Special Issue            The Swamp Gas Journal           ISSN 0707-7106
Number 5                                                 Summer 1997

               Special Issue #5

       Fish Stories, From the Horse's Mouth and Cults: 
          What I'm working on during the summer ...

As a special bonus for devoted readers of the SGJ, I am presenting some 
recent stories concerning research and correspondence from the past few 
months. Maybe this will make up for the lateness of the main journal ...


             A Whale of Tale: July 11, 1997

It was after 11:00 pm and I was just settling into bed to watch the last
quarter of a football game. The phone rang and I had the fleeting thought
to let the machine take it. But something told me to answer this one.
     It was my friend S_, who used to work with a TV station and with 
whom I had written and produced a show about lake monsters in Manitoba. 
S_ apologized for calling so late, but then told me he had heard such a 
fantastic story he felt I should know about it immediately.
     He said that an hour earlier, he had received a phone call from B_,
a sport fisherman whom we had interviewed about his own Manipogo sighting 
of several years ago. B_ told S_ that he had received a call tonight from 
a friend named A_. 
     A_ said that earlier today, someone named R_ on the Sandy Bay 
Reserve had shot and killed a 'giant snake' near Lake Manitoba. He said 
that many others had seen this creature, and that its body was now being 
preserved and awaiting examination by authorities.
     S_ was certain that there was something to this story and that
B_ would not be making this up. The story was consistent with other
claims of encounters with a large, snake-like creature called Manipogo
that is thought to inhabit the lake.
     I thanked S_ for the tip and then called the Sandy Bay RCMP
office right away. I spoke with a Constable A_ who told me he had
"heard the rumours" but didn't know any details about the incident. He
said he would be checking with another detachment in the morning and
would have more information then.
     I then called a friend at a radio station newsroom in the hope that
he had heard of this story already. He hadn't, but quickly did a live
interview with me about what I had heard so far.
     I called my associates Brian and Dave in Brandon, somewhat closer to 
Sandy Bay. They are avid Fortean investigators, and I rely on them to 
help investigate cases in Western Manitoba. I told them the story. They 
were very appreciative of the info and said they would investigate and 
call me back the next day.
     It was a nice story, but was there anything to it? I went to bed, with
a funny feeling that there was more to the tale than what I knew. The
problem was that there really is a large creature that may be inhabiting the
lake, namely a giant sturgeon. Although rare, these natural monsters can
grow to 15 feet or more and some had been recorded and caught in
Manitoba. My guess was that this was what had been found, and, although
it wasn't really mysterious, was certainly unusual enough to warrant an
     In the morning, I called the Sandy Bay RCMP and spoke with
another officer who said she knew about the story but that the duty
sergeant was out at the time. It seems that a tremendous thunderstorm was
hitting the area and was keeping the police busy with other problems,
although they were planned to go out to the lake to investigate the
shoreline for any sign of a monster.
     I then called B_ and spoke with him. He told me the entire
story as he heard it from A_. Supposedly, R_ had been swathing hay on his 
lakeshore property near a swamp when he saw a large, snake-like creature 
near the shore. He quickly dashed to his truck for his rifle and shot the 
creature as it was rearing up out of the water.
     Roulette then dragged the monster's body out of the water and ran
to notify others of his find. According to A_, "half the town" came out
to view the creature and some took photographs with it. But the story gets
     As the tale goes, RCMP were called and came out within a short
time. They examined the carcass and called for a large, flatbed truck
transport. Villagers watched as the creature's body was loaded onto the
trailer and covered with a tarpaulin.
     As described to A_, the creature was 50 feet in length, with the
diameter of a barrel and "a head like a horse."
     B_ said that he and A_ went out at 1:30 am that morning to
see if they could intercept the transport on its journey southward to
whatever destination it was heading for. They said they saw a West way
trailer leave the reserve and go south along the main access road about that
     Wanting to get closer to the story, I asked B_ for A_'s phone 
number. This took a while because the thunderstorm kept knocking
out the phone line, requiring me to call back several times.
     I then called the Sandy Bay Band Office, and asked if anyone there
had heard of the story. The person who answered said she had, but that no
one knew who Randy Roulette was. She said the band office had been
trying to get details but had been unsuccessful.
     Next, I called A_ at his work, and he told me exactly the same
story as B_ had related. He was amazed that the RCMP knew nothing
about the incident, because he had spoken with some residents who had
seen the creature on the ground. Furthermore, he could not believe that the
tribal office didn't know anything about it because many officials there
had been present to view the monster's body.
     A_ told me that R_ was difficult to reach because he didn't
have a telephone, but that he knew where his property was located. I asked
him if he knew the names of any others who had seen the creature, and he
gave me the name and number of K_.
     I phoned the number and waited while the person who answered
called K_ to the phone. The sound of a baby crying grew louder and
soon K_ came on the line, obviously wrestling with a cranky
     K_ admitted he had seen the long, black body of "something"
loaded onto a truck. He affirmed that many people were present including
police and that someone was taking photographs. He seemed honest and
straightforward about what he had seen.
     As I hung up the phone, I heard a radio news broadcast from the
station I had called last night. They had been trying to follow up on the
story, too, with no luck, and a reporter was complaining that he had been
unable to locate a witness.
     I quickly called the station and told them I had just spoken with an
eyewitness. I gave them the phone number and they thanked me and hung
     I continued to listen to the radio and was shocked to hear after a
few minutes that they had reached a witness but he "was drunk and wasn't
in any condition to talk" with them!
     With stark disbelief, I called the station back in a mad panic. That
reporter told me she had called the number and that, although K_
admitted he had seen the creature's body and that someone had indeed
taken photos, he had "acted weird" and didn't want to be interviewed. The
reporter agreed that perhaps K_ wasn't drunk, but that it was her
impression that something odd was going on because he didn't want to
talk with her!
     I got off the phone and tried to assess the information. Had
something happened, or not?
     I continued to listen to the radio and soon heard a live interview
with Sergeant W_ of the Sandy Bay detachment. He said that he and his 
officers had just returned from braving the elements and could not
find any sign of a carcass on the lakeshore. He said that he had been
unable to locate anyone who had seen the beast and that he compared the
story to that of a "six foot bird" which had been reported six weeks ago in
the area. The radio announcer had a good laugh with the sergeant, and
dismissed the case.
     That effectively killed the story, for the time being. I decided to
clear my head and go for lunch. But when I got back, things had become
more complicated.
     There was a message from W_ on my voicemail. I returned his
call and he told me that yes, he was unable to verify any of the story. He
says he even had spoken with R_, who had told him he had been swathing 
his grass along the lake but had not shot any creature or seen anything 
     I asked W_ if he had spoken with K_ and he said he had not.
I asked W_ why people would start such a rumour. Were they in the
habit of lying? Surprisingly, W_ said, yes, people in the area "like to tell
stories and sometimes they put themselves in the stories, too."
     I then mentioned to W_ that I had heard him on the radio, and
noted his remark about the "six-foot-bird" in the context of tall tales.
     He laughed, but noted, "Well, of course, that was true."
     I blinked. "What?" I asked.
     W_ explained that a month or two ago, residents in the area had
reported seeing a giant birdlike creature. The RCMP had dismissed the
stories until it was caught. It was an emu. Unbeknownst to the general
population, including the RCMP, a farmer had purchased a number of
these large birds and was raising them commercially. Sure enough, one
had escaped. Therefore, the tall tale which was used to help dismiss the
lake monster story was true itself!
     I got off the phone with W_, still a bit confused. Was there any
truth to the story at all? Why would no one talk openly about their
observation of the monster, and how did the truck transport figure into all
     Then, I got a call from Brian and Dave in Brandon. They were using
their cellular phone and were in their truck on the way to Sandy Bay. They
said they had spoken with W_ and were going to meet him there.
     "But why," I asked them. "He said there was nothing to the case."
     A shocked silence answered me. "Are you sure?" came the reply.
"We just talked with W_ and he told us that he knew for a fact that 
the carcass was definitely put aboard a transport truck. He's even 
offered to introduce us to the people who saw it."
     Amazed, I asked them to call me as soon as they knew more.
     Could this case get any weirder and have more twists?
     Well, no.
     Brian called me from Sandy Bay about 4 pm. He said they had spoken 
with RCMP and many of the so-called witnesses and had come to a 
conclusion. There had been no monster.
     What had happened, in their view, was that there *had* been a major 
drinking party along the lakeshore last night, and people got a little 
drunk. It seems that there *had* been some stories circulating during the 
past few weeks that someone had in fact seen Manipogo, but wasn't 
talking. This didn't stop the partiers from jokingly starting their story 
about shooting and killing the monster. The truck and the cover-up was 
added as a nice touch.
     I can imagine that K_ told me he had seen the monster beacuse he 
figured the story was safe to tell, but when the media started calling, 
he backed off. And when the RCMP came calling, he had to 'fess up.
     I guess the real culprit in this instance was the person who told 
A_'s sister about the monster. If she hadn't told A_ about it, he 
wouldn't have called B_, who believes strongly in the existence of the 
creature and who has a solid reputation. We would never have heard 
anything about it.
     Brian and Dave are owed a great deal for dashing out to investigate 
the case. If it weren't for them, we'd still be wondering about it at 
this point. They're a little downhearted, apparently, because the case 
turned out to be a dud, but I look at it a bit differently. They 
*succeeded* at an investigation and *solved* a case. That's what 
investigators are supposed to do, right?
     Of course, a few things still are left hanging. Why did the RCMP 
tell Dave and Brian that the case was legit? And what about the story 
that someone really did see a lake monster earlier this month?
     The Monster of Lake Manitoba lives on ...


Next, I present some correspondence I received from a person who had some 
personal experience in dealing with American Cold-War paranoia and also 
how UFOs were *really* viewed within the upper echelons:


View from the inside: One American's examination of early US UFO docs
by I.M. Anon

[Note: In the fine tradition of other UFO "experts," I am following
their lead and *not* exposing the identity of the American "insider"
who responded to my request and e-mailed me his story. You know how it


Chris Rutkowski has asked for documentation of my account of "how I got 
interested in UFO's" for his files and possible publication, which I am 
happy to provide on the condition anonymity is preserved until my demise! 
     As a lifelong student of astronomy and fan of aerospace 
development and Science Fiction, I was aware of "flying saucers" even as 
a child in the early 1950's, but was unable to take the 
then-widely-circulating rumors of "crashed saucers" complete with bodies 
of aliens, or George Adamski, both topics being widely discussed on 
playgrounds in those years, very seriously at the time. It did occur to 
me to wonder why news broadcasts such as the Flatwoods monster/sighting 
would appear intriguingly in the media and then vanish without follow-up.
     My only "sighting" was in the summer of 1957, just before 
Sputnik: a flashing electric-blue light, apparently very high, moving 
silently & quickly across the night sky in long straight lines & making 
instant more-than-90-degree turns without pause or curves.  It just 
suddenly started, danced thru the "summer triangle" making several of those 
sharp turns without slacking speed or varying intensity, and vanished. 
Aside from being puzzled by this classic "nocturnal light" sighting, 
I've never felt I'd ever seen a "real" UFO & in fact never associated 
this with a "flying saucer" until reading more about it much later.
     In 1965, interest was stimulated by a "mystical-type" woman 
friend (the wife of a graduate student at the University I was then 
attending and a neighbor in their "married Students' housing") who 
announced one night that "the word was out" that the aliens were going 
to turn off the power over a wide area of the USA to convince the 
government to cooperate with their plans. We laughingly asked what those 
plans were, and she actually said essentially that the aliens were 
offering bits of technology in exchange for letting them observe & 
experiment secretly, but gradually letting more information out over the 
next 30 or 40 years thru movies, advertising, TV shows etc. before 
revealing themselves fully. She got a good laugh that lasted until the 
Northeast power blackout that fall, with the associated rumors of UFO's 
over the Niagra power stations as it happened. Unfortunately the couple 
had moved and I couldn't ask her how she'd known, or what else she knew!
     This stimulated further reading, and when the Condon Report was 
issued I pounced on it avidly; I felt confused and betrayed by the 
conflict between the contents and conclusions; and decided something 
very weird was indeed occurring. By then I was working as a 
professional librarian in a NASA think-tank with a VERY large aerospace 
library cleared through "Secret: Restricted Data" and went into that 
level of information to see if there was anything.  There was indeed, 
even on that low level, evidence that the government was blatantly lying 
about its disinterest: I quickly found a classified USAF document 
advising pilots what to do WHEN (not "if") they encountered a UFO, with 
such advice as "DO NOT SHOOT!!", "Use gun-cameras" and even advice on 
what to do if their electrical system cut out, "as often occurs".  Of 
course this made me wonder what was also available at higher 
security classifications, but our facility had no access to that data.
     So, naturally, since then I have never doubted there is a government 
cover-up, that their claim to have no interest etc. was phony, and (in 
retrospect) began wondering about things like those rumors of crashed 
saucers & bodies we'd been discussing on school playgrounds in the early 
'50's.  Consequently, the emergence of the Roswell stories was hardly a 
surprise, except for the part about people asking how such a "secret" 
could be kept so long.  Could something widely discussed by gradeschool 
kids on playgrounds be considered a secret?
     Well, it's over 30 years since our friend described essentially what's 
been happening since: she was either a prophetess, or really did get 
inside information somehow, since everything to do with the phenomenon 
seems to confirm her description.  I'd like to live long enough to see 
if the rest of it occurs (open contact after all the "preparation"), 
but cheerfully admit that if the US Government openly admits there is 
contact with aliens, UFO's are real, etc. I'd have to begin to doubt: 
since everything else seems to have been lies, how could one believe 
them even if the President appears in a news conference with a Grey?
     Could THAT psychological orientation be one of "their" goals?  Who's 
in charge here anyway?  Can anyone ever have any realistic idea of 
what's really going on or why?  How did that woman know that stuff?
     Well, it's interesting, anyway!


Part 2:

The TOP SECRET Librarian: American security in the stacks
by I.M. Anon

[This is the second document e-mailed to me by an American researcher
who wishes to remain anonymous. And so it goes.]


Chris Rutkowski has requested an account of my experiences as a 
professional librarian dealing with US Government "classified" 
information in the 1960's for his files and possible publication.  
On the condition I remain anonymous, I am willing to describe some 
of the adventures and absurdities that were associated with this.  
     I was a professional librarian in a NASA "think-tank" for several 
years handling information classified through "Secret: Restricted 
Data" but as everything happened 30 or so years ago and therefore 
almost everything I ever saw should have been de-classified by now 
(not to mention I will not be discussing any specific documents) 
I feel confident there is no harm in describing a few associated 
adventures, as Mr. Rutkowski feels this will add insight into some 
of the concerns about classified data in the UFO-Research community, 
especially as my experiences often are at variance with other 
stories about classified information. As we never discussed such 
things, I had no idea everyone else wasn't doing it the same way 
until I read others' stories about classified documents in the UFO 
literature and noticed discrepancies. What does THAT indicate?
     The process of getting cleared even to the level needed for the 
facility in which I worked, involved a "security check" including 
fingerprinting, interviewing old neighbors, etc.  As a naive and 
innocent person with no criminal or communist connections, never 
having been out of the country in any of the controversial places 
around the planet, etc. there was no problem with this, although 
having a foreign-sounding name evidently caused some concern even 
though my grandparents were US citizens even before WWI.  This 
became clear when a man identifying himself as an FBI agent (even 
showing credentials) began showing up at regular intervals, several 
times a year, to interview me.  This man looked so much like the 
"Mr. Glad Bags" fellow in the commercials (tall, well-built and 
dressed, wavy grey hair and toothpaste-ad teeth etc. and even 
talking like him) that it was hard to resist asking if he was any 
relation or was moonlighting, although I managed, due to paranoia 
over causing offence and becoming therefore a suspicious fellow!
After all, it appeared I was already "suspicious" due to my name, 
since the interviews would consist of his asking if I knew that a 
table-tennis team or folk-group or poet or whatever from the area 
of my ancestors' origin, had been visiting a neighboring city. In 
every case, having no personal interest in such things, I was able 
to honestly say "No!" but he would always follow up with further 
questions on whether any had tried to contact me, if I'd visited 
with any of them, etc. Rather than becoming annoyed, I was amused, 
even when he showed up at my apartment one day, hovered at the door 
until I invited him in, and went thru the same routine yet again. 
That, however, began to make me feel a bit paranoid, I confess: in 
the library was one thing; at home quite another!
     Of course, as a librarian in a technical library but having no 
technical training, I was able to find documents as needed without 
understanding what they were about, except that for various reasons 
many were classified at various levels as "security information". 
This material was kept in a vast vault and as it became obsolete or 
unnecessary, had to be burned in a kiln and the ashes well-stirred.
Security Officers assigned to the company were always about, would 
accompany me to the document-burning "parties" etc. There was little 
sense of humor about it, and my requests to toast marshmallows etc. 
were met with frowns. 
     The company for which I worked often generated such documents, and 
their greatest concern was to avoid anything that would result in any 
sort of classification in their research reports, as it would limit 
their distribution.  A few times, a document they generated would 
inadvertently be judged "classified" at some level and also had to 
be destroyed, although I recall one occasion in which the reason was 
a reference to a specific component, innocuous in itself, being 
mentioned in that context.  The solution was to carefully snip out, 
with scissors, each occurrence of that word from the document, and 
carefully burn those snippets. This "sanitized" that document and 
enabled it to become "unclassified"; note that magic-marker-ing it 
out of legibility was considered insufficient. The only time we ever 
magic-markered out anything was when a document was declassified and 
the original security markings were then crossed out thoroughly: very
tedious as they were all marked at the top and bottom of every page, 
front & back, even if blank (although the blank page would also state 
"This page is blank.") In almost all cases the declassified documents 
were also then burned.
     I never understood why we crossed out the markings of declassified 
documents before burning, while leaving the markings on those still 
classified when burning them!  Only rarely were any declassified 
documents kept. (Obviously, they were burned instead of just being 
thrown away, because they didn't want the garbage collectors to see 
what classified data had been around previously.) We never kept any
such documents not actually still needed.
     The most absurd adventure involved a researcher who was also a foreign 
national (from a VERY neutral country, but not a US citizen). His own
projects, of course, were not classified & he was officially not to be 
informed about any classified work or to see any classified documents.
Imagine the consternation when he generated a report later declared to 
be classified!  He was then not allowed to supervise his own work or 
to see his own notes!  He continued to direct his project, however, by 
telling his assistants what to get, what to do, etc. and dictating his 
notes and reports, which were then classified and locked away.
     Although everyone took it all very seriously & behaved most officiously
it was clear opportunities for "leaks" etc. were not eliminated; but 
after all, we were only classified to "Secret: Restricted Data" which 
was not a very high level at all. Everyone knew there were much higher 
classifications that were not even widely known to exist, but as we had 
no access, such levels were almost never even mentioned. Occasionally, 
some researcher would mutter about how we should have a higher facility 
clearance to facilitate our work, since they clearly felt they had a 
"need to know" beyond their level, but this was always denied.
     I was glad to get out of that business.


Finally, a paper I prepared originally in the 80s, but was asked to 
update it in 1997 after the Heaven's Gate incident. It's my view on UFO 
and alien cults.


From Heaven Above: Saved by the Aliens
by Chris Rutkowski

Of the many different cores around which a cult can form, possibly the
most curious is the phenomenon of UFOs. Fanatical UFO belief is basically
an anti-science movement. It rejects the scientific evaluation and rational
explanation for UFOs in favor of a more mystical and religious view. It
becomes cult-like when adherents become closed to any interpretation of
UFOs as conventional phenomena. Further, fanatical UFO believers often
alienate themselves from other UFO buffs, who are interested in a search
for "the truth" but do not "know" the truth as fanatical followers claim.
     There are two basic forms of such fanatical groups:
     1) spiritual/religious UFO cults; and
     2) obsessive UFO belief cults.
The spiritual UFO cults embrace omnipotent beings known often as the
"Space Brothers," closely akin to deities. They are always much more
advanced that humans, and their levels of advancement are such that they
almost always have apparently magical or mystical powers, often including
ESP and other psychic abilities. In some cases, they are also more
"spiritually-attuned" than us.
     They are extraterrestrial in the same sense that God is "not of this
world," and come from distant planets. Each sub-cult names a different
planet of origin for their alien brothers and sisters, including Clarion,
Korendar and Zanthar. In UFO cult mythology, for example, Clarion is said
to exist "on the other side of the Sun." Some groups select planets within
our Solar system as their aliens' homes, including Mars, Jupiter, Saturn
and Venus, although some have located their aliens on or inside the Earth.
     The belief-based cults usually have no spiritual relationship with
the Space Brothers, but simply believe that extraterrestrials are visiting
Earth. They reject scientists' explanations of UFOs, and often insist that
there is some sort of grand cover-up of the knowledge that aliens are among

One of the early, well-known spiritual UFO cults was the Aetherius
Society, founded in Britain by George King in March 1954. One day, King
said that he heard a voice from heaven, telling him: "Prepare yourself; you
are to become the voice of Interplanetary Parliament."
     Eight days later, King said a man in white robes walked through a
door into his room and delivered the aliens' message that mankind is
spiritually unwell. King was advised he was to become the terrestrial
representative of the Interplanetary Parliament, which meets regularly on
Saturn. He was told to prepare himself for his important duties by
practising yoga and leading a healthier lifestyle. 
     A few months later, King was contacted again, this time by the
aliens' leader, Master Aetherius. Aetherius was from Venus, where an
advanced civilization rules the Solar system. King's body was taken over
and controlled by Aetherius, who began proselytizing as he was the
"primary terrestrial channel." His mission was, simply, to "alert the world."
     King attracted a considerable number of followers. His meetings
usually took the form of a public channelling display. King went into a
trance and began speaking as a "lesser agent," telling of upcoming natural
disasters as well as happier occasions such as sightings and landings of
flying saucers. Then, Aetherius himself would get channelled, and inform
the gathered crowd about esoteric teachings, describing "cosmic energies"
and the need for more "positive ions" in the world.
     Occasionally, another entity would get channelled, including such
individuals as Jesus Christ. Jesus explained that He had been born on
Venus and had come to Earth in a flying saucer which was disguised as the
Star of Bethlehem. Jesus is now on Mars, where He continues His
teachings. Channelled, Jesus recited from the New Testament and led the
group in prayer.
     King commended that his followers needed to "charge" mountains
in order to prevent cataclysms. He would often lead groups into various
mountainous regions where they would pray in circles, thus charging
"energy batteries" which could be used by the aliens to prevent disasters.

Another UFO cult leader was George Adamski. His mission on Earth
began on November 20th, 1952, at 12:30 p.m., near the town of Parker in
the California desert, when he and some friends saw a UFO apparently
land nearby. He instructed his friends to remain with their car while he
went to investigate. 
     Adamski said that he came face to face with a space being who had
human features and long, light-colored, shoulder-length hair. (Later, such
aliens were called  blondes.') Communicating in sign language, Adamski
learned that the visitor was from Venus. Later, he was told that the Space
Brothers were very displeased with human behavior and had enlisted
Adamski to carry their message of peace and goodwill to all mankind.
     Adamski published three books describing his encounters with the
aliens and their messages. They each were financial successes, allowing
him to travel widely and attract a huge following. He referred to himself as
 Professor George Adamski,' and claimed that he lived and worked at
Mount Palomar Observatory. In reality, he ran a small cafeteria halfway up
the mountain road leading to the astronomical institution. He did have a
small portable telescope, through which he took several photographs of
aliens and their spaceships hovering nearby, all of which were out of focus
or of dubious heritage. One widely-published photograph, showing a
closeup of a flying saucer with portholes and ball-like objects underneath,
has been dismissed by skeptics as the top part of a vacuum clear, a bottle
washer or a chicken brooder.
     Adamski's followers formed groups in many cities around the
world, including Canada. Adamski died in 1965, but his groups continued
meeting as recently as the late 1970s.

George Van Tassel founded the "College of Universal Wisdom" in 1953.
Van Tassel is best known as the organizer of the Giant Rock Flying Saucer
Convention, which was held annually for nearly two decades on a desert
airfield near Giant Rock, California.
     The night of August 24, 1953, Van Tassel was sleeping with his
wife and was woke up at about 2:00 a.m. to find a man standing at the foot
of his bed. The human-appearing entity said that his name was "Sol-ganda"
and insisted that Van Tassel come with him aboard his spaceship. Van
Tassel noted that his wife was in a deep sleep which Sol-ganda said was
because of a "spell." Outside, Van Tassel saw a bell-shaped craft that was
powered by an "antigravity beam."
     Van Tassel didn't receive any direct message from his alien contact,
but simply was shown things which he interpreted as directions and
information to pass on to others. For example, during one of his later
contacts, he was visually shown the true history" of the human race, as
observed by aliens. Typically, Van Tassel would go into a trance at a
meeting and channel information from Sol-ganda or other aliens.
     Van Tassel was often attacked by skeptics, and one of the most
memorable incidents was the action of a lawyer who set out to show that
Van Tassel's stories were hoaxes. He sent Van Tassel faked UFO photos,
which Van Tassel quickly adopted as true and proof of his own
experiences. However, when both the lawyer and Van Tassel appeared
together on a popular UFO-related radio talk show, the lawyer revealed the
photos as his fakes.
     Despite such damaging evidence, Van Tassel remained popular and
his Giant Rock convention attracted many thousands of devotees and
contactees annually. Near the convention site, he built the Integratron, a
wooden dome-shaped temple, from plans he said were supplied by the
Space Brothers and similar to Solomon's Temple from the Old Testament.
The Integratron was designed for  rejuvenation' of the human body,
through  omni-beams' directed from above.

In September of 1944, Amazing Stories magazine editor Ray Palmer
received a letter from Richard Shaver. Shaver detailed how he had learned
of an "ancient alphabet" from a lost race that had once thrived on Earth and
had battled evil aliens. Palmer had his reservations, but he published the
letter and was surprised to receive hundreds of requests for more
     Shaver replied with a long story titled: "A Warning to Future Man,"
which Palmer edited and rewrote as "I Remember Lemuria." It was
published in March, 1945. The piece received an unprecedented response
from the magazine's readership. More than 50,000 letters flowed in from
people who praised the work but also added their own personal experiences
which supported the story.
     Basically, Shaver's story relied on "racial memories" about a race of
subhuman creatures called deros (detrimental robots) living in underground
cities with the Earth. The deros had once been slaves of an advanced
civilization which had once existed on Lemuria, but had perished during
the cataclysm that destroyed Atlantis.
     Deros had control of the Lemurians highly-advanced technology,
including mind-rays which they directed at humans on the surface of the
Earth, causing mental, emotional and physical problems. Other devices
caused earthquakes, volcanoes and droughts. Their sole pastime was to
annoy and persecute the human race. Occasionally, they would kidnap
humans and torture them, sometimes returning them to the surface, but
most often hiding them forever, such as the case of Jimmy Hoffa and Judge
     Ray Palmer continued to publish the Shaver stories as fact, which
eventually led to his firing from Amazing Stories, but he then began his
own science fiction pulp magazine, called first Other Worlds, then Flying
Saucers from Other Worlds and then finally Flying Saucers. The stories
continued being published until the 1970s.

MARK-AGE is a quasi-religious group that still exists today. Its basic set
of beliefs is that mankind was once part of an interplanetary spiritual
communications system, but has turned away from spiritual matters.
Because of this, the Hierarchical Board of the Solar System "drew the veil"
over our consciousness. However, some of the aliens, being benevolent, are
trying to increase our spiritual consciousness, using mental
communications with certain members of our society, projecting their own
bodies or actually making themselves seen in their flying saucers.
     Mark is the chief contact for Earth, and has been assigned to make
mankind "space-conscious" and ready to meet other life forms. Mark-Age
devotees believe that God is helping the United States space program
because it was defined as "one nation under God." The Soviet Union was
not given such help because it was in their opinion atheistic.

A similar group is the Universal Link, which is concerned that our spiritual
understanding is not at the same level as our technology. They view our
society as plagued by injustice and strife. They also hold that the Chinese
are "breaking the power balance of the world" and may lead us into atomic
     Flying saucers are the "links" in the aliens' operation to Earth
which is designed to create a paradigm shift towards more spiritual
matters. The Universal Link is the Second Coming of Jesus Christ to Earth,
Jesus being an alien whose real name is Orthon.

According to the Raelians, aliens are really the "Elohim" referred to in
some biblical teachings, meaning literally, "those from the sky." They
created humans in a laboratory on their own planet and put us on Earth. We
accidentally gained intelligence through interbreeding, and became self-conscious. The aliens left
us to our own affairs, but they occasionally send
messengers to check on us, such as Jesus, Mohammed and Budda. The
latest alien messenger is Rael, born as Claude Vorhilon, who has been to
their home planet and met all the other messengers there. 
     Raelians believe that all of the miracles and visitations recorded in
the Bible were performed or caused by aliens and their UFOs. They have
about 10,000 members worldwide, based in France but with satellite
groups in other countries including the USA and Canada.
     Raelians made the news this year for two bizarre developments. One 
is that they have developed and will soon open a "theme park" like 
Disneyland where children can ride on "exact" replicas of alien 
spacecraft and animated characters will assist visitors in understanding 
teh nature of aliens and the UFO phenomenon. The other story is that the 
Raelians have sponsored a car entered in the Grand Prix, in order to 
generate some awareness of their cause.

Robert Barry founded the 20th Century UFO Bureau in the late 1960s. He
stressed that the public had been lied by the government about the existence
of UFOs and aliens on Earth. Basically, an anti-coverup group, Barry also
taught that UFOs were spaceships piloted by angels, although a few are
driven by Satan and his forces. The angel-piloted UFOs assist the Israelis
in their battles in the Holy Land. In the 1970s, Barry held public meetings
in a number of cities and towns, promoting himself in "bible belt areas
such as Steinbach, Manitoba and in Pennsylvania.

Vonnetta Chouinard was born in 1935 in Oxford, Nova Scotia. When she
came out of her mother's womb, she had a caul on her face, considered a
lucky or fortunate omen. She claimed that at age 7, she died from
pneumonia, but "rose again on the third day" after sulfa drugs were
administered to her. At age 10, she walked into another dimension and
began having visions. 
     In 1968, space creatures took her in their craft to other planets, and
even inside the Earth. While on board during one of her journeys, they used
an x-ray device to look inside her body. They found several tumors in her
body and they operated on her with such advanced surgical techniques that
they left no scars.
     Vonnetta says she was chosen by beings from the fourth dimension
to carry their message of peace and sanity to the world. She was directed to
help convince mankind to stop pollution, cease atomic testing and repent to
God. She was interested in educating children in the aliens' message
through UFO comic books and TV shows.
     In 1975, a "scout craft" burned a cross into a field in Nova Scotia.
No snow stayed on the cross, which remained warn to the touch all winter.
In spring, no grass grew. A spring nearby turned reddish, then cleared, but
Vonnetta began holding religious ceremonies at the site. She claimed that
people could be healed by water from the spring, and her "services" were
attended by many devotees who were healed of ailments such as arthritis,
lameness and blindness.
     However, some local residents who were skeptical of the activities
attempted to put an end to them by hiring a bulldozer to plow the cross
over. Vonnetta and her group made a public demonstration of solidarity by
laying in front of the bulldozer and stopping the plan. But, as Vonnetta
noted, the bodies of those who wanted to plow over the cross were found
soon after at the bottom of a lake, with many bones broken. She said that
this showed how bad things would happen to those who got in the way of
the plans of Space Brothers.
     Vonnetta said she could sense "vibrations" emanating from the
UFOs flying overhead, and also from radiation left behind after they took
off from their landing sites.

The Society of Unarius was directed by Ruth Norman (Archangel Uriel) for
several decades until her death in the 1990s. The group owns dozens of
acres on California where each year they await the mass landings of
spaceships which will save selected spiritually-attuned individuals. They
believe that Earth needs to become the 33rd member planet of the
Interplanetary Confederation. Jesus, Mohammed and Einstein were
channelled by Norman, giving further teachings to the Society's followers.
The Society holds parades and meetings for which members dress up in
costumes representative of other planets in the Confederation.

Finally, the Kosmon Church believes that Zoroaster (Zarathrustra) was the
first Great Teacher; he was an emissary of KOSMON, a spiritual entity/life
force. They hold that mankind is unaware of anything off its ethereal plane,
and are ignorant of the danger from lower, evil planes which are pressing
on Earth, disturbing humanity. The Kosmon Church is warning us that the
Ethereans are coming,


We can see recurring themes present in most of these groups:
     1) Mankind's spiritual awareness is missing or weak.
     2) Space Brothers are trying to coax us back onto the path of
     spiritual understanding.
     3) There will be a Second Coming.
     4) Salvation is possible.

It appears that, for the most part, UFO religious cults and groups are all
concerned with the welfare of the human race. They are trying to spread the
teachings of their "masters" in hope that mankind will be saved from itself. 
     Therefore, they are basically "normal" religious groups which
simply replace God with a physical being from another planet. They reject
science's dismissal of UFO reports, and in doing so, adopt an anti-science
attitude that is impressed on their followers.
     (However, the Heavens Gate cult used technology itself to spread
and interpret spiritual and mystical teachings, an interesting combination of
     The groups usually receive instructions directly from their
 masters,' usually through channelled missives. Unfortunately, this
sometimes led to many "unauthorized" readings and messages by
individual members, since there was no control over the depth to which
members could become immersed in the particular group's ideology. This
sometimes led to their own contacts with the alien masters, distorting the
original teachings. Since individual members could themselves become "in
tune" with the aliens, they could obtain their own ego-enhancing, spiritual
     But as we have seen from the Heavens Gate incident, there are
personal dangers from becoming too involved in one's faith. In 1982, two
people waited in their car for more than a month in North Dakota. They
spent the entire time in their car, waiting for a spaceship to arrive. They
were drawn by a "higher power" as they sat in below-freezing
temperatures, snowbound in their vehicle. Eventually one of them died of a
combination of hypothermia, dehydration and starvation, which spurred the
other to seek help. (Source: Winnipeg Free Press, November 19, 1982)

Some UFO-based religious groups' concepts probably reflect anxieties
about our present society and more specifically, the possibility of nuclear
war or the general angst felt by those oppressed or otherwise "left out."
Other themes are the role of religion in a technological society, the need for
peaceful international relations and the possibility of extraterrestrial
     According to most groups, the Space Brothers come from planets
free from war, poverty and need. They also have achieved immortality
through an emphasis on spiritual matters. In short, they exist in a idyllic
paradises much removed from terrestrial problems. The Space Brothers also
have come to Earth to stop arms proliferation and to prevent further war.
Many early UFO religious cults were anticommunist but were
paradoxically socialist in their structure. This was ironic, because both the
FBI and CIA monitored the groups because they were deemed
"dangerous." often infiltrating the groups in order to keep watch on them.
     Cult members' fear of death is lessened or eliminated by the belief
that the aliens will prolong their lives or reincarnate them on another
planet. The groups often made Jesus a spaceman, but still defined him as a
true messenger who died trying to teach us truth and love.
     Since Earth was not "ready" yet, the groups had to have human
leaders to act as go-betweens. All groups shared their mission to educate
mankind in order to save us from destruction. Hence, they sought public
exposure in order to transmit their leaders' messages.
     Furthermore, it should be noted that UFO cults almost always
promulgated a "Christian" philosophy of love, peace and reconciliation.
Most taught that we should be kind to one another, respecting all life and
caring for the Earth. Many had strong environmental convictions.

Bo and Peep (or Te and Do) first formed the Christian Arts Centre in
Houston in 1972, to promote religious artistic activities. Only three years
later, the families of 20 people were panicked when they received postcards
from their children informing them that they were "leaving this Earth" and
would not see them anymore. Police investigation uncovered the cult
commune in Oregon. It was learned that at that time, dozens of people had
left their jobs, families and even their children to follow "The Two."
     That was in 1975. In 1997, we learned that the cult was still
operating, with tragic consequences. Their message was the same, and
people still were being recruited into its membership. We know that in
1997, 39 people died. In 1975, dozens of people joined the cult, and many
were never heard from again.



The Swamp Gas Journal is copyright (c) 1997 by Chris A. Rutkowski.
Mail correspondence to:  Box 1918, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada  R3C 3R2
Email correspondence to:  rutkows@cc.umanitoba.ca

The Swamp Gas Journal, UFOROM and NAICCR are not affiliated with the
University of Manitoba, and don't represent its ideas, opinions, etc.

(Come to think of it, no one here has noticed me yet.)

    Source: geocities.com/thecynicalview