UFOs in popular culture
Beginning in the 1950s, UFOO-related spiritual sects, something referred to as contactee cults, began to appear. Most often the members of these sects rallied around a central individual, who claimed to either have made personal contact with space- beings, or claimed to be in telepathic contact with them. Prominent among such individuals was George Adamski, who claimed to have met a tell, blond- haired Venusian named “orthon,” who came to warm us about the dangers of nuclear proliferation. Adamski was widely dismissed, but an Adamski foundation still exits, publishing and selling Adamski’s writing. At least two of these sects developed a substantial number of adherents, most notably the Aetherius society, founded by British mystic George King in 1956 and the Unarius Foundation, established by “Ernest L.” and Ruth Norman in 1954. A standard theme of the alleged message from outer- space begins to these cults was warning about the dangers of nuclear proliferation. More recent groups organized around an extraterrestrial theme include Ummo, heaven’s Gate, Real, and the Ashtar Command. Many of the earth YFO sects as well as later ones, share a tendency to incorporate ideas from both Christianity and various eastern religions, “hybridizing” these with ideas pertaining to extraterrestrials and their benevolent concern with the people of Earth.
The notion of contactee cults gained a new twist during the 1980s, primarily in the USA, with the publication of books by Whitley Strieber and Jacques value. Strieber, a horror writer, felt that aliens were harassing him and were responsible for “missing time” during which he was subjected to strange experiments by “Grey aliens”. This newer, darker model can be seen in the subsequent wave of “alien abduction” literature, and in the background mythos of the X Files and many other TV series.
However, even in the alien abduction literature, motives of the aliens run the gamut from hostile to benevolent. For example, researcher David Jacobs believes we are undergoing a from of invasion through genetic assimilation. The theme of genetic manipulation is also strongly reflected in the writings of Budd Hopkins. The late Harvard psychiatrist John Mack believed that the aliens’ ethical bearing was to take a role as “tough love” gurus trying to impart wisdom. James harder says abductees predominantly report positive interaction with aliens most of whom have benevolent intention and express concern human survival.
An interesting 1970s –era development was a renewal and broadening of ideas associating UFOs with supernatural or preternatural subjects such as occultism, crypto zoology, and parapsychology. Some 1950s contactee cultist had incorporated various religious and occult ideas into their belies about UFOs, but in the 1970s this was repeated on a considerably larger scale. Many participants in the NEW Age movement came to believe in aliens contact, both through mediumistic channeling and through literal, physical especially in her book and miniseries, out on a limb. The 1970s saw the publication of many new age books in which ideas about UFOs and extraterrestrials figured prominently.