At the time he had already achieved a form of notoriety as an occult “philosopher” and “teacher,” practicing something he called “Universal Progressive Christianity,” which combined Eastern and Christian doctrine. His “church” appeared to be a dodge to get a religious exemption to make and sell wine during Prohibition, which proved to be quite lucrative.
However, with the end of Prohibition, Adamski’s fortunes began to take a decided turn for the worse. He is quoted by friends as saying that he needed to “get in on this (flying) saucer crap,” suggesting that he had hit upon his next money-making scheme.
The year after the 1946 sighting, he claimed that he had taken a photograph of the same cigar-shaped alien ship. By 1949, he had hit the lecture circuit in Southern California and was being paid fees for his talks on UFOs.
Adamski was the first to allege that the United States government knew of the existence of alien life, having detected an alien ship on the far side of the moon by radar. He also claimed that science “knew” that all of the other planets of the solar system are habitable. For instance, he alleged that the telescope at Mount Palomar had imaged the canals of Mars. Of course, science, even by the early 1950s, knew no such thing. None of the planets of the solar system besides Earth are even remotely habitable by humans.
Were the Photos Faked?
In 1952, Adamski claimed that he had been contacted in the middle of the desert in California by a UFO pilot named Orthon from the planet Venus. He claimed that Orthon had revealed to him that the inhabitants of the other planets of the solar system had been visiting Earth for some time and were concerned that humans might destroy their planet with nuclear weapons.
Adamski gave his account of this meeting in his 1953 book, Flying Saucers Have Landed, in which he claimed that Orthon represented a race of “Nordic aliens” who worshiped the “Creator of All.”
In his 1955 book, Inside the Space Ships, Adamski claimed to have been taken on a tour of the solar system where he met a 1,000-year-old philosopher called “the Master.” He said that he had been selected to bring to Earth the message of peace and universal brotherhood. A number of other humans had been so honored, including Jesus Christ.
Adamski came to the attention of the United States federal government because of his claims that he was in touch with government officials at the State Department (2) and the Central Intelligence Agency. He even displayed a forged letter from someone named “R.E. Straith” which endorsed Adamski’s claims.
This letter elicited several visits by agents of the FBI to Adamski to inform him of the legal ramifications of making false claims about government officials. Adamski would later claim that the FBI told him to keep quiet, “proof” of the government cover-up.
An internal memo from the CIA recently surfaced (3), dated 3 Aug 1959, refuting claims that Adamski or anyone associated with him had ever met with officials of the Agency. Marc Hallet wrote an analysis of the alleged photographs Adamski took of UFOs in a 2005 issue of the Skeptical Inquirer. He concluded that the photos had been faked.
Adamski went on making his remarkable claims until his death at the age of 74 of a heart attack.
He alleged that he had a secret audience with Pope John XXIII and received a golden medal from His Holiness’ hands.
He actually managed to get an audience with the Queen of the Netherlands, despite the fact that members of the Dutch government warned her that he was a brazen confidence man.
Adamski, who must be one of the most imaginative con artists in history, is buried at Arlington Cemetery, due to his service in the Pancho Villa Expedition in 1916.