Mt. Adams is the second highest summit in New England, and there are few other peaks, aside from Mt. Washington and Katahdin in Maine, that attract more hikers to their slopes. With its sharp, conical profile, great northern ridges, four glacial cirques and large area above timberline affording unbelievable views, Mt. Adams had been the destination of many travelers through the years.
The Appalachian Mountain Club's Madison Springs Hut, located about a mile below the summit of Adams, is a favorite stopover point for many of the mountain's visitors. Most come to enjoy the alpine scenery, the rare atmosphere above treeline, to mountaineer and backpack. A few, however, are drawn to Mt. Adams for other reasons. For members of the Aetherius Society, a worldwide spiritual brotherhood with American headquarters in California and branches elsewhere around the country, Mt. Adams is a holy mountain. The peak, they believe, is one of 19 mountains in the world that has received a charge of spiritual energy from Cosmic Masters who are trying to help mankind. The Society organizes pilgrimages to these spiritual centers as one of its activities, and it is these religious treks that bring the Aetherians to the northern mountains of New Hampshire.
According to Edna Spencer, Detroit Branch Organizer for the society, Mt. Adams and the 18 other charged mountains received their special powers through Dr. Shri Yogiriji George King, who, Aetherians feel, is one of the outstanding Yogic trance mediums of all time, and since acting as a conduit for charging the holy mountains, King has received more than 600 transmissions of teachings and upliftment from the Cosmic Masters.
Ms. Spencer explained that Dr. King first received communications in the early 1950s, and in 1958 was commanded to go to a low mountain in North Devon, England, the first summit to receive a spiritual charge. Subsequent messages brought the British born medium to the Presidential Range in March of 1960. On a cold, snowy day, he climbed Mt. Adams with two companions, whom he left at a designated spot below the summit. He ascended the rest of the way by himself, and while he was alone on Mt. Adams, Aetherians believe a great Cosmic Master in a spacecraft from Mars beamed special energies into the mountain through Dr. King, making it a holy place forever. Mt. Adams was the twelfth mountain to be charged. Aetherians make as many pilgrimages to the spiritual centers as possible, and groups, sometimes led by Ms. Spencer, have visited Mt. Adams almost every year since 1960.
Members feel that the organization of the Society, founded by Dr. King in 1956, was arranged by the space people as an earthly outlet for their powers. Seven objectives are said to have been given to the Society. One of them, "Operation Starlight," was the process King undertook of charging key mountains or "cosmic batteries," as they are referred to by Aetherians. They are one means devised by the Cosmic Masters to help transform the present chaotic conditions of the world in order to eliminate war, greed, famine, old age, ignorance and fear.
Spiritual energies are purportedly released by praying unselfishly for others on these new age power centers. Each of the 19 mountains is thought to have its own distinctive kind of power, and Mt. Adams is said to be the center for healing, though praying on any one of the mountains is said to release the energies of all. Ms. Spencer explained that the Cosmic Masters, with their advanced spiritual wisdom and vastly superior knowledge, make surveys of the earth and can predict calamities, either physical or those created by the failure of mankind to follow the laws of God. To Aetherians, the charging of their holy mountain is an important development in the continuing evolution of earth.
The beliefs of the Aetherius Society are quite detailed. Each planet in our solar system is likened to a classroom where people live to learn certain lessons. Once knowledge is acquired, a person "graduates" to the next higher planet, through a sort of reincarnation process, which is also an intrinsic belief. The length of time one spends in a particular spot depends on how much effort he or she puts into living the laws of God.
While the Cosmic Masters are thought to live on other planets in the system, it is also felt that several exist on earth, and that another new master will shortly come with abilities far in excess of the combined materialistic powers of mankind. This master, it is said, will arrive openly in a flying saucer and will lead those ready into the new world. Jesus, Buddha, Shri Krishna and other great religious mentors of previous centuries came to earth from other planets, according to Aetherians.
Flying saucers and extraterrestrial beings have been the subject of much speculation in the form of movies like Close Encounters and Star Wars, and the resulting exaggerated accounts of sightings. The Armed Forces have been conducting low-key research on the possibility of their existence for decades, and the results have been less than well publicized. In the early sixties there was a well documented case of a couple who claimed to have been kidnapped from their car by a flying saucer one night while traveling through Franconia Notch, and other incidents. some more far fetched that others, have been reported since. Aetherians believe that although the Cosmic Masters have been keeping tabs on us since time immemorial, their observation activities have picked up since the nuclear holocaust in Japan at the conclusion of World War II.
Much of the Aetherians' dogma is indisputably unique. Whether you're a believer in close encounters of any kind, however, there is no question that Mt. Adams, with its sharp, distinctly pyramid shaped peak draws innumerable visitors each year to scale its heights. In any event, who's to say. Mt. Adams is many things to an endless variety of people. It''s a very special place.
September 22, 1978
Aetherius Society Update
The following letter was received from Joseph Haas, of Lincoln, N.H., in regard to the article concerning the Aetherius Society and Mt. Adams in The Mountain Ear (8/18).
"The story about Dr. King, president of the Aetherius Society charging Mt. Adams with special energies was very interesting. Ever since I first heard about this group, which was several years ago, I have tried to join one of their expeditions to the "charges site" with its underground battery, but without success. When I first wrote to Ms. Spencer i got a reply and was invited to join them on one of their expeditions to the Madison Springs Hut, but, later on when I said that I didn't want to buy any cassette recording and join in with any chants, but that I'd like to take some pictures and ask them some questions with an investigative reporter friend of mine at the charged site, they mysteriously cancelled their reservations that summer and I haven't heard from them since. I wanted to find the exact spot charged and go over the area with some electronic equipment to either prove or disprove whether or not there is or was any type of energy or energy storing device there. Perhaps someday they will let some of us scientists investigate their claims in more detail, including their supposed invisible satellite, one and a half miles in length, that is periodically in earth's orbit. I am in the process of writing to them again to hopefully get a flight plan for this satellite that might possibly be picked up by the new infrared telescope at the University Observatory in Laramie, Wyoming. I will keep you informed of this and any other happenings, especially if another expeditions to Mt. Adams is planned."
Editor's Note: And, in case you're wondering, yes, they are still doing it: http://berlindailysun.com/newsx/local-news/50670-aetherians-gather-on-mt-adams.