Ashtar was one of the original extraterrestrial entities who
appeared among the flying saucer contactees of the 1950s. In
his booklet, I Rode a Flying Saucer!, George Van Tassell
(1910–1978) claimed that he had begun to receive messages
from alien beings from a planet named Shanchea. These channeled
messages were directed toward the people of Earth,
warning that humanity’s warlike ways, in the development of
super atomic weapons, threatened the peace not just of Earth,
but of the solar system and beyond. Van Tassel began receiving
these messages in January of 1952, but it was not until July that
an entity named Portla sent the following message ‘‘Approaching
your solar system is a ventla [flying saucer] with our chief
aboard, commandant of the station Schare in charge of four
sectors.’’ The commandant soon introduced himself to Van
Tassell as ‘‘Ashtar, commandant quadra sector, patrol station
Schare, all projections, all waves.’’ Ashtar’s subsequent messages
would expand upon the anti-atomic weapon theme developed
by his extraterrestrial colleagues.
Of all the entities with whom Van Tassel claimed contact, for
reasons not altogether clear, Ashtar turned out to be the one
to whom people responded and within a few months messages
from Ashtar began to be received and spread by other channels.
The term ‘‘channel,’’ a reference to the new phenomenon
of television, began to be used among contactees for one who
was receiving messages telepathically from outer space beings.
It replaced the Spiritualist term ‘‘medium,’’ one who received
messages from the deceased.
As the scientific effort to study UFOs emerged and ufology
separated itself from what was seen as the lunatic fringe of flying
saucer believers, the contactees assumed a role analogous
to religious prophets and the extraterrestrial entities who
spoke through them emphasized a message that continued the
teachings previously advocated by Spiritualists and Theosophists.
Ashtar assumed a status similar to such previous spiritual
entities as White Eagle and El Morya.
After Van Tassell passed from the scene, in the 1980s a new
contactee, Thelma B. Turrell, better known by her public
name Tuella, emerged as Ashtar’s primary spokesperson. In
1985, she collected many of Ashtar’s messages in a book called
simply Ashtar A Tribute, and through the 1980s a number of
other people around the world continued to receive messages
by and about him, including no less a personage than New Age
channel Ruth Montgomery. Ashtar came to be seen as the Supreme
Director in charge of the spiritual program for the
Earth, and those he led as the Ashtar Command. He was in
charge of the 20 million space brothers (and sisters) who were
lowering their own vibratory rate so to be enabled to work with
earthlings and prepare them for their future evolution.
Messages from the Ashtar Command flourished as the New
Age Movement peaked and continued through the 1990s. By
the end of the decade, however, so many varied descriptions of
Ashtar existed that it became impossible to depict his likeness,
and so many contradictory bits of information about him had
been written, that it has been difficult to write his biography.
Some channels picked up on the positive millennialism of the
New Age; others joined in the dark apocalyticism warning of
imminent catastrophic events that have repeatedly appeared
on the fringes of Western society through the nineteenth and
twentieth centuries. Ashtar’s spokespersons resonated with the
public anxiety over the hydrogen bomb, but as the threat of nuclear
holocaust faded from the public consciousness, a notable
shift to more traditional warnings of natural disasters, such as
pole shifts, occurred. Ashtar literature continues to circulate in
New Age circles and has found its place on the Internet.
Clark, Jerome. ‘‘UFO Reporter Our Friends from the Ashtar
Command.’’ Fate 42, no.11 (November 1989) 37–41.
Montgomery, Ruth. Aliens Among Us. New York G. P. Putnam’s
Sons, 1985.
Tuella [pseudonym of Thelma B. Turrell], ed. Ashtar A Tribute.
Salt Lake City, UT Guardian Action Publications, 1985.
———. Project World Evacuation By the Ashtar Command. Salt
Lake City, UT Guardian Action Publications, 1982.
Van Tassell, George. I Rode a Flying Saucer! The Mystery of the
Flying Saucers Revealed. Los Angeles New Age Publishing,

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