The sudden rise in UFO activity reported in post-war United States defies any rational explanation. Following the events of Roswell in 1947, where it was reported that both a UFO and its alien occupants had been recovered by the US government, there was a sudden surge in UFO sightings which would last for decades to come.
These unexplained incidents entered the public consciousness and those who claimed personal experience became celebrities. UFO conventions featuring these people proved to be very profitable, as the general public’s fascination with alien contact grew.
But nobody who attended these conventions really expected to meet an alien there, no matter how much they believed in what they were seeing. However, that might just be what happened at one such convention, at a height of almost 1,800 meters (5,900 feet) on top of Mount Palomar in the United States, in August 1954.
Three of the most prominent “contactees,” George Adamski, Truman Bethurum, and Daniel Fry, promoted this gathering. The event drew over a thousand individuals, including international journalists, FBI agents, UFO witnesses, and many inquisitive onlookers. But it also, maybe, attracted a group of aliens.
Dolores Barrios: An Alien In Plain Sight?
During the convention, attendees spotted an extraordinary presence of a beautiful woman in the company of two men at the end of the first day. Their presence, walking through the crowds, caused a commotion. The three were fair-skinned, and the woman wore her hair in a blond bob, but her eyes were dark and fierce.
The woman was characterized as having unusual physical features, including a projecting bone structure in the middle of her forehead that extended vertically to her nose, and deep black eyes with thick eyelashes.
Adamski has given a talk earlier in the day where he had described aliens from the planet Venus who seek to blend in and walk among us. The appearance of the three strangers matched those of the Venusians, as described by speaker Adamski just hours earlier.
News of the three spread like wildfire through the audience. “Are you Venusians or are you not Venusians?” one of the participants inquired. “No,” the woman said calmly, smiling.
George Adamski’s Presentation
George Adamski claimed to have had multiple experiences with aliens, including aliens with a Caucasian “Nordic” appearance whom he dubbed “Space Brothers”. According to him, he had met these aliens when arrived on Earth aboard a flying saucer, landing in the Colorado desert in November 20, 1952. Befriending Adamski, they allowed him to fly in their plane.
The aliens warned Adamski about humanity’s future on Earth and voiced their fear about nuclear weapons and wars that could endanger human life. Adamski depicted the Venusians’ objectives and morphological structure in the same way as he depicted human beings, with only minor differences.
He stressed that they had a similar appearance to us and may go unnoticed among us. In a painting, he depicted the physical look of Venusians. And then, only a few hours later, it seemed that Adamski had been proven right in the most unexpected and immediate way.
O Cruzeiro, a Brazilian publication, was the most widely circulated magazine in South America at the time. A reporter working for the magazine, Joo Martins, was present at the convention and interviewed the three strangers.
Martins requested permission to photograph them, but they declined. Being referred to as Venusians irritated them. The beautiful woman, according to Martins, resembled the painting Adamski had displayed, and the three declined to explain their presence at the convention.
Martins surprised the beautiful woman the next day by photographing her at the end of the meeting. Then he hurriedly snapped shots of her two pals. The trio, startled by the photos, dashed into nearby woods and some attendees claimed to have seem a UFO depart shortly afterwards, although no photos were taken of this much more conclusive and significant event.
Martins did some research and discovered that the woman’s identity was Dolores Barrios, a New York fashion designer, and her companions were Donald Morand and Bill Jackmart, both musicians from Manhattan Beach, California. This matched the names they had entered in the guestbook for the convention.
And this would seem to answer the question: the trio were nothing more than they claimed to be. Dolores Barrios was a genuine person, who lived a happy life, married, and raised a large family before dying in 2008.
But this has not stopped speculation about the otherworldly presence at the convention. Another group of UFO investigators believes the name “Dolores Barrios” may have belonged to a deceased woman. Although no proof has been offered to support this suggestion, taking on a new identity at the time is a regular practice utilized by the mob and cold war espionage.
Joo Martins, the magazine’s reporter, recounted the incident in three editions in October 1954. He was the lone journalist that covered the event and broadcast it to the rest of the world. Adamski, on the other hand, despised gossip. He assumed it was a group of people attempting to discredit him by posing as Venusians.
George Adamski: Cultural Lightning Rod?
It would seem that, aside from the unusual coincidence of Adamski’s presentation and the appearance of the three, there is little to support the suggestion that Dolores Barrios and her companions were alien. Furthermore, Adamski’s claims have come under scrutiny: was he merely tuning into the zeitgeist of a nation hungry for UFOs, or did he really have something of value to share?
Adamski’s claims were certainly timely. During the 1950s, tales of nuclear war and threats to human civilization began to circulate. In 1951, a film titled The Day the Earth Stood Still was released in theatres, adding fuel to the flames. The story follows a humanoid alien who comes to Earth to give a message that the human race must live in peace or the planet will die.
The narrative of the film was identical to the message given to Adamski by the Venusian “Orthon,” as recounted in his speech three years after the film’s release. As a result, many people speculated that Adamski might be fantasizing about the whole thing.
Furthermore, Adamski published other images of UFOs in the 1950s and 1960s, some of which were revealed as hoaxes. George Adamski once claimed that he had been invited to a private audience with Pope John XXIII and had been awarded a Golden Medal of Honour by His Holiness. Tourists in Rome may buy the same medal in a cheap plastic box.
Joo Martins had also been at the centre of a lot of controversies. On May 7, 1952, Martins and a photographer, Ed Keffel, were reporting stories of couples enjoying the deserted beach in Quebra-Mar, Rio de Janeiro’s west zone.
After a few sessions of interviews with couples on the beach, they claimed to have seen a blue-grey flying object circular emerge before them and fly off. Keffel was able to take photos of the object, which they offered as proof.
The problem came when the photos were studied: they were clearly fake. The study found that the shadows of the elements on the scene were varied. The shadows cast on the supposed flying saucer do not match the shadows of the background scene, revealing that the saucer was a later addition to the photo.
Was Dolores Barrios An Alien?
In the face of such behaviour it would seem there is no real reason to suspect Dolores Barrios was an alien. We have a record of her, and her companions, which both pre- and post-dates the Mount Palomar UFO convention.
Adamski may well be a fantasist, borrowing from popular films and cultural trends for some reason. Martins may well be a fraud, as his doctored UFO pictures from two years before the convention clearly show.
But some continue to believe that Dolores Barrios was an alien visitor. After all, if you want to walk unobserved through a crowd, your cover story had better be airtight. And hers, but for an accident of timing and a crowd primed to recognize Venusians from an earlier talk given that day, certainly was.