George Adamski’s Tour Down Under

From New Dawn Special Issue Vol 13 No 1 (Feb 2019)

Decades after his death George Adamski remains a polarising influence in the global UFO research community: Was he a contactee, a conman or just plain crazy? The following evidence seems to tip the balance in his favour. You decide.

In 1959 Adamski conducted lectures in New Zealand and Australia as part of his world tour and strange things apparently happened. His organisers claimed they saw aliens and the contemporary newspapers on both sides of the Tasman reported UFO sightings. Firstly, let’s review the man himself.

George Adamski was born on 17 April 1891 in Bydgoszcz, Poland, and his family immigrated to New York City in 1893. He left school early, and although he continued life-long self-education, it’s generally believed his famous books were ghost written. In 1913 he joined the US Army, serving for three years with the 13th Cavalry on the Mexican border, and saw action during the incursion by the revolutionary Pancho Villa. In 1917 he married his wife, Mary, and the couple moved to the West Coast where he worked in a series of low-paying jobs; George had no children and his wife died in 1954.

By the 1930s Adamski had emerged as a minor occult figure in the Californian esoteric scene and lectured on Tibetan mysticism. In 1940 he and a few students moved base from Laguna Beach to Mount Palomar where they founded Palomar Gardens, a retreat and camping ground. George worked there as a handyman, gave talks, and from 1947 took photographs of UFOs (using a 6” and later a 15” telescope, and a cinecamera; he took 700 images of what he claimed were mothership carriers, scout ships and telemetric saucers). In 1953 he co-wrote with (Lord) Desmond Leslie Flying Saucers Have Landed

In this classic UFO book, Adamski claims that on 20 November 1952 he had a strong intuitive feeling a saucer would land that day, so he asked six friends to accompany him into the Mojave Desert. The group drove about 15 km and saw a huge cigar-shaped mothership in the sky. Adamski asked to be dropped off and his friends were about one km from him when a scout craft descended and an alien emerged. Adamski communicated with the being using telepathy and sign language, while military aircraft buzzed the area; the being went back into the craft and departed. The six witnesses swore an affidavit these events took place. 

At a subsequent meeting aboard a mothership in space, the Venusians told Adamski they had chosen him to be their emissary to warn humans of the perils of nuclear annihilation. To help him with his mission they would make contact and their spacecraft would appear at opportune times. In 1956 he published Inside The Space Ships which describes his trips into space. In 1959, at the request of the Venusians, he set out on the world tour which lasted six months, and this became the topic for his third book Flying Saucers Farewell, published in 1961. Let’s examine the evidence.

Adamski commenced his visit to the lands down under on 17 January 1959, when he arrived at Auckland, New Zealand (aboard an airliner) and was met at the airport by his organisers and sponsors. In his third book he praises the hospitality of the NZ people, particularly the Maori community, writing: “The spacecraft sightings seemed always to come at the right time to awaken public interest. This was one of the reasons we enjoyed overflow crowds at all the New Zealand lectures.” 

If his organisers are to be believed, he was also helped on the ground by strange Nordic-looking young men who were immaculately attired, and had fair, tanned or orange skin, wore sunglasses and seemed disciplined and secretive; Adamski called them “the boys.”

Bill and Isobel Miller (standing at left above) reported an extraordinary sighting of UFOs in the town of Taupo, New Zealand, the day they farewelled George Adamski. Henk Hinfelaar (right), Adamski’s main NZ organiser, drove a car for Adamski which he said was accompanied by five UFOs on its daytime journey in a rural area. This photo was taken at Auckland airport on Adamski’s departure for Australia (from George Adamski: The Toughest Job in the World by Tony Brunt.)

The Kiwi writer Tony Brunt in his book George Adamski: The Toughest Job in the World, notes: “It was not so much the sightings in the sky or Adamski’s space trips that most tantalised his supporters; it was his assertion that he met the space people regularly and furtively in everyday society, and especially when he was on the lecture circuit. It was to place himself in the best possible position to exploit these private encounters that Adamski insisted on staying in hotels rather than private homes.” 

“Adamski’s whole organising committee in Auckland might have spent an unwitting few hours with one of ‘the boys’. George advised them that they had been ‘checked out’ by space people before his arrival. Thinking back on the months preceding Adamski’s visit, committee members came to the conclusion that the stand-out candidate was a fair complexioned young man of indeterminate race who had joined one of their afternoon meetings.” 

Adamski commenced his tour of the Shaky Isles at Kaikohe, where he delivered a lecture and screened his explosive UFO film, later fielding questions from the audience. He was not a particularly good speaker but the shows thrilled the public all the same. He then returned to Auckland where he spoke in front of 2,000 people in the Town Hall. On the following day he went to Ngaruawahia, the old Maori capital, for an audience with the Maori king. While he was at the royal residence UFOs appeared. In his third book he writes: 

“While I was taking pictures of the entranceway, six white streaks of light flashed overhead. This caused much interest among the Maoris, as they were not vapour trails, and Sister Heeni said it was a good omen and very significant.

“As we drove back to Hamilton, the spacecraft streaking through the sky seemed to follow us. This had happened on other occasions and I knew the [Space] Brothers felt that this was the time and place to make their presence known. 

“Shortly after reaching Napier, I was called by a newspaperman in regard to flying saucer sightings reported in the local newspaper… After talking to the reporter I picked up the local paper and read the article: ‘FLYING SAUCERS REPORTED OVER LAKE TAUPO’.” 

He reprinted the story as evidence in the book and the text reads as follows: 

“Three Rotorua people say they watched not one, but dozens of flying saucers operating high over the township of Taupo in bright sunlight on Tuesday. The trio had just farewelled Mr. George Adamski, who claims to have contact with extraterrestrial visitors, who was on his way to Napier.

“Mr. W. Miller, the local leader of the George Adamski Group, said that his wife and Mr. N. West, he was sitting on the bank overlooking the lake at the end of Taupo’s main street, at 3 P.M.

“Asked when they had seen the first flying saucer, Miller who had been interested in flying saucers for two years said: ‘Yesterday’.

“We couldn’t say how many there were, but we could have seen the same ones twice,” said Mr. Miller. Lying on their backs, they could not pick out vertical movements, nor estimate the height or size of the craft.

“In addition to these reported sightings, it is rumoured in Rotorua that many people, including more than 100 Maoris, saw two spacecraft flying in formation between Ngaruawahia and Hamilton last Sunday.” 

After an afternoon of UFO activity, and with publicity wind in his sails, he went on to fill the public halls in Wellington, Auckland, Wanganui and in New Plymouth where there was also a sighting:

“It was early twilight when the people began gathering in New Plymouth’s hall on the evening of the lecture. A minister and members of his congregation had seen a large space ship cruise over the city. This caused much excitement and as I arrived people were eagerly wondering if the space ship would return.

“I explained to them that I had no control over such things… If I were selfishly disposed and could arrange contacts, I would be a millionaire. Many people have offered large sums of money to me and to others to arrange contacts for them. Naturally I have always refused such offers.” 

After that sighting he returned to Auckland for a third lecture, and then flew to the South Island where he presented at Christchurch, Tamara and Dunedin. He then flew back to Auckland and, according to his organisers, had ‘company’ on the plane. Tony Brunt mentions in his book: “One of the New Zealand tour organisers got a shot at George’s undercover escorts. She was waiting for him at Auckland airport on his return from a flight to a southern city. ‘I noticed two good looking men with fair hair disembark from the plane among the passengers and walk across the tarmac’, she said later. ‘They could have been brothers but I didn’t pay too much attention, apart from noticing they smiled at me as they approached the gate. George was the last person off the plane and when he got to me he said excitedly, ‘did you see de boys?’… By the time they got into the terminal the men had disappeared, to her great regret’.”

The tour of NZ had been a tremendous success, with a little help from his ‘friends’ who apparently followed him across the Tasman.

The ‘silver haired space man’ arrived in Sydney in mid-February 1959 and was met at the airport by UFO study groups, the media and unruly fans. The scene became so hectic Adamski took refuge in the VIP lounge. Stan Seers, who was president of a Queensland study group at the time, relates in his book UFOs: The Case For Scientific Myopia that the confined Adamski confirmed “the ‘aliens’ were keeping a close watch on tour arrangements to make sure all went smoothly, and had actually visited him while he was in New Zealand.” 

According to Tony Brunt: “In Australia, George had a mysterious escort who shadowed him on a number of his internal flights, a woman who dressed in black and wore a seahorse brooch. She was seen and photographed by his companions. Adamski suspected that she was a space person but was reluctant to approach uninvited.”

After his arrival in Sydney Adamski discovered the preparation for his tour was in a shambles. A hotel room had not been booked as required, and he had been issued with a tourist visa and feared if he lectured he’d be deported. His sponsor, the UFO Information Centre (UFOIC), had also withdrawn its support. What was the problem? In a word: Venus.

Our nearest planetary neighbour has long fascinated humanity. In 1959 not a lot was known about it because it’s always shrouded by clouds and astronomers still hadn’t determined its rotation or surface temperature. This led to wild speculation in certain quarters that it may be inhabited by an advanced civilisation, and Adamski’s books, of course, had added high-octane fuel to the fire. The UFOIC, which was trying to be a credible organisation, believed Adamski was too “unscientific” and his lectures were attracting the “wrong crowd.” In his book, Adamski also blames the “Silence Group” based in Zurich, Switzerland, for the Sydney problems. 

In any event, after selecting a suitable city hotel room and meetings with officialdom, Adamski continued his tour and lectured to large gatherings, including 1,200 or more paying customers in Sydney. He says ruefully in his book: “…the group did not want to sponsor me as an organisation; still, they wished me to lecture for them.” After Sydney he flew to Perth where he met with study groups, and then to Adelaide where, while he delivered lectures, there were UFO sightings! In his book he records: 

“After my second successful lecture in that city, a group of us were standing outside the hall waiting for transportation. One of the ladies sighted several space ships. Some of the ladies in the group observed the craft in detail before the ships passed out of sight.”

“As I was getting ready to leave for Melbourne, I was asked why the space ships did not land in Australia. I replied that they might after I had gone.

“A landing did occur, much to their surprise! This landing took place before I left Adelaide, but was not publicised until I arrived in Melbourne. Imagine my surprise when I read in the Sunday Mail of March 28th, the following article: ‘WE SAW A SPACE SHIP—Eerie Object Puzzles Town’.”

Adamski reprinted an excerpt from the article, written by John Pinkney, that describes an actual landing at the river town:

“In recent weeks weird, multi-coloured objects have streaked across Purnong’s skies – frightening the townsfolk. Two local men swear that on March 13th they saw a huge dome-shaped craft take off from a field. The men were Mr Percy Briggs, Purnong Landing carrier, and Mr Carl Towill, postmaster at Claypans. Mr Towell said: ‘The thing was bigger than an airliner. Mr Briggs and I are convinced that it was intelligently controlled.’ The two men said they saw an enormous dome-shaped craft glowing in the dark and as they walked towards the mysterious object it rose silently into the air, hovered, then shot away at immense speed.” 

The Purnong flap, SE of Adelaide, continued for some time after Adamski had departed; the article reports on 20 March a young couple while driving north to Purnong saw “a blazing coin” that “shone like a sun in the darkness. It arched upward at tremendous speed and was gone”; and, days later, the Briggs family saw “two disc shaped objects, changing colour from red and blue.”A UFO research group from Victoria, and personnel from the Woomera Rocket Range, South Australia, investigated this case. 

Publicity shot of Adamski on top of a building in Melbourne.

Adamski, who was evidently on a tight schedule, flew directly to Melbourne on 16 March. Adamski’s arrival in that city coincided with the filming of ‘On The Beach’ starring Ava Gardner and Gregory Peck: Hollywood had come to Australia! This famous movie depicts life after an apocalyptic nuclear war, so Adamski’s message about the Venusian’s concerns couldn’t have come at a better time. He received wide media coverage and in an interview for the Herald newspaper he revealed he “wasn’t making a dime” from the sell-out shows, which was apparently true; Stan Seers in his book says the sponsors only paid for his hotel accommodation, travel and living expenses. He apparently wasn’t in it for the money.

After a successful two-week season in Melbourne, and a brief private trip to Hobart, he flew to Brisbane where for three weeks “hundreds were turned away and could not gain admission. I will always remember the fine cooperation of the press, the public, and the research group in Brisbane.” 

The tour of Australia had been a remarkable success, apparently with a little help from his friends.

He departed our shores on 16 April, and lectured in Asia, the Subcontinent, Middle East, Britain and Europe. According to various sources, the aliens kept in contact and their craft continued to appeared at opportune times. In Italy he contracted a chest infection so cut the tour and flew home to Los Angeles on 17 June 1959. 

On 14 November 1962, NASA’s Mariner 2 probe flew by Venus and measured the surface temperature at 427 degrees C, hot enough to melt lead. Adamski’s response to this was the Venusians are highly evolved beings who live on an etheric plane and raise their vibration so the heat doesn’t affect them. He nevertheless did have a nervous breakdown at about that time, but eventually recovered and was on a tour when he died of a heart attack on 23 April 1965 at Silver Spring, Maryland. As an ex-soldier he was afforded a burial in Arlington National Cemetery. His torch is today carried by the Adamski Foundation and a surprising number of highly credentialed UFO researchers.

The Adamski Foundation argues the scientists are lying about Venus (and indeed our solar system). The instruments on all the launches, including Mariner 2, have been pre-calibrated and the real data never disclosed; the reason for the cover up is the Venusians utilise free energy, their craft are powered by electromagnetism and can travel at the speed of light, and if their technology were transferred to Earth it would crash the world’s stock markets. In 1982 the Russian Venera-13 Lander transmitted colour images for 127 minutes from the surface of Venus and these clearly show three small ‘critters’ including a ‘scorpion’. The surface cannot be nearly as hot as we have been told.

Was Adamski the real deal? The evidence from the tour, while not a ‘smoking gun’, is intriguing: witnesses on both sides of the Tasman believed they saw his Venusian ‘escorts’ and many more watched UFOs in the sky, and there was a landing at Purnong. Maybe he was in contact with something after all. 

This article was published in New Dawn Special Issue Vol 13 No 1.
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1. George Adamski, Flying Saucers Farewell, Abelard-Schuman, 1961, 130
2. Ibid, 28
3. Ibid, 132
4. Tony Brunt, George Adamski: The Toughest Job in the World, Vailima Press NZ, 2010, 18
5. Stan Seers, UFOs: The Case For Scientific Myopia, Vantage Press, 1983, 23
6. Tony Brunt, 19
7. George Adamski, 138
8. Ibid
9. Adelaide Sunday Mail, 28 March 1959, 72
10. Ibid, 6
11. See video documentary ‘UFO Secret: Alien Contacts’ (2017), directed by Michael Hesemann

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About the Author

Jon Wyatt is a Melbourne-based researcher and writer of Forteana. His articles have been published on the Phantoms & Monsters website and in Australasian Ufologist and New Dawn magazine.

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