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The Secret of the Saucers, by Orfeo M. Angelucci, [1955], at

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One evening in December about midnight I was returning to "Pop's" place alone. Pop Borgianini lives on the outskirts of town in a pleasant suburban area of average homes and small acreage farms. Clouds were overhead, but it was not a particularly dark night as there was considerable reflected light from the city.

I drove into the yard and parked my car in my usual spot. As I sat in the car for a moment breathing the clean, fresh air and looking out over the twinkling lights of the countryside, I heard a familiar voice call my name. Surprised, I glanced around to see a tall, well-built figure approaching from a shadowed corner of the yard. Because I was so completely unprepared for such a meeting, it took me a moment to collect my thoughts and realize that the familiar voice could be none other than that of Neptune. As he came nearer to the car I could see him fairly well in the soft light. He appeared just as he had that night down by the Los Angeles River. His closely-fitted "uniform" wavered like restless clouds of light and shadow.

But somehow I felt altogether different meeting him now; there was none of the eerie feeling I had

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experienced upon the occasion of our first meeting.

He seemed to feel much as I did, for he said cheerfully: "A merry Christmas to you, Orfeo." His warm, radiant smile was still the same, as was his noble bearing and everything else about him; yet I was able to comprehend and understand him so much more easily now. I wondered, had he descended closer to my level, or had I, since my strange "awakening" in that other world, risen nearer to his?

He answered the question for me. "You are indeed a dweller in two worlds now, Orfeo. Sometimes it is difficult for you to determine which world is substance and which is shadow, or if both are not merely differing degrees of substance. But you have done well, considering all that you have been through in these last two years. In reality you are now liberated from your planet, Earth and are a citizen of the cosmos. For seven Earth days you were conscious in our world as it existed in Time, while I kept watch over your physical body as it performed it normal duties here on Earth. Thus in a way I am a part of you even as you are a part of me. There now exist eternal bonds of understanding between us.

As he spoke, I thought of a puzzling statement he had made to me during our first meeting. It was that memorable night down by the Los Angeles River. I distinctly remembered that he'd said: "We shall return, dear friend, but not to you." I remembered the words so well because I had been so

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saddened to hear them. Thus as I looked at him now I was thinking that his very presence there seemed to belie those words.

He smiled again and said gently: "In reality we have not returned to you, Orfeo. You came to us. When you awakened as one of us, you had come home. Don't you understand? We are not returning to the shadow, Orfeo; our lost brother has returned to us. And from our first contact with you we never in reality ever left you."

I grasped the meaning of his words, for I well knew I was no longer the same person who, confused and bewildered, had stepped half-fearfully into the saucer that night under the Hyperion Avenue Bridge. "Yes," I replied thoughtfully. "What you say is true. Earth to me now often seems like a strange land where I have been a prisoner who has forgotten his native home."

"But you are no longer a prisoner, Orfeo. You have broken the chains of matter. Thus can you realize that you were a prisoner—and that realization is all important. The vast majority of Earth's people never dream of their true status."

He paused, and after a moment I said: "You know, of course, about the lecture tour . . ."

"We were with you through it all," he replied. "Several times you had a definite awareness of our presence. But even so, it was all a bitter disappointment to you. On more than one occasion you thought it was the end of all your hopes and plans. But there is no end to anything, Orfeo . . . ever!

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[paragraph continues] Nor should you let the material aspects of any situation perturb you, such as the Reverend "X's" failure in your hour of need. Upon Earth there are wheels within wheels. When one wheel fails, another is forced to bear a heavier load. But the wheel that fails will be required to carry a double load further along in Time. That is a law of Earth. Thus accept all with courage and equanimity."

After a moment, while I pondered his words, he continued: "On the West Coast all is comparatively quiet now. But the road is opening. Many have attained tenuous, new understandings. The governments of the world could say much more to the people about the saucer situation, but they will not until the zero hour is at hand. Are not those your thoughts?"

I did not reply, but smiled at him, for I knew that for a period of time I could have revealed many things about the saucer situation that were believed to be well hidden—and thus have stolen the thunder from many. Instead it was given to them as their very own even as the rains and the sunshine, but they failed the trust.

He continued slowly and thoughtfully: "The days that are to come upon Earth are known to me, but they are as yet mercifully veiled from you and from your fellows. This I can tell you: the hour of tragedy is close on Earth. In history it will be known as 'The Great Accident'. Wide devastation, suffering and the death of many will result from it. Perhaps

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you can guess how Man himself will be the direct cause of 'The Great Accident'.

"It is permitted only as a last hope of waking mankind to the terrible realization of the ghastly price he will pay if he enters the bloody holocaust of Armageddon. There is still a slight chance to avert the War of Desolation for in the Time dimension nothing is absolute. But if the horror of the War of the End of an Age shall come, cur multitudes are at hand to aid all of those not spiritually arrayed against us."

I bowed my head and as afar off I heard echoes of the hauntingly beautiful music of that Lost World; sad music as though thousands of angelic voices were joined in a hymn of sorrow.

At last Neptune said softly: "My brother of the universe, be not dismayed. Remember it is always darkest before the dawn. And the dawn is close for Earth. So close that the first glorious rays are already breaking for many in your world. Already we can behold the shining reality of your great world of tomorrow—a world of brotherly love and fellowship when Man is for Man and bound in unity through the love of the Father. The clouds on the horizon will pass quickly and tomorrow the sorrows seem only as dreams of darkness. We of the universe wait for the dawning of Earth's great tomorrow when we can welcome the children of Earth into our midst. Let our love and our faith sustain you and your fellows. And now, goodnight, Orfeo."

With those words, a silvery mist obscured the outlines

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of his figure. He faded away into almost complete transparency, although I could hear the echo of his footsteps as he walked away. It was obvious that his figure could definitely gain in density at will and also gather and resolve light.

As in a daze I got slowly out of the car and went inside the house surprised to hear so much noise and commotion in the dining room and kitchen. When I entered I saw that the room was full of people. Many of our relatives were there as well as some of the neighbors. Everyone seemed to be excited and was talking and gesticulating. No sooner was I inside than Mabel and several of the others rushed up and started telling me what they had seen off to the northeast a few miles away.

From the explanations I gathered that they had seen what appeared to be two round, large lights apparently playing tag with each other below the cloud bank. The phenomenon had continued for about fifteen minutes. They were still so excited that they interrupted each other to describe the capering antics of the two strange lights.

But having just come inside from my profound experience with Neptune, I was not in the least excited by their reports. They could not understand why I was so calm and disinterested. It irritated them slightly. My sister-in-law, Alice, asked, a little peevishly, if I didn't believe what they told me. All of them were obviously let down because the news appeared to have no effect upon me.

Of course I believed every word they said. Why

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shouldn't I? One of my brothers-in-law had nearly broken a leg jumping out of a high kitchen window to get a better look at the strange lights. I believed them all right, but I could not permit them to project their interpretations and reactions upon me. When they finally quieted down some I said: "Look how excited and close to hysteria you all are tonight. Suppose the Air Force should release the full impact of certain saucer news straight from the shoulder? Millions of people everywhere would begin reacting just as you are, only to a greater degree. Yet none of you are quite certain of what you saw. If the Air Force released certain definite information, there would be no uncertainty. It could be the beginning of national panic that no amount of sane reasoning could quell. Thus the public gets news releases of flying saucer activity, but immediately a retraction or an explanation in terms of known phenomena follows. A dampener of some sort is always placed upon such news. Never in the history of our country has any office, individual or branch of the government handled news items in such a manner. The whole picture actually, is clearly before our eyes. And yet where does it get us? Still no flying saucers landing cozily in our back yards. Small wonder the present policy is not to publicize saucer stories."

Finally, almost at dawn, the excitement quieted down sufficiently for us to get to bed and get a few hours sleep. The following day the newspapers carried reports of the sighting of strange "lights" by

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many people throughout the countryside. No one had "hallucinations". No one saw just the usual type of lights. After all, masses of people don't today excitedly report street lamps, searchlight beams, etc. How stupid can we get?

But the news was far too sensational! It had to have a damper put upon it quickly in one way or another. Fortunately for the flying saucer experts, it was about time for Earth to pass through a meteor stream.

Three days later, an old friend of mine, the local weatherman, made an official pronunciamento, blithely explaining away the lights in a simple and perfectly reasonable manner. They were, of course, meteors, he announced in the papers. We were expecting a shower of meteors, weren't we? Well, what else could those lights be but meteors? Official sources never fail!

Good, old Mr. White, the weatherman, God bless him. I like him. I have always liked him. Even though he always lost in his guesses with me, with the local farmers, and with most other prognosticators concerning the condition of the weather on the following day. I have seen him lose for weeks in succession and never guess the weather correctly in one instance. This delightful game has been going on for years. The weather perversely remains pretty unpredictable even for the experts.

But coming out so badly in his rounds with the weather, the weatherman had no compunctions in tackling the flying saucers.

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Thus Mr. White, or his press secretary, is still attempting to explain away those confounded "meteors" to a number of stubborn individuals. For it just so happened there was an overcast of clouds and mist that night. Two of the mysterious lights played around with each other below the clouds for nearly fifteen minutes. They were round, large, white lights without the fiery tails respectable meteors are supposed to flaunt. Now, Mr. White, these people, dozen of them, are either falsifiers, or else they saw something out of this world which cannot be neatly explained away by your pat little explanation.

What quality within you caused you to offer the explanation in the first place? Did you see and study the phenomenon as did those others? Could it possibly be that you were prompted by disturbing feelings of uncertainty, insecurity and fear of the unknown? You just wanted someone to say those lights weren't there, so badly that you finally up and said it yourself!

But enough for our good friend, the weatherman. Like the weather, he's always with us.

Elsewhere the overall saucer picture was improving. It appeared the road was being opened from new angles. By the end of December, 1953 hundreds of new reports of saucer activity were coming in. Also there was the significant news of Canada's construction of a flying saucer observatory. It was located near Ottawa and known as Project Magnet. Essentially a UFO detection station, it was being

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equipped with complex and expensive electronic equipment which were designed to detect gamma rays, magnetic fluctuations and gravity or mass changes in the atmosphere. Thus the instruments could detect immediately any magnetically controlled disks in the vicinity. The engineer in charge of the project, Wilbert B. Smith, stated that he believes there is a 95% probability that the UFOs do exist. He based his report upon the massive files of data on well-authenticated sightings on hand.

Also, Canada was actually building a jet-propelled flying saucer. Another step in the right direction. There were many new developments in the United States, but most of it was hush-hush stuff. But the flood of reports from all over the world could not be ignored. Great Britain officially recognized the phenomena. Other countries heard from were Australia, New Zealand, Sweden, Norway, France, Germany, Brazil, Japan, Denmark and many more.

But of course there were still the "die-hards", those who flatly refused to recognize the realities of this century. Of this last subversive element I met a number on my tour of the East. Failing in their desperate attempts to convert me to Communism and slant my talks along the Party Line, they invariably defiantly demanded: "Well then, just what do you think is wrong with Communism?"

My reply was invariably the same: "Absolutely everything is wrong with it! There is not one iota of right in it. Its only possible good is its ability to awaken to action the positive forces of good which

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are often sleeping. Communism is the negation of all that is honest and good in the world and in humanity. They would enslave the human mind. Their obstructiveness is willful and planned. We must eventually meet this murderous element at Armageddon; when it will be victory for one side or the other. Good will triumph, or evil! Every entity in this world and the adjoining planes is now aligned definitely upon one side or the other. No matter what the outcome of the conflict, the positive element of good will ultimately attain a greater life and progression; whereas the negative will meet death, destruction and a new beginning in a more hostile environment. As you have made your choice, so be it!

Shortly before the New Year we left New Jersey and set out on the long journey home to Los Angeles. We drove leisurely and enjoyed the scenery, so different from our perpetual springtime of Southern California. The boys especially got a kick out of it. Between Carlsbad Caverns and El Paso our car stalled on the desert. It was late at night and we were many miles from a town. I remember Mabel remarking dejectedly as she shivered in the cold night air: "Well, Orfie, we could certainly use some help from those flying saucers right now."

I smiled at her attempt at humor in our unfortunate situation. But the boys hopefully scanned the heavens as though aid might be imminent. As for myself, I had learned that the space visitors never in any way interfere in mundane affairs.

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[paragraph continues] Thus, of course, no glowing disk obligingly appeared to succor us. A very much down-to-earth truck did, however, and we eventually made it to the next town where I discovered that a tiny wire had become disconnected and short circuited the electrical system.

I felt rather foolish as I thought of how grandiosely I had been expounding the principle of infinite electro-magnetic power in flying saucers, but was utterly helpless in handling a simple problem in the electrical generation of my own car. The experience caused me to remind myself sharply that I could actually get lost between worlds, unless I kept my feet firmly upon terra firma, my home as of now.

Back home in Los Angeles I had the unpleasant feeling of being definitely let down. And I didn't know where to begin to start picking up the threads of my previous activities. The entire situation appeared as being rather futile and much too big for me, to have any effect. But several days after our return I received a phone call from Mrs. Dorothy Russell of Manhattan Beach asking if I would give a talk before the prominent Neptunian Club in her city. She didn't know it, but she was responsible for picking me up out of the depths and launching me once more upon my mission. "Neptunian Club," I thought as I hung up the receiver. "Could the name be just a coincidence?"

At Manhattan Beach I spoke before a packed clubhouse. The meeting was a tremendous success and everyone in the audience was receptive and enthusiastic.

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[paragraph continues] Additional lectures in other Western cities followed. Also, I resumed my regular weekly meetings at the Hollywood Hotel. All in all I felt things were progressing as well as I could hope. At times Mabel still urged me to "forget it all", and go back to work at Lockheed again. But I knew I couldn't ever do that. Come what may, I would tell all who would listen about the space visitors.

Next: Chapter XI. I Have a Vision