Australian UFO Researcher
Bill Chalker

ANDREW TOMAS: Australian UFO pioneer

Bill Chalker
Copyright © B. Chalker 2002

Andrew Tomas lived in Australia from 1948 to about 1966. His wide interests, particularly in the occult and unusual mysteries came together when he joined Australia’s first flying saucer group, Edgar Jarrold’s Australian Flying Saucer Bureau (AFSB) formed in 1952. Following a Sydney Morning Herald article on flying saucers and Jarrold’s activities, Tomas, an accountant, decided to seek out Jarrold, with a view to joining the group. Jarrold and Tomas discussed for hours the question of life on other planets. Tomas showed Jarrold a book he had written in China way back in 1935, entitled “The Planetary Doctrine”, showing him a passage about “strange shiny objects” in the sky, which facilitated “communication … from planet to planet.” Clearly Tomas had been thinking about the question of beings from other worlds long before the modern era began with Kenneth Arnold’s sighting in 1947.

Jarrold appointed him to the position of AFSB’s “official Sydney observer”, whose duty was to supply “all information offered in New South Wales about flying saucers”. In a 1955 interview for People magazine, he described his role as addressing the “philosophical and theoretical side of saucers.” In the same interviewed Tomas described his own sighting.

“My first sighting was at National Park, (Sydney) on 24th March (1954). I had no witnesses and didn’t have my camera with me … The object I saw was not less than 3000 ft and no more than 12,000 ft up. The object was hovering about in the sky so I put up my hand and waved, and for a moment it was stationary - observing me I am quite certain - then a plane appeared and the object zoomed off, leaving a white vapour trail.”

After Edgar Jarrold left the UFO scene in July, 1955 for “personal reasons”, Tomas agreed in September, 1955, to have the NSW group become a branch of Fred Stone’s active South Australian based Australian Flying Saucer Research Society. In November, 1956, the NSW branch arrangement ended, with the NSW group re-emerging as an independent group, this time under the name of the UFO Investigation Centre (UFOIC). Within a couple of years UFOIC had grown from a handful of members to almost a hundred.

Andrew Tomas continued to play an active part in the group, functioning as the group’s magazine editor, initially with the “UFO Bulletin” and later with the UFOIC addition of the Australian Flying Saucer Review up until 1965. Tomas brought to these publications his “profound knowledge of arcane history, esoteric subjects and modern philosophy of science”. (UFOIC, 1966)

Andrew Tomas was the NSW “delegate” to the Ballarat UFO conference of February 27, 1965. He gave a lecture entitled “Purpose of Coming to Earth”, examining “the global exploration and the world crisis theories, stressing that a contact between planetary civilisations could become the greatest challenge of all times.”

Tomas believed “that a War of Two Worlds is going on and that terrestrial and cosmic forces are arrayed for battle.”

“Saucers have been known in the East for thousands of years. Their present appearance in mass has been foretold long, long ago. They are only an effect, not the cause, and the cause is the great struggle between the Forces of Good, of Culture, of Enlightenment - and of Evil, of Hate, and Darkness”, wrote Tomas in a letter to American researcher Gray Barker in 1956. Tomas took such matters seriously enough that he made plans to respond to them. In a letter to Frederick Phillips, a UFOIC co-worker, in 1957 Tomas revealed that he was planning to start up a business in the Queensland countryside with the President of the Queensland UFO group, Charles Middleborough.

“Besides in the bush there will be more scope for the realisation of Project Contact Space. (Middleborough) had a UFO hovering right over his house already. I wish you would materialise that plan about space contact you talked to me about. This should have priority because I am absolutely certain of the approach of the cataclysm. Cofidentially the friend in Queensland and myself have been working on a ‘saviour community’ for the last 2 years. Not to save ourselves but some fruits of our culture. There are at least 3 or 4 in America and a number in India and other countries. Another one coming up in Sth. America. All prefer to keep quiet about it. Some have stocked up food for a year or more”, he wrote to Phillips.

By March, 1958, Andrew Tomas was circulating a draft for a PLANETARY PACT - “an international treaty for a planetary pool of natural resources, means of production, manpower and scientific genius.” He was advocating “a planetary government for the Space Age”. One of its ultimate aims was “to step up space projects once there is a Planetary Government to control the resources pooled by all the countries, and then to attempt contacts with other planets being prepared to find life on some of them. From a narrow minded nationalist man will first become a planetary citizen and then a citizen of the Universe.” Tomas was optimistic that the pact would “concluded at the dawn of the space age so that people on this planet should live in peace and plenty building bridges to the stars.” Tomas’ plans feel on deaf ears.

In the wake of the popularity of von Daniken’s book “Chariots of the Gods?”, Tomas was able to get his own book out. “We are not the first - Riddles of Ancient Science” was published in 1971. It was dedicated the Count of Saint-Germain! He followed it in quick succession with “Atlantis: From Legend to Discovery”, “Beyond the Time Barrier”, “On the Shores of Endless Worlds” and his true passion, “Shambhala: Oasis of light”. His lifetime of work in esoteric traditions had come full circle. The UFO occult connections had taken Andrew Tomas a long way.

Andrew’s wife Heather supplied the following biographical sketch:

Andrew was born in St. Petersburg, Russia, on June 23 1906.* In 1911 the family moved to Helsinki, Finland where his father had a position as civil engineer in the Ministry of the Army and Navy.

In 1912 Andrew’s father announced they were moving to Vladivostok, clear over on the other side of Russia as he had been promoted to State controller. The trans-Siberian rail trip took 10 days because of the vastness of the country and Andrew remembered it very clearly though he was only 6 years old.

Andrew’s early school years were in Vladivostok. The family planned to move back to St Petersburg in 1917 when his father retired, with intention of pursuing architecture to supplement his pension. But Czar Nicholas was forced to abdicate when the revolution broke out. In 1922, there were 70,0000 Japanese soldiers in Vladivostok because of the civil war, but they were planning on pulling out & the Red Army was on their doorstep just waiting for their departure. So the situation became very grave for all former czarist government officials and officers, especially for those who participated in the white army.

Andrew’s father was offered a transfer to Harbin, Manchuria. In 1923, Andrew went to school at an English Methodist Missionary School there and learned typing, English and other skills, as did thousands of Russian refugees who had to find jobs. There were 35,000 Russians and other foreigners and ten times as many Chinese in Harbin. In 1924, the family moved to Shanghai after Andrew, who was now 18 years old, graduated from high school.

Andrew lived in China for 21 years, including the time of the Japanese Occupation during World war 11. During this period, he came to the United States in 1927 to 1931. The stock market crash influenced his return to China where he remained until 1948, at which time he flew to Australia because Mao Tse-Tung was on the march from the north heading for Shanghai. During his 20 years in Australia, he manages to circle the continent from Sydney to Brisbane, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth and Darwin.

While his home was in Australia he travelled to India in 1956 from the South to the North, heading for the Himalayas and was the 1st of 3 trips, which he repeated in 1966 & 1976 at which time he had a private meeting with the Dalai Llama and was also doing research for his book “Shambhala: Oasis of Light”. In 1966 he also travelled to Egypt and England and moved to Paris in 1966, lived in London for a while, wrote a book in Portugal and wrote another book in Italy and Yugoslavia.

He met Heather in 1975 in Zurich, Switzerland at a conference and 1976 moved to Frankfurt, Germany where she worked for the American Military Army. They were married in Copenhagen, Denmark 25 years ago and resided in Frankfurt until April 10th, 1977, when they flew over the pole to Seattle and then to Chico on the 11th and 108º Temperature, which was quite a shock because it had been snowing in Frankfurt and Seattle!! The move to Chico was influenced by Chico State College and being able to do research in its library.

Andrew and Heather visited South America for a month in 1977, visiting archaeological sites in Brazil, Bolivia and Peru. Andrew was an author for 35 years for a total of seven published books (and several that were not published). His published books are “We are not the First”, “On the Shores of Endless Worlds” “Beyond the Time Barrier”, “The home of the Gods”, “Mirage of the Ages”, “Shambhala: Oasis of Light” and were published in a total of 60 countries.

He was a 32º member and past master of the Shanghai Masonic Lodge 1948 and a Scottish rite officer. He transferred his membership to Australia. Andrew could speak and write French, Russian and English fluently and spoke a little Italian. He enjoyed Ancient History, Palaeontology, Archaeology, Astronomy and travelling; and he loved all of their dog’s cats and birds immensely. Andrew is survived by his wife Heather and two stepsons, Stanley Brooks Hill and Rodney Allen Hill and three grandchildren Brooks, Sean and Olivia.

“Saucers have been known in the East for thousands of years. Their present appearance in mass has been foretold long, long ago. They are only an effect, not the cause, and the cause is the great struggle between the Forces of Good, of Culture, of Enlightenment - and of Evil, of Hate, and Darkness”.
- Andrew Tomas (1957)

* Some of his books indicate Andrew Tomas was born in 1913. I have however listed his birth years as conveyed by his wife Heather.

Source: The Australasian Ufologist Magazine Vol.5 No.6 Pgs 30-32 (Photos)


Home Page