God’s Celestial Ambassador: The Life and Times of Dr. Frank E. Stranges - Part XVII
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.
Peter Kor was the scientific consultant for Raymond Palmer’s classic Flying Saucers magazine (Amherst, Wisconsin), and a good friend of Dr. Frank E. Stranges. Like many ufologists of the late 1950s and early 1960s, Kor was looking for a “middle ground” between the true believers and adamant skeptics of the reality of the elusive flying saucers.
Great Battle in Ufology
To Dr. Frank E. Stranges and many others in the UFO community back in 1959, it had become apparent that a great battle had been raging between the true believers in flying saucers, such as manifested in the likes of Major Donald E. Keyhoe, USMC, Retired, and the membership of his UFO research organization, the National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena (NICAP), vs. a small but persistent group of skeptics mostly centered in the scientific establishment enthroned in academia. Believers like Keyhoe were quick to point out that many UFO reports and physical traces prove that alien intelligences of some sort are in our midst, visiting our world in their spacecraft that we Earthlings generally refer to as “flying saucers.” On the other hand, the skeptics maintained that even the best reports could be explained in non-sensational ways and that the physical traces are too mundane to support any conclusion of alien intervention.
Peter Kor, a science writer for some of Raymond Palmer’s magazines Flying Saucers (Amherst, Wisconsin) and Fate (Chicago, Illinois), opined that, “What both sides seem to have lost sight of is that something extraordinary has been happening with respect to this entire phenomenon. Before proceeding further in this matter, it must be determined whether flying saucers exist or not.” Certainly, the believers participating in this debate back in the late 1950s were greatly outnumbering those in the ranks of the skeptics. Nevertheless, it seemed that the skeptics had gotten much the better of the argument, pinpointing inconsistencies in the extraterrestrial hypothesis and drawing attention to the discrepancy between the countless “encounters” with flying saucers and the lack of definitive evidence for the same. Overall, in about 90 percent of the UFO cases investigated by the skeptics, they seem to have done a far more thorough and better job, i.e., they were able to demonstrate how seemingly solid cases for the UFO could be demolished or called into question by diligent detective work and vigorous analysis. The remaining ten percent in the “unidentified” category could then aptly be dismissed for the simple “lack of sufficient information.”
This trend was disturbing to Dr. Frank E. Stranges. Being a member of NICAP since its inception and a friend of Major Donald E. Keyhoe, the evangelist had a vested interest in counting himself a “true believer.” Over time, however, he came to view the response of some of his fellow believers as “almost pitiful.” Dr. Stranges regularly communicated with Raymond Palmer and the staff at Flying Saucers magazine, keeping them posted on his own investigations and appearances on the lecture circuit around the country in promoting his then most recent book, Flying Saucerama (New York City, New York: Vantage Press, 1959). Dr. Stranges was aware that Peter Kor was a friend of both the prominent Southern California contactee George Adamski and the renowned Arizona astro-archaeologist Dr. George Hunt Williamson; and that Kor was the one responsible for bringing these two together, in the first place, for a lecture on flying saucers at the Masonic Temple in Cleveland, Ohio, back in the early 1950s, before Adamski and Williamson’s alleged encounter with the so-called Venusian cosmonaut Orthon outside of Desert Center, California, on 20 November 1952. Dr. Stranges wondered how Kor could stray so far from being an aficionado of Adamski and Williamson to apparently enlisting in the army of skeptics.
Therefore, Dr. Stranges, resident in Southern California, in a long-distance telephone conversation with Kor at his home in Northeast Ohio, inquired of this seeming change of opinion and received the following answer:
“They (the believers) merely reassert their faith and accuse the skeptics of bias or claim that they are in league with the government, establishment, or the devil, depending on their belief system.” Kor added that, “Not only haven’t they refuted the arguments of their opponents, but they have failed to grow intellectually. They have failed to grasp the implications of their belief and activity in the face of logic and evidence to the contrary.”
“Then you have switched sides and are now backing up the skeptics?” asked Dr. Stranges of Kor, an atomic scientist who once worked at Livermore Labs in California.
“Oh, not at all,” said Kor, further explaining that, “Whereas believers have suffered from a lack of rigor, skeptics have displayed a marked lack of vision. For although they have correctly concluded that flying saucers, as such, do not exist, they have not even begun to deal with the implications of the conclusion. To wit: If flying saucers do not exist, what are the causes, functions and possible consequences of the saucer claims and of the belief system those claims have created and nourished? Being a man of the cloth, Dr. Stranges, I am sure you can understand where I am going with this.”
Nature and Significance of the Saucer Mystery
In Peter Kor’s assessment of the phenomenon, neither the believers nor the skeptics grasped the true nature and significance of the flying saucer mystery. There was a definite failure on both sides of “thinking outside the box.” “The reason,” noted Kor, “is that both sides have shared the same basic framework of explanation. As that framework began to be proved inadequate, the skeptics thought the job was done and believers resorted to name calling and mysticism.” In pondering Kor’s analysis, Dr. Frank E. Stranges and other ufologists were coming to the conclusion that a new level of conceptualization of the flying saucers was needed in order to restart the process of resolving this issue. Dr. Stranges confided in Kor and Palmer that he was willing to temporarily set aside his emphasis on a purely extraterrestrial hypothesis in order to return to a more basic approach leading to an overall solution. Ufologists Palmer, the editor of Flying Saucers magazine, and Dr. Frank E. Stranges, the evangelist, theologian and private investigator, found themselves in agreement with Kor, the physicist, and his premise that a solution to the UFO enigma could be found through the “three-fold process of demonstration, revelation and comprehension.”
The demonstration mode of solution is proof through direct observation. This may come in many forms. A flying saucer might land in a public place, being witnessed by thousands of people, perhaps even being photographed or filmed. Perhaps government officials might even display the remains of a crashed disc, along with its pilot and other occupants. A contactee might turn up with an artifact that he or she brought back from a flying saucer or some kind of message that could be shown to be of a true alien origin. Maybe the United States or some foreign power will conduct a public test of an advanced aerospace vehicle, demonstrating how its flight characteristics and other capabilities played a major part in producing a plethora of flying saucer sightings. There might even be a laboratory where scientists are conducting experiments in inter-dimensionality, whereby the existence of a previously unseen realm, and lair for the flying saucers, has been revealed.
Peter Kor, when considering these various forms that the solution may take, astutely remarked that, “The observations that serve as the basis for the demonstration must satisfy the following requirements: First, the observations must be consensual. The observers must agree about what is observed, regardless of their beliefs. Second, the observations must be repeatable. What is observed must be available to the public at large, not to merely a few claimants during a one-time or otherwise restricted observation. Third, the observations must be substantial. What is observed must be sufficient to justify the nature of the solution claimed.”
Of course, to illustrate this last requirement, the mere claim by authorities that messages, photographs or devices displayed represent the activity of extraterrestrials would not be sufficient. “In such a case,” noted Kor, the issue would not be the existence of messages, photographs or devices. The issue would be the nature of such items; and it is that nature that would have to be demonstrated.”
I think of the ending of H. G. Wells’ The Time Machine (New York City, New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1895), where the time traveler, after visiting the far future, brings back to his own time and place strange flowers growing out of season and shows them to a group of scientists, explaining that it is his proof of having visited another time, but without showing them his invention or demonstrating how it works. The strange flowers did raise a lot of questions in the group, but most, apart from his closest friend, thought he was delusional. While he previously made a small model of his time machine disappear, those present simply dismissed it as a parlor trick.
Clearly then, the appeal of this kind of solution is its simplicity; demonstration is its own proof. One need only witness the demonstration to know the solution. The researchers of the UFO phenomenon concern themselves with field investigations and public relations (PR), on behalf of the organizations they represent. Their investigations are designed to find definitive, physical evidence, or to provide actual clues for establishing contact with the flying saucer occupants. The PR is also aimed at gaining public support for further inquiries that might lead to protests at pressuring the government to come forth with the definitive evidence that most of the believers are convinced that it possesses. For Peter Kor, the physicist, “The demonstration type of saucer solution assumes that flying saucers are what they appear from reports to be- extraordinary machines or phenomena. However,” he interjected, “if flying saucers do not exist, demonstration is impossible and the search for such a solution will be fruitless, as it has been for all of these years!”
Peter Kor, in working with serious researchers of the flying saucer enigma with veteran science and science fiction publisher, Raymond A. Palmer from Amherst Wisconsin, noted that once the investigator had inevitably given up on the demonstration approach in searching for a solution to this matter, the odds were good that he or she would resort to the revelation mode. “Basically,” stated Kor, “revelation substitutes intuition and conviction for reason and demonstration. Whereas the advocate of demonstration pursues facts and fragments, the seeker of revelation looks for signs and meanings.”
Of course, the underlying premise in the revelation attempt at a saucer solution is the assumption that flying saucers exist in some form that is not directly accessible to humankind. In cases where revelation is employed in seeking for answers, some mediator, such as an astral spirit or seer, i.e., a human being with an accelerated and/or altered consciousness, would be necessary to reveal that which is ordinally hidden from view, or occulted. Kor opined that, “Attempts to solve the saucer mystery by revelation might involve experiments in extrasensory perception (ESP), hypnosis, trance mediumship, hallucinogenic drugs, automatic art or writing, ritual magic or even intense religious experiences. Unfortunately, these methods cannot result in a bona fide solution. They produce changes in personality, not truths about reality. They are not geared to satisfying objective tests, but to meeting subjective needs. Those ‘researchers’ who pursue the revelation modus operandi may find a new identity, but they will not resolve the saucer mystery.”
Dr. Frank E. Stranges, being a minister of the gospel and familiar with religious experiences and manifestations common to the Pentecostal traditions in the Assembly of God Church in the United States, upon speaking with Peter Kor, came to the realization that there was a high degree of subjectivity in the revelation mode and that any framing of the flying saucer enigma in the context of this modality would require more than a personal testimony to convince any larger number of people of the veracity of the phenomenon, or its spiritual significance for humankind.
The atomic physicist Peter Kor now comes to the so-called “trump card” in the deck of saucer solutions, the comprehension mode. “Not only don’t the great majority of ‘researchers’ understand the nature and significance of this modus operandi, but few of them would be able to execute it if they did understand.
“Basically,” Kor explained, “comprehension is a proof by rational conceptualization. Comprehension is necessary whenever a happening or situation is not explainable in terms of immediate happenings or appearances. In such cases, observation must be augmented by conceptualization so as to bring the phenomena and facts involved within the range of predictability.
“Comprehension is a form of demonstration, whereas demonstration provides proof by direct observation, comprehension produces proof via indirect observation. To wit: Evidence leads to conceptualization which produces a new explanation that is then tested against future observations.”
As Peter Kor promulgated these three modes whereby the seeker of the flying saucer solution might pursue her or his quest, the Reverend Doctor Frank E. Stranges had reached a critical point in his career as a ufologist. It was time for a reassessment of his belief structure and a closer examination of those flying saucer and occupant cases that sparked his interest in the phenomenon.
Date: November 26, 2021
Space Expert to Speak on “Wisconsin UFO Legacy” at Brown County Central Library
Dr. Raymond A. Keller, a.k.a. “Cosmic Ray,” world-recognized authority on the planet Venus and author of the recently published book, Flying Saucers and the Venus Legacy (Terra Alta, West Virginia: Headline Books, 2021), will present an illustrated lecture on the subject of the “Wisconsin UFO Legacy” and other extraterrestrial information in his Flying Saucers book, at the Brown County Central Library, Meeting Room #2, located at 515 Pine Street in Green Bay, on Saturday, December 11, 2021, from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m.
Dr. Keller, a UFO consultant for the Paranormal Search group headquartered in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, has been researching and writing about UFOs since 1967. There is no charge to attend the lecture. For additional information, you can e-mail Dr. Keller at email@example.com or call him at (304) 594-0454. His book, Flying Saucers and the Venus Legacy, is available through headlinebooks.com or amazon.com, while supplies last.