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George Adamski, Controversial UFO Photographer

George Adamski

George Adamski (1891-1965) was a Polish-American author and lecturer, known primarily for his claims about his personal encounters with extraterrestrial beings. Adamski is a central figure in the history of UFOlogy, particularly in the “contactee” movement, where individuals claim to have direct, usually friendly, encounters with beings from other planets. His controversial assertions and the subsequent debate they incited have played a significant role in shaping the discourse around extraterrestrial life.

Early Life and Career

Born in Poland, Adamski moved to the United States with his parents when he was two years old. As an adult, he held a variety of jobs and was involved in several spiritual and metaphysical groups, even founding a sect called the Royal Order of Tibet. In 1940, he moved to California and established a small observatory near Mount Palomar.

Adamski and UFOs

Adamski’s involvement with UFOs began in the late 1940s when he claimed to have seen a large cigar-shaped spaceship. His first major claim to fame came in 1952 when he asserted that he had met and conversed with a visitor from Venus in the California desert. He described the visitor as looking like a human, and he named him Orthon.

George Adamski's "chicken brooder" photograph, December 13, 1952
George Adamski’s “chicken brooder” photograph, December 13, 1952

Adamski claimed that he had several more encounters with extraterrestrials and even said he had been taken aboard their spaceships and visited other planets. His descriptions of his encounters and the wisdom imparted to him by these extraterrestrial beings were detailed in his books, including “Flying Saucers Have Landed” (1953) and “Inside the Space Ships” (1955).

Criticism and Controversy

While Adamski had many supporters who believed his claims, he also attracted significant criticism and skepticism. Critics pointed out inconsistencies in his stories and suggested that his photos of flying saucers were likely fakes, possibly modified versions of common objects. Despite these criticisms, Adamski maintained his claims until his death in 1965.


Regardless of the controversy surrounding his claims, there is no denying Adamski’s influence on UFOlogy and the contactee movement. His stories sparked public interest in extraterrestrial life and have had a lasting impact on popular culture. His books, despite their disputed authenticity, continue to be read and discussed in the field of UFOlogy and by those interested in the potential for extraterrestrial life.

Adamski’s legacy can also be seen in the ongoing debate about the validity of personal accounts in UFOlogy. His controversial assertions highlight the challenges faced in this field, where the lack of verifiable physical evidence often leads to a reliance on eyewitness testimony.

George Adamski remains one of the most intriguing and controversial figures in the history of UFOlogy. His claims of extraterrestrial contact sparked a movement and continue to provoke discussion and debate. Whether one views him as a visionary contactee or a clever fabricator, his influence on our perceptions of extraterrestrial encounters is undeniable. Through his life and work, Adamski challenged us to question the nature of our universe and our place within it.

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