June 14, 1991
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The following book review was taken from FSR Vol 26 #4 (1980) and
the response by the author of the book “GENESIS” is taken from FSR
Vol 27 # 1. I believe that the “novel” Genesis is a must read item
for anyone interested in the field of ufology. I personally fail to
understand why the normally respectable Ms. Randles “beats up” on
what is clearly labelled as a novel.
REVIEW OF A NEW NOVEL THAT CONJURES UP A
NIGHTMARISH PICTURE OF UFOLOGY
Normally, Flying Saucer Review would not concern itself with
books of the fictional kind, for that is what Genesis, a new
Corgi paperback by W. A. Harbinson (published October 1950, 612
pages) turns out to be. The theme, however, is UFO’S, so
it merited a mention.
For me it proved to be a horrifying book. Not only horrifying
because its content is a kind of souped-up horror story conceived
around the UFO mystery, but also because of the dreadful image it
conjures up both of the subject and the people involved in it.
Again there must be UFO enthusiasts who, weaned on the cover-up
idea that so obsesses the author, will find sinister undertones
in what Corgi Books label ” ” . . .the epic novel of the world’s
most fearsome secret”.
Novels based on ufology are rare: the theme of the very
reasonable Miracle Visitors by Ian Watson (Panther Books) was
written around the Vallee/Jung school of thinking.
This new offering, however, seems to be culled from the hard-line
ufology of Kehoe, Stringfield and Co. There was scope for a
literary exploration of the cover-up mythology. Genesis tries
to do that, but its idea isn’t entirely original, for our own
Gordon Creighton touched on it – albeit in a light-hearted manner
– in his article ” “Those cunning British: the truth at last. , ,
The complex plot introduces elements from all over the world,
but is centered on Britain – an abduction in Cornwall and
regression hypnosis by a London doctor – and the plot revolves
around the activities of two full-time American ufologists-cum-
scientists, whose role is never quite explained. Apparently
they do not work for the government, yet they stroll in and out
of military bases with a freedom that is ridiculous to say the
least. Nor is it explained who pays these redoubtable workers
during the course of the action between 1974 and 1975.
One of them is an older man with an incurable disease the
other is a Whizz-kid who either spends a globe trotting life
following up UFO incidents, or wallows in strong drink in drugs.
This younger one is hell-bent on breaking the great cover-up
mystery before his buddy dies, and one is forced to assume that
his methodology is standard both for him and other assoeiates of
his: in one scene he heats the truth out of one participant who,
soon afterwards, dies of. a heart attack. Other methods
involve getting his witnesses drunk, in drugged, and then
hurling four letter words at them he even resorts to rape to
elicit the truth from one unfortunate.
In parts of the text Mr. Harbinson actually intermingles
real events and characters with fictional ones even the late Ed
Ruppelt of Project Blue Book fame, and poor James E. McDonaId
who, unhappily, can no longer speak up for themselves. Other
characters are paraded who seem to parallel living
investigators, and FSR also gets a mention, but fortunately only
in the authors notes, where it is recommended as ” “mandatory
reading, , – but with a ” “selective eye”.
Basically the author presents a theory (based on obscure
documents said to have been discovered in West Germany)
that everything which we link with UFOS – 19th Century
airships, the Tunguska explosion, Foo Fighters, ghost
rockets and the Bermuda Triangle – are the work of. a mad
genius, at one time associated with the Nazis, who has
discovered – and applied – secrets of longevity, and when has
found a hide-out in Antarctica. Naturally this person is bent
on world domination, but I’ll leave the rest of. the story for
anyone who may wish to read it.
For myself., all I can do is shudder at the false picture of
UFO investigators and researchers that will be created by this
monster novel. The horrifying aspect is that many may read it
who could well have their own UFO experience at a later
date, and keep their peace when they recall the behavior of the
fictional investigators. My only hope is that many readers will
not be taken in by the fanciful and artificial nature of the
book, which as far as the painstaking researchers and careful
documenters of ufology are concerned, belongs to the murky
waters at the bottom of another barrel.
GENESIS: Miss Randles please note
Sir. – Any book published is going to receive both positive and
negative reviews, and while all authors worth their salt should
enjoy the former and keep quiet about the latter, no author
should take lying down the sort of distortions purveyed by
Jenny Randles in her review of my novel Genesis in the November
issue of FSR. The following corrections are therefore to be
It is suggested that the author never explains who his two
leading characters are working for. In fact, in the very first
chapter (page 16), it is made clear that they are working
for a civilian organization called the Aerial Phenomena
Investigations Institute. based in Washington, D.C. The work
of that institute, obviously based on NICAP, is discussed by
both characters in the same chapter. I apologize for not
discusing their income (another complaint by Jenny), but I
can’t imagine many readers being interested.
lt is also claimed that my two scientists, who do
not work for the government, stroll in and out of
military bases with a freedom that is ridiculous no say the
least.,, To say the least. my scientists pay calls on only two
such establishments throughout the course of the novel: one
to Winslow Air Base, Arizona, and the other to NASA.
Regarding the former, Winslow is not a secret
establishment and it would be perfectly easy for a journalist
or scientist to obtain the sort of pass used by my character:
regarding the latter. Rather than have my characters “”stroll
in and out . . . with a freedom that is ridiculous,,.
I clearly show them being refused entry to NASA.
Jenny describes the younger of my two scientists as someone
who ,”wallows in strong drink or drugs.,, In fact, that
particular character, Stanford, has two major confrontations in
the book – one with an alcoholic and one with a drug addict –
but during neither scene does Stanford either “”wallow,, in
drink or take drugs; and nowhere in the 612 pages of Genesis is
it even remotely suggested that he has ever indulged in such
According to Jenny, the reader is ” ” forced to assume. ,
that young Stanford’s admittedly violent methods of
interrogation (on only two occasions. I might add) is
“”standard for both him and other associates of his.,, In fact,
Stanford’s only other associate is clearly shown to be a kind
and gentle old man who treats everyone with unfailing
decency. As for Stanford, contrary to the monster suggested
by the unduly sensitive Ms Randles, he is drawn as an obviously
intelligent, amiable but uncommitted young man whose two
outbursts of violence in the latter half of the book arc
borne of increasing frustration, fear and desperation – a not
abnormal reaction under the circumstances described in the
Jenny suggests that one of the characters died of a heart
attack because of a beating received by Stanford. This is
simply not true. The character in question is actually
murdered by someone else.
Jenny claims that Stanford “”resorts to rape to elicit the
truth from one unfortunate. ,, This, also, is untrue. The
girl is obviously willing and Stanford uses no force; it’s a
mutual seduction by two people who hardly know what they’re
Finally, Jenny seems particularly offended than I should
recommend FSR as “mandatory reading” but with a “selective
eye” ., To that l can only reply that no higher praise than
“”mandatory reading” can be applied to any publication; and
that judging by your own admirably democratic and therefore
argumentative letter columns, a ,”selective eye”, is
frequently utilized by your most faithful readers.
Any reviewer is entitled to dislike a book; no reviewer
should be allowed to distort the contents of that book.
Otherwise. l thank you for the review – and I shall, of
course, continue to read FSR.
Yours in hopes of democratic treatment.
W. A. Harbinson,
44 Rosebery Road,
London N10 2LJ
March 31 , 1951
PS: The novel doesn’t conjure up a nightmarish picture of
Ufology it conjures up a nightmarish picture of the
possible abuse of current technology: the Ufologists are not
accused; the scientists are . . . So!
We highly recommend the book Genesis. It contains much detail
on many of the secret weapons which the Germans were alleged to
have been working on toward the end of WWII.
Peter Kelly first told us of the book which was reprinted in
the 80’s. Copies of the book are very difficult to find
although some of our contacts did locate several editions.
We recently acquired a copy of Intercept UFO by Renato Vesco
on which the Genesis book is heavily based. This book gives
even more detail on the German devices. These range from
cannon powered by electromagnetic fields (developed in 1943) to
cannon powered by vortex rings of highly compressed air. Not
to mention the suction aircraft technology as developed by
Victor Schauberger, Henri Coanda and other German scientists.
Interestingly enough, we stumbled on an article on the Coanda
Effect in an old Popular Mechanics which will also be listed on
To date, there is STILL NO CONCLUSIVE PROOF just what UFO’s
are, how they actually fly, who or what pilots them and what
country or planet they are from. Not to mention what do they
want or what purpose they serve.
Harbinson offers a fascinating scenario based on documents and
extrapolation from many sources. The Airship mystery of 1890
is one which we find of particular interest since it was at
that time that Keely demonstrated his flying machine to the US
ARMY. The machine disappeared at about the same time as the
many mysterious sightings across the United States in the
1890’s. Files to this effect are included on KeelyNet as
AIRSHIP1 through 3….