Exactly when contactees came onto the scene of UFOlogy is arguable, since there have always been people claiming to have been in contact with beings from other worlds in one way or another, but it wasn’t until shortly after the term flying saucer reached its most modern incarnation that claimants have reported being taken aboard the craft. What can the earliest of these alien ambassadors tell us of the phenomenon?
Guy Ballard was one of the first early alien contactees of the 20th century, having made his claim years before even Kenneth Arnold’s sighting of saucer shaped objects he thought to be experimental craft skipping over the mountains like stones skipping over water. Ballard claimed that he and several other tourists spelunking beneath Mount Shasta had been contacted by a dozen Venusians with holographic equipment that showed images of his home world. The Venusians were basically human and spoke of Earth in ways others would call the “Space Brother” speech. This was a theme that would follow alien contactees up until today. These early reports did not traditionally involve many of the technological elements such as flying spacecraft and genetic engineering. Instead, the first contactees were simply people who had come from the planet and wished to share tales of their planets along with a warning that Earth may be in danger.
After Kenneth Arnold’s sighting, UFO conventions began springing up. Often conventions would be held annually or with little advanced notice in the back yards or fields around contactees’ homes. Here, UFO witnesses and those interested in the subject would appear and ask the contactees questions about their experiences and what the aliens were like. At this time most contact was made with the beings UFOlogists and enthusiasts call the “Nordics.” These Nordics are largely human in appearance, though sometimes they bear exaggerated eyes and smaller noses. They speak in soft voices, often telling of humanity’s need to overcome this unsure time after discovery of the atomic bomb. After the Nordic’s arrival a contactee generally claims contact several times over the following years.
A curious note was the fact that these aliens visiting always seemed to speak English, even if they had just come to Earth for the first time suggesting they had discovered some means of translating human speech and learning the language either through extensive previous contact with the human race or their superior technology.
By comparison another more recent contactee, author of Communion Whitley Strieber, claims the aliens that have contacted him are far different in many ways. Strieber’s version of events take into account the other side of the UFO phenomenon including alien visitations by beings that may or may not always have our best interests at heart. Strieber’s world of UFO contact is wrought with far more danger and potential for intrigue than the older contactee worlds were.
What can we learn from the contactee movement? Such encounters are similar to one another in several key aspects. All seem to agree there is something wrong with the planet and that the human race needs to be careful with its atomic power and weapons. And all leave more questions at the end of the day than answers.