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Cosmic Ray As 'The Wizard Of Venus'
Morgantown “Venus” Author Is Supergirl’s Oldest Fan
Local to Morgantown, West Virginia, but internationally-acclaimed author of Venus Rising: A Concise History of the Second Planet (Headline Books, 2015); and the more recent Final Countdown: Rockets to Venus and Cosmic Ray’s Excellent Venus Adventure (Headline Books, 2017), Dr. Raymond Keller, a.k.a. “Cosmic Ray,” is always on the road speaking to various metaphysical, paranormal and UFO research groups around the country. He recently presented a 45-minute power-point to a standing-room only crowd at the Paradise, California, Public Library, and successfully fielded all of the questions about Venus and the flying saucers that originate from that nearby, cloudy planet. The doctor sold out the entire crate of Venus books that he shipped to the mountain city of Paradise from Headline Books’ offices in Terra Alta, West Virginia.
Recently I caught up with the doctor at a Venus presentation to a UFO group in Pennsylvania. On his Venus table, along with the books were assorted articles and items related to the DC comic book character Supergirl, the Kryptonian cousin of Kal-El (Clark Kent/Superman, as he is alternately known on Earth). It was a horrid night, with snow whipping ferociously in the mountain passes, but the house was packed. And as usual, Dr. Keller sold out all of his Venus books.
Besides the Venus books and flying saucer bumper stickers that were for sale, the Cosmic Ray also had on display some of the more historic issues of DC comic books featuring Supergirl stories, Supergirl buttons and statuettes and even unwrapped Topps cards and bubble gum packs from the 1984 Supergirl movie that featured Helen Slater as the “Maid of Might.”
I asked the doctor what his big fascination with Supergirl was all about, to which he replied that he had purchased every comic book with a Supergirl story since the character’s first appearance in Action Comics #252 in May 1959. “I didn’t know until later in life, that this was all part of fulfilling my destiny to become a contactee and ufologist (UFO investigator).” He explained that a contactee was any individual who has communicated on any friendly level with an extraterrestrial and/or inter-dimensional intelligence.
After his encounter with a flying saucer that hovered about one thousand feet above a railroad trestle in a Cuyahoga County, Ohio, metropolitan park in 1967, Keller joined the Cleveland Ufology Project and worked closely with its director, Earl J. Neff, in investigating UFO reports throughout Northeast Ohio. He wrote about these in the pages of the Bedford Times Register, where he was a reporter, and in the pages of his own UFO mimeographed magazine, the Flying Saucer Report, that attained a worldwide circulation after the National Enquirer ran an article about his encounter with what may have been a Venusian scout ship.
Before his involvement with ufology, the young Keller was unaware that the creator of Supergirl, Otto Binder, was himself a ufologist who worked closely with Raymond A. Palmer, an editor of Amazing Stories and the editor and publisher of Flying Saucers magazine, headquartered in Amherst, Wisconsin. Binder would go on to write five UFO books emphasizing the alien hybrid hypothesis, this being that extraterrestrials have been living among us for countless millennia and even procreating with select humans to interject a superior DNA into our collective genome. Binder was particularly fascinated with the case of Ted Owens, the famed “PK Man” (Psycho-Kinetic), who could make objects move with his mind and predict both natural and man-made calamities weeks before they would occur. Allegedly, the PK Man received his powers after being zapped by some mysterious rays emanating from the underside of a Venusian scout ship, much like the one that young Raymond Keller encountered.
After his encounter with the Venusian scout ship and involvement in UFO investigations, Keller discovered that Binder was the creator of Supergirl, Ms. Marvel, Saturn Girl, the Legion of Superheroes, as well as almost 200 other comic book and science fiction characters. Naturally, he was elated.
Keller, now known as the Cosmic Ray, began trading UFO publications with Gray Barker and his Saucerian Press down in Clarksburg, West Virginia. Gray provided Ray with much original material and copies of articles, notes, etc. from the Saucerian Press’ Otto Binder files, including drawings and articles about UFOs by Binder published by Barker’s Saucerian and in other publications worldwide. Now the Cosmic Ray has the largest private Otto Binder and Supergirl collections in the world.
As it turned out, Keller discovered in his Otto Binder files a UFO case where a couple from Paradise, California, encountered two Venusians out in the Mojave Desert in 1954. The two Venusians were an older man named Zor and his lovely daughter Kara. They claimed that they came from a Venusian deep space observation platform called Argo City. Following the crash of their vehicle in the desert, that they had to disintegrate, the couple that found Zor and Kara helped them escape unnoticed in the throng of a big UFO jamboree and get to a Venusian safe house in the North Hollywood Hills section of Los Angeles. This was five years before the first issue of Action Comics introducing Supergirl hit the newsstands. The names given by the Venusians paralleled the names later used by Binder in Action Comics and other comics featuring Supergirl five years later.
You can read a biography of Otto Binder in Dr. Keller’s Venus Rising: A Concise History of the Second Planet, and all about the encounter with the Venusians Zor and Kara in the Mojave Desert by the Paradise, California, couple in Cosmic Ray’s Excellent Venus Adventure.
(Note: Alan Zanjani is an Army veteran and medical student at West Virginia University in Morgantown.)
Dr. Raymond Keller with prize comic book, Action Comics #252, featuring the
first appearance of
the legendary Supergirl, along with all the other Supergirl stories published thereafter
The doctor steps out of his “Backwoods Tardis” with local Morgantown friend, Kara “Supergirl” George.
Copy of the National Enquirer article featuring the young Cosmic Ray and
his boyhood friend, courtesy of
the “Flying Saucer Report” files in the Gray Barker Collection in Clarksburg, West Virginia.
Click For Large PDF Version
Following encounter with a Venusian scout ship, the Cosmic Ray developed
a unique friendship with bees. This bee landed on Dr. Keller’s
shoulder at a Venus presentation outside the Hindu Golden Temple in Moundsville last summer and remained
there for four hours, until the Venus author told the potential queen that it was time for him to wrap things up and drive home. The doctor
has allegedly exercised amazing bee powers on varying occasions requiring extrasensory assistance. He said the
true name for the planet Venus was Abejar, meaning “world of the bees.”
Fan of Venus Rising dressed up as Venusian Queen Bee receives autographed
copy of Dr. Keller's
first book at special event in West Virginia University's Mountain Lair facilities
Everyone’s fantasy superhero: Melissa Benoist as Supergirl on the popular
CW television program, the Adventures
of Supergirl, now in its third season and going strong. Source: wallpapermaiden.com
“The Cosmic Ray”/Dr. Keller with the “Queen of Outer Space”/Dolores
Barrios on the cover of his third Venus book.
The doctor and the queen are traversing the mysterious phantom zone known as Dimension X.
Julius Schwartz of DC Comics (Left) and Raymond A. Palmer of
Amazing Stories and Flying Saucers magazines
(Right) frequently conferred with their star storyteller, Otto Binder (Center)
Many of the Supergirl arcs contained motifs involving time travel
or references to the planetVenus.