On 20 November 1952 the owner of a hamburger restaurant at Paloma came staggering out of the Californian desert to tell the world that he had not only seen a UFO and its occupants, but had spoken to them as well. The man’s name was George Adamski and his claims would revolutionise the study of UFOs.
Before that fateful day in 1952, Adamski had led what might be politely called a colourful life. He had been born in Poland in 1891, emigrating to the USA with his family at the age of two. In 1913 he joined the US Army, riding with a cavalry unit that patrolled the Mexican border during the volatile years of the Mexican Revolution and subsequent civil wars.
By the later 1920s, Adamski was living in Laguna Beach, California, where he founded a mystical religious sect that he called the Royal Order of Tibet. Adamski announced that a vital part of the religious ceremonies of his new sect involved imbibing small amounts of alcohol. On the strength of this he was granted a licence allowing him to produce wine, even though Prohibition was in force at the time. A fair amount of the “sacred wine” found its way on to the black market and Adamski earned a good living.
When Prohibition ended, Adamski and his followers began to take their religion more seriously. They recruited a number of followers impressed by the spiritual aspect of the sect. One of the new recruits was persuaded to buy a farm near Palomar Mountain, while others donated cash to the movement. At Palomar, Adamski set up a restaurant and he was running this establishment at the time of his interplanetary encounter.
According to Adamski, he had seen several UFOs in the Palomar region from 1943 onward. In 1950 he took a grainy photo of what he claimed was a UFO. The photo and an article Adamski had written were published in the Fate magazine. Adamski made contact with other early UFO researchers, sharing information and ideas. Among the ideas that Adamski put forward was that the UFOs favoured certain places and regions for navigational purposes, which was why they were seen over these places more often than others.
In 1952 he began visiting the places that he had identified as likely to be visited by a UFO. Friends asked if they could come along, and Adamski was happy to take them with him. On one such trip to Desert City, California, Adamski was accompanied by two couples, Mrs and Mrs Al Bailey and Mrs and Mrs George Williamson.
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