THE CLAIMS OF AN EARLY UFO CONTACTEE:
ORFEO ANGELUCCI'S SECRET OF THE SAUCERS
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.
ORFEO IN HIS OWN WORDS:
ORFEO’S FOREWORD TO “THE SECRET OF THE SAUCERS”
WHY I WAS SELECTED - WHAT THEY WANTED
Many persons have asked me why the space visitors should have chosen me for contact rather than some other individual they considered eminently qualified for such a contact than myself. Why, they infer, should the space visitors have picked so insignificant a non-entity as I for their revelations?
In all humility I tell you that I too have asked both the space visitors and myself that very question many times. And it is only within recent months that I have begun to understand fully just why I was chosen. After you have finished the book, however, you will have the answer. It is up to you then to decide whether or not you agree with the saucer beings with their choice of contact.
Thus I shall begin by telling you something of my early life and the space visitors first contact with me back in the year 1946, when I was totally unaware that I first came under observation.
My childhood was the usual happy, carefree childhood of most American boys. I joined in the less strenuous games, attended school and was fairly good in my studies, although I was always frail and in poor health. Fortunately, my family was in fairly comfortable circumstances and they and my two indulgent uncles saw to it that I always had the best medical attention available.
My youthful trouble was diagnosed as “constitutional inadequacy” and its symptoms were great physical weakness, lack of appetite and malnutrition. Hence I tired very easily and the slightest physical effort often left me weak and exhausted. I suffered from severe migraine headaches and as I grew older it seemed at times that every nerve and muscle in my body ached with excruciating pain.
When I was in the ninth grade the doctors advised that I discontinue school and continue my studies at home. This arrangement was highly satisfactory with me, for I have always been intensely interested in all branches of science. Ay home I was able to devote my entire time to the study of these subjects.
With plenty of rest and on a weight-building diet I gained strength and within a year the doctors believed I was well enough to return to school. But as my family suffered the financial reverses in the meantime, it was decided that it would be best if I went to work for awhile. I heartily approved. My first job was with my uncle’s flooring and stucco company. He hired me as an estimator salesman as I was not equal to any heavy work. I liked the work and enjoyed getting and meeting people. All in all I got along pretty well even though I was considered just a kid. In my spare time I continued to study all of the books I could get ahold of on scientific subjects.
In 1936 I met Mabel Borgianini, an attractive Italian girl who is a direct descendant of the famous family. From the first, both of us knew we were meant for each other. Her happy, cheerful disposition helped me to keep from brooding over my health and physical inability to accomplish all of the things that I longed to do. It was the happiest day of my life when we were married. About a year later our first son, Raymond, was born. and our cup of happiness was full.
A little later I suffered a complete physical breakdown and was forced to give up my job. My weight fell alarmingly from 150 to 103 pounds and I was so weak that I could scarcely sit up. After a number of medical examinations and complicated tests, the doctors decided I was suffering from a neurovascular disturbance. They prescribed complete rest and continuous medical attention.
Thus I entered a new world, a white world of doctors, nurses and hospital beds. For eighteen long months I was confined to bed. For my body was racked with excruciating pains and I was so utterly exhausted that I could not even read. Medical science was doing everything possible for me, but I knew that my doctors didn’t believe that I would ever pull through. Frankly, I didn’t much care whether I lived or died. Life was no longer desirable. To lie day after day on a white hospital cot with a body flayed with pain and too exhausted even to think is indeed a living hell. Death, I felt could mean release from pain. Especially was the confinement difficult to bear as I had always loved the outdoors, the sparkle of the sunshine, the whisper of the leaves in the woods, and the music of the woodland streams. Sometimes I prayed that I might die and escape the pain and awful weariness that ached in my muscles.
But weeks lengthened into months and gradually I began to improve. Finally I was able to sit up again and then to walk. It was like being reborn. I even began to take an interest in my science books once more. At last the joyous day when I was able to leave the hospital and return home. All through those long months of confinement, the faith and encouragement of my wife and family never failed. Mabel was with me through it all and if it hadn’t been for her love and understanding I doubt if I would have made it.
My body was still wracked with pain, but I had to bear that. The good thing was the terrible exhaustion and trembling weakness was gone so that I was able to be up and about. Although my family tried to dissuade me, I insisted upon going back to work on my old job almost immediately. I had been inactive so long that I wanted more than anything just to be busy again.
After I returned to work, I took up courses in night school. The old insatiable hunger for knowledge was gnawing at my very soul. I realized that science had discovered much, but there were still so many things to be learned; so many of nature’s secrets yet to be revealed. I was obsessed with learning the true nature of the atom; discovering the cure for virus diseases and especially for polio, that most ghastly of all crippling diseases. I felt that a satisfactory explanation for the creation and operation of the entire universe was yet to be worked out. What was the great mystery of the creation of matter, or the actual origin of the atom? These and other similar enigmas echoed in my brain night and day.
The field of electricity and electro-magnetic phenomena interested me in particular. Probably because from earliest childhood I had an acute fear or phobia about lightning. During an electrical storm I suffered not only actual bodily pain, but mental perturbation and distress. Thus I became well versed in atmospheric static electricity.
I conducted some simple experiments on my own. I noticed that all fowl and especially chickens are nervous and apprehensive during an impending thunderstorm. It was obvious from my own reactions that they to experienced definite physical symptoms because of atmospheric conditions. Also, I discovered chickens are subject to a “range paralysis” which in every respect parallels infantile paralysis in human beings. From my studies and experiments in this field I believed I had discovered certain facts that might be highly significant in the treatments of polio. In my enthusiasm, I wrote a long detailed letter on the subject to President Franklin Roosevelt, who was then in the White House.
Returning to my studies and home experiments, I became interested in fungi and the atmospheric conditions affecting them. I studied the wild mushrooms and the particular atmospheric conditions which resulted in their sudden, erratic growth. From the mushrooms I turned to molds. It was my belief that molds are a negative form of life which leech on living matter by an elusive, subtle process of mutation.
At that time we were well into World War II. Penicillin had been discovered, but it was yet only a magic word and a deep mystery to the public. No books or reports were available on the subject. But by then I was familiar with the characteristics of fungi. In my experiments I discovered that one of the most common molds could be made to produce chemicals indefinitely if kept in proper nutrition and temperature. It was then I decided to see what structural changes could occur in the mold aspergillus clavatus in the upper atmosphere.
On August 4, 1946, I took cultures of the mold in three stages of growth: embryonic, half mature and mature. I placed the molds in baskets and attached the baskets to eighteen Navy-type balloons and prepared to send them aloft. But through an unfortunate accident the balloons broke away prematurely, carrying the baskets with the molds aloft with no means of retrieving them. My long months of strenuous effort and careful planning were hopelessly lost.
Heartsick, I sighed heavily as I watched the balloons and my precious molds ascending higher and higher into the clear blue sky. I was a perfect day, just the kind of weather I had longed for to make my test, but now everything was irreparably lost.
My family and a number of friends and neighbors were with me watching the experiment. Also, on hand were a reporter and a photographer from the Trentonian, the Trenton daily newspaper. Everyone was silent staring into the heavens watching the balloons growing smaller as they gained altitude. Everyone there and especially Mabel and my father-in-law knew how keenly disappointed I was. Mabel put her arm comfortingly about my shoulders and murmured: “It’s all right, Orfeo. You can try again.”
It was then that my father-in-law, Alfred Borgianini, noticed a craft in the sky and called out: “Look! There’s an airplane, Orfeo. Maybe it will follow your balloons.”
Everyone there saw the object and it was the consensus that it had been attracted to the spot by the group of ascending balloons. But as it hovered and circled overhead, we were all soon aware that it was no ordinary airplane. In the first place it maneuvered in an amazingly graceful and effortless manner. Then as we gained a clearer view of it, we were startled to see that it did not have the familiar outline of any known type of aircraft. It was definitely circular in appearance and glistened in the sunshine. We looked at each other in surprise and bewilderment and the photographer tried to get some shots of the thing. Mabel exclaimed: “Why, I never saw such an airplane before! It’s round and it doesn’t have any wings!”
Everyone agreed and we continued to stare as it gained altitude and appeared to follow after the balloons until it too vanished from our sight. For several days afterward we discussed the strange object, but as in the case of most mysteries, we forgot all about it within a week or two. Today, however, any one of those persons who were with me that day will vouch for the authenticity of that strange craft.
Since then I have learned that the occasion of the launching of the balloons was the first time I came under direct observation of the extra-terrestrials. Although I never then dreamed of the significance of the event, that was their first contact with me. From that moment on for the next five years and nine months I remained under constant observation by beings from another world, although I was wholly unaware of it.
The state police force was appealed to and requested to be on the lookout for the eighteen lost balloons and their strange cargo. Also, local radio stations and newspapers publicized the loss of the balloons and requested anyone finding or sighting them to report to authorities. But nothing was ever heard about them and to all intents the eighteen balloons and the mold cultures vanished.
Several days after the loss of the balloons I stopped in at the Palmer Physics Laboratory at Princeton University to visit Dr. Dan Davis, head of the Cosmic Ray Department. Dr. Davis had always been most friendly toward me and was never too busy to take time out to help me with some of the technical problems that were always troubling me.
I told Dr. Davis and one of his aides about the experimental molds and their loss in the accident with the balloons. Dr. Davis regretted that I had not told him about my experiments beforehand, for he said that the laboratory would have been glad to supply the hydrogen gas for the experiment and otherwise help to reduce expenses. Also, he said he would have arranged to have the balloons traced by the chain of radar stations in the eastern section.
Princeton and its environs were literally heaven-on-earth to me, for it was one of the important homes of my beloved science. In the vicinity were such great institutions a Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research, the R.C.A. Laboratories, the American Telephone and Telegraph Co.; the Institute for Advance Study; the Heyden Chemical Corporation, producers of penicillin. And nearby were Rutgers University, E. R. Squibb and Co., Merck and Son and many others.
Yes, I loved every inch of New Jersey with its marvelous institutions of learning and scientific research. But my love for the state was offset by my uncontrollable apprehensions of and physical anguish during the rather violent thunderstorms there. Thus when Mabel began to talk of moving to the West Coast where I’d heard there were few, if any, thunderstorms, I was easily persuaded to go along with her plans.
In November of 1947, my family, consisting of Mabel and I and my two boys, Raymond and Richard, started by automobile for Los Angeles. On the trip we stopped at Rochester, Minnesota where I had an appointment at the famous Mayo Clinic with Dr. Walter C. Alvarez, the modern Hippocrates of diagnostic medicine. I sincerely appreciated my tremendous good fortune at being granted time by this authority in the field of medicine, for many more deserving than I have been unable to see this busy man. Despite his fame and his importance in the medical world, I found him extremely modest and kindly. After a thorough examination he concluded that my condition was caused by an inherent constitutional inadequacy in an extreme degree. It was his opinion that the condition had been induced by a childhood attack of trichinosis from eating contaminated, under-cooked pork. He said I was fortunate to have survived the acute attack. He advised me to get as much rest as possible and never to engage in work that was not of my choice and liking in order to minimize the burden on my weakened constitution and nervous system.
At last we arrived in the Golden State on the West Coast. Southern California was a delightful new experience for both my family and myself. I decided it was paradise indeed when I discovered that it actually was practically free from electrical storms. And my boys and Mabel were thrilled with stretches of golden sand at the seashores, the mountains and the continuous semi-spring that prevails there at all seasons of the year.
We spent five months in California sight-seeing and enjoying the sunshine and the wonders of its scenery. At the end of that time we had to return to Trenton, as I had some unfinished business to attend to there. But I had purchased a lot in Los Angeles and we planned to return and make our permanent home there as soon as possible.
For some years I had been working on a thesis titled, “The Nature of Infinite Entities” which included chapters on such subjects as Atomic Evolution, Suspension, and Involution; Origin of the Cosmic Rays; Velocity of the Universe, etc. While I was in Trenton I had the thesis published entirely at my own expense and mailed copies to various universities and individual scientists working on fundamental research. Of course I realized at the time it was presumptuous of me, but I was completely carried away with my tremendous enthusiasm for ideas which I believed I understood but could not properly formulate because of lack of technical training.
It was my deep and abiding hope that some one of the scientists might understand what I was driving at and work out the technical and mathematical angles. Some of the men were interested, but none as far as I know ever exerted the effort on the theories that I had hoped they might. But at least I was satisfied that I had done my best considering the limited circumstances of my education. I was content to let the matter rest. It was obvious science had no need of me, a rank and presumptuous amateur. I must remain mute, an orphan of science!
We were all happy to return to Los Angeles and settle down in our new home. There I went into business with my father. But from the first we encountered vicissitudes on every side. For three long, difficult years we struggled along trying to make a go of it, but monopolies and stiff competition made the going so rough that we were finally forced to close down the business.
The temptation was great to return to the security of Trenton where material comfort and a small fortune awaited us if we would make our home there. But Mabel and the boys loved Southern California. As far as I am concerned, security has never been of great importance in my world of the atom, the electron and the photon. Also, there were still those electric storms to reckon with. To an electrophobe like myself, this aspect is always of primary consideration. So we decided to forget security and gamble on keeping our home and making a go of it in Los Angeles where we were all content.
This was in the year 1948 and the flying saucers were then making headlines from time to time. But I was completely disinterested in the phenomenon. Like many other persons, I thought the saucers were some new type of aircraft being secretly developed here in the United States. I figured the information would come out in good time.
For several months I worked as manager of the Los Feliz Club House. In my spare time I endeavored to write a motion picture script. I was more of a hobby than anything else. I didn’t really expect the script to be accepted as I’d had no writing experience. As the idea of space travel was quite popular in the films then, I concentrated on a story about an imaginary trip to the moon. Several studios were interested in the finished manuscript, but it was never made into a motion picture.
When the club house where I was employed was finally leased to a large organization, I made application for work at the Lockheed Aircraft Corporation plant at Burbank, California. The application was approved and I went to work for Lockheed on April 2, 1952, in the metal fabrication department.
After about six weeks in Metal Fabrication I was transferred to the Plastics Unit at Lockheed. Since plastics had always interested me, I was pleased with the change. I was one of a three-man crew working on radomes, or plastic and glass housings for the radar units of the F-94C and F-94B Starfire jet aircraft. I liked my fellow workers, Dave Donnegan and Richard Butterfield. Both were honest sincere, hardworking typical young Americans. They had their feet firmly on the ground and although interested on new ideas and scientific developments, they were strictly on the material plane and not interested in abstractions.
I was fortunate indeed to have two such men to cushion the shock of the fantastic chain of events in which I was so soon and unexpectedly to be involved. As I look back now it appears that an occult power of some sort had neatly arranged every smallest detail in advance including the particular type of job I was in as well as the two men who were to be closest to me through all of my incredible experiences. urs was the swing shift. The unusual hours appealed to me as well as the excitement of the new work and the motley assortment of people at the plant. But I did not know then what infinitely strange destiny gate held in store for me.
Continued in Orfeo Angelucci - part 2.