A very helpful early member of UFOIC has assisted me in gaining a better understanding of some of the highlights of the group's past.
One episode was the controversial visit to Australia in 1959 of notorious American contactee George Adamski. The member provided me with a revealing diary entry which records that Dr. Greenwell resigned from the UFOIC presidency on the same day as the George Adamski public meeting at Adyar Hall Sydney on Friday 27 February 1959, apparently "because of all (the) trouble". It also indicated that there was much trouble with the arrival of June Marsden who "hosted" George Adamski's visit to Sydney. The diary records that Adamski and Marsden "were fighting like mad".
What was that all about? The following information explains what happened. The diary entry led me to re-examine the UFOIC UFO Bulletins and other sources to clarify this provocative entry. This confirmed I was incorrect on my understanding that Miran Lindtner became UFOIC president in December 1958. Dr. Greenwell's resignation was announced in the April 1959 issue "for personal reasons." Miran Lindtner became president in late February 1959.
June Marsden was "profiled" in the Jan 1959 issue of the UFOIC UFO Bulletin. Unstated in the piece was that June Marsden held the position that astrology had a signicant connection with UFOs. June was by 1959 a noted socialite, her real name Mrs. Erica Ingram-Moore, and she was also a prolific writer, particularly in the field of astrology. Her book "Follow Your Stars to success" was published in the US in 1956. It was originally published in Sydney in November 1936. June Marsden was featured in a Daily Mirror article Feb 19 1959 which described her odd ideas about astrology and flying saucers. I also have a letter dated Nov 13 1957 from Adamski to June Marsden which was pretty cordial. She had visited Adamski in California and this no doubt led to her being his hostess when he came to Sydney. Stan Seers gives an unflattering picture of the Sydney Adamski tour in his book "UFOs - the case for scientific Myopia" (1983). Stan was the Queensland Flying Saucer Bureau president at the time of the Adamski visit and he was in Sydney during the period. He makes some unflattering comments about "a well known Sydney socialite". Adamski himself in his book "Flying Saucers Farewell" (aka "Behind the FS mystery") refers to his hostess "an astrologer. She was endeavouring to associate astrology with the space people and their craft. I explained to her that no connection existed between the two, but she refused to accept the logical facts. Like many people, she had closed her mind to any ideas which differed from her preconceived notions." Adamski's book also describes problems in Sydney such as no "work permit" or the lack of UFOIC sponsoring, and an alleged run-in with "the censor's office" about the "saucer" films he was showing. I gather UFOIC was touchy about the issue of sponsoring Adamski, wanting to distance themselves. It seems that these issues came to a head at the Adyar Hall and Metropole meetings of 27 Feb 1959.
It seems clear that UFOIC was struggling to ensure it was seen as a credible organisation. Adamski's visit to Sydney in 1959, and the lightning rod it provided for all manner of bizarre takes on the flying saucer controversy, was putting all those efforts at risk. Dr. Greenwell's resignation from the UFOIC presidency was one apparent result. However Dr. Miran Lindtner took up the UFOIC presidency and his long energetic leadership facilitated a strong UFOIC group.
Photo: (Bill Chalker) Some of the coverage of Adamski's 1959 visit to Australia.