It was in the 1950's that Contactees were one of "the" topics of UFO research. These were the "abductees" of that era. They were people who claimed to have met and interacted with aliens.
One of the books which has been sitting in my "must get around to reading" pile by my bed is Nick Redfern's "Contactees: A history of alien-human interaction." The book is published by The Career Press Inc of Franklin Lakes, NJ this year 2010. I had to get my copy through special order via Dymock's Bookshop in Adelaide. I couldn't see any copies on any shelves of my usual bookshops.
On page 15 Redfern sets the scene. "The aliens in question are usually seen dressed in tight-fitting one-piece outfits while sporting heads of lush, long, and flowing blond hair...they are deeply concerned by our warlike ways. They wish us to disarm our nuclear arsenals, live in peace and harmony with one another, and elevate ourselves to whole new spiritual levels."
Comment: As a passing note, this reminds me somewhat of the current arguments of the Exopolitics movement - disarm, have peace and you will be welcomed into the Galactic Federation.
Redfern looks at the stories of such famous contactees as George Adamski; Truman Berthurum; Orfeo Angelucci and George Van Tassel. Their stories make fascinating reading, with some of Redfern's source material coming from FBI files.
After reviewing the accounts of these and other lesser known contactees, Redfern writes "...one of the most significant aspects of countless contactee driven accounts is the fact that the experiences at issue occurred in significantly altered states of mind, and while the contactees were often situated in distinctly isolated locations." p163.
Redfern then reviews scientific information on hypnagogic states; channelling; meditation and mind altering substances and how these topics might relate to contactees.
Following this, is a look at US Government files that were kept on contactees such as George Adamski. Redfern comments that the threat of communism and possible infiltration of contactees and their followers, and flying saucer groups "...may help to explain why a significant degree of concern was shown at an official level about the politics of the players on the scene..." p177.
In the United Kingdom Redfern found that the Special Branch of the British Police Force kept files on "George King of the Aetherius Society..." pp177-178.
In chapter 19 titled "Manipulating the mind" Redfern says "Although many UFO researchers who have immersed themselves within the world of the contactees have been content to conclude that the claims at issue are either basically untrue or manifestly bogus, there is yet another avenue that may have a key bearing ...namely, that of U.S. military-sponsored "mind control." p181.
Refern ponders whether U.S. Government agencies' concern about contactees acting as "mouthpieces for communism" (p186) might have closely investigated contactees and perhaps went so far as to, for example "...seduce Angelucci into a drug-fuelled state..." p186.
Many UFO researchers of today will probably not have studied the contactee era, seeing no value in these stories. I must say, I was one of these researchers. However, Redfern's work has given me a starting point for examining the accounts from that time.