although Sean Donovan has made a commendable effort with the biography Contactee. Was Daniel W. Fry Telling the Truth?

Daniel Fry in Sweden 1970

An example of neglected research is the American contactee Eugene H. Drake 1889-1973, director of The Fellowship of Golden Illumination. He is not even mentioned in UFO encyclopedias and data about his life and experiences are exceedingly scarce. From my distant vantage point here in Sweden I have tried to gather as much information as possible about this forgotten contactee. Excellent help with biographical data was provided by Joshua Blu Buhs. A real wizard when it comes to biographical information retrieval as evidenced by his very informative blog on old Fortean researchers From an Oblique Angle. He is a real master detective in finding obscure data on various underground individuals in the Fortean world.

Eugene H. Drake 1951

Not even at AFU is there much information to find on Drake. We have his two booklets, Visitors From Space (no publication date given, but probably 1949 or 1950) and Life On the Planets. A visit to Venus (1950). We also have a single copy of his magazine Golden Light, vol 10, no. 2, May 1962 and two letters written in 1962 and 1963 to Edith Nicolaisen, founder of the new age publishing house Parthenon in 1957.

Golden Light, May 1962

What made me especially fascinated by Eugene Drake was the fact that he, years before George Adamski, claimed physical contact with space people and was actually the first to print illustrations of the classic Adamski type scout ship and cigar shaped space craft. Something that has not been noticed, or at least mentioned, by American ufologists. An additional letter by Eugene Drake is to be found in the German edition of his booklet, Besucher aus dem Weltraum, published by Ventla Verlag 1961. Besides these data there are a few, not very informative, mentions on the internet.

Illustration in Visitors from Space

Here is the extensive biographical information mailed to be by Joshua Blu Buhs, December 20, 2016:
“Eugene Harry Drake was born 22 September 1889 in Warren county, Pennsylvania, to Zachariah Taylor Drake and Sarah Jane (Jackson) Drake. He relocated to the Los Angeles area no later than 1910, when he was there, living with his grandparents (and a sister), working as a stenographer for a hardware company. He was a private in the New Jersey and California National Guards. Drake married Priscilla Atlee Putnam no later than the beginning of 1917. They had two daughters, Priscilla and Irene. In 1917 and 1918, the family lived in Pasadena, at 539 N. Lake, and Eugene worked as a cashier. Apparently, he also hoped to get into the film industry. In 1920, the family lived in Santa Monica (Eugene’s mother-in-law lived with them.) He told the U.S. Census that he worked as a manager for a film exchange.

In April of 1922, Drake was arrested for embezzling $6,400 from the New England Mutual Life Insurance Company, where he worked as a cashier, to keep afloat his film production business. One source reported that he had been in hiding for a month, trailed by detectives, while the case of his forgery was made. I do not know if he served any jail time; he is in the 1923 city directory for Santa Monica—as a bookkeeper—but his entry could have been put together much earlier. He was also in the 1928 city directory, listed as a salesman. The 1930 directory has him too, but does not list an occupation.

Eugene Drake and Family 1920s

The 1930 census has him and his family (minus his mother-in-law) in Santa Monica, where he rented a house. He was a salesman, of building materials. The Drakes lived at 1435 Euclid Street. This census tells us that Drake did not serve in World War I; I do not know why. (He did register for the war, though.) I do not otherwise know what he was up to during the 1930s. In 1942, he was living at 2503 4th Street, apartment 4, in Santa Monica. He listed no employer or employment with the draft board.

Six years later, he may have been living in Bell, California—there’s a city directory listing that may have been him—or Santa Monica, but was going by Dr. Eugene H. Drake. I do not know how he earned the honorific. In November, he was advertised as teaching a series of Thursday classes at the Universal Truth Church in Long Beach. The subject was not stated in the newspaper ads. After this, you probably no more than me about him.

He started putting out his books and magazine. He wrote about Mt. Shasta and its “Little People.” He started building his compound in the desert, where he claimed contact with aliens. He was mentioned in the Saturday Evening Post as using special tools in his research. He spoke at the Amalgamated Flying Saucers Club’s first annual convention (1959). He was mentioned in the ‘zine “Understanding.” And he was referenced in “the Journal of Borderland Research.”

We know that the flying saucer contactee Eugene H. Drake was the same as the white-collar worker from the 1920s thanks to “The Open Way,” number 3, 1952, which listed him as one of its members. It gave his address as 1014 So. Lake Street, which was the address given for the Fellowship of Golden Illumination.” It also gave a brief biography, with his birth date—22 September 1889–and his family situation—married with two daughters—which prove that he is the same man. It gives his occupation as “writer, teacher, spiritual healer.” He does not have an honorific—no “Dr.” title, though others in the directory do.

He died 21 February 1973 in Los Angeles. He was 82.”

In his first booklet, Visitors from Space, Eugene Drake present this summary of his contact experiences: “For a long time space craft have had this planet under observation. We have been in contact with them since 1930. At that time we were in Santa Monica, and contact was made in a large field where the Santa Monica City College is now located. Only during the past few years have they chosen to reveal their presence.” (p. 1) According to Drake the contacts were physical but the space people live at the etheric level of our multiverse and materialize themselves during the contact events.

In his letter to Karl and Amy Veit, September 19, 1961, published in Besucher aus dem Weltraum, Drake makes these interesting comments (my translation): “There are very few people who have had real physical contact with space ships or space people, like ourselves. I have on various occasions experienced how space people appear in condensed form and I could shake their hands. After the contact they disappeared into a higher frequency.” Drake makes it very clear that the space people living on planets in our solar system are not organic physical in the ordinary sense but living at the etheric level. This is in accordance with the Esoteric Tradition and was also the interpretation made by Desmond Leslie as to the reality of space people.

Some of the information and message presented in Drake´s two booklets appear as rather unsophisticated and naive mysticism not always especially reliable. But whatever the ontological status of his experiences he is a very important figure in UFO history. Much of what George Adamski said seems almost copied from Drake´s booklets. Scholars of Western Esotericism as well as ufologists could find many fascinating clues to the origin of the UFO movement in studying Eugene Drake. If some of my research collegues and friends worldwide find more data on Drake I hope you will share the information.

Posted by Håkan Blomqvist at Monday, January 02, 2017 

You may also like...