In the early 1950s, Christians were still trying to make sense of the flying saucer phenomenon. Men associated with the Pentecostal Voice of Healing magazine were among the first on record to weigh in.
In July 1950, Gordon Lindsay wrote an article for Voice of Healing called “Prophetic Significance of The Flying Saucer” which included “actual photographs of flying saucers courtesy of FATE magazine.” After reviewing the usual explanations for the Flying Saucer phenomenon, ranging from vivid imagination, natural and man-made phenomena, and little green men, he asked:
“Are the Saucers supernatural in origin
and is there a prophetic significance in the appearance of these Flying Saucers? Personally, we do not believe that there is any evidence that they could have come from another planet in outer space. We wonder, however, if there is not a prophetic significance to the appearance of these objects.
The Scriptures declare that just before the coming of Christ-signs would appear in the heavens (Luke 21 :ll, 25-28). The Book of Revelation indicates that in the closing hours of the age, strange and fantastic devices, and diabolical beings would be turned loose and would be instrumental in
bringing judgment upon the earth. It is
useless to speculate on the details concerning these things-but the overall picture is no mystery. Judgment is about to break on the earth! If the Saucers come from a hostile nation such as Russia, we may be assured they will be used for the purposes
of destruction. If they are supernatural in origin, which from observational facts seems not to be impossible (since they seem to have perfect powers to elude and escape from every effort of pursuit), they auger evil tidings for the world. God is determined to punish a race that has rejected. Him and given themselves over so completely to evil and depravity. It would appear that the matter of the Flying Saucers is one more warning to the sinner to repent and get right with God before the horror of irremediable judgment strikes the earth.”
Gordon Lindsay was faith healer William Branham’s manager. He launched the Voice of Healing magazine in 1948 to promote Branham’s ministry. It was successful in promoting the careers of many charismatic and Pentecostal evangelists. By 1954, it listed about 50 “associate editors and evangelists.” So to say that Gordon Lindsay’s views on the UFO phenomenon were unfluential in charismatic and Pentecostal circles is a bit of an understatement. At the height of Voice of Healing’s popularity, Lindsay used the magazine to promote his 1954 book The Mystery of the Flying Saucers in the Light of the Bible.
Prior to the book’s publication, he wrote an article entitled “Signs in the Heavens” in the November 1953 issue of the Voice of Healing in which he identified flying saucers as one of the “most publicized… signs in the heavens foreboding the nearing of world judgment and the coming of Christ.”
In 1952, Orval Lee Jaggers, founder of the World Universal Church published his book Flying Saucers! (despite the “exciting” title, the cover was simply text on a white background), in which he claimed that flying saucers were angelic cherubim sent as harbingers:
THE PENALTY FOR THE MORAL DECAY!
America has insulted the holiness of God! America has insulted the righteousness of God! THEREFORE, THE CHERUBIM ARE ANGRY! THE SERAPHIM ARE ANGRY! THE CHERUBIM AND SERAPHIM WITH SUPERNATURAL SPEED AND POWER ARE FLYING OVER AMERICA!
THE TWENTIETH CENTURY FLYING SAUCERS!
BECAUSE OF AMERICA’S SINS… FLYING SAUCERS… THE CHERUBIM OR WHEEL IN THE MIDDLE OF A WHEEL, WITH SUPERSONIC AND SUPERNATURAL SPEED AND POWER, ARE FLYING OVER AMERICA AS A WARNING THAT THE JUDGMENTS OF GOD ARE ABOUT TO FALL ON THIS UNRIGHTEOUS NATION THE “FLYING SAUCER” WHICH IS THECHERUBIM, IS FLYING OVER AMERICA MORE THAN ANY OTHER NATION… READY TO VINDICATE THE HOLINESS OF GOD… AND TO BRING GOD’S JUDGMENTS ON AMERICA MORE THAN ANY OTHER NATION OF THE WORLD!”
[Ridiculous use of capitalization and irrelevant ellipses in original]
Jaggers began his ministry in 1941 as an Assemblies of God minister. After attending an early meeting by William Branham, he became a leading figure in the Voice of Healing group. Jaggers was part of the so-called “Latter Rain” movement and his later views, especially after 1955, were decidedly cultish.
William Branham himself held such views.
In a sermon called “The Blushing Prophet” delivered on November 25, 1956 at Branham Tabernacle in Jefferson, Indiana, William Branham himself said:
“The whole nation is on an alert. You seen in the paper the other day where they’re requiring the Pentagon to answer the flying saucer. It wasn’t a myth; it wasn’t something you’d imagine; it was real. It was an intelligence. They flew in battle formation. They could dodge. They could…?… They could spot; they could tell; it was an intelligence. They know it. The people laughed. They said, “Flying saucers?” made a fun out of it.
But you know what I’m thinking? Jesus said before He comes there will be signs in the heaven above. Did you notice before He destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah because of their sex affairs, He sent Angels down to investigate it. Angels has come to the earth in the last few years. They’ve been seen among people, I mean honest Blood washed people who knows it. They’ve even stood and had their pictures taken. That’s right. Angelic beings has visit, taking word back to the Father that sin is heaped till the stars can hardly shine.”
Incidentally, Branham later preached the false Serpent Seed doctrine and, in a message called “Christ is Revealed in His Own Word” and delivered on August 22, 1965 at Branham Tabernacle, that flying saucers would be a part of the Rapture :
You see these little pockets going through the air they call “saucers,” so forth. People so that… Well, we better leave that alone. “Hear how these people come up missing?” you say. Don’t hear from them; they’re standing there, and they’re not there. That’s the way the rapture’s going to be. One of them would drop right down, and this terrestrial body will take on a celestial body. And they’ll be hide, hair, or bones left. It’ll be transformed in a moment of time, dropping right out of space and taking home that… We see all this going on now, and the–and the Pentagon wondering about these lights, and mystic lights, and everything they’re seeing in the–in the sky. You seen they had one here in the paper at Jeffersonville this week and so forth, a mystic light saw. Oh, they don’t know what that is. But listen, little children, it’s going to pick you up one of these days (See, see?); don’t worry.
In any case, we can see that, at least early on, charismatic and Pentecostal preachers believed flying saucers were agents of God.
That all changed with the emergence of the Contactee movement.