UFO Conjectures

Sunday, August 11, 2013

George Adamski’s Alter-Ego

Copyright 2013, InterAmerica, Inc.

A UFO story/hoax that fascinated me then and still….

 David Richie, in his UFO book [op. cit] writes that “In 1954, only a few months after American ‘contactee’ George Adamski claimed to have met an extraterrestrial in the southwestern desert of the United States, one ‘Cedric Allingham’ published a book titled Flying Saucer from Mars, his [Allingham’s] encounter in Britain with aliens from Mars." [Page 7 ff.]

Pictures from Flying Saucers Over Los Angeles: The UFO Craze of the 50’s by Dewayne B. Johnson and Kenn Thomas with commentary by David Hatcher Childress [Adventures Unlimited Press, IL, 1998]


“Allingham” provided a photos of the Mars craft and the Martian(s) in it:



The Mars Ship looked remarkably like George Adamski’s ubiquitous (at the time) “scout craft”:


“Cedric Allingham” turned out, it is said, to have been popular, noted, British amateur astronomer Patrick Moore, seen here in his early years, and later in life:



Moore perpetrated his Mars hoax/book to show, ostensibly, the foolishness of flying saucer enthusiasts and the public.

(I don’t buy that exactly…..which I’ll get into in a bit.)

Wikipedia provides a rather thorough treatment of Patrick Moore which you can read HERE.

Wikipedia also provides a treatment of the Allingham story/hoax which you can read HERE.

Patrick Moore, as Wikipedia recounts, never admitted to the hoax and even threatened lawsuits against anyone who suggested such a thing.

Sir Patrick Moore went to his grave, not disclosing whether he created the Mars book and story nor his part in the alleged confabulation.

Now I’m flummoxed.

What was the point of all the creative hoaxing if one doesn’t fulfill the premise for the hoax?

(That's my problem with colleague Anthony Bragalia's Socorro hoax theory. No one has really come forward to admit the hoax and its purpose. Mr. Bragalia says it was local college students getting back at Officer Zamora who, supposedly harassed them.)

In the Allingham incident, did Moore tweak his fellow Brits, showing them to be gullible or ignorant when it came to flying saucer tales?

No, he didn’t, not in any overt way.

The Mars book, photos, and “encounter” languished and today is an interesting (to me and Christopher Allan aka CDA) UFO footnote or nostalgic throwback to a time when, in our youth, we thought (at least I did) that Adamski and Allingham actually had the experiences they told us they had.

Patrick Moore became renown for his astronomical oeuvre, especially about the Moon.

So one can see his hesitancy to come clean if he had produced the Allingham Mars story as time went on.

But the initial thrust took place before he was exceptionally well-known and a respected member of British society. He was a kind of renegade in the early 50s and even afterwards.

He lied about his age to get into the RAF during World War II.

And he wrote fiction (as you read in the Wikipedia piece).

And “he once joined the Flat Earth Society as an ironic joke,” Wikipedia tells us.

But why the Mars hoax, based, derivatively on Adamski’s confabulation?

With no denouement?

I don’t see anywhere that Patrick Moore married. Also he had an inordinate closeness to his mother. (Freud would have much to say about that.)

But still, why an identification with Adamski? It surely wasn’t a distant homoerotic attraction.

Psychiatric Dictionary, Fourth Edition [op. cit], indicates that “It is a common misconception that conscious emulation can lead to unconscious identification. [Page 373]

But “According to Balint: ‘After we have taken mental possession of a portion of the external world by means of identification, mental material which has thus been assimilated can itself serve as a basis or further identifications.” [Page 374]

What does that mean?

Moore/Allingham was entranced, as were I and CDA, by the Adamski tales. He identified with Adamski’s creative flying saucer accounts.

He wanted to do something like Adamski had done, either fictionally or by way of a hoot.

Adamski beat him to the punch. All Moore could do was emulate Adamski, by making up his (Moore’s) own flying saucer tale, a visit from Mars.

It wasn’t unique certainly, but it did work, for a while.

Moore/Allingham had, like Adamski, an imagined transcendent experience.

It was a psychosis of association, or creative folie à deux.

This is what the Pascagoula boys (Hickson and Parker) experienced. And the Hills.

Moore, like me (and maybe CDA) was so caught up in the 50’s flying saucer mania that he had to be part of it. (I started a Flying Saucer Club in high school. I’d be interested in what -- the now -- über-skeptic CDA did at the time, if anything.)

Anyway, that’s my take on this almost obscure flying saucer moment.

Your take? Do you have one?



  • It could simply be he was not only ashamed of his prank in later years, but also fiercely protective of his reputation and the validity of his serious work. A mea culpa could have undermined all that because he had once perpetrated a "man from Mars" hoax. His pronouncements would forevermore be suspect.

    From his point of view, admitting to this fanciful tale would have had no positive effect on his life and legacy. His ego probably wouldn't have allowed him to care about the people bamboozled by the story, i.e., "screw them for being stupid."

    By Blogger purrlgurrl, at Sunday, August 11, 2013  

  • I got the idea from the Wikipedia bio, PG, that Moore didn't give a damn about how he was perceived by his countrymen and women; well, maybe his mother, but that's it.

    The whole episode is odd, but it is England after all, so....


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Sunday, August 11, 2013  

  • England invented "eccentric".

    By Blogger purrlgurrl, at Sunday, August 11, 2013  

  • With a capital "E"


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Sunday, August 11, 2013  

  • Patrick Moore became renown for his astronomical oeuvre, especially about the Moon.

    Moon -> Female -> Breast -> Breast-like Saucer...


    By Blogger Parakletos, at Monday, August 12, 2013  

  • I think it's a mistake to look for a rational or conscious motive here. Most of the things we do, and the strange things we do at least, have arguably subconscious motives.

    Ufology is riddled through with the Trickster motif, and Moore may have been going along with that, I don't mean consciously at all, let me stress that.

    Do any of you really know the reason/s that you are all fascinated by ufology, for better or worse? I think the reasons that everybody proposes are not the real reasons, we fool ourselves. The real reasons may have deeper roots in the psyche than we can begin to guess at.

    By Blogger Lawrence, at Monday, August 12, 2013  

  • Long term confabulation morphing into a fixed delusion.

    Tell a story long enough with added embellishments, one becomes convinced that it's all true.

    By Blogger Tim Hebert, at Monday, August 12, 2013  

  • Moore was indeed a lifelong bachelor, having never got over the early death of his girlfriend during WW2, for which he blamed the Germans although I do not know her exact cause of death (she did not, I believe, actually take part in the war effort). Nonetheless Patrick always felt hostility towards Germany, even during peacetime.

    Yes he wrote SF but never 'made the grade' as they say and gave it up soon after the Allingham book. Regarding this book and Moore's motives, there are still blanks to be filled (with little hope of filling them now), but we may assume money was the initial motive, plus Moore's sense of humor. Remember he reviewed his own book(!) in the Journal of the British Astronomical Society, something no other UFO book reviewer has ever done.

    Naturally his reluctance to reveal all (even in later years) was due to his very long standing as the presenter of "The Sky at Night" on the BBC for 50 years. Quite an achievement, wouldn't you say?

    It is possible, though I cannot say for sure, that the IDEA of a book to rival the Adamski tale came from a publishing contact of his. Yet Moore did perpetrate other hoaxes, including writing two books attacking officialdom in the UK, under the pseudonym "R.T.Fischall". You can find them on Amazon.

    Quite a character was Moore, and certainly an eccentric. He did write an autobiography at age 80 entitled "80 not out", reprinted two years later. Another book (in which Allingham gets a large amount of space) was his 1971 offering "Can you speak Venusian?" in which he also related how he interviewed Adamski for the BBC when the latter toured the UK, and Europe, in 1959.

    I attended an Adamski lecture myself in Birmingham that year when the main hall overflowed and the sound had to be piped into an adjoining room for the rest of the audience.

    By Blogger cda, at Monday, August 12, 2013  

  • I think I agree, Lawrence...

    all except for the "trickster" thing; that's a concept I eschew (but it might be interesting to cogitate about why, sometime).


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Monday, August 12, 2013  

  • Back in the day, the word Vinama was popular, selectively edited from the Hindu epic the Rig Veda, without realising that this term like many terms in English can have several meanings. Anyone else recall this? Is this the origin of some of fabricated saucers that don't resemble saucers as they do buildings. The saucers depicted aside from their fabrication from chicken coops and lighting fixtures, always resembled ( to me) a sort of design that looked arcane, like a temple. In the Rig Veda sometimes these are also referred to as "flying palaces"
    The earliest example of this are far from technological wonders unless you consider flying wheeled chariots pulled by animals, usually horses, to be a technological wonders. Of course, placing so many windows on these things are an arcane concept as well. I think the fellow in question simply liked to poke at the establishment, which I have this sense he thought were pretentious, and had a very dry sense of humor.

    By Blogger Bruce Duensing, at Monday, August 12, 2013  

  • Sticking to the joke is part of the joke.

    It was the same with Charles Fort except certain dumbasses (who imagine themselves to be Fortean) don't understand the joke and treat the nonsense with the characteristic lack of humor and sense of wonder that pervades UFOology.


    By Blogger Lance, at Monday, August 12, 2013  

  • Lance
    John Keel was another with a very dry sense of humor that liked to poke at credibility( at times) with this or that stick. I agree Fort had a mischievous side thats often glossed over. I think the fellow in question obviously relished being contrary to ordinary. He didn't miss getting those GE industrial lamps on the underside of the Vinama..then again theres that Swiss Billy character who has made wedding cake like craft that do like like they were hatched from an appreciation for wacked out folk art. Sort of a Cheese Wiz variant.

    By Blogger Bruce Duensing, at Monday, August 12, 2013  

  • And the real reasons for joking, fellows?

    Humor, to what end? Unconsciously and consciously?


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Monday, August 12, 2013  

  • I suspect that the topic(s) themselves are leavened by poking fun at oneself as a self parody in the cases of Keel and Fort, and whether this was unintentional or not ( I think it was) this satire of the incredible, serves as a sort of litmus test for those who take all this way too seriously, or the authors themselves, to the point of believing anything. One could call this a disclaimer in a sense. In terms of the chicken coop copycat, his satirical bent was an "in joke" again taking a poke indirectly at the stupid things people believe in other areas..sort of a deadpan, dry, sense of humor as is The Flat Earth Society. Fibs as a sort of pointed commentary.

    By Blogger Bruce Duensing, at Monday, August 12, 2013  

  • BTW..Billy Whomever is another story that takes on the role of the hoaxer as an artist, just as if he used oils, or some other medium. Obviously he enjoys this and I think there are some folks who genuinely enjoy pulling the wool over other's eyes, while employing agents and the subsequent income from what is essentially a joke.

    By Blogger Bruce Duensing, at Monday, August 12, 2013  

  • BD:

    I think the matter is little more complex than that, but maybe not requiring a deeper analysis.

    (BTW, it would be nice if you could get your comments together so they don't appear as scatter shot; as addenda they lose some impact, do they not?)


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Monday, August 12, 2013  

  • As far as scatter shot comments, its a reflection of my state of mind, I will amend my failed programming accordingly.
    I have a question for you. What specifically are you referring to when you say these sort of tales are "more complex"? That sort of intrigued me.

    By Blogger Bruce Duensing, at Monday, August 12, 2013  

  • BD:

    I understand afterthoughts, which brilliant people (like you) have and need to purge from their thoughts.

    It's just that we cater to a less-than-brilliant clientele here (mostly) and I feel they often depart before reading, fully, what has been presented.

    I'm working on a posting in which I hope to deal with the "complex" issue of UFO humor and non-humor (more of the latter).


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Monday, August 12, 2013  

  • "It's just that we cater to a less-than-brilliant clientele here (mostly) and I feel they often depart before reading, fully, what has been presented."


    By Blogger Tim Hebert, at Monday, August 12, 2013  

  • Not you Tim...

    But those who make comments that don't see the light of day here, generally, because they are just intellectually loony.

    (I have to be more careful with my generalizations.)


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Monday, August 12, 2013  

  • Rich when I was teenager in the late Seventies they used to broadcast on British television these live Saturday morning kids shows which'd feature the opportunity to talk by phone to some celebrity or other.

    During one featuring Patrick Moore someone phoned up and started raising the subject of seeing lights moving on the moon aka transient lunar phenomena making Moore immediately become agitated and say something to the effect "Yes yes yes just do what I do as soon as you see one immediately point the lense to another part of the lunar landscape" then mumble something under his breath like "not worth the bother" before hanging up.

    I'd never heard of this phenomenon before and my intrigue was only intensified because there seemed to be some sort of controversy about it so as an ardent public library visitor I spent weeks if not months try'n'o track down some sort of a link between TLP and Moore and eventually came across various brief entries to the effect Moore'd taken some sort of a hiding for raising the subject in the Sixties all traces of which then subsequently seemed to vanish in a puff of smoke.

    It was also one of the first things I started investigating when I first went on line towards the end of the Nineties and again and again any hints about it I came across seemed to vanish.

    I even started wond'rin' if I'd imagined the whole thing until quite recently I was reading the guy appointed by NASA to investigate TLP in the event of a return to the moon admitting until he took the job and started registering hundreds of the buggers he'd always assumed any astronomers who believed in or worse saw them were complete nut jobs.

    When you hear some of the stories about Carl Sagan acting as his very own good cop/bad cop all rolled into one hounding people into the ground for providing the demon haunted enemies of so-called rationality with ammo for their delusions then it's no wonder Moore was so touchy about being associated with Men from Mars books and I dare say he took a similar hammering for admitting during an interview as a young man his one true love'd been a nurse who'd died before their engagement and he knew he was being silly and soppy and sentimental but his old fashioned expectation they'd eventually be reunited in Heaven'd been sufficient to sustain his love for her over the decades.

    I don't know who I feel sorrier for though Moore and the possibility he may've had hide his love that dare not speak for Martians or poor bastardin' latterday Jonahs and Jobs like Adamski or Billy Meier who probably really were subjected to quasi paranormal experiences by something which like some otherworldly Crazy Wisdom Guru almost seems to relish makin' its adherents look fools or frauds.

    By Blogger alanborky, at Monday, August 12, 2013  

  • Thanks, Alan...

    You've made the issue somewhat clearer.

    Moore was a character surely, and I'm delighted he created, if he did, the Mars visitation. It brightened my youth and allowed me to reminisce here about the damn thing.

    Your comments about anomalous activity on the moon also takes me back to that interesting stuff.

    (I have a book about such queer sightings -- you know the one -- and may do something here on them.)

    What's interesting to me about Moore is his eccentricity (as PG sort of noted).

    He was almost a fictional character out of P.G. Wodehouse.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Monday, August 12, 2013  

  • > Moore was indeed a lifelong bachelor, having never got over the early death of his girlfriend during WW2

    Paul Lynde frequently told a similar tale to explain his bachelorhood.

    By Blogger Terry the Censor, at Saturday, August 17, 2013  

  • Rich, there's some evidence that Patrick Moore was involved in other flying saucer spoofs.

    Seeing that CDA cited Patrick Moore's "Can you speak Venusian?" I found a PDF version at archive.org. This afternoon, I read the chapter about the Aetherius Society (something not well-covered in American UFO books). In it there is a suggestion that Patrick Moore might had submitted, under several false names, a series of patently bogus articles that got printed in several 1957 numbers of the Aetherius Society newsletter. The articles contained joke names such as Professor N. Ormuss, Dr. L. Pullar, Dr. E. Ratic, and a scientist called Huizenaas. Some of the fake writers engaged in a fake controversy about fake chemical compounds. There was also a fake report on academic papers presented at an imaginary Congress on Vibrations! The Aetherians were mocked by the folks at "Psychic News" and George King had enough:

    Moore writes on page 116:

    "Dr. King came to the conclusion that some of his contributors were not quite so serious or so scientific as he had been led to expect, and, breathing fire and slaughter, he set out to trace Dr. Wümpe, Egon Spünraas...and the rest.... For some reason that I cannot explain, he suspected that I might be implicated, and he came to see me at my home at East Grinstead. I was unfortunately of little help to him..."


    By Blogger Terry the Censor, at Sunday, August 18, 2013  

  • I should add that Moore's tone throughout the chapter is 110% ironic, so the quote I have given is not at all a denial of involvement.

    By Blogger Terry the Censor, at Sunday, August 18, 2013  

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