An Interview with Timothy Green Beckley
Publisher, Reporter, Movie Producer, and UFO Paranormal Researcher and Experiencer!
by Brent Raynes
Timothy Green Beckley, editor, publisher, movie producer, UFO-paranormal-conspiracy researcher, began reading FATE magazine back in 1957, at age ten, the same year he sighted two UFOs over his New Jersey home. He hasn’t stopped thinking, researching, investigating and writing about the subject of UFOs and things that go “bump in the night” since (he also had some classic paranormal experiences back in his childhood as well) and is today regarded as an internationally acclaimed authority on practically all things strange, unexplained and paranormal.
Read our exclusive interview with Mr. Beckley as he takes us to the beginning of his fascinating and unusual life journey, which has been fifty years since that UFO sighting at age ten, and he brings us up to the present time with his latest efforts and his personal thoughts and reflections on what he has learned over these many years.
Editor: Your interest in the realms of the supernatural, unexplained phenomena, and UFOs really goes back to your childhood. Living in New Jersey, you grew up in a haunted house with poltergeist phenomena. Could you recount a little about that for us?
Tim Beckley: I guess the paranormal probably came pretty easy for me. My mother had an unusually high level of interest in the subject. I won’t say that she was psychic, but she seemed to believe in a lot of this and read a lot of the literature that was available at the time.
Around the age of six, I recall having like poltergeist phenomena occurring spontaneously around the house. Lights would go on and off, doors would open and close. This would not be on a nightly basis. I wouldn’t want anybody to think that it was the Amityville Horror. It wasn’t by any means, but things did occur from time to time. I remember in particular I was seated at the dinner table and this big dish slid across the table and kind of floated to the floor, and it didn’t break. Maybe it didn’t break because it was a heavy dish. I don’t know. I mean, you could read something into this. Whatever you want. But it occurred.
We also had the peculiar phenomena of a baby crying around the house. I remember one night in the middle of the winter hearing the sound of a baby crying and my mother and I went to the back door, opened it up, and there in the snow, leading down to the few steps to the driveway, was what appeared to be little baby booty prints, and we followed them in the back and they just disappeared in the snow.
My godmother, who was a real staunch Catholic and not prone to believe in any of this stuff at all apparently was there one day and she heard the sound of a baby crying (I guess maybe she had been babysitting me at that point) and opened the door and there was a woman with a baby in her arms, rocking the baby and the baby was crying. My godmother knew that there was no such person in the house (there was only my grandparents) so she got kind of spooked and closed the door, and when she opened it again there was nobody there. Later on we found (I guess my mother and somebody did some research) and we found that there was an incident going back, I don’t know what year, but this was during some epidemic, maybe around 1914, 1918. There were thousands of people dying around the world, and apparently a mother and her daughter had died in the house. They had a wake and they put the baby in the same coffin as the mother. So maybe this was the ghost that we were encountering, if it was a ghost indeed. But there were supernatural things happening in the Beckley residence I would certainly say.
The next thing that happened would have been some out-of-body experiences. Maybe at the age of seven or so, where I actually found myself floating in the air (not in my physical body but I guess in my astral form) and I could see that the room was filled with all of these strange colors. I remember seeing vivid colors and hearing celestial music. Don’t ask me what it sounded like. I don’t remember. But I remember that’s what happened at the time, and then a little while later I found myself back in my body, and I actually remember tumbling or being drawn back into it and I awoke in a really, really cold sweat. This happened a few times, and then later on in life I did have some astral projection experiences that were more controlled than this.
Anyway these things were happening, and at the age of ten I had my first of three UFO sightings.
Editor: Right, and I recall from reading a previous interview that even though you were just ten you knew that this was something unusual.
Tim Beckley: Well, with the UFO sighting there was no doubt about it. That’s even clearer than any of these other experiences that I just told you about. I’ve told this story so many times it’s almost like repeating a record really, but it was a warm summer evening in 1957. We were all sitting outside because in those days nobody had air conditioning. So we all sat outside until it cooled off. It was just after twilight, as I recall, and somebody had come up the stairs where I was seated with four or five people sitting around chatting, and somebody pointed out these two objects in the sky.
Now I can’t tell you that I saw any landing gear. There were no little men and I was not abducted. But there were two bright lights up above the clouds. I would estimate that they were maybe 30-35 feet in diameter, very brightly lit objects, or orbs I guess you’d call them. You can’t say objects because I didn’t see any metallic hull or anything like that. One of them was across the street over an abandoned factory building and the other one was directly over the house, and they kept rotating in the sky so that the one over the house would go over to where the one over the manufacturing building had been, and that one would move over to the house, and they would kind of like circle overhead. I think this went on for a period of maybe 15 minutes or so, until the one across the street it looked like someone had pulled the light switch because it just disappeared.
The next day there was a little item in the newspaper to the effect that other people had witnessed these lights and the authorities were saying that they were nothing more unusual than weather balloons. Well, even at the rather tend age of ten, it kind of struck me funny because I knew these weren’t weather balloons. It wasn’t something that was bobbing and weaving in the air current. They were much too large and they did seem to be under intelligent control. So I don’t know what they were. I cannot tell you that they were from outer space, but they were up there in the sky. It fascinated me and I remember writing to the newspaper with my concern that the authorities were saying that there was a conventional explanation and I was pretty sure that there wasn’t, and that kind of led to my coming out of the closet UFOwise. I started putting out a little newsletter called The Interplanetary News Service Report and the first issue I had printed by a fellow by the name of Alan Katz who lived in Middlesex, New Jersey and he had a mimeograph machine and printed like 50 copies of the newsletter, and it was me and a fellow by the name of Edward J. Babcock Jr. who did a book early on called UFOs Around The World, and we were the first researchers to actually give credibility to the idea that there were UFO sightings not only in this country but all over the world, and we had contributors from maybe twenty different countries. We printed this book. In those days there were no fast copy places like Kinko, Staples, or any of those other places, so you had to do everything yourself. You either had a ditto machine, which was this terrible liquid like purple. It wasn’t even liquid, it was like alkaloid, so that you couldn’t print maybe more than 75 copies and then it would evaporate on you, and then the next step up was a mimeograph machine. So I went out and bought a mimeograph machine and Jerry Clark cut my stencils. He was the assistant editor of The Interplanetary News Service Report.
Editor: This is the Jerry Clark, known today as Jerome Clark?
Tim Beckley: The Jerry Clark, whether he wants to admit it or not, he cut my stencils, and Lucius Farish was the assistant director of The Interplanetary News Service Report, even though Lucius and I have not spoken in years. He did not like the fact that I was associated or friendly with Gray Barker and Jim Moseley. He didn’t like Jim Moseley because he had run an expose on George Adamski.
A lot of us active in the field today got started as teenagers. There was a whole confederation of teenaged UFO researchers. Gene Steinberg put out The UFO Reporter. I believe that was the name of his publication. He does The Paracast today on the Internet. Allen Greenfield, of course, was a good friend and associate as was Rick Hilberg, or Ricky Hilberg in those days. And so we all kind of got started together.
Editor: Well back in 1967, when I got started I had a little publication called Sauceritis which I mimeographed, and I corresponded with Lou Farish back in those days quite extensively, and Loren Coleman was on my little board of directors. (laughs)
Tim Beckley: Is that right? Huh. Well, we must have been all pretty handsome and pretty young in those days I guess.
Editor: It goes back a ways.
Of course, you became active pretty quick. There was Harold Salkin back in the mid-1960s.
Tim Beckley: Harold is one of the unsung heroes in the field. Harold was out of Washington, D.C. He shared the choirs with Clara John who actually ghost wrote Adamski’s book Inside the Spaceships, and they put out a publication called The Little Listening Post, which was a very, very chatty newsletter about maybe six or seven pages. It was kind of like the Paul Harvey of ufology. Everything was broken down real fast, very accurate, and it always seemed that whenever you got The Little Listening Post something was going on even if nothing was going on.
Harold, just by synchronicity or coincidence, and of course we know there is no such thing, but anyway his mother lived in the next town over from where I was, in Highland Park, New Jersey, and when he was in town visiting his mother he would call me on the phone and we would chat and we got together, and maybe I was 16 or so at the time. I had this old I guess Remington manual typewriter and we knocked out an article for Saga magazine. It was one of the best that I ever wrote which was the astronaut sightings and encounters, long before anybody else was writing about any of this.
Editor: Right. That’s been reprinted in your recent book.
Tim Beckley: It’s in our book Strange Saga. Anyway, Harold and I had gone to the NASA headquarters in Washington, and even though James Oberg has called me a liar on this, we spent three days at NASA headquarters, we went through their files. They were very kind to us. They showed us every single transcript that we wanted to see. We culled out of the printed transcripts, page by page by page, and they also gave us a sheet that stated on top “UFO Photos Taken By The Astronauts.” We got prints of all of these things. I wrote an article for Genesis magazine, of all places, which is one of the men’s magazines. I was a movie review critic for Hustler magazine. I don’t know if most people realize that. I wrote for a lot of men’s magazines in those days, and in Genesis I wrote this piece with a lot of photographs that had never been published before that date.
Oberg says that I made it up, but I didn’t make this up. I didn’t lie. He’s just B.S.ing again. He believes what he wants to believe and I know what I know. We didn’t make any of that up. All of that testimony of the astronauts and what they saw was right there in the documents.
There were so many UFO groups back in those days. We exchanged publications with 125 different UFO organizations around the world, back when there were actual physical publications.
So anyway, Harold Salkin was not only the co-editor (although they never used their names), he actually helped NICAP get started. He donated I think the first $1000. that NICAP ever saw. He helped Major Keyhoe write that famous True article and at the same time he was helping out with the voice of NICAP he was also Adamski’s unofficial publicist, Dan Fry, Wayne Aho, and other New Age contactee types. Whenever they came to Washington, Harold would get them on radio and TV. He never got paid doing any of this. Again there’s no money to be made on UFOs per se.
In fact, I remember back during the Vietnam War Era, Harold had booked me in the large YMCA in Washington to give a lecture and I had brought all of my slides down and everything, and it was in the middle of a demonstration and there were five people in the audience. I still went ahead with my lecture. Police had the whole area blocked off and I could see through a big picture window as I was giving the lecture the police were tear gasing people and people were running in all directions. I said to myself, “Probably some of these people who are running actually came to hear the lecture and were not war protestors.” (laughs) I’m sure that out of the 500 or 600 people that were being scurried down the street with the tear gas, I’m sure that there were a couple little old ladies in there who were bent on getting to the Y to hear my talk, but they never made it to the front door. I don’t even know how those five people got in, to be honest with you.
Then Harold moved up to New York and we started writing for the tabloids. My publishing company, Global Communications, was a news feature service that supplied articles to magazines and newspapers all over the world. Not just on UFOs but on a lot of different subjects, and the tabloids were our big market. Most of the articles, even though the stories did not contain our name, many of the articles in The Enquirer, which were not made up, were written by us. In fact, we had a couple of headline stories in there which we even got pretty large sized bonuses for, back before The Enquirer decided that not enough people were interested in UFOs and dropped that from their format to go totally celebrity.
Harold died just recently. He was in the military, you know, during World War II. He was kind of a combat stringer for the Associated Press. That’s why when he got out of the military he knew all of these guys who worked for Voice of America. I actually was on a show that had the potential audience of a 130 million listeners on the Voice of America, and they actually had programs on UFOs. Many were censoring it in this country but we got to talk all about this stuff and it went out all over the world.
Editor: Did you ever meet Bob Pratt?
Tim Beckley: You know, I don’t know if I did or not. We were stringers. Free-lancers. We did have a pretty close relationship with the Enquirer people down in Florida and went by there a couple of times. My main contact was a fellow by the name of Cliff Linedecker, who actually wrote a couple of books on psychic phenomena, including I believe a book on country western singers who had metaphysical experiences, ghost encounters, and so forth.
I met a number of the people there, but I don’t know if I ever met Bob Pratt. I did correspond with him and, of course, I sold his book. His book UFO Danger Zone was certainly a very well researched volume. One of the best, I would say, in the field, although I don’t necessarily agree with his conclusions that UFOs are menacing or hostile. It seems like a handful of sightings out of tens or thousands of reports don’t necessarily make an accurate conclusion.
I will say one thing. People think that The Enquirer was yellow journalism and that they made up stories. They never made up anything that I am certainly aware of.
I remember being at a MUFON Conference, one of the few that I’ve ever gone to, and Tracy Torme was there, and of course Tracy did Fire In The Sky and his father was Mel Torme, the famous singer. I had written an article about Torme’s UFO sighting, which was not particularly spectacular. He was out walking his dog near Central Park one day and there was an object in the sky, and I mentioned that to Tracy as a way of introducing myself and he said, “My dad said that was the most accurate article ever written about him.” All The Enquirer ever did was use exact quotes. We would provide them with the tapes of the interviews, with the witnesses, and pretty much all that they would do was take the quoted material. There was very little introduction, very little between any paragraphs. It was just stated word for word, none of it was made up, despite what other UFO researchers, who are not in the know about most things, would have you believe.
People ask me, “What do you think UFOs are?” I say, “Well UFOs are unidentified. It doesn’t necessarily even have to be flying, and there’s probably more than one phenomenon.” It’s obvious that we’re not talking about one thing here. Brad Steiger has his list of 17 different UFO origins and theories, so I’m sure that some are spiritual phenomena, some physical craft from other planets (although I don’t think there are many of those here, but maybe every once and awhile). Then others of them are intelligently controlled earth lights. I have written about this, and you’ve written about this as well, and I wrote about this subject extensively in my book Our Alien Planet: This Eerie Earth.
Editor: Right, it could be earth energies or Keel’s old ultraterrestrials.
Tim Beckley: That seems to be a popular explanation or theory these days and a lot of people are taking credit for it, not realizing other people who came before them. Allen Greenfield should actually get quite a bit of credit. I remember doing an interview with him for Ray Palmer’s magazine. He was one of the first to talk about alternate realities or other dimensions.
Editor: It’s amazing how many of the current crop of ufologists don’t even know when you mention John Keel or Jacques Vallee or Allen Greenfield who you’re talking about.
Tim Beckley: Well, I would hope that they would know who John Keel is.
Editor: Well, of course, after the movie came out you do have more people, and he also went on Art Bell, but before that a lot of people really didn’t know.
Tim Beckley: I think I’m one of the few people who talks to John every other week or so, but we don’t talk that much about UFOs. We’ve been kind of personal friends over the years.
Editor: He’s certainly presented a lot of very interesting data and I’ve talked to him on the phone a few times too.
Tim Beckley: He doesn’t like to give interviews.
Editor: No. He doesn’t. You have to settle for a little comment here and there that he might let you share but not an interview.
Tim Beckley: I guess he figures he’s interviewed out. Whatever he’s said he’s said many times.
Editor: Yeah, he’s told me to go get one that has already been published and re-use that.
Tim Beckley: I guess another great influence in my career as a writer and publisher was Gray Barker. Gray published Saucerian Publications out of Clarksburg, West Virginia, and of course Gray was best known for his book, They Knew Too Much About Flying Saucers. Now I believe that it was in the 5th or 6th grade that I had to do a book review, and what book did I pick. It was, They Knew Too Much About Flying Saucers, of course not knowing at that point that Gray would be the publisher of my first book and that after he passed away I would buy from his estate the remainder of the copies of that particular title. It impressed me not only because of its contents but also because of his writing style, and I always wanted to write like Gray Barker (laughs) and I guess that some would say that I accomplished that, for better or for worse, or whatever.
And for some reason, which I can’t remember off hand, at one point he wasn’t doing a column anymore. I wrote to Ray Palmer and said I’d like to do my own column, and so in the late 1960s I started doing a regular column for Flying Saucers magazine called On The Trail Of The Flying Saucers, which ran for maybe five or six years. Then I did a couple of columns for Search magazine, which was one of Palmer’s other publications. Of course, Ray was the man who kind of started UFOs and was responsible for the Shaver mystery. I became fairly friendly at least in correspondence with Richard Shaver. He was a character, as everybody knows, and people ask me, “Well, what is the truth about Richard Shaver’s claims,” and I just look at them and say, “I don’t know.” Obviously, the inner earth and the whole idea of a subterranean world holds a great fascination with people.
In fact, people don’t realize this but being in the UFO publishing business like I am there are more books sold that deal with UFOs being of Nazi origin and originating from the inner earth. People are not interested in UFOs from outer space.
Editor: Oh really?
Tim Beckley: That is the least popular theory. In fact, any time that I have tried to publish anything serious, and any time I have gotten a good review in The MUFON Journal I know that is the kiss of death as far as book sales go. Of course, there have obviously been some exceptions, like the Betty and Barney Hill book, The Interrupted Journey and some of Frank Edwards’s early books, but those are few and far between.
Editor: That’s just the opposite of what I would have thought.
Tim Beckley: Well there you go. I’ve certainly published my share of what I would consider serious UFO books. One of my favorites was by Jenny Randles, From Out Of The Blue, about Bentwaters, the UFO landing at the NATO base there and the contact and so forth with the US military, and we sold the paperback rights and the book just barely paid off in very small advances and sold less than 15,000 copies in paperback, which is why publishers do not publish UFO books because they just don’t sell in big numbers.
With a few exceptions over the years, UFO books don’t sell in big numbers. So they don’t publish them. It’s not a censorship thing. It’s a bottom line.
Editor: And it’s been that way for a long time.
Tim Beckley: Yeah, a long time. The coming of Barnes and Noble and Amazon destroyed the middle level publisher. Guys like me, who would have a new title and would print two or three thousand copies, a very small run, but we had wholesalers who would distribute them and we had over 3000 mom and pop metaphysical/New Age/alternative stores around the country who would scoop these things up. They would never sell more than a couple of copies of each title, but there were a lot of them, but little by little they went out of business, and today there are very few left. Very few wholesalers and distributors who specialize in this type of thing and not very many stores anymore, and the stores that are still around their income is mainly derived from selling crystals and incense and such.
Editor: Yeah, I saw a real nice crystal in one of those stores recently for about $2000.
Tim Beckley: Oh yeah, some of them are really high priced, but some of them are museum quality pieces. They’re really nice. Even in the mail order business, that’s what people seem to want. That’s what they’re looking to buy. They don’t want a serious book on UFOs.
Editor: Now you were involved with many people who were involved in the forming of the Congress of Scientific Ufologists, and of course one of the biggest ones was in New York City back in 1967.
Tim Beckley: I was indeed Jim Moseley’s assistant with that, and I actually introduced Roy Thinnes to the audience. He was of course the star of the TV show The Invaders about aliens invading the earth.
Editor: I remember that show well. I used to watch it every night it was on.
Tim Beckley: Yeah, it was pretty good program, and Roy came down, Jim paid his expenses. Most people don’t realize this. They think Jim made a lot of money on that, but he broke even, because a lot of people ended up getting in for free. Things got screwed up and the elevator was opening up on the wrong floor and people were coming in by the droves and not paying the big admission of two dollars.
There were quite a variety of speakers like Venus from the planet Venus, Dr. Frank Stranges, Howard Menger, and in fact Dr. Condon of the infamous Condon Report was there. He was in the audience taking notes.
Editor: And of course John Keel was there.
Tim Beckley: Now that’s pretty funny. John Keel was to give a talk at a closed session to Jim’s group, the Inner Circle, and people think that there is a kind of bootleg tape that people have passed around of John’s lecture at that conference, but what most people don’t realize is that it was broadcast on the radio, on WBAI, so it really wasn’t a secret lecture because probably thousands of people heard it on the radio.
Editor: Oh, so this tape I’ve got over here on the shelf wasn’t an exclusive after all. I have a tape I think Al Greenfield supplied me with years ago of a talk that Keel gave at that conference.
Tim Beckley: There were about 12,000 people who attended that conference. The hotel held about maybe 2,200 people. Long John Nebel, the original all night talk show host, had a UFO speaker on every night for a week before the show. He really packed ‘em in and drew in the people in those days. If you were a speaker on the Long John Show you could pretty much be assured of a pretty good turnout the next day, or whenever the lecture was going to be. In those days it was a pretty spectacular show, a lobby full of vendors, book sellers, and artifacts of one type or another.
Editor: You were a regular there for quite awhile on the Long John Nebel Show.
Tim Beckley: Somebody just sent me a listing for the New York Times of 1965 of an appearance that I made on The Amazing Randi’s program. Now most people don’t realize, or care to realize, that with Long John’s switch from WOR to, I believe it was WNBC they needed somebody to take Long John’s place, and so for about two years The Amazing Randi was host of an all night talk show there. His program was not devoted to the paranormal and UFOs, though he did do some programs on the subject. The only thing was that if you went on Randi’s program Long John would not let you on his show, so for quite a few years some of us were kind of blacklisted. We couldn’t do Long John. But then after awhile, when Randi went off the air, it didn’t matter too much.
Editor: Then, of course, there were the celebrities.
Tim Beckley: There were two reasons that I got around to doing the celebrity interviews. As I said I was a stringer for The Enquirer, so I met all of these celebrities and in those days they were not just interested in Courtney Love and Britney Spears and Brad Pitt. They covered many celebrities, including those who were relatively obscure and hadn’t done anything in awhile. We did people lots and lots of people, and of course one of the questions I always asked a lot of the celebrities was, “Have you ever had a UFO sighting?” “Have you ever lived in a haunted house or experienced anything supernatural?” And a lot of them did.
Bill Shatner told me a story about having a UFO encounter in the Mojave Desert where a UFO appeared overhead. I guess that he got separated from a motor cycle group that he was with. He was all dressed in leather and had a helmet on and it was like in the middle of the afternoon, 102 degrees, and the motorcycle conked out, and the UFO appeared overhead and led him out of the desert. Kind of like a Moses trip or something. (laughs)
Editor: I always wondered if that was a true story there.
Tim Beckley: Well, that’s the story he told me. He told it to me backstage at the Ten Thousand Dollar Pyramid, which is where I did the interview with him, and somewhere here on an audio tape I still have it. Some people have heard it, and other people have lifted the story, and all of these stories have made the rounds.
Editor: Also David Bowie…
Tim Beckley: You see, I promoted quite a few rock and roll shows and met quite a few of those stars back in those days. My friend Walli Elmlark was the White Witch of New York, and she also wrote a column for Circus magazine which is kind of a hard rock version of Rolling Stones. She met all of these different rock stars and I would hang out at her apartment and since I was writing for some of the magazines too I met them at press conferences and socialized with them. Of course, this is when they were on their way up the ladder to success although they were more anxious to meet with the press and tell their stories and all. And when I did meet with David he was signed to RCA Records and he was doing the Ziggy Stardust tour. I met him and he was dressed up as Ziggy Stardust. We never did talk a great deal about UFOs. He did tell me that he believed in UFOs and was interested in the aliens and stuff like that, but he was good friends with Walli and in one of the books written about David Bowie’s career there is three pages about Walli’s dealings with him because for awhile he was heavily into the Wicca. Then he got into Buddhism, and I don’t know what he’s into now. But rumor has it that he had UFO sightings in England while growing up and then was actually an editor of a UFO newsletter when he was a teenager, but I don’t know what that newsletter was.
Editor: And then May Pang, who was John Lennon’s former girlfriend.
Tim Beckley: At one point with May Pang, we did a couple of radio shows discussing John Lennon’s UFO sighting up on The Dakota, because she was living with him at the time and they were both naked on the balcony overlooking Manhattan. He called her out to the balcony and they watched these strange lights in the sky. It was a UFO over Manhattan.
I talked to John Lennon a couple of times on the phone. There was a band that was his back up band that was called Elephant’s Memory and we had a Halloween Concert and an occult program at the Hotel Diplomat, which is where Kiss did their first show, and John Lennon showed up, and Andy Worhol. It was a pretty good party, and I guess he came because Elephant’s Memory were our headliners. I didn’t get to talk with him, but I did see him there. But when I did get to talk with him on the phone he was very much into this fellow by the name of Dean Kraft who had some psychokinetic ability similar to Uri Geller. He could move objects across the room, and Yoko Ono and John told me about how he had apparently passed his hand over this candy dish that was on their coffee table and a couple of pieces of candy came over the top of the candy dish and kind of squiggled out until they fell onto the floor.
There was a big article written about Kraft in, of all places, I think it was Cosmopolitan magazine. He was very well known at that time, and he was written up in The Enquirer and he had quite a notoriety for doing psychic healing. He was very well known for that. He moved down to Florida. I went to his wedding. I haven’t been in touch with him for years, but I believe he’s still in Florida and still doing healing work. He also wrote a book.
Editor: I know that John Lennon had also met with Uri Geller in New York.
Tim Beckley: Well you know Uri and I were fairly good friends. I had an office just off of Central Park and Uri around the corner a couple of blocks away and he had just landed here in the United States and was looking for publicity, and so we did a couple of articles for Saga magazine and a couple of the papers and weeklies in Manhattan.
I saw him do a couple of things that I thought was fairly incredible. I was in his apartment one time with the science editor of Argosy magazine. Now Argosy magazine was one of these men’s adventure publications. Real little cheese cake, but basically articles about people’s wartime experiences, or kind of He man stuff I guess you’d call it.
The science editor of Argosy was a fellow by the name of Herbert Bailey, who was a pretty good friend of mine. But anyway I had introduced Herb to Uri (we were in either Herb’s apartment or Uri’s, I forget for certain) but he told Herb to hold his key in his hand and told me to take my key and put it on the desk across the room, and he said, “Let’s see what happens.” So he started stroking the key that Herb had in his hand. It was no slight of hand trick. He didn’t change the key out. It was Herb’s key to his front door. In fact, I remember later on he was kind of upset because he couldn’t use it in the door anymore. The thing bent about I would say about a little bit more than a third of the way. After they were finished doing this, Uri said, “Take a look at your key across the room.” I picked it up from the desk and it was bent a little bit. Not as much as Herb’s was, but it definitely had a little bit of curl to that tip.
Mohammed Ali was a big UFO buff actually. We went down to his home at Cherry Hill and he wanted us to bring slides and movies, because he wanted to see if it was like anything he had seen in the sky.
He claimed over twenty-one sightings and he tied it in with his religious beliefs. I first met him after the Daily News ran a report about Mohammed Ali sighting two bright lights over Central Park while he was out jogging one morning. Harold was a big promoter and he’d get on the phone and call anybody and Harold got Angelo Dundee on the phone and said, “We’d like to come around and talk to the Champ about his UFO sightings.” So Dundee said, “Well he’s out there jogging through the park around 6 a.m. Come and join him.” So we got out there at 6 a.m. and I was in a little better shape in those days and jogged maybe a quarter of a mile with the Champ and he told me about his UFO sightings and so forth, and invited us down to his home in Cherry Hill. We went there a couple of times to show him the UFO movies and pictures, whatever he wanted, and he even did a drawing for us, which I’ve used in my book, UFOs Among The Stars, of one of the UFOs that he had seen which looks exactly like an Adamski craft. I think he was into the Adamski ships in those days. He must have seen an Adamski photo or two or read an Adamski book and that was his cup of tea. He had also seen this huge mother ship parked up above his training camp in Deer Park, Pennsylvania. He invited us up to see if we could see it as well, which we never did, but also took Uri Geller with us. Ali was at first interested in meeting Geller, but Ali is the type of person who is not going to share the spotlight with anyone, even if there’s only three people around he’s the one who wants the attention, and I can’t say that Uri is too much different than that either. He likes a little bit of attention as well as all of us do, you know.
Anyway we took Uri up there and Ali knew who he was. I guess he had seen him on the Johnny Carson Show. It turned out that Ali is an amateur magician so he got his tricks out, like the one where you cut the rope in half and you magically put it back together, and a couple of other tricks with a ring and such that I don’t remember exactly, but Uri got a little bit peeved at that because he thought that maybe Ali was trying to put him down. So we kind of slipped away from the main group and went over to this big rock where he (Ali) would stand up on the rock or next to the rock and ring a bell that was on the rock when he wanted people to gather around. Anyway, there was a guy there who was Ali’s sparing partner, and I wrote this up in UFOs Among The Stars and in The Enquirer, and I had a photo of the guy, but anyway this sparing partner of Ali’s had this medallion around his neck like a St. Jude or St. Christopher’s medal. It was pretty heavy. It wasn’t a cheap medal. It was a piece of silver. So Uri takes his thumb and he pushes his thumb into the medal and takes it away maybe two or three seconds later and there’s an impression in the guy’s medal, like he had indented it with his thumb.
That seemed to be a little bit beyond a little magic trick. He didn’t take the medal off of the guy’s neck or anything like. He just pressed it and there’s an indention in the medal obvious for all to see.
Then Melinda Ali, who I believe was Ali’s second wife, was curious about this more so than Ali seemed to be that day and Uri did an experiment with her where he took his hand and put it over a ring that she was wearing, and I couldn’t tell you exactly what kind of a ring it was. I don’t think it was an expensive diamond or anything like that. He put his hand over it and started kind of touching on her hand, but nothing too overt. He wasn’t touching the stone. He didn’t have any utensils in his hand or anything like that, and then after a few seconds he said “Let me know if you feel anything strange or anything different,” and then after a few seconds into it she said, “Ouch, my hand is getting warm,” and then a few more seconds after that he took his hand away, the ring itself was still there but the stone inside the setting was gone. So how he accomplished that I don’t know, and as far as I know she never got the stone back. She seemed pretty awed by that.
So is he an entertainer? Yes, in his own way. Is he a magician? No, I think whatever he’s doing he’s pretty legitimate about it. Maybe not a hundred percent of the time, but whenever I saw him I don’t think that there was any overt attempt to create a fraud there.
Editor: Now back in your travels, back in the 1960s, you went to one of the better known windows, or UFO sighting locations, over in Warminster, England, where you met Arthur Shuttlewood, and that was when you saw one of your other UFOs.
Tim Beckley: That would have been my second of three UFO sightings. I was invited by my friend Brinsley La Poer Trench who wrote the book the Sky People, and a book on the inner earth, which we have in print now. He was an interesting character, and in fact he was a member of the House of Lords and he was responsible for trying to get a little bit of interest going with the members of the British Parliament to get them to release whatever information that might be available on UFOs. This was long before Nick Pope.
Anyway, they organized a UFO study group made up of members of Parliament and the House of Lords, people like Lord Hill Norton who was the former head of the British Fleet, a former Admiral. I was invited over to deliver a talk to the group, and then afterwards, after giving this little address I got to meet everybody and shake hands, I took a little side trip out into the country and went to Stonehenge, and not far from there is the town of Warminster where Arthur Shuttlewood was the editor of the daily newspaper there, The Warminster Journal. This was, of course, the seat of all UFO activity in England at that time. Hundreds of sightings, including I think Mick Jagger was one of those who had observed something in the sky hovering over Cradle Hill, and Starr Hill was another area that people would gather to witness these sights. It was quite a remarkable phenomenon that was happening there.
I met with Shuttlewood and we went out to the field at Starr Hill where a lot of these sightings were taking place. It must have been about 11 o’clock in the evening and almost directly overhead. He says, “Here’s one of them now.” What could I tell you. It looked pretty much like a street lamp in the sky. We were 5 or 6 miles out of town and nothing around there. It didn’t appear to be moving around or doing anything peculiar, and that’s probably why it didn’t really catch my attention, but Arthur having witnessed probably dozens if not hundreds of sightings said that this was one of these objects. So he said, “Let’s see what will happen.” He goes to the trunk of his car and picks up a big torchlight. Not a little flashlight but a big torchlight and starts blinking at the object. Now it wasn’t in Morse Code or anything like that. I don’t even think he knew Morse Code. But every time that we would blink at this object in the sky it would seem to do a little bit of a somersault or tumble around, as if it were acknowledging our presence in our trying to signal to it with this light. This went on ten minutes or so, if I remember correctly, and then clouds came over and we didn’t see the object, and then we eventually left. It was a pretty cloudy night.
In the history of UFOs, many of these intelligent lights whether ghost lights or whatever, they do seem to be responsive to humans who attempt to communicate or signal to them. This is something again I cannot tell you that it was a ship from outer space, but it was something that seemed to acknowledge our presence and our effort to try and signal to it. There was another fellow there who was a retired World War II Air Force pilot by the name of Bob Strong. Now Bob set his camera equipment up there at Starr Hill and Cradle Hill, on a tripod, and this guy had a huge photo album of all kinds of UFOs. I mean, bat shaped things, a whole string of objects going across the sky, cigar shaped craft, and he had photographs of these things, and you know what the darned thing was half of the photo album was missing because someone would say, “Let me borrow that photo. I want to make a copy of it. I’ll give it back to you,” and so it just depleted his collection in no time. But an amazing collection of photographs, some of which were published in Shuttlewood’s various books.
Editor: Wow, what a story. Lots of stories!
Tim Beckley: Yeah, lots of stories.
Editor: So your ultimate conclusion of it all is that there is no one single theory.
Tim Beckley: Yes, that is what I’d have to say. My conclusion is that there is no one conclusion, and there probably never will be a conclusion. I’ve been doing this, gosh, I wrote my first FATE magazine article I think in 1962. I bought my first issue of FATE in 1957. I would have been ten years old. I read all of the books by Keyhoe, and I guess that I was impressed enough to start a career, you know? It’s been a career that’s had it’s ups and downs.
And people have to realize, and I don’t think that a lot of people do, that I have my own personal opinion on all of these things which means that it happens to coincide with the books and ideas that I publish, because basically I’m a publisher, a successful publisher, and that’s what publishers do, even if they don’t happen to agree with the content of all of their titles. This is something that most people can’t seem to get through their head, that just because I publish a book by somebody who says he was visited by beings from Alpha Centauri or something, it doesn’t necessarily mean that I think they were from Alpha Centauri, but I think that there is a need for publishing a book that other people have written about these experiences and let the readers sort it out for themselves.
So my conclusion is that there is no conclusion.
Also we hear about Disclosure. There is no disclosure and there will not be a disclosure. The only way that there will be a disclosure is if these objects land and make themselves known. There is not going to be any release of any information from the White House or the Air Force or any other military or governmental group because I don’t think that they’ve really reached any conclusion on this. If you go back and read a lot of the famous things that happened the military is made up by a lot of people who believe and who disbelieve just like there is in civilian life.
Editor: Right. I remember John Keel some thirty years or so ago writing that he felt that the military was just as perplexed by the phenomenon as we were.
Tim Beckley: Is there anything to MJ-12? There might have been some people in the early days of the subject who thought that they had to adopt such tactics, but I doubt if anyone is around today who is aware of any of this information. Maybe higher up in the CIA they had access to certain data and certain reports that haven’t been released yet, but what kind of reports would it be. We know that these things have hovered over missile silos, they’ve interrupted computers, electrical devices, and so everything you see in Close Encounters and science fiction genre has happened in real life. So we know that this stuff goes on, so what’s the difference if we have another half dozen sightings over military bases where these things have screwed up our radar or something like that.
There’s more evidence to indicate what they are than where they originate from. They could originate from anywhere. A lot of them could be just environmental phenomena.