Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Alien at the Pentagon: the story of Valiant Thor

Coast to Coast AM had an especially eyebrow-arching UFO program recently.

I had heard bits and pieces of the "Valiant Thor" story before but this is the first time I have looked into it with any kind of depth. The weird tale was the subject of a 1967 book by Frank Stranges called Stranger at the Pentagon, a text considered a UFO classic in certain circles. As the C2C program detailed, that book has now been made into a short film of the same name, directed by "Emmy-nominated casting director" Craig Campobasso. The story goes something like this...

In March of 1957, two police officers in Alexandria, Virginia picked up a man 14 miles south on Pentagon Blvd. Although he outwardly appeared to be quite normal, this man had no palm prints and claimed to be an alien named Valiant Thor. He claimed to be a visitor from the planet Venus. His mission here was a "divine" one, to eliminate poverty and disease and to grant humanity life extension technologies. I can pretty much get behind all of that. Anyway, Val Thor was taken to meet then-President Eisenhower (who has been said to have met more than his share of aliens), who then set up Thor with a living arrangement at the Pentagon. As the book and film argue, Thor remained in residence there from March 16th, 1957 to March 16th, 1960 (I guess there was something about the 16th of March with Venusians.)

In his book, Stranges claims to have met Thor through a contact at the Pentagon. He also produced photographs of the being, taken at the house of Howard Menger, a self-proclaimed alien contactee. There were also other beings, associates of Thor's who all looked human. It is also said that Thor kept (keeps?) his spacecraft "Victor One" (pictured at the top of the post) at Lake Mead.

You can watch a promo documentary for Stranger at the Pentagon here. It opens up with great excitement about the evidence uncovered for this alien visitation. The voiceover says there is "photographic proof" and a testimonial statement from a Navy officer who worked on Project Blue Book, the Air Force's official investigation into UFOs. That officer is Harley Byrd, the nephew of Admiral Byrd.

To recap, the "evidence" is someone's statement and a black and white photograph of some guy (remember, Thor looks like us.)

I'm no lawyer, but I'm not sure that holds up...and it is difficult to winnow anything else substantial from it. I'm also wondering just why we still have poverty and disease if Val was here to help us out. Plus, there are other cracks in the pavement of this case.

First of all, Valiant Thor claimed to be from Venus. This was a popular claim during the "space brothers" era of UFO phenomena. Such claims seemed to evaporate the more science learned that it would really suck to live on Venus.

Speaking of "space brothers," that's really what this story is all about: an advanced and benevolent being brings us tidings of great joy. He has technologies that will take away many of the most serious woes we are laden with (an interesting comparison can be made with the film The Day the Earth Stood Still, released in 1951, just six years before Thor's alleged arrival) in a UFO version of the Rapture. Notice how many times in the text and video for Stranger at the Pentagon that Valiant Thor or his mission is referred to as "divine." He is even called "an angel" at the outset of the clip. So he is of heavenly origin? Or an alien? Or is it both? Perhaps it's further indication that UFOs, "angel" sightings, and other paranormal phenomena are all one in the same. I don't know.

That might be the best way of putting it. I can't say for certain that there never was a Valiant Thor from Venus. I just don't think the evidence is in its favor. Then again, perhaps there was and he and his cohorts never really were from Venus. That was a ruse for the benefit of our own mental health. As Terence McKenna said:

"We have a symbiotic relationship with something which has disguised itself as an alien invasion so as not to alarm us."

If Valiant Thor was indeed genuine, that might be the best explanation.

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