George Adamski

George Adamski
George Adamski
Born April 17, 1891(1891-04-17)
Died April 23, 1965(1965-04-23) (aged 74)
Maryland, USA
Occupation Self-described "wandering teacher"[1]
Organization Royal Order of Tibet,
International Get Acquainted Program,
George Adamski Foundation

George Adamski (April 17, 1891 – April 23, 1965) was a Polish-born American citizen who became widely known in ufology circles, and to some degree in popular culture, after he claimed to have photographed ships from other planets, met with friendly Nordic alien "Space Brothers", and to have taken flights with them. The first of the so-called contactees of the 1950s, he styled himself to be a "philosopher, teacher, student and saucer researcher", though his claims were met with skepticism.[2]

Adamski had previously written a science fiction book in 1949 with a space travel theme, Pioneers of Space: A Trip to the Moon, Mars and Venus, published by Leonard-Freefield Co of Los Angeles. In 1953 he took some of the fictional material from that book and presented it as fact within the best selling Flying Saucers Have Landed, co-written with Desmond Leslie.[3]


Early years

Adamski was born on April 17, 1891, in Poland.[4] At the age of two, he and his family emigrated to America and settled in New York City.[4] From 1913 to 1916, beginning at the age of 22,[5] he was a soldier in the 13th U.S. Cavalry Regiment K-Troop fighting at the Mexican border during the Pancho Villa Expedition.[4] In 1917, he married.[5] Adamski then moved west, doing maintenance work in Yellowstone National Park and working in an Oregon flour mill.[4] While in Laguna Beach, Adamski founded the "Royal Order of Tibet," which held its meetings in the "Temple of Scientific Philosophy."[5] In 1940, Adamski and some close friends of his moved to a ranch near California's Palomar Mountain, where they dedicated their time to studying and farming.[5] In 1944, with funding from Mrs. Alice K. Wells, a student of Adamski, they purchased 20 acres (8.1 ha) of land on Palomar Mountain, where they built a new home called Palomar Garden and a new restaurant called Palomar Gardens Cafe.[2][4][5]


On October 9, 1946, during a meteor shower, Adamski and some friends claimed that while they were at the Palomar Gardens campground, they witnessed a large cigar-shaped "mother ship."[4] In 1947, Adamski took a photograph of what he claimed was the 1946 cigar-shaped "mother ship" crossing in front of the moon over Palomar Gardens.[4]

On May 29, 1950, Adamski took a photograph of what he alleged to be six unidentified objects in the sky, which appeared to be flying in formation.[4] Adamski's May 29, 1950, UFO photograph was depicted in an August 1978 commemorative stamp issued by the island nation of Grenada in order to mark the "Year of UFOs."[4][6]

On November 20, 1952, Adamski and several friends were in the Colorado Desert near the town of Desert Center, California, when they purportedly saw a large submarine-shaped object hovering in the sky. Believing that the ship was looking for him, Adamski is said to have left his friends and to have headed away from the main road. Shortly afterwards, according to Adamski's accounts, a scout ship made of a type of translucent metal landed close to him, and its pilot, a Venusian called Orthon[1],[7] disembarked and sought him out.[8]

Adamski's photograph, which is said to be of a UFO, taken on December 13, 1952.

Adamski described Orthon as being a medium-height humanoid with long blond hair and tanned skin wearing reddish-brown shoes, though, as Adamski added, "his trousers were not like mine."[1][4][8][9] Adamski said Orthon communicated with him via telepathy and through hand signals.[1][8][9] During their conversation, Orthon is said to have warned of the dangers of nuclear war and to have arranged for Adamski to be taken on a trip to see the solar system, including the planet Venus, the location where Mrs. Adamski had been reincarnated.[4][8] Adamski said that Orthon had refused to allow himself to be photographed and instead asked Adamski to provide him with a blank photographic plate, which Adamski says that he gave him.[4] When Orthon left, Adamski said that he and George Hunt Williamson were able to take plaster casts of Orthon's footprints, which contained mysterious symbols.[10]

Orthon is said to have returned the plate to Adamski on December 13, 1952, at which point it was found to contain new strange symbols.[4][11] It was during this meeting that Adamski is said to have taken a now famous UFO photograph using his 6-inch (150 mm) telescope.[11] Some claim that the picture just shows a streetlight.

In 1954, Desmond Leslie is said to have witnessed several UFOs with Adamski while visiting him in California. He described one of them in a letter he sent to his wife while he was in San Diego:[12]

... a beautiful golden ship in the sunset, but brighter than the sunset ... It slowly faded out, the way they do.

Hoax letter

In 1957 Adamski was the victim of a hoax letter sent by James W. Moseley. The letter was signed by the fictional "R.E. Straith," a representative of the nonexistent "Cultural Exchange Committee" of the U.S. State Department. Straith wrote that the U.S. Government knew that Adamski had actually spoken to extraterrestrials in a California desert in 1952, and that a group of highly placed government officials planned on public corroboration of Adamski's story. Adamski was proud of this endorsement and showed it around to bolster his claims (Moseley & Pflock 2002:124–27, 180).

Rockford Register article on Adamski's Queen Juliana visit and rumored future visit with Queen Elizabeth II.

In May 1959, Adamski received a letter from the head of the Dutch Unidentified Flying Objects Society informing him that she had been contacted by officials at the palace of Queen Juliana of the Netherlands and "that the Queen would like to receive you."[2] Adamski informed a London newspaper about the invitation, which prompted the court and cabinet to request that the queen cancel her meeting with Adamski, but the queen went ahead with the meeting, saying, "A hostess cannot slam the door in the face of her guests."[2] After the meeting, Dutch Aeronautical Association president Cornelis Kolff said, "The Queen showed an extraordinary interest in the whole subject."[2] Wire services such as United Press International and Reuters sent the story out, and newspapers around the world ran it. On May 19, 1959, The Straits Times ran the story.[13] The Sydney Morning Herald ran it on May 20, 1959, along with an image titled "The 'Moon Man.'"[14] On May 21, 1959, the Rockford Register ran the article,[15] and the Los Angeles Times ran it on May 27, 1959.[16]

Adamski said that the photographs of the far side of the moon that were taken by the Soviet lunar probe Luna 3 in 1959 were fake and that there were cities, trees, and snow-capped mountains there instead.[17]

Declining reputation and death

Adamski's "Golden Medal of Honor", which he claimed to have received during his meeting with Pope John XXIII.

In 1962, Adamski's reputation began to decline after he announced that he would be going to a conference on the planet Saturn.[4] In 1963, Adamski claimed that he had a secret meeting with Pope John XXIII and that he had received a "Golden Medal of Honor" from the Pope.[17][18] Adamski, at the request of the extraterrestrials he was allegedly in contact with, met with the Pope in order to request a "final agreement" from him because of his decision not to communicate directly with any extraterrestrials, and also to offer him a liquid substance in order to save him from the gastric enteritis that he suffered from, which would later become acute peritonitis.[19]

On April 23, 1965, at the age of 74, Adamski died of a heart attack in Maryland.[4]


His claims inspired a British copycat who went under the name Cedric Allingham.

The most common arguments contrary to Adamski's claims forwarded by skeptics is that the planet Venus is unable to sustain intelligent life owing to its environmental conditions. These conditions include an atmospheric pressure at the planet's surface which is 92 times that of Earth, clouds composed of sulfuric acid, and an average surface temperature of 461.85 °C. Of course, no one could live under the surface of the planet, and as a result most consider Adamski's claims to be a scientific impossibility. It should be noted however, that the alleged Venusian visitors stated they lived in underground cities, thus not being exposed to hostile conditions on the surface.

Inside The Space Ships is considered by some[20] to be a "remake" of a science fiction book, ghost written by Lucy McGinnis, entitled Pioneers of Space that Adamski wrote in 1949. His often-published photo of a flying saucer from 1952 has been identified (by the chairman of the British UFO organization in the 1970s) as the top of an Italian-made ice machine used in his café[citation needed], a streetlight (see above), and the top of a chicken brooder.[21] However, "Cecil B. de Mille's top trick photographer, Pev Marley, declared that if Adamski's pictures were fakes, they were the best he had ever seen, while in England 14 experts from the J. Arthur Rank company concluded that the object photographed was either real or a full-scale model."[22]


  • Cosmic Philosophy (1961), self-published (reprinted 1972, Pine Hill Press OCLC 13371492)
  • Flying Saucers Farewell (1961), Abelard-Schuman, OCLC 964949 (reprinted 1967 as [The Strange People, Powers, Events] Behind the Flying Saucer Mystery, Warner Paperback Library, OCLC 4020003)
  • Flying Saucers Have Landed (1953), British Book Centre, ISBN 978-0-85435-180-0; published simultaneously in the UK by Thomas Werner Laurie (Reprinted various times)
  • Flying Saucers Have Landed, revised and enlarged edition (1970), Neville Spearman, UK, ISBN
  • Inside the Space Ships (1955), Abelard-Schuman, OCLC 543169 (Reprinted 1967 as Inside the Flying Saucers, Warner Paperback Library, OCLC 1747128) Currently in print from the George Adamski Foundation
  • Pioneers of Space: a Trip to the Moon, Mars and Venus (1949), Leonard-Freefield, OCLC 4722893 (Reprinted 2008, Inner Light/Global Communications)
  • Wisdom of the Masters of the Far East (1936), Royal Order of Tibet (reprinted 1974, 2000, Health Research)

Other publications

  • "Many mansions" (1955), SS&S Publications, OCLC 45443779
  • "Petals of life: poems" (1937), OCLC 47304946
  • "Telenews" (1960-03-28), OCLC 79040262
  • "Telepathy: the Cosmic or Universal Language" (1958), s.n., OCLC 45443839
  • "Science of Life Study Course" (1964), self-published

George Adamski in popular culture


  • Science fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke referred to ufologists as suffering from Adamski's disease in his novel 3001: The Final Odyssey.


  • British House musician Adamski, real name Adam Tinley, adopted the UFO enthusiast's surname as his stagename. Tinley is most notable for his 1990 hit single Killer, which featured the vocals of the then-undiscovered singer Seal, and spent 4 weeks at number 1 in the United Kingdom.

Roleplaying games

  • Hunter: the Vigil's Task Force VALKYRIE includes a subgroup called Operation ADAMSKI, explicitly named after George Adamski, dedicated to producing and distributing misinformation about aliens and other "extra-normal entities" in order to hide the existence of such beings.

Video games

  • In the video game, Mega Man 9, there is a UFO-based enemy named Adamski. This is probably a reference to George Adamski.
  • In the game Disgaea in the optional "Prinny Commentary Mode" the commentator makes reference to Adamski UFO's.


  1. ^ a b c Zinsstag, Lou (1983). George Adamski — The Untold Story. Beckenham, Kent, England: CETI Publications. pp. 5–6. ISBN 0-9508414-0-4. 
  2. ^ a b c d e "The Queen & the Saucers". Time (magazine). June 1, 1959.,9171,811123,00.html. Retrieved 2007-04-27. 
  3. ^ Flying Saucers Have Landed
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o Scott-Blair, Michael (August 13, 2003). "UFO pioneer inspires site's astronomy theme". Sign On San Diego. Retrieved 2007-04-27. 
  5. ^ a b c d e Solomon, Professor (1998). "It Can Happen to Anyone". How to Make the Most of a Flying Saucer Experience. Baltimore: Top Hat Press. pp. 54–56. ISBN 978-0-91-250907-5. 
  6. ^ Smith, T.J. (June 2003). "Grenadas UFO Stamps". Retrieved 2007-04-28. 
  7. ^ Master Plan website--Source of image of Orthon:
  8. ^ a b c d Malcolm, Noel (March 6, 2005). "Common sense abducted". London: Retrieved 2007-04-27. 
  9. ^ a b Colin Groves in Skeptical — a Handbook of Pseudoscience and the Paranormal, ed Donald Laycock, David Vernon, Colin Groves, Simon Brown, Imagecraft, Canberra, 1989, ISBN 0-7316-5794-2, p3
  10. ^ "Footprints Of Space Man". Retrieved 2007-04-30. 
  11. ^ a b "George Adamski and the Flying Saucers from Venus". Retrieved 2007-04-27. [dead link]
  12. ^ "Desmond Leslie". London: November 22, 2001. Retrieved 2007-04-27. 
  13. ^ United Press International/Reuters (19 May 1959). "Saucer man visit to Juliana starts row". The Straits Times. Retrieved 25 November 2010. 
  14. ^ A.A.P (May 20, 1959). "Julian Rift Denied". The Sydney Morning Herald.,3236964&dq=1959+george-adamski&hl=en. Retrieved 25 November 2010. 
  15. ^ United Press International (May 21, 1959). "Visit with Elizabeth next: Adamski". Rockford Register. Retrieved 25 November 2010. 
  16. ^ "Dogs Are Going to the Dogs!". Los Angeles Times. May 27, 1959. Retrieved 25 November 2010. 
  17. ^ a b Stuttaford, Andrew (January 17, 2003). "Spirits in the Sky". National Review Online. Archived from the original on 2007-06-02. Retrieved 2007-04-27. 
  18. ^ "About George Adamski". George Adamski Foundation. Retrieved 2007-05-01. 
  19. ^ Barbato, Cristoforo (2006). "The Omega Secret". UFO Digest. Retrieved 2007-04-30. 
  20. ^ Why I Can Say That Adamski Was A Liar, by Marc Hallet, May, 2005, SkepticReport
  21. ^ Wilhelmsen, Jim (2008), Beyond Science Fiction, Bloomington, IN, iUniverse, p.259
  22. ^ Leonard Cramp, as quoted in George Adamski - The Untold Story by Lou Zinsstag and Timothy Good (1983), p.176.

Further reading

  • Bennett, Colin (2008). Looking For Orthon: The Story of George Adamski, The First Flying Saucer Contactee, and How He Changed The World. Cosimo Books. ISBN 1605200670. 
  • Battaglia, Debbora; David Samuels, Christopher F. Roth, and Mizuko Ito (2005). E.T. Culture: Anthropology in Outerspaces. Durham, North Carolina: Duke University Press. ISBN 978-0-82-233621-1. 
  • Gulyas, AJ (November/December 2005). "Meaningful Contact: George Adamski and the Contactees as Social Reformers". UFO Review (No.13). 
  • Zinsstag, Lou; Timothy Good (1983). George Adamski — The Untold Story. Beckenham, Kent, UK: CETI Publications. pp. 208. ISBN 0-9508414-0-4. 
  • Zinsstag, Lou; Timothy Good (1990). UFO ... George Adamski — Their Man on Earth. Tucson, Arizona: UFO Photo Archives. pp. 208. ISBN 0-934269-21-1. 

External links

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