The Truth That Was Out There: Long John Nebel’s Fight Against the Censorship of Flying Saucer Reports, Part III
By Raymond Keller, a.k.a. “Cosmic Ray,” the author of the international awards-winning 'Venus Rising' trilogy of books
Message of the Contactees
There is a scene in Martin Scorcese’s Last Temptation of Christ (Universal Pictures, 1988) where Jesus, played by Willem Dafoe, stands before the Roman Procurator in Jerusalem, Pontius Pilate, who is wonderfully portrayed by David Bowie. This is the second time that Jesus appears before Pilate, having been sent back to him by the spineless Herod, who failed to take any action in Jesus’ case for fear of any repercussions from either side. Jesus is exhausted from a lack of sleep, and beaten down to a bloody pulp. A group of the Jewish religious leaders have followed the Roman guards escorting Jesus to Pilate’s hall. They standby, tucked away in the corner while awaiting the decision of Caesar’s representative in Judea.
So now you're a king. Is that right?
Jesus stares at the sky.
Don't look in the air. Look at me. Answer me. I can crucify you. You know that? Now... are you a king?
Some say so.
Ah yes. Well last time you took that line with me, you fooled me. I don't like to be fooled. What you did in the temple makes it very clear. You're just another of these religious revolutionaries making difficulties. You take the people into the desert, you talk about God, love, mercy and the new kingdom, but you're just the same as the Zealots. You all promise glory and bring death. There's a new Messiah every week and a new one dies every week and Rome continues.
Remember the statue. And the stone. And the clay feet.
How could I forget. Still think your kingdom will replace Rome?
No. My kingdom is not on Earth.
No, it wouldn't be. You're a little smarter than the others. After all, what's a revolution on earth compared to a revolution in people's hearts?
It's a revolution that will come with love, not by the sword.
Either way it's dangerous. It's against Rome. It's against the way the world is. And either way, I don't care. Sword or love, it's all the same. I don't care how you want to change things. We don't want them changed. So you know what has to happen. We have a small space for you up on Golgotha. Right next to the bones of your predecessors. Three thousand skulls there, very likely more by now. Maybe you people should go out and count them sometime. Maybe then you'd learn your lesson. But probably not.
Now we advance the hands of time to the last decade of the 1950s, where a new set of revolutionaries arrive on the planet. They are also noted for preaching a gospel of peace. Based upon the messages delivered by the contactees on the early broadcasts of Long John Nebel’s Party Line program, the following information about our brothers and sisters of neighboring planets had been garnered:
1. People, similar in appearance to ourselves, from other worlds in our solar system and beyond, are visiting our planet in great numbers.
2. These space people are in contact with certain political and scientific circles in both the East and West, principally in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and the People’s Republic of China, as well as in the United States and the nations forming the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.
3. People of Earth, from all walks of life, official and unofficial, have been contacted by brothers and sisters from other planets. Such contacts, however, have been kept secret, at least so far.
4. The philosophy brought to Earth by the contactees can be utilized as an aid in helping us to uncover the truth of our origins and our future destiny among the stars.
Long John Nebel noticed that there was a definite uniformity in the messages being delivered by the contactees over the airwaves on his Party Line broadcast. And, as we have taken note of in Parts I and II, his Mutual Broadcasting listening audience, and even Nebel himself, were actually starting to act upon these messages, as they are detailed above. Nebel’s fans were becoming politically conscious individuals and pressuring the politicians to tell us the truth about the alien presence on our planet and what we can do to prepare our society for its transition into a glorious future in outer space with our brothers and sisters from other nearby planets, even in our own solar system. These planets were most notably Mars and Venus. The contactees on the Party Line program were introducing such concepts as free energy, longevity of life into the hundreds of years, freedom from the false religious quackery of the world, and much more. One of the contactees, Dr. Gabriel Green of Los Angeles, California, had even declared his candidacy for president of the United States in the upcoming 1960 election. He would be running on the Flying Saucer Party’s ticket. How long could the program continue before the Establishment lowered the curtain on it all?
The successful campaign to get Nebel’s Party Line broadcast into national syndication provided the effectiveness of the people in organizing from the grass-roots. This was essentially a one-woman endeavor led by Mrs. John, the editor of the Washington, D.C. Little Listening Post newsletter that was sent out to a list of active ufologists scattered throughout the United States. Even as I sit here composing this article, I wonder what power each and every one of you, even as a reader, has in restoring this promising message of hope and love to the American people and the world at large. You see, this is exactly what the powers-that-be are fearful of. The presence of friendly extraterrestrials on Earth, lending us their expertise and technology, and once fully known and realized by the masses, will render irrelevant and obsolete all the social structures of command and control implemented by the established order of business, church and state. So thanks to the contactees, if you ever wondered why the last words in the New Testament are “Jesus, come back quickly!” you now have a better perspective.
The Empire Strikes Back: The Opposition Knows No Bounds in Trying to Squash the Truth
As I ponder the efforts of the evil ones to squash the truth that is still out there, my mind races back to this scene from Frank Capra’s Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (Columbia, 1939). Here the young people rally in support of the beleaguered senator Jeff Smith, who manages to run afoul of the political machine of corruption and graft. While it presumes to rule this country, the people finally start to wake up to the sad reality of the Empire’s control matrix and start to think about strategies to take in down, once and for all. See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EXta_Xr6gl4.
Whether you are coming from the left or the right, you know that this is the case of the situation. This is what the Venusian Clarion Moon Base commander, Captain Aura Rhanes believed; and she said so to her primary contact, the Nevada highways road worker Truman Bethurum, as well as to Long John Nebel or anyone else who would listen and act upon what she was saying: that drastic times required revolutionary measures.
Opposition to Nebel Intensifies
Once Nebel’s program attained national syndication status with the Mutual Broadcasting Corporation, in the summer of 1957, it wasn’t long before the opposition mounted. It all began when an Indiana physician and psychologist declared to the Federal Communications Commission that, in his opinion, the Party Line talk program should be removed from the air because it was a “strain on mental health.”
The 2 August 1957 edition of the New York Daily News identifies this complainant as Dr. J. E. Schmidt of Charlestown, Indiana. Schmidt accuses the Mutual Broadcasting Corporation with presenting a program that was essentially “rubbish,” and “catering to those who want to believe in the impossible and the abnormal.”
The doctor was a guest on John Wingate’s Nightbeat radio program, where he took the opportunity to denigrate Nebel and the Party Line audience even more. Schmidt said that, “Nebel’s audience is composed of 95% neurotics.” He also added that, “I will be seeking the help of New York radio and TV writers in my attempt to eliminate this menace from the airwaves.”
Some Media Not Co-opted
Ben Gross was the media reporter who wrote this referenced newspaper article, “Should Long John Be Removed from the Air?” While many others in the industry were jumping aboard Dr. Schmidt’s anti-Nebel bandwagon, others were still hesitant or outright opposed to the idea of any kind of media censorship. Gross opined that, “The doctor hasn’t approached me as yet; but if he does, this is one quarter in which he will find no aid.” The reporter explained that Long John’s Party Line is something that is just too unique in radio, so much so that Gross wrote that, “it was one of the most interesting and novel post-midnight items ever heard in New York and in the other states reached by the program.”
While the show was considered somewhat “off-beat” for the times in which it aired, it offered a panel discussion nightly covering a wide range of topics, with such esoteric themes as astrology, haunted houses, hypnotism, flying saucers, numerology, reincarnation, stage and black magic, and even witchcraft, in addition to the more traditional subjects like advertising practices, archaeology, bullfighting, medicine, modern art and music, the stock market fluctuations, and travel.
It was apparent that Gross and others were not going to buy into Schmidt’s campaign to knock Nebel’s informative program off the air. It was very important for the listeners to keep the Party Line on the air, if for no other reason than that it served to bring to the public’s attention many topics seldom, if ever, talked about on the airwaves. Reporter Gross summed it up nicely: “Party Line is a forum on which hours are devoted to ‘kicking around’ many little discussed topics. It is the nearest thing to the collegiate bull sessions of recent memory, a veritable Hyde Park of the radio, in that it gives expounders of odd philosophies a chance to be heard.”
Perhaps this is what the Establishment mostly fears, some “odd” idea or philosophy catching on with the masses. This would particularly be so in the case where such a concept would prove to run counter to the ruling elite’s image of what society should look like or even how it should be managed.
Besides the wide variety of topics the listener encounters on the program, there is always to be found a bevy of experts to discuss them and even answer audience questions that are called in. Naturally, there were no laws, as yet enacted, prohibiting anyone from tuning in to the program. After midnight, in the latter half of the 1950s, one could hear various disc jockeys airing music, from the new fangled rock and roll to symphonies. And then there were other news programs, like Barry Gray’s business interviews or Big Joe’s charity endeavors. But Long John Nebel offered the real alternative for that “something different” in the morning hours. Gross lamented, therefore, that “To deprive the public of this program would be a flagrant abuse of censorship.”
And as to Dr. Schmidt’s contention that an “off-beat” radio program could, in and of itself, affect the mental health of a listener, wouldn’t it be logical to assume that any adult who would be adversely affected by such program is just already “too far gone,” so to speak; and that he or she might really require the services of a psychiatrist well before listening to any kind of broadcast.
Assessment of the Situation
As contactees of the New Age are emerging, there is much we can glean from Long Nebel and the guests of his program like George Adamski, Truman Bethurum, Daniel Fry, Howard Menger and others in the field of ufology that have come and gone before us. All of these cited contactees and many others who graced the Party Line show, merely desired that Nebel’s audience have the opportunity of knowing what was going on in every aspect of extraterrestrial and UFO research. Hopefully, we of the present age will discover the truth about the contactee messages and turn to face the times to come with a greater bearing and confidence.
Freedom of speech and expression is essential to guarding and maintaining a democratic society. This applies equally to ufology as well as any other topic. While Nebel did not personally believe all of the contactee reports that were disseminated over the airwaves via his Party Line program, it is significant that he did use his platform to either belittle or fight anyone, and all of this in spite of all the pressure on him to do so by Mutual executives and others of the elite beyond the halls of the broadcasting network. Nebel realized that no matter what the truth that was out there was, it would eventually be revealed in the full light of day for the whole world to see and stand in awe at. But in the meantime, it was up to each and every individual to decide what he or she could or could not accept in the contactee claims. Taking this to heart, these individuals could then march on to new and exciting experiences in the fantastic UFO universe and the wondrous worlds of tomorrow which they surely will encounter. So let the economic, military, political and religious powers of the Earth quake in their boots, for their time is numbered and the final countdown has begun.
(Note: At a recent Gift of Light Expo in Ohio, Dr. Keller received a mysterious printed ticket from the 1950s, issued by Captain Aura Rhanes herself, good for a free, but one-way trip to outer space, along with a personal letter in Truman Bethurum’s own cursive handwriting, explaining about the situation on the “Dark Side of the Moon.” The doctor believes it was delivered by an “emissary of the light,” which is all he could say in the time being, but added that, “Perhaps I will redeem it up on the slopes of Mt. Shasta, when I meet up there with Frank Chille, George Filer, Shari Lynn, Omnec Onec, Lady Jenn and others at the From Venus with Love Conference, 27-29 July 2018, sponsored by Rob Potter’s
Venus Rising: A Concise History of the Second Planet
Final Countdown: Rockets to Venus
Cosmic Ray's Excellent Venus Adventure
Long John Nebel: radio talk king, master salesman, and magnificent charlatan