Orfeo Angelucci’s acid test?

One of the wilder stories told in Mirage Men is that of former Agency for International Development translator Bosco Nedelcovic.

Nedelcovic claimed that in 1957 he took part in a CIA operation to conduct tests on a Brazilian Farmer, Antonio Villas Boas, who later reported that he had been kidnapped and sexually engaged by humanoid extraterrestrials. According to Nedelcovic, who died in 1999, these tests involved experimental drugs and psychological manipulation.

Contentious stuff , though firmly within the parameters of what the CIA and the Army’s Special Operations Division were doing in the USA and other countries at the time. [Recently-revealed syphillis experiments in Guatemala in the 1940s only reiterate this point].

I was recently a guest on The Paracast radio show, whose host, Gene Steinberg, said that 1950s UFO contactee Howard Menger had personally told him that his own ‘contact’ experiences had been part of a deception operation conducted by the US Army. (I’d originally planned to include this statement in Mirage Men, until another UFO researcher who knew Menger, Timothy Green Beckley, told me that he had later retracted it.)

Meanwhile, on the same programme, author and researcher Nick Redfern pointed me to an intriguing episode from contactee Orfeo Angelucci’s second book, Son of the Sun (1959)…

Angelucci – ‘Orpheus of the Angels’ who features in Carl Jung’s classic book Flying Saucers – was an employee at Lockheed aviation beginning in April 1952, working on parts for the F-94C and F-94B Starfire jet aircraft. A month after starting at Lockheed, Angelucci claims to have met Neptune, a handsome humanoid flying saucer pilot who, over the next few months, told him the secrets of life, the universe and everything. Neptune also warned him of the perils of Communism:

Communism, Earth’s present fundamental enemy, masks beneath its banner the spearhead of the united forces of evil ( from Angelucci’s Secrets of the Saucers [1955]).

These views were very much at odds with the opinions of the more famous George Adamski, who also met a blonde saucer man in 1952. Adamski harboured unashamed Communist leanings and spoke out regularly against American imperialism, leading to an investigation by the FBI. Following 1950s UFO-sceptic Leon Davidson, in Mirage Men I ask whether Adamski’s later contacts may have been of the Intelligence kind: his besuited, black limo-driving humanoid aliens fed George strange drinks then showed him films projected onto screens inside their ‘spaceships’ while asking about life on Earth and lecturing him about intergalactic morality. But I was unaware that in Son of the Sun Angelucci explicitly describes what sounds today like being drugged by his alien friends.

In late 1954 Angelucci visited Tiny’s Diner in Twentynine Palms, home to a US Marine training base, in California’s Mojave Desert. Here he met Adam, a humanoid alien he had not encountered before: ‘So strikingly handsome… that if beheld but once for only a few seconds in a crowd, an indelible impression of his countenance would be imbedded in the memory.’

Adam appears to know Orfeo and, after ordering a sizzling steak dinner, offers to turn his new friend’s glass of water into a rare champagne by means of an effervescent white pellet that he drops into the glass. Nowadays we might be a little more circumspect than to accept spiked drinks from strangers, but Orfeo gladly accepts the glass and gulps the fizz down, immediately recognising it as the liquid ‘nectar’  given to him on previous meetings with the Space Beings, documented in his first book Secrets of the Saucers.

What Angelucci describes next sounds like a classic, benevolent psychedelic experience:

I thrilled from head to foot as I took the glass, lifted it to my lips, and swallowed twice from it. At that instant I entered, with Adam, into a more exalted state and everything around me took on a different semblance. No longer was I in Tiny’s cafe in Twentynine Palms. It had been transformed into a cozy retreat on some radiant star system. Though everything remained in its same position, added beauty and meaning were given to the things and people present there.

While it would be naive to treat the writings of a man who claims to have had multiple contacts with space beings as entirely unenhanced autobiography, I can’t help but wonder whether the alien visitation beliefs of Angelucci and others were being exploited, or even generated, by people working in one or other clandestine branches of the military or intelligence organisations. Perhaps the US Army’s Special Operations Division, which began experimenting with hallucinogens and chemical warfare in the 1940s, or the CIA, whose infamous MK-ULTRA programme, beginning in 1953 (with antecedents like Chatter, Bluebird and Artichoke operating from 1947) explored the use of drugs, hypnosis and radiation as tools for mind control.

So how’s this for a temporary working hypothesis? Adamski and others were claiming alien contacts and espousing anti-American beliefs. Meanwhile Orfeo Angelucci and fellow contactee George Van Tassell, both employed at one of the US’s most advanced aircraft development plants, also claimed contacts with space beings. Angelucci, as it happens, had previously sparked a police hunt after launching balloons containing the aspergillus clavatus mould, a fact sure to have drawn the FBI’s attentions.  Were Angelucci and Van Tassell given some kind of hallucinogen, deployed as a ‘truth drug’ to quiz them about possible Communist or Soviet sympathies and, perhaps to pump them full of extraterrestrial anti-Commie rhetoric for good measure?

Or perhaps Van Tassell and Angelucci were reporting genuinely anomalous experiences – or even contacts with Soviet agents disguised as space beings – and were drugged and checked out to assess whether they were lying or held subversive tendencies? There are multiple possible scenarios, including of course, that Adamski, Menger, Van Tassell, Angelucci and the rest simply made up or fantasised all their contacts with the Space Beings.

I’m now on the lookout for references to hallucinogens being deployed in the form of effervescent pills. Or was this may a cunning sleight-of-hand on behalf of Adam, having already slipped something else into Angelucci’s drink? To be continued, no doubt…

Meanwhile listen to The Paracast or read more about the wonderful world of the Space Brothers in Nick Redfern’s book Contactees.


About Mark

Author of 'Mirage Men' & 'Far Out' and publisher/editor at Strange Attractor Press.
This entry was posted in Culture, Deception, History, Mirage Men Book and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Orfeo Angelucci’s acid test?

  1. Nick Redfern says:

    Interestingly (well, I think it is! LOL). L. Ron Hubbard’s FBI file states that: “In one lengthy letter in May 1951, it is perhaps noteworthy that Hubbard stated that while he was in his apartment on February 23, 1951, about two or three o’clock in the morning his apartment was entered. He was knocked out. A needle was thrust into his heart to produce a coronary thrombosis and he was given an electric shock. He said his recollection of this incident was now very blurred, that he had no witnesses and that the only other person who had a key to the apartment was his wife…”

    This kind of reminds me of the following from Greg Bishop’s Project Beta book: “…Bennewitz told Moore that after aliens injected him, they would make him drive his car out to the desert in the middle of the night, but he couldn’t remember what he did after he got there. Both Moore and Richard Doty independently recalled noticing injection marks running down Bennewitz’s arm…” (page 214 of Greg’s book).

    Given the connections between aliens and Hubbard re the Church of Scientology, I have to wonder if all this stuff about people breaking in Hubbard’s house and needles, Bennewitz and needles, and Angelucci tripping, is evidence of something much larger than we have so far conceived.

    And that Hubbard’s needle incident occurred in the early 50s, when all sorts of weird stuff was going on re mind-manipulation, drug research etc within the intelligence community, only adds to the controversy.

  2. Andrew says:

    Interesting . . . because of other past injunctions against ingesting “substances” proffered by supernatural (fairies) beings and more latterly reptilians (in dreams) . . . is there a connection here, I wonder?

    If there were such a connection, it would suggest that “substance ingestion” of this type could be very ancient, and is hardly a recent phenomenon (i.e. it was continued by the likes of the CIA, rather than having been instigated by them).

  3. drew hempel says:

    Yeah Hank Albarelli says the CIA is still testing drugs on people — and Jose Padilla claims he had LSD given to him while a CIA prisoner at Gitmo.

    Considering the Nazis were using drugs for mind control and some 1200 Nazis helped create the CIA space-mind control complex in the U.S. — these discoveries about the contactees make a lot of sense.

  4. It’s easy to see that no one who comes up with these “conspiracy theories” about the use of LSD and other hallucinogens to “control” people has had any experience with these substances.
    Sure the Intelligence Community experimented with them for awhile but found the results highly unsatisfactory. This is because LSD and the other so-called hallucinogens break up conditioning—they do not reinforce it.
    For the same reason these substances are useless as “truth drugs.”

    But feel free to enjoy your paranoid theories if you like.

    But if you’re interested in what these substances actually DO




    They don’t exactly lead one to being a nice obedient automaton of the American Conservative Plan…

  5. C D Conrad says:

    LSD and other hallucinogens take at least 20-30 minutes to take effect, and even then the ‘peak’ of the experience is about an hour to two hours after this. Thus, the experience described is either not an hallucinogen derived one, or the account is fictional, or partly fictional.

  6. Plasmatic says:

    @ C D Conrad:

    “LSD and other hallucinogens take at least 20-30 minutes to take effect…”

    That is absolutely false.

    “and even then the ‘peak’ of the experience is about an hour to two hours after this.”

    Again, flat out wrong.

    Thus, your conclusion, C D Conrad, appears to be the product of wishful thinking or disinformation.

  7. Arvin says:

    Cassandra: Your spirited defense of hallucinogenic experience, while laudable, is poorly served by your indignation. LSD isn’t on trial here.

    The set and setting influences on the LSD experience – something you neglected to address – are, or, at least, should be, significant factors when evaluating the author’s theory. Relatively few people had any knowledge of, or experience with, LSD at the time Angelluci may have been unwittingly dosed, in a public place, by the handsome omnivore posing as an alien.

    The person in a safe, familiar place who deliberately ingests LSD for the first time is unlikely to experience it in the same, or even similar, way as someone detained in a dark, coffin-like box filled with creepy-crawly insects after a morning of waterboarding.

    Likewise, if Angelluci was an unwitting and inexperienced LSD subject, his belief that he was having a conscious contact experience – at a time when LSD was still novel – would very likelyhave yielded a trip quite unlike anything an informed, experienced, LSD-acculturated person would experience more than a half-century later.

  8. Request Beer says:

    Excellent paracast appearence, great show. Thank you Mark.

  9. Puppetburglar says:

    Following one line of possibility, and opiate could have been mixed with whatever hallucinogen was used, and generally, it would take effect first. Also, there are subtle hypnotic techniques that can be performed in almost any environment, or subtly performed before arriving at the dramatic environment. Induction is a very complex and fascinating art. Mix the above, and Presto!, weirdness abides.

  10. Juliano says:

    OR there exist ‘beings; who also see the value of psychedelics for opening up rigid humans

  11. “Adamski harboured unashamed Communist leanings and spoke out regularly against American imperialism…”

    Other writers have accused Adamski of harbouring fascist sympathies, based on the fact that someone who came to his meetings had had such inclinations. However, while the latter clause (“[Adamski] spoke out regularly against American imperialism”] might have been sufficient in McCarthy’s land of paranoia to warrant suspicion of the former (“Adamski harboured unashamed Communist leanings”), it seems more likely that Adamski was merely saying that communism (or socialism) was not necessarily a bad thing. He said, for instance, “[The Space People] are non-political and non-sectarian, recognizing all mankind as brothers and sisters. Their interest lies in humanity as a whole wherever they find it. But (…) they will support no-one in hostility.” (See my book George Adamski – A Herald for the Space Brothers (2010), p.5.

  12. Fatty says:

    Have any of you heard of or tried DMT? Dimethyltryptamine is the most powerful halucinogen known to man. I have read the book ‘DMT: The Spirit Molecule’ and the descriptions of the experiences by the people in the study for the book closely resemble, if not outright exactly describe, the alien obduction experience. DMT has an onset of about 10 seconds as well, and it can be smoked or injested. The high lasts about 15 minutes and one is back to normal at about an hour. I have wondered if during the trial stages of Operation Paperclip and MKULTRA the CIA found out that DMT produces this experience and has used it to their advantage? The drug is so powerful and the onset is so quick that an unsuspecting person would be hurdled through an experience that they had no idea was coming.

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