There is no RationalWiki without you. We are a small non-profit with no staff – we are hundreds of volunteers who document pseudoscience and crankery around the world every day. We will never allow ads because we must remain independent. We cannot rely on big donors with corresponding big agendas. We are not the largest website around, but we believe we play an important role in defending truth and objectivity.
If everyone who saw this today donated $5, we would meet our goal for 2019.
| Fighting pseudoscience isn't free.|
We are 100% user-supported! Help and donate $5, $20 or whatever you can today with !
| The woo is out there|
|Aliens did it...|
|... and ran away|
George Adamski (17 April, 1891 – 23 April, 1965) was a fraud who leapt onto the UFO woo-bandwagon and enjoyed a brief moment of fame in the 1940s and -50s. Beginning in 1946, he claimed to have photographed many alien space- and motherships, most of which appear to resemble a cross between an egg poacher and a colander. Their "landing gear" has a suspicious resemblance to light bulbs rather than to any sort of landing gear that we Earthlings make. One was described as "look[ing] like the top of a soft-drink cooler or a lamp shade, and there appear to be ping pong balls glued to the bottom of it." Some of Adamski's friends later confessed to having helped him fake photos.
While his books and photographs appear silly today, the 40s and 50s were a much gentler - and more gullible - era and space exploration was in its infancy. This meant that instead of being laughed out of town, he became somewhat of a cause célèbre for the blossoming "flying saucer" fad. This prompted him to make even greater claims of having met aliens from these ships and (pre-empting Arthur Dent by several decades) hitching a ride across the solar system with them. The problem was, these tall, blonde-haired aliens, one of whom went by the name Orthon, hailed from the planet Venus which - as anybody who didn't vote for Sarah Palin will know - is a somewhat hot and inhospitable hell-hole - no matter what life form you are.
George Adamski related his first contact in his book Flying Saucers Have Landed (1953). Orthon the Venusian was very concerned about our nuclear bombs and how much trouble a nuclear war would cause. But Orthon and his fellow Space People didn't take that message to the United Nations, the White House and Congress, the Kremlin, and other such appropriate places, and they didn't do a show of force like in the movie The Day The Earth Stood Still. A show of force like knocking out electrical grids.
He followed it with Inside the Space Ships (1955), which describes his encounters with Venusians, Martians, and Saturnians who were still pushing a Day the Earth Stood Still message. But in Adamski's account these "Space Brothers" appeared less keen on giant robots and more "fond of platitudes and full of tedious metaphysical blather". Fellow UFOlogist Desmond Leslie wrote a foreword for the book and stated
The latest book to appear concerning the planet Mars has been written by Dr. Hubertus Strughold (This Green and Red Planet). It proves that if our instruments and their information are correct, intelligent organic life as we know it could not last ten seconds on Mars. But Strughold ends by admitting that perhaps we have overlooked “some crucial factor” and really the only way to be quite sure is for us to travel to the other planets for ourselves and find out firsthand.
Which has been done for the Moon, and done by proxy elsewhere in the Solar System. Still to this day, no sign of any life whatsoever in the Solar System, much less intelligent life on multiple planets.
The Space People seemed to live in a Star Trek future, though with lots of spirituality. People happy, prosperous, and enjoying exploring and learning. Their beliefs were a mixture of sort-of-Christian and New-Agey beliefs. The Space Brothers liked to wear loose shirts and pants, and the Space Sisters long flowing gowns or else blouses and long flowing skirts, but both sexes wore sandals (haha, hippies!), and both sexes changed into jumpsuits for various sorts of work, like pilot duty. Their mother ships were rather luxuriously furnished and decorated. They evidently had a Crystal Spires and Togas (TV Tropes) esthetic.
Not everybody believed him, however, and James W. Moseley, publisher of Saucer News, put out a series of articles suggesting Adamski was a fraud. These culminated in a "Special Adamski Exposé Issue" of Saucer News in October 1957, which included interviews with Adamski's associates, who claimed that Adamski's encounters with aliens and UFOs were pre-planned and he seemed able to just go out in the desert and almost instantly encounter and photograph a UFO. The magazine pointed out the similarities between one of Adamski's photographs and a model made from "a Chrysler hub cap, a coffee can, and three ping pong balls" published in Yankee magazine.
One of Adamski's associates, Al Bailey, described how contrary to earlier claims he hadn't actually seen any aliens or UFOs. Adamski's usual modus operandi would be to go into the desert with some other UFO enthusiasts, then disappear for an hour and return with what he claimed were photographs of aliens, and subsequently claim that his companions had witnessed the UFOs too, whether or not they had actually seen anything or were too far away. Another person quoted extensively by Adamski in his books, Al Chop, said he had been misquoted by Adamski and threatened to sue him. UFO researcher Jerrold Baker, who had accompanied Adamski on some of his UFO hunts, said that Adamski had attributed photos to Baker which Adamski had taken himself, with Adamski's motive being to provide the impression of corroborating evidence. Saucer News published these and many other accounts of inaccuracies or duplicity by Adamski, providing strong evidence that he had faked photographs and then made up corroborative accounts to back them up.
- Venusian Scoutcraft, Museum of Hoaxes, accessed 6 Sept 2018
- Have Aliens Visited Earth?, Nick Hunter, Raintree, 2017, p14
- George Adamski and the Space Brothers, How Stuff Works, accessed 6 Sept 2018
- Saucer News Presents: The George Adamski Expose, Curtis Collins, In Honor of Jim Moseley, May 30, 2014
- Saucer News, Oct 1957