by Gray Barker
Review by Interview of Trevor James' Book
"They Live In The Sky"
James in a UFO shower. No less than sixteen photographs were taken of this same phenomenon. James claims the objects were "4-D" entities or structures since they were invisible to the eye. The author believes the shadow behind him is something materializing from the small "dot" object.
When you finally come to the end of the seemingly endless branching freeways and know that you are out of Los Angeles for sure, you settle down to an easy fifty or fifty-five, and as the traffic thins, wonder just what it will be like in the desert.
You're heading for the Giant Rock Spacecraft Convention to be held at the Giant Rock Airport and presided over by George Van Tassel, who to thousands of Southern Californians and practically that many others across the country, almost signifies "Mr. Flying Saucer."
As you head toward San Bernardino your rented station wagon still finds itself on four-lane highway, even though on either side you now begin to see mountains, huge and weird-looking — to an Easterner. This is the San Bernardino Pass, stretching, almost too easily it seems, through foreboding territory on either hand.
Finally the brightly marked lines on your AAA strip map dwindle and grow almost confused. The informed sophistry of the spiral-bound pages changes to blank sheets where someone has typed in a few directions. You are entering a territory where there are few maps.
And you think that in other ways there are no maps for this strange country. No maps for people like Van Tassel, for example, who, though he pilots his small plane on carefully devised flight plans, has also pioneered prodigious unchartered excursions to the stars.
As you turn off the main road and are finally negotiating hilly and crooked desert roads, you think of another man, one you are even more curious about meeting. If Van Tassel has blazed unknown trails, T. James has ventured into even wilder territory. After the convention you realize why even space pioneer Van Tassel had been reluctant to let James speak from the platform. Even in the wild abandon of Van Tassel's intellectual freeways there was still room for heresy.
And T. James was that heretic.
T. James said some of the space people were people or creatures or things you should stay away from. If you had the wrong encounter with them and were fortunate, he said, you might happily end up mad or raving; otherwise you might end up never being seen again!
As I drove into the unfamiliar desert country I looked around at the paradoxically serene wildness of the barren, yet shrubbery-populated terrain.
I remember saying to myself, "This country's so queer, it's no wonder people see things out here."
Could the wild loneliness of this place pull a man to its breast and sing a soft but deceptive lullaby to his reason? Perhaps that had created the class of saucerers Van Tassel referred to as "crackpots and erratics."
But thinking back and remembering T. James' weird manuscript, which had somehow managed to stick in my usually forgetful mind in great detail, I still knew there was a great deal of truth in what the man was saying.
T. James' ideas had, perhaps, been too hot to handle. But that was 1956. I hadn't blamed Franklin and Dorothy Thomas, of the New Age Publishing Company, for not publishing his book. Instead they had taken some of his writings, run them off as a mimeographed manuscript, titled the thing "Spacemen: Friends and Foes", and sent copies out to a few book stores and publications.
Apparently the Thomas' were right. The unsettling narrative was too much ahead of its time.
When I listed the manuscript for sale in my own publication, The Saucerian Bulletin, I too had misgivings. The thing would scare people, but I didn't care about that. People enjoy looking under their beds occasionally. But if I endorsed the work I would feel caught between the devil and the deep blue saucerers. The "objective" researchers who swore up and down that the saucers were coming from other planets would be down on me; and the other camp, which believed that space people were the embodiment of sweetness and light, would also raise a fuss. Some of them were already angry with me about what I had suggested in my own book, "THEY KNEW TOO MUCH ABOUT FLYING SAUCERS": That some of the space people or creatures might not be benevolent. I suggested that some of them could be downright EVIL!
What I had felt strongly but couldn't put into proper words T. James had indeed accomplished.
There probably was a lot of hot air about James, I suspected, because with all of us more vociferous saucerers, there always has and always would be a tendency to rattle away about things no one was certain about. But the basic theory was logical, even almost too painfully logical it seemed. If we believed T. James, we would need abandon not only many of our science-fictionish dreams of physical space people, but our wishful thinking that all of them were nice people as well.
James' manuscript was straight-forward and uncompromising, and it seeded ingenuously frank. And like most natural-born writers and speakers, he started at the beginning and went straight through what he had to say.
Reluctant for what he called "good reasons" to reveal his true identity and his background (T. James was a pseudonym, he openly stated), he began the manuscript with an account of how he had become aware of possible communication with space beings. Like a lot of other people he went to one of George Van Tassel's early Giant Rock meetings, long before the Spacecraft Conventions were begun, where he slipped down under the huge rock into a hollowed-out room and listened to Van Tassel's voice suddenly halt, then begin speaking in another voice distinctly not his own:
"Salutations. I am Lax, 9400th projection 604th wave, realms of Schare. I am Instructed to inform you that your material-minded mortals shall be convinced. Discontinue."
James had been relaxing there in the darkness, but he suddenly started and sat up. What was going on?
Then a new voice, a completely different one:
"Salutations. I am Identified as Lata, fleet commander, 40th projection, 7th wave, realms of Schare. Our fleet is standing by to complete this contact. Discontinue."
James looked around. He couldn't believe his own ears, but the others seemed convinced. Someone could be throwing his voice, but he doubted it. Van Tassel himself was thoroughly convinced; in fact he had the temerity to ARGUE with the space people:
"Now who am I talking to? Well, somebody keeps butting in! CONFOUND IT, YOU KEEP SWITCHING AROUND ON ME! Let's settle on who is to do the talking tonight!"
James stumbled out into the moonlight and began to think. A little more than 50 years ago people didn't know about wireless, before Marconi invented it. If they had heard of someone talking through thin air they probably would have believed it was supernatural. But if there were other planets and people on them, why shouldn't they be able to communicate with us?
Telepathy? There was some proof of it. Why couldn't space people, far advanced in technology, build some kind of machine which could send messages to human brains?
Call him crazy, call him over-enthusiastic, but shortly thereafter James himself began to receive telepathic messages, manifesting in automatic writing, direct control of his voice, and simple mental communication.
Ashtar and Etherians
As I had read wide-mouthed over the manuscript, I noticed one very familiar name, an interplanetary gentleman other earth men had claimed to contact. James said he held communication with a person called Ashtar, who identified himself as "Commandant, Vela Quadra Sector, Realms of Schare, all projections, all waves."
Only Ashtar didn't claim to be a spaceman at all — at least the ordinary kind of spaceman.
Ashtar said he was an Etherian.
Ashtar wasn't exactly a physical person, as James would think of a physical body. He occupied what the ordinary intellect could describe only as a "fourth dimension."
It was all the matter of vibrational rate, Ashtar elucidated. He told James he was made up of all the elements known on Earth, along with many more; but in an etheric form. The etheric form of such elements, he said, differ in atomic and molecular structure from those of Earth.
The Etherians, along with their flying saucers, existed all around us, and very likely often passed through us, Ashtar explained, though he often qualified that he was necessarily "talking down" to James.
"For example, the distance between the nucleus and the orbiting electrons of the etheric iron nucleus is much greater than in iron as you know it on Earth," Ashtar said, adding, "This permits the atoms of earthly steel to pass right through the atoms of etheric steel in such a way nothing happens to either form of steel."
That was because the etheric form of steel enjoyed a higher vibratory rate than earthly steel, and therefore wasn't compatible to it visually or physically.
That would explain, James remarked, why U.S. jet fighters hadn't been able to shoot down saucers. And there was the case of Capt. William Maitland who flew his jet right through a saucer, an incident proved by radar.
Giving James the benefit of many doubts, the manuscript DID sound logical, though maybe in a double-talk kind of way. And it closely paralleled the theories advanced by Meade Layne of the Borderland Sciences Research Associates, who had obtained practically the same information through a voice medium named Mark Probert.
But how could people see saucers, and even meet space people, James asked his etheric friend, if they were invisible?
Ashtar wasn't one to be boxed to by trick questions.
That was fairly easy. Etherians had the power to convert their vibrational rates to approximate those of earthly matter, and often did so. Thus their craft became visible for short periods, along with their occupants, who had on occasions actually talked to Earth people, such as George Adamski. In such cases, however, they had deliberately created visible matter which approximated what the Earth viewer EXPECTED TO SEE, landed with such temporary physical trait, and even taken certain terrestrials for rides.
Run-in With Evil Saucer
It probably was the desert with its weird shrubbery and other-worldly landscape that had put my mind onto the T. James track, I told myself as I began entertaining a more immediately practical question of when I would arrive at Twenty-Nine Palms where I could pick up my motel reservation and get some sleep.
Finally I arrived at Joshua Tree, a small resort town, and saw a sign assuring me that Twenty-Nine Palms was only a short distance ahead. As I had just passed through town I noticed a sign pointing to Victorville and again my mind went back to musing over James' manuscript.
What had happened on that very road which had branched off just behind me was the reason I had given the manuscript the very big second thought and had led me to make James' finished book, titled "THEY LIVE IN THE SKY," a Saucerian Book Club Selection sight unseen, even though it amazed the author himself when he saw my large advance order for copies.
Had James stuck to the etheric business and not participated in that other experience on the Victorville Road, his story might have turned out to be only another somewhat dull account of mental contact with space people.
What happened just off that road, out on the desert, was the part of the manuscript which had shaken me. That was where the author almost had a direct run-in with what he tensed "the boys downstairs."
On the basis of a telepathic contact with Ashtar, James and an assistant went into the desert about dawn, and were just sitting down to drink some coffee made over a campfire when they sighted three dome-shaped objects.
Later James would have been able to identify the saucers as hostile by the color of the light radiated from them, but, still inexperienced, he contacted the saucerians by telepathy.
The intelligence controlling one of the saucers telepathed right back, identifying himself as the etherian which Ashtar had promised would be around. As they fixed their attention on the saucer, it began to come toward them slowly.
The intelligence then informed James, "I am going to dim out the force field of this craft, then bring it back to full brilliance again. Watch."
Sure enough, the brilliant blue-white fight dimmed, then came back to full brilliance.
The saucer continued to approach them; then the entity announced, "I AM COMING DOWN NOW! WATCH!"
The craft hovered over them, then began a slow descent. But suddenly it bounced, as if it had struck an invisible wall! The saucer shot out sidewise, gained altitude, then seemed to take another dive at the apparent wall. Again it seemed to hit something and bounce off. Finally the saucer withdrew to a high altitude and James and his assistant drove home, somewhat shaken by the experience.
Then Ashtar floored. James with some new information: He had contacted an evil space craft, and had it not been for the force field Ashtar's "men" set up to ward off the hostile entities, James might not have been around to write a book!
He might have been gobbled up like a lot of other people had been — aircraft and all — as Eugene Metcalfe had witnessed with his own eyes and had sworn to in an affidavit reproduced in the completed book.
And mere physical death might be pleasant, compared with what Ashtar said happened to some unfortunate people so attacked by the "Dark Forces." People murdered and taken to a kind of hell much more terrifying than the one fanatical preachers raved about. More terrifying because it was a real hell, one that could be explained in scientific terms!
I wondered just what sort of person James would turn out to be. In my early correspondence with him he had been simply "T. James." Later he permitted the use of the full first name, Trevor; then he revealed "T. James" was a kind of pseudonym very much like his real name.
It was understandable why he didn't want the real full name published. He was in business, and also pursued acting assignments in motion pictures. If the controversy about his writings got into print it might spell an end to both his business and acting career.
James calls this photo "UFO Ahoy," states that it shows a saucer in the process of emergence into physical condition. The energy, he states, is concentrated in the black dot atop the vehicle, and radiated in lobes from the lower rim of the craft. The photo loses much detail in the reproduction.
I remembered the one time Trevor had become angry with me, and that was when I gave a West Coast confidante of mine his phone number. "Most of what I have to say is in the book and whatever I have that is additional to that I impart at my own discretion to people of my own selection. . . . I do not confide in those who have not earned my trust," he wrote.
The person I got after James, however, was Manon Darlaine, a technical director on assignment to many of the studios, and who, if she could reveal the information locked in her three safes, probably could write eight or ten books. I was happy to learn later that Manon and James had become friends, and that he had even thanked her for her many assistances in his book.
I assumed that the hard cover book would contain the material in the original manuscript, somewhat expanded. But my main curiosity about seeing the finished volume would be inspecting the many photographs it would contain.
Although James, and Dorothy Thomas of New Age Publishing Co., had sent me much advance material to use in promoting the book for my book club announcements, not one would say a word about what the photographs contained.
I first got wind of the photos in one of Mrs. Thomas' news letters. Her husband, Franklin, had been going out on the desert with James, she said, taking pictures; and what they were coming back with was amazing.
"What kind of pictures?" I asked.
She avoided my question.
Most definite of all, they weren't going to give me any of the prints for reproduction before the book came out.
They turned out to be the weirdest bunch of photos I had ever seen. When I finally met James at the Convention I shook hands and, I am afraid, rudely grabbed the autographed copy of the book he handed me and turned to the pictures.
How had he obtained such pictures when flying saucer sighters had looked for years and never seen anything quite like this?
The entities photographed were invisible, he explained.
If invisible, how had he photographed them, when no one else had been able to do so?
Nobody else had thought of using infra red film, he said.
When my excitement and natural resistance to the idea of the pictures had subsided I sat down at the stand where he was autographing books and got further into his theories.
James settled back in his canvas-backed chair and fer the first time his piercing eyes met mine.
He was big, brawny and tanned, with finely chiseled features, and I knew immediately one ©f the reasons he had been chosen to be in pictures. But somehow I couldn't help wondering why this good-looking, apparently successful man, both in the arts and in business, had chosen to engage in a field where ridicule was on either hand and in which there was little monetary realizations.
I asked him bluntly, "Why are you in saucer research?"
He came back with an answer I could not dispute, though it was in the form of a question:
"Why are YOU?"
Then we had a big laugh, and for the first time the ice was broken.
"Trevor," I said, "you know me probably best from my book. You know that my interests, I am afraid, have lain slightly off the beaten path, even in this fantastic field we're in."
He knew I was referring to the overtones of evil that readers could feel more than read about in "THEY KNEW TOO MUCH ABOUT FLYING SAUCERS."
"I knew you were mainly interested in my 'evil' saucerians," he told me, and then he elaborated. "Anyone with common sense should realize there is a polarity in everything — sweet and sour, love and hate, big and small — and so on. If in all other things, why not in ether aspects? Our religions, our philosophies, our ways of looking at things?
"Good and evil," I volunteered.
The idea of bad space people had made his original manuscript unpopular among some readers, he said. Many of the so-called "saucer groups" refused to believe there could be evil entities among the good in the UFOs, even though in orthodox religions there always had been gods and devils, stood and bad angels.
Three Types of Saucermen
But I was mere interested in the specific structure of James' inter-dimensional hierarchy than in whether or not people would like his book. I knew that once they read it, they might not like it, but that they would have to accept it — or a great deal of it.
"Now I understand that your etherians are benevolent space people," I said. "Do they travel in space?"
"Yes," he replied. "They are not limited to the Earth-Moon system as are the Astrals. Bat we must not think of them necessarily as existing in a certain place, such as the earth or on Venus. It's more complicated than that."
I knew I would have to narrow the thing down to simplifications before I would be able to write about the ideas, however.
"Are other planets inhabited by physical beings like ourselves — someone, for example, who can't pop through a stone wall?"
"None of the planets in our solar system, so I am told. Except on the moon where there are what I understand to be physical beings, though they are in contact with and hold allegiance to the Astrals at the core of our own planet."
"I want to get this one thing straight," I told him. "I have read in your original manuscript how the earth is hollow at the center, and that you or Ashtar claim there is a kind of atmosphere there. Is this a reality, or a kind of indefinite, astral location?"
"Frankly, I cannot understand all of the communications I receive. I believe the thing must necessarily be over-simplified so that I can understand it and communicate it to others. But I understand there IS such a physical location occupied by the Astrals or wicked space people. These people are not physical, however, in our way of thinking. Their atomic structures vibrate at a different rate from our own, though not on so high a scale as the Etherians, represented by Ashtar."
"If not physical, why do we see their ships so often?"
"My understanding is that the rate of vibration of these astral beings is very close to our own. Their matter is very much like ours, and under certain conditions can become compatible with ours. As such they can shoot down our planes, as I am convinced they did in the Mantel case. Or capture our planes physically."
"Now you catalog the space people . . ."
James interrupted. "We shouldn't really call the Astrals space people. Their spacecraft is limited to a distance of 125,000 miles from the earth, corresponding to the earth's astral envelope. The same way with the moon physicals. But when the moon and Earth are nearest each other, the two astral envelopes or auras overlap and travel between the two is possible by these Dark Forces."
"But some of the craft look very very physical," I rejoined. "I was trying to catalog the types of space travelers you talk about. So far I have come up with three:
1. The etheric people, such as Ashtar, who travel through space by means of power derived from light.
2. The astral dwellers at the center of the earth.
3. The Moon physicals."
"Ashtar tells me there is yet another type; and as far as that goes, our universe is a big place and I'm sure there are other types — perhaps genuine interplanetary physical travelers — but I don't believe they often visit Earth.
"There is a fourth important classification to reckon with, though I have not been told much about them. Genuine physical people who live at the South Pole in Rainbow City, and also in Tibet. These people, I understand, are survivors of Atlantis, and still pilot their craft, though these saucers are little better than our own earthly aircraft."
I told him that my main puzzlement at his explanation was that the astral craft seemed almost too physical to be astral or immaterial. He had stated, for example, the evil aircraft utilized hydrogen as a fuel, which the astrals obtained from water from the earth's surface and perhaps its atmosphere. This sounded logical in one way: many close-up accounts of little men sightings had the creatures collecting water, once in an odd-looking bucket, another time by means of a hose on a lake.
"I don't claim to have all the answers," he explained. "I don't know if I am even interpreting the material which I receive correctly."
He also admitted that some of his information might have been added by his own subconscious.
But the amazing fact which had floored James the most was that although his information closely paralleled the principles advanced by the mediumship of Mark Probert through B.S.R.A., he had not been in touch with Probert nor that organization until director Meade Layne read some of his material and excitedly got in touch with him. Though James had worked independently, the material was almost identical!
"Although I may not believe the specific framework of your theories," I told him, "it must be generally true. It seems that all of you boys who have come up with important new theories have differed in surface details, but basically have been together. Take the theories about underground civilizations, for example. They exist in so many types of folklore and religion. And some people say they have actually visited such civilizations in their physical bodies."
He probably guessed I was referring to Richard S. Shaver and his caverns populated by dero, degenerate left-overs from ancient civilizations.
"My book does parallel some of Shaver's material," he said. "Incidentally, Ashtar told me that the dero are real but that they no longer inhabit the interior of the earth. Instead they have been reincarnated upon the surface."
What About Bender -
"One final matter," I added, for I could see we would soon have to break up the conversation, "you read my own book and were enthusiastic about it. Do you even remotely believe Bender could have found out something like you have come up with and had become frightened enough by it to become physically ill and afraid to talk about it?"
"I've given that some thought. First of all, there is the possibility that nothing happened to Bender. I suppose you've doubted it at times, too. It's so fantastic, even to me. But I think I had best quote from my book," and he turned to Page 59:
"In my view, some of these investigators may have stumbled on this center of the earth concept, probed into it, stirred up these forces and consequently been handled harshly by their earthly representatives. These black suited gents would probably be the allies on your surface who are without morals or mercy. . . . Only one of these black suited boys was ever identified properly, and it was one who was seen sitting in a car down in Australia where some of these unsavory visits took place. This particular man was a known criminal, or a member of our earthly underworld. These beings occupy themselves in left-handed endeavor and naturally are servants of the forces of the left, or darkness."
James looked up from the page, still squinting, for even in the shade the harsh light of the desert sun made reading uncomfortable.
"I was told not to play around with communicating with these astral forces. Also I have been fortunate enough to have absorbed some teachings on how to deal with such entities. If Bender, with little or no occult schooling, should have ventured into such dangerous territory, maybe he almost fell under the control of these things, and his quitting research was just one of the ways he had of getting free again."
Space animal? One of the weird invisible space creatures James photographed with infra-red film and special filters, and which he estimates in 50-75 ft. across. Unfortunately the photograph loses a great deal of detail in the transfer to printing plate.
To me, though interesting, the photographic section of the James book had not been the important feature. Using infra-red film and appropriate filters, James and his assistant had taken thousands of photographs of the desert sky, and on many of the negatives were images that had not been apparent to the eye.
Take the thing with the frightening face of a serpentine creature with a concave face and large bill. Surely no saucer sighters had ever seen that kind of thing in the sky, or if they had, they hadn't preserved their sanity long enough to tell about it. Unschooled in the more technical gimcracks of photography, I hadn't made up my mind about the pictures — perhaps they were lens reflections or defects in the developer. At least the "experts" would explain, them in that manner — of that one could be absolutely sure!*
They could also laugh at James' elaborate and specific structure of Ufological cosmogony. I would probably do so too after I left Giant Rock, turned my station wagon back in at the rent-a-car office at the Los Angeles Airport and was in a comfortable plane seat zooming east-ward above the clouds.
There would remain a few points I could not laugh at, however; nor could anyone who had a genuine open mind.
James might not have been talking to Ashtar at all; the material may have originated entirely in his subconscious; he may have even dreamed it up just so he could write a book.
But the basic theory he had propounded in elaborate form was intelligent. It was reasonable and it was logical.
For more than ten years civilian saucerers had tried to crack the mystery of the disks. They had gone about it by trying to prove they were simple interplanetary devices. They had been unable to get the proof; that is the actual, physical proof needed to remove all doubt — a saucer itself, or a piece of one.
The Air Force had also been investigating saucers, probably longer, but at least just as long in a formal, announced manner. It was apparent that neither had the Government come up with physical, tangible proof, which might be used as a basis for an announcement to the public.
It had gradually become apparent to me that the solution to the saucer mystery was a more complex one than the interplanetary one.
James' book didn't have all the answers, and the specifics were probably in error.
But the basic theory developed in the book, that of immaterial, almost material, and then material saucers, operated by good and evil (for positive and negative) forces, could explain and make apparent the reality of the saucers.
Though it may never be a popular one, because of the difficulty the public finds in accepting metaphysical ideas, the basic theory is one which will give many a saucerer, both the so-called "objective" and "crackpot" camps, many bad nightmares. And the nightmares may not necessarily be of monsters creeping from under the bed, but from seeing some of their cherished theories shattered.
But the most disturbing thing of all it that James is able to bring metaphysical concepts down to earth a bit, to a position almost within the range of the big guns of present day scientific thought, however hidebound it may be.
His space people, though almost angelic and almost satanic, are nevertheless creatures or entities which operate by the same laws of physics that apply to you and me and the world around us.
I was deeply disturbed by the book, and that is probably why I have written so lengthily about it.
I am not disturbed so much because it punctures my balloon-like dreams of visitors from another planet — though James admits there is still that possibility.
It probably upsets me because some day we likely will be explaining ghosts scientifically, and putting into test tubes some of the most romantic dreams of childhood. Perhaps we won't be able to enjoy being frightened by bumpy things in the night.
But it likely involves more than that. I once reformed for more than a week after reading Swedenborg's "HEAVEN AND HELL" because he made the two locations believable.
I had successfully disposed of Hell as imaginary, and laid the demons of my childhood with the counter-spell of modern materialism.
But now James has put me right back where I was before. In rationalizing the Old Scratch, he has, I fear, made him horrifyingly real.
* Prospective debunkers of James' photographs may be treading thin ice. The author of "THEY LIVE IN THE SKY" has stated at presstime that he is prepared to haul into court anyone who publicly states the pictures are fabricated — Ed.
- James, Trevor. They Live in the Sky. Los Angeles: New Age Pub. Co, 1958. Print. <http://amzn.to/1rnGtHP>
- James, Trevor. Spacemen: Friends and Foes. Los Angeles: New Age Pub. Co, 1957. Print. [Pt. 1 is available in digital format as part of Project ETHERIA: "Spacemen: Friends and Foes"]
- Barker, Gray. They Knew Too Much About Flying Saucers. New York: University Books, 1956. Print. <http://amzn.to/1rGoZFT>
As presented in Flying Saucers, December 1958.
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