God’s Celestial Ambassador: The Life and Times of Dr. Frank E. Stranges - Part XXXV
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.
of the UFO Confidential Newsletter
Dr. Frank E. Stranges´ National Investigations Committee on UFOs (NICUFO) was officially established in 1967, and one year later began publication of its official UFO Confidential Newsletter. The editors of the1969 World Almanac, published by the Los Angeles, California, Herald-Examiner newspaper, under its category of Associations and Societies of the United States, considered NICUFO, headquartered in Van Nuys, California, as the only flying saucer investigating body worthy to be listed therein.
NICUFO National Advisory Board member Michael Nardone, also a prominent radio and television personality from KTKT Broadcasting in Tucson, Arizona, writing in the May 1969 issue of the UFO Confidential Newsletter (Volume 2, Number 3), noted that, “Apparently, the editors of this objective reference book, regard our organization as the only one of its kind with credence enough to be listed in their pages. This is a tremendous feather in the caps of all of us and shows the level of dignity that honest, courageous investigations and hard work can produce. I congratulate Dr. Stranges on the leadership which was necessary to bring about and sustain such a vital function as this committee. To be singularly noted as an official organization in the World Almanac is a sign of solid results; and I know that I share the feeling with you of deep gratification.”
Nardone also reported that Dr. Frank´s television series, Flying Saucers- Here and Now, was continuing to draw thousands of viewers in various regional marketing areas, thus bringing in many new recruits to NICUFO´s ranks. From members nationwide, cooperating with NICUFO state directors, hundreds of UFO reports were being sent in to headquarters. These efforts went a long way in helping the National Advisory Board in their attempts to establish a national grid for the reporting and correlation of UFO sighting reports. UFO activity both nationally and internationally continued to be the focus of the UFO Confidential Newsletter.
Colorado Condon Report Fails to Diminish Ufologists´ Enthusiasm
In the May 1969 Newsletter, Dr. Frank opined, “As was predicted, those ´experts´ assigned to keep us uniformed about UFOs have successfully hidden their heads in the sand-- alas, but the UFOs did not go away. Instead, sightings have continued and many have been photographed and `recorded.´ During our recent UFO, Space and Science Convention in Van Nuys, we heard actual sounds made by a UFO. This was presented by retired United States Air Force pilot Mel Noel.... There have been reports of similar sounds in Southern California in April 1969.”
Of course, the so-called “experts” that Dr. Frank was referring to were physicist Dr. E. U. Condon and his team of UFO investigators, headquartered at the University of Colorado at Boulder who, at the end of 1968, announced the findings of their two-year, federally-funded Scientific Study of Unidentified Flying Objects. They concluded that most UFOs could be accounted for in terms of mistaken astronomical or natural phenomena, or conventional aircraft viewed under unusual atmospheric conditions. They were essentially telling the public at large, “Move right along. There is nothing to see here.” As a result of this finding, Dr. Condon and his committee surmised that UFOs did not represent any sort of national security threat and, therefore, Project Bluebook should immediately be defunded by the financial appropriators at the Department of Defense and shut down by the Air Force. Bluebook had been located on Wright-Patterson Air Force Base since 1952 and up through the end of 1968 had investigated over 12,000 UFO reports.
NICUFO Advisory Board member Nardone, however, was not placing all of the blame for the setbacks suffered by ufology at the end of the 1960s on the Condon Report. That some of the contactees had embellished their original accounts of alien encounters did much to harm the credibility, and hence the believability of UFO reports generally, in the public´s eye. Nardone remarked that, “The Condon Report" has done more to retard public awareness than any other Establishment tool so far....” But when it came to some of the contactees, Nardone noted that these individuals should have stuck to “facts as they have happened, not fantasy as we would have wished them to happen.”
He elaborated on this line of thinking: “If all contactees had confined themselves to the absolute facts from the very beginning, without coloring or reading between the lines, I doubt seriously if we would have found ourselves in quite the situation we are in now. I wish we could go back to the very beginning and take it `once more from the top.´ But unfortunately, we cannot. We can only hope to continue with the impedance we ourselves have built into our own task. We are warned of this confusion ´in the latter days` by our Bible. I hope that we will join in praying for God´s strength that we may overcome it."
Policy on Alleged Contactees
Most anyone following events in ufology during the 1960s had heard the claims of some of the sundry “contactees,” those individuals whose respective experiences have allegedly included a confrontation with an occupant or occupants of extraterrestrial spacecraft. For the most part, those in the ufology community have given these contactees the benefit of the doubt. However, at times this has been made extremely difficult for the interested ufologists to do so by some of these contactees´ conflicting statements and seemingly absurd hyperbole.
Addressing the general membership of NICUFO, Advisory Board member Michael Nardone issued the following statement concerning the general policy of the organization with respect to contactees in the May 1969 Newsletter, which is as follows:
“Those of us who have been engaged in serious `flying saucer´investigation have generally accepted evidence that extra-planetary craft of some nature have been flying through our skies, and that certain numbers of these vehicles have made landings upon our surface at various times. These conclusions lead to the natural assumption that there certainly must be someone inside them. With this in mind, it seems highly reasonable that a number of personal contacts have been made among our people over the years. This is one of the reasons we have treated most contactee testimony with respect. But only one of the reasons.
“A far more important reason, I think, is that we have kept our minds open and have tried to give our fellow man (or woman) a fair shake. We have bestowed a trust and confidence in those who have spoken. Has this trust been violated? No one can knowingly answer that except the individual contactees themselves. It is a fact that many tales which have been related are obviously conflicting. There have been occasions of various contactees calling the others liars. There are still other cases which appear to contain a certain amount of accuracy, but seem surely to be greatly exaggerated. What is the answer? All things considered, the contactee enigma is confusing and cast with shades of doubt. Even those of us who firmly believe that contacts have been made, find it difficult to determine who has been truthful and who has not. And, in the midst of all this, it seems curious to note that the ones who have been the most harsh in their judgment of others have been the contactees themselves. They have each one, blamed us for being `narrow-minded fools, and victims of our own ignorance, unable to see ´truth.´
“It is true that many of our people have turned
away. It is sadly true that many of
them, feeling that their trust and confidence have been violated, and unable to
determine honesty from fantasy.... or worse, have chosen to believe none of it
at all. I invite the contactee to do
what he or she has been asking everyone else to do: Look at the overall picture with an open mind
and put yourself in the place of the sincere seeker, the on-looker. What would your reaction be?
“It is possible that in many instances a contacted individual takes an experience and elaborates upon it, using the rationale, `I know it is true, and the important thing is to spread the truth, even if it takes a little fudging to get across.` If this is the case, and I strongly suspect that it has, then many of our people have been the victims of over-inflated egos; and this is a tragic pity, the effects of which we are reaping now. No one should reserve the right to offer opinion as fact under the guise of sanctified collaboration with beings from other worlds. It can only lead to misinterpretation, confusion and a hindrance to overall progress. But beyond that, and infinitely more significant, it is offering untruths as truths. It is lying. And it is wrong by any criteria.”
On the Road Again
Dr. Frank E. Stranges was back on the road again following the
production of his television series, Phenomena 7.7. In the first four months of 1969, the reverend
made appearances at several evangelical churches in Missouri and one Catholic
church in that same state to discuss the subject of “UFOs and the Bible.” For the following month, Dr. Frank was
scheduled to speak in New York, New Jersey, Toronto, Canada; the University of
San Juan, Puerto Rico; and twice in Missouri at Kansas City and St. Louis. Due to such effective evangelism, Dr. Frank
was able to report to his Advisory Board that, “Our membership is steadily
growing as more people become aware of the scope of influence and activity of
this Board, which has always supported me in efforts. In time, we will present a membership roster
and international directory of our members.
State and area meetings are also being encouraged in order to fully
acquaint your respective communities with the aims of NICUFO.”
(Editor´s note: Stay tuned to this website for Part XXXVI of this series, where you can discover Dr. Frank E. Stranges´ harsh reaction to the Condon Report, which he considered to be the “Super Snow Job” of all time. - Lon)
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