An extract from the book ABOARD A FLYING SAUCER (1954)
by Truman Bethurum
Mormon Mesa, Nevada - USA
Date: July 27 1952
Truman Bethurum, age 55, had finished his work and decided to visit a nearby hilltop because he heard the ocean once covered it and left deposits of seashells. When he parked his car he used a flashlight to hunt for seashells. He had no success during an hour or so of searching, so he returned to the truck and slept awhile. Suddenly a “mumbling around the truck” awakened him. The mumbling was unintelligible. Bethurum looked out the window and saw “eight to 10 small men, all about 4 feet 8 inches to 5 feet high.” They were not dwarfs but fully developed men, said Bethurum. The strange men made no effort to molest him. Bethurum said he was afraid to attempt a getaway. He was still in the truck cab. One man spoke to him in a foreign tongue. Bethurum shook his head, indicating he could not understand. Then the small man said: “You name it.” It was perfect English, recalled Bethurum, who answered: “My God, you can speak English, too?” “We have no trouble with any language,” replied the man.
Bethurum then climbed out of the truck and stopped, awestricken. He saw a UFO (flying saucer) parked about 75 yards away from his truck. It looked like burnished stainless steel. Bethurum shook hands with all the “friendly” men and asked if their captain was around. The spokesman for the group volunteered to escort Bethurum to the captain, and led him toward the parked space ship. Meanwhile, Bethurum looked around and saw the short men were “Latin types,” that is, with complexions “something like Italians.” All were neatly dressed in uniforms similar to those “worn by Greyhound bus drivers.” All had coal black hair and dark eyes. They had beautiful skin---skin which contained no wrinkles or blemishes.
The spokesman for the group took hold of Bethurum’s right elbow. While holding the arm gently, said Bethurum, the man seemed to “have me in his power completely. He gave the impression of great strength.” Soon the group arrived at the space ship. Bethurum described it as being made of some type of metal. He learned that it measured 300 feet in diameter and was “six yards deep in the center.” A 3-foot metal rim with beveled edges surrounded the saucer-like ship. The rim, said Bethurum, was about 2 feet thick. The ship had no rudder or stacks. They entered the ship through a large wide door that Bethurum estimated was 4 ½ feet wide, and about 10 to 12 feet long. It was located atop the ship close to the metal rim around the edge.
Going inside he met the woman captain, Aura Rhanes. He described her as having a “slender” Latin- type face. She wore a “radiant red skirt, black velvet short sleeved blouse and a black beret with red trim.” He went into her lounge and talked. The woman captain said she was from the planet Clarion, which could not be seen from earth even with “progressive magnification,” which Bethurum interpreted as meaning by telescope. She also said the planet was not known by people on earth by another name---such as Mars. Switching to the first person Bethurum goes on to say:
I couldn't understand anybody being from another planet. I asked about their power. I said, "You must have tremendous generators to power such a craft as this!" And they said, "We have no reciprocation equipment aboard." I understood they used the gravity of the earth to power their craft. I talked with the lady captain about 30 minutes. I never talked to the men any more when I found out they were not from Russia. They told me the name of their planet was CLARION, and that it was not distinguishable from Earth, and our planet was not visible from there.
They told me they have no wars, that they have no strife, and no juvenile delinquency. They said the planet Earth is the only planet that has had strife. They said the planet Earth is the only planet that does not have interplanetary means of travel - the only one, because of strife. I believe the good Lord Himself is preventing us from having interplanetary means of travel, as long as there is strife on the planet Earth. (Why take war into space?)
The captain told me there was absolutely no reason to fear anybody from these UFOs. I was on board their craft, and they certainly never harmed me. They convinced me beyond any doubt whatsoever after the second time I saw them that there would be no harm to anybody on Earth. They have speed beyond belief. They can be within 300 or 400 feet, and anyone who has tried to catch one says they can go with the speed of light. When I came back I had no intention of writing about my seeing a Flying Saucer. I didn't know they would think my notes were of any value to anyone, as they were to myself; but finally I decided, after many people wanted them that, if they were worth so much to someone else, they were worth something to me and I had a writer to write them into a manuscript.
These small space people told me they live in bountiful plenty on their planet, that there is no strife, and that they live to an extreme old age. Their youthful look was something to behold. The lady captain said she had children at home and that she was a grandmother. She said there was no class distinction on their planet - there were no extreme riches or no poverty, that everyone had everything. She said they have a machine similar to television, and they do not need a sending station, but can sit in the luxury of their homes and view anything from the beginning of time. They can read people's minds from a great, long distance, and they know when it is safe to come, and they have to know whether we will accept them as friends before they come and help us.
I certainly do not believe there will be an atomic or a hydrogen war at any time; but if there is an atomic or hydrogen war, it will bring simultaneous action from Clarion and from other planets, and all the bombs will deteriorate in an instant, if warfare is declared. Those people told me they are tired of hearing the noise and continual rumbling down here on Earth. There is life on every planet; there is strife only on Earth. I believe the strife is an element the same as pouring gasoline on a fire, if it were not for strife we would have inter-planetary travel. They say they live in luxury and there is no class distinction. They have a maid in their home, she said, and the maid is thought as much of as she herself. That was the captain of the ship speaking, and she had a hand in their Government. There is a power greater than we are, and they have certainly proved it in many ways.
The Redondo Beach Daily Breeze sent a reporter to my home, and took some facts which they printed September 25, 1953. There was such a great demand for the information the article contained that it was re-printed on October 3rd as the best story of the year in 1953.
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All four years of high school, from the ninth to the twelfth grade, I went to Redondo Union High School, located in Redondo Beach, California, the same town Truman Bethurum lived in. During the same years I attended RUHS Truman Bethurum lived only a few blocks from me.
While in high school, at least for the first two years, I had a job running errands a couple of days a week and sometimes on the weekends for a badly burned, heavily scared, barely able to move ex-merchant marine who knew Bethurum. During World War II the merchant ship he was serving on was forming up into a convoy and was positioned amongst the other ships in the rear corner on the starboard side that he called "coffin corner," said by experienced hands to be the most easy picking location for submarines in a convoy. Even before his ship finished its final positioning and the convoy got underway members of a U-boat wolfpack began striking at the edges of the convoy and my friend's ship torpedoed. In order to save himself he had no choice but to jump overboard, landing in an area with oil burning along the surface of the water, the fire scorching his skin as he plunged through and returned for air. He spent months in recovery and rehabilitation.
In those days both my Merchant Marine Friend and I lived in homes on the 200 block south in Redondo Beach. Bethurum lived just a few short blocks away, with an address somewhere along the 500 block of north Gertruda. He would come by the merchant marine's house on occasion and the two of them would get into heated discussions. Several times when Bethurum was there I was there. The last time I remember seeing him at the merchant marine's house was in February 1954. Bethurum told him that in a couple of days, on Friday evening February 19th, at the Neptunian Womens Club clubhouse in Manhattan Beach (a few miles north of Redondo) he was going to give an hour-long talk begining at 8 p.m. and hoped he could be there. With much struggle and pain, with the help of several of his merchant marine friends, for whatever reason, he made it and I tagged along.
Unknown to me at the time, all the while Bethurum had been coming by to visit my merchant marine friend he was rising up the ranks just to the cusp of being famous --- famous for what was was being called a "contactee." I was told a contactee was a person who had been contacted by aliens from another world. At his talk that night, in so many words, Bethurum said his experience began after his shift working as a maintenance mechanic for the Wells Cargo Construction Company, an asphalt mixing plant in Nevada. Tired, he took a little time to take a snooze at a nearby place called Morman Mesa where he had been hunting for ancient seashells. In the process he encountered a UFO and its occupants including the ships captain, a female named Aura Rhanes. According to what Rhanes told him she came from a planet called Clarion, which was not known to earth-based astronomers because its orbital path kept it permanently hidden from the earth behind the moon. Bethurum claimed his first contact took place on July 7, 1952 (later corrected to Saturday or Sunday of July 26 or 27) and since then to have had several similar encounters and at the time of his presentation continued to look forward to the time when he could travel to Rhanes' home planet Clarion.
I sent a letter to my Uncle outlining Bethurum's story. He wrote back saying to take the guy for what he is worth, but he sounded like a nut case. My uncle said he had three personal experiences with flying objects of an unknown origin, the San Antonio crash (1945), the Roswell crash (1947) and the Kingman UFO (1953), and not once, under any circumstances involving the objects, had he run into any sort of alien life forms, dead or alive --- although he did admit by inference the strong possibility of such, primarily based on the object he found at the Roswell debris field he reluctantly called the The Roswell Ray Gun because it had all appearances of a hand held weapon.
My uncle's advice, possibly tinged with a tiny bit of jealousy, asked what I thought my dad would think if he found out I was listening to Bethurum. After all, he said, my dad had told him (my uncle) when he asked me join him in Kingman that he "was filling my mind with all kinds of 'weird and useless shit' and to and keep his 'cock-and-bull stories' to himself."
My uncle not withstanding, my big plan, even though it didn't deal with contactees in the classical sense as say viewed by Bethrum, was to interject my experience seeing the giant object of unknown origin that overflew Los Angeles during the early days of World War II that has since become known as the UFO Over L.A. or the Battle of Los Angeles the next time I saw him. However, after the night of his lecture I never saw him again. My merchant marine friend died a few months later, ending any adventures or gaining of knowledge I may have had under his auspices.
The interesting part of it all is that 50 or so years after me having met Bethurum allowed me, or at least opened the doors for me to so, meet and talk with another alleged contactee named Judith Anne Woolcott, sometimes also known as Judy Woolcott or Judi Woolcott, that played a very instrumental role in the aforementioned incident of which is covered most thoroughly at the following site: Kingman UFO 1953. If I would have taken my uncle's advice and curtailed my youthful naivete' it is quite possible the meeting and the information regarding Kingman I obtained may not have transpired.
Bethurum died in 1969 after reaching his pinnacle some years before. When his narrative about Clarion being in an orbit kept out of sight by the moon was proven to be scientifically infeasible he said he was mistaken and that the planet was really in the exact orbital path of the earth only directly opposite of the earth on the other side of the sun. When that was discredited he moved the planet to another solar system.
CARLOS CASTANEDA: BEFORE DON JUAN
MY MERCHANT MARINE FRIEND
The flying saucer comic panel this link is referenced from as found in the above main text, was drawn by master artist-cartoonist Wallace Wood. Wallace or Wally Wood as he is known was a one-time major cartoonist for Mad Comics. One of his most famous stories as far as I am concerned is a spoof on Terry and the Pirates called Teddy and the Pirates.
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TERRY AND THE PIRATES
TEDDY AND THE PIRATES
In the above cartoon Woods draws my all time favorite visual presentation of the Dragon Lady he calls the Dragging Lady and drawn not too different than I have always depicted her myself. Relevant here, at least semi-so as far as Truman Bethurum is concerned, is that in 1962 Wood also contributed his creative abilities to a series of baseball-like collectable cards called Mars Attacks. Relating it back to back to me, one of those Mars Attacks cards played heavily in what I have written about the possibility of a Roswell ray gun. See:
THE ROSWELL RAY GUN
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