In the more than 70 years since pilot Kenneth Arnold first sighted a strange formation of nine
shiny airborne objects near Mount Rainier in Washington State, usually cited as the beginning of the
modern UFO era, skeptics have relentlessly claimed that no “hard evidence” for the UFO phenomenon
has ever been produced. Sightings, they claim, tend to happen in backwoods swamps where no credible
witnesses are present and no reliable photos are taken. How can you prove the existence of something
with only thin air with which to argue your case?
But a new book from the recently formed publishing imprint Zontar Press dares to differ. The
long overdue tome is called “Alien Artifacts: Incredible Evidence of Exotic Material from UFO
Encounters.” Drawing on the contributions of more than ten topnotch researchers, work on the book
began some months before the untimely passing of publisher, editor and author Timothy Green Beckley,
to whom the completed work is fondly dedicated.
WHAT ARE ALIEN ARTIFACTS?
Beckley’s initial concept was deceptively simple: We know that throughout the last several
decades, UFOs have landed or crashed, their occupants have made contact with human experiencers,
and the visiting strangers have at times left behind materials of various kinds that defy analysis. Why not
gather together stories and legends about that aspect of the UFO phenomenon into a single volume that
provides an overview of some of the most compelling of such incidents?
In his introduction, publisher and writer Tim R. Swartz explains the idea this way:
“We have named it ‘Alien Artifacts,’” Swartz writes, “but actually we are using this term not so
much to say that we believe that we have recovered things from ‘extraterrestrial spaceships,’ but
because what we are discussing in this book is ‘alien’ as they don’t appear to have a ‘normal’
explanation for their origins. On top of that, we are also going beyond the strange bits of metal that
have surfaced following UFO encounters. An ‘alien artifact’ can be a lot of different things, and we want
to open your eyes to that fact.”
AN ALIEN BREAKFAST TREAT
As an example, Swartz tells the story of Wisconsin farmer Joe Simonton, who was shocked to
see a metallic UFO land outside his house. He rushed outside and saw a hatch opening from the craft,
looking “just like the trunk of your car.” Inside were three “little men” about five feet tall and wearing
dark turtleneck shirts and helmets. One of the creatures held up a metallic jug, gesturing that he would
like to have it filled up with water. Simonton filled up the jug and returned it to the little man.
Simonton looked inside the ship and saw another little man cooking “pancakes” on a smooth,
square, grill-like surface. Hoping to start a conversation, the farmer gestured that he would like to try
the food. The man handed him four of the pancakes, which Simonton said were “hot and greasy.” Out of
politeness, Simonton tried one of the pancakes, which he said tasted like cardboard. The food was so
unappetizing that he speculated it might account for the creatures’ diminutive size.
The pilot then indicated that Simonton should step back and closed the hatch. The craft rose up
vertically, “like an elevator,” shot off into the sky and quickly disappeared.
Swartz goes on to write that, unlike thousands of other UFO reports, this one came with actual
physical evidence in the form of strange, bubbly textured pancakes. After the story got out, the Air Force
sent their top UFO investigator, Dr. J. Allen Hynek, to look into the case. According to Hynek, there was
no doubt that Simonton felt his encounter was a real experience. The Air Force had the pancake samples
tested and found they were ordinary “buckwheat pancakes” consisting of fat, starch, buckwheat hulls
and soybean hulls. In spite of the earthly origin of the pancakes, the Air Force labeled the case as
“unknown.” “Alien Artifacts” includes a photo of Simonton holding one of the pancakes.
ANCIENT SCALE MODEL AIRCRAFT
I contribute a chapter called “The Alien Glittering of True Gold” in which I discuss works of art
created by the Quimbaya, natives of Columbia, South America, who were believed to inhabit the region
from 300 to 1550 CE and are best known for their precise gold and metal work. Most of the Quimbaya
pieces discovered by archeologists were an alloy of gold and 30 percent copper, called “tumbaga,” and
very similar to a metal mentioned by Plato in his dialogues about the Lost City of Atlantis. The objects
included golden models of several types of insects along with devices that are aerodynamic in nature
and shaped like no insect known to exist.
Some of the ancient pieces look very much like the designs of modern airplanes and incorporate
a number of features that essentially prove that the Quimbaya knew and understood principles of flight.
Some of the models include tail rudders and propellers. The existence of so many similarities to modern-
day airplanes supports the “Out-of-Place-Artifact” theory: they seem too advanced for the Quimbaya.
It has been theorized for years that some of the Quimbaya objects are scale models of airplanes
or flying machines. Two aeronautical engineers, Peter Belting and Conrad Lubbers, used the dimensions
of the Quimbaya artifacts to create large-scale models which proved successful in flight testing. They
proved that the designs fly with both simple single-propeller power and jet power. It’s more than just a
coincidence that the artifacts can be scaled up and actually fly.
There is another intriguing phenomenon at play here, which happens after a remote culture is
visited for the first time with technology present. Isolated tribes visited in both Africa and South America
by airplanes have demonstrated shifts in religious beliefs after the visit. One of the tribes welcomed the
plane on its second visit with ceremonial fire and statues constructed in the shape of the airplane. Tribal
people even went so far as to line themselves along a runway to greet the visitors.
If remote cultures exhibit this sort of behavior during the world’s modern technological era,
then likely the same concept has played out before. From this angle of thinking, theories then suggest
that the Quimbaya may have been influenced by another ancient culture, or, perhaps, some sort of alien
THE ENCOUNTERS OF JOHN LENNON
The artifacts phenomenon also has connections to not just remote and ancient cultures but to
current day pop culture as well. In a chapter by Nigel Watson, called “John Lennon’s Egg,” the story is
told of how the aliens gifted a metallic egg to the late lamented Beatle and solo artist rocker.
Lennon announced he had seen a UFO on the sleeve of his “Walls and Bridges” album, writing
on the back cover: “On 23 August 1974, I saw a UFO. J.L.”
Lennon was estranged from Yoko Ono at the time and was living with girlfriend May Pang in a
New York apartment. It was a hot night and May was taking a shower when Lennon called to her from
the terrace, where she found him naked and pointing at a strange object in the sky.
May said it looked like a large flattened cone with a bright red light on top of it at a distance of
only 100 feet away. As the object came closer, it revealed a dazzling row of flashing white lights along its
rim. The couple made an unsuccessful attempt to photograph the object before it moved off out of
sight. The UFO returned a bit later and, although they were prepared this time with a telescope, the
object was too bright to discern any further details.
On another occasion, Lennon was in bed with Yoko when he awakened suddenly to see a
powerful searchlight shining outside the bedroom door. On opening the door, he found four thin,
human-sized bug-like entities whom he attempted to force out of his home. But before he could even
touch them, some invisible form of power held him back. They gently held his hands and pushed his legs
into a tunnel of light where he was shown an “outstandingly beautiful” movie of his life. Then his mind
went blank and he woke to find himself lying in bed with Yoko again.
Lennon was sure he had not been tripping or dreaming. As evidence of this encounter he found
an egg-like metallic object in his hands when he woke up next to Yoko. The solid object with no markings
was too weird even for Lennon. He speculated that it was a ticket to an alien planet but he was quite
happy with New York.
He gave the egg to psychic spoon-bender Uri Geller, who has kept it ever since. Geller would
later say, “When I hold the cold metal egg in my fist, I have a strong sensation that John knew more
about this object than he told me. Maybe it didn’t come with an instruction manual, but I think John
knew what it was for.” Geller said he has never submitted the egg for scientific analysis because he
wants to maintain its “mysticism.”
Before he died in 2021, Timothy Green Beckley had been in the UFO game for 60 years and it was hard
to impress him with anyone claiming to have the “real thing,” or concrete proof that aliens had visited
Earth and left behind artifacts that irrefutably demonstrated that reality.
In an interview Beckley conducted, along with his cohost Tim R. Swartz, on their podcast “Exploring the
Bizarre,” one of the rarest examples of just such an artifact was the subject of their conversation with
John Peele, a health food restauranteur and long distance runner, whose story was spine-tingling in the
“It’s a very strange and odd case,” Beckley began. “One of the most peculiar I’ve been involved in. It
includes meeting Mr. John Peele in late 1978 or early 1979 in Florida. At the time, he owned a health
food store and restaurant and had a very unusual artifact that he had located while running across the
Arizona desert. It is one of the few alien artifacts that we can actually point to as existing.
“We hear about the Roswell UFO crash,” Beckley continued, “and deceased alien bodies strewn across
the desert, but there’s very little proof – Roswell fanatics will go for the jugular on this one – there is
very little proof that any of that took place.”
Beckley was editing “UFO Review,” a tabloid newspaper focused on the titular phenomenon, and had
published a small number of books, when he first met Peele while on a promotional tour and fact-
finding mission in Florida. Along the way, Beckley got Peele’s phone number and Peele invited him to
visit his home.
BECKLEY SEES THE ARTIFACT
“He showed me this – well, I call it an alien artifact – I don’t know what else you would call it – and it
took my breath away,” Beckley recalled. “There’s been nothing like this before.”
Beckley said he has discussed the find with several people and has been greeted on occasion by total
disbelief. Where is the artifact? Where is the witness? Decades later, Beckley found Peele on Facebook
and invited him to appear on “Exploring the Bizarre.”
Peele found the artifact in 1977, while on a long-distance run from Daytona Beach, Florida, to Santa
Monica, California. (Peele is such a well-known cross country runner that he was consulted by the
makers of the hit movie “Forrest Gump,” who wanted firsthand information on what it’s like to run the
kind of distances portrayed in the movie by actor Tom Hanks.) Peele and his running companion
averaged 48 miles a day.
In Arizona, Peele and his companion parted ways, which they often did, having run out of conversation
after spending so much time side-by-side.
“You go your different ways and discuss it later,” Peele explained.
PEELE STUMBLES INTO RESTRICTED TERRITORY
Peele said he had unknowingly run into a government restricted area, where he came upon railroad
tracks that resembled a roller coaster ride.
“It was pulled out,” he said, “and because of the way that railroads are connected, one rail to the next, it
literally made loops. It was quite bizarre and I did not know what I was seeing at the time. I’m still not a
hundred percent sure. But I went over towards that and started following it. And at one point I came
upon a large – what looked to me, and I’m a fighter pilot, so I say this with some knowledge – I saw what
looked like a wing.”
The “wing” was extremely thin and, though it was eight-feet long, it was so light that Peele was able to
use two fingers and hold it horizontally with no problems. The wing was also very strong but it was still
possible to bend it. He began to gather other little “remnants” of what he felt was an obvious crash.
There was a kind of Plexiglas or carbon glass present that was unbreakable, although some of it had
shattered from impact into the rocks in the desert.
“But you could pick up a piece of it and you could not break it,” he said. “I didn’t bring any of that. I was
a little bit concerned that this might be radioactive. I didn’t know what I was dealing with.”
AND THERE IS THE GLOVE
“And then I found the glove,” Peele said.
There were actually two gloves. Again, not knowing if the objects were radioactive, and whether he
might have to at some point simply get rid of the gloves, Peele hid one in a small cavern under some
rocks. He acknowledges that the markings he used wouldn’t be there now, but he has enough of a visual
memory stored in his mind that he feels confident he could find the glove and wreckage debris again.
One of the two gloves was in much better condition than the other, so, in case he eventually had to get
rid of them, he preferred to keep the one in good condition hidden away in the Arizona desert. Since it
turned out he was able to keep the glove, he said, he should have brought the good one home.
In any case, the gloves were made with some sort of a hide. They had a pressure valve on the
outside/backside of the hand. There was a zipper that worked from the inside and enclosed something
very similar to Nomex, a fire retardant fabric first developed by DuPont in the 1960s.
The glove was so small that there was no way it could have fit a human hand. There was a prehensile or
“opposable” thumb, meaning a thumb that can be placed opposite the fingers of the same hand, thus
allowing the digits to grasp and handle objects. Opposable thumbs are characteristic of primates, such
as human beings, and were a crucial step in our evolution.
“When you hold it,” Peele said, “you understand that it is not from Planet Earth. You can’t look at it and
see how it was made and see how detailed everything is. But there’s no hand that would fit it that could
be used for any particular reason that we know.”
The glove also had what seemed like writing, mainly incomprehensible and most likely nonhuman
words. But Peele was able to read the English words “secure” and “large.”