The old labor song asked Which Side Are You On? For much of UFO history, the answer to this question has been defined through its connections to the right, from its alliances with the Patriot Movement to the current influences of QAnon conspiracies.
Yet from the start there were other beliefs that were important. In particular the contactees offered a vision focused on world peace and a fundamentally different understanding. Frank Stranges wrote about that idealism when he chronicled Valiant Thor. His earlier writing, however, reflected more conservative ideas.
Stranges was first concerned with the spread of communism. (Thanks to The UFO Trail for uncovering this image.) How did a report on communism change into Val’s message of peace?
Some of that answer might lie in the story itself. According to Stranges, Eisenhower reluctantly rejected the Venusians offer to help humanity because the economy and military power were more important. Yet, it was also Ike who later warned against the military industrial complex and stated that every dollar spent on the military meant that one less child would be fed.
If Stranges was right, perhaps Val influenced Eisenhower, although the real question might be whether Val influenced Stranges. Did he change after he began writing about Thor?
The answer to that might be complicated. Stranges wrote that the Venusians had never fallen from sin. Thor’s idealized world was far different than humanity’s struggles against darkness. Perhaps the difference meant that Stranges never had to reconcile how anticommunism fit into Val Thor’s message.
Moreover, Stranges was first a minister and his ideology was based on that. His wife writes that his faith was always central.
For many years, fear of communism dominated much of politics. It was a time when even George Adamski attracted the attention of the FBI because the message of the Space People could have been mistaken for communism. It was not politics that was at issue, however. Those who believed in the utopian messages were looking for an answer outside that framework. Stranges sought to provide that.
Venus Revisited. Travis Questioned. And Añjali – a new contactee – brings back the days of Vivenus and the Space People.
“When I asked him where he was from, he replied, ‘I am from the Planet that is called Venus.’I asked him how many visitors from Venus were presently on Earth and he said, ‘There are presently seventy seven of us walking among you in the United States. We are constantly coming and going.'”
Frank Stranges, Stranger at the Pentagon
We recently posted more information on the Quick Stop At Venus page relating to the USS Eldridge and claims by Mark Richards involving the legendary Val Thor. Mark says he met a woman from Val’s group. I wonder if it was either Jill or Vice Commander Teal — in either case, I would have had a thousand questions to ask.
There are at least 20 books allegedly written by Thor or approved by him through forwards. Gray Barker (New Saucerian Press) not surprisingly had his hand in most. Topics range from relationships to Mount Shasta or advice about how to cast out demons. It is quite the legacy. I hope Val got the royalties due him. If not, I would be glad to tell his side of the story should he want to be interviewed.
Why Venus? Perhaps it’s imagery as the Morning Star and it’s prominence in the sky made it stand out as a place where contact originated. For whatever reason, it overshadowed Mars and the other planets with those who contacted the Space People. Buck Nelson took a trip to both Mars and Venus and “Cedric Allingham” said he met a Martian. But Venus stands out. Although no one could compete with Orthon and Valiant Thor, there was certainly many more Venusians that might have been mentioned.
Valiant Thor has the most enduring interest. He stands out in many ways, including that he did not contact people who were relatively unknown. He went directly to the President and the Pentagon. Why would a Venusian choose an Ozark farmer (Buck) or even a person who fancied himself as a teacher of Tibetan wisdom (George)?
Still, we are compelled to give a nod to Vivenus Starchild, another favorite Venusian who brought cosmic messages of peace and ran for President in 1968 as a write-in, arguing that it was not too late to vote for God.
Modern stories do not focus on the planets and as Venus lost its prominence, the tales became darker. Abduction rather than contact became the standard. But like many stories of Venus revisited, Vivenus only sought to make people aware of a higher calling.
A few years later, Travis Walton’s 1975 story of UFO abduction attracted much more attention. He still appears at UFO events or is featured on various media. His story has either been upheld as the gold standard of the scenario or dismissed as a hoax.
Vivenus was probably a better guitar player than Val but we wonder how she might have compared to Travis Walton. What became of her — does anyone still have one of her record’s?
The controversy around Travis has been renewed following statements made by some who were involved in the original story. Excellent research has been done by the Three Dollar Kit. Robert Sheaffer covers further developments as Walton supporters (including Jimmy Church) seek to avoid inconvenient facts , but the hoax theory has gained considerable ground.
Recently, however, a contactee named Añjali has emerged with a new claim of meeting the Space People in the Mojave desert. She held a press conference describing her experience and world view, along with plans to assemble a team to return to the desert and document the contact. In many ways she reminds me of Vivenus — perhaps without the guitar — and we may return to this tale. For now it is enough to note that the Space People are still said to be with us. Perhaps we have gone full circle.
The world might be more in need of help from beyond than it was when the Space People first tried to help. Añjali is posed to captivate a desire for outside help but to what end? Where else other than the Movaje would such contact take place? And where does Venus fit into her story?