Frank Stranges, UFO Politics, and Utopian Ideals
The old labor song asked Which Side Are You On? For much of UFO history, the answer to this question has been defined through its connections to the right, from its alliances with the Patriot Movement to the current influences of QAnon conspiracies.
Yet from the start there were other beliefs that were important. In particular the contactees offered a vision focused on world peace and a fundamentally different understanding than that embraced by many UFO pundits today. Val Thor and the Venusians offered a world without war. In many ways, it seems naïve.
Frank Stranges wrote about that idealism when he chronicled Thor. His earlier writing, however, reflected very conservative ideas. Like many of that era, Stranges was first concerned with the spread of communism. How did a report on communism change into Val’s message of peace? Thanks to The UFO Trail for uncovering this image. With a different headline the art could have been from the IWW.
Perhaps an answer might lie in the story itself. According to Stranges, Eisenhower reluctantly rejected the Venusians offer to help humanity because the economy and military power were more important. Yet, it was also Ike who warned against the military industrial complex and stated that every dollar spent on the military meant that one less child would be fed.
If Stranges was right, perhaps Val influenced Eisenhower, although the real question might be whether Val influenced Stranges. Did Frank change after he began writing about Thor?
It gets complicated. Stranges wrote that the Venusians had never fallen from sin. Thor’s idealized world, then, was far different than humanity’s struggles against darkness. Perhaps the difference meant that Stranges never had to reconcile how anticommunism fit into Val Thor’s message.
For many years, fear of communism dominated much of religion and politics. It was a time when even George Adamski attracted the attention of the FBI because the message of the Space People could have been mistaken for communism. Those who believed in the utopian messages from Venus, however, were looking for an answer outside a political framework. Stranges sought to provide that.