Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Talking with Mr. UFO: Timothy Green Beckley

Talking with the man who photographed a MIB:
Timothy Green Beckley

ABOVE: Tim Beckley and Sgt. Saucer just before entering the UFO bunker to do this interview.
SERGEANT SAUCER: The Sergeant has never seen a UFO although he has been abducted several times (crazy ex-girlfriends). You've seen UFOs and even COMMUNICATED with them? Or is that a mere rumor?

TIMOTHY GREEN BECKLEY: Well I flashed a powerful search light at them and they seemed to respond in that the object in the sky appeared to weave back and forth. I was in Warminister, UK visiting with my friend Arthur Shuttlewood. He was editor of the daily paper and a former UFO skeptic until everyone in town started to have a sighting. The craft would hover over Starr Hill and Cradle Hill. Tons of photos were taken. Famous people like the Rolling Stones gathered for sky watches. Shuttlewood said he noticed ten foot tall transparent beings walking around. There were reports of abductions. All hell broke out there for 7 or 8 years. They have a yearly conference devoted to Warminister’s The Thing as they called it. Sounded like a thousand humming bees. Yep whatever it was we saw and signaled.

SS: You were friends with Ray A. Palmer, who some say invented flying saucers. What was the nature of your friendship?
ABOVE: Ray A. Palmer
TGB: Not much of a relationship. Never met Palmer. It was mainly business I guess you could say. Gray Barker had been doing a regular column for RAP’s Flying Saucers magazine and decided to move on and I offered to replace Gray’s column with one of my own. I sent a sample and I guess Palmer went along with the idea because he printed my column for about 5 years. Most of the columns have been reprinted as part of my book, “Timothy Green Beckley’s Strange Saga.”
Palmer was the best UFO publisher that ever lived. I took after him. I guess you can say he was my mentor in some ways – but from afar.

SS: Was Richard Shaver a real person or a character created by the aforementioned Palmer?
ABOVE: Richard Shaver and a picture of a rock
TGB: Oh [EXPLETIVE DELETED] he was real enough. I corresponded with him and printed some of the articles he sent me. Shaver would also send me a box of rocks from his backyard which he had sawed in half. He said these rocks were actually ancient books with knowledge stored in them like a crystal might have. My mom hated to see these boxes arrive. She didn’t understand anything about picture rocks or Dero or underground beings. She thought along with the rocks and dirt could be worms and bugs. She was actually right. A couple of garden worms fell out alongside some of the clusters of split open rocks.

SS: When you worked for the National Enquirer, did you feel that your employers had any specific social or political agenda?

TGB: The only agenda they had was to sell papers and to make money. I was a free lancer, a stringer as they called it. I visited their offices in Florida a few times. Actually, a couple of their editors ended up doing some free lance work for me. My publishing company Global Communications was selling articles and features to stories in about 15 countries. If you had a story idea you called up and pitched it. They would ask for documentation like a tape of the interview. They didn’t give a hoot about politics. Politics had nothing to do with the Enquirer. They just wanted sensationalist stories that would grab the attention of potential readers standing in the check out line at the local supermarket.
ABOVE: The young Timothy Green Beckley communes with an ultraterrestrial
SS: How would celebrities respond once they knew you were from the Enquirer?

TGB: Most celebrities loved the Enquirer. After all, the paper had a circulation of about 3 million in those days. I never had anything negative to say about anyone I met. They never asked me for a negative angle, and I never pitched one. Most outsiders don’t realize there is a paid service you can subscribe to – called Celebrity Service – who will fax (or I suppose today e mail) a list of what stars are in town and where they are staying. Most of the info comes from press agents and publicists. After all celebrities are all about the press. Today it’s a bit more cut throat. [Back then] I would chase after anyone. A lot of the celebrities wanted to talk to me as much as I wanted to talk to them. I was a journalist with a good pitch and fairly intelligent. Not a dork off the street.

SS: What was the nature of your friendship with John Lennon? 

TGB: Spoke with Lennon over the phone a few times. We had a client Dean Kraft (I also was acting as a publicist for Les Paul, Peter Max and a couple of rock bands) who was a psychic healer who supposedly was able to move objects using his mental powers. John and Yoko said Kraft was over their apartment at the Dakota and moved a piece of candy out of a bowl onto the floor just by “dragging” it with his finger tips but never touching it.
They were both into the paranormal. I also put on a Halloween rock show one time and John showed up and partied in the balcony. We had hired his back up band Elephants Memory as the headliner at the show that night.
SS: Don't you also know May Pang?

TGB: I’ve done a couple of talk shows with May. She is really sweet. She showed me an autographed book John had given her on the I Ching. She was with John of course when he had his famous UFO sighting which is immortalized in the song “Nobody Told Me.” John reported the sighting to the police and the newspaper and apparently a pilot saw a UFO while coming into Newark Airport around the same time as John’s sighting.

SS: John A. Keel coined the term “Man In Black” but you actually PHOTOGRAPHED a MIB. Can you tell us how that came about? (And may we have a jpg of that to show?)

There was a UFO flap going on in New Jersey and a group of teenage boys had reported seeing some creatures around the craft and in turn the teens were being watched by the MIB the story went. I was on the staff of Saucer News at the time as was the late Jack Robinson who was a good friend of both Jim Moseley and Gray Barker. His apartment was broken into and files messed over and he received a couple of phone calls from a mysterious deep breather. When Jack would leave for work in the AM his wife Mary would leave their apartment in Jersey City to do the shopping. She said there was this stranger dressed all in black complete with a black hat pulled down over his head standing in a nearby doorway watching people coming and going out of her apartment building. Moseley and I decided to trap her by going over to the house and seeing if there was anyone standing around that should not be. We figured she might just be fantasizing or pulling our leg. To make it into a short story, there was a man standing next door dressed pretty much like the stereotype MIB. Jim handed me his camera and I stuck my head and hand out the window and took one shot of this personage and one of the car.
We pulled around the block planning to talk to the individual to get the what for. When we returned he was gone and the black car he possibly arrived in had also vanished. He was never seen again. I show the photo on the UFO Hunters – The Silencers episode so I see no problem in posting it here.
ABOVE: The famous MIB photo by Beckley.
BELOW: An enlargement of the MIB's face.

SS: I heard a rumor that you ghost-wrote three of John A. Keel's books. How do you respond to these accusations? If this is not true, then why do you publish John A. Keel's work?

TGB: Never heard that one. Keel would roll over in his grave. His style and mine are hardly the same.

SS: LOL yeah I just made that rumor up to see how you'd react.

TGB: We did put out a work of his called Strange Mutants which was an abridged edition of Strange Creatures From Time And Space. We cut up some of the pages from the paperback and pasted them up and put out this version as Keel agreed it should be kept available to the public which it was not. Keel’s work was never that popular. He did not sell a lot of books and he got screwed over by numerous publishers. His success came of course with Mothman Prophecies being made into a movie. Godless John. As anyone can tell you he could be a difficult child but he was brilliant, funny and a good friend to those he liked – that didn’t ’include many UFOlogists by the way!
ABOVE: Beckley (right) with legendary Fortean John A. Keel and a frog which rained upon them.

SS: What do you think is the nature of earth lights?

I do believe they are intelligent. They seem almost alive in a lot of cases. They can sense things about you. They know what you are thinking. The majority of UFOs are NOT extraterrestrial but something a lot more creepy. The best place to see a ghost or spook light or earth light if you want to call it that would be in Brown Mountain, NC. My friend Joshua Warren who is host of Speaking of Strange on WWNC Radio out of Ashville has photographed the phenomenon there. In fact, one of the videos he took was shown on the National Geographic Channel. It’s the only time that I’ve known them to have a positive resolution on a paranormal story. Why? Because no one was trying to push the concept of interplanetary saucers down their throat. Most people not among the inner circle think that most UFOlogists are way out of line putting the horse before the carriage in that there is really little evidence that UFOs come from off earth. Major Keyhoe made this proclamation way back in the early 50s and its stuck around our necks like a noose.

SS: What did you and Muhammad Ali chat about when you were friends?
ABOVE: Do I even need to say?
TGB: Ali was a big saucer fan. He claims to have had over twenty sightings. I met him after a small item appeared in the NY Daily News about how he and his manager had seen two UFOs while jogging around Central Park while training. We did a bit of jogging and a whole lot of talking – out of breath. Went back to his hotel and he invited us to the house he had in Cherry Hill, NJ. Introduced him to Uri Geller at his training camp in Dear Park, PA. Saw Geller do some pretty impressive things. Ali was more into showing how he was a magician and could do some fancy tricks of his own outside of his Rope A Dope which he was really proud of at the time. Great guy. Very passionate about people – even though sometimes he could hook up with the wrong ones in his personal life.
Long live the King!

SS: Where do you think the saucers are from? Why do you think they are so secretive?

TGB: They could be from right around the corner. Maybe from under the ocean. From a vast cavern world. Or maybe in the hills of West Virginia. As for their being secretive – they don’t want us to screw up “their world” like we have ours…especially if we are inter dimensional neighbors.

SS: You were featured on the History Channel program UFO Hunters. What was that experience like?

TGB: I like radio the best. But I have done some good presentations on the tube. Just did two hours of informal chat on Tucson Public Access which is being shown throughout the month of June. You know I am also a B movie host, actor, director and producer. I am Mr Creepo in addition to being MR UFO. A couple of my efforts along this line are being re released on DVD later this year. You won't want to miss such important flicks as Skin Eating Jungle Vampires which we shot at an erupting volcano in Costa Rico. The beautiful jungle vampires have been living there for centuries when their flying saucer crashed. They feast on the flesh of tourists who have mysteriously disappeared.
SS: My ranking officer, Leftenant Marshal Major Saucerette, has a question for you. She wants to know, “What is the creepiest thing Mr. Creepo ever did?”

Can’t report that Sir! It might ruin my career sir!

Do they pay a lot of money to star on shows like UFO Hunters?

TGB: You’ve got to be kidding right? Guests on UFO Hunters like myself get their air transportation and lunch and dinner (at Subway in one instance) plus a hotel room.
I had to fight to get an extra free night of lodging. I insisted since I was coming from New York to the Grand Canyon and didn’t want to rush back two days later. I had too fight for that extra night believe you me! The regular “stars” get paid something but its not enough to make them fat. They all have day jobs. In the case of Bill Burns he probably has five.
ABOVE: Tim Beckley on the History Channel's UFO HUNTERS program

Do girls like you better since you've been on the History Channel?

TGB: Girls have always liked me. I’m one of the few UFOlogists who has always gotten laid. But I don’t just talk saucers. I have a pretty decent all around rap. I’ve traveled places. Seen things. Done things. Partied with the best. One gal said she kept her eyes on me for years at UFO conferences but always saw me with wild women so she kept her distance.
Being on UFO Hunters is not like being on David Letterman. I did get recognized a couple weeks later in the lobby of a theater but it didn’t go anywhere. But here’s a good story with a hot hook if you insist on talking about meeting girls in connection with UFOs. I have had this repeating pattern of coincidences which is just so weird that there isn’t a rational explanation why certain things fall into place the way they do.
About 15 years ago I am in an after hours bar on St Marks Place in Greenwich Village when the dreaded police arrive for a bust.
They make us stand up against the bar while they frisk some of the customers looking for weapons (not that kind of place even, but that’s what after hours cops do).
Anyway, there was this rather cute blonde standing next to me and we got to chatting.
Of course you always ask - what do you do? And blah, blah, blah.
Naturally, I'm thinking maybe I can pick her up and take her back to my place where I have a bottle stashed away. Further on in our conversation, she asks what I do and I tell her I am a publisher to which she responds she loves to read (oh yeah). And what kind of books do I put out?
I tell her paranormal, UFOs and so forth.
“Oh I love that stuff” she proclaims.
Nah I figure she is just trying to placate me (maybe she wants to get laid).
So I figure to trip her up I'll ask her who her favorite authors in the field are.
Damn if she doesn’t say “BRAD AND SHERRY STEIGER.”
I said well [EXPLETIVE DELETED] girl I'm having dinner with them tomorrow do you want to join us? Honest truth here. I wouldn’t lie to my Sergeant! We had dinner and had that cock tail after all.
ABOVE: Beckley's friends Brad and Sherry Steiger

If you met a young guy just wanting to break into the UFO field, what would you advise them to prioritize?

TGB: That hasn’t happened in a long time. I don’t know how many up and comers there are these days. I don’t hang out in places where I am likely to meet young UFOlogists. Not sure such a place exists anywhere on earth at this time. My advice? Don’t take all this that seriously. Don’t let it ruin your life. Have other interests. Don’t get into the trap of believing something without asking for evidence or proof. Take it with a grain of salt. Study the angles. Get into the field. Do some investigating. Don’t just plop yourself down in front of your lap top.
ABOVE: Being a UFO writer must be like a permanent vacation!

How can people find out more about your books and the books you publish?

TGB: Well they can send me an e mail ( and I will sign them up for our two publications, the Conspiracy Journal and Bizarre. Maybe I'll even send them a free DVD if they request it. We have a PDF version and a printed version, plus the Conspiracy Journal also has a weekly newsletter that we can hook you up with. We keep the wolves off our back because we know everyone will want to buy some of our great books and videos. We have the [EXPLETIVE DELETED] here folks which you’re not going to find anywhere else. And we’re not partisan, man. Its all yin and yang flying saucer wise with us.

Well I hear the enemy close by so its every man and UFOlogists for themselves brother. . .

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