Arthur Bryant of Scoriton, Devon, England, claimed in 1965 that he had made contact with extraterrestrials from the planet Venus. Although the Scoriton UFO incident is rather well-known, we shall briefly remember some of the details because they provide crucial context for this piece.
The late George Adamski, the co-author of the 1953 book Flying Saucers Have Landed, is widely regarded as one of the founding fathers of Ufology. However, opinion on him varies drastically within the UFO community. Adamski was the first person to assert that he had established contact with an extraterrestrial.
Adamski was born to Polish parents who immigrated to the United States in the 1890s. He was an amateur astronomer who lived on the slopes of Mount Palomar, which was home to the world’s largest telescope at the time, and from which he did a fair amount of stargazing himself using an instrument.
On 20 November 1952, Adamski and a group of friends were having a picnic when a big cigar-shaped object, definitely a spaceship, emerged over the mountain range. To Adamski, the ship’s appearance meant only one thing: that whoever was aboard desired to make his acquaintance.
As a result, he asked two of his companions to drive him along the highway to a location where he could set up his telescope and camera, which he had brought along intuitively for such an encounter. When the equipment was complete, he escorted his two colleagues away, instructing them to rejoin the rest of the company and keep a close eye from afar.
A few seconds later, Adamski reported, he spotted a light in the sky, and almost immediately, a small scout craft apparently dispatched from the larger aero-form glided down between two mountain peaks and settled behind a mile-high hilltop.
Adamski had captured photos of it in the meanwhile. He then became aware of a man standing approximately a quarter of a mile away at the entrance to a ravine, after pocketing the negatives. As Adamski approached the man, he noticed he was dressed in what seemed to be a ski suit and had long sandy hair that reached to his shoulders.
The newcomer appeared to be a lovely sort of fellow, and Adamski quickly felt quite comfortable with him, even as the realization dawned on him that he was in the company of a person from another universe.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the visitor did not speak English, yet despite this, he was incredibly adept at communicating. Indeed, he and Adamski conversed for about an hour, primarily through signals and telepathy.
Adamski was able to understand, for example, that the spaceman was from the planet Venus and that his attitude toward earthmen, indeed the attitude of all Venusians, was entirely benevolent, but some anxiety was expressed about our technological advancement, particularly in atomic energy.
The Spaceman brought Adamski to the hilltop behind, where the saucer he arrived in was hidden, and nothing unusual occurred other than Adamski accidentally stepping too close to the machine’s metal rim and receiving a mild electric shock. Despite his apparent wish to be nice, the spaceman refused to accept the earthman’s request for a ride in the saucer. He soundlessly buzzed off now, reentering the spaceship with a delicate step.
Adamski’s buddies, who had maintained watch attentively, admitted later that they had seen him conversing with someone dressed in brownish clothing. Additionally, they claimed to have seen two sets of footprints, one of which was clearly their friend’s and the other of which was a smaller set that did not appear to extend beyond the region where he claimed the saucer landed.
A few weeks later, in December, Adamski claimed that the saucer reappeared and hovered within a hundred feet of where he was standing in Palomar Gardens. A hand was thrown out of one of the portholes, and a film negative holder was dropped (which the spaceman had “stolen” on the initial visit).
It was on this occasion that Adamski obtained some of the close-up saucer photographs, the veracity of which has been disputed since; however, when the returned negative was developed, it was discovered to contain what appeared to be a hieroglyphic message that no one has yet deciphered – if indeed it was a message.
Flying Saucers Have Landed’s spectacular character ensured that it would be a best-seller. Adamski became a hero and a villain, a maniac and a saint all at the same time. Nobody could verify whether the author was hallucinating, purposefully lying, or simply stating the truth.
By and large, his companions’ testimony was inconclusive.
While they testified to seeing the cigar-shaped object, the distant man, and the footprints, they did not appear sure that it all tallied up to the advent of a Venus visitor. They were, after all, quite a distance away.
In 1964, Robert Chapman, a UFO investigator, and author arranged for an interview with George Adamski in a small hotel where he was staying, using part of the time he had available before to give a lecture. Chapman later admitted that his primary goal was to convince Adamski that the Venusian alien encounter he claimed to have had was a fabrication.
“I did not know enough about him to have formed any clear impression of the sort of man I was going to meet but, if anything, I expected an individual of obvious wealth (he must have made a packet!) and of rather hectoring, go-to-blazes manner. One would have to be, surely, to have withstood all the publicity, criticism, and abuse that had been hurled at George Adamski. In the event, I found a modest, soft-spoken man with a gentle, patient face, who answered every question fully and politely, without the slightest attempt at evasion or the slightest show of hostility, and who was evidently prepared to go on answering as long as I cared to put questions. Nor, as far as I could see, was this due to his having become accustomed to cross-examination although he must have had more of it than almost any man alive.”Robert Chapman
“I could not now quote any of the questions I put to him, but they were all aimed at getting him to repeat to me personally what he had written in his account of the Palomar experience in the hope that some embarrassing discrepancy would reveal itself. Adamski, a lean, weather-beaten man with thick, iron-grey hair, responded easily and without hesitation in support of his remarkable claim. It had happened and that was that. If anyone believed him he was glad; if they did not it was too bad but what could he do about it? Long before I left him I knew I was beaten as far as tripping him into any incautious admission was concerned. Adamski was damnably normal and this, I think, was the overall impression of him that I carried away. He believed he had made contact with a man from Venus and he did not really see why anyone should disbelieve him. I told myself if he were deluded he was the most lucid and intelligent deluded man I had ever met.”Robert Chapman
While the United Kingdom is frequently neglected when UFO sightings and extraterrestrial encounters are discussed, the United Kingdom is home to many more recorded sightings and occurrences than the general public is aware of.
Arthur Bryant, who worked as a ground man at an elderly peoples’ home in Newton Abbot, Devon, was one such man with a story to tell. Bryant’s assertion was no more incredible than Adamski’s in substance, but there were other variables that made it considerably more difficult to take.
Indeed, to someone unfamiliar with the man, the case must have appeared to be a pile of bogus nonsense involving, it appeared, the notion that Adamski had risen from the dead and that “evidence” existed that Captain Mantell’s aircraft had collided fatally with a UFO.
Fortunately, the case was documented by rather conscientious investigators who were initially doubtful. Their findings are detailed in an admirably thorough study by Eileen Buckle.
Miss Buckle, who interviewed Bryant on numerous occasions, characterized him as an ordinary family guy who lived in the village of Scoriton with his wife and three children. Bryant, a former seaman and wartime commando, had served in Gibraltar as a security officer and then trained as a jail officer.
He was fifty-one years old at the time of the investigation, with a deeply lined, outdoors-type face, a pleasant, friendly demeanor, and a decent sense of humor. Indeed, Miss Buckle noted a striking likeness to Adamski himself.
Bryant claimed that on 24 April 1965 (the day after Adamski’s death), a large saucer-like object appeared to him hovering about three feet above the ground over a field near his home and that a door in the saucer opened to reveal three figures dressed in what appeared to be diving suits and helmets, who spoke to him and even allowed him to inspect their vehicle.
Bryant confessed he was taken aback, though he resisted the impulse to flee. After a few moments of observation, he stated, one of the three beckoned him with both arms outstretched, at which point he forgot his initial anxiety and began climbing over the iron gate in the fence separating the field from the lane down which he had been strolling in the evening.
“As I approached, they began taking each other’s helmets off and I stared at them in astonishment. Two of them had extremely high foreheads which came to a point. Their features were thin and sallow and there was no facial hair. Eyebrows and eyelashes were fair and fine and their hair, which was longer than ours, was between a blond and mousy colour. The nose was squat and the eyes very blue in colour with a vertical cat-like pupil. Then I realized that they each had only four fingers to each hand, tapering, of equal length, and more widely spread out than ours. There were no thumbs.”Arthur Bryant
“When I first saw them their breathing was laboured, but after some minutes this seemed to wear off. The third person had a normal appearance – there was nothing to distinguish him from you or I. He had short brown hair, very dark brown eyes, and appeared to be a youth of between fourteen and fifteen years of age.”Arthur Bryant
“The Three wore suits of a silvery colour which made a sound like tinfoil as they moved. The young one’s suit struck me at the time as being a size too large, and the belt hung loose. The boots were similar to ours in design, having two straps, one at the toe and one at the ankle; the soles were very thick, I should guess about one and a half inches. When they moved no sound whatever came from the boots.”Arthur Bryant
Bryant stated that the youth appeared to be the trio’s leader. He identified himself as “Yamski,” speaking English with an American twang, despite the fact that the name gave Bryant the impression that he was Russian. If not “Yamski,” it was something like. When queried about the trio’s origins, he responded, “We are from Venus.” He then turned to the others and continued, seemingly in response to Bryant’s blank expression, “If only Des (or Les) were here, he would understand.”
This section of the dialogue piqued the interest of the UFO investigators while also sounding a chilling warning that Bryant, deliberately or unknowingly, could be complicit in an elaborate fraud. The name “Yamski” was far too similar to “Adamski” for the coincidence to go unnoticed, and the Des-Les bit appeared to be a dead giveaway that it was a reference to Desmond Leslie, co-author of Flying Saucers Have Landed.
However, queries posed to ascertain if Bryant had read the book or had any knowledge of Adamski or Leslie came up empty. No publications on the subject of UFOs were discovered at his cottage, and he stated that his interest in flying saucers had been negligible prior to the purported meeting with the Venusians. Instead, the investigators had the impression that Bryant was utterly ignorant that this segment of his interview with the saucer guys contained anything extraordinary; indeed, it had appeared fairly useless.
As a mechanically-inclined individual, he was keen to peer inside the spaceship and ascertain how it was driven. He stated that his interest was immediately recognized by the crew, who assisted him in stepping into it and led him on a brief guided tour of the interior, which he learned was divided into three roughly triangular sections.
There was no furniture in any part save for a sort of couch and a sort of TV screen with colored lights that moved rhythmically from bottom to top. Subdued lighting was provided by a triangular “globe” at the ceiling’s highest point. The craft’s sole outfit was stretched across one of the couches: a purple robe that resembled a dressing gown but included a rose stitched on one sleeve.
Bryant had questioned Yamski’s ability to fly the machine because he could not see the engine control or feel the vibration of a running motor. Yamski had emphatically responded, “Ideo-motor movement,” which meant nothing to his interrogator. Then the spacemen added something else that the countryman could not comprehend.
“Watch for the blue light in the evenings, in a month’s time we will bring you proof of Mantell”Yamski said
Bryant last saw the trio after leaping from the spacecraft and moving approximately ten yards away. They had re-done their helmets and stood at the doorway waving goodbye. A split second later, the door closed, the saucer ascended to a height of ten or twelve feet and vanished.
However, this was not the conclusion of the narrative.
According to Bryant, the Venusians maintained their promise to return in a month with “evidence of Mantell.” Bryant became aware of a faint buzzing noise at 10:30 p.m. on 7 June. He exited the cottage to investigate and instantly observed: “a blue light” emanating from a flamboyant UFO arriving from the southwest. As the object went over the cottage, he described the sound as “similar to the slamming of a castle door with a long corridor behind.”
He was wheeling his motorcycle from the cottage to the lane the following morning, having awoken at his normal hour of 5.30 a.m., when he noticed on the ground a piece of metal with an odd design (something like a bracket with a bolt running through it) that appeared to shine in the half-light. Several additional bits of metal were nearby.
Bryant gathered them together and placed them in his haversack. He returned to the location later and discovered a glass vial containing silver sand and a piece of parchment with two words written on it in an unknown language.
He did not speak about his experiences until after this event, and the first person he told was his wife, who, he allegedly, did not believe him. However, his two younger children overheard the exchange and relayed the story to their classmates. As a result, the tale quickly spread across the town, and Bryant found himself fielding questions from neighbors and the local police, who had evidently picked up on the rumor that a Russian spaceship had landed in Bryant’s back garden.
To rectify the situation and avoid further embarrassment, he wrote to a local newspaper, referring solely to the second sighting. The second sighting, he reasoned, was sufficiently heinous. However, the full tale came out when he revealed, when filling out a form for the British Unidentified Flying Object Research Association (BUFORA), that the blue light sighting was not the only one.
Of course, the glass vial and metal fragments were prime exhibits for the UFO investigators, who wasted no time in attempting to have them recognized by experts, although this proved to be a more difficult task than anticipated. The parchment itself was not too difficult to work with – at least initially. It was inscribed with the Greek phrase “Adelphos Adelpho,” which translates as “Brother to Brother.”
Possibly intended to establish a connection between Adamski and Bryant, both of whom were of Romany ancestry and both of whom were obviously sought out for a Venusian visit. What else could this possibly mean? How else might it have gotten into the field where Bryant discovered it if not for the saucer dropping it?
Concerning the metal fragments, particularly the screwy-looking one, enthusiasm grew when it was identified as a component of an aircraft bombsight; however, it could not be definitively confirmed as having originated from any particular aircraft. And, to the best of our knowledge, nothing was missing from Mantell’s plane wreckage that could not be fairly accounted for.
Unfortunately, Arthur Bryant died of a brain tumor before any more research could be conducted. The above explanation of the Scoriton riddle is necessarily brief, but we have attempted to present the key points objectively.
Bryant’s account w.r.t Scoriton UFO incident is particularly intriguing in the context of UFO inquiry because it demonstrates the rigor with which UFO investigators investigate phenomena and the strange, if not bizarre, crosscurrents that plague so many cases.
In Miss Buckle’s account of the Scoriton UFO incident, for example, it appears that considerable time was wasted on incomprehensible messages, referred to as “insertions” that appeared in the middle of tape recordings, and also on interviews with an anonymous “scientist” about the metal pieces, who, while initially appearing to be rational, turned out to be quite insane.
Indeed, it is simple to dismiss the entire Scoriton saga as nonsense. However, in our opinion, this is neither a satisfactory nor a scientific solution. One cannot assert that there was no activity at Scoriton. Whatever the reason, something occurred.
A seemingly regular British countryman and family man, respected by his friends and neighbors, came forward to claim that he had seen and spoken with the passengers of a flying machine from another world.
Why would he do such a thing? Three possibilities appear to exist. He could have been a liar who was hell-bent on gaining celebrity at whatever cost. He could have been afflicted by some colossal delusion. Alternatively, he could have been a victim or perpetrator of a sophisticated hoax.
Certainly, it does not appear as though he was telling the truth. Miss Buckle summarizes him as follows: “One couldn’t help but sense that, whatever his flaws, he was fundamentally a decent man. He also gave the appearance of being as sombre as anyone you’re likely to meet, not the type to crack a joke…” Additionally, Bryant appears to have recognized the risk of being perceived by his friends and family as a bit crazy – the sort of reputation that nobody wants.
Was Bryant then delusory? While this appears to be the most likely scenario, much the same arguments can be made against the concept that he was a liar. None of his friends appear to have had any reason to accuse him of mental illness; they described him as absolutely normal. Apart from that, the UFO investigators would probably definitely have noticed if he exhibited any unusual behavior.
They are accustomed to dealing with “abnormal balls” and would almost certainly have been exchanging meaningful stares behind his back sooner or later. There are far too many small ways for someone with a fixation, however rational he may appear on the surface, to give himself away. Occasionally, he is excessively adamant about his own honesty, and he is almost always repeating.
Bryant, on the other hand, looked to be merely chatty, willing to answer inquiries but never over-emphasizing his responses. The fact that he died abruptly of a brain tumor must be considered in retrospect. However, a significant number of persons die of brain tumors without ever claiming to have seen flying saucers or any other type of apparition.
Against the hallucination theory, one must also consider the fact that he did generate some “proof” in the shape of the metal bits and vial – assuming they were not just accidental. Perhaps he obtained the metal fragments and submitted them as clues, but the vial containing the parchment carrying the words “Adelphos Adelpho” does not seem to be the type of thing that would occur to a man with his comparatively low level of education.
The third hypothesis, that the man was a victim of an elaborate hoax, probably has the most appeal to the tenacious rationalist. However, a moment’s reflection reveals that the arguments against this notion are equally compelling.
If the Scoriton affair was a fake, Bryant must have been a conspirator rather than a victim, although, as previously noted, he was not the kind to pull such stunts. Otherwise, the fake theory falls flat due to the exceptional circumstances surrounding its establishment.
It seems implausible that any individual or group of individuals could have “staged” the Scoriton UFO incident, created a “ship” and three “Venusians” convincing enough to attract a man like Bryant, and then arranged for the entire setup to “disappear.”
Of course, the potential exists that the UFO sighting was implanted in his mind via hypnosis, but there is no evidence that he ever dealt with anyone who could or would wish to hypnotize him.
Indeed, all that remains is the thought that Bryant was telling the truth about an event that occurred to him, as unbelievable and far-fetched it may appear.
Whether you believe George Adamski’s or Arthur Bryant’s claims concerning the Scoriton UFO incident, let us know in the comment section.
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