Daniel Fry's initial contact with beings that he claimed were space people took place on July 4, 1950, near the White Sands Proving Grounds (now Missile Range) near Las Cruces, New Mexico. Fry described himself as "an internationally known scientist, researcher, and electronic engineer" and as one who was "recognized by many as the best-informed scientist in the world on the subject of space and space travel." While he may have been the most technically sophisticated of the early UFO contactees, skeptical researcher Philip J. Klass (1919– ) claimed in UFOs Explained (1974) that Fry's doctoral degree from "St. Andrews College of London, England" was issued by a small religious organization that awarded doctorates to whomever submitted a 10,000-word thesis and paid a fee. While the validity of his Ph.D. may be in doubt, Fry was employed as an
engineer with Aerojet General at the time that he claimed to have met the space people.
According to Fry, he missed the bus that would have taken him into town to observe the traditional July Fourth fireworks, so he decided to take a walk in the desert. What he had at first believed to be a strangely behaving star landed about 70 feet away from him and revealed itself to be a flying saucer. A friendly, but invisible, space traveler named A-lan (Alan) invited Fry on board and, while explaining some of the technical aspects of the spacecraft, whisked him to New York City and back to White Sands in 30 minutes. Fry estimated the speed of the UFO to be at least 8,000 miles per hour.
Although Fry later changed the date of his initial contact to 1949, he claimed to have been contacted by Alan three more times between 1950 and 1954. The space people, according to information received by Fry, were descendents of the lost continent of Lemuria, which had destroyed itself in an atomic war with Atlantis about 30,000 years ago. Because Lemurians had achieved space flight, a few survivors managed to escape in four vehicles before the final destruction occurred. One ship was lost on the flight to Mars, but three of the Lemurian craft landed safely and began to fashion a new society on that planet. Eventually, the descendents of Lemuria, the immigrant Martians, had truly become space people, traveling independent of any planet in self-sustaining ships, moving through space wherever they chose.
Fry established Understanding Incorporated in 1955 as a means of better spreading the teachings of Alan, who had told him that he had been chosen to act as the liaison between Earth and the planetary members of the Galactic Confederation. The space people warned that humans must learn to live in peace, or they were likely to destroy themselves with nuclear power, thereby replicating the disaster