; Phantoms and Monsters: Pulse of the Paranormal

Monday, January 25, 2021

Desert Center, California: Epicenter of Flying Saucer Reports - Part II

Desert Center, California: Epicenter of Flying Saucer Reports - Part II

By Dr. Raymond A. Keller, II, a.k.a. “Cosmic Ray”

Venus Rising: A Concise History of the Second Planet

Final Countdown: Rockets to Venus

Cosmic Ray's Excellent Venus Adventure

The Vast Venus Conspiracy

Lady Columba Venus Revelations

Raymond A. Keller, PhD, a.k.a. “Cosmic Ray,” is the author of the international awards-winning Venus Rising Series, published by Headline Books and available on amazon.com, while supplies last.  

Be sure and check out the fourth addition to this series, The Vast Venus Conspiracy, which has recently become available on amazon.com.  Book five in the series, Lady Columba Venus Revelations, will premiere at the Siskiyou Masonic Lodge in Mt. Shasta, California, at the “Meet the Venusians” conference, 26-30 August 2020.  See Rob Potter’s website, thepromiserevealed.com, for further information on the conference or to purchase tickets.

Flying saucer photographed over Southern California desert area.  Photo source:  https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/sep/21/what-is-behind-the-decline-in-ufo-sightings.

In Part II of this series, we examine just how the residents of Blythe and Desert Center, California, felt about the massive presence of the flying saucers over their fair communities.  Back in 1955, New York’s Bluebook magazine investigative reporter, Paul C. Benard, was the first on the scene to solicit the opinions of the denizens of Southern California’s Colorado Desert with respect to the elusive objects in their midst that had so attracted the world’s attention to their area.  Frankly, even in 2020, both Blythe and Desert Center continue to serve as huge draws for the burgeoning UFO tourism industry.

KYOR Radio and the Flying Saucer Connection

Reporter Benard was looking to speak with someone “in the know” about flying saucer sightings in eastern Riverside County, and who better than John M. Wages, the manager of Blythe’s then sole radio station, KYOR. Benard had written to Wages and told him that he would be coming out to the Colorado Desert for the purpose of finding out about flying saucer sightings in the area and asking the radio station manager if he could provide him with a few leads and perhaps introduce him around the community.  Benard’s first stop would be meeting with other employees of KYOR Radio.

When Benard first arrived in Blythe, he went directly to the radio station.  He was greeted by Wages, who pumped his hand, inquiring, “How are you?  It’s nice to see you.  But what in hell have you got me into?”  The station manager further added that, “I got your letter; and I thought I would give you a hand.  I put an item on the air last night, saying that if anyone had definite ideas about the saucers, they could contact you here at the station.  Well, they sure as hell contacted!”

It turns out that Paul Lyman, one of KYOR’s announcers, was alone in the radio station when the pitch went out over the air; and for the next two hours, KYOR’s telephone lines were jammed.  “I knew people were interested,” said Lyman, “but I didn’t know they were that interested.”  

Bernard wondered what Lyman thought about flying saucers, and asked him as much.  “Well,” the announcer hedged, “I don’t really know.  But when everybody, including the government, gets so worked up about something, it can’t be nothing!”  

The Bluebook magazine reporter also spoke with KYOR’s continuity chief, Robin Hill, who was more definite about the flying saucers.  “Don’t ask me what they are,” he asserted, “but one thing is certain:  they sure as hell are.”  

Even Mrs. Wages opined on the flying saucer craze sweeping the desert communities.  “No matter where you go,” she said, “the talk always comes around to saucers.”  She explained that even local service clubs were inviting UFO “authorities” to come and speak at their luncheons; and a local minister devoted his Sunday sermon to the whys and wherefores of the saucers’ arrival.  The wife of the radio station manager also noted that the science classes at Blythe High School devoted much of their time to studying UFOs and the possibility of intelligent life existing on other planets.  There was a group of teachers and students that met every two weeks to study recent sightings and flying saucer reports from throughout the area.  

John M. Wages affirmed what his wife stated about the enthusiasm for UFO research being generated at the local high school.  He pointed out to Benard that, “George Wixom, the science teacher, has even organized a citizens’ committee; and they have scheduled a meeting at the high school auditorium to hear a tape recording by an aircraft worker who he says he’s made several contacts with saucers.”  Wages added that, “If you want to study reactions, stick around for that meeting; and if your schedule is not too full, Mrs. Wages wants to take you out to Desert Center to see where Adamski says he met the man from Venus.”

The radio station manager’s wife wanted to take the reporter to the exact spot in the desert where Adamski met the Venusian cosmonaut Orthon.  Picture source:  https://www.pinterest.com/pin/329888741426129064/. 

Benard spent an entire day with John M. Wages at the radio station, even staying with him as he put KYOR’s broadcast operations to bed for the night.  Wages introduced the reporter to literally all of the station personnel, the last one being a part-time station employee, Bill Tucker.  This gentleman’s full-time, day job was working as a Civil Aeronautics Administration engineer, so if anyone would be knowledgeable about the maneuvering and operational characteristics of the flying saucers, this would be the “Johnny on the Spot,” so to speak.  

No sooner did Benard tell Tucker why he was in Blythe, that the aeronautics engineer was ready with an amazing flying saucer story:

“A buddy of mine up in Elko, Nevada, spotted three UFOs cruising along beside his plane; and he took photos.  I helped him develop them.  We figured the saucers were 30 to 50 feet in diameter and flying about 100 feet from his plane.”  Tucker related that he and his friend notified the Air Force Intelligence in San Francisco, California, and an officer flew out to Elko the very next day.  The Air Force investigative officer looked at the UFO photos and said they were nothing.  “But before he left,” noted Tucker, “he confiscated the prints and negatives and suggested that we forget the whole thing.”  The aeronautics engineer smiled wryly and commented, “Tell me, really, how does a guy forget nothing?”


Model of flying saucers from The Invaders television program (1967-1968).  Source:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vi_sABa21QM.

Looking for a shortcut that you never found….  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uOLGrXOtuwQ

Don’t forget to return to this website for Part III of “Desert Center, California:  Epicenter of Flying Saucer Reports,” where we pile into the car with Dr. Raymond Keller, a.k.a. “Cosmic Ray,” correspondent Paul C. Benard, Mrs. Wages and her ten-year-old son, Johnny, Jr., who take us directly to the spot where Adamski met Orthon, a Venusian flying saucer pilot, just off a remote road 10.2 miles from Desert Center.