Reality Checking—Alternate Perceptions Magazine, July 2021
A Final Goodbye to Mr. UFO, the unique Timothy Green Beckley
by: Brent Raynes
Since January of this year, I’ve been on this controversial journey known as ufology and a variety of other paranormal/Fortean categories, for 54 years. Starting out at age 14, within a couple years I was publishing my own mimeographed newsletter [Scientific Sauceritis Review]. Before I knew it I was exchanging my little zine with other zines back then. For example, there was John Keel’s Anomaly, Gray Barker’s Saucer News, Bill Moore’s Eyewitness, Donald Johnson’s Flying Saucer Observer [born the same year as me, today he’s a Ph.D. psychologist living in Thailand who has devoted 50 years to working with UFOCAT], Patrick Huyghe’s UFO Commentary, one Kietha Fish’s The Kansas Newsletter, a Paul Doerr’s Unknown, Gene Duplantier’s Saucers, Space and Science, Joan Whritenour’s Saucer Scoop, Joseph Erhardt’s UFO Chronolog, Kurt Glemser’s Quest-UFO Report [any of these sound familiar to any of you old-timers out there?].
Those weren’t all of them of course, but you get the idea. I don’t want to overwhelm anyone. We would have loved to have had the modern conveniences of this generation back then. Ah yes, how the internet, the WorldWideWeb, has been a monumental game changer on how we interact and do business with others today, although sometimes the social media is like an out-of-control combination of the good, the bad, and the ugly. At any rate, I do miss going to the magazine racks in bookstores, grocery stores and Wal-Marts where once upon a time I could browse and purchase a print copy of Fate, Saga’s UFO Report, UFO Universe, UFO Update, and other interesting publications of that day. And, alas, they were so much cheaper back in the old days. Imagine today purchasing a paperback for like 75 cents or so. Of course, most publications around the turn of the century were being forced (as was our very own Alternate Perceptions) to migrate to the internet where an explosion of digital UFO and paranormal-related bulletins and podcasts soon came to flourish in a major way. Thanks to the digital age it’s become far easier to reach out to a global audience and to post books online (like Kindle) or to self-publish books in print and to create videos. With the arrival of this information highway, as it has been called, not only is more information available at our fingertips but also a significantly elevated level of junk news and nonsense has become abundant [i.e., unfounded conspiracy beliefs, pseudoscience presented as science, convincingly doctored photographs and distorted narratives, etc.). These days more than ever calm and cool-headed discernment, objectivity and truthfulness is critically needed. Of course, it’s always been a problem to some degree but one can’t help but notice the extreme level we’re dealing with in this day and time with all of the distorted religious, scientific, political and racial angst that exists across our own nation where eruptions of terrible violence are bombarding us daily in the media. We came together as a nation after 911 to fight foreign foes but today it appears that we are engaged in fights largely from within – fights that endanger our way of life and our American democracy.
I could continue on, but I’ll let each of you discern reality on your own terms. Sadly, for some that’s become a risky thing. We all must each strive in earnest, to the best of our ability, to connect the dots in life as best as we can.
Getting back to the study of UFOs and the unexplained, anyone who tells you that they are an expert and have all the answers, you’d be best advised to proceed with considerable caution, if not in fact exit the scene very quickly.
Over these many years, I’ve befriended many people who like myself earnestly sought the proverbial answers to the UFO enigma, and of course many other various aspects and categories of “the unexplained” in its many different forms. For many they had become very strong believers in a specific explanation or answer, but again and again lacked that final hard proof to ultimately satisfy fully their friends, family and the scientific community at large that once and for all here was the final verdict that they were right.
With over half a century now behind me, I’ve sadly lost too many of these friends. At such times I’ve heard people, while trying to offer some sort of solace, say something like “I hope they have the answers that they long sought after in this life.”
Unfortunately, if they have, it doesn’t seem to have been conveyed or filtered effectively down to the populace at large. We’re still befuddled by the mysteries of this world. Hopefully, one fine day, we’ll successfully be able to concretely and with absolute proof have that evidence in hand that even academia will not be able to deny.
Hopefully when and if that day comes, we’ll be ready, and we’ll be in a better place because of it.
Now on to Tim.
Timothy Green Beckley, known by many as Mr. UFO, passed away unexpectedly on Monday, May 31, at his home in Manhattan, at the age of 73. He was the editor of the popular UFO Universe magazine, as well as the publisher, author, editor and producer with Inner Light Publications that published over 200 books. He operated the New York School of Occult Arts and Sciences and worked promotions for the School of Rock and Roll. He was a frequent guest on radio programs like Coast to Coast AM, 21st Century Radio, SURN Radio, as well as guest appearances on television’s Travel Channel, UFO Hunters, Weird or What with William Shatner, and more.
“So it was sudden, it sounds like,” Claudia Cunningham wrote. Tim referred to her as “the MIB Lady.” She had some very interesting stories, including a scary MIB type incident in the same cemetery that Charles Fort, who she described as the father of the paranormal, is buried. [In fact, read some more in this issue, and listen to our interview with her about that MIB case in the January 2020 issue of AP: http://www.apmagazine.info/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1419&Itemid=53] “Poor Tim. I really loved that character. The UFO world will be much less without him. I will miss him and am still in shock. I was happy to ride shotgun with him on probably 10 or so shows, including Coast to Coast.”
Also long-time friend Diane Tessman wrote me right after his passing: “As you may have heard, Tim passed on. He phoned me Saturday morning, and was suffering. He had been in the hospital for two weeks or so. He had elected to come home but thought he'd have a nurse fairly steadily. But, of course, our system is messed up. Biden's caregiver infrastructure is so much needed. Beyond that, his diabetes was in an advanced stage and other health problems too. He was not perfect but he was at least an authentic, a real original. Fly on into the cosmos, Tim. I am sure there is a promotion out there for you to do.”
My friend Greg Little posted on his Facebook page: “Our hearts go out to his family and friends as it truly is a huge loss to the ufology world! From all of us Tim I hope you enjoy your ride on the mothership on your way home.”
Tim Beckley granted me an exclusive, in-depth and fascinating interview about himself that I wrote up for the October 2007 issue of Alternate Perceptions magazine. Here’s the link: http://mysterious-america.com/timbeckleyinterv.html
From his many years of experience in this field, he had lots of interesting contacts and information, and he was always willing to share, as happened when I approached him about the Hawaiian mystery of the Akualele, the so-called “Flying Ghost” of the islands. For example, this feature in the October 2007 issue of AP: http://mysterious-america.com/realitycheck1007.html - then too this one in the following edition, November 2007: http://mysterious-america.com/realitycheck1107.html
And speaking of the Akualele mystery, our good friends Joey and Tonya Madia in their wonderful podcast Into The Outer Realms, recently interviewed Lapaka Kapanui, a native Hawaiian storyteller and actor and the author of Mysteries of Honolulu. He shared some riveting Akualele stories in that interview, along with many other mysteries of Hawaii, and so I’ve placed a link to that program in our news links section for anyone who might be interested. Tim also shared with me some information and insights about John Keel, who he knew personally and was a member of his New York Fortean Society, that helped with my book on John Keel.
Periodically I was invited to be a guest on his and Tim Swartz’s KCOR Radio’s Exploring The Bizarre, and was also invited to contribute chapters to various of his book projects, such as UFOs, Time Slips, Other Realms and the Science of Fairies; The Matrix Control System of Philip K. Dick; and Round Trip to Hell in a Flying Saucer. However, the biggest honor Tim bestowed upon me was publishing my book On The Edge of Reality: Dream Weavers – The Mastering of Time and Space (2009). He’d also provide books to be reviewed, periodically help me get guests to interview for AP, and even help me get on other podcasts, as he did with getting me on Gene Steinberg’s The Paracast, to help promote my John Keel book.
“Not only was he my work partner, he was my best friend,” Tim Swartz lamented to me. “I doubt that I will continue Exploring the Bizarre by myself. It just wouldn’t be the same without Tim. As for the publishing I really don’t know.”