Friday, January 19, 2018

James J. Allen's Alien Encounter Embarrassment: Aug. 6, 1952

West Lumberton, NC Aug. 6, 1952: A relatively incredible close encounter. James J. Allen sees a UFO and speaks to its occupant. A few historians summarize the case in passing, such as this mention in the August 2005 MUFON Journal by Ted Phillips, in "Physical Traces: Occupants and physical traces."
08/06/52 NC, Lumberton: James Allen, 51 , saw a round object 8 ft long, 6 ft high land within 10 feet of him. A small occupant was seen, and small footprints were found.
INTCAT, (the International Catalog of close encounters and entity reports, compiled by Peter Rogerson, lists the Allen case and cites Phillips among the other Ufologists who have covered the case:
August 6 1952. 2100hrs WEST LUMBERTON (NORTH CAROLINA:  USA) American Houses employee. James J Allen saw an object 2m high, 2.5m long, lit by an interior orange light, descend from the north-west, hit his chimney, damaging it, and land in his backyard. As he approached to within 3m. of the object he saw a small being, 75cm high, standing beside it. When Allen asked the being if it was injured, “it went away in a whiff”, then the object moved away with a whistling sound.
  • Ted Bloecher citing Lumberton Robesonian, 7 August 1952.
  • Phillips 1975, p.8 (case 676) says footprints were found at the site but this detail is not given in the above source he quotes.
  • George Fawcett in Flying Saucers 77.
  • Fawcett 1975 p.26.
  • Santesson 1968, p.183
  • Vallee Case 99 citing Wilkins 1954b, p.268 citing Buffalo Evening News 27 Aug 1952.
  • Data Net V, 11 citing Robesonian 18 Aug 1952.
Loren Gross in UFOs: A History, 1952: August, however, found the events to be fantastic:
A forerunner of many to come was the tale told by 51-year-old James Allen of West Lumberton, North Carolina, on August 6th. So incredible it, was dismissed outright by serious people, the story and others like it were to be favorites with the press. We can only wonder if Mr. Allen was reading too many science fiction books? 
Here's the way the Allen's story was reported at the time in the local paper.
(A line of copy seems to be missing form the printed version.)
The Lumberton Robesonian (NC) Aug. 7, 1952

The next day's news provided further information. There were several people investigating the report, and the Pentagon was expected to launch their own inquiry. Further questioning of Allen produced further details on the encounter, including a better description of the saucer occupant. The little man had a long white beard.

The Lumberton Robesian (NC) Aug. 8, 1952 
UFO historian Loren Gross concluded:
Actually, there is not much difference between Allen's story and that of the Socorro, New Mexico, incident of April 24, 1964, so if people like Allen were making up such stories, they were at least consistent. In 1952 Allen's tale seemed too whimsical which people believing it was just the result of a capricious notion by its originator. There is a very good possibility the Allen story is a hoax for the simple reason there was publicity at the time about a similar incident which was supposed to have occurred months before at the city of Red Springs, an incident that could have inspired Allen. 

James J Allen's 1947 Case Surfaces

UFO historians that discuss the Allen case seem to be unaware of what happened after the initial report. Shortly after the story of the encounter, there were troubling disclosures about James Allen's past, instances of him writing "obscene letters," arranging a rendezvous with a married neighbor, and threatening to hex her husband with witchcraft if she didn't comply.

The Lumberton Robesian (NC) Aug. 11, 1952 

As with so many of the most interesting UFO cases featured here at The Saucers That Time Forgot, Project Blue Book has no files on this incident


History doesn't tell us if Allen's house was insured, but an ad for the Ray Hatch Insurance Agency in the November 11, 1953 Indiana Kokomo Tribune indicates he could have filed a claim for the saucer's damage to his chimney.

Unfortunately, the typical home insurance policy does not cover alien acts of aggression, only instances of alien accidents.


Friday, January 12, 2018

Avoiding a War of the Worlds: Don't Shoot Them Down!

"Cutting loose your guns might be suicide." 
Major Lewis Norman, as quoted by Donald Keyhoe 
in Flying Saucers from Outer Space, 1953.

Art from the 1962 Topps trading card series, 1962 Mars Attacks,
card #4:
Saucers Blast Our Jets

In 1952, there were rumors and speculation that the Air Force had ordered pilots to fire on flying saucers. Some people were afraid of the consequences, and thought we might anger a technologically advanced civilization and provoke a war we could not win.

Seattle Post-Intelligencer, July 29, 1952
Jet pilots are operating under a 24-hour nation-wide "alert” to chase the mysterious objects and to ‘shoot them down” if they ignore orders to land.

Long Beach Independent, July 30, 1952

 Lebanon Daily News, July 31, 1952.

Perfect Souls from Outer Space

Mangan may have been right. In the documentary short, "The Flying Saucer Mystery," Frank Scully, the author of "Behind the Flying Saucers (one of the best-selling UFO books of all time) was interviewed. Scully said we shouldn't shoot saucers down since the aliens might be "perfect souls" never sullied by the serpent in the Garden of Eden, and therefore immortal (and presumably invincible), so we shouldn't attack them. (Scully's segment is about 6.5 minutes in the clip below.)

For more information on the "1952 Flying Saucer 'Shoot Down' Stories," see David Rudiak's page,

Friday, January 5, 2018

Dr. O. K. Brown, The Flying Saucer Dentist

Thanks to the dilligent research of Claude Falkstrom, STTF takes another moment to recognize another of the The Ufologists That Time Forgot...

Long before Stanton Friedman, "The Flying Saucer Physicist," there was another prolific UFO lecturer: Dr. O. K. Brown, The Flying Saucer Dentist.

In the early 1950s, Dover, Ohio had a population of about 10,000 people (closer to 13,000 today), but it had one that thing most towns its size do not, a resident flying saucer expert. But before we get to UFOs, lets take a look at the man himself.

Dr. O. K. Brown, his wife, Virginia, their daughter and son lived on his farm called Cricket Hill, where as a hobby he raised pure bred Suffolk sheep. 

The Daily Reporter ,May 16, 1956
Born Orlo Kenneth Brown, the doctor was a well-educated, highly respected citizen of the Dover community and an influential member of the Rotary Club there, where his activities frequently made news. Dover’s The Daily Reporter, ran a story on him in  Oct. 10, 1970, titled, “It’s been a good life!”, noting that he’d been an educator, a professional baseball player and an amateur archeologist:
Love of Americana, family and orthodontics have blended well in the life of Dr. O.K. Brown of Dover, whose interests range from the dental ills of the ancient American Indian through the merits of Sharp’s Buffalo rifle of 1850 to the viruses and faults of modern day baseball and barn architecture... This man, of many interests taught school in Pennsylvania before deciding on a career in dentistry... He also took an interest in UFO's and made numerous speaking appearances throughout the state on the subject.”

Dr. Brown was also open-minded, and forward thinking, a proponent of space travel and had a strong interest in flying saucers, an early adopter of the term UFO for unidentified flying objects.  He frequently lectured on the topic, explaining that witnesses had produced testimony demonstrating that saucers were interplanetary space craft, and carried the occupants of a peaceful, technologically advanced civilization- from whom we had much to learn.

Dover Daily Reporter, July 23. 1955 featured a profile of his wife, Virginia, 
“Portrait of… Mrs. O. K. Brown” 
Dr. Brown is interested and data concerning "flying saucers” and his wife also has developed a profound interest. He has given 40 or 50 talks on the subject and Virginia accompanies him because it gives her an opportunity to meet many people. She leaves the same impression with her new and old acquaintances – friendly, gay and congenial.

Dr. Brown spoke of the subject of flying saucers and extraterrestrial visitation to such diverse Ohio groups as :
- the southeastern Ohio section of the Society of Plastics Engineers.- the Brandywine Grange open house. (Program also included pantomines, ballet dancing and jass [sic] music).- the Junior's Woman's Club (at the home of Mrs. Russell Stewart).- the New Philadelphia Rotary Club.- the Sertone Club Of Zanesville.- the Tuscarawa County Highway Patrol Auxiliary.- the Denison Methodist Men's Club. - the Gnadenhutten (pop. 900) Chamber of Commerce. - a Valentine Dinner Party organized by the women of the Gahowee Chapter of CCL.- the Tuscarawa County Pharmaceutical Association.- The 1956 Annual Dundee Community Institute. The two-day convention included, among other activities, a concert by the Dundee High Band, invocations by the Rev. W.P. Michel, a piano duet by Elizabeth and Lillian Rankin, lectures by Mrs. Katherine Whinnery (farm wife and mother of six children and former Belmont and Harrison County Home Demonstration Agent) on "The Angelus" and "Thoughts in Verses", songs by a grange quartet, a cake contest in which Miss Alga Weaver and Mrs. James Marquand acted as judges,an address by Paul Mico (county tuberculosis health educator), tap dance by Sandy Stutzman and a play and song by the 3rd and 4th grades.

Coshocton Tribune, Feb 23, 1955

Plastic Engineers, Guests Attend Dinner Meeting at Zanesville
The Southern Ohio section of the Society of Plastics Engineers met Tuesday evening at Zanesville with 115 members and guests in attendance...The chief speaker of the program was Dr. O. K. Brown, Dover dentist, who gave an interesting and informative talk on the subject of "Flying Saucers.”Although not a scientist, Dr. Brown has carried on a study of the "Flying saucer” phenomenon, and gave his opinions on the topic, bolstered with allied information he had picked up from books and articles.

The public was besieged by conflicting information on flying saucers from the government, the news media, and the authors publishing best-selling books on the topic. Dr. Brown served almost as an editor of that information, assimilating it and bringing the saucer story in a narrative to a local Ohio audience.  Dr. Brown lectured for a wide variety of audiences, chiefly business clubs and professional associations. On a few occasions, the local press turned to Dr. Brown's expertise about UFO mysteries. There were some he was able to solve.

Dover Daily Reporter, Nov 19 1954

Dr. O. K. Brown, circa 1967

Two Talks from 1954

There are news stories covering the contents of two of Dr. Brown's lectures from 1954, and they provide a fascinating look at how information on flying saucers was being digested by the public and being assimilated into the culture. 

From The Daily Reporter, June 29, 1954, page 3

A-Blasts Irk Other Planets? 
Dr. Brown Cites 'Saucer' Evidence In Club Talk

Did God create inhabited planets other than the Earth? Are inhabitants of other planets hundreds of years ahead of the Earth in progress, especially space travel? Would too many atomic explosions arouse "other planets to the extent its citizens would take retaliatory measures as a matter of preservation? Is it possible that Venus is occupied by people so proficient in mental telepathy that it has no crime?

Those were just some of the questions posed by Dr. O. K. Brown, Dover dentist, last night when he addressed nearly 90 Kiwanians, including 22 from Canton Edgefield's club, following the Dover club's weekly dinner meeting at Helmkamp's. 

POINTING out that the Air Force and government officials have bothered to 'give answers to only about 14 per cent of the 3,000 flying saucers, the dentist, who has made a study of the subject, asked: 
"Are officials afraid of mass panic if they admit landings by flying saucers containing people? "Are they afraid they may upset some religious beliefs by admitting other planets are inhabited. "Are they afraid to admit someone else is 500 years ahead of us in the system of propulsion?" 

Quoting various sources, Dr. Brown pointed out that one scientist said he talked with a man who was 5 feet tall, weighed 135 pounds, had "baby" skin and indicated he came from Venus in a saucer the scientist saw. 
"That scientist gave the man, who gave evidence of being adept at mental telepathy and who didn't speak our language, an exposed photographic film on which the scientist had taken a picture of the space ship," Dr. Brown said. 
"Twenty-three days later, a 'saucer' hovered over the scientist's house and dropped a package. Inside was the photographic film with a message inscribed on it in a strange language which, as yet, hasn't been figured out. 

“THE SCIENTIST reported that during his contact with the stranger the man indicated the earth was making big explosions which were shaking the world. Using signs, he made the scientist understand that a few of the explosions would not cause too much harm but that a great many would result in action by his people.”
Dr. Brown went on to point out that another recognized scientist, who was in charge of a vitally important project in World War II, described a "flying saucer" he inspected after it crashed in Colorado. 
"The scientist said the ship had a damaged porthole and that after making an outside inspection for two days the porthole was enlarged to permit an interior inspection," Dr. Brown related. 
"Inside they found bodies of 16 men, ranging from 34 to 42 inches in height. All were burned but an examination showed they had no dental defects, had metal buttons on their clothing which were fastened with thread having a breaking strength of 420 pounds. 

“THE SCIENTISTS found food similar to our K-rations and two containers filled with water twice as heavy as our water. The ship was 99.99 feet long, 27 inches high above the wings which were 45 inches thick. It was constructed of an aluminum material unlike any we know. 
"The Air Force finally learned how to dissemble the ship. Its parts, including instruments which indicated the machine was a push-button operation, and the bodies were taken away by the Air Force and neither the scientists nor anyone else has heard about them since." 
Dr. Brown said two similar saucers, one 72 feet long, and another 36 feet long, also have landed on the U.S. arid have been inspected. "It is noteworthy," he said, "that all the measurements reported to date are divisble by 9." 
Dr. Brown explained that magnetic fault zones exist in flie air, particularly over the northwest and southwest United States, and pointed out that scientists say that is the reason meteors sometimes land on the U.S. "Things just go haywire when the meteors hit the fault zones and they crash," Dr. Brown said. "Some scientists believe the same fault zones caused flying saucers to crash." 

DESCRIBING the possibility of speeds which Earthman can't fathom, Dr. Brown reminded that military radar equipment in a number of instances has picked up objects in the sky, including one over the Capitol and another over the White House at the same time. "Five minutes before our fighter jets appeared, the objects disappeared," he said. "Five minutes after our jets returned to their bases the objects re-appeared and continued to hover over Washington and 'remained on the radar screens until dawn." "We have heard of a pilot and his jet completely disappearing while chasing a saucer," Dr. Brown recalled. "We have heard of a 15-year-old boy 'ham,' or amateur radio operator, accidentally hitting, with his signals, a magnetic frequency and causing shorts in auto motors in the area of his home and even in several planes. 
 . . .

Most readers here will recognize the origin of stories above.

The four faces on the Mt. Rushmore of Ufology, circa 1954:

Kenneth Arnold, Major Donald Keyhoe, Frank Scully, and George Adamski were the best-known figures in the early days of the UFO scene. Arnold had fathered the saucer fever, and the other three had reached the public in best-selling non-fiction books. Their influence on the saucer subject, then and now, is monumental. Nevertheless, the topic was perplexing and the books presented material in conflict with what was being said by military sources and authorities in the news. In his lectures, Dr. Brown served as a guide through the perplexing contradictions.

In the only other Dr. Brown lecture summarized by the press, we learn more about his views on the UFO cover-up and the technology and enlightenment the space visitors could share with mankind.

Zanesville Times Recorder, Sep 22, 1954, p. 10
While Dr. Brown continued to speak on the topic for many years, unfortunately we have been unable to locate the content of his later lectures. It would be interesting to know if his views evolved over the years based on the new information that surfaced about he credibility of the Adamski and Scully tales, and what he thought about later, better-documented UFO cases.

The UFO lectures seem to have come to end sometime in the 1960s, perhaps connected in some way to the dark days of the Condon Study and the closing of Project Blue Book. Or perhaps, other obligations of a more Earthly nature occupied more of Dr. Brown's time.

Dentist Dover Times Reporter May 15 1970

A sampling of Dr. Brown's recognition and press in his later years.

Dr. Brown passed away in 1997. His obituary from the Dover New Philadelphia Times-Reporter, June 12, 1997:

Friday, December 29, 2017

The Debunkers That Time Forgot: Dr. Richard P. Youtz

Professor Richard P. Youtz, chairman of Barnard College's psychology department from 1946 to 1974.

In Richard H. Hall's introduction to "Historical Viewpoints" in the March-April 2004, Journal of UFO History, he wrote: "A regular feature will be viewpoints and opinions about UFOs offered up over the decades by all sorts of people. Some of the comments for astute, others sadly misguided, and some are by allegedly intelligent and educated people who should have known better than to shoot from the lip." The first sampling was led by the following: 
Under the headline "Saucers Explained" (Science News Letter, Apr. 30, 1960) Dr. Richard P. Youtz, a psychologist and Bernard College, New York City, it says that what witnesses are reporting as "flying saucers" are only "afterimages" resulting from having looked at a bright light source.
Dr. Youtz's work was based on years of study, and long before that 1960 paper, he'd been quoted in newspapers saying that 60% of reports of flying saucers were just optical afterimages.

The New York Barnard Bulletin Oct. 27, 1952
Barnard Bulletin, Nov. 5, 1956
And finally, a story on the presentation that formed the basis for "Saucers Explained."
Alton Evening Telegraph, May 2, 1960

A Rational Voice

Followers of Donald Keyhoe's claim that the flying saucers are real had little interest in hearing any science that did not support the extraterrestrial hypothesis for the origin of UFOs. Dr. Youtz passed in 1986, and received a nice obituary in the New York Times. Today, his work is remembered almost only by his former academy.

"Youtz's belief that the scientific method could be applied to the analysis of behavior guided much of what he did. No phenomenon seemed too far out to approach scientifically. He presented one paper in which he speculated that some reports of flying saucers might be due to visual afterimages. In another line of research, he spent three years studying the perception of colors through the skin. In the early 1960s, there were reports that scientists in the Soviet Union had demonstrated that some people were capable of dermato-optical perception. In careful experiments, Youtz demonstrated that the ability to detect colors was eliminated if the objects were covered by thick glass or if the skin temperature was below 24-degrees C. Furthermore, performance deteriorated if the colored objects were made of material that did not have good thermal conduction properties, such as wood or sponge. These experiments showed that about 10% of the population could discriminate colors by touching objects but that the basis for the discrimination was the thermal properties of objects. Youtz's was a rational voice in the sometimes wild discussion of dermato-optical sensitivity that was taking place."
The History of the Barnard College Psychology Department
Professor Youtz's flying saucer solution didn't catch on, but his work in "dermato-optical perception" seems to have been immortalized, inspiring DC Comics' Batman villain, the "Ten-Eyed Man," the man who could see with his fingertips.

Friday, December 22, 2017

Signs: Ezekiel, the Bible and UFOs

"It's God's truth — I will swear it on a Bible." 
- Kenneth Arnold, Oregon Journal, June 27, 1947

Kenneth Arnold received a warning shortly after his sighting of flying saucers in 1947. Some people were seeing the saucers as a sign from above.

Preacher Sees Doomsday "... getting his flock “ready for the end of this world.”
Spokane Daily Chronicle, page 1, June 27, 1947 

Biblical connections were being found:
Los Angeles Herald-Express, July 8, 1947
"Ezekiel the Prophet Foretold Flying Discs."

The Bible and Project Blue Book

Project Blue Book checked the Bible for such signs. General John A. Samford, from page three of the AF transcript of the July 29, 1952 press conference prompted by the Washington, D.C. UFO radar incidents.

“The volume of reporting is related to many things. We know that reports of this can go back to Biblical times. There have been flurries of them in various centuries. 1846 seems to of been a time when there were quite a flurry of reporting of this card. Our current series of report goes back, generally, to 1946 in which things with this kind reported in Sweden."

Later handwritten notes added in margin, with an arrow pointing to Biblical times:

“Charles Fort has written on the subject of UFOs – his works published during the last century.”

Captain Edward J. Ruppelt of Project Blue Book in a 1952 document, “Draft of Article for August Air Intelligence Digest” had a section dealing with the Biblical UFOs, UAPs or UAOs:
"Ezekiel Saw de Wheel,"Zechariah saw a "roll"
The AIR INTELLIGENCE DIGEST will not quarrel with readers who dismiss as far-fetched any interpretation of the Biblical quotations below as references to 1) a disc-shaped UAO and 2) a cigar-shaped UAO. These quotations are presented solely for whatever significance, if any, that DIGEST readers read into them.
The wording of the well-known reference in Ezekiel is: " . . . a whirlwind came out of the north . . . a fire unfolding . . . and a brightness was about it, out of the midst thereof as the color of amber . . . it sparkled like the color of burnished brass . . . like burning coals of fire, and like the appearance of lamps . . . the appearance of the wheels was like unto the color of a beryl (greenish-blue) . . . as it were a wheel in the middle of a wheel".
Less familiar is a passage in Zechariah: "Then I turned, and lifted up mine eyes, and looked, and beheld a flying roll . . . the length thereof (was) twenty cubits, and the breadth thereof (was) ten cubits." "Roll," in Biblical terminology, usually meant the parchment rolls then used for books. In some translations, the phrase "flying book" is substituted for "flying roll" in the foregoing passage. Converting cubits into feet, Zechariah's "flying roll" measured 30 by 15 feet.
Ruppelt briefly touched on the topic in his 1956 book, The Report on Unidentified Flying Objects:
“Did UFO reports actually start in 1947? We had spent a great deal of time trying to resolve this question. Old newspaper files, journals, and books that we found in the Library of Congress contained many reports of odd things being seen in the sky as far back as the Biblical times. The old Negro spiritual says, 'Ezekiel saw a wheel 'way up in the middle of the air.' We couldn't substantiate Ezekiel's sighting because many of the very old reports of odd things observed in the sky could be explained as natural phenomena that weren't fully understood in those days."

The Air Force wasn't going to accept the Biblical accounts on faith alone, but it was enough for many.

Flying Saucers, God's Last Sign of the Age

Certainly a bit of religion worked its way into UFO lore, such as with George Adamski's Space Brothers, "technological angels" from Venus. A bit of flying saucery worked its way into some churches as well. The Reverend R.D. Ingle included saucers in some of his sermons.

"Earthquakes and Flying Saucers, God's Last Sign of the Age."

Harrisonburg Daily News Record (VA) March 21, 1953
"The United States Will be Invaded From the Air According to Bible Predictions"
Zanesville Signal (OH) April 1953 
Reverend Billy Graham was asked in his column about Ezekiel and flying saucers. Graham didn't know much about saucers, but didn't think they were part of Biblical prophecy. Still, he thought it prudent to get right with the Lord just in case, and also to "Watch..."
Charleston Daily Mail (WV) April 2, 1953

The topic of UFOs and religion is near infinite, so we'll let Rev. Graham have the last word for now.

Friday, December 15, 2017

First Flying Saucer Occupant Report, Published July 9, 1947

Little Green Men from Mars were not initially given any serious thought as being the answer to flying saucers. In 1947, most people thought that if flying saucers were real, they must be a secret military project- ours or by other countries spying on the USA. Space aliens were taken no more seriously than the earlier talk of mischievous gremlins sabotaging airplanes during World War II.

The first report of contact with alien beings from saucers was made in Nashville, Tennessee in early July 1947, and published in the day after the story of the "captured flying disc" story from Roswell, New Mexico:

The Nashville Tennessean, July 9, 1947, page one
All Over the Nation People Talk Saucers
The flying saucer furore has finally hit Nashville... One man, apparently sane and sober, wrote the editor of The Nashville Tennessean, a long interesting letter about his brush with a couple of Men from Mars on a nearby flying field. These strange little men, “all heads and arms and legs, glowing like fireflies,” landed and alighted from a flying saucer as he drove along a highway, the man wrote. The man from Nashville and the Men from Mars exchanged greetings (in sign language) and the saucer finally took off in a cloud of dust, so the letter says.

The Nashville TennesseanJuly 9, 1947
Indistinguishable from a joke?

Describing the story, Jerome Clark in The UFO Encyclopedia Volume 2, 1992, said,

"The newspaper account characterizes the correspondent (whose letter was only paraphrased, not published) as 'apparently perfectly sane and sober,' but the story sounds more like a practical joke than a serious report."
The letter may not have been genuine, but the account is important for being the first published, and closely resembles many other that would eventually surface later, including a number of accounts told or published at the each year on April 1st.

As with so many of the most interesting UFO cases featured here at The Saucers That Time Forgot, Project Blue Book has no file on this incident.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Lost UFO Films: Socorro and Frank Stranges

Frank E. Stranges & The Saucer Films That Time Forgot

The Reverend Frank E. Stranges passed on in 2008, but he is fondly remembered.
"No one knows this more than Dr. Frank E. Stranges. This erudite, holding degrees in Theology, Criminology and Psychology, has dedicated his life to the study of the Bible and other sacred texts in relationship to spiritual growth and understanding not only of our planet and its people, but also of those from other worlds." 
So says his bio/obit at ISUISDr. Stranges also made a few UFO film projects, but it's the missing ones that may matter the most. Here's a news item on his lecture promoting his UFO documentary Phenomena 7.7 from the Redlands Daily Facts (CA) March 5, 1965:
Saucers—Fact or Fiction ... announcing a lecture by Dr. Frank E. Stranges, president of the International Evangelism Crusades... Frank Stranges has just completed work on a color documentary film entitled, "Phenomena 7.7." It will be released to movie and television shortly... Versed in many fields of interest. Dr. Stranges will lecture on flying saucers. 
A review with details of the movie, from the Citizen Times (Cedar Rapids, Iowa,) July 13, 1966:
A Documentary on UFO's ...after 21 years of research Dr. Frank E. Stranges... has produced a UFO color documentary entitled "Phenomena 7.7.' The strange title comes from equally strange information... UFO sightings have been reported to the U.S. Air Force and of these, 7.7 per cent still remain' classified as "unknown... unidentified." Phenomena... is an interesting and well-put-together documentary. Its main purpose is to inform rather than alarm, but in some places it falls short of this goal. Included are concepts and explanations from a variety of newscasters and for interesting viewing but this attempt to cover all phases of the mystery appears to lack any scientific basis. Highlights of the film include impressive film clips and color stills of UFO's that never before have been presented to a public audience, and reports from scientists and military officials on their theories and observances. 

An advertisement in Understanding published by Dan Fry, Volume 11 Number 6, June 1966 made the film sound sensational:
PHENOMENA 7.7 ... DOCUMENTARY-70 Minute, Full Color Motion Picture
concerning . . . Unidentified Flying Objects
by Dr. Frank E. Stranges, Michael Musto, Capt. Merle S. Gould, Wm. F. Paul
... YOU WILL SEE Actual Motion Pictures of ‘Unidentified Flying Objects’ never before viewed by any public audience. If You Do Not believe in the existence of ‘Flying Saucers’ you owe it to yourself to see “PHENOMENA 7.7.” Hear profound statements from those who have actually seen Unidentified Flying Objects!
Lonnie Zamora and the scene of his sighting.

Documenting the Socorro Saucer

Phenomena 7.7 included a rare filmed segment on one of the most compelling unexplained UFO sightings of all time, the 1964 Lonnie Zamora encounter in Socorro, New Mexico. The documentary is of particular interest to UFO historians for its color photography of the witness and the landscape surrounding the sighting, relatively close to the date of the original events.

The film may also shed some light on later theories about the UFO sighting being a hoax. Debunker Phil Klass' speculation about Socorro Mayor Holm Bursum, Jr being part of a scheme to bring tourists to the town had some reality behind it. The town leaders were banking on the movie, Phenomena 7.7 to bring in the tourists. Project Blue Book files contain Dr. J. Allen Hynek's letter on his March 1965 Socorro visit, where he wrote that Sgt. Sam Chavez  told him, "Zamora did not want to be in the picture, but it was at the Mayor's insistence, via his boss, that he consented to do so. I can't quite believe this myself. When I talked to Zamora later, he seemed to be reasonably pleased about being in the move." A later passage tells of the film producers promise to the town's Mayor in (the Socorro El Defensor Chieftan)
March 9 issue has a story "Film Studios Praise Cooperation Here in Film on UFO's." The letter received from Mr. Michael Musto, a letter sent to Mayor Holm O. Burson, stated, "Phenomena 7.7 is now completed. It will be viewed by countless millions of people throughout the world. It will open the door to facts heretofore shrouded in secrecy. It will prepare the entire human race for a better knowledge of the universe and possible neighbors who may have been observing our earth for centuries."
The Alamogordo Daily News from April 25, 1965, stated, "Posters are being planned by the Chamber of Commerce for placement within Socorro businesses to alert tourists to the town’s claim to fame. A portion of a movie on UFO’s was filmed earlier this year at Socorro. Much of the town’s hope for additional tourist dollars is based on this film, which Empire Films Studio of Hollywood had planned to premier at Socorro soon." 

Sadly, the film did not get national distribution, so the tourism Socorro hoped for did not materialize. It was instead shown at Stranges' UFO lectures and in smaller venues. From the San Jose State College newspaper, the Spartan Daily for May 24, 1966:

NICAP, The Silence Group?

 The UFO Investigator, Nov./Dec. 1965
 In 2014, UFO historian Isaac Koi searched for information on the Stranges film. He shared the most detailed description of it at The UFO Collective, an article from The UFO Investigator from November/December 1965 by the National Investigations Committee On Aerial Phenomena, NICAP.  In 1965, Donald Keyhoe and NICAP had great influence, so it is possible their disapproval and condemnation of the film contributed its failure to reach a mass audience. The entire piece is reproduced below:

 Film '7.7' Disappointment 

In Vol. Il, No. 2, we announced that a documentary film built around the UFO landing at Socorro, N. M. in April 1964, would be released in 1965 and might have a strong impact because the AF has accepted the report by Socorro Police Officer Lonnie Zamora as genuine and has stated that he saw an "unknown vehicle." 

We regret that our expectations were not fulfilled. The Socorro case is treated, briefly no mention is made of the AF conclusion. Instead, the film has a commercial twist, showing motel and restaurant owners as highly pleased that so many tourists come to see the landing site. 

But this is not the worst. The film, we have learned, was produced by "Dr." Frank. Stranges, evangelist, who frequently uses contactee stories in platform discussions of UFOs. Several years ago, before NICAP knew of Stranges' activities, he became a NICAP member. Later, he claimed personal friendship with the director, though they had never met, and implied NICAP approval of his contactee reports. NICAP canceled his membership, returned his fee, and has disavowed any approval of his UFO claims. 

The 7.7 film (referring to the approximate AF percent of unsolved UFO cases) includes shots of various contactees, including Dan Fry, who claims a remote controlled flying saucer landed near him in the desert, took him aboard and flew him to New York; also George van Tassel, builder of a so-called 'rejuvenation machine', which allegedly resulted from information given him by outer space beings. Also appearing in the film is a shot of an attractively dressed blond busily taking notes - UFO connection not mentioned. NICAP representatives present said the press seemed more amused than impressed. 

But the most unfortunate angle is that the film is narrated by Los Angeles columnist George Todt, who has written many fine, factual columns supporting NICAPs investigation over a period of years. Mr. Todt has an excellent record in WW II; as a broadcaster and newspaperman; he has fought Communism, opposed suppression of UFO information and has crusaded for another important American objectives. We are sure that Mr. Todt was completely unaware of the producer's background or the nature of the film when he signed up as narrator. 

In the press showing mentioned, Empire Studios publicity men stated the narrator was the 'personal representative of Major Donald E. Keyhoe' implying approval of the film. Under the circumstances, NICAP must put these points on record: 
1. Neither NICAP nor the director was ever consulted about the film. 
2. When we first mentioned it, we did not know the producer. 
3. Although Mr. Todt has been a good friend to NICAP, and he served as a public relations adviser, he is not the personal representative of the director, and he has not been authorized to mention NICAP Or the director in regard to this film. 

We have heard '7.7' is being offered for TV use and we have informed network heads of the facts. 

If 'Phenomena 7.7' is scheduled at your local theater please show this statement to the manager and to newspaper film reviewers, to prevent NICAP's being untruthfully linked with this film.
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The Vinyl Disc 

The 1966 record, Flying Saucers Unlimited, is listed as being based on the motion picture Phenomena 7.7, but seems to be mainly a recorded lecture of Frank Stranges. 
Flying Saucers Unlimited
The record seems to have reached more people than the film, and luckily it has been preserved. This link will allow you to hear it:

Television: Flying Saucers- Here and Now

Frank E. Stranges, as seen in a clip from the TV show, UFO
Frank Stranges also filmed a pilot episode in Chicago for an ambitious television series, Flying Saucers- Here and Now.

Flying Saucers International No 26, March 1968
It was a promising series, the premise was to base the show on the files of the late Frank Edwards, and the series name was taken from his second best-selling UFO book. Saucers were a hot property in the 1960s, and the trade magazines made note of the show's production.
Broadcasting, March 4, 1968
The May 1968 issue of Dan Fry's Understanding carried a notice about his part in the show:
Daniel Fry, Contactee
On March 26th our Founder-President, Dr. Daniel W. Fry, flew to Chicago for the filming of his particular contribution to a proposed TV series entitled "FLYING SAUCERS, HERE AND NOW."
This series is being produced by Mr. Cy Newman and hosted by Dr. Frank E. Stranges. It is expected the series will be a continuation of the Frank Edwards Program.
We alert you to check your TV programs for this program. Although neither dates nor TV affiliates have yet been announced it is "reported" that 34 stations have evidenced interest in the subject matter to be offered.

Other guests filmed were Carroll Wayne Watts and his wife, Rosemary from Loco, Texas. Watts was involved in a famous contact/abduction case that made headlines in early 1968. Flying Saucers- Here and Now, if it has survived, may be the only film recording of Watts' story, possibly valuable evidence in the study of abduction testimony.

Not everyone took the news well or was looking forward to the series. The MUFON Journal to-be, Skylook, in their May 1968 issue panned the show in advance.

Skylook, May 1968
Like Phenomena 7.7., the pilot for Flying Saucers- Here and Now was shown at Dr. Stranges' flying saucer lectures and conferences.

Spartan Daily (San Jose, CA) Nov. 16, 1970

What became of the films?

A TV Guide listing for early 1969 indicates the movie and TV pilot may have been edited together for at least one broadcast on KEMO-TV Channel 20; San Francisco, CA:

DOCUMENTARY TWENTY  [color] "Flying Saucers Here and Now.” A report on the UFO sightings 1952-1968, includes stills and film clips of the objects and and interviews with persons who saw them. Dr. Frank E. Stranges, head of the national investigations on UFO's, is the host.  
The next listing for the channel suggest the broadcast was 2 hours long.

Phenomena 7.7 was shown (perhaps for the lat time) at the 1971 Giant Rock convention in California, and James W. Moseley who was between Saucer News and Saucer Smear was there with Gray Barker , and Moselry reported on the scene, including a passage on Dr. Stranges' lecture and his film:

Saucers, Space & Science # 60, 1971 PDF at AFU
The last known showing of the TV pilot was described in the Valley News from Van Nuys, California, February 22, 1973:
Unidentified Flying Objects" will be the subject of the family night meeting of Boy Scout Troop 133 tomorrow at 6:30 o'clock at the Northridge United Methodist Church, 9650 Reseda Blvd., according to Scoutmaster Hal Holoter. Dr. Frank E. Stranges, international director of the National Investigations Committee on UFOs, headquartered in Van Nuys, will present a lecture titled "The World of UFOs." He will also show a portion of a color television series called "Flying Saucers -- Here and Now," with sound film showing actual UFO footage. 
Contacting the company that produced the television show revealed that they no longer had the pilot or any records about it. Dr. Stranges' National Investigations Committee on Unidentified Flying Objects still has a website, and it offers a few DVDs, but when contacted in 2012, said, they "only have orig 35 mm of Phenomena 7.7.  Sorry." It's possible then, that the film can be rescued from obscurity. There were no leads found on the fate of the television pilot.

There's a chance, though that someone reading this may own a copy of the documentaries and be prompted to share it so these films are not lost to UFO researchers and historians. If you have information on any of these films, please contact us at The Saucers That Time Forgot, and we will put in touch with capable archivists.  

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