From: Jerome Clark <jkclark.nul> Date: Wed, 17 Aug 2005 11:58:25 -0500 Fwd Date: Thu, 18 Aug 2005 07:42:58 -0400 Subject: Re: Adamski And The Straith Letter - Clark >From: Isaac Koi <isaackoi2.nul> >To: <ufoupdates.nul> >Date: Tue, 16 Aug 2005 19:54:40 +0100 >Subject: Re: Adamski And The Straith Letter >>From: Sheryl Gottschall <gottscha.nul> >>To: <ufoupdates.nul> >>Date: Tue, 16 Aug 2005 21:32:25 +1000 >>Subject: Adamski And The Straith Letter >>More information from the book, George Adamski The Untold >>Story, by Tim Good and Lou Zinsstag. I hope you find it as >>interesting as I have. >>The notorious 'Straith Letter' sent to Adamski on 6 December >>1957, was typed on official white-seal, blue-embossed paper, >>with the American eagle watermark and the Seal of State >>impressed. It was signed R E Straith, Cultural Exchange >>Committee, Department of State, Washington. The Cultural >>Exchange Committee was a department through which >>representatives of the United States obtained their visas for >>goodwill tours abroad. >Jerry Clark's Encyclopedia has a fairly comprehensive summary of the history of the letter, with relevant references. See his "The UFO Encyclopedia: The Phenomenon from the Beginning - 2nd edition" (1998) in Volume 1:A-K at pages 33-34 (in an entry entitled "Adamski, George") of the Omnigraphics hardback edition. What follows is a slightly edited (references removed so that I don't have to retype them, too) version of what I wrote about the Straith hoax in the encyclopedia - Jerry Clark --- Adamski's most celebrated "proof" of high-level endorsement came in the form of a letter mailed to him from Washington, D.C., on December 6, 1957. Written on State Department stationery, with a department seal impressed on the paper, it began: "For the time being, let us consider this a personal letter and not to be construed as an official communication of the Department." It went on to state that the "Department has on file a great deal of confirmatory evidence bearing out your own claims.... While certainly the Department cannot publicly confirm your experiences, it can, I believe, with propriety, encourage your work." The letter was signed "R. E. Straith, Cultural Exchange Committee." This remarkable development was first announced in a cautiously worded article in the March/April 1958 issue of Flying Saucer Review, which quoted part of the letter. On April 10 the Times of London reported that the State Department was denying the existence of both Straith and the committee he allegedly represented. Adamski and his partisans immediately charged cover-up. Even before he released the document, according to his biographers, Adamski "made a thorough investigation of the authenticity of the letter. He was assured that Straith was an employee of the State Department, whose work was of such a nature that his name did not appear on any of the published lists of that Department." Richard Ogden sent a registered letter, addressed to Straith, to the State Department. When the return receipt indicated the letter had been accepted, he viewed this a evidence that Straith was real. All over the world Adamski's followers were claiming vindication. South African UFO enthusiast Edgar Sievers declared the letter to be a "decisive document on imminent developments on this planet." Wilbert B. Smith, a Canadian radio engineer who earlier had been involved in an official UFO project, told [Donald E.] Keyhoe, after the latter expressed skepticism about the document, that he "knew" the Straith letter to be authentic, because someone of his acquaintance knew the man personally. Straith was working in a "supersecret agency partly under State Department control." C. A. Honey stated flatly that through his and Adamski's efforts, "Straith was located." More than two decades later, looking back on the controversy, [Lou] Zinsstag and [Timothy] Good concluded that while "much of the evidence is circumstantial ... on balance there is more in favor of the letter['s] being genuine." Others felt otherwise. Adamski critic Lonzo Dove believed that the "Straith letter," as it would be called in flying-saucer lore, was written on the typewriter of Gray Barker, a well-known publisher and promoter of contactee materials. Other noted ufologists of the period, including [Isabel] Davis and [Coral] Lorenzen, came to the same conclusion. Dove went so far as to submit a detailed article documenting his findings, but Saucer News editor Jim Moseley refused to publish it. For years afterwards rumors circulated that Barker (who died in 1984) and Moseley had conspired to write the letter, and in 1985 Moseley confessed as much: "For many years, your editor used to visit Gray Barker in Clarksburg, West Virginia, for a weekend every few months.... On one particular occasion ... a young friend of Barker's [James Villard] with a relative high in the Government had provided Barker with a packet of genuine official stationery from various Government agencies... Barker and I wrote not one but _seven_ ... naughty letters that evening - emboldened by the evil of alcohol and fully enjoying the hilarity of this chance to thrown long-term Confusion into the UFO field."
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