Once upon a time our planetary neighbors--and the rest of the cosmos--were still a huge, imagination-tweaking mystery. We had not yet landed on the moon. Sputnik 1 was still a few years away.
We only knew what we could see and what we could imagine.
And as so often happens with humans, our imaginings, fears and guesses became muddled up with bits of science and a lot of theory and boom--you have books like these written by hopeful people yearning for that GREAT CONNECTION.
I discovered this treasure where I discover so many of my vintage book treasures--at a Half Price Books Store.
You'l find no sketches of space people here. No faux luxurious binding. Just a simple book, inexpensively printed, documenting a collection of quasi-scientific, undoubtedly earnest explorations into the existence of intelligent extraterrestrial life.
Enter the authors.
George's fascination with extraterrestrial life, mysticism and the occult grew rather than diminished. He became a devotee of cult leaders William Dudley Pelley and George Adamski, using supposed telepathic communication via a homemade Ouija board to contact what they came to call the "space brothers"--an interplanetary group of space beings who evidently had learned enough English to engage in telepathic chats. (2,3)
|(1) George H. Williamson (left)|
Unlike George Hunt Williamson, Alfred C. Bailey was a bit more difficult to research. George seems to have been the front man in this extraterrestrial-searching duo, with Railroad conductor Alfred Bailey (as well as his wife) serving as George's main partner in Ouija-informed communications (2,3).
It should come as no surprise then that "The Saucers Speak!" is a "documentary" primarily relying on George and Alfred's copious Ouija-board sessions detailing repeated and at times lengthy "conversations" with "space intelligences" from our neighboring planets as well as from distant planets (Andromeda, Planet 15 of Solar System 22, the Toresoton Solar System, among many others*). (3) Tucked in here and there amid the Ouija-based findings are tales of interstellar contact made by ham radio operators, space being visitations made to remote areas, often at night, and reports of saucer sightings from around the globe.
However it is the transcripts of the Ouija-style "contacts" that are the most engaging--and there are plenty of them.
"Good and evil forces are working now. Organization is important for the salvation of your world. Contact us as soon as you can." (Message from Masar (Mars) to Saras (Earth)) (Pg. 44)(3)
"'To apples we salt, we return.' You may not understand this strange saying now, but someday you will. It is from one of our old prophecy legends." (From Zo on Neptune to Earth. Pg. 50)(3)
"Kadar Lacu, my brothers. I am several hundred years old. A mere youth. The time has come to reveal these things to you. If man would only realize that he should love his brother." (Pg. 75)(3)
Here and there George and Alfred also share various radio contacts made with our space brethren, mostly comprised of strings of numbers or letters with jumbled messages tossed in the middle:
"450 TE SA AFFA SWAP YOUR R 450 K SWAP T I ARE YOU APPEAR TO YOU LATER WHEN AS OR SHIP COMPREHEND DA DA K SE WID26 EE WID26 Q QRA WID26." (PG. 68)(3)
So what exactly is "The Saucers Speak!"? A documentary as the authors claim? A sci-fi spoof like "War of the Worlds"? The obsessed fantasies of grown dreamers who are convinced that correlation really is causation?
I don't know.
As I read this book I realized how easily intelligent, well-meaning people can be led astray--led astray by a charismatic leader, or an engaging idea, or by their own minds. Even now, over 60 years after this book was first published, we have a sizable swath of people who view scientific fact as optional--people who believe that climate change is a hoax and that evolution is a theory.
Now, I'm not saying that I believe we are entirely alone in the universe with our big brains and opposable thumbs. I think it is only a matter of time before SETI stumbles upon something mind-blowingly real that will put us in our place.
However I highly doubt that life forms living in distant galaxies would choose to communicate with us via Ouija board or ham radio.
But you know what? I may be wrong.
And that's the beauty of the unknown--you never know.
*Don't bother looking up the names of these distant planets. They resided exclusively in the head of George H. Williamson, Alfred C. Bailey and all their fellow Ouija-board loving interstellar enthusiasts.
3. "The Saucers Speak!" by George H. Williamson and Alfred C. Bailey. New Age Publishing Co. 1954.