; Phantoms and Monsters: Pulse of the Paranormal

Tuesday, March 22, 2022

God’s Celestial Ambassador: The Life and Times of Dr. Frank E. Stranges - Part XXIX (Hostile UFO/Alien Reports Continues)


God’s Celestial Ambassador: The Life and Times of Dr. Frank E. Stranges - Part XXIX

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.

Venus Rising: A Concise History of the Second Planet

Final Countdown: Rockets to Venus

The Vast Venus Conspiracy

Lady Columba Venus Revelations

Flying Saucers and the Venus Legacy

Cataloguing of Hostile UFO/Alien Reports Continues, 1958-1960

Throughout the second half of the 1950s and the early years of the 1960s, ufologists were divided into three camps.  

There were those who believed that the UFOs were interplanetary spaceships from a friendly world, most likely situated nearby in our own solar system.  Those in this group were followers of the contactees, whose primary spokesperson during that time was George Adamski, an amateur astronomer from Palomar Gardens in Southern California.  

Then there were those in the camp of those fearing that the UFOs were some kind of reconnaissance vehicles from another planet, gathering intelligence on our military installations and preparing to invade our world.  Those in this group rallied around Major Donald E. Keyhoe, USMC (Ret.), the director of the world’s then largest civilian ufology research organization, the National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena (NICAP), headquartered in Washington, D.C.  Keyhoe speculated that the flying saucers were hailing from Mars, the menacing red planet of war.  

And then we had the third group of skeptics and debunkers.  Probably the most vocal in this group during the 1950s was none other than Harvard University astronomer Dr. Donald H. Menzel, the discoverer of the physical properties of the solar chromosphere, the characteristics of the Martian atmosphere, the chemistry of stars, and the nature of gases composing the cosmic nebulae.  Menzel wrote several UFO books and argued that UFOs are nothing more than misidentification of prosaic phenomena such as stars, clouds and airplanes; or the result of people seeing unusual atmospheric phenomena they were unfamiliar with.

 Menzel became one of the more notable of the debunkers when on 7 April 1950, Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS) television newscaster Edward R. Murrow narrated a half-hour documentary called "The Case of the Flying Saucers," and cited Menzel in it as his “highest scientific authority” on the subject.  Murrow tried to offer a balanced look at UFOs, a subject of great curiosity at the time. The pioneer television journalist interviewed both Idaho civilian pilot Kenneth Arnold, whose 24 June 1947 report sparked interest in the so-called “flying saucers,” and Menzel, who was totally dismissive of the objects as representing any type of extraterrestrial technology.  

Columba Broadcasting System (CBS) correspondent Edward R. Murrow presented the first documentary on flying saucers on 7 April 1950, featuring interviews with Idaho civilian pilot Kenneth Arnold, who started the “flying saucer” craze with his 24 June 1947 report of nine disc-shaped objects “skipping like saucers” over the tops of the Cascade mountain range in Washington State, and Harvard astronomy professor, Dr. Donald H. Menzel, who was totally dismissive of the objects as representing any kind of “extraterrestrial technology.”

Dr. Frank E. Stranges Takes the Middle Ground

Southern California evangelist and ufologist Dr. Frank E. Stranges wisely understood that there could be multiple answers to the UFO enigma; that there existed truth in all three of these positions simultaneously.  

Yes, encounters with friendly extraterrestrials were taking place.  He had personally met Venusian space commander Valiant Thor in the Pentagon, so Dr. Frank had a personal testimony that friendly contacts were taking place between humans and alien beings, most notably the Venusians.  Yes, there were many well documented UFO accounts of alien aggressive behavior manifested toward human beings.  Some of these encounters were verified by radar tracking and the visual observations of reputable military pilots.  And yes, while there were many authentic UFO reports out there to be collected and analyzed, with even the Air Force Project Blue Book personnel reporting that 12% of all UFO sightings and encounters could not be explained away; there was still the remaining 88% that could be easily accounted for in terms of the misidentification of conventional aircraft under unusual weather conditions, plasma discharges from power lines, weather balloons, atmospheric or astronomical phenomena, etc.  

But given the reality of both the friendly and hostile encounters, Dr. Frank E. Stranges posited that these might both be reconciled with a correlation being made between angels and aliens, both the good angels and the fallen ones.  Throughout the 1950s, Dr. Frank continued to catalog both the positive and negative alien UFO encounters.  Here, in Part XXIX of this series, the dedicated evangelist continues with his cataloging of the negative incidents that occurred from 1958-1960.


On 17 February, two housewives, neighbors in Santa Fe, New Mexico, suffered burns while watching a flying saucer hover just a few feet above the ground.

On 5 May, in the skies over a suburb of Montevideo, Uruguay, a Piper Cub pilot, Elejo Rodriguez, radioed in his sighting of a “bright, silvery metallic, top-shaped object with a slight vapor trail,” that was keeping pace with his small plane, all the while emitting such intense heat that he was forced to open the windows and door of his aircraft, as well as remove his jacket.  

It was 26 October above the Lock Raven Reservoir in the outskirts of Baltimore, Maryland, when Philip Small and Alvin Cohen, two fishermen from Baltimore, observed a hovering, “luminous egg-shaped UFO.” These local sport fishermen were sitting along the shore, less than fifty feet from their parked car, when they felt a wave of heat from the object and heard an explosion, like the sound of dynamite, as the UFO departed from the area.  Both of the men also suffered burns from the UFO on exposed parts of their bodies.  In addition, the gentlemen could not turn on their automobile motor or even lights until the object had completely flown out of view.  

Back in Uruguay, along the Rio Negro on 10 December, a group of about a dozen campers watched another “luminous egg-shaped UFO.”  They also felt an intense heat being emitted from the object and after the UFO departed the area, found some hot, smoking fragments that had apparently fallen from it.  

Just six days later, in Tampa, Florida, a B-47 Stratojet crashed and exploded.  UFOs were reported in the vicinity at the time of the crash.

On Christmas Day, an Air Force pilot reported that his plane was “shot at” in a UFO encounter that took place in the skies north of the Hawaiian Islands, over the Pacific Ocean.  Crew members also reported “bursts” and “explosions” around their transport plane through the duration of the UFO incident.


On 22 February, PFC Bernard C. Irwin of Fort Bliss, Texas, reported sighting a “ball of light, circular UFO” that hovered over his family’s ranch in Spanish Fork, Utah, while he was home on leave.  “Whatever it was,” remarked Irwin, “it left me unconscious for 24 hours.  My family and the local doctor were helpless in doing anything for me.  They just prayed that I would come to, and thank God I did.”

It was 1 April when an Air Force C-118 Transport crashed at McChord Air Force Base in California, killing three.  UFOs were reported in the area.

On 24 September, a UFO with “tentacle-like projections” and glowing with red and green lights, moved through “controlled maneuvers” in the skies over Redmond, Oregon, for slightly over one hour; or so say both Air Force ground observers and radar trackers. The object moved out of the area when seven jet fighters were dispatched to intercept it.  After the UFO departed, a B-47 bomber and Tripacer aircraft were dispatched by the Air Force brass to “check the area for signs of radioactivity.”

Just five days later, a Braniff Airways Turboprop airliner crashed in central Texas, claiming 34 lives.  Dr. Frank reported that, “As in some other airplane crashes during the 1950s, UFOs were reported in the vicinity.”

It was 19 October when a fifty-foot flying saucer was reported hovering over the “Big Marsh” outside of Poquoson, Virginia.  Two schoolboys, Mark Muza and Harold Moore, were out hunting in the area and shot at it with their .22 rifles.  Young Moore said one of the bullets from his gun “struck a metallic surface and rebounded to the ground.”  At that moment, an intense green ray emitted from a dome on top of the saucer’s cupola, blinding the boys for several minutes until the object could noiselessly depart the area.  

On Christmas Eve, in private briefing instructions for all Air Force Operations and Training Commands, Major General Richard E. O’Keefe, Acting Inspector General for the Air Force, warned that, “UFO sightings would increase during the coming year.”  The title of his briefing was, “UFOs- Serious Business.”  Major General O’Keefe revealed in the briefing that, “The Air Force was chiefly concerned with the defense and technical aspects of the phenomena.”  He also ordered that, “Air Force investigators should use binoculars, cameras, Geiger counters, magnifying glasses and containers for any fragments or ground samples recovered from UFOs.”  It’s interesting to note that this command was issued at the same time the Air Force Information Office was telling the American public that “Flying saucers just don’t exist.”

In the week after Christmas, Dr. Frank E. Stranges received a call from his friend Coral Lorenzen at the headquarters of the Aerial Phenomena Research Organization (APRO) in Alamogordo, New Mexico.  Coral Lorenzen, the director of APRO, said she would soon be moving to Tucson to take up employment with the Kitt Peak National Observatory there, and was wondering if Dr. Frank could follow up on a recent Brazilian UFO incident that she had gotten word of, insofar as the move would be occupying most of her and her husband Jim’s time, at least temporarily.  It seems that a Brazilian Air Force B-26 commander asked permission to take off without lights on his bomber in order to avoid further pursuit by a strange UFO that had followed his plane for almost an hour before he reached the airport.  The Southern California evangelist said he would be glad to look into it, and would dispatch one of his International Evangelism Crusade representatives in Brazil to check it out.


On 2 March, in the outskirts of Labuttendorf, Austria, journalist Edgar Schedelbauer of the Vienna newspaper, Wiener Montag, suffered “great red spots” all over his body following a close encounter with a “milky-white, spider-shaped, hovering UFO.”  According to the Austrian reporter, “The UFO made a low, humming sound and then a jet-like roar, as it hovered about fifty feet above a road.”  Schedelbauer also reported that he took a photograph of the object, but that it just “turned out like a blurry blob of light.”  He reported that an Austrian military group was currently investigating the case, so he was not permitted to further discuss or write about it.

Just ten days later, APRO Director Coral Lorenzen released new, exclusive data on UFO fragments recovered from a UFO that exploded over Brazil in 1957, as well as some photographs of a flying saucer taken at Trinidade Island in the prior year and deemed by Brazilian Air Force authorities to be “substantial proof for the existence of an extraterrestrial spacecraft.”  It seems that Trinidade Island, since the early 1950s, has served as a beacon for flying saucers.  Coral was “pleased to share” this information with Dr. Frank, in light of his help with other UFO cases on APRO’s behalf in the past.

Here we see the beginnings of a split that would later emerge between Dr. Frank E. Stranges and USMC, Ret., Major Donald E. Keyhoe and his National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena (NICAP), headquartered in Washington, D.C.  After the story of Valiant Thor became known to the public through the auspices of Dr. Frank’s International Evangelism Crusade, Major Keyhoe could no longer tolerate the evangelist’s continued membership in his “scientific organization.”  

In an article titled “Columnists Challenge Merits of Frank Stranges’ UFO Convention,” Orange County Register, Anaheim, California, 26 June 1974, staff reporters David Branch and Robert B. Klinn write: “In the early 1960s, Stranges’ story about Valiant Thor led the respected National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena (NICAP) to cancel Stranges’ membership.  NICAP obtained proof that Stranges was publicly implying NICAP endorsement of his claim that, in the Pentagon, he had met Val from Venus.”  The reporters Branch and Klinn also make many other accusations against Dr. Frank, which are later proven false by the evangelist himself, as well as others in his entourage and those involved in his ministerial activities.  

On 8 March 1958, Keyhoe appeared on The Mike Wallace Interview program on the American Broadcasting Company (ABC) television network and spoke about flying saucers, contactees and the alleged Air Force cover-up and press censorship of UFOs.  Insofar as the contactees were concerned, Keyhoe adamantly declared, as director of NICAP, that, “We do not accept any reports of these so called contactees without more evidence. We've asked them to submit their claims and take lie detector tests” (See https://norman.hrc.utexas.edu/mirador/p15878coll90/51, accessed 20 March 2022, for the entire Wallace interview with the retired Marine Corps major. -R.K.)  

It is quite unfortunate that Keyhoe never gave Dr. Frank the benefit of the doubt following his release of the Valiant Thor story.  NICAP’s position that there were no reliable contactees seems unreasonable on the very face of it.  Previously, Keyhoe had revealed information about mysterious, intelligent signals emanating from the surface of Venus.   Ergo, if intelligent beings existed on Venus and were arriving on Earth in their flying saucers, isn’t it logical to assume that sooner or later a Venusian cosmonaut would step out of their craft and talk to somebody here?  

Dr. Frank was confused and hurt by Keyhoe’s rejection, so it is only natural that he would turn to APRO, whose director Coral Lorenzen and other members were more open to a dialogue and a working relationship with him and other contactees.


Come out and meet Dr. Raymond A. Keller, a.k.a. “Cosmic Ray,” world-recognized authority on the planet Venus and author of seven international awards-winning UFO books, at the American Legion Post #8, located at 733 Veterans Memorial Dr., Las Vegas, on Wednesday, March 23, 2022, from 8:00-9:30 p.m., where he will be discussing the origins of the secret space program, the nature of intelligent life on other planets and the anti-gravitational propulsion of the flying saucers in his two newest books.  There is no charge for this event.

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