Kingston Times - Features 6/23/2005

Outer space considerations
How to get a free pass to the rings of Saturn and other perks of the Solar System, from one who should know

by Crispin Kott, photo by Fionn Reilly

Riley Martin dispenses his special knowledge, photo by Fionn Reilly Last Saturday night, the relative peace and solitude of Kingston's bohemian AIR (Artist in Residence) Studio Gallery was shattered by an otherworldly lecture by Riley Martin.

Martin, who has been interviewed on the radio nearly 200 times (including a memorable 1996 appearance on the Howard Stern Show, the first of several) claims to hold the secrets of the universe - thanks to a lifetime relationship with space aliens that began when he was just seven years old.

Martin was introduced by AIR owner Jim Marzano, who said he first discovered Riley and his book, The Coming of Tan, while surfing the Internet. "I read it," said Marzano, "and I laughed, I cried, I had a great time. I couldn't put it down." The Coming of Tan details Martin's history with the aliens who abducted him, one of whom is named O-Qua Tangin Wann - Tan for short. "[The Coming of Tan] verified a lot of my intuitive thoughts on where we came from and where we're going," said Marzano. "I have five children, and I've raised them with the thought that we were hybrid humans, extraterrestrials and humans."

Martin is a striking man, tall and lean, wearing blue jeans and moccasins, with a beaded Native American headband cutting across his forehead. When he speaks, he is arresting and impossible to ignore, and even if you don't believe his story, it is virtually impossible to not listen to what he has to say.

"I must admonish you that I am a man of very informal education," began Martin. "I only went through the eighth grade in school, and later received my GED. Nevertheless, the information that I hold has caused NASA, the Japanese and others to hunt me down and query me on where and how did I get this information, and what have you."

Martin was born in Mississippi in 1946, but his family moved across the Arkansas River into Arkansas when he was just a little boy. "It was there, in 1953 at the age of 7, that I was awakened in the wee hours of the morning," said Martin. "I saw lights above the river."

"It seemed like I heard a voice that said, 'Friend Martin, come out. We have need to speak with you.'"

According to his story, Martin left his house and found himself before a "classic saucer-shaped" spacecraft. A translucent door opened, and Martin saw two humanoids. "One was shorter than the other," he said, "and they were wearing bubble-type helmets."

Riley says he was then transported through space to the mothership at speeds he estimates to be several thousand miles an hour. It was on the mothership that Martin said he mentally downloaded thousands of symbols that act as tickets off of Earth should it ever become necessary. Several dozen of these symbols, none of which are identical, were on display at AIR, and personal symbols can be attained at Martin's website (thecomingoftan.com). According to the website, a ticket entitles its owner passage onto the mothership, which will take them to the aliens' home planet, where they can stay for a thousand years while the aliens clean Earth. Then, the ticket holder is allowed, but not required, to return home.

It is the mothership that appears to have gotten Martin the high-level attention he has received of late. In July 2004, NASA received photographs of an object it then published on its website. "The Cassini Space Probe started taking pictures of a great illuminated object between Saturn and its great moon," said Martin. "It is obvious that it is a controlled entity and not a shooting star or a meteorite." In The Coming of Tan, originally published several years before Cassini's sighting, the location of the mothership is in the same spot as the illuminated object photographs. Martin claims that NASA's quick removal of the photographs from their Cassini web search only legitimizes his story, though the photographs remain in NASA's archives, and are linked directly from Martin's website.

Several people in the crowd of 15 seemed intimately familiar with Martin's story, and they all seemed eager to pepper him with questions. One, "Chris," traveled all the way from Syracuse. Though Chris was shy about giving out his last name, he had no problem explaining why he'd come so far. "I first heard Riley on the Howard Stern Show, and I immediately bought his book," said Chris. "I found his work fascinating, and I knew I had to come hear him speak."

Martin claims he learned of seven different races of aliens during his visits: The Biaviians (of which Tan is one), the Targzissians, the Stagyians, the Dorians, the Nyptonians, the Insectillians, and a seventh race whose name he can not pronounce. He also claims that technological advances made by both America and Japan over the past 50 years are possibly a result of studying alien technology after the recovery of downed spacecraft.

The AIR Studio Gallery seems like the perfect setting for a three-hour-plus lecture about aliens. Its decor works with a Beatles and lava lamps theme, and is not unlike what Greg did to his father's den in an early episode ofThe Brady Bunch. Marzano is as nice as can be, and maintains a natural link to the hippie days of yesteryear. AIR could very well have been lifted from San Francisco's Haight Street in 1967 and plopped down across the corner from Boice Brothers Dairy in 2005. Appropriately for the event, there is also a very modern side of AIR, as indicated by their website (www.airstudiogallery.com).

In July, Martin's lecture tour takes him close to the heart of NASA itself, with a pair of D.C.-area speaking engagements. An attempt was made to contact NASA for this story, but phone calls and e-mails went unanswered as of press time.