Looking for Orthon

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9781931044325: Looking for Orthon
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In a literary tour-de-force, Colin Bennett advances the daring thesis that the defining moment of the twentieth century will prove to be 12.30 pm on Thursday, November 26, 1952, when George Adamski claims to have met Orthon, a long-haired youth from Venus.

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About the Author:

COLIN BENNETT was born in Robin Hood’s Sherwood Forest, within arrow-shot of the Sheriff of Nottingham’s castle. He left school after studying mathematics and science, became a professional musician, then a mercenary soldier for a time, before reading English at Balliol College, University of Oxford. He had several plays performed on the professional stage in London, including the Royal Court Theatre, before retraining as an electronics engineer to cure what he calls a bad dose of left-liberal decadence. He then ran his own electronics consultancy and printing firm. He has had two novels published, The Infantryman’s Fear of Open Country, and The Entertainment Bomb, and he lives within spear-throwing distance of Portobello Road

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  When we view the shattered life that George Adamski weaves between his books, we glimpse multiple dimensions of establishment and military intrigue, and Intelligence allied with conspiracy. Like many visionaries, his life was finally a broken affair, fragmentary and incomplete, and almost as unbelievable as a Cottingley fairy photograph. But if humanity ever loses such heroism born of Adamski’s deep refusal to believe in the world as received, it will be lost forever. If he had ever looked down from his tightrope, he would certainly have fallen, another victim of the breathless cheek of the sheer intellectual eroticism of all prophecy and vision. If most people are terrified by the unusual, those whose lives are committed to thought (as Adamski’s life certainly was), are equally disturbed by the everyday mundane scale of affairs. They see any social conformity as a vast imposture, just as evil as more obvious moral demons.

Adamski had something in him of the dark genius of the covered wagon and riverboat rascals of Mark Twain and Herman Melville. Like Howard Hughes and L. Ron Hubbard, he brought down fire, if not from heaven, certainly from an elemental somewhere. But unlike Hughes and Hubbard, he didn’t make any money, and so America ignored him. But America will have to face Adamski sooner or later, and bring him, if reluctantly, into the pantheon of scarred American heroes.

Like many with a streak of genius, he didn’t really know the difference between work and play, dream and religious impulse, inspiration and rational thought. But his faulty intellectual grasp saved him: it allowed him to play with all these things, and in playing he chanced upon something that talked to him. But like Francois Seurel in Alain-Fournier’s novel Le Grand Meaulnes, Adamski was to lose the enchanted house in the forest that once he saw. Like Ahab, the quest finally consumed him, and like Hemingway’s Old Man, he was left with only fragments of wonder as a magical defiance of time and decay.

When we say that what Adamski saw was created by his “imagination,” we show how far our world has fallen, not progressed. We seem to have forgotten that there is nothing at all which is not conceived by the imagination, and that includes “fact” in itself. In forgetting this, we have lost the long trail between the ravings of visionaries in back rooms, the launch of a space station, and the death of a President. If Adamski’s life can do anything at all, it can teach us how to rediscover that trail.

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Bennett, Colin, Michell, John
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