Among the very strangest claims associated with various alleged contactees from over the years is the story of Valiant Thor, a purported Venusian visitor that came to Earth in the late 1950s.

The story is an interesting footnote in a long history of claims associating alien life with the planet Venus, especially in light of news that has made headlines in recent months. Back in September 2020, MIT News reported that “scientists at MIT, Cardiff University, and elsewhere have observed what may be signs of life in the clouds of our other, even closer planetary neighbor, Venus.” More specifically, they detected the presence of phosphine, an odiferous toxic gas that is usually present only when there are organisms also in the equation.

It would be ironic, if nothing else, if we were to discover the likely presence of life on such an otherwise inhospitable world, especially since this had been the planet which figured heavily into the early claims of many of the so-called “contactees,” individuals who began coming forward in the middle 1950s with (often absurd) claims of having met benevolent space brothers, who frequently hailed from planets like Venus. Arguably, the tale of Valiant Thor may hold a special place on that list.

Venus, as photographed by NASA’s Mariner 10 spacecraft, launched in November 1973 (Public Domain).

The story had its genesis in the claims of one Frank Stranges, a UFO advocate who throughout the years claimed to have possessed advanced degrees in fields as diverse as theology and psychology, to even criminology. The author of several books on UFO-related topics, in 1967 Stranges authored The Stranger at the Pentagon, a story which appeared to pay homage to The Day the Earth Stood Still as much as it claimed to be the true story of a visitor from another world.

According to Stranges’ narrative, the story begins on March 16, 1957 in Alexandria, Virginia. On this date, Stranges tells us that “one of the finest leaders of the planet Venus, operating under the direction of the Central Control and who had been chosen to make the contact as well as direct the project, landed his craft and was met by two police officers, weapons drawn.”

The fact that their guns were drawn did little to dissuade Valiant Thor, or “Val” as he was nicknamed, from approaching the frightened officers. However, rather than brandishing a futuristic weapon of his own, Val purportedly communicated telepathically with the officers that he meant them no harm, to which they responded by offering to escort Val directly to Washington D.C. to meet with the President.

Sporting a spacesuit and an introduction written in an alien language that no Earthling could read, Val was nonetheless successful at communicating with his new friends on account of the fact that his telepathic powers enabled them to decode his alien writing. Soon, he was being escorted by “six officials, six armed guards and three secret service men” directly to the Oval Office.

Once they arrived in Washington, Val was greeted warmly by President Eisenhower, who, as Stranges recounts, casually told the alien that “Of course, you know we have suspended all rules of protocol. I have a good feeling toward you. Please, sir, what is your name? And where do you come from?”

Valiant Thor then tells Ike that he had just arrived “from the planet your Bible calls the morning and the evening star,” apparently displaying a preference for Christianity over other world religions (or perhaps attempting to employ a literary trope that he thought Ike would understand, although if he understood the Christian bible, then it stands to reason that Val would likely have also understood the name Earthlings had given his planet, too).

Valiant Thor
Valiant Thor as he supposedly looked in the late 1950s (Fair Use).

“Venus?” Mr. Eisenhower correctly guessed, thereafter asking if the Venusian could in any way prove this, which resulted in the following curious exchange:

Val: “What do you constitute as proof?”

Eisenhower: “I don’t know.”

Military strategist and leader of the free world though he was, apparently Eisenhower had been stumped by Val’s question regarding what, precisely, would constitute proof that he was who he said he was. Of course, this hadn’t been helped by the fact that Val—despite being from an underground city on planet Venus—so closely resembled a middle-aged male human from Earth that Ike had no way of knowing whether his story had been true.

“Will you come with me to my ship?” Val proposed.

Well, seeing a spaceship from Venus might do the trick, even if the spaceman who rode in it didn’t look very alien. Nonetheless, Eisenhower declined Val’s offer, according to Stranges, offering the following curious statement instead:

“My friend, I cannot come and go as I please. There are others to be considered. There are committees to be consulted and security measures to be adhered to. Please spend some time with us here …Let’s get better acquainted …learn more about one another …and perhaps soon, real soon, well …we shall see.”

Despite having suspended all rules of the protocol on account of Eisenhower’s “good feelings” towards Val, there were nonetheless still security measures in place that prevented the President from going and observing what, apparently, would have been the only thing that could tangibly prove the Venusian’s claims. Thus, rather than going and viewing his ship, the alien guest is introduced to Vice President Richard Nixon, and shortly thereafter shown to a furnished apartment that would serve as his place of residence while remaining in Washington for the next three years.

This, in essence, is how the strange story of Valiant Thor begins. Quaint and comical though it is, the tale spun by Stranges has nonetheless had its advocates over the years, having been briefly revived in the 1990s by Phil Schneider, a geologist who had claimed to have once been caught in the crossfire at an alien base near Dulce, New Mexico. Schneider even claimed to have met Valiant Thor, providing photographs that allegedly showed the Venusian alongside Schneider’s late father. However, the man in Schneider’s photograph bore little resemblance to the man identified as Valiant Thor in photographs that appeared in Stranges’ book in 1967. Further, Schneider claimed that “Val” possessed a number of physical traits that differed from human beings, which included having six fingers and six toes. In photographs provided by Stranges where Val’s hands can be seen, his hands appear no different from that of any other man, and certainly with no sign of any additional fingers.

Despite the obvious holes in the story—not least among them that it would be impossible for intelligent aliens closely resembling humans to have come from Venus—the strange tale of Valiant Thor has been repeatedly revived over the decades, having been featured on programs like Ancient Aliens in recent years.

Valiant Thor
How the inhospitable landscape of Venus actually looks, as photographed with false color reconstructed via radar data by NASA’s Magellan mission (Public Domain).

Of all planets in our solar system that might end up showing indications of possible life, it is ironic that it would be Venus… although it might be a little too soon to say this news corroborates Stranges’ wacky claims of an alien who once supposedly visited the Pentagon.

For additional details and further investigation about this “classic” of the contacted era, see Brian Dunning’s article at Skeptoid in his post, “Valiant Thor: Your Friendly Pentagon Alien.”

This article originally appeared in the TSL Telepath Newsletter.

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Author: Micah Hanks

Micah Hanks is a writer, researcher, and podcaster. His interests include areas of history, science, archaeology, philosophy, and the study of anomalous phenomena in nature. He can be reached at

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