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the genre's premiere review magazine for short SF & Fantasy since 1993

Flying Saucers & the Stymie Factor by Raymond A. Palmer

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"Flying Saucers & the Stymie Factor"




Ray Palmer


(From Science Fiction Review, May 1978, edited by Richard E. Geis)

New Introduction

by Dave Truesdale

As I type this new introduction in November of 2017 it has been 39 years and 6 months since the original (and to the best of my knowledge only) publication of Raymond A. Palmer's (1910-1977) "Flying Saucers & the Stymie Factor." May of 2018 will mark its 40th anniversary. For fuller context surrounding how I came into possession of it, see the original introduction below, as well as the Afterword to the Leigh Brackett & Edmond Hamilton interview here. In short, Ray Palmer was the printer for the final three issues of the original version of Tangent. Upon his death in mid-August 1977, a mere three weeks after I had picked up double issue 7/8, Ray died, leaving me without a printer. Tangent folded in the summer of 1977 and I gave the following article to Richard Geis and his Science Fiction Review.

For new generations of SF readers who may not be aware of Ray Palmer, his niche in SF history, or his role in expanding the awareness to the general public of UFOs, I say (as have others) that if there is any one person responsible for promoting the existence of "flying saucers," or UFOs as they are more widely and generically known today, it is Raymond A. Palmer, or "Rap" as he was known in the pages of fanzines, SF pulp magazines, and articles from the 1930s forward. I mention fanzines because Ray came up through the ranks of early SF fandom and is credited with publishing the very first SF fanzine in 1930, which he titled The Comet. Rap also wrote SF and saw his first published story, "The Time Ray of Jandra," appear in the June 1930 issue of Wonder Stories (cover at right). The next two and a half decades would see over forty of his stories published in various pulps under his own name as well as several pseudonyms, including but not limited to, Amazing Stories, Astounding Science-Fiction, Fantastic Adventures, Planet Stories, and Worlds of If. And from 1938-1949 he would edit Amazing Stories from his then home in Chicago. When the publisher decided to move the magazine to New York, Ray resigned as editor, not wishing to leave Chicago. But it was during his decade as editor of the first SF magazine that things got interesting for the magazine and Ray.

The first issue of Amazing Stories had a cover date of April 1926. By the end of its first year, marked by its March 1927 issue, its circulation was somewhere around 150,000. By the time Ray Palmer was given the editorial reigns in 1938 the magazine's circulation had plummeted to a tenth of that initial figure, to approximately 15,000. Amazing Stories was in deep trouble. A confluence of real world events in the 1940s coupled with Palmer's own predilections led to an astonishing increase in sales and the salvation of the magazine—but not without a cost. Hardcore SF fandom and faithful readers of the magazine rebeled at the direction Palmer was taking their favorite magazine.

Kenneth Arnold's 1947 report of "flying discs" sparked Palmer's interest in the phenomenon, and in the early 1940s a man by the name of Richard Shaver came to Palmer with the story that he had personal knowledge of an ancient, evil race of beings that lived in caverns inside our planet. This came to be known as the Shaver Mystery. Palmer was so taken with Shaver's detailed accounts of this hidden race that he began publishing the stories in Amazing, the first appearing in the March 1945 issue. The Shaver stories ran for a number of years in several magazines, and while they increased Amazing's magazine sales to an estimated 185,000 (no doubt saving the magazine), loyal SF fans were furious and made their feelings known in no uncertain terms. Palmer speaks at some length about Richard Shaver in the article below. He also speaks at length about his belief in UFOs (sparked by Kenneth Arnold's sightings), and other paranormal phenomena, the study of which would carry him through the rest of his life with his magazines Fate (which gave UFOs their first national exposure) and Search.

Love him or hate him, Raymond A. Palmer was one of the most colorful and controversial characters in science fiction history. Hit by a truck as a child, his back broken, a botched operation left him a hunchback standing scarcely four and a half feet tall. He found solace in the early science fiction magazines, found and became involved in SF fandom, published the first SF fanzine, would edit the first SF magazine, and founded his own publishing company which published Imagination (October 1950—which Rap would sell within 3 issues) and Other Worlds (which eventually became a flying saucer magazine in 1957). Palmer would leave the SF community in the 1950s to devote himself to publishing his paranormal and UFO magazines from the barn which he had converted into his print shop in Amherst, Wisconsin.

Speaking of Palmer's converted barn, I see in my original introduction below that I referred to it as being a converted schoolhouse. I admit I am at a loss as to why I called it a schoolhouse when every other account I have read since then is in agreement that it was a barn. Did Ray tell me it was also used as a schoolhouse for some period of time in the distant past before he turned it into his print shop? I have no idea, and this puzzles me no end as I reread it now.

In the late 1950s Ray left the SF world to devote himself to his UFO and paranormal magazines, seemingly happy to play the hermit, at least where the world of mainstream science fiction was concerned. Until, that is, nearly twenty years later, some young SF fan appeared at his doorstep to ask if he would print his SF fanzine (upgrading it from a mimeo publication to a saddle-stitched, offset one), beginning with an issue containing interviews with Leigh Brackett & Edmond Hamilton, Jack Williamson, and Ray Bradbury (which he proceeded to read). It just might have been those old familiar names and those interviews that persuaded him to dip his toe back into science fiction again, at least peripherally, and help out the young SF fan by printing his fanzine at cost, knowing the enthusiastic youngster could not afford his usual markup. It's ironic, if you want to go that direction, that the man who published the first fanzine in science fiction history, and who had left the mainstream SF world behind for 20 years, would come back to SF by printing an SF fanzine shortly before his death.

Interest in Raymond A. Palmer surfaced a few years ago with two biographies. I would like to thank Marian Lizzi who kindly sent as a review copy, and which I highly recommend, The Man from Mars, Ray Palmer's Amazing Pulp Journey by Fred Nadis (Tarcher/Penguin, 2013, hc & pb, 304 pp.). I would also like to thank Mike Ashley for confirmation of Amazing's circulation figures during Ray Palmer's tenure as editor.

Please note that the original article was printed as straight text. I have added a link the first time OAHSPE (a "new" bible of sorts from 1882) is mentioned and recommend following it to better understand Palmer's context. All photos and magazine covers are original to this version and have been added to break up the text (it's a long piece), which I have informally always thought of as Ray Palmer's Ideological Last Will and Testament. After reading it, I think you'll agree that if Ray were alive today he would be a regular guest on George Noory's Coast to Coast AM late night radio program.







December 31, 1977

"The Stymie Factor" was given to me because I specifically asked Ray for it back in early June of 1977.

I had driven over to Amherst to give Ray the final copy for TANGENT 7/8, to talk with him about the cover stock, quality of paper to be used, price, etc. Finishing this business, Ray mentioned that he would be attending a UFO convention in Chicago on the 25th of June where he would make a speech. "The Stymie Factor" is that speech. He went over with me, verbally, everything contained in the speech — the philosophy, metaphysics, and quite a large number of objections I raised at each and every step, having taken on the role of Devil's Advocate (which Ray enjoyed because we ended up talking for more than two hours) — in order to test my reaction to it.

Having talked with Ray for perhaps a total of maybe fourteen hours in my two-year business association with him I knew how skeptical and reluctant, extremely so at times, he was to put himself up to ridicule (he touches on this point in the speech, you'll note).

So whether I should have felt this way or not I don't know, but I felt somewhat flattered that he had seen fit to really let down and let me in on what was obviously to him an important matter.

At the close of July, as I once more drove to Amherst to pick up the bulk of TANGENT 7/8 (approximately ten days before his death), Ray was in the best spirits I had ever seen him in. Casual, smiling, he told me that his speech had gone very well indeed. He had received a standing ovation at its close, and an Australian film outfit that had come to do a documentary on the convention as a whole was so taken with Ray Palmer and what he had to say, that they decided to do the entire film on him alone! When I asked if he had transcribed it yet he nodded, walking up the creaky wooden stairs to the second floor of the old, two-story schoolhouse he had turned into his printing shop, and returned with the original blue-penciled copy of his speech — which he gave to me with a smile, telling me I could do what I wanted with it.

As far as I can recall, I believe he was to print it in his magazine SEARCH, for one of its Summer issues... or as the Summer issue (I'm not at all sure of the magazine's publishing schedule. And since I don't read SEARCH, I've no idea if it ever saw print there or not.).

I hope your readers will give the piece a look. Whether or not they find they can actually believe 51% or 50% or even 10% of it is no matter. What does matter, for what it’s worth, is that I am convinced Ray Palmer believed it, thus making for some highly interesting reading, if nothing else.


Thirty years ago the flying saucers were "born" out of the famous sighting by Kenneth Arnold on June 24, 1947. He reported seeing nine disc-shaped aerial objects flying in formation over Mt. Ranier, moving "with a strange motion, like stones being skipped over water".

He coined the term "flying saucers", a name that has stuck with them in spite of the more modem attempt to dignify the phenomena by calling them UFOs, or Unidentified Flying Objects. Perhaps the latter terminology is most apt because one thing is certain even thirty years later: they are still unidentified.

That is where this writer comes in—and where he confronts what he has chosen to call "the stymie factor".

Actually, this year is the thirty-third anniversary of the flying saucers for Ray Palmer, because it was in 1944 that he first learned of their existence. Thus he can claim to be the true pioneer in the saga of unidentified flying objects.

It is also true that over the past thirty years more than 400 books have been written by investigators into the strange phenomenon. Some of these books have made their writers a considerable sum of money.

Some of these investigators have attained world-wide fame for their efforts. It has been said recently that it is very strange indeed that the foremost and most successful and most vigorous of the investigators is almost totally ignored in the most important and official of these books on flying saucers, and is almost totally unknown in modern-day UFO circles. The reason for this is inherent in the "stymie factor", and it is this factor which demands explanation at this time.

It has also been said that, except for Ray Palmer, there might well have been no UFO mystery today.

Thirty-three years is a generation. It seems fitting that I should now challenge the stymie factor, considering that at age 66, having come to the end of my generation, I come to grips with and repeat a prediction I made thirty years ago which has continued to be accurate over all those years. Today in relation to that prediction, I want to issue a challenge; if it cannot be accepted, I will rest my case. If it can, it is time that saucer buffs begin to speak of facts, not the fantasy that has over-spread the UFO scene from the very beginning. Some of this fantasy is exactly that, and some of it is deliberate deceit and misinformation and propaganda, most of it for the simplest of reasons — one of the primary factors in the stymie factor — the fear of ridicule.

My first real encounter with the stymie factor was actually the second, but it was first in importance, and best to use to begin my case in point. It was about 1950, during a science fiction convention in Chicago, that I found myself engaged in a debate with Willy Ley (who in future years became one of the world's experts in rocketry and occupied a prominent position in Mission Control at launches to the moon as a scientific commentator and advisor to the broadcasting networks).

The subject of our debate was the flying saucers, with myself as the proponent, and with Willy Ley (photo at left) taking the negative. I came to the debate armed with a significant array of the sort of evidence that was available, which consisted of many sightings, among them those still listed today as "unidentified" by such dedicated investigators as the Air Force and the famed Dr. Hynek, originally hired by the Air Force to provide some answers (preferably — my opinion — negative answers) . It was quite a long jump from Hynek to Dr. Condon, who was the final effort of the powers that be in the military arm of government to lay the saucers in their grave, but the answers were exactly the same — the stymie factor had overwhelmed them both. The official stance of the Air Force remained unchallenged and as valid as it had from the very beginning: 1. The flying saucers do not constitute a menace to national security, and 2. There is no evidence that spaceships are visiting us from other star systems. I could not agree more! It is also true that there is no evidence that there are elephants in my back yard, nor do they constitute a menace to my security! And that is exactly where the Air Force stance remains today — in the realm of total fantasy!

It has been said recently, in a "fan" magazine published by a prominent UFO researcher, that Willy Ley "totally demolished" Ray Palmer in his long-ago debate in Chicago.

This is absolutely true, and it is the important encounter with the stymie factor that I have mentioned.

Here is how it came about, and it was an eye-opener to me: if you will remember Kenneth Arnold's (photo at right) reference to how the saucers flew "like stones skipped over the water", you will understand the question that Willy Ley put to me when he asked: "How do the saucers fly?" But before I could quote Mr. Arnold, he proved that he had come to the debate fully prepared with powerful evidence and arguments and irrefutable logic — he withdrew from his coat pocket an ordinary china saucer (minus the cup) and tossed it high into the air. It hit the stage floor and shattered into a hundred pieces. "That's how saucers fly!" he said. But his words were drowned in the roar of laughter that came from the audience of several thousand people. It was my first public encounter with the stymie factor. Ridicule had "demolished" me and my argument. Any evidence that I had (and I had some!) became impossible to present.

Perhaps it was not to my credit, but in the balance of the debate I adopted the tactics of the "enemy", and resorted to ridicule also — but my ridicule was not obvious to the audience, nor even sensed by Mr. Ley himself: I deliberately steered my arguments into the negative and assisted Mr. Ley in becoming the best "demolisher" in the business. I was raging inwardly, but I was mocking him outwardly. I looked out at those 2000 laughing persons and realized for the first time the impossible task it would be to "prove" the flying saucers. One of those "proofs" was a bit of information I had that leads to the next point I want to make, and the next significant fact that I presented early in the flying saucer saga, which led, in part, to the enormous feud that erupted in both science fiction circles and UFO circles, and which came into direct conflict with such weighty persons as Dr. Hyneck, and even LIFE magazine, which devoted eight full pages in May, 1952 to the same sort of ridicule used by Dr. Ley, in attacking the Shaver Mystery, which was the real source of my early advent into the UFO field three years prior to Kenneth Arnold. It was through Mr. Shaver that I gained knowledge that such things as flying saucers existed, and HOW THEY FLEW, which I want to stress now as being extremely important. Mr. Ley, in his hilarious launching of a "saucer" into the air of an auditorium was unwittingly touching on the very crux of the situation.

I want to go next to an event which preceded the Chicago Debate.

I want to go to the famous Maury Island incident at Tacoma, the subject of the first and only book I have ever written about flying saucers (co-authored with Kenneth Arnold, whose story it really is), THE COMING OF THE SAUCERS. I won't go into the story itself, only a single thing I said to Kenneth Arnold, to Fred Crisman (that redoubtable CIA agent who was so mysterious a presence in the flying saucer story, in the Shaver Mystery, and even subpoenaed in the trial of Clay Shaw by the New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison in relation to the assassination of John F. Kennedy), and to Captain E. J. Smith, United Airlines pilot who also saw flying saucers and joined Kenneth Arnold in his investigation at Maury Island which culminated in the death of two Air Force intelligence officers, Davidson and Brown.

It is what I said that is important, and one of the FACTS which make my own case so much stronger than any researcher to date (or in the future, I might add). I said two things: 1. Do not allow Davidson and Brown to fly back to Hamilton Air Force Base with the fragments of the flying saucer (?) they loaded onto their B-25 (with Arnold's personal help); and 2. No flying saucer would ever be captured, no spaceman ever presented, dead or alive, no bit of hardware ever produced as positive evidence of the existence of flying saucers. I also warned Kenneth Arnold not to fly his own plane back to Boise.

You all know what happened. Davidson and Brown were killed when one of their plane's motors burst into flame and the plane crashed against a mountainside near Kelso, Washington; Arnold himself crashed his own plane after refueling on the way home (he says he must have himself turned off the ignition on take-off at a height of fifty feet, because that's the way he found the switch after crawling from the wreckage); and lastly it is still true that no flying saucer has ever been produced, or the wreckage of one, or any space being, dead or alive.

There is only one way such statements can be made, and this is the presumption that the person making the statements has to know the truth, be in possession of some knowledge which makes his statement reliable.

It was the STYMIE FACTOR that caused the deaths of Davidson and Brown! Because I was completely stymied in conveying a stronger warning to these men (due to the absolute certainty that my basis for the warning would be ridiculed, would bring forth the same wave of laughter that Willy Ley evinced from his audience) I could only make the unsubstantiated statement, and hope that they would accept it, or at the very least, institute extraordinary caution.

Later that night, when a shaken Kenneth Arnold called me from Tacoma telling me that Davidson and Brown had been killed, I made still another prediction that Kenneth refused completely to accept: I said none of the fragments he himself helped load on that B-25 would ever be found in the wreckage.

THEY NEVER WERE! And don't believe that the Air Force didn't sift the very earth for hundreds of yards around in an attempt to find them.

I suppose you' d like to know how it came about that the fragments were never found? Once more I must invite your laughter, and invoke the stymie factor! It was because Colonel Sanders provided the fragments loaded on the plane which were simply fragments of slag he had picked up from the Tacoma smelter dump. (The real ones, originally sent to me by Harold Dahl and then in possession of Arnold and Smith at Tacoma were carefully directed elsewhere because they MIGHT be the real thing.) They were separated from the wreckage all right, and that successfully made liars out of Arnold, Smith and myself, leading also to Colonel Ruppelt's accusation in his Air Force-backed and financed book that the deaths of Davidson and Brown were the tragic, useless result of my despicable hoax in attempting to fabricate a sensational story for my magazine. He didn't mention my name, but I was the only "Chicago publisher" who could have been fabricating such a story. A second edition of his book saw the accusation carefully edited out — I might successfully have sued for defamation of character! Once more the Air Force had made valid its statement that "there is no evidence that we are being visited from outer space by spacecraft."

At this point I would like to refer you to the stressing by the Air Force of the word "outer" in reference to the location of the presumed visitors from space. It is an important distinction and extremely significant.

It is very true that the flying saucers do not come from outer space, and the Air Force knows that. No way can they be tripped up by any "evidence" to the contrary. But the saucers (those UFOs whose identification has not been acheived by anybody) are SEEN in our atmosphere, and IF THEY EXIST, that is where they are , and what we have to prove in that case is WHAT they are!

Kenneth Arnold once theorized they were "living things" that inhabit our atmosphere and whose existence we have not suspected. He sent me an 8mm film which showed about 40 frames of what seemed to be "brown ducks" flying at some distance from his plane, but which he was sure weren't ducks.

I sent that film to Wright-Patterson Field (with a trap in mind—I would sacrifice the film as evidence). They kept it six months before returning it with the comment — we don't see any brown ducks.

Which is what I had been waiting for: I screened the film and found instantly that the 40 frames had been cut out as I had anticipated and the film spliced together again.

Obviously the Air Force didn't want to face the stymie factor, and be forced to explain the brown ducks or admit they were so incapable of protecting our national security in the skies that they couldn't even identify brown ducks, so they excised the ducks!

Can we fault them for that? I myself have been facing the stymie factor for thirty years. But it told me what I wanted to know — the Air Force DID take the UFOs seriously! I felt sympathetic with them, knowing that somewhere there would inevitably be a Willy Ley with his crockery to make a mockery of them if they so much as hinted that they were only "believers" and not "scientific, factual researchers".

So much for the "secrecy" and "deceit" and what-have-you accusations against the Air Force and the "government". They are simply stymied and haven't got the stamina to admit it! It's pretty frustrating not to be able to lay your hands on all that visible hardware in the sky, with all the mighty power and implementation of the greatest war machine on earth at your disposal to make it possible to do so!

[Editors note: Cover below right features the first of the Shaver Mystery stories, "I Remember Lemuria" from the March 1945 issue of Amazing.]

This brings me to 1944 and Richard Shaver. He was a Pennsylvania war plant welder who claimed to have spent eight years in huge caverns inside the earth, where lived a degenerate race of people left over as fugitives from a disaster that happened to the planet some 12,000 years ago (an eruption of intense radioactivity from the sun made life on the surface virtually impossible) called "dero" and "tero". Dero was a shortened term for "degenerated robot" and similarly, tero was a shortened term for an integrated robot. A robot is a slave, in this case slavery to mental degeneracy caused by radioactives lodged in the body, in bones and mind. Teros were better off because they had some facilities for removing some of the radioactivity from their bodies, or preventing initial contamination. Among the highly scientific mechanisms left to these people from a super civilization on the surface were what he called "rollats", or a sort of conveyance which traveled from cave to cave along tunnels hollowed out of the solid earth. They were a sort of anti-gravitational car shaped like a disc (saucer-shaped) which sped through the tunnels at great speed floating a foot or so off the floor of the tunnel. They were prevented from crashing into the walls or ceiling by guidance devices such as we use today in our Cruise missiles so disturbing to the Russians because they fly almost at ground level and follow the surface contour by means of sensing devices. These rollats could approach a right angle turn in a tunnel at full speed, and make an instantaneous turn to avoid a crash. Because inertia was nullified inside the rollat, the occupants were not crushed thereby against the sides of their vehicle.

In their passage through the tunnels they seemed to skip along, weaving and bobbing to avoid irregularities in the tunnel walls.

These same craft could venture out on the surface of the planet, and fly along the ground just as our Cruise missiles do. They could not fly very high, nor into space.

This sort of travel was reserved to actual space ships, such as the ships which carried the select ones of the threatened civilization to safety into space, while the abandoned ones (called abandondero) were left behind to become radioactive degenerates trapped in their underground burrows.

When Kenneth Arnold saw his "weaving, dipping" formation of discs, flying in single-file formation, Shaver called me excitedly and said there was my proof that he told the truth. Here was a convoy of "rollats" traversing the Cascades, following the contour of Mt. Rainier, weaving in and out among the peaks.

To say that I was doubtful is to say the very least. Yet, I had three years of Shaver's remarkable accounts behind me, including more than 50,000 letters from readers of AMAZING STORIES, claiming Shaver was telling the truth, and that, indeed, many of these people had also been "in the caves". My skepticism was based on the fact that neither Shaver nor any of these 50,000 could give me an entrance into the caves, although Shaver (and some few others) could lead me to a hillside, and point to the "entrance" which was something like Sinbad's "Open Sesame", which opened only on command from dero or tero instrumentation, but they could not actually take me inside.

I had long since ascertained that Shaver had NOT spent eight years in the caves, but instead eight years in the Ypsilanti State Hospital in Michigan as a paranoid schizophrenic. I had it first hand from the nurse who attended him, and was furnished hospital documents to substantiate it. Later, I found printed hospital stationery used by inmates to write letters, among Shaver's files which he opened to me.

I never said anything to him about it, because I had made a sensational discovery, and didn't want him to clam up on me. He was providing me with great masses of scientific material which were not in any current textbook, and which I was comparing with another source I had come across.

When I was sure of myself, I confronted Shaver (1907-1975, photo at left) with it. I showed him the book OAHSPE, which is an immense work written by automatic writing by a New York dentist named John Ballou Newbrough, which was stated to be a history of the Earth and of its heavens for the past 79,000 years. By "heavens", it was referring to our atmosphere. What fascinated me was two important similarities: the stories Shaver had been "copying" from the "thought records" of the caverns (broadcast to him via telaug — telepathic augmentation — by friendly tero in the caves) were almost exact duplicates in an historical sense as the histories outlined in OAHSPE (OAHSPE means Earth, Sky and Spirit); and the science items related to me by Shaver, as existing in the caves, agreed remarkably with the science in OAHSPE. I knew these to be valid in many respects because the book had been written in 1881, yet it was astoundingly correct in outlining discoveries made much later by modrn physicists and astronomers. For example, it described interstellar features unknown in 1881, but announced as a new discovery as late as 1925.

I am going to ignore all of OAHSPE except the point I wish to stress now, the strange motion of the flying saucers. In OAHSPE, the atmosphere is inhabited, at different levels called "plateaus". Purportedly the inhabitants are the spirits of the dead. The evil ones occupying the lower plateaus, the good ones the higher (just as Shaver's dero are in the deeper caverns, and the tero in the upper caverns) .

In order to connect the various plateaus with each other, "roadways" are contructed. It is along these roadways that traverse is made, specifically in "arrow ships", and a dozen different kinds of air and spacecraft. Many of them conformed to the observed shapes of UFO to an astounding degree.

Remarkably, the Frenchman Aimie Michel came up with a theory of his own, and wrote a book about it called THE STRAIGHT LINE MYSTERY in which he showed that when sightings are plotted, they reveal distinct pathways, criss-crossing the planet in straight, intersecting lines.

I thought then of Shaver's tunnels, Michel's pathways, and OAHSPE roadways. The trouble was that Shaver's were underground — until I learned differently! It came about when he told me that in the caves it was possible to see through solid rock for a distance of many miles with a simple flashlight ! When asked to explain how this was possible, he merely became angry, and stated that he had seen it done, and that was that! Shaver had never been able to produce a dero or a tero, nor guide anyone into his caves, so I knew it wasn't inside the earth.

A flashlight could penetrate the atmosphere for miles!

I learned then that Shaver's condition at Ypsilanti had been catatonic. According to psychiatrists, he had removed himself from reality, living in a shadowy imaginary world in his own mind. He even had to be fed. All his adventures in the caves were in his own mind. So they said.

To a spirit, the atmosphere would seem to be a solid — solid rock! Thus a flashlight would be an instrument capable of shining for miles through "solid rock". Shaver's rollats, Arnold's flying saucers, OAHSPE 's arrowships, all had the same environment, they traveled through tunnels from one inhabited area to the other. They all flew with the same skipping, swerving, bobbing motion.

I ascertained early that Shaver was totally unaware the book OAHSPE had existed, so was not a source for his stories. At first he refused, because he didn't believe in spirits or life after death, but at last he consented to read the book. He agreed it was an accurate account of Earth's history, and he agreed with its science — but he said it had been written by Newbrough just as his stories had been written — by recording the histories transmitted to his mind by telaug. There we were again — neither man authored his own works, both claimed that forces exterior to his own mind had simply dictated them.

What were those forces?

Now we come to a man named Grote Reber. Grote Reber was an electronics expert who lived in Wheaton, Illinois. Early in the '40s, he reported, via an article in the Chicago TRIBUNE, that he had been receiving intelligent signals from space, using a 30-foot homemade sheet metal radar dish erected in his back yard.

For periods as long as eight hours each night he had been recording the mysterious signals, in some sort of failed attempt to note exactly what I had noted, due to the limited range of Reber's receiver, but the Research Corporation hired him to carry on his work and built a TEN MILLION DOLLAR receiver for him in Hawaii.

He is still there, listening in on "signals from space". His new instrument has a much greater range, and can also cover the entire hemisphere. It is also used in tracking satellites, as part of its work. It still listens to "signals", (the hissing of remote radio galaxies?) but we are never told what they say! Even if we were, would we believe that the "empty air" speaks to us?

Grote Reber is an early victim of the stymie factor. He is still a victim. But he has the consolation of knowing what the signals are, and perhaps (I say perhaps, but I really mean more) understands them. And if they are the same signals that Shaver received via "telaug", (and Newbrough via automatic writing) then indeed they are important, certainly worthy of the highest "top secret classification" that our government can give them.

Actually I have no interest in knowing what is in that top secret class, because it isn't a secret at all! Anybody who has a fractured skull, a strong electric shock, an injury to the spine, damage to the nerve system, or injury to the brain or cortex, is susceptible to "hearing voices". Even a tooth filling can bring in radio signals (and I'm sure, other kinds of signals — telaug, for example?). Remember, I received more than 50,000 letters saying that the voices were real. I have interviewed, and even had weekly reports from, individuals who suffer from these "hallucinations", telling me WHAT the voices say. And what do they say? They say exactly what Shaver says the dero who "talk over their ray" to surface people say, and what OAHSPE says the "druja" (sic!), spirits of the dead, say to the living, mostly in dreams, but often in the awake state. And lastly, what the contactees of UFOs say the occupants say to them!

Thirty years ago I said that the paraphysical was a proper term to use in describing flying saucers. I said that no metal machine would ever be captured, no flesh and blood space visitor would ever land on the White House lawn, and no shred of physical evidence would be unearthed to prove that the flying saucers actually existed. When Professor Hynek began his work, he was one of those who could not be approached by me, because of the stymie factor. But I bided my time, and it is with great satisfaction that I have seen him make use of the term "paraphysical" and even "psychic". I have seen repeatedly in saucer magazines the admission that Ray Palmer had something, way back then, and was first to advance the theory that is becoming widely debated now.

And yet, the stymie factor has become even worse today! It is because I DON'T AGREE with any of the premises of those who are swinging over to the paranormal, psychic, spiritualistic, other-dimensional, sort of theory!

I am, and always have been, a strict materialist. Let me tell you why. If anything exists, it is REAL. And those investigators who are now talking about the paranormal are placing it in a limbo of the unreal, the phantasmic, the non-material. In their thinking there is no place for a single atom of matter — not even an atom of hydrogen.

Early in the '50s (perhaps late ’40s) several Japanese scientists, physicists, came forward with a new theory of matter. They said that they were convinced there was such a thing as subatomic matter. They said it was thousands of times less dense than ordinary atomic matter.

It was, they said, extremely finely divided — and instantly my mind leaped to the "science" that Shaver had been explaining to me so voluminously and explicitly.

This Japanese theory of subatomic matter was identical to Shaver's "exd" theory. He called it Ex-Disintegrance. Radioactivity, he said, was the process of matter breaking down into its primal atoms, but "exd" was these primal atoms culminating in their most finely divided state, the basic matter of the entire universe, from which everything is made. Gravity, he said, was not a pull, an attraction of mass, but a push, a flowing inward toward matter of exd, which caused a friction on matter, and forced it toward the center. Exd swept in toward matter in an orbital spiral.

It entered the Earth primarily at the equator, varying in a lessening degree toward the poles, where it exited again. It is the friction of exd passing through our bodies which holds us on the surface of the Earth. It is also the friction of exd which determines the temperatures of our bodies. Science says our tenperature is slowing down, over millions of years, and that someday life may cease because the narrow band of body tenperature range in which it is possible for mammals to live will be too low and we will disappear as a species. It is strange that in 1881, OAHSPE said the same thing! The dot-dash code, some of which was actually reproduced in the newspaper. From outer space, he said.

I went to visit him, but was refused admittance because he had already been swamped with callers who swarmed all over his property and pestered him to death. Instead I went to the back yard and inspected his "dish". It stood on concrete pillars 15 feet high, rotated north and south on very simple pins mounted in bearings. It could only be rotated in a north-south direction. Because the Earth rotates in an east-west direction, I knew instantly that Reber could not have picked up messages from any great distance, much less OUTER SPACE, or even the moon! He could not have focused on a distant source for more than a second or two! If he was getting intelligent messages, they HAD to come from a distance of less than 100 miles, or at the greatest stretching of logic, from several thousand, at a fixed location relative to Earth's rotation. There was nothing in that vicinity which could originate a signal! Nothing but empty air! No wonder Reber said it was from space! What else could he say? The stymie factor was in full operation. You can't point to empty air and say you are getting intelligent signals from it!

But strangely enough, the scientists of the United States government who could not possibly have ...

[Editor's note: the remainder of the preceding sentence is unreadable; perhaps if someone has the issue of SF Review in question it could be completed for the record.]

When I told Shaver of the fact that the Russians had claimed there was no gravity directly above the poles, he nodded casually. Of course, he said, that is why the space ships of the outer space people, the Titans, use the polar openings in the Earth's vortex to come down to the surface.

To get back to the Japanese, they described their subatomic matter in this way: Take a sphere of iron one inch in diameter. It may weigh a pound. You can hold it in your hand. It is composed of a specific number of iron atoms.

These atoms are composed of electrons and protons arranged in a specific pattern (scientists have built models using ping-pong balls to illustrate the construction of an atom). But the actual particles are extremely tiny, and separated from each other by a relatively enormous volume of empty space. If you were to shoot a neutron through an atom, you might, in a million years, actually hit an electron and knock it out of the atom, thus transforming it into another type of matter, or even cause atomic disruption of the atom (an atomic explosion). But it would be like rolling a ping-pong ball haphazardly across a football field on which a half dozen marbles had been scattered, and expecting to hit one of them.

It might take a million rolls to score a hit.

Said the Japanese, imagine the iron atom remaining unchanged, in its prescribed relationship of electrons and protons, but multiply the empty space 1800 times. That is, remove each particle of the atom 1800 times further from each other particle, and you would have sub-atomic matter. To your comprehension, the sphere of iron would disappear. It would become even less discernible than thin air. You would wave your hand through it, and not even feel the sort of resistance that air offers to the passage of your hand. Yet, if the same amount of space was added to each atom in your own body, you would find yourself expanding to giant size, and as you did so, the iron sphere would once more appear, shrinking down to solidity and weight and visibility until it again rested in your palm. Thereupon you could throw this at a companion, who had expanded with you, and if thrown hard enough, you could kill him within that environment? It would be non-existent. It would be invisible. It would be indetectible. It would be spirit as opposed to physical. It would be paraphysical. It would be psychic.

Some time ago, Crookes, an English scientist, who faced a stymie factor all of his own by advocating the existence of spirit and of life after death, placed a dying man, bed and all, on a scale. At the moment of death, the scale jumped up three ounces. From this he concluded that the dead man's spirit, which had now left the body, weighed three ounces. Assuming that this "spirit" remained the same "size" as the physical body it had left, we would have to place it in the classification of subatomic matter. But we would still have to call it matter!

Shaver, in his stories of the Titans, describes their giant stature. He describes them as being 30 feet tall, and claims that being immortal, and constantly growing, their size potential is limitless. The further out in space you find Titans, the bigger they are!

OAHSPE describes the human spirit, upon death, floating upward until it reaches a plateau where the densities equalize, and there the spirit finds himself on a solid world, with continents and seas, with breathable air, and with an entirely familiar environment. There he goes to school, continues to learn, continues to do, works, invents, composes, paints, builds.

And with him, his civilization grows, becomes more advanced in every way, electronically, physically, chemically, mechanically.

He is able, if he wishes, to communicate with the living. Usually, however, the living are too "dense" to hear or see him. A sort of stymie factor all over again!

Yet, there is in the world today, a tremendous movement toward paranormal things. There is a great belief in the psychic. The powers of the human mind are being explored, in such things as ESP, mental telepathy, precognizance, and on and on.

Even astronauts take seriously the prospect of developing an ability to communicate telepathically from space — astronaut Mitchell is an example.

Flying saucers have been tracked on radar. What is it that is being tracked? Not a NOTHING! Not an empty void. No, they are tracking a substance which is capable of reflecting an electronic echo. Perhaps the same as the Japanese "sub-atomic" matter?

That is why I say I am a strict materialist. There is no need to imagine anything else — the conditions I have described are sufficient to account for everything. Why make a problem more complex by introducing an entirely unnecessary factor? The solution of a problem tends toward simplicity. If it gets more complex, you can be sure you are on the wrong track. Ideally speaking, the truth is a single unit. The flying saucers cannot be a multitude of things — they have to be a singular thing, although they may possess many facets. We have been looking at the facets, and have both failed and refused to see the thing in its entirety.

It is at this point that the stymie factor usually exercises its greatest influence — it is at this point that the audience to a debate, for example, or a speech, or even an article such as this, finds itself facing such a challenge to the sense of rightness of things that rejection takes place: the nuts and bolts UFO proponent is bolted down to his (absolutely lacking in evidence for 30 years!) position; the cultist won't give up his space people who will arrive to save him from atomic holocaust when the Russians attack us; the religionist won't...

Relatively speaking, nothing would have changed. Matter would still be matter. But what would this greatly expanded matter be to those whom you left in their more condensed, or less empty space or concede that there might actually be some reality to his "heaven" and that rather than floating on a cloud to travel about after death, he would use an improved model, more exotic "taxicab" or even a "flying saucer"; the scientifically minded won't consider the "unproven" or the "documented", won't enter the area of philosophy, will shun with horror any hint of occultism; the military man won't aim his hardware at a phantom, nor admit that his atom bomb might not even annoy a UFO pilot. We could go on and on with the factions who react negatively to any concept that challenges their preconceived notions. Yet it is not at all true that I am advocating ANY of the concepts I have already advanced. I am not asking anyone to accept "spirits" or "life after death" or invisible "islands in the sky".

I don't attempt to postulate other worlds existing in mysterious other dimensions, fourth or fifth or ninety-second. I don't point to such things as "vibrational levels" or "concentric spheres" of reality.

I don't ask you to believe anything! I do ask you to challenge everything.

Consider: What is it that you are asking me to accept? You are saying that there are space ships visiting the Earth in enormous numbers from super civilizations many light years away (a minimum of 4 and as many as thousands). You are asking me to believe that these machines have been visiting here for thousands of years, and yet have never dropped even one loose nut where we can pick it up and use it as proof. You are asking me to stretch credulity to the incredible point of accepting that in the immense numbers of possible star and planet systems in the total galaxy, literally thousands of separate civilizations concentrate their attention on the most insignificant and remote and even impossible to find speck of dust in the entire cosmos. You are asking me to locate the UFO anywhere, but where they are actually seen — purely locally, in our own atmosphere, at the limited heights attained by our own aircraft.

Or — you are asking me to accept that the evidence of my own experience is nothing, that I am suffering from delusions, hallucinations, and am incapable of deciding that my own brain is functioning rationally. Renowned psychologists such as Carl Jung write books talking about group fantasies becoming common to all of us through a sort of universal mind, suggesting that there is no such thing as individuality. Thus do some of the religionists ask me to believe that my final goal is giving up my identity and becoming "at one" with some hideous nothingness called Nirvana, where all progress ends because it IS the end. Or you are telling me that eclectic materialism is the only reality, and that each of us ceases to be at the moment of death, and that life is one vast futility, or the final ultimate of the stymie factor.

I exist, you exist, the flying saucers exist. But WHAT are all these things? That is all we should consider — our own reality, and our relationship to everything else that is real. Therefore, we must consider what there is about up to consider — and refuse to limit it to a physicality of matter that is limited to what we can touch, see, smell, hear and taste.

Let's use this super-civilization we are developing, our electronic instruments, our genius at research, our science, our past experience, and research the UFO problem from, a realistic, materialistic stance, and find out what it is that we are talking about. We have enough investigators who have amassed thousands of clippings, thousands of reports of sightings, thousands of fuzzy photos of blobs of light and formless shapes in the sky; all of which accumulated junk is totally worthless. What has all this proved except what was positively determined in the very first few months of the flying saucer phenomenon — that there was something being seen that we could not identify—but was there whether we could explain it or not? Why should we have more of the same? Over the past 30 years I have published a tremendous mass of material in such magazines as FLYING SAUCERS, or SEARCH, or MYSTIC, or AMAZING STORIES (a fiction magazine). I have also made available countless books, such as OAHSPE, THE SMOKY GOD, A JOURNEY TO THE EARTH'S INTERIOR, paranormal books, strange theories, mysterious experiences of all sorts. All of them with a view toward providing material with which to stimulate thought that might result in some concrete conclusions, or lead to some productive research that might solve even the mystery of the UFO.

I have even delved into ancient history, mythology, legend and literature for clues.

And I have been totally stymied!

Now for the final touch! I'm going to paint myself with my own brush! I am one of the 50,000 who "has been there". Not really, not in Shaver's caves because my own interpretation of my experiences does not depend on Shaver's method, deduction. He heard voices, could not see anyone standing beside him to do the talking, on the surface of the Earth; he looked up and saw nothing but empty air; so he deduced that the only place left was down. Beneath his feet. Finally he had an experience, was led into dark caverns, met real live tero, flesh and blood like himself (when he pinched himself it hurt), and did not question the evidence of his senses although he KNEW that the eight years of his cavern experience coincided with the eight years of his of his incarceration at Ypsilanti. Even the hospital psychiatrists state that he was "out of his mind" (that his body was there, but the personality was not — it was somewhere in a different world which they could only call imaginary, because of their own personal stymie factor) .

Occultists would say he was "out of his body", that he was an "astral traveler". It makes no difference what we call it — his was an experience as real and convincing as any saucer sighter, or that more mysterious personage, the "contactee" who claimed to have been taken aboard a space ship, gone to Venus or Mars or Saturn or whatever. (Witness Betty and Barney Hill, Adamski, and numerous others.)

Yes, I've had similar experiences. But I have not been subjected to happenstance — I have learned to make these things happen to me deliberately. Do you want to call them self-induced delusions? Fine! That is what they are! That is the only available "textbook" definition of them. And that's where the stymie factor operates — the unwillingness to reduce the textbook factor to its proper status, 50% of definition, leaving us with 50% of non-definition. The other side of the coin. The second side to any question. The alternate. The other possibility.

During my life I have experienced hundreds of things like this, and I have published many of them. I will mention one or two now, at the risk of being repetitive, so that you will understand what it is that I am trying to convey, and that it has an equal basis in favor of its acceptability and its area of consideration.

In the past, many people have asked me what these things I am about to mention have to do with flying saucers. If we accept that flying saucers are what the general concept of thim is, namely the idea that they are space visitors from other worlds, then of course none of this applies. But again, if we concede that, then the UFO problem becomes simply a matter of observation and record, until they eventually prove themselves by actually landing and confronting us, or one of them crashes and we can mount the saucer next to Lindy's Spirit of St. Louis.

In which case why are we beating our brains out over UFOs — is there anything to investigate, anything we can do but keep an eye cocked aloft and be patient?

But if what I have outlined thus far is a viable concept, then the flying saucer phenomenon is a multi-faceted thing, and is in fact the total reality of our planet and its inhabitants in all its complexity of existence. You cannot divorce flying saucers from politics, or Watergate, or wars, or the Kennedy assassination, or religion, or even the price of beans and spaghetti and hamburgers. We cannot differentiate between UFOs and occult phenomena, or precognition, or telekinesis, or astral travel, or mental telepathy, or the power to bed spoons with the mind, or the killer who runs amok for no reason at all or because God told him to do it! We cannot divorce them from such things as the Bermuda Triangle, holes at the poles, strange lights on the moon, comets or taffy candy. We cannot set them apart from the ancient civilizations, such as Egypt, the Maya, China, the Middle Ages, because they were seen and recorded then also.

We must consider the mysteries of lost races, the ruins of Stonehenge, Baalbeck, Tiahuanaco, the Carolines, the Great Pyramid of Gizeh and many others.

We must consider that the flying saucers are native to this planet. If we demand that they be alien, there is no longer any mystery — only the question of who they are and their intentions toward us.

Before I go into my personal experiences, let me mention a few significant statements attributed to important world personages: How many of you remember the time Winston Churchill met in London with Senator Wiley of Wisconsin, around the early '50s? Wiley came to tell Churchill of an amazing discovery, that there was evidence of something intelligent in our atmosphere, perhaps even of invisible "lands in the sky." Perhaps all of this is fiction from the typewriter of some facetious newsman, but one thing is not — and that is something Churchill said to Wiley regarding death.

He said, and I quote: "When I die, I would like to go further from Earth than 600 miles."

Think about that one for a while. What it says is that Churchill considered it possible that he would live after death, that he would go "away from the Earth" and that the distance was measurable.

He could go 600 miles, which he did not prefer, or he could go further. Further seemed to be better than nearer. He actually placed the geographic area of the place we live after death as in our atmosphere!

Another great man. General MacArthur (photo at right), made a speech in which he said: “We had better think seriously about uniting our armies and preparing to defend ourselves from invaders from space. The next war will be fought in space."

These were not his exact words, I want to point out, but that he feared alien invaders seemed to be true, and that he also was in possession of some sort of evidence to cause him to make this prediction seems also to be true.

Admiral Byrd, who made mysterious flights to both north and south poles, is said to have exclaimed that he wanted to see again "this mysterious enchanted land in the sky (beyond the pole)." He is also recorded as stating in a speech before departing for Antarctica on one expedition, that this was the "most important expedition in the history of mankind!" I well remember the newsreel I saw in a theater after his flight to the north pole, which showed a terrain with lakes, trees, hills and valleys, but most astounding of all, a huge mammoth, lumbering along below the plane. I have the confirmation from many of my readers, the older ones, who remember seeing that same newsreel.

It is not in existence any more, and the files of the newsreel (either Pathe or vitaphone) contain no such film today.

But enough of this sort of thing — I want merely to point out that famous people have entertained the belief that our planet holds mysteries that we can only describe as paranormal, paraphysical, and even occult. We have Churchill and Admiral Byrd both claiming "lands in the sky." We have a famed military man stating that there will be an invasion from somewhere other than the surface of our planet. We have a senator talking of intelligence somewhere in our atmosphere. And of course we have all the religions pointing upward as the location of heaven, or himmel, or paradise, or happy hunting grounds, but not being specific as to how far up. And ranging through all this, we have the UFO, zipping here and there, apparently by the thousands.

As a sort of aside thought, considering those who say the UFO are from outer space, other worlds, we recall the saucer sightings of such men as Scully, whose saucer occupants spoke Spanish, and the contactee whose UFO pilot spoke German. Scully's saucerers wore the clothing common in the Spain of 400 years ago. There are many stories from contactees and just sighters, who mention these "earthly" things, hardly applicable to visitors from outer space. As the computer would report: "It does not compute."

But in the language of OAHSPE, the BIBLE, and ancient legend and mythology, it DOES compute! Yes, the saucers belong here, and they belong to all ages. But for some reason, in our present time period they are assuming gigantic proportions and importance, far more vital than in any past era in recorded history.

When we come to my own personal experiences, they are of two varieties — those experienced alone, and those in whoch other people played a part. Now that I have established that I regard the so-called para-physical realms (which are variously termed "astral", "spirit world", "higher frequency realms", "different vibratory levels", "psychic world", "planes of existence", etc.) as being just as physical as the condition in which we all exist at present, it should be easy for you to think of them all as "matter", as material as the bones in your head. And it should be easy also to think of them as existing in time, in geographic location, and interpenetrating each other (just as steam — the invisible superheated part — interpenetrates the atmosphere; or radio waves or radar or x-rays) .

Perhaps the first example that is most pertinent to the flying saucer mystery is the classic (to me!) case of George Adamski (1891-1965, photo at left). In 1943 he sent me a book manuscript which was a story of Jesus Christ coming to Earth in a space ship with a message of peace and hope for mankind. I rejected it because it was not a science fiction story suited to AMAZING STORIES, of which I was then the editor. In 1952 Adamski published that same book, almost word for word, with the exception of some added material that described how he and Williamson and several companions met and conversed with a Venusian in the desert (in 1952) and the changing of Jesus Christ to a Venusian, and the space ship to a UFO (specifically a mother ship and its "scouts”). George Adamski was actually a psychic. He possessed the ability to leave his body and travel astrally, and learned something vital to him. I say this because I am convinced of it, not because he or anyone else ever told me. He then got his message across, first attempting it in the guise of fiction, then as actual fact as a flying saucer contactee (the first).

I don't fault him for that. There isn' t too much difference between him and Richard Shaver, and hundreds of other paranormal persons.

I have been a "dreamer" all my life. Sometimes it has been difficult, in consulting my memory, to sort out awake experiences from things that happened while asleep. Several times I have been embarrassed in recounting an experience, only to have the realization come to me that it hadn't actually happened, but was "only a dream". However, I learned to control my awareness in my dreams, and began to look for means of confirmation of the facts in a dream even while I was still asleep. Such things as asking others involved in the dream to suggest some proof that I could look for after awakening to prove that the dream was no figment of my subconscious imagination.

During the second World War, I had a number of significant "dreams". I came to realize that what was really happening was what the psychics chose to call astral travel. I would go places, witness events, and come back with a provable recollection of them. The most interesting was the battle of Savo Island, in the south Pacific. The morning after that battle, the Navy Department announced that we had lost five destroyers in a night encounter with the Japanese Royal Navy. I could confirm that, because I had dreamed it all — I seemed to be in a command center, somewhere in the war theater, and heard all the reports as they came in. Names of ships, number of men lost, details of the sinkings. But that morning, arriving at work, I found Howard Browne shaking his head in alarm over the account of the battle in the morning newspaper. He felt it tragic and dangerous that we had lost five destroyers. I asked him to get out a sheet of paper, then I dictated the names of additional ships sunk, number of men lost on each. I mentioned the MEMPHIS, the MILWAUKEE, the HORNET and others. Then I asked him to seal the sheet in an envelope and file it away for future reference.

Eight months later Secretary of the Navy Knox released the true losses in that battle, and explained that it had been kept secret because the Japanese fleet, had its admirals known our actual losses, would have known that there was nothing to prevent them from steaming on to Guadalcanal and sinking our troop transports waiting there, poised for the invasion of the Phillipines. Had this happened, we might well have lost the war.

I asked Howard to open his envelope. He read off the names; I was 100% accurate in my list. All Howard did was to stare at the sheet, mutter: "Some kind of trick!" and after carefully tearing it into little bits, throw the paper into the wastebasket.

But I was there! No matter if you call it astral travel, clairaudience, precognition, mental telepathy — it makes no difference. It made me a believer in George Adamski. He had really been to a place he called "Venus" and talked to space people. Not the real Venus as we know today because space probes have been there and proved it not at all as Adamski describes, but a "material" place somewhere above the surface of the Earth, perhaps no more than a hundred (or Churchill's 600) miles up.

Another dream I had puzzled me. I found myself on a typical disc-shaped flying saucer, but it was different in one important aspect from the popularly described flying saucer. Later, when visited by two FBI agents in my office, they noted a plastic model on my desk, fashioned by Kenneth Arnold. All at once one of them leaned over, picked it up, turned it over and set it down again. "You've got it upsidedown," he said.

He was right! And once more a dream had proven itself.

Another dream concerned my brother, killed in Luxembourg during the war. It had bothered me, because I had to have the answer to several questions. One was, what about the money he had asked me to check on, which he'd given to his father, to give to his intended wife?

Another was how he had died.

The War Department had given no information.

This was probably my first deliberate attempt at "astral travel".

I asked (who? Shaver's "tero"?) to be taken to whatever place my brother was now, granting that there was life after death, so that I could find out from him what I wanted to know. Briefly, some hours after going to sleep, I was awakened by a "person" who said: "We are ready." Instantly I found myself standing in the morning sunlight (about 9 AM) on a dusty road, before a small "schoolhouse", made of simple poles, open on three sides, with rough wooden benches. Lined up in front of this primitive building were about 18 persons, male and female, of varying ages. One of them ran from the line toward me. It was my brother, dressed in khaki shirt and pants, and shoeless. He was delighted to see me, and wanted to play "tag". I was bewildered, but I did so for several minutes. Then I got his attention and asked about the money. He shrugged his shoulders, said it didn't matter — he said "Dad spent it." I asked him how he had died. He told me his left leg had been blown off at the hip while he was repairing a communications line under a barrage. Then we resumed playing tag until it seemed it was time to go. He again took his place in line before the school and I found myself back in bed, wide awake, my thoughts awhirl. (Checking the time later I found that for Luxenbourg, 9 AM was correct!)

More than a year later, after the war was over, the Catholic priest who had been with my brother when he died, visited my father, who then came to see me. As he gave me the Silver Star and the Purple Heart that had been awarded posthumously, he began to tell how Dave had died. But I interrupted and told him the complete details of the event. Bewildered, my father asked if the priest had visited me also. I said no, and to prove to him that I was telling the truth, I added: "Dave told me you spent the $2000, but he says it is all right."

I have been in that "enchanted land in the sky" many times, I have seen and ridden in the flying saucers, I have talked first-hand with hundreds of departed friends and relatives, I have been given dozens of proofs, and I have wound up facing the most tremendous "stymie factor", the ridicule that has stymied many a UFO researcher. I understand fully why some researchers invent such "excuses" for clamming up and dropping out of research as "the men in black", the FBI, the CIA, or whatever evidence of paranoia you can suggest.

I will continue to be stymied until today's researchers abandon their silly collecting of newspaper clippings, interviewing saucer sighters, scoffing at contactees, staring out into space billions of miles and hundreds of light years, and instead begin to use the sophisticated electronic hardware that our space age has generated, and begin to go after concrete MATERIAL facts in all the ranges of matter we already know exist beyond the SEEN, and in the far more potent and real realms of the UNSEEN.

The Wizard of Menlo Park is reputed to have spent some time working on a "telephone" to contact the dead. Whatever mystic bent suggested it, at least I think he was on the right track in turning to electronics and gedgetry to achieve his end.

There is no doubt that the UFO phenomenon is real. So let's define reality as material and begin searching with something other than our eyes and ears and nose. Next time you photograph a UFO, turn it over to a computer for enhancement, and maybe we'll finally get a picture as conclusive and convincing as the remarkable photos of Mars sent back by our Viking Landers and turned over to a computer that is neither schizophrenic nor imaginative nor a practical joker. If there is a subatomic universe, and it is adventuring into our universe, it might be a good idea to go at it with everything we've got.

Thus far, we've let the stymie factor lick us!


The covers of the three issues of Tangent printed by Ray Palmer.


"Flying Saucers & the Stymie Factor" copyright © 2017 Dave Truesdale and Tangent Online

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