Lee, Gloria (1926–1962)
Gloria Lee, one of the prominent flying saucer contactees of
the 1950s, was born March 22, 1926, in Los Angeles. She developed
an interest in flying as a teenager and became one of the
early airline stewardesses, a position she held until her marriage
to William H. Byrd in 1952. About this same time she developed
an interest in flying saucers, then being raised as an
issue by George Adamski, who claimed contact with extraterrestrials.
In 1953 Lee began to receive messages from the saucer
brothers through the process of automatic writing. The first
messages were received while she was at work. The contacts led
her into association with several occult interest groups. The
regularity of the messages increased, and eventually the automatic
writing gave way to telepathy. The extraterrestrial identified
himself as J.W., a Venusian who came from a race of people
who no longer used vocal communications and in their evolution
had lost their vocal cords. They communicated by telepathy
alone. As the communications continued, she attempted in
various ways to prove J.W.’s existence, both to herself and others.
In 1959 she founded the Cosmon Research Foundation
and published her first book, Why We Are Here! The book shows
some background in Theosophy. Theosophy pictures a hierarchy
of spiritual beings that stand between humanity and the divine.
In Lee’s thinking, that hierarchy had been transformed
into a space command hierarchy. A second book, The Changing
Conditions of Your World! appeared in 1962.
By the early 1960s Lee was a well-known figure in the contactee
subculture. In the fall of 1962, accompanied by her
friend and colleague Hedy Hood, Lee went to Washington to
attempt to interest political leaders in her ideas about the space
brothers. She wanted financing and assistance to build a spaceship,
the plans of which had been given her by J.W. She found
no positive response, and on September 13, the pair took a
Encyclopedia of Occultism & Parapsychology • 5th Ed. Lee, Gloria
hotel room and Lee began a fast to call attention to her ideas.
No one listened. On November 2, she fell into a coma and died.
Immediately after her death, several contactees claimed to
have talked to Gloria Lee in her new spiritual existence. Verity
of the Heralds of the New Age (New Zealand) and Yolanda of
Mark-Age both produced booklets of what they claimed were
communications from Lee. Lee was considered a martyr by the
contactees of the 1960s but was soon forgotten as new people
who did not know her moved into leadership positions.
Lee, Gloria. The Changing Conditions of Your World! Palos
Verdes Estates, Calif. Cosmon Research Foundation, 1962.
———. Why We Are Here! Palos Verdes Estates, Calif. Cosmon
Research Foundation, 1959.
Steiger, Brad. The Aquarian Revelations. New York Dell,
Verity. The Going and the Glory. Auckland, New Zealand
Heralds of the New Age, 1966.