Published online by Cambridge University Press: 22 September 2009
I am utterly convinced that, circa 1906–1955, non-material beings of super-human intelligence and maturity interfaced regularly with a group of (eventually) six mortals for the purpose of providing a religious revelation of epochal significance.
The Urantia Papers, later published as The Urantia Book, were received by a small group of people in Chicago through an unnamed person, known as the “sleeping subject” or “contact personality,” distinguished by his “peculiar sleep.”
The way the Urantia revelation is said to have emerged is quite unlike that found within most other traditions. There is no belief that the message is a reemergence of a previously lost tradition, nor is there any claim that the material emerged from any great figure from history. Instead, The Urantia Book is claimed to have been divulged by higher beings, through a human being, through an unknown method, and relatively recently.
All that is told of the person chosen by the “student visitors” or “celestial beings” to be the “vehicle” through which these revelations would emerge is that it was a male patient of Dr. William Sadler (a psychiatrist and former Seventh-Day Adventist), and those who witnessed the events insist that the “sleeping subject” was not a medium, nor did he “channel” or “automatically write” the Urantia Papers. There is a great desire to present as innovative not just the content of the Papers but also the way in which they were received.