Lee, Gloria (1926-1962)

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Lee, Gloria (1926-1962)

Gloria Lee, one of the prominent flying saucer contactees of the 1950s, was born March 22, 1926, in Los Angeles. She developed an interest in flying as a teenager and became one of the early airline stewardesses, a position she held until her marriage to William H. Byrd in 1952. About this same time she developed an interest in flying saucers, then being raised as an issue by George Adamski, who claimed contact with extraterrestrials.

In 1953 Lee began to receive messages from the saucer brothers through the process of automatic writing. The first messages were received while she was at work. The contacts led her into association with several occult interest groups. The regularity of the messages increased, and eventually the automatic writing gave way to telepathy. The extraterrestrial identified himself as J.W., a Venusian who came from a race of people who no longer used vocal communications and in their evolution had lost their vocal cords. They communicated by telepathy alone. As the communications continued, she attempted in various ways to prove J.W.'s existence, both to herself and others. In 1959 she founded the Cosmon Research Foundation and published her first book, Why We Are Here! The book shows some background in Theosophy. Theosophy pictures a hierarchy of spiritual beings that stand between humanity and the divine. In Lee's thinking, that hierarchy had been transformed into a space command hierarchy. A second book, The Changing Conditions of Your World! appeared in 1962.

By the early 1960s Lee was a well-known figure in the contactee subculture. In the fall of 1962, accompanied by her friend and colleague Hedy Hood, Lee went to Washington to attempt to interest political leaders in her ideas about the space brothers. She wanted financing and assistance to build a spaceship, the plans of which had been given her by J.W. She found no positive response, and on September 13, the pair took a hotel room and Lee began a fast to call attention to her ideas. No one listened. On November 2, she fell into a coma and died.

Immediately after her death, several contactees claimed to have talked to Gloria Lee in her new spiritual existence. Verity of the Heralds of the New Age (New Zealand) and Yolanda of Mark-Age both produced booklets of what they claimed were communications from Lee. Lee was considered a martyr by the contactees of the 1960s but was soon forgotten as new people who did not know her moved into leadership positions.


Lee, Gloria. The Changing Conditions of Your World! Palos Verdes Estates, Calif.: Cosmon Research Foundation, 1962.

. Why We Are Here! Palos Verdes Estates, Calif.: Cosmon Research Foundation, 1959.

Steiger, Brad. The Aquarian Revelations. New York: Dell, 1971.

Verity. The Going and the Glory. Auckland, New Zealand: Heralds of the New Age, 1966.