At 6 o’clock on Christmas Eve, 1954, a small group of people gathered on the street outside Dorothy Martin’s home in Oak Park, Illinois, singing Christmas carols and waiting. But this was no symbolic vigil; they weren’t waiting for the birth of baby Jesus. They were waiting to depart the Earth, and 200 more people had come to watch them wait.
A day earlier, Martin had received a message telling her the group was to wait at that place, at that time, for a flying saucer to land. They waited for 20 minutes for the “spacemen” to pick them up, as the message had promised. When none arrived, they went back inside.
This wasn’t the first time they were disappointed. It was the fourth.
It all started with a prophecy that a massive flood was coming on December 21, 1954. The message was just one of many that Martin, who was involved in Scientology and interested in flying saucers, claimed to receive from beings she called the Guardians. […]