Planetary Travels
Mediums in a trance state claim to travel to other planets.
Descriptions of astral travel, inner vision, or spirit enlightenment
and life on the planets were first given by Emanuel Swedenborg
in the seventeenth to eighteenth century.
Swedenborg claimed the people of Mars were the best in the
whole planetary system. Physiognomy, with them, was an expression
of thought. They judged each other by it. They were
God-fearing, and the Lord sometimes appeared among them.
Of the inhabitants of Venus and the moon, Swedenborg said
‘‘They are of two kinds; some are gentle and benevolent others
wild, cruel and of gigantic stature. The latter rob and plunder,
and live by this means; the former have so great a degree
of gentleness and kindness that they are always beloved by the
good; thus they often see the Lord appear in their own form
on their earth.
‘‘The inhabitants of the Moon are small, like children of six
or seven years old; at the same time they have the strength of
men like ourselves. Their voices roll like thunder, and the
sound proceeds from the belly, because the moon is in quite a
different atmosphere from the other planets.’’
Swedenborg’s accounts of planetary travel was limited to
those planets known to exist in the eighteenth century.
Planetary exploration in the form of what appeared to be
traveling clairvoyance was first recorded with Fraulein Romer,
a German somnambule who in November 1813, at the age of
15, was seized with convulsive attacks and developed mediumship.
In 1921, C. Romer described how the spirits of dead relatives
but more often the spirit of a living companion, Louise,
led the medium to the moon. She described its flora, fauna and
inhabitant and the spirits of the dead who spend there their
first stage of existence in their progress to higher spheres.
Romer claimed the descriptions were in accord with those offered
by the subjects of Joseph Ennemoser’s experiments.
Andrew Jackson Davis followed in the footsteps of Swedenborg.
Victorien Sardou reportedly drew automatic sketches of
houses and scenes on the planet Jupiter. Auguste Henri Jacob
executed drawings of fruits and flowers he claimed grew on the
planet Venus. Thomas Lake Harris, in Celestial Arcana, described
the inhabitants on other planets of the solar system and
also some of remote fixed stars. Harris claimed to have had
conversations with them.
Statements and disclosures were also exemplified by a revelation
of Hélène Smith. Theodore Flournoy in From India to the
Planet Mars (1900), traced the origin of Smith’s Martian Cycle
to chance remarks and the desire expressed by Georges-Henri
Lemaitre a Belgian astro physicist, to know more about the
planet. On November 25, 1884, Flournoy noted
‘‘From the beginning . . . Mlle. Smith perceived, in the distance
and at a great height, a bright light. Then she felt a tremor
which almost caused her heart to cease beating, after which
it seemed to her as though her head were empty and as if she
were no longer in the body. She found herself in a dense fog,
which changed successively from blue to a vivid rose color, to
gray, and then to black. She is floating, she says, and the table,
supporting itself on one leg, seemed to express a very curious
floating movement. Then she sees a star growing larger, always
larger, and becomes finally ‘as large as our house.’
‘‘Hélène feels that she is ascending; then the table gives, by
raps ‘Lemaitre, that which you have so long desired!’ Mlle.
Smith, who had been ill at ease, finds herself feeling better, she
distinguishes three enormous globes, one of them very beautiful.
‘On what am I walking’ she asks. And the table replies ‘On
a world—Mars.’ Hélène then began a description of all strange
things which presented themselves to her view, and caused her
as much surprise as amusement. Carriages without horses or
wheels, emitting sparks as they glided by; houses with fountains
on the roof; a cradle having for curtains an angel made of iron
with outstretched wings, etc. What seemed less strange were
people exactly like the inhabitants of our earth, save that both
sexes wore the same costume, formed of trousers, very ample,
and a long blouse, drawn tight about the waist and decorated
with various designs. The child in the cradle was exactly like
our children, according to the sketch which Hélène made from
memory after the séance. . . .
‘‘We are struck by two points, the complete identity of the
Martian world, taken in its chief points, with the world in which
we live, and its puerile originality in a host of minor
details. . . . One would say that it was the work of a young scholar
to whom had been given the task of trying to invent a world
as different as possible from ours, but real and who had conscientiously
applied himself to it loosening the reins of his childish
fancy in regard to a multitude of minor points in the limits
of what appeared admissible according to his short and narrow
experience. All the traits that I discover in the author of the
Martian romance can be summed up in a single phrase, its profoundly
infantile character.’’
New Languages Appear
Flournoy claimed the Martian language, was not only revealed
but also translated into French and bore the stamp of
a ‘‘natural’’ language. ‘‘I will add that in speaking fluently and
somewhat quickly, as Hélène sometimes does in somnambulism,
it has an acoustic quality altogether its own due to the predominance
of certain sounds, and has a peculiar intonation difficult
to describe.’’
Encyclopedia of Occultism & Parapsychology • 5th Ed. Planetary Travels
Seventeen days later a medium attempted to depict life in
an undetermined planet farther away than Mars. Reportedly,
medium saw a world, with a different language than the Martian,
the tallest people were three feet high, with heads twice
as broad as high, living in low, long cabins without windows or
doors but with a tunnel about ten feet long running from it into
the earth.
Flournoy believed there was an earthly origin of both the
Ultra-Martian and the Uranian language and writing.
In August 1895, Hélène Smith found a rival in America. The
medium, Mrs. Willis M. Cleveland (generally known as Mrs.
Smead), made several revelations about the planets Mars and
Jupiter. After a period of five years, the detailed descriptions
according to Flournoy, presented ‘‘the same character of puerility
and naive imagination as those of Mlle. Smith.’’
Planetary Visitor
Isaac K. Funk, in his book The Widow’s Mite (1904), wrote of
a medium who impersonated ‘‘a lady eight feet tall from the
planet Mars’’ by the use of a wire bust with rubber over it, and
a false face. The wire bust fitted snugly on the shoulders of the
medium and was inflated with air when in use. When not in use
it could be made into a small package and concealed.
Numerous mediums have given descriptions of Martian life.
Eva Harrison’s Wireless Messages from Other Worlds (London,
1916) introduced planetary visitors from the constellation
Orion. The medium George Valiantine, through ‘‘Dr. Barnett’’
predicted Martians would communicate with us before we communicated
with them.
The Martian fascination of Mansfield Robinson should also
be mentioned. Through a Mrs. James, the author claimed to
have obtained a Martian alphabet, a Martian trance control
‘‘Oumaruru,’’ and gave a number of Martian revelations based
on trance excursions to the red planet.
Many of the claimed spiritual revelations of life on other
planets betray their terrestrial origins by everything being bigger
and better than on earth. This is demonstrated in the pamphlet
A Description of the Planet Neptune; or, A Message From the
Spirit World by Japssa Seniel, Spiritual, from the Planet Naculo
or Neptune (London, ca. 1872), from which the following quotations
are typical
‘‘We have horses, which we call nemilis, but they stand nearly
as high again as yours, and are very far superior to any that
I have seen on this globe. We have a great variety of peculiar
animals called denfan; they resemble your dogs; they are quite
harmless, but very useful. . . . In the city of Zinting, which is distant
from Vanatha about 80,000 miles, is a carnil or match factory,
which employs 30,000 hands. These matches are made of
wax, and can only be lighted by dipping them in water. . . .
‘‘Now, we will return to Vanatha, and I will describe a grand
piece of workmanship—namely a bridge of metal, which is in
length about 59 miles. It passes over two rivers, each seven
miles in width, also over corn fields, grazing pastures, and railways;
it supporters are black marble pillars. The metal is composed
of iron, steel, copper, gold, and silver; but we have another
kind of metal we call accelity verua, which far exceeds all
the rest in strength and durability. The cross supporters of this
magnificent bridge are made of this durable material; they are
nine feet in diameter.
‘‘The immense bridge is only for foot passengers; its width
is about 2000 feet; it has 2000 lamps of large dimensions—
namely, nine feet in diameter; they are circular in form, and
are lighted with gas. This bridge took 300 years to construct it,
at a cost of £300,000,000 sterling; it employed about
40,000,000 workmen. It was laid out by a seraph; it is paved
with pantine pardia, which is more durable than any other material
we have. It is neither stone nor iron, yet it is harder than
the diamond or sapphire. The pavement is all cut in stars; the
balustrade is about twelve feet high, and all this stupendous
bridge is covered with lemena or glass. There is on this bridge
500 drinking fountains, and about 200 filestres or water closets;
these are placed over the rivers. There is about 300 approaches
to this bridge, which are ascended by 300 steps, with landings
and windings, and seats to recline on. In the ascent to the top,
there are small houses built in the centre of this bridge, where
the inhabitants can take tea or coffee, or what you call luncheon
or meals. . . .’’
Similar contacts with extraterrestrials and descriptions of
their planets appeared throughout the first half of the twentieth
century. However, a new era began in 1952 with the public
attention being given to flying saucers. Claims of contacts with
extraterrestrials and accompanying descriptions of their home
planets, almost totally received by psychic means, began to appear
with the publication of George Adamski’s first book.
Through the 1950s people such as Truman Bethrum, Ernest
Norman, and Howard Menger described life on other planets.
However, in the 1950s, a new element was added. Space aliens
traveled to Earth on space ships . . . thus supplemented their
telepathic and related communications with actual physical
These claims of contact with aliens from other planets were
concurrent with the exploration of space by improved telescopes
and space probes. Such data gave a better picture than
previously possible of the different planets in this solar system
and disproved the history of contact literature concerning life
on the moon, Venus, Mars, and the other planets. By the end
of the 1960s, almost no one continued to claim such contact,
but claims of contact with planets beyond the reach of contemporary
science in other solar system continued. Among the few
claims for life on Mars was made by Ruth Norman in her 1977
Martian Underground Cities Discovered!
Clark, Jerome. The UFO Encyclopedia. Vol. 2. Detroit Omnigraphics,
Flournoy, Theodore. From India to the Planet Mars. 1900. Reprinted,
New Hyde Park, N.Y. University Books, 1963.
Harris, Thomas Lake. Arcana of Christianity Celestial Sense of
the Divine Word. 2 vols. New York, 1858.
Leslie, Desmond, and George Adamski. Flying Saucers Have
Landed. London T. Werner Laurie, 1953.
Lunan, Duncan. Man and the Stars. London Souvenir Press,
1974. Reprinted as Interstellar Contact; Communication with Other
Intelligences in the Universe. Chicago Henry Regnery, 1975.
Melton, J. Gordon. ‘‘The Contactees a Survey.’’ In The Spectrum
of UFO Research Proceedings of the Second UFO Conference.
Chicago Center for UFO Studies, 1975.
Melton, J. Gordon, and George M. Eberhart. The Flying Saucer
Contactee Movement 1950–1990. Santa Barbara, Calif. Santa
Barbara Centre for Humanistic Studies, 1990.
Romer, C. Ausführliche historische Darstellung einer höchst merkwürdigen
Somnambule. Stuttgart, 1821.
Swedenborg, Emanuel. Earths in Our Solar System Which Are
Called Planets, and Earths in the Starry Heaven, Their Inhabitants,
and the Spirits and Angels There. London Swedenborg Society,
1860. Frequently reprinted.

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