George Adamski

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George Adamski
George Adamski 1.jpg
Born(1891-04-17)April 17, 1891
DiedApril 23, 1965(1965-04-23) (aged 74)
Maryland, USA
OccupationSelf-described "wandering teacher"[1]
OrganizationRoyal Order of Tibet,
International Get Acquainted Program,
George Adamski Foundation
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"Orthon" redirects here. For the Roman emperor also known as Orthon, see Otho.
George Adamski
George Adamski 1.jpg
Born(1891-04-17)April 17, 1891
DiedApril 23, 1965(1965-04-23) (aged 74)
Maryland, USA
OccupationSelf-described "wandering teacher"[1]
OrganizationRoyal Order of Tibet,
International Get Acquainted Program,
George Adamski Foundation

George Adamski (April 17, 1891 – April 23, 1965) was a Polish-born American citizen who became widely known in ufology circles, and to some degree in popular culture, after he claimed to have photographed ships from other planets, met with friendly Nordic alien Space Brothers, and to have taken flights with them. The first of the so-called contactees of the 1950s, he was called a "philosopher, teacher, student and saucer researcher," though his claims were met with skepticism.[2]

Adamski had written a best-selling book titled Flying Saucers Have Landed detailing his experiences, co-written with Desmond Leslie.[3]

Early years[edit]

Adamski was born on April 17, 1891, in Poland.[4] At the age of two, he and his family emigrated to America and settled in New York City.[4] From 1913 to 1916, beginning at the age of 22,[5] he was a soldier in the 13th U.S. Cavalry Regiment K-Troop fighting at the Mexican border during the Pancho Villa Expedition.[4] In 1917, he married.[5] Adamski then moved west, doing maintenance work in Yellowstone National Park and working in an Oregon flour mill.[4] While in Laguna Beach, Adamski founded the "Royal Order of Tibet," which held its meetings in the "Temple of Scientific Philosophy."[5] In 1940, Adamski and some close friends moved to a ranch near California's Palomar Mountain, where they dedicated their time to studying and farming.[5] In 1944, with funding from Alice K. Wells, a student of Adamski, they purchased 20 acres (8.1 ha) of land on Palomar Mountain, where they built a new home called Palomar Garden and a new restaurant called Palomar Gardens Cafe.[2][4][5]


On October 9, 1946, during a meteor shower, Adamski and some friends claimed that while they were at the Palomar Gardens campground, they witnessed a large cigar-shaped "mother ship."[4] In 1947, Adamski took a photograph of what he claimed was the 1946 cigar-shaped "mother ship" crossing in front of the moon over Palomar Gardens.[4]

On May 29, 1950, Adamski took a photograph of what he alleged to be six unidentified objects in the sky, which appeared to be flying in formation.[4] Adamski's May 29, 1950, UFO photograph was depicted in an August 1978 commemorative stamp issued by the island nation of Grenada in order to mark the "Year of UFOs."[4][6]

On November 20, 1952, Adamski and several friends were in the Colorado Desert near the town of Desert Center, California, when they purportedly saw a large submarine-shaped object hovering in the sky. Believing that the ship was looking for him, Adamski is said to have left his friends and to have headed away from the main road. Shortly afterwards, according to Adamski's accounts, a scout ship made of a type of translucent metal landed close to him, and its pilot, a Venusian called Orthon,[7] disembarked and sought him out.[8]

Adamski's photograph, which is said to be of an UFO, taken on December 13, 1952. However, German scientist Walther Johannes Riedel said this photo was a fake, and that the landing struts were light bulbs

Adamski described Orthon as being a medium-height humanoid with long blond hair and tanned skin wearing reddish-brown shoes, though, as Adamski added, "his trousers were not like mine."[1][4][8][9] Adamski said Orthon communicated with him via telepathy and through hand signals.[1][8][9] During their conversation, Orthon is said to have warned of the dangers of nuclear war and to have arranged for Adamski to be taken on a trip to see the Solar System, including the planet Venus, the location where Mrs. Adamski had been reincarnated.[4][8] Adamski said that Orthon had refused to allow himself to be photographed and instead asked Adamski to provide him with a blank photographic plate, which Adamski says that he gave him.[4] When Orthon left, Adamski said that he and George Hunt Williamson were able to take plaster casts of Orthon's footprints, which contained mysterious symbols.[10]

Orthon is said to have returned the plate to Adamski on December 13, 1952, at which point it was found to contain new strange symbols.[4][11] It was during this meeting that Adamski is said to have taken a now famous UFO photograph using his 6-inch (150 mm) telescope.[11]

In 1954, Desmond Leslie is said to have witnessed several UFOs with Adamski while visiting him in California. He described one of them in a letter he sent to his wife while he was in San Diego:[12]

... a beautiful golden ship in the sunset, but brighter than the sunset ... It slowly faded out, the way they do.

In 1957 Adamski received a letter signed "R.E. Straith," alleged representative of the "Cultural Exchange Committee" of the U.S. State Department. The letter said the U.S. Government knew that Adamski had spoken to extraterrestrials in a California desert in 1952, and that a group of highly placed government officials planned on public corroboration of Adamski's story. Adamski was proud of this endorsement and exhibited it to support his claims. However, in 2002 ufologist James W. Moseley revealed that the letter was a hoax. Moseley said he and his friend Gray Barker had obtained some official State Department letterheads, created the R.E. Straith persona, and then written the letter to Adamski as a prank. According to Moseley, the FBI investigated the case and discovered that the letter was a hoax, but charges were not filed against Moseley or Barker.[13] Moseley also wrote that the FBI informed Adamski that the Straith letter was a hoax and asked him to stop using it as evidence in support of his claims, but that Adamski refused and continued to display the letter in his lectures and talks.[14]

In May 1959, Adamski received a letter from the head of the Dutch Unidentified Flying Objects Society informing him that she had been contacted by officials at the palace of Queen Juliana of the Netherlands and "that the Queen would like to receive you."[2] Adamski informed a London newspaper about the invitation, which prompted the court and cabinet to request that the queen cancel her private audience with Adamski, but the queen went ahead with the audience, saying, "A hostess cannot slam the door in the face of her guests."[2] After the audience, Dutch Aeronautical Association president Cornelis Kolff said, "The Queen showed an extraordinary interest in the whole subject."[2] Wire services such as United Press International and Reuters sent the story out, and newspapers around the world ran it. On May 19, 1959, The Straits Times ran the story.[15] The Sydney Morning Herald ran it on May 20, 1959, along with an image titled "The 'Moon Man.'"[16] On May 21, 1959, the Rockford Register-Republic ran the article,[17] and the Los Angeles Times ran it on May 27, 1959.[18]

Adamski believed that the photographs of the far side of the Moon that were taken by the Soviet lunar probe Luna 3 in 1959 were altered to depict a barren, lifeless surface when in fact there were cities, trees, and snow-capped mountains there instead.[19]

Later life and death[edit]

Adamski's "Golden Medal of Honor," which he claimed to have received during a secret audience with Pope John XXIII

In 1962, Adamski announced that he would be attending an interplanetary conference held on the planet Saturn.[4] In 1963, Adamski claimed that he had had a secret audience with Pope John XXIII and that he had received a "Golden Medal of Honor" from His Holiness.[20] Adamski, at the request of the extraterrestrials he was allegedly in contact with, met with the Pope in order to request a "final agreement" from him because of his decision not to communicate directly with any extraterrestrials, and also to offer him a liquid substance in order to save him from the gastric enteritis that he suffered from, which would later become acute peritonitis.[21]

On April 23, 1965, at the age of 74, Adamski died of a heart attack in Maryland.[4]


The most common arguments contrary to Adamski's claims forwarded by skeptics in the 1950s is that living on the planet Venus was technologically impossible considering Earth's technological advancement (in the 1950s), owing to its environmental conditions. These conditions include an atmospheric pressure at the planet's surface which is 92 times that of Earth, clouds composed of a substance thought to be sulfuric acid, and an average surface temperature of 464 °C. It follows, then, that no human from Earth could live on the surface of the planet without a highly developed technology, and as a result most considered Adamski's claims to be a technological impossibility for the 1950s. It should be noted however, that the alleged Venusian visitors stated they lived in underground cities, thus not being exposed to hostile conditions on the surface.[citation needed] Also, his claims inspired a British citizen who went under the name Cedric Allingham.

Adamski's 1955 book Inside the Space Ships is considered by some[22] to be a "remake" of a science fiction book, ghostwritten by Lucy McGinnis entitled Pioneers of Space, that Adamski authored in 1949. His often-published photo of a flying saucer from 1952 has been variously identified as a streetlight or the top of a chicken brooder.[23] Adamski also claimed that movie director Cecil B. DeMille's top trick photographer, J. Peverell Marley, had examined his UFO photos and found a "spaceman" in them, and Marley himself declared that if Adamski's pictures were fakes, they were the best he had ever seen. In England, 14 experts from the J. Arthur Rank company concluded that the object photographed was either real or a full-scale model.[24] However, in his 1957 investigation into Adamski's claims, James W. Moseley interviewed Marley, who denied that he had enlarged the photos for analysis, found a "spaceman" in them, or knew of anyone who had. Moseley also interviewed German rocket scientist Walther Johannes Riedel (1903–1974), who told him that he had analyzed Adamski's UFO photos and found them to be fakes.[25] Riedel told Moseley that the UFO's "landing struts" were actually 100-watt General Electric light bulbs, and that he had seen the "GE" logo printed on them.[25]

Adamski's co-author, the Irish aristocrat Desmond Leslie, created a low-budget UFO film entitled Them And The Thing at Castle Leslie in the mid-1950s in which the flying saucer was created by shining mirrors on to a Spanish Renaissance shield suspended from a fishing line. The film was rediscovered in 2010.[26]


  • Royal Order of Tibet (1936). Questions and Answers. Wisdom of the Masters of the Far East 1. "Compiled by Professor G. Adamski". Laguna Beach, CA: G. Adamski. LCCN 36025826. OCLC 38260588. 
  • Adamski, George (1949). Pioneers of Space: A Trip to the Moon, Mars and Venus (1st ed.). Los Angeles: Leonard-Freefield. LCCN ltf91070007. OCLC 317646658. 
  • Leslie, Desmond; Adamski, George (1953). Flying Saucers Have Landed. New York: British Book Centre. ISBN 0-854351-80-9. LCCN 53012621. OCLC 383007. 
  • Adamski, George (1955). Inside the Space Ships. New York: Abelard-Schuman. LCCN 55010556. OCLC 543169. 
  • —— (1961). Flying Saucers Farewell. New York: Abelard-Schuman. LCCN 61012205. OCLC 964949. 
  • —— (1967) [Originally published 1955 as Inside the Space Ships; New York: Abelard-Schuman]. Inside the Flying Saucers. New York: Paperback Library. OCLC 1747128. 
  • —— (1967) [Originally published 1961 as Flying Saucers Farewell; New York: Abelard-Schuman]. Behind the Flying Saucer Mystery. Paperback Library 53-439. New York: Paperback Library. OCLC 4020003. 
  • —— (1972) [Originally published 1961; G. Adamski]. Cosmic Philosophy. Freeman, SD: Pine Hill Press. LCCN 62000520. OCLC 13371492. 

Other publications[edit]

  • Adamski, George (1937). Petals of Life: Poems. Laguna Beach, CA: Royal Order of Tibet. OCLC 47304946. 
  • —— (1955). Many Mansions ("From a press conference with the ministers of Detroit in September 1955 ..."). Willowdale, Ontario: SS & S Publications. OCLC 45443779. 
  • —— (1958). Telepathy: The Cosmic or Universal Language. OCLC 45443839. 
  • —— (March 28, 1960). Man tells of trip to moon (Motion picture (newsreel)). Hearst Corporation. OCLC 79040262. 
  • —— (1964). Science of Life Study Course. Self-published. 

George Adamski in popular culture[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Zinsstag & Good 1983, pp. 5–6
  2. ^ a b c d e "The Queen & the Saucers". Time. June 1, 1959. Retrieved 2007-04-27. 
  3. ^ Leslie & Adamski 1953a
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o Scott-Blair, Michael (August 13, 2003). "Palomar campground expanding its universe". (The San Diego Union-Tribune). Retrieved 2007-04-27. 
  5. ^ a b c d e Solomon 1998, pp. 54–56
  6. ^ Smith, T.J. (June 2003). "Grenadas UFO Stamps". Retrieved 2007-04-28. 
  7. ^ Master Plan website--Source of image of Orthon:[dead link]
  8. ^ a b c d Malcolm, Noel (March 6, 2005). "Common sense abducted". The Daily Telegraph (London: Telegraph Media Group). Retrieved 2007-04-27. 
  9. ^ a b Laycock, et al. 1989, p. 3
  10. ^ "Footprints Of Space Man". Retrieved 2007-04-30. 
  11. ^ a b "George Adamski and the Flying Saucers from Venus". Archived from the original on May 27, 2006. Retrieved 2007-04-27. 
  12. ^ "Desmond Leslie". The Daily Telegraph (Obituary) (London: Telegraph Media Group). March 20, 2001. Retrieved 2013-10-25. 
  13. ^ Moseley & Pflock, pp. 124–27, 180
  14. ^ Moseley & Pflock, p. 126
  15. ^ "Saucer man visit to Juliana starts row". The Straits Times (Singapore). Reuters/United Press International. May 19, 1959. Retrieved 2010-11-25. 
  16. ^ "Julian Rift Denied". The Sydney Morning Herald (Fairfax Media). Australian Associated Press. May 20, 1959. Retrieved 2010-11-25. 
  17. ^ "Visit with Elizabeth Next: Adamski". Rockford Register-Republic. United Press International. May 21, 1959. OCLC 13346739. Archived from the original on July 16, 2011. Retrieved 2013-10-25. 
  18. ^ "Dogs Are Going to the Dogs!". Los Angeles Times. May 27, 1959. Retrieved 2010-11-25. 
  19. ^ Stuttaford, Andrew (January 17, 2003). "Spirits in the Sky". National Review Online. New York: National Review. Retrieved October 24, 2013. 
  20. ^ "About George Adamski". George Adamski Foundation. Retrieved 2007-05-01. 
  21. ^ Barbato, Cristoforo (2006). "The Omega Secret". UFO Digest. Port Colborne, Ontario: Dirk Vander Ploeg. Retrieved 2007-04-30. 
  22. ^ Hallet, Marc (May 1, 2005). "Why I can say that Adamski was a Liar". SkepticReport (Frederikssund, Denmark: Claus Flodin Larsen). Retrieved 2013-10-25. 
  23. ^ Wilhelmsen 2008, p. 259
  24. ^ Zinsstag & Good 1983, p. 176.
  25. ^ a b Moseley & Pflock, p. 69
  26. ^ "Sir Patrick Moore's Irish UFO film identified". BBC News (London: BBC). August 16, 2010. Retrieved 2013-10-25. 


Further reading[edit]

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