Saturday, December 30, 2006


I’ve just decided to up and post little gems from Colin Bennett’s Looking for Orthon,his book on George Adamski, as I come upon them. Which is a book everyone who considers themselves serious about UFOlogy should read. (I know, we all have our “must read UFO books list” right?)

One of the common folklore items about Adamski was that he was an immigrant hot dog vendor. This is often said in the same context as dismissing Adamski. Sure, he’s a lunatic, goes the thinking, but if you have any doubt about that, geez, he was just an immigrant hot dog/hamburger vendor.

The fact is, Adamski often worked with his wife in a restaurant operated and owned by his close friend Alice K. Wells. This restaurant (not simple ‘hot dog’ stand) was the stopping place for people going, or coming back from, the observatory up the road to Mt. Palomar.

Regarding the common and all too frequent meme that Adamski “sold hot dogs” (or the variant; “hamburger” vendor) Bennett cites Lou Zinnsstag, who couldn’t understand the need to dismiss Adamski, based on his alleged occupation. She wondered:

”why, in a democracy, this fact did so much to damage his image.”

It’s the American way, isn’t it? Work hard, the idea that manual labor is good, honest labor, that working at all is better than free loading. We're told that, or were, (I know I was, probably reality's beginning to set in now in these times, the further away we are from Post WWII era fantasties.) The opposite is true of course: you aren't any better off, and there is nothing dignified about living in poverty or working your bones bare til you drop.

Bennett writes, of the slams against Adamski’s occupation to “prove” that he was full of crap:
Perhaps the world still thinks as Shakespeare thought, that only those at the top of the social scale are capable of having intensely significant experiences. “

Maybe it irked the privileged classes on some level, those who prided themselves on being ‘educated’ and in a higher economic bracket, that these experiences didn’t happen to them. And that if they did, they don’t dare tell about it, for fear of being ostracized from their peer groups and their social class.

This notion that Adamski was a no account working stiff at a dead end hamburger/hot dog stand still exists. I’ve come across this snide dismissal from many an anti-UFO individual. As Bennett tells us, this kind of thinking was alive as recently as 1999:

Naturally enough, Adamski was always very sensitive about the “hamburger vendor” title some popular newspapers had given him. Even as late as 1999, the British X-Factor magazine condescendingly refers to his “hot dog stand.” From this remark, we assume that for sound philosophy, first-class restaurants are absolutely essential.”

(And that last line is one of the many reasons why I love Bennett.)

It doesn’t need saying (but of course I’ll say it anyway) that it’s become a cliché in our culture to make fun of the hick, the hillbilly, the trailer park occupant, -- the working class, the poor, the working poor, those without a higher education (or those who are assumed to not have a higher education,) the blue and pink collar workers of our country, and point to them and deride them when they tell us they’ve seen a UFO, or experienced some other anomalous event.

And yet, it is to this group of people that most often the anomalous occurs, it seems. If they do occur to the upper classes -- or those who would like to see themselves that way -- the elite, the ones with college degrees, the scientists and white collar professionals, they are keeping quiet for the most part.

There are exceptions of course; like commercial pilots, a lot of military people who’ve come forward, etc.

But the idea that it’s low life hicks and/or mere “hamburger” slingers that see UFOs or encounter the weird, is still around. Their stories are too fantastic to be believed, but we know that somewhere, it’s possible, it’s even likely, and so we tell ourselves that it’s only the unimportant in society that see these things to make us feel better. By negating the experiences of one class, we suppress the possibility of having those experiences ourselves.


For more on UFOs and class, see:

Dr. Kinsey, UFOs and the Lower Class

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