God’s Celestial Ambassador: The Life and Times of Dr. Frank E. Stranges - Part IX
By Raymond A. Keller, PhD, a.k.a. “Cosmic Ray,” the author of the international awards-winning Venus Rising Series, published by Headline Books and available on Amazon.com, while supplies last.
Elizabeth Klarer (1910-1994) of Natal, South Africa
Dr. Frank E. Stranges, after reading about the South African contactee Elizabeth Klarer’s encounters with Venusians, became convinced that the friendly extraterrestrials were deploying their flying saucers from underground bases around the world, and even from the back side of the Moon.
“Elizabeth Klarer’s Flying Saucer”
Dr. Frank E. Stranges, having seriously investigated sundry forms of aerial phenomena since 1945 while looking for any possible connection between these mysterious apparitions of the sky and the manifestation of angels, believed that he had finally found what he was looking for after picking up the June 1957 issue of Flying Saucers from Other Worlds (Amherst, Wisconsin: Palmer Publications), which was premiering that month and available for purchase at his local newsstand. Throughout the mid-1950s, South Africa had become the scene of quite a number of flying saucer sightings. Elizabeth Klarer of the Mooi River area of Natal in that country had become critical to the world of saucer investigations in that she had secured a spectacular series of flying saucer photographs, that Raymond Palmer published in his new Flying Saucers from Other Worlds magazine. Klarer had snapped the seven pictures of a flying saucer on 17 July 1955 as it was skimming over the peaks of the Drakensberg Mountain Range.
From Keller Venus Files: First and best photo of seven taken by Elizabeth Klarer of the flying saucer passing over the Drakensberg Range in South Africa on 17 July 1955. This photo of the object was enlarged five times.
After reading the article, titled “Elizabeth Klarer’s Flying Saucer,” Dr. Frank became convinced that it was a true account, that the flying saucer occupants were extraterrestrial, and lastly, based on the behavior demonstrated by these ufonauts, that they were inherently “angelic” in their nature. Previously, the evangelist had some doubts about some of the contactees’ accounts insofar as they seemed to be heavily laced with Eastern mysticism and Theosophy. To Dr. Frank, the material science checked out in cases like those of George Adamski or Truman Bethurum; but because of the underlying metaphysical themes in the messages these contactees presented, he could not immediately sign on to what they were preaching where some divergence with the Christian gospel, as he understood it, was evident.
Trance mediums summon an ectoplasmic entity. Dr. Frank E. Stranges opined that such practices should be avoided as they open one up to demonic influences. Photo source: https://fineartamerica.com/shop/posters/seance.
In a 1964 conversation with his friend, UFO research associate and contactee authority, Gabriel Green, the director of the then Los Angeles, California, headquartered Amalgamated Flying Saucer Clubs of America, during their production of a motion picture based on Dr. Frank E. Stranges and Robert L. Park’s Strange Sightings from Outer Space (Los Angeles, California: Cosmic Star, Inc., 1964), Dr. Frank E. Stranges explained that he believed Elizabeth Klarer’s account because, “When South Africans Ann Grevler and Philipp Human also claimed contact with extraterrestrial beings in the 1950s, Elizabeth was outspoken in her denunciations of them, based on their use of trance-mediumship in communicating with the aliens. Elizabeth Klarer insisted that the space people would never stoop to such methods and I agree. The Bible likewise condemns such occult practices as they could open up the participant to demonic influences.”
Drakensberg Mountain Range as Saucer Base
The article began with a flying saucer landing that allegedly took place in the Mooi River area in Natal, South Africa, at the foot of the Drakensberg Range, on 7 April 1956, where the occupants of the craft supposedly established communication with Elizabeth Klarer. Her story was fervently backed up and vouched for by Edgar Sievers of Pretoria, South Africa, the author of the then best-selling non-fiction book, Flying Saucers über Sudafrika (Pretoria, South Africa: Sagittarius Verlag, 1955), and the leading UFO investigator on the African continent during the mid-to-late 1950s. According to Sievers, Klarer witnessed her first interplanetary spaceship in this same area of South Africa when she was just seven years old. She told the UFO book author that, “The object was a great orange-red wheel as large as a football (as if it were held at arm’s length). It moved slowly across the sky over the rolling foothills of the Drakensberg.” From Klarer’s flying saucer revelations, Sievers assumed that the extraterrestrials had been monitoring Klarer quite closely since her youth, waiting for her to grow up so that they could return in their spacecraft and impart an important message to her. It seems that the ufonauts had foreknowledge that Klarer would become a woman of prominence and great influence in the burgeoning country of South Africa.
For a woman who grew up in a rural African setting, Elizabeth Klarer (nee Woollatt), was well educated in the Western European tradition. Having matriculated from St. Anne's Diocesan College in Pietermaritzburg, she moved to Florence, Italy, to study art and music. Thereafter she completed a four-year diploma in meteorology at Girton College, Cambridge, and was taught by her first husband, William Stafford Phillips, whom she married in 1932, to fly a Tiger Moth light aircraft.
In 1932, Elizabeth and the two other Woollatt sisters, along with Maureen Taylor, formed the Connington polo team and drew a match against the Durban ladies’ team, which is seen as the first officially recorded ladies’ match in South Africa. During a 1937 flight from Durban to Baragwanath in a Leopard Moth aircraft, she and her husband William Stafford Phillips reportedly saw a saucer that approached, coasted along, and then quickly zipped away. During World War II, she was employed as a meteorologist in the Royal Air Force Intelligence Branch at the De Havilland Experimental Station in Hatfield in the British Isles, where her husband was stationed as a pilot and officer of the Royal Air Force. In 1943, she moved back to South Africa, where she and Stafford amicably divorced. They had one child together, Marilyn Phillips, born in 1933. Nevertheless, the capable and pioneering Elizabeth was well received upon her return to South Africa. In 1946, she married Paul Klarer, an engineer, and gave birth to her second child three years later, a son, whom they named David Klarer. Their marriage ended in the mid-fifties largely due to all of the undue attention focused on Elizabeth and her claims about flying saucers and encounters with alien beings.
The site of Klarer’s first full contact with the extraterrestrials on 7 April 1956, on her family’s estate, was a familiar spot for the alien visitors, who had apparently attempted a preliminary contact with the young lady back on 27 December 1954. On that momentous day, at around 10 a.m., the young Elizabeth was alone of her family estate’s hilltop when a saucer came gliding down. In recalling this event during an interview with Sievers, the reporter from Pretoria, she said that, “When I saw the flash in the southern sky, but nothing more, there was plenty of fair-weather cumulus about; then, what I thought was a white bird caught my eye. Looking at it very hard, I realized it was no bird. The sun glinted on the craft as it glided down to hover a few feet above the northern slope.”
Klarer continued, “The craft was so close to me I could see clearly the face of the pilot through the porthole. Yet, through uncertainty and fright, I instinctively stepped back or recoiled from the strangeness of it all; but my gaze remained fixed in a fascinated stare upon the face of the pilot, the most handsome man I have ever seen. He was blonde. His eyes gave me the impression at that distance of being light grey. He smiled at me to reassure, but I backed away. Then the craft slowly rose and moved away in a southernly direction, until it disappeared in the distance. I stood rooted on the spot. I was left with my remorse and my reproaches for being so stupid.
“For fifteen long months I reproached myself, but always hoping that possibly I would have another chance. I continually went out in all weather and dreadful storms. But I have a family of two dependent on me, so their demands took first place, and I gradually became more patient.”
Sievers, in discussing Klarer’s overall condition, both emotionally and physically at the time of this preliminary encounter, with the writer from Flying Saucers from Other Worlds, noted that emotionally she did not appear to be suffering from any “psychicisms.” He also described her as a “gifted pianist and music teacher with studies accomplished in Italy and England with a wide range of intellectual interests ranging from history to astronomy. An enthusiastic traveler, a lover of nature in general and of horses in particular, attractive Elizabeth Klarer has both her feet on the ground, no less than any other woman who has to look after her family.” Insofar as her physical aspect was concerned, Sievers remarked that, “She is a normal, healthy woman.” The only aspect of this case that seemed somewhat out of the ordinary, in Sievers’ analysis, was that, “Klarer did nothing but think of this saucer, hoping and longing that it would return.”
Many of the great equestrians have noted a sort of telepathic connection existing between horse and rider. The South African reporter believed that Elizabeth Klarer’s closeness to her championship horses may have served to augment her extrasensory abilities, thus making her a prime candidate for contact by the Venusians or other extraterrestrials.
Analysis of Klarer’s Motives
Of course, Sievers is not a certified psychologist. Nevertheless, here is his further analysis of Klarer’s motivations with regard to her cursory and preliminary encounter with the saucer and its pilot:
“For all those who have noticed already that they are able to establish with their dogs or their horses an inner contact all of its own, the following point will be a familiar and sensible one; and it is this point which most definitely enters the picture from here on.
“There are modes of awareness between living beings which are trans-sensorial, i.e., which take place beyond the usual boundaries of sensual and sensorial control. Where a rider and a horse are at one in this way, the horse acts prompted by the mere intentions of its human friend. Mrs. Klarer, too, is gifted to a point where she establishes immediate contact with horses. Where that particular awareness is spanned from man-to-man to such a degree that it becomes a somewhat conscious link, we have usually been talking of telepathy and thought transference.”
Some contactees, like the late George Adamski (1891-1965) of Vista, California, could summon flying saucers just by thinking about them. Artwork source: Independent newspaper, Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Other Contactees Considered
Sievers, the premiere South African flying saucer investigator, considered this telepathic aspect with regard to other contact cases between humans and the ufonauts:
“Not only from George Adamski do we know that this mode of awareness comes into play, too, where relations to spacemen are concerned. There are many people in this world already who do have sensations of an indefinable kind whenever a saucer is nearby. Stephen Darbishire, in Coniston, England, acted on such promptings. Another youth in our country, Ernest van Zyl, aged 17 then, did so and, following the hunch, had found a saucer; and likewise, is Elizabeth Klarer affected when there is ‘something in the air.’ At least on two occasions, she took friends along with her when prompted by those sensations, and the saucers were actually seen.
“It is an unbroken period of almost four years, in which Adamski has been talking to all who were ready to listen with discerning ear and an attentive mind, a period in which he has not hidden himself, as an imposter would have done, nor faded from public memory, as could have been expected of a hoaxer duly found out. His words have not only been ringing true, they necessarily were and are the truth. Because only truth could have withstood such a barrage of suspicion, scorn, mockery, disbelief, ridicule and slander from every corner of the world converging on Mt. Palomar in print, sound waves and by mind force.
“While Elizabeth Klarer has mustered the courage to come forward and henceforth to stand this very same test of acid publicity, there are many who know her personally and who will vouchsafe for her sincerity, as well as her truthfulness and her integrity. Like Adamski, she will likewise stand and fall with the veracity of her claims and the absolute truth in her spoken word.
“This personal angle is so all-important,” asserted Sievers, “because this encounter with a man from space is without direct evidence. Nor is it very likely that, had she direct proof and evidence, any of those who either cannot or else do not want to believe would let themselves be convinced.
“The restraint of the spacemen in their appearances is proof enough that they do not intend to interfere with our inner development forcibly; rather is all this being wisely measured to such a pace as will give everybody the chance to get accustomed to the thought and the fact that human beings are living on nearby planets.
“Mrs. Klarer had taken her daughter Marilyn, who is a medical student, and son David, aged seven, to Durban, for a few days by the sea, when on Friday, 6 April 1956, she experienced a compelling feeling to return to the farm and to her familiar hilltop; and so back they all went to the homestead.
“Early next morning, Saturday, 7 April, that particular feeling having persisted, Elizabeth Klarer slipped out and after a brisk walk, reached the hilltop, about 2 and a half miles away.”
Elizabeth Klarer Provides Greater Details
From this point, Elizabeth Klarer takes up her account again:
“On reaching the top of the southern slope, I saw the scout ship resting on the ground near the eastern slope of the dip. The rising Sun had not topped the slope, so the craft was in the shadow. My immediate reaction was not to hesitate as I had done the first time, but to run as fast as I could. I felt as though I had wings on my feet, rushing down that very rough slope, straight to the tall blond man standing near the craft. It was the most natural thing for me to do, because I felt that I had known him all my life.
“I stretched out both my hands to him, and he took them, saying, ‘You were not afraid this time.’ He helped me step into the craft. The automatic door closed and he gently sat me down on a soft circular bench, where I was able to regain my breath. What helped me more than anything was the wonderful, invigorating freshness of the air in the cabin.
“An awful doubt assailed me when I saw the other pilot sitting at the controls. He was dark and stocky. So, without thinking, I asked the tall spaceman, ‘Oh, you are not a Russian, are you?’ He smiled and answered, ‘I am not from any place on this planet that you call Earth. I am from Venus.’
“The interior of the craft was simple and beautiful to my mind. None of the mass of instruments and wires over dashboard and walls as in modern aircraft, but simple rows of push buttons on some kind of desk. None of the stuffy smell of fuel, it was all clean and efficient. There was a tempered humming sound, soothing and pleasant, that emanated from the floor of the craft. It gave me a sense of power and security.
“The porthole covers were open. There were three sets of four. I looked out of one. I could see for miles; but it was far too hazy and I was unable to see immediately below because the hull of the craft was in the way. I did not think at first to look through the lens until the Venusian gently drew my attention to it!
“The wonderful sight of rolling green country was breathtaking. I could now see clearly for miles, even the line of blue sea in the distance.
The Mooi River running through rolling hills in the beautiful countryside encompassing Elizabeth Klarer’s estate in what is now Rosetta, KwaZulu-Natal Province, in the Republic of South Africa. The coordinates for Flying Saucer Hill are 29°20′41″S 29°51′35″E.
“The tall spaceman and his companion were wearing dark-brownish suits, the trousers narrowing down to the ankles, the shirt sleeves narrowing to the wrists and a high neckline. They were close-fitting garments, but light and comfortable, made of a material not unlike a coarse shiny nylon.
“I was given refreshing water to drink, and a delicious red apple and other fruit, similar to bananas. They are primarily vegetarians. No wonder that they live and enjoy health so much longer than we do, with their diet and breathing such wonderful air. Yes, the tall, soft-spoken Venusian told me that the air I had been enjoying so much in the craft was Venusian air! He told me that there is a higher oxygen content in the Venusian atmosphere, that is, in the lowest strata of the Venusian atmosphere that is out of reach of the instruments used by scientists on Earth. The upper atmospheric envelope is poisonous and hot. He told me there is a great deal of water on Venus, and many rugged, high and snow-capped mountains.
“The houses on Venus are built in a circular pattern. Some are made of a special material that permits light to come through but does not expose the occupants to the view of anyone on the outside. I said that I would love to go to Venus and to the Moon. Our Moon is not a dead world. Space people are based there. How kind, civilized and cultured they are!
“They are wise and understanding. They are watching us closely now that man is moving into space, and we have stated that the Moon is our first target. This will concern them vitally. Man will take war into space.”
The Venusian told Elizabeth Klarer that he feared that “Man will take war into space.” Poster above is an advertisement for a popular 1959 Japanese sci-fi film, Battle in Outer Space, directed by Ishiro Honda.
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