The Pleiades is a star cluster an approximately 400 lightyear
distance from Earth and near the constellations of Orion
and Taurus in the night sky. The cluster includes seven bright
stars that are easily seen with the naked eyes. In more recent
years, astronomers equipped with telescopes have found the
cluster to contain some 400 stars and to be surrounded by a
nebula. As with many of the heavenly bodies, the Pleiades has
attracted the speculation of people who have imposed a mythological
significance on the objects seen in the night sky. And
such speculations have not been limited to prescientific cultures.
Early in the twentieth century, the leader of the group
later known as the Jehovah’s Witnesses suggested that one of
the stars of the Pleiades was actually the throne of the Lord God
In ancient Greece, the seven prominent stars were named
after the seven daughters of Atlas and Pleione. Atlas, a titan
who warred against the gods, was condemned by Zeus to hold
up the heavens on his shoulders. His daughters were named Alcyone,
Asterope, Celaeno, Electra, Maia, Merope, and Taygete.
Each has her own story from the mythological cycles.
Pleiades, largely a concern for the astronomical community
in recent centuries, broke into the news in 1975 when Eduard
Albert ‘‘Billy’’ Meier, the leader of a small metaphysical study
group in his native Switzerland, announced that he had seen
a saucer-shaped craft land and had communicated with its
pilot, a woman named Semjase. Semjase claimed to reside on
a planet in the Pleiades. Having discovered Earth in the distant
past, some Pleiadians settled here and intermarried. The
peace-loving Semjase was part of a group who were attempting
to assist humanity out of its warlike tendencies. Meier claimed
that Semjase allowed him to take pictures of the Pleiadian
spacecraft, called beam ships, and that he even took a trip to
the Pleiades himself. While the photographs were the most important
aspect of the Meier contact claims, he also asserted that
he had telepathic contacts with Semjase.
A first volume of photographs and an outline of the Meier
story was published in English in 1979, and a number of additional
books appeared over the next few years as ufologists debated
the pros and cons of the Meier pictures. American inventor
Fred Bell also claimed to have been in touch and received
a variety of technological information from Semjase. But, although
Meier received much support, mainstream ufologists
denounced him. Kal K. Kroff authored two books condemning
him as a hoaxer. Kroff’s attacks on Meier were countered by
Meier’s supporters with more than a dozen books, illustrated
with his many photos of the spaceships, and several video tapes.
Together they made the Pleiades a well-known item within the
lay community of people interested in flying saucers.
Beginning in the late 1980s, channelers (mediums), people
who receive information from various extrasensory sources, appeared
within the larger New Age community and claimed that
they were channeling material from Pleiadians. The results of
these contacts began to appear in 1991 with Jani King’s book,
The P’taah Tapes Transmissions from the Pleiades. It was followed
the next year by possibly the most influential volume, Barbara
Marciniak’s Bringers of the Dawn Teachings from the Pleiadians.
Additional Pleiadian contactees include Amorah Quan Yin,
Nina Jenice, Susan Drew, Barbara Hand Clow, and Lyssa
Royal, whose channeled material appears regularly in the
monthly magazine of channeled material, Sedona A Journal of
Emergence. In 1996 Preston Nichols, the man who made some
extraordinary claims concerning his secret work on a U.S. government
project with mind control, materialization, and weathPlayfair,
Guy Lyon Encyclopedia of Occultism & Parapsychology • 5th Ed.
er control known as the Montauk Project, revealed that he had
also taken a trip to the Pleiades on a spaceship.
Together these New Age Channelers have led in the development
of that segment of the New Age community who look
to extraterrestrials as the source of the teaching material they
are releasing.
Amorah Quan Yin. Pleiadian Perspectives on Human Evolution.
Santa Fe, N.Mex. Bear & Co., 1996.
———. The Pleiadian Workbook. Santa Fe, N.Mex. Bear &
Co., 1996.
Bell, Fred. Rays of Truth-Crystals of Light. Blue Hill, Maine
Medicine Bear Publishing, 1999.
Clark, Jerome. UFO Encyclopedia. 2 vols. 2nd ed. Detroit
Omnigraphics, 1998.
Klimo, Jon. Channeling Investigations on Receiving Information
from Paranormal Sources. Rev. ed. Berkeley, Calif. North Atlantic
Books, 1998.
Nichols, Preston B., and Peter Moon. Encounter in the Pleiades
An Inside Look at UFOs. New York Sky Books, 1996.
Rutherford, J. F. Reconciliation. Brooklyn, N.Y. Watchtower
Bible and Tract Society, 1917.
Winters, Randolph. The Pleiadian Mission A Time of Awareness.
Atwood, Calif. The Pleiades Project, 1994

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