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How I Found the Urantia Book—BOB HUNT (1970) 

In the spring of 1970 I was living near Monterey, California, and teaching mathematics at the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School. My brother Pat, a professor of speech communications at San Francisco State University, had recently given a hitchhiker a ride across the Golden Gate Bridge. In expressing his appreciation for the ride, the hitchhiker, a young man described as having very peaceful, clear blue eyes, spoke of a book that he said was written by supermortal celestial beings. Knowing of my interest in such matters, Pat told me of the unusual encounter but confessed that he could not recall the name of the book, only that it sounded like “tarantula.”

Curious about the story and the book, I began searching with the limited information that my brother had provided. At the renowned City Lights bookstore in the North Beach section of San Francisco, I inquired about “a book whose title sounded like ‘tarantula’ and was written by beings from other worlds.” The clerk, without batting an eye, told me he didn’t know whether they had such a book, but that I should search in their “extra-terrestrial section.” Having no success, I proceeded to another well-known bookstore, The Tides, in Sausalito, a popular waterfront town in Marin County across the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco. There, the clerk replied that I must be looking for the Urantia Book, which they did have in the store.

Upon viewing the large book in a pale blue dust jacket and priced at $15, I was immediately struck by the opening words of the Foreword: “In the minds of the mortals of Urantia—that being the name of your world—there exists great confusion respecting the meaning of such terms as God, divinity, and deity.” These words rang true and affirmed aspects of my lifelong spiritual search, beginning with positive experiences in the Methodist Church during my youth and continuing with my ongoing interest in world religions and philosophy.

So I purchased the book. It proved to be incredibly consistent with my faith and beliefs, as well as a fulfillment of my lifelong search for truth, beauty, and goodness.

I immediately shared my discovery with my friend and colleague, Phil Calabrese, with whom I was already having discussions about science, philosophy, and religion along lines strikingly similar to what this wonderful book was offering. Within the next two years, I read and studied the book and shared it with other close friends, including Dick and Cheryl Prince in San Diego.

In 1972, Phil and I taught an experimental college course on the Urantia Book in Bakersfield, California, and became acquainted with Julia Fenderson, who was at the time the West Coast Field Representative of the Urantia Brotherhood. Julia had been a friend of Dr. William Sadler and a member of the group known as the Forum, who first viewed and read the Urantia Papers prior to their publication. Julia, often accompanied by members of the First Urantia Society of Los Angeles (FUSLA), attended every session of our course in Bakersfield.

In subsequent years, I attended FUSLA meetings and gatherings in Los Angeles, including the first West Coast Conference, which featured a memorable concert by Buffy Sainte-Marie, a long-time Urantia Book reader. I met many wonderful people, including Vincent Ventola, a visionary artist of the “spiritual renaissance,” as he called it. By invitation, I introduced the book to a gathering of the World Future Society in Los Angeles in 1974, in a talk called “The Urantia Book—A Guide to the Future and Beyond.” In 1981 I gave a talk on “Spiritual Mind Receptivity” at the Urantia Brotherhood’s General Conference in Snowmass, Colorado; and another on “Time and Space” in 1988, at the first Scientific Symposium in Nashville, Tennessee.

I remain a dedicated and committed student of the Urantia Book, and I offer praise and gratitude for its appearance on our world at this time in our journey through time and space.

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