Karl Hunrath

From Kook Science

Karl Hunrath (b. c. 1919 - disappeared 11 November 1953) was an American saucerian and contactee, for a time an associate of George Adamski, and noted by George Hunt Williamson in his book Other Tongues — Other Flesh (1954) as having been active in the West Coast UFO scene. Hunrath was most well-known for two incidents: the first, his claims to having been drugged intravenously by extraterrestrials who then psychically implanted plans into his mind for a weapon to bring down aircraft; and the second, his disappearance with Wilbur J. Wilkinson, a fellow saucerian, on 11 November 1953 after departing the Gardena Valley Airport in Gardena, Los Angeles Co., California aboard a Cessna 140 (N2329N) at approximately 12:30 PM.


In 1950, Hunrath had been a city sewer inspector in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, but was terminated from that position for what he claimed was whistleblowing about faulty work by contractors. By 1951, he had moved on to Racine, Wisconsin, where he was a project engineer for John Oster Manufacturing Co.

Bosco (1952)

Disappearance (1953)

On 11 November 1953, at around noon, Hunrath rented a Cessna 140 aircraft from the Gardena Valley Airport, booking one hour of flight time. According to the management, he did not file a flight plan, and the aircraft was reported missing when Hunrath and Wilkinson failed to return after their hour had elapsed. An aerial search by the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Aero Squad and the Civil Air Patrol went on for a week, covering the mountains east of Los Angeles and Palos Verde, as well as areas of the San Bernardino National Forest, including Big Bear and San Bernardino Mountain. No wreckage was ever found.[1]

Wilkinson's wife told reporters that Hunrath and her husband were avid saucerians, stating they "believed the end of the earth was nearing, and that strange little men from the planet 'Maser' were ready to invade," and that the two had planned to fly to an unknown location where Hunrath supposed a flying saucer had landed.[R]

Williamson on Hunrath

  • Williamson, George Hunt (1953), "The Intruders", Other Tongues — Other Flesh, p. 389-395, 

    On November 18, 1953, the Los Angeles Mirror reported that two missing electricians may have been kidnapped by interplanetary invaders in a Flying Saucer. The two Saucer enthusiasts were Karl Hunrath and Wilbur J. Wilkinson. They had taken off in a rented airplane from Gardena Airport on November 11th with a three-hour gas supply. Despite widespread search, no trace of the plane or its occupants has been seen. The rumor that the plane was found dismantled on the top of a California mountain with no sign of the two men is unfounded. Officials claim that nothing has turned up in the case as yet.

    Wilkinson's wife told reporters that Karl Hunrath was an avid believer in Flying Saucers. She also told them that the two men believed the end of the world was nearing and that strange little men from the planet Mars or "Masar" were ready to invade us. Mrs. Wilkinson evidently misunderstood much of what Hunrath and her husband were doing and saying. First of all, the world is not going to end, and the "little men" are not from Mars or "Masar" but are from our own satellite, the Moon. The space visitors have proven this already by their actions.

    Hunrath claimed to know the whereabouts of a Flying Saucer that had recently landed. Wilkinson's den was lined with Flying Saucer pictures, weird signs and formulas, which Mrs. Wilkinson said were supposed to be the new interplanetary language. "Of course, I don't quite go for all the Flying Saucer talk, but Karl convinced Wilbur they actually existed," said Mrs. Wilkinson. She then said, "Karl had tape recordings of conversations with men from other planets who landed here in Saucers." She showed reporters messages tacked on the wall of the den which were supposedly received by radio from the interplanetary visitors. One was from Regga of the planet Masar."

    Karl Hunrath called up several of his acquaintances in Los Angeles the day before his disappearance. He informed them that he was going to take a trip. He said: "Others have left the Earth to go to other planets, so do not be surprised if I leave soon." The Flying Saucer pictures in the den had been taken by George Adamski, and the "weird signs and formulas" were received by our group working in Northern Arizona, starting in early August, 1952. The tape recordings that Hunrath had were taken during receptions of the Arizona research group.

    I knew Karl Hunrath personally, but I never met Wilkinson. It was in the Winter of 1952 that I first met Karl at George Adamski's on Mt. Palomar. He claimed he had just arrived from the east where he had been working at Oster Mfg. Co. in Wisconsin. During the next few months he visited many Saucer researchers including: Frank Scully, Gene Dorsey, George Van Tassel, Gerald Heard, Mr. "R" of radio contact fame, and he was my house guest in Prescott, Arizona for a week. It was during his stay in my home that I gave him copies of our findings.

    He was a strange man who would change his mind and ideas from one moment to the next. You couldn't help but like him, but at times a feeling would come over you that made you wish there were a million miles between yourself and Mr. Hunrath. Everyone who came in contact with him had the same experience. Was he controlled by Orion forces?

    He visited Saucer researchers as a friend, then systematically began to spread rumors about them and their work which had no basis in fact. He came to California unknown and soon was stirring up dissension wherever he went. Was it his purpose to cause trouble in the "hot-bed" of controversy existing among the California Saucer enthusiasts? Was it part of a plan formulated by negative forces? Why was Hunrath a brilliant scientist one moment and a not too bright electrician the next?

    Theories as to the present whereabouts of Hunrath and Wilkinson are plentiful. Some believe that he has gone to Mars or some other planetary "haven" -- and there are many of Karl's "followers" in Los Angeles who will tell you that this is positively so! Several experienced pilots believe Karl cracked-up on the side of Big Bear -- a rugged, mountainous area of California. The plane didn't carry much fuel, and Big Bear is deceiving to those who have not flown over it before. Hunrath hadn't flown in a long time, and he had never flown near Big Bear before. The down-draft and illusive qualities of the mountain could have doomed the small plane. However, the wreckage should have been discovered when the snow melted in the Summer of 1954.

    Some people think the two men went to Mexico, but they didn't have enough fuel for the trip. It has also been reported that Karl is in England and will reappear shortly, and also that he has been seen recently in Los Angeles with his hair dyed! He has been called a spaceman, a man possessed of evil spirits, an angel, a member of the F.B.I., and a Russian spy. What he really was no one knows -- but we can guess.

    What really happened to the two missing then and where are they now? It is not believed that space visitors had anything to do with their disappearance. Karl and Wilbur are not on Mars or any other extraterrestrial body; they are on Earth whether dead or alive. Here is an ad that appeared in the personal section of the Los Angeles Times on April 13, 1954. "Worried telepathists: This does it for you. Please prove my well being by writing of contacts you may recall." Karl, Box R-240, L. A. Times.

Press Coverage


  1. 11 Nov 1953, Cessna 140, N2329N, 2, CA: Pilot, Karl E. Hunrath, 35 & Wilbur J. Wilkinson, 38. Registered to Gardena Valley Airport Inc of Gardena, CA. Cancelled 4 Dec 1970.,