Volume 5, Issue 4, page 7

fighting tIIC c
Thousands Gather on Desert to Hear Who's Seen the Latest UFO, and of
Trickery Used to Keep Public's Ignorance at Official Level
PANORAMA of American life in all
complexity is this gathering of
"Flying Saucer" fans at Giant Rock,
Calif. George Van Tassel certainly
has plenty of space for a space
convention -- 1,000 acres of high desert
land. Here is ample room for hundreds of
cars, dozens of home trailers, seating
area of 1,000 or more, a landing strip
for planes and plenty of room to park

Giant Rock Airport is on the Old Woman
Springs Road, between Lucerne Valley and
29 Palms. When Mrs. Crabb andI arrived
at noon on Saturday, May 31, the convention was under way with UFOlogists from
all California and elsewhere. After 13
years in Hawaii, it was quite a thrill
for us to park near the airstrip and watch
the casual arrival and departure of these
fellow Americans.

The kind and variety and quality of
people who attend the convention are a
show in themselves, as you watch them
parading by in the blazing desert sun.
Here are exhibitionists and introverts,
one with a political ax to grind, another
with a book to sell. Some are there to
display their bodies, others wear a peculiar cut of hair or shape of clothing
as a badge of distinction, while some
display their minds in mimeographed page,
brochure, or printed book -- any form which
can be packaged, sold, and carried home.

Booted and sombreroed cowhands from
nearby ranches are as decorative, almost,
as hopefuls from Hollywood in pink bathing suits and generous expanses of golden
brown skin. Mixed with these are longhaired metaphysicians from God - knowswhere; and Mr. and Mrs. John Q. Public,
heavy with middle-age and content to follow the scanty shade in their portable
canvas chairs as the sun inches its way
across the heavens.

George Van Tassel is very much on the
scene, above on the speaker's platform,
or below huddling with the pioneers and
leading lights of the Flying Saucer world.
Among others we saw Frank Scully, Truman
Bethurum, Ben Fry, Orfeo Angelucci, Trevor James, and Mark Probert. Conspicuous
by his absence was George Adamski.

This is not surprising. When Mrs. Crabb
and I visited Adamski at Palmer Gardens
last August, we were assured by him and
by his secretary that the experiences of
all others in the Flying Saucer field
were psychic, only his were real!
Van Tassel carries the whole show along
in his easy-going, unperturbed, steady
way. And a good show it is, too, as he
intersperses the speakers with entertainment, parachute jumps, a magician, and a
high-diving Hollywood stunt-man.

It is out of such gatnerings as these,
pioneered by Van Tassel and gradually
spreading over the rest of the country,
that a political movement can grow, one
which can make its weight felt in Washington; another pressure group added to
the many which converge on the Capitol.

The man with the most interesting tale
to tell was Reinhold Schmidt. He is the
California grain buyer who was fortunate
or unfortunate enough to have made a contact with a space ship and its crew in a
Nebraska wheat field on Nov. 7. 1957.

Schmidt had his experience confirmed
by the chief of police and other officials
of Kearney, Neb., and by farmers living
near the city. The obliging officials
even appeared with Schmidt on national
radio and T-V hookups to back him up, and
then the next morning reversed themselves
completely and insisted that he do the
same. Schmidt said he was sure the chief
of police and the county attorney were
under pressure from higher up, but he refused to make a switch with them.

Unfortunately for him the punitive
hand of some secret agency threatened the
Kearney officials and they forced him to
submit to a sanity test and had him committed to a nearby institution for the
mentally deranged.

Schmidt said the doctors tested him
for three days and decided he was normal.
He asked, "Well, how long does it take to
receive your full series of tests?"
"Two weeks," was the doctors' reply.
"I want the full course! " Schmidt replied, and he got it!
The description of these trials and
tribulations had the convention audience
with him almost from the start, and each
triumph over officialdom was punctuated
with applause, laughter, and cheers.

But officialdom was satisfied. The
electrifying story of Schmidt's contact,
broadcast nationwide. had been counteracted within 24 hours by the story of his
commitment to a mental institution. His
character and reputation had been publicly

His Dutch stubbornness had been 'set