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Local History

Buck Nelson, Part 1

 Out of this world traveler has all the answers for skeptics.
Nelson elaborates on his space jaunts
by Dale Freeman

Springfield News-Leader, February 26, 1956, page 3D.

"Mountain View- Mr. Buck Nelson, traveler, lecturer, part-time flying saucer jockey and self-styled confidante of space men, can hardly wait for another visit from his fifth cousin, Bucky.

"A 60-year-old eccentric who lives on a rocky 40-acre ridge farm in a remote area 11 miles northwest of here, Nelson is quite anxious to know how things are going out of this world these days. And cousin Bucky Nelson has learned from past experience, is just the guy to bring him up to date.

"Nelson will explain to anybody who comes within hollering distance of his crudely built three room shack that Bucky is a 19-year-old native of Colorado ‘who looks just like you or me’. Then he’ll tug on the galluses of his overalls, chuckle, and add quickly that well, maybe there is a slight difference between Bucky and other folks…

"Bucky, you see left this world two years ago to teach English on the planet Venus and returns to earth periodically as a ‘contact man’. ‘He’s a real nice boy,’ says his earthly cousin and host. ‘Smart, too.’

"Everybody will have to take Nelson's word for it. For Bucky’s ‘protection,’ Nelson won’t introduce him to an earthling.

"‘Why they’d probably take him prisoner. No tellin’ what’d happen to Bucky,’ figures Buck...Not many folks around here know much about Buck or Bucky or his fellow Venoosians [sic] except that Nelson, a slight man with wild iron gray hair, rides his pony into Mountain View every Saturday morning to pick up supplies... Buck is fairly evasive about his background. He will admit that he was born in Colorado in 1895, later lived in California and bought his farm near the Texas-Howell County line ’12 or 14 years ago'...He tried to start a boys home on his ranch near here several years ago but stopped that venture after postal authorities investigated his fund raising activities.

"Nelson broke into the news when he saw what he figures was his first space ship on the afternoon of July 30, 1954. Since that time, he has told his story in newspapers (including the News and Leader) and magazine articles (several in foreign languages) and from the lecture platform (in Chicago and Detroit).

"Next month, Buck takes an expense-paid trip to Baltimore and Washington D.C., where he’ll bring everybody up to date on his friends, the space men, at two separate lectures. ‘Flying Saucer’ Clubs are footing the bill for the jaunt, which will not be made in a space ship...Buck also will take along a recording of buck’s voice made during his trip to see Buck last December 24. Nelson received the tape recorder from Detroit friends last summer when he ‘hinted’ that Bucky might just happen to come around during the Christmas holidays and it would be extra nice if he could record a message for the folks on earth...The mysterious voice, heard by a reporter and photographer recently in Nelson’s home was high and shaky. It resembled Nelson’s possibly because the two are related, don’t you imagine?

"...‘Buck here will tell you why I am here. I have just returned from California,’ the voice went on as if it were reading from a prepared statement, ‘then on to see my folks in Colorado. Now here to see you, Buck, and tell the world on this tape recording that this world must give up atomic weapons and war-fare [sic]…We have stood by and seen one other planet destroy itself. Is this earth next? Again I say, give up your atomic weapons and may peace be on this earth...I will tell Buck much more that he can tell the world. I know that Buck will want my time here to be spent in a private home like way, and I also desire it that way, so must say good-bye to all the world from Bucky of Venus.'

"...In all, Buck has had nine 'contacts' with the men from other planets...the second contact was at noon on Feb. 1, 1955, when the pace ships circled low over the house and 'asked in a friendly voice, as though from a public address system, if I was friendly...they didn't land but when they said goodbye, they said, 'We'll see you again'...on March 5, 1955...they landed at midnight and three of them went into Nelson's house.

"'They stayed with me for about an hour and they were interested in everything in the house, especially my radio. When I told them a battery on top of it was for power, they smiled and said, with all this power around you in the air?...they went past a picture of Christ and I asked them if that meant anything to them and they said, "yes, we understand but you people don't."

"It was on March 22, 1955, Nelson relates, that his visitors re-appeared, circled low over his house and told him to get ready 'for my trip into space'...

Tune in next week to read Buck's descriptions of Mars, Venus and the moon, and the people who lived there.

 Mr. Nelson went on to write a book about his experiences called My trip to Mars, the moon and Venus. This is a rare book and does not check out but you are welcome to view it in the Local History Department at the Library Center.

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