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|Born||9 April 1895 |
near Denver, Colorado
|Died||28 March 1972 (76) |
Los Angeles, California
|Known for||Space Brothers|
|Noted work(s)||My Trip to Mars, the Moon, and Venus (1956)|
By his own accounting, as expressed in My Trip to Mars, the Moon, and Venus (1956), Nelson worked most of his life as a labourer, leaving school after the sixth grade to work as a farmhand, and spent a good portion of his adult life travelling across the United States, taking a variety of jobs as he went, including as a logger, railroader, rancher, and farmer. Later in his life, Nelson purchased eighty acres in the Ozark Mountains of Missouri, near Mountain View, settling down to farm and run a sawmill before his eventual retirement.
The following series of contacts are briefly summarized from Nelson's own writings.
Nelson reported that he first encountered what he called the "Things", three flying discs flying in a formation over his house, on a summer afternoon, 30 July 1954. He said that he had managed to take several photographs of the Things, and subsequently attempted to signal to them using a flashlight, to which they responded to by firing a high-intensity beam (described as being "brighter and hotter than the sun") at Nelson, sending him tumbling over behind a barrel. It later turned out, he claimed, that the ray had healing powers, and he alleged it had cured him of long-standing ailments, including lumbago of the back and neuritis of the left arm.
According to Nelson's account, the Things returned the next year, 1 February 1955, this time requesting permission over the ship speakers to land in his pasture near a spring. They departed after just a few minutes, he said, promising him they would return again.
Bucky, Bob, and Bo
It was one month later, 5 March 1955, at around midnight, that they did return, Nelson said, landing in the prespecified location, the pilots disembarking from their craft to meet and visit with their host.
These visitors were the first direct contacts that Buck Nelson claimed with the Space People, including: Little Buck (or simply Bucky), a human who had been taken to Venus two years prior; Bob Solomon; an unnamed trainee pilot; and a giant dog called Bo. After a brief tour of Nelson's home and conversations about cultural differences, lasting only "about an hour", the visitors again departed, he said, this time promising that they would take him "on a trip to other planets if [he] would tell about it to the world."
During the fourth reported visit, on 22 March 1955, Nelson said that the Things made no landing, only partaking of spring water that Nelson had agreed to allow his visitors access, and leaving a stone circle, the symbol of their Twelve Laws of God.
Visits to Mars, the Moon, and Venus
The fifth reported visit, during which Nelson claimed to have been transported off-world to visit the planets of Mars and Venus, as well as the Moon, was recounted as having taken place on 24 April 1955, at around midnight.
This contact began, Nelson said, with the Space People again landing their saucer in his field; on this occasion they sat down with him outside of his home in the open air, under the stars, and dictated to him the Twelve Laws of God. After a time conversing and bathing the space dog Bo and Nelson's own dog Teddy in the spring, Nelson continued, the Space People invited he and his dog with them aboard the flying saucer.
Once aboard the saucer, Nelson said he was briefly given free reign with the controls, claiming he "punched every button" and "turned every dial", taking the ship into the air and causing it to flip upside down, at which the Space People laughed. After allowing him to study their saucer controls and navigation, he said, they set underway for Mars.
Nelson described his visits to Mars, the Moon, and Venus in broad strokes: the buildings were constructed of moon-rock (from Earth's moon), as erosion had reduced the surfaces of Mars and Venus to dust, with the interiors coated in a steel-like substance; and the inhabitants were healthy, highly attractive, human-like beings, most dressed in simple overalls or other non-restrictive clothing. Each tour was brief, Nelson recounted, and during each stop he and Teddy were served meals of meat, fruits, and vegetables at the homes of various planetary rulers. Of Venus in particular, he reported the inhabitants drove hover cars, used a 17 hour clock for tracking their 34 hour days, and kept "Book Machines" that played back and displayed the contents of books inserted into them.
All told, the interplanetary tour only lasted for three days, including time spent travelling in space (during which he slept), as Nelson claimed he was returned to his home on the night of 27 April 1955.
Bucky's Christmas Visit
According to Nelson, there were witnesses - "a couple of friends" - to Bucky's next solo visitation, but they "had no idea he was anyone special." The occasion was Christmas, 25 December 1955, and the pair spent most of the full day together; Bucky had arrived early, nearly 01:30 A.M., and departed near midnight the next evening, by Nelson's reckoning.
This sixth visit was unlike the previous ones, in that, in addition to reporting witnesses to Bucky's presence, a further piece of evidence was left behind: a tape recording of Bucky, his Christmas message to the world. On the recording, Bucky thanked Fanny Lowery (the transcriptionist of Nelson's dictations) for a Christmas card she had left for him, gave an accounting of his holiday itinerary, and decried atomic weapons, predicting nuclear attacks would destroy America if a new war were fought.
In the decade that followed, Nelson would continue to claim ongoing contacts with Bucky and the Venusians; he informed newspaper reporters that he had been welcomed aboard their flying saucers as late as 1963. Unfortunately, these visits had become less frequent as the years passed, Nelson said, blaming the presence of Air Force defense radar networks.
Men in Black
Not long after his alleged encounters began, Nelson contacted regional flying saucer interest groups, and began touring to tell his story of the Venusians and his interplanetary visits. Consequent to this growing publicity for his story, Nelson claimed he had, during a 1956 bus trip, been twice accosted by unknown parties who told him not to provide evidence of his claims; and, further, that on his arrival home from the trip, Three Men in Black came to his house, telling him to forget everything about his claimed encounters and "never try to prove it." In his description of their behaviour, Nelson further related: "So much of what Three Men in Black said to me would be hard to tell, let alone write. So much of it didn't make sense."
Spacecraft Convention & Flying Saucer Club
Following the publication of his pamphlet, Nelson began hosting his own Spacecraft Conventions at his Mountain View Ranch, modelled loosely after the Interplanetary Spacecraft Conventions hosted by fellow contactee George Van Tassel, which Nelson himself had attended as a speaker. These Ozark Spacecraft Conventions were hosted annually for a decade, continuing through 1956 to 1966.
- Nelson, Buck (1956), My Trip to Mars, the Moon and Venus, Grand Rapids, Mich.: U-Forum, Grand Rapids Flying Saucer Club, http://amzn.to/2mPHmLQ
- Grosenbaugh, Richard (2001-09-25), Buck Nelson and his Spacecraft Convention, richgros.com, http://web.archive.org/web/20040304212323/http://www.richgros.com/People/Buck_Nelson/buck_nelson.html
- Steinhoff, Ken (2014-01-22), Buck Nelson's Spacecraft Convention, capecentralhigh.com, http://www.capecentralhigh.com/cape-photos/buck-nelsons-spacecraft-convention/ — reminiscences on the 1966 convention; featuring a collection of photographs and the Southeast Missourian's report.
- "U.S. Social Security Death Index," index, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/V3GG-5PB : accessed 08 Oct 2013), Buck Nelson, b. 9 April 1895, d. 28 March 1972.