By Sean Casteel
After covering UFOs, alien abduction and many other paranormal subjects for over 25 years, I thought I’d seen it all. But once again, publisher, editor, writer and talk show host Timothy Green Beckley has shown me just how wrong that assumption can be. Tim recently sent me a book that contains two full-length tomes by the late contactee Orfeo Angelucci combined in one volume. Though the books were originally published in the 1950s, they contain so much that is relevant and precious about UFO contact and the mortals who come under their purview for reasons they themselves do not comprehend.
In the case of Orfeo Angelucci, I would hazard a guess that he was chosen because of his sincere, guileless innocence. Orfeo was 39 years old when he had his first consciously-recalled alien encounter, but there is an undeniable childlike quality that comes across in his writing that makes it difficult to imagine he was seeking fame or attention or money. He honestly believed that the Space Brothers – who had walked into his life from out of the blue – had charged him with the mission of making their presence and good intentions for mankind known.
Orfeo’s first book was called “The Secret of the Saucers” and came out in 1955. He begins by telling the story of his childhood, which he spent a great deal of in bed due to a poorly diagnosed aliment the doctors called “constitutional inadequacy.” The symptoms included great physical weakness, lassitude, lack of appetite and malnutrition. He tired easily and the slightest physical effort left him weak and exhausted. He also suffered from migraine headaches and it seemed at times that his every nerve and muscle ached with excruciating pain.
When Orfeo was in the ninth grade, his doctors advised that he leave school and continue his studies at home. Orfeo liked the arrangement because it allowed him to do all the reading in the various sciences that he wished. After a year of plenty of rest and a weight-building diet, the doctors said he could return to school. But since his family had suffered some financial reverses in the meantime, it was decided that he should instead go to work for his uncle’s flooring and stucco company. Which again left him with the freedom to voraciously read books on science.
In 1936, Orfeo met his future bride, Mabel Borgianini, an Italian girl who he says was a direct descendant of the famous Italian Borgias. Her happy, cheerful disposition helped keep Orfeo from brooding over his ill health. A year after their marriage, they had their first son, Raymond. But a short while later, Orfeo had a complete physical breakdown that left him bedridden in a hospital for 18 months. His body and mind were so tortured that he longed for the release of physical death. When he recovered, against all odds, he returned to work and began classes in night school, determined to pursue his interest in the sciences.
Orfeo had had a lifelong phobia about thunderstorms, which had caused him miserable physical and psychological symptoms since he was a child. Because his beloved native New Jersey was often subject to violent thunderstorms, he was glad when Mabel began to talk of moving to the West Coast, where thunderstorms rarely happened. In November 1947, Orfeo, Mabel, Richard and their second son, Raymond, set out by car for Los Angeles. After spending some pleasant, “touristy” time exploring the region, the Angeluccis decided to make their home there.
This period, 1947 and afterwards, was when flying saucers first began to make headlines worldwide. Orfeo was completely disinterested in the phenomenon and figured they were only a new type of aircraft being secretly developed and that the information would come out in due time. Orfeo found work at the Lockheed Aircraft plant in Burbank in their metal fabrication department and, later, their plastics division, working the swing shift.
In “The Secret of the Saucers,” Orfeo recalls the exact date – Friday, May 23, 1952 – when his journey of discovery and revelation began. He was at his job at Lockheed when, around 11 P.M., he felt an odd pricking sensation running through his hands and arms and up to the back of his neck along with a slight heart palpitation and a sense of his nerves being on edge. These were the familiar symptoms that always came before a bad electrical storm. He expected to see heavy threatening clouds in the sky, but the Southern California night was exceptionally clear and the stars were bright. He was puzzled but continued working. When the quitting whistle sounded at 12:30 A.M., he was exhausted almost beyond his capacity to endure.
As he drove home, he felt increasingly nervous and tense and said he sensed a force of some kind around him. He wondered if his old illness was returning and whether he might again be confined to bed with excruciating pain. He noticed that his eyesight was glazing over and the sounds of the traffic around him were strangely muffled and far away now. The night seemed to be growing brighter, as though enveloped in a soft golden haze.
Next, he saw a red, faintly glowing oval-shaped object that began to increase in brilliance. The object stayed in view as he continued to drive home until it hovered over a deserted stretch of road called Forest Lawn Drive. As the pain of his symptoms increased, the object veered sharply to the right. It was then that it occurred to Orfeo that he might be seeing a flying saucer, the sort of thing he had read about for years. Two smaller objects, green in color, came out of the red object and hovered only a few feet away. They were three feet in diameter and hung there silently while their green light fluctuated rhythmically.
Then, from what seemed to be an area between the two eerie balls of green fire, came a masculine voice speaking perfect English. Orfeo writes that at that point he was in a state of shock and therefore cannot report the conversation verbatim. He does recall, however, that the first words spoken to him were, “Don’t be afraid, Orfeo. We are friends!” Then the voice asked him to exit his car, which he did, in spite of feeling so weak and shaky that he could barely stand.
The kindly voice told Orfeo that the green objects were “instruments of transmission and reception” unlike anything developed on Earth and that they were being used for Orfeo to communicate with “friends from another world.” Orfeo dimly remembered thinking that he should say something but was stunned into utter silence, wondering if he had completely lost his mind.
The voice began to speak to Orfeo about things no stranger could know, at which point all traces of fear left Orfeo. But he suddenly felt thirsty. The voice, apparently reading his mind, directed Orfeo to drink from a goblet that suddenly appeared on his car’s fender. Drinking the delicious beverage caused his various discomforts to vanish completely and gave him a sensation of strength and well-being. He thanked the voice and the goblet disappeared.
Then, in the area between the two green fireballs, a luminous, three-dimensional television screen began to gradually take form. Images of the heads and shoulders of two persons appeared on the screen, one male and one female. The two figures struck Orfeo as “being the ultimate of perfection. There was an impressive nobility about them” and they “emanated a seeming radiance that filled me with wonder.” Orfeo also had the confusing feeling that the two figures were familiar, as though previous encounters with them were stored in his memory.
They seemed able to read his mind at its deepest levels, and Orfeo felt he stood before them in a “kind of spiritual nakedness.” There seemed to be a telepathic exchange of information happening, with thoughts and understandings that would have taken hours of normal conversation passing between Orfeo and the people on the screen in mere seconds. Then the two figures faded and the screen vanished. Orfeo was on the point of blacking out when the initial voice spoke again, saying that Orfeo was understandably confused but that he would comprehend everything that happened later on. “The road will be open, Orfeo,” the voice assured him.
The thought flashed through Orfeo’s mind, “Why have they contacted me – a humble aircraft worker – a nobody?”
The voice explained that their selection process was not conducted with the limited senses of man but was based on their superior understanding of what an individual Earthling really is. They were also aware of how flying saucers were a source of humor to most people, as it was meant to be. Earth was supposed to become accustomed gradually to the idea of space visitors, and it was good that they be taken lightly at first for the sake of human civilization’s stability.
Although the Space Brothers would help mankind as best they could, there were cosmic laws that prohibited interfering too directly in the evolution of a given planet. Earth must work out its own destiny, but the danger is greater than people realized. The voice alluded to an evil enemy that was preparing secretly and in vast numbers to do what damage it could to the people of Earth. This is interesting because it involves a more complicated moral scenario than mere alien saviors preaching an impossible kind of “sweetness and light.” Instead, they freely acknowledge that there are many battles to be fought and that mankind is up against subtle, insidious influences intended to lead him on the path to his own destruction.
“As I listened to that kind, gentle voice,” Orfeo writes, “I began to feel a warm, glowing wave of love enfold me; so powerful that it seemed as a tangible soft, golden light. For a wonderful moment I felt infinitely greater, finer and stronger than I knew myself to be. It was as though momentarily I had transcended mortality and was somehow related to these superior beings.”
The voice told Orfeo that he would be contacted again and said a warm goodnight, calling Orfeo “friend.”
“Bewilderment, incredulity, shock and stark fear flooded over me,” Orfeo writes. “I had the sudden conviction that I had lost my mind and gone raving mad. What I had witnessed, I felt, just couldn’t have happened.”
He got in his car and drove home, desperate to return to “the world of sane reality.” Mabel asked why he was so late and looked so terrified. He said he would tell her tomorrow, which he spent in bed, still feeling the aftereffects of what he’d experienced. When he told Mabel the incredible story the following day, she believed him, saying he had always been truthful with her.
Two months later, in July 1952, Orfeo had an experience onboard a UFO in which he was able to view the Earth from outer space. Again, an alien voice spoke to Orfeo as the awestruck mortal sat in a form-fitting chair on the craft: “Orfeo, you are looking upon Earth – your home! From here, over a thousand miles away in space, it appears as the most beautiful planet in the heavens and a haven of peace and tranquility. But you and your Earthly brothers know the true conditions there.”
As he listened to the tender, gentle intonations of the wonderful voice, Orfeo began to be overwhelmed by sadness and wept, something he had not done since childhood. The tears worked to cleanse and purify him and to free him from the unfeeling shell of “The Reasoner” he had come to pride himself on being as an adult.
The voice seemed to join in Orfeo’s weeping and said, “For all of its apparent beauty, Earth is a purgatorial world among the planets evolving intelligent life. Hate, selfishness and cruelty rise from many parts of it like a dark mist.”
Again, the Space Brothers acknowledge their opposition to a dark and evil force working in our world, something similar to the war between the Archangel Michael and Satan prophesied in the Book of Revelation. The allusion to an armed conflict between good and evil over the destiny of mankind adds a degree of moral complexity to the overall mix that ups the realism factor greatly.
Orfeo is then taken further out into space and shown demonstrations of various other types of alien spacecraft while the voice continues to speak of the love for mankind that is inherent in everything the Space Brothers do. Orfeo hears beautiful music as he flies out into deep space, the music of the spheres, an expression of how vibrantly alive the stars and planets are throughout the universe. But he continues to cry in shame, as though repenting for the sins of all mankind at once.
“I wondered how those great beings could love such a one as I,” he writes, “or any of mankind.”
This echoes the Bible, Psalm 8: 3-4, “When I look at thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars which thou hast established; what is man that thou art mindful of him, and the son of man that thou dost care for him?” This is a recurring pattern among many contactees of Orfeo’s period and after him as well. Their experiences relate to what is found in ancient scriptures, including the Bible, seamlessly and without apparent conscious effort on the contactee’s part. One is therefore led to conclude that the Space Brothers of our present era are the same entities we call Ancient Astronauts when they appear in the context of our earliest religious writings. The fact that they also seem to be at war with some form of devil – with mankind as the battlefield – also speaks to their timeless presence among us. They are more ancient than we know what ancient means.
Orfeo then undergoes a baptism not in water but in light. He sees his entire life flash before his eyes in a panoramic vision and fears that he is dying. He regains something more like normal consciousness and is returned home. He had felt a burning sensation below his heart during his profound “initiation,” and as he undressed for bed he saw a circular burn about the size of a quarter in that same place. He felt it was a sign from the Space Brothers intended to help him remember that the experience had been physically real as he faced the cold light of the coming days.
Orfeo’s next adventure with the Space Brothers was a face-to-face meeting with a being he called Neptune. It was August 2, 1952, and Orfeo was taking a late evening stroll near the Hyperion Avenue Freeway Bridge, where he had earlier seen the ship that took him out into space. Neptune appeared from out of the darkness and called out, “Greetings, Orfeo!” The Space Brother had the same noble, handsome countenance as the figures Orfeo had seen on the mysterious viewing screen during his first encounter.
After some introductory chitchat, Neptune began to deliver the same woeful message about Earth and its dark future.
“I may tell you,” Neptune said, “that, to the entities of certain other worlds, Earth is regarded as ‘the accursed planet,’ and ‘the home of reprobate, fallen ones.’ Others call your Earth ‘the home of sorrows.’ For Earth’s evolution is evolution through pain, sorrow, sin, suffering and the illusion of physical death.”
One is reminded that one of the most basic tenets of the Buddha is that, “All life is sorrowful,” but Neptune also prophesies that mankind will survive the inevitable warfare of Armageddon and rejoice in the coming of the New Age in which people will forget their bitter hurts and build constructively together upon the solid foundation of the Brotherhood of Man. He tells Orfeo not to doubt the reality of what he is experiencing and that Orfeo’s account of his encounters will give greater faith and inner conviction to only a few – but it is an important few.
“The road is open now,” Neptune said. “Walk it as you will.”
Orfeo had been writing about his experiences and hoped to find a publisher willing to believe his story enough to print his manuscript and get it out before the public. When there were no takers, he began to consider the idea of self-publishing his narrative in newspaper form and calling it “The Twentieth Century Times,” in spite of Mabel’s objections.
Orfeo was already suffering a great deal of “ribbing” about his interest in UFOs from his coworkers, and seeking further public attention would make life even more difficult for his sons, whose schoolmates had learned of his flying saucer fascination. But the Space Brothers had given him such an intense sense of mission about spreading the word about them that he pressed on heedlessly in his efforts to get his story out. He was also giving weekly lectures about the Space Brothers to increasingly larger crowds at a local social club and was pleased to find a sympathetic, believing group of kindred spirits.
With the help of Max Miller, the president of Flying Saucers International, an organization devoted to the study of UFOs, Orfeo put together the Flying Saucer Convention at the Hollywood Hotel. The featured speakers included Frank Scully, George Van Tassel and George Adamski, some of the biggest names in the field at the time. The crowds overflowed out onto Hollywood Boulevard to hear the message, but there were also the obligatory negative voices being heard as well. A woman who had been continually buttonholing Orfeo to quote the scriptures and in general revile his efforts finally succeeded in getting Orfeo to display some real anger, an unusual emotion for him to feel.
“When at last I literally blew my top,” Orfeo writes, “she joyfully picked up her data and departed, shouting that my temper proved I was an agent of the devil.”
Orfeo also reports on attending a convention of science fiction writers at the Hotel Commodore in Los Angeles where he was surprised to learn that UFOs were now a taboo subject for this particular kind of literati. Orfeo says this was most likely due to the fact that the Space Brothers are beautiful, heavenly entities but it was tales of horror and fear that sold books.
“But the joke is on them,”Orfeo writes, “for reality has slipped quietly past them and established new frontiers of its own. The science-fictioneers were induced by subtle forces to ignore flying saucers, as were many other materialistic sources of information. During the welcome lull, the actual flying saucer phenomenon and the extraterrestrials were left to the inexperienced but honest handling of rank amateurs. At first these men were inept and inarticulate, but they are finding their voices and their numbers are rapidly increasing. The Space Brothers had actually only cleared the atmosphere for them. Had the professional spinners of horror fiction stuck to the theme of flying saucers, the true contacts should never have been able to perform their missions.”
Whitley Strieber, the abductee whose bestseller “Communion” put the alien abduction phenomenon in the spotlight for a new and sizable audience in the 1980s, once made a similar remark. He said the Visitors had ultimately bypassed the government and the media and gone straight to the people who interested them, what we might call a “populist” or grassroots effort independent of the sanctions of officialdom.
There is much more to the story Orfeo Angelucci tells in “The Secret of the Saucers,” including a brief but beautiful conversation with the living Jesus Christ and a short visit to the paradise that is the Space Brothers’ home world. Orfeo died in 1993 at the age of 81 and presumably went to dwell there with them as he awaits the New Age on Earth that his life and work were part of creating.