The Phenomenon of UFO Channelers – From Ancient Astronauts to Ashtar


The notion of receiving “channeled” messages from friendly extraterrestrials may be said to have begun in the mid-20th century, but the “New Age-y” phenomenon is really nothing new. The story of benevolent voices from beyond the vastness of time and space goes back well into ancient times, perhaps even as far back as the Bible itself. 

In an interview conducted with publisher and writer Timothy Green Beckley, he made the effort to define just what a channel is. 

“We think of channeling today,” Beckley said, “in terms of speaking with higher entities, higher forms of intelligence, like Space People and beings from Atlantis. But it’s hard to define really what a channeler is. Even Moses, maybe he channeled God, right?”


It was at this location that the Oracle of Delphi 
received her channeled messages. (Photo by Tim Beckley)

Beckley offered the Oracle of Delphi as perhaps the first channeler who used the same modus operandi as more modern practitioners of the art. The Oracle was a woman, or a succession of women, who claimed to be in contact with Zeus and some of the other members of the Greek pantheon. 

“A lot of people today,” Beckley said, “believe that there is a connection between the Greek and Roman gods and the Ancient Astronauts. They could have been one and the same.” 

  Beckley visited the site in Greece where the Oracle of Delphi gave her readings and wrote an account of the visit for “FATE Magazine” in 2006. 

“The oracle did not predict the future herself,” he writes, “but passed on the information she received while in a trance to one of the high priests who presided over the gathering, which attracted the high and mighty of Greek society as well as lower class members. To most, the oracle seemed to be speaking in indecipherable riddles. She usually began her discourse with utterings such as: ‘I know the number of the sand. I know the measure of the sea.’

“And then she would improvise from there,” Beckley’s article continues, “often speaking in unknown tongues only her priestly handlers could comprehend. Crowds would gather to ask questions, and they were most likely to receive a Yes or No answer. Frequently associated with the oracle’s ability to foresee events was a mysterious vapor, which critics say rose from the cracks in the floor of the cubicle where the visionary would be seated on a tripod-like brass stool. The Christians propagated the idea that the prophetess was intoxicated by the fumes in order to step across the border into the void of the next world. They saw the oracle as a tool of the devil, much as fundamentalists today believe spirits are all Satan’s conjurations used to fool people into believing there is life beyond the pale.” 

Even Alexander the Great is said to have consulted the Oracle of Delphi, seeking information about his future military conquests. For the common person not embroiled in the machinations of war and politics, the oracle was available to answer personal questions. A query like “How do I cure my son of lovesickness?” would receive a therapeutic, albeit vague, response like “Treat him gently.”

To paraphrase Heraclitus, the Greek philosopher, “The oracle neither conceals nor reveals the truth . . . only hints at it.”  Kind of like the contactees of today, when they warn of impending doom or a supposed forthcoming UFO sighting/landing and end up with egg on their face when the channeled messages don’t produce. 


Another important link in the historical chain of channeling is John Dee, a Welsh mathematician who lived in the 16th and 17th centuries. He was also an astronomer and an    occultist, whose reputation as a scholar was such that he sometimes served as a consultant to Queen Elizabeth I. Dee was a devoted student of alchemy, divination and Hermetic philosophy. He devoted much of his last thirty years to attempting to commune with angels in order to learn the universal language of creation and unify mankind prior to the coming apocalypse. 

“He claimed to have spoken with angels,” Beckley said, “and devised an entire mathematical occult code so that others could do so as well. This was at a time when witches and occultists were still being persecuted. Dee’s work was supposed to be superior to anyone else’s. Apparently, he made some predictions and some of them were very successful. So he was channeling angelic beings.” 

It should be noted that even though Dee is identified with the word “occultist,” he was an extremely pious Christian who prayed and fasted as part of his preparations to attempt angelic contact. He did not draw a distinction between his mathematical research and his delving into angel summoning and divination. He considered the various efforts to be part of the same quest to find a transcendent understanding of the divine forms which underlie the visible world. 


Moving ahead a few centuries, Beckley also considers the widely influential occultist Aleister Crowley to be a significant channel. Crowley was an avowed bisexual, a recreational drug experimenter and a social critic who claimed to be in a revolt against the moral and religious values of his time, the early 20th century. His cardinal rule was “Do What Thou Wilt,” all of which led to a great deal of negative notoriety. 

But Crowley has gotten a bad rap, according to Beckley. 

“We think of Aleister Crowley,” Beckley said, “in terms of how he promoted himself as ‘the wickedest man in the world’ whose number is 666. He was known as ‘the Beast.’ But there were two sides to his personality. He seemed to have been very much adept at trying to promote himself and to create an aura around his personality. He hyped the fact that he was supposed to have done all these terrible things, but one cannot really attest to them. I think the only thing he ever got caught doing was having a couple of orgies, which perhaps might have been out of place in that particular time period that he lived. 

“Now, this is quite an interesting thing,” Beckley continued. “Crowley believed there were other dimensions, other realities, and that there were beings that populated these other dimensions. A lot of people think of him as calling up demons, but that’s not necessarily the case. Almost anything, if you’re a skeptic – just like some Christians think that every UFO being is a dem

It was up to the individual who was performing the magic ritual whether or not they were doing the work with good intentions. Like a gun, it depends on the use to which it’s put, whether for constructive or destructive purposes. 

“It’s pretty much the same thing with ritualistic magic,” Beckley explained. “Anyway, Crowley found out, or at least it was his theory, that you could contact your guardian angel and other angels mentioned in the Bible and get them to contact other demons. Because the angels, it was thought, were of a higher power and closer to God and therefore they would also have a better connection with other entities that existed. He actually even called up and materialized an entity that looks remarkably similar to the Grays that a lot of people claim to have been abducted by. So perhaps Crowley, in his channeling and spiritual work, was the first individual to contact an extraterrestrial that we would know as the Grays today.” 


Drawings in “A Dweller On Two Planets” look remarkably similar
to objects photographed by famous UFO contactee George Adamski.


One often overlooked channeled work is a book called “A Dweller On Two Planets.” The book was written by Frederick S. Oliver, who was born in 1866. He completed the manuscript in 1886, but it was not published until 1905, by Oliver’s mother Mary, six year’s after the author’s death. 

In his preface to “A Dweller On Two Planets,” Oliver claims the book was channeled through him by automatic writing, visions and mental “dictations” by a spirit calling himself “Phylos the Tibetan,” who revealed the story to Oliver over a period of three years, starting in 1883. The first section is a complex first person account by Phylos of the culture of Atlantis, which had reached a high level of technological and scientific advancement. It includes a detailed history of the social, economic, political and religious forces shaping Atlantis, and relates how daily life in Atlantis featured inventions like antigravity air and submarine craft, television, wireless telephones, air conditioners and high speed rail. Obviously, some of these devices have become reality.  Throughout the book, there are images of what are clearly cigar-shaped vehicles drawn while the channeler was in a trance. These illustrations look almost identical to the tubular space ships George Adamski purports to have observed through his telescope. Did Adamski “borrow the idea” for this book, or are his photos perhaps more authentic than one is willing at first to believe? 

The book also deals with esoteric subjects like karma and reincarnation. In the book’s second section, Phylos is reincarnated in 19th century America and must let his karma from Atlantis play itself out, both in terms of rewards and punishments.

“This book has probably influenced more people or led more people,” Beckley commented, “to an understanding of the realm of channeling. I understand Shirley MacLaine was in a bookstore in Paris one day when the book literally fell into her hands. She was so impressed by it that she began her study of metaphysics and ended up, of course, writing the popular bestseller ‘Out On A Limb.’”

Beckley said his publishing company is working on a project that involves taking the original manuscript for “A Dweller On Two Planets” and editing it and modernizing it to make the sometimes archaic language easier for present day readers. 

“We’re going to have an edition,” Beckley said, “that will be totally new and easier to read and perhaps will resonate with a whole new generation. So that was one of the channeled books of the last 150 years or so that has had a great appeal. In fact, I remember I was selling copies of it when I started out as a bookseller in my middle teens. There are several editions that have been printed, but I think ours will be the most comprehensible and the easiest for people to understand.” 


Another spiritual classic Beckley has reprinted is called “OAHSPE: A New Bible.” The book was first published in 1882 and was purportedly channeled from angelic sources who spoke in the name of Jehovah. The human contact was an American dentist named John Ballou Newbrough, who reported receiving the manuscript through automatic writing. 

“Newbrough would arise every morning,” Beckley said, “just before dawn, and would sit by candlelight at his typewriter, one of the first typewriters, and type at over 100 words a minute these spiritual messages from other realms. The book covers the history of the planet Earth and its inhabitants for the past 24,000 years, starting out on the continent of Pan that was supposed to be in the Pacific. This is a tremendous volume, and people have studied it for years. There are still groups around the country who gather to study and discuss ‘OAHSPE.’ Believers in the revelations offered in the book are called ‘Faithists.’” 


Beckley’s edition of the book is in two volumes that total over a thousands pages. He calls it “The Raymond Palmer Tribute Edition,” owing to the fact that paranormal journalism pioneer Raymond Palmer promoted and sold the book in the mid-20th century. Well-known UFO researcher Wendell Stevens proclaimed “OAHSPE” to be the most important book of its type.  

“OAHSPE” is a book of history, ethics and religion that emphasizes service to others as a basic component of how people’s souls will one day be judged. It also describes a complex afterlife into which people pass on the way to becoming angels and occupants of heaven. Selfish behavior, base thoughts, or a non-vegetarian diet will land one in the lowest levels of heaven, while those who are simply evil must go to a kind of hell. But the ascension of everyone to a delightful mode of existence happens eventually in a place ruled by God. In the theology of “OAHSPE,” God is an advanced angel ordained into office for a season, making it an honorary title held for a limited period of time. 

While Beckley acknowledges that there were many books written on channeling in the decades after “OAHSPE” was first published, channeling actually came to its peak in a modern day sense in the early 1950s and 1960s, when many contactees began to claim that they communicated with extraterrestrials. 

“Some of them had physical contact,” Beckley said, “but a lot of them claimed to be channeling, that their bodies were actually ‘taken over,’ or their spirits were ‘taken over’ by these alien entities.”


The best known of these alien entities is called “Ashtar,” the head of the Ashtar Command, said to be circling the Earth in a giant mother-ship above the equator. Many individuals all over the planet, not just here in the United States but also in Italy and England and other places, believe they have channeled Ashtar. 

“His voice has been picked up on ham radio sets,” Beckley said, “and a TV station in England was reportedly taken over and a transmission was made, supposedly by Ashtar. This was in the news in the 1970s. It was a well known case, and a recording of it is out there on the Internet where you can actually hear the transmission.”

The first channeler of Ashtar, Beckley believes, was George Van Tassel. 

“We think of George Van Tassel,” Beckley explained, “as the fellow who ran the very successful UFO conferences and conventions in Joshua Tree, California, out there at Giant Rock, right in the middle of the desert. Every October for at least ten years, thousands of people would gather on his property. He rented it from the federal government. He had an airstrip where people would fly in and a little restaurant. People from all over the world would come every October to hear the words of the contactees. 

“George had a big platform that was erected next to Giant Rock,” Beckley continued, “and people would ascend the stairs and tell their stories. Some of the individuals would have been Daniel Fry, Orfeo Angelucci, George Adamski, and Howard Menger. It was quite an attraction. Even ‘Look Magazine’ did a big pictorial on it at one point.”

Giant Rock itself was at one time the largest standing boulder in North America, until it was split apart by an earthquake a few years ago. A room had been dug out directly under the rock where George Van Tassel and his family would gather on a regular basis. Van Tassel would go into a trancelike state and receive messages from Ashtar and other entities. 

George Hunt Williamson, who had been a witness to George Adamski’s sightings in the California desert that included a face-to-face meeting with a blonde-haired Venusian, also channeled in that same period in the early 1950s. 

“People were very impressed by this,” Beckley said. “Sometimes the entities being channeled would make predictions, like where they would appear in the sky on such and such a date. People would gather and have sightings of these craft. In fact, an admiral from the US Navy set up a channeling session one time and the same thing happened. He had a woman that he knew was channeling entities from space and they had a sighting based upon her prediction. This is even in the Project Blue Book report, and we did a whole chapter on it in our book ‘Round Trip To Hell In A Flying Saucer.’

“So there’s really nothing new about channeling, but it is still very popular. Shirley MacLaine and various other metaphysical writers have made it even more popular in recent years.”


According to Beckley, the main representative on Earth of the Ashtar Command was an elderly woman named Thelma Turrell, who later changed her name to Tuella. 

“She was born here on this planet,” Beckley said, “but spiritual entities took over her body. She was one of these individuals we’ve identified as ‘Walk-Ins.’ She channeled Ashtar on a regular basis.”

Before her passing, channeler Tuella was the primary representative of the Ashtar Command. 

The tone or attitude of Tuella’s voice did not change when she was in contact with Ashtar, as if she was in an altered “channeling” state of being; she seemed to be speaking normally. Her sessions with Ashtar were recorded and transcribed and eventually became part of a series of books published originally by Guardian Actions Publications. Beckley’s publishing company, Global Communications/Inner Light Books, bought the rights to Tuella’s books just before she passed away. The titles include “Ashtar, A Tribute, Revealing His Secret Identity,” “Project World Evacuation,” “On Earth Assignment,” “Master Symbol of the Solar Cross,” and most recently, “A New Book of Revelation.” 

“She had people who came from all over the United States,” Beckley said, “to see her and talk to her and to receive these channeled messages. She’s very, very popular and highly respected even today for being the primary channel for the Ashtar Command. She got into some political things, but her message was always about peace, love and harmony.”

Ashtar, the inspiration for much of that peace, love and harmony, of course remains a rather enigmatic figure about who little is known. In one of the reprints reissued by Beckley and Inner Light Books, called “Ashtar, A Tribute, Revealing His Secret Identity,” a chapter called “Who Is Ashtar?” grapples with this problem. It is said that Ashtar is the Christian Commander From Venus, and that he ranks just below an entity called Jesus-Sananda in overseeing the Airborne Division of the Brotherhood of Light. 

“His messages are beamed from a colossal Starship or Space Station,” the chapter continues, “beyond our atmosphere. He is loved for his deeply philosophical approach to our global problems and his efforts to raise planetary vibrations. Ashtar speaks of twenty million extraterrestrial persons involved with his Command in the Program For Planet Earth, and of another four million on our physical plane, consciously or unconsciously cooperating in the Program of Light.” 

Ashtar is a devoted Christian who declares the “Christ Teacher of this Galaxy” to be his beloved Commander-In-Chief, saying that Christ’s Word is the law Ashtar himself obeys to fulfill the Program of Light on Earth. 

The book also includes a Q. and A. with Ashtar conducted by a believer named Trevor James in 1958 in which Ashtar says that his body is etheric and that he possesses no physical “casing” of the dense type that humans are limited to. He is also called a Herald Angel by other trance mediums who claim contact with him. 

Further along in the “Ashtar” book, Tuella receives “A Message of Encouragement From Ashtar.” 

“We come to you in the vibration of Love and Light,” Ashtar begins, “sent forth from the Upper Heavens to penetrate the atmosphere of Earth and reach the hearts of all Mankind. We enfold the Planet with the power of Love and blend into its very layers an anointing of peace and goodwill. We carry away the off cast thoughts of darkness that would destroy your world if left unchecked. We intervene with our own magnetic rays and beams of Greater Light to keep the balance for further decades. White light is enfolded around and around your world in an essence of purification that will bring the blessings of God upon all Nations. 

“Wherever there is a hostile approach to the solution of world problems, our Greater Light will assist to dissolve that hostility and maintain peace. Factions of baser intent are gradually deteriorating and being replaced by understanding and goodwill. Peace will come, and the lesser infiltrations of the Dark Ones will be overcome. Yield not to weariness of spirit, but continue to watch for our coming, and the fulfillment of all the dreams and hopes of Humanity for a better world. It will come. The waters of Life shall flow upon every barren place, and every thirst shall be quenched.”

Sounds encouraging indeed. Which of course is the whole point, says Beckley. 

“We think of alien abductions as very negative things,” Beckley said. “People like Travis Walton and Whitley Strieber being taken onboard UFOs and being physically harassed and examined and perhaps even raped. While the channeled messages are just the opposite. They deal with bliss and euphoria and they talk about a better world and how we can live a better life. 

“They take a higher spiritual tone,” he went on, “than a lot of the other contacts and experiences. People always ridicule this and say it’s a lot of New Age fluff. And they’re right. A lot of the things the channelers say cannot really be verified. But it’s a very positive message that they bring, although of course it’s hard for many people to follow or believe in in this chaotic world that we live in.” 

While Beckley is of course correct that the inspiring messages from Ashtar to Tuella and the other channelers cannot be documented or proven, one cannot help but wish it is true somehow that someone out there really cares about us and is watching over us. Perhaps the Ashtar Command is really the modern day version of our planet’s ancient guardian angels beliefs given a more technological spin? We can only hope.  


Ashtar: Revealing the Secret Identity of the Forces of Light and Their Spiritual Program for Earth: Brotherhood/dp/0938294296/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1366942933&sr=1-1&keywords=ASHTAR+COMMAND

A New Book of Revelations – A Harvesting Of Souls At Earth’s Final Moment                                                    

Project World Evacuation: Ufos to Assist in the “Great Exodus” of Human Souls Off This Planet </div>

Master Symbol Of The Solar Cross

[To read more by Sean Casteel, visit his “UFO Journalist” website at]


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