The UFO Contactees of yore –George Adamski, Howard Menger, Truman Bethurun, Orfeo Angelucci– are something of a guilty pleasure to me. Yes, I know 99.9% percent of what they proclaimed was pure horse manure –and their hoaxes were so evident they’re almost endearing— but I’m still fascinated by how the Contactees managed to encapsulate the zeitgeist of an entire era; even preceding in many ways to the counter culture of the 1960s and the Hippie movement that transformed the landscape of America’s society, and the world at large.
Plus, I still have the nagging suspicion that, despite the many deceptions, some of these people were really in contact with something. Whether they interpreted that ‘something’ correctly, or were even misled by it, is another story…
Which is why this trailer for the upcoming documentary “Calling All Earthlings” is really exciting to me, because it will focus on one of my favorite Contactees of all time: George Van Tassel (March 12, 1910 – February 9, 1978), creator of the amazing Integratron–the wooden cuppola he built without the use of screws or nails, which he believed it would be capable of rejuvenating living cells and help humans attain the immortality enjoyed by his extraterrestrial friends.
CALLING ALL EARTHLINGS explores one of the first UFO cults, led by George Van Tassel, a one-time Howard Hughes confidante. Van Tassel combines alien technology with Tesla science to build a rejuvenation machine called The Integratron. Is he insane? Or could the electro-magnetic Integratron really work? FBI agents try to halt an army of eccentrics who gather in the desert to create a collective threat on the edge of the fading American Dream. The story is told by current residents of Joshua Tree, who must defend against rampant militarism and commercialization, all while waiting for their spaceship.
The only thing that worries me is that the film makers might go the Steven Greer-esque route of claiming the government was spying on Van Tassell and his brethren, because they were worried about novel energy sources and technologies disrupting the status quo, which was clearly not the case at all. Nick Redfern’s book Contactees makes it clear the FBI investigated these people because they feared that behind the Space Brother’s message of universal peace and a call to ban nuclear weapons was a communist plot to destabilize the United States from within –which is why the infamous Robertson Panel of the 1950’s concluded the public’s increasing interest in flying saucers was more dangerous in itself than the (unlikely to them) possibility of an actual alien invasion.
Calling All Earthlings premieres this Friday. You can visit their webpage to check out the list of programmed screenings in L.A.
And after watching the film, if you’re still craving for MORE Contactee-related stuff, then prepare yourself for the release of ‘A’ is for Adamski: A book co-written by my good friends Adam Gorightly and Greg Bishop, which will feature never-before released material and pictures from the golden age of flying saucers –cover of the book designed by yours truly.