Part 1

There's a tiny Canadian religious cult, connected with the UFO cult group, the Clerics of the Aestherius who worship an alien race called the Voltdab or Voltabi or Voltab Ubangi. Their beliefs largely rest on the Clelland Statement, a document of uncertain origin that chronicles Voltdab/UFO activity in Port Hope, Ontario, in the late nineteenth century. According to the Voltdab cultists, the Voltdab travel "outside of time" as we experience it, and came to the planet earth in 1883 to return the body of a future space-traveller they encountered. They refer to the time-traveller as the Son of Earth. As is apparently Voltdab practice, they spread their religious word while on earth.

The Voltdab look like glass tubes filled with an amber-coloured liquid. Whenever I read that, I wonder what amber-coloured liquid the cultists were drinking when they imagined that. The liquid turns purple when the Voltdab get excited. They supposedly move things through "electromotive force". "Electro-motive Force" is a word for a quantity of voltage. It's hard to see how things could be moved magically by voltage. I think the cultists are thinking of telekinesis. This is the sort of thing that gives the study of possible alien encounters a really bad name.

The first encounter between earthlings and Voltdab was according to the Clelland Statement, not without incident. They arrived with the body of the unnamed astronaut in 1883, to a rural farmhouse which stands on the site where he will eventually be born. The nineteenth-century farmwife, unprepared to receive a body from floating extraterrestrial glass tubes, went insane, killed her husband, and burned down their house.

A few years ago, we went on a road trip and passed through Port Hope. No one there knows anything at all about floating glass tubes or Voltdab, but it is worth noting that, according to the public records of Hope township, Ontario, one John Bullen was murdered by his wife in March 1883. She afterwards torched their house. Reports make no reference, however, to any motive, much less an alien-inspired one.

The cultists claim the Cleland Statement surfaced at Mill Street Presbyterian Church in Port Hope (near Hope Township) decades later. No one currently employed at the church claims any knowledge on the subject.

The beliefs of the cultists, thought to number fewer than one hundred, are vague: New Age-ish statements about love and aliens.

Part 2

The first appearance of the Voltdab or Voltdabi may have been in the Tower of London in 1817, although the Voltdab Cultists never mention this. According to a former keeper of the Crown Jewels, named Edmund Lenthal Swifte:
On Saturday night in October 1817, about "the witching hour," I was at supper with our wife, her sister, and our little boy, in the living-room of the Jewel House, which then comparatively modernized is said to have been the "doleful prison" of Anne Boleyn, and of the ten bishops whom Oliver Cromwell... accomodated therein.

I had offered a glass of wine and water to my wife, when on putting it to her lips, she paused, and exclaimed, "Good God! What is that?" I looked up and saw a cylindrical figure, like a glass tube, seemingly about the thickness of my arm, and hovering between the ceiling and the table; its contents appeared to be dense fluid, white and pale azure, like to the gathering of a summer cloud, and incessantly mingling with the cylinder.

The object, observed by all present, moved slowly from person to person, stopping by his wife, who "crouched" and "shrieked out, O Christ! It has seized me!"
Later accounts are more specific: they claim the cylinder sexually assaulted Mrs. Swifte. Her husband, according to an old book called "Fantasms of Old London" hurried the others out of the room, after which
Mrs Swifte lay upon the floor, her whole bodice agape and her breast bare, showing red risen teeth marks upon them, which were repeated on her shoulder and neck. She was thrashing around as if engaged in close relations with a lover....

According to the author of "Fantasms of Old London," these details were supressed at the time, to preserve Mrs. Swifte's reputation, and to avoid a scandal which might have cost Swifte his job.

The story is repeated often, and accepted as part of the Tower of London's lore. It would remain just a weird story from the nineteenth century, were it not for the tiny Canadian UFO cult.

Part 3

The final part of the story involves a more recent road trip, after my friend spoke to the current owner of the Clelland Statement, who lives in a small town in Ontario.

The owner would not allow us to quote it so turn a blind eye when it's obvious that's what I'm doing. The previous owner was supposedly harrassed by the cultists, though how a cult that's nearly impossible to find and cannot have more than a few members harasses anyone is a good question.

The Clelland Statement is a bit of a disappointment. It's some old-looking yellowy paper, written in messy black ink with lines stroked out and margins filled with comments. It's like the draft of an article, or maybe notes to a story by someone who was trying to be the Canadian Jules Verne. It is signed "M. Clelland." At least, it looks like an "M." It tells the basic story about the Voltdab and the farmer.

There's nothing to connect it with the Clerics of the Aestherius or the Green Children of Woolpit, both things important to the Voltdab cultists, who call the Green Children the Harbingers of the Aestherius, though we have never learned why. The Voltdab Cult website is like an experiment to drive people crazy. It makes pretty much no sense.

We hoped it would include some information about the future, since the Voltdab are supposed to be time-travellers. No such luck. Six of the ten commandments appear, in different words.

Apologies are given for the Son of Earth's lack of Cutlery. I am not making this up, and I have no idea what that is supposed to mean. Perhaps, like electro-motive force, the document is using Cutlery to mean something else. Why would aliens care if this guy had no forks or knives?

This write-up was a collaboration with a friend who now runs a website I set up at If you find a write-up a lot like this one online, it's ours. I didn't steal it.

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