Meade Layne

From Kook Science

Meade Layne
Born 8 September 1882(1882-09-08) [1]
Viroqua, Wisconsin
Died 12 May 1961 (78) [2]
San Diego, California
Burial Greenwood Memorial Park, San Diego, California [3]
Occupation(s) Teacher, Writer
Alma mater University of Southern California (B.A., 1909; M.A., 1911)
Affiliations Borderland Sciences (BSRA)
Known for The Ether Ship Mystery
Spouse(s) Gladys Hosler (m. 1916) [4]

Newton Hathaway Meade Layne, Sr. (September 8, 1882 - May 12, 1961) was an American occultist and saucerian. His early efforts to study the UFO phenomenon, produced in collaboration with medium Mark Probert, predated the Kenneth Arnold sightings, and laid the ground for an esoteric interdimensional hypothesis of the flying saucers.


Born at Viroqua in 1882, Newton Meade Layne lived his first ten years in Wisconsin before moving with his family to San Diego, the city where he would spend much of his life. After completing his secondary education, Layne studied English (Comp. Lit.) at the University of Southern California, attaining his masters in 1911, and later engaged himself in graduate study of Philosophy at the University of Oregon, Eugene. Though he worked in a variety of fields, Layne's primary career was as an educator, teaching at schools all across the United States, including brief postings at Illinois Wesleyan University and Florida Southern College as an English instructor, and serving as a principal of Paisley High School (Paisley, Oregon).

As he entered into more esoteric scholarship, Layne became a student of a variety of Western occult disciplines, including Qabala, and was mentored for a time by Frater Achad (Charles Stansfeld Jones), in addition to working with Israel Regardie and Frater Damon (William Wallace Webb). It has been indicated he was a member of Dion Fortune's Society of Inner Light, and his choice to publish a private newsletter called Flying Rolls hints at an involvement in studies of the Golden Dawn.

The synthesis of Meade Layne's literary interests and occult understandings were on full display in correspondence, articles, and publications that he produced through the thirties to the end of his life. He wrote extensively on psychic research, spiritualism, Theosophy, and Qabala, publishing in the ASPR Journal and other esoteric circulars; and, in 1945, began publishing his own mimeographed newsletter, the Round Robin.

For the next fourteen years of his life, Layne would serve as editor-in-chief and lead writer on the Round Robin, collaborating extensively with a growing body of "research associates." The success of his newsletter prompted Layne to expand his publishing domain to include a number of books and research papers, including the Mark Probert seance reports and a series of texts on the Flying Saucer phenomena (notably on the Ether Ship Mystery); and, in addition to his own publications, Layne maintained an extensive archive of strange and occult materials that he worked to keep in circulation. These efforts coalesced into the Borderland Sciences Research Associates, an incorporated body intended to enable researchers to "liberally study, review, and report on the discarded or uncommon strands of science and occultism, often relying on unconventional means and sources of data"[5] — meaning, in particular, psychic mediums and occult interpretations.

Layne corresponded and engaged with a great swath of the growing saucerian movement beginning in the fifties, both through his journal and privately. Though he remained a low-key presence, not enjoying the kind of press attention lavished on Space Brothers contactees, Layne's name was nonetheless frequently raised as an authority on the matter of the saucers within the movement.

In June 1959, Meade Layne retired from his editorial positions with the Round Robin, selling the BSRA organisation to Riley Crabb. This would mark the end of Layne's active research efforts, as cerebral atherosclerosis caused his health to become progressively worse over the last years of his life, until his passing on May 12, 1961 while at a rest home in San Diego.

Selected Bibliography

  • Layne, Meade (1930), Ahaha, or, A Persian night's Entertainment. A Narrative-Dramatical-Episodical-Hysterical Poem in the Modern-Archaic Mixed Manner, with Interruptions 
  • Layne, Meade (1 Oct. 1945), The Art of Geomancy, San Diego, Calif.: BSRA 
  • Layne, Meade (1947), A Book of Verses 
  • Layne, Meade (27 Feb. 1950), The Ether-Ship Mystery and Its Solution: a Booklet for Public Information, San Diego, Calif.: BSRA 
  • Layne, Meade (1952), "The Ether of Space": The Concept of the Ether(s) and Its Relation to the Phenomena of the Aeroforms, a Compendium, San Diego, Calif.: BSRA 
  • Probert, Mark; Telano, Rolf; Light, Gerald (1954), Layne, Meade, ed., The Coming of the Guardians, San Diego, California: Borderland Sciences Research Associates, 

In addition to BSRA mimeographic literature, including the Round Robin and the Flying Roll newsletters, Layne also sent various additional "memoranda" to members and to public officials, including the now-infamous Memorandum 6751 detailing BSRA's theories regarding flying saucers that was filed away by the FBI and later released as part of a trove of "declassified" documents.


  • Layne, Meade (May 1949), "Mark Probert, Baffling San Diego Medium", FATE 2 (1) 



  1. "U.S. WWII Draft Registration Cards, 1942," index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 08 Sep 2013): Newton Meade Layne, b. 8 Sep 1882. <Corroborated by other records, including WWI Draft, California Death Index, census>
  2. Obituary notice for Meade Layne in the May 17, 1961 ed. of the San Diego Union, reporting death as Friday, May 12, 1961. <Corroborated by other records, including California Death Index>
  3. Newton Meade Layne (1882-1961),,, retrieved 2017-10-31 
  4. "California, County Marriages, 1850-1952," index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 28 Jun 2014), Newton Mead Layne and Gladys Hosler, 11 Aug 1916; citing p. 155, Orange, California, United States; FHL microfilm 1290108.
  5. Profile of "Meade Layne" (