A Mt. Palomar astronomer, the story went, had come out with a book, published in England, which declared that he had met a Venusian pilot of a saucer on a California desert and talked to the creature with the aid of sign language. The astronomer's name was Professor Adamski.
Not having telephoned ahead, I had some doubts about being able to see the professor, but I had previously found that the best way to see a relatively inaccessible public figure was to show up in his outer office and to talk my way in.
Instead of a hard time at the Palomar reception office, I got a horse laugh from a passing staff member when I asked about Professor Adamski.
"The Professor," and he emphasized the title in a mocking manner, "lives half way down the mountain. You'll find him running a hot dog stand down there."
The receptionist gave me a more thorough and restrained explanation: No there was no Professor George Adamski at the Observatory; the man I was looking for could be found at Palomar Gardens, a restaurant on the slopes of the mountain which catered to the tourists who came to see the 200-inch telescope at the crest. Yes, Adamski had written a book about flying saucers and had claimed to take photographs of them.
I drove back down the mountain to Palomar Gardens and parked in the lot almost filled with cars. Inside I quickly spotted a gray-haired man who appeared to be in his sixties, seated at one of the tables. A crowd of thirty to forty people sat open-mouthed as he related his story.
Adamski did not claim to have any connection with Palomar Observatory. "I am a philosopher, teacher, student and saucer researcher," he told us. "For several years I have been an amateur astronomer, and have two small telescopes, one of them a 15-inch reflecter, and the other a six inch refractor."
Long interested in the possibility of life on other planets, Adamski had written a fictional book wherein interplanetary visitations took place. He had also conducted a school of Tibetan philosophy, known as The Royal Order of Tibet.
His real interest in flying saucers began, Adamski said, when two men from the Point Loma Navy Electronics Laboratory, near San Diego, visited him. These men, J. P. Masfield and G. L. Bloom assured him that flying saucers were probably interplanetary and that an Earth government was also developing such machines.
The purpose for their visit was to secure his cooperation in photographing the strange craft, on the assumption that his small telescopes could maneuver more easily than the large one at the Observatory. They planned to make a similar request to the Observatory Staff.
Thus, having been asked by the military, as Adamski put it, to cooperate with them, he purchased additional photographic equipment and began to watch the sky for the spacecraft.
"Night after night I stayed outdoors with my telescope aimed, camera attached. Some nights I thought I might freeze because of the cold winds. "Alice K. Wells, owner of Palomer Gardens, brought hot steaming coffee by the dozens of cups but this was very little comfort. Once I caught an extremely bad cold and was away from my task for weeks while recovering, but still I persisted."
Not being a photographer, Adamski had to master the art as he went along. Absolutely convinced of the saucer's reality after the sightings, he began to hope that the time would come when he could make a personal contact with some person from another world. Many times he wandered out onto the desert, feeling he had received telepathic messages from the saucers.
But it was not until November 20, 1952, that Adamski's wish became a reality.
He had met two Prescott, Arizona, couples, Mr. and Mrs. Bailey, and Dr. and Mrs. George Hunt Williamson. Since the couples were also interested in possible contacts with space people, they asked to be invited to come along the next time he made one of his desert trips. Accordingly, Adamski phoned Williamson on November 18 and arranged to meet the two couples near Desert Center, California, two days later. Adamski's secretary Lucy McGinnis, and Alice K. Wells, were invited to go along.
The seven people met on schedule and proceeded to a point on the highway about eleven miles from Desert Center. The Bailey's bought a movie camera, the Williamsons a still camera; Adamski took along his 6-inch telescope, binoculars, and a case containing his still camera and gadgets for attaching it to the telescope. He also had seven cut film holders and an inexpensive camera.
Williamson, who claimed to be an anthropologist, had even brought along plaster of Paris in case any ground markings needed to be preserved. Thus, the party was quite well prepared in case a meeting with a saucer or a space man should come about.
"The first unusual occurrence," Adamski told us, "was the sighting of a huge mother ship type of saucer, that's the dirigible-looking type, which appeared at a very high altitude and was seen by all our party. We had camped right next to the highway, and I'm sure this mother ship could have been seen by any passing motorist.
"But I had the feeling that this would not be the spot where we might make contact. I had Lucy drive me to a spot a half mile or so from the highway. I then aksed her to return and rejoin the others for the period of an hour, after which I would return if nothing had happened. I had a very strong feeling that this would be the day for a contact and that I should be alone."
He set up his telescope and related equipment, and within five minutes was rewarded by the sight of "a small scout ship type of saucer some distance from me. I took seven photos of this ship, though these did not turn out well for some reason.
"Right after this, I saw motion out of the corner of my eye, looked, and saw a man approaching me. Although this person looked very much like an ordinary man, he was dressed in a peculiar type of ski suit clothing and had long flowing hair."
"The beauty of his form surpassed anything I had ever seen. I felt like a little child in the presence of one with great wisdom and much love, and I became very humble within myself, for from him was radiating a feeling of infinite understanding and kindness with supreme humility."
"The meeting lasted about three quarters of an hour. During this time, by using gestures, I learned that the man was from the planet Venus and that his visit here on Earth was due in part to concern over our use of atomic weapons. To express the idea of atomic explosions, the Visitor said Boom! Boom! Unfortunately, he would not allow me to photograph him. I got the mental impression that perhaps many of these Venusians were already on Earth, mixing with Earth people, and that possibly some distinguishing feature in such a photograph might enable people to identify them more easily.
Toward the end of the interview, the Venusian made a point of calling Adamski's attention to his footprints in the sand. It developed that the soles of his shoes were inscribed with symbolic markings. After he returned to his scout ship and departed, Adamski rejoined the others and excitedly led them to the scene. Williamson, fully prepared for such an eventuality, made plaster casts of the footprints. Subsequently, many people had tried to interpret the strange symbols impressed by the shoes, but had failed to come up with anything definite.
In the couurse of his talk with Adamski, the Venusian asked permission to borrow one of Adamski's film packs, with the promise to return it to him shortly. About three weeks later a similar-or the same-scout ship flew over the vicinity of Palomar Gardens, and the pilot dropped the film pack out one of the portholes.
The film, upon development, revealed more strange symbols, similar to those in the footprints. Adamski had a number of language experts at work on the "writing," yet without results - though one of them pointed out that the symbols appeared similar to a language called Urdu, which had been reproduced in a strange book titled From India to the Planet Mars, in which a Frenchwoman claimed to have obtained messages from Mars while in the trance state.
The next month, December 13, however, Adamski succeeded in getting several good pictures of the scout ships - these were the ones displayed in the restaurant.
Adamski further strengthened his acocunt with a sworn statement made by the witnesses, a photostat of which he took from a brief case and passed around through our group.
"What I have told you and the others is absolutely true.. But who is it that asked in the poem, "What is truth?" I don't remember, I am not a literary man. You must not only take my truth, but you must discover the truth for yourself. In that manner, you will truly believe, as I do."
George Adamski was the first person to come out publicly and talk about his contact. At that time we had not gone into space yet. It was all so fantastic that many persons became enthused with his story. Of course, there were the skeptics who poopooed it (and still do). Adamski was honored by the Pope and the Queen of the Netherlands (if I remember correctly).
At the time, since we had not gone into space, I believe Adamski was told that his visitor came from a known planet. As we developed into space experiencers are told about planets further and further out in the universe.
Inside the Spaceships was the first book I read about UFOs. I was so enthused that it started my career into UFO research which prevails to this day.