First published in Magonia 7, 1981.
One of Major Donald Keyhoe’s UFO books of the fifties was entitled The Flying Saucer Conspiracy. in this book Keyhoe argued that the United States government was deliberately suppressing information, an idea which has continued to appeal to ufologists ever since.But, if one accepted the idea of an official UFO cover-up, what was the motive?
Many ufologist felt that the answer lay in bureaucratic mistrust of the public, and fear of possible panic if it was revealed that extraterrestrial beings were surveying and landing on this planet.
However, there were those prepared to look for more sinister explanations. For example, George Hunt Williamson, the American contactee, writing in Flying Saucer Review, saw the UFO ‘cover up’ in terms of the conspiracy theories examined in the first part of this article:
… there are certain very powerful interests (interests that really control the world, its people, and what they think and do) in the world that know that extraterrestrial recognition means extraterrestrial allegiance … They feel that to officially recognise UFOs means the end of their power and control over people, wars to aid the economic situation, [sic] and the loss of industry (vital to their continuance). In short is keep-ing you from knowing the TRUTH. This is the conspiracy, and it is the plot of International Banking to keep you ignorant, a plot that is not new to our times, but is as old as Earth and has existed in all ages and civilisations. (1)
Hunt Williamson’s fellow-contactee George Adamski voiced similar opinions. In his final book, Flying Saucer Farewell, he describes his audience with Queen Juliana of the Netherlands (who frequently embarrassed the Dutch government by extending hospitality to dubious occultists), and claims that she told him that the truth about UFOs was being suppressed by a powerful group of ‘International Bankers’, who feared that UFOs, with their futuristic energy sources, represented a threat to their power, which was based on their monopoly of natural resources. Curiously Queen Juliana was the wife of Prince Bernhard, a founder of the Bilderberg Group. This is a semi-secret club for top European and US politicians and financiers which features prominently in many conspiracy theories (2)
Similar denunciations of International Bankers and other world conspiracies can be found elsewhere in UFO cultist literature of the fifties and sixties. One of the most interesting links between conspiracy theorising, ufology, and occultism is the case of Mankind United.(3)
The plans of the Hidden Rulers for their future dictatorship included pyramid-shaped cities, futuristic instruments of torture and vast harems
This organisation was founded in 1934 by Arthur Bell, a Californian businessman Bell claimed that wars, financial crises, and human misery in general, were the work of the Hidden Rulers, a centuries old cabal of financiers, aiming at world dictatorship. Bell described the plans of the Hidden Rulers for their future dictatorship in detail: they included pyramid-shaped cities, futuristic instruments of torture and vast harems for the Rulers. However, proclaimed Bell, another group of wealthy men, this time benevolent, had organised to defeat the Rulers, and usher in an age of universal prosperity. These people were Mankind United’s secret Sponsors. When the organisation reached 200,000,000 members, they would reveal themselves and their plans to the world.
Although this group attracted some public attention after its foundation, by the late forties it had shrunk to a tiny cult, increasingly influenced by the beginnings of UFO cultism. In 1951, Bell to1d his followers that the Sponsors had abandoned hope of defeating the Hidden Rulers, but that by secret technology they had discovered an uncorrupted Earth-like planet in another dimension, to which they could transfer all true believers at the instant of their death.For Bell, as for Adamski and George Hunt Williamson, the existence of benevolent extraterrestrials with miraculous technology offered a possible escape from the power of evil conspirators. But for others there were more sinister possibilities; if the UFOs themselves were part of the conspiracy.
From the first, many cultists had been convinced of the malevolence of the UFO occupants. Richard Shaver, a worker in a car factory in Pennsylvania, had claimed in 1944 to have knowledge of the existence of the Dero, a race of malevolent subterraneans who were capable of warping the minds of humans by complex mind-control technology. Shaver was quick to link the first UFO sightings with his Dero, as was his publisher, Ray Palmer.From the nineteen-fifties to the present UFO lore has told of the notorious ‘Men in Black’, malign figures, apparently human, but in reality alien, spreading fear and engaged in some unfathomable plan. Not surprisingly these ideas of evil interference in human affairs took on a political dimension for some writers. The first person to have made the link seems to have been Morris K Jessup, who, in his book The Case for the UFOs. asks:
Have space people taken over the Red Empire? The secrets of ancient flight and levitation … have been preserved in the monasteries of the Himalayas. Can there be a direct relationship, between this facts and Russian anxiety to capture and control these mountain fastnesses?
Some cultists were prepared to expand these ideas into even more detailed scenarios. One such American cult of the late 1960′s, the Jaredite Church, claimed that the famous ‘Sons of God’, described as intermarrying with human women in Genesis, were robots created by Satan, a scientist from a distant solar system. Ever since, their descendents have constituted ‘The Watchers’, who have been doing the work of Satan. Their numbers have included Christian-persecuting Roman emperors, mediaeval inquisitors, and, in our own time, Marshal Tito, Al Capone, Kosygin and, alarmingly for Social Democrats, Lord George-Brown in England, The Watchers featured in the writings of the early sixties contactee, Derek Sampson who also founded an antisemitic fringe party, The National Reform Movement.
The Jaredite Church claimed that the famous ‘Sons of God’, described as intermarrying with human women in Genesis, were robots created by Satan, a scientist from a distant solar system
An even more extraordinary variant on the UFO conspiracy idea was propounded by a 1970′s American Cultist, Philip Argyle-Stuart, in his surprisingly named publication, The High IQ. Bulletin:
My theory is that an extremely devilish imposed overcrust was added to the Khazar (i.e. Jewish ) population, consisting of humanoids who arrived by flying saucer from the planet Vulcan, which I assume not to be in intra-Mercurial orbit round the Sun, but in Earth’s orbit … behind the Sun, forever out of sight …
Likewise for the Gothic, Faustian Western culture. The previously inert and purposeless migrating population streams known as Franks, Goths, Angles Saxons, Danes, Swabians, Alemni, Lombards, Vandals and Vikings suddenly had an over-crust added consisting of Norman-Martian-Varangians arriving from Saturn by way of Mars, in flying saucers.
After 1776 it (i.e. the Vulcanian Jewish conspiracy) used the Illuminati and Grand Order Masons. After 1815 it used the financial machinations of the House of Rothschild, after 1848, the Communist movement, and after 1895 the Zionist movement.
However, the link between ufology and conspiracy theorising is not confined to isolated cultist’s. Gordon Creighton’s articles in Flying Saucer Review frequently contain asides, hinting at the involvement of UFO entities in political conspiracy. In his introduction to the British edition of J. C. Bourret’s The Crack in the Universe he writes:
As the human species and sub-species find themselves more and more beset by a host of intractable difficulties which could conceivable foreshadow our early departure from the scene, it becomes easier to perceive that maybe we men are not the masters here after all, and that our governments very likely know who does exercise that control. [GC's emphasis]
The late John Cleary-Baker, founder-editor of BUFORA Journal expressed himself in similar terms:
When every allowance is made for such factors as pressure of population, the strains and stresses of urban life and so on, there are elements in the social phenomena of today which seem to point directly to outside alien influences, constructive and destructive, in our society. Youth in particular appears to be a target for all sorts of forces and influences, probably not all terrestrial in origin (5)
John Keel has been even more explicit in ascribing to the UFO entities a plan for world domination, very similar to that alleged against the Jews in antisemitic works such as the Protocols of Zion:
How would you go about the capture and enslavement of a whole planet? The game has already commenced. It is being played on a global scale. Here’s how it is being done: Step one, the economic situation must be controlled. This means that the currency, and more importantly, gold, must be manipulated. Step two, the press must be controlled. Step three, all communications must be controlled. Step four, armed forces must be diverted and drained – Vietnam. Step five, religious (moral) control must be usurped. Step six, anarchy must be introduced. Step seven, supress or assassinate those leaders who show potential ability to control this mess. (6)
Keel goes on to suggest that having reduced the Earth to chaos by means of this programme, the UFO entities could land and pose as our benevolent saviours.
Keel’s British disciples, the writers Antony Roberts and Geoff Gilbertson, are yet more explicit. In their book The Dark Gods (7) they draw heavily on the writings of the 1920s antisemite and conspiracy theorist Nests H. Webster, and depict the Illuminati, the Bilderberg Group and the Trilateral Commission as agencies for the domination of humanity by evil entities.To sum up: the ideas of conspiracy theorists seem to have exercised some appeal for believers in UFOs. Although sporadic, and strongest among the contactee fringe, the appeal is by no means confined to this area. This is surprising, considering the remoteness of conspiracy theory from the present political mainstream. The final part of this study will examine why this may be so.
REFERENCES:1. Flying Saucer Review, Sept-Oct 1959.
2. See: Robert Eringer, The Global Manipulators. Pentacle Books, Bristol, 1930
3. See: Dohrman, H. T. California Cult, the Story of Mankind United. Ams Pr Inc, 1958
4. The Khazars were a mediaeval Caucasian tribe, who became converts to Judaism, and were absorbed into the Jewish pop-ulation as a whole. Antisemites often use the term to means Jews in general.
5. BUFORA Journal, Spring-Summer 1971
6. BUFORA Journal, Summer 1969