Friday, September 29, 2017

Captured Flying Saucers: The North Hollywood Disc, July 10, 1947


July 10, 1947, The News-Palladium from Benton Harbor, Michigan reported an Associated Press wire story:


North Hollywood, Calif., July 10 - A saucer-shaped mechanical contraption, resembling a chicken-brooder top with a few gadgets added, was found in a geranium bed at the home of construction engineer Russell Long last night and the first official reaction was from Fire Battalion Chief
Wallace E. Newcombe, who looked at it skeptically, and said:
"It doesn't look to me like it could fly."
Long called the Van Nuys fire department and excitedly pointed to the metal saucer, 30 inches in diameter, which he said had been belching smoke from two exhaust pipes and emitting a blue-white glare.

The Southeast Missourian, July 10, 1947

The Federal Bureau of Investigation had a look at the device:





This news stories shows that Russell Long's discovery of a counterfeit disc was just one of many in the first few weeks of 1947's flying saucer fever.

San Bernardino Sun, July 11, 1947

"Among the many "hoax' saucers was this fraud found in a North Hollywood yard. It was made of galvanized iron, a radio tube, a piece of pipe."  Saturday Evening Post, May 7, 1949 

Fire Battalion Chief Wallace E. Newcombe, "It doesn't look to me like it could fly."
PROJECT 1947 - Saturday Evening Post - May 7, 1949 
"What You Can Believe About Flying Saucers" 


The object was determined to be of Earthly origin, but the identity of the hoaxer was not determined, so in that regard, the case remains unsolved.

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.



Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Gen. Curtis LeMay on UFOs over Ancient Egypt


General Curtis LeMay was a larger than life figure who rose to prominence through his command of bombers in the second World War, and and afterwards for his development of the United States’ armed warfare during the Cold War. For an overview of his military career, see the biography at the Air Force’s site

Time, Sept 4, 1950

To UFO buffs, Gen. LeMay is best known for his role in the anecdote that Senator Barry Goldwater told. Here’s a version of it in a Goldwater letter from April 22, 1980. 
Many years ago when I first heard that the Air Force was putting together what materials they could on the on a unidentified flying objects, I asked General Curtis Lemay if I might visit the room at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base where these items are stored. He told me in no uncertain terms that I could not visit it and, furthermore, that he could not visit it either. After that I just left it alone and forgot about it. However, I believe that the material has now been spread around into different archives of the Air Force.   (File 1980-3 at PresidentialUFO.com
By 1994, the story was expanded to include Goldwater wanting to know about a captured alien spaceship.
“I called Curtis LeMay and I said, ‘General, I know we have a room at Wright-Patterson where you put all this secret stuff. Could I go in there?’ I’ve never heard him get mad, but he got madder’n Hell at me, cussed me out, and said, ‘Don’t ever ask me that question again!’” Larry King show, 19994, CNN


The Horse's Mouth

Second-hand stories are not as good as direct quotes, but over his many years of service, Gen. LeMay didn't say much about UFOs. What little he did say is worth looking at carefully. An indirect, but on-the-record passage from Saturday Evening Post,  May 7, 1949 “What You Can Believe About Flying Saucers” (Conclusion) by Sidney Shalett:
“Lt. Gen. Curtis E. LeMay, now the tough-minded Strategic Air Command boss, was particularly rough on saucer reports when he headed up the Air Force's research-and-development program at the height of the scare. He put his weather expert on the trail, and substantial proof was uncovered that one out of six of the then current crop of reports could be traced to a certain type of aluminum-covered radar-target balloon then in wide use. LeMay said nothing for publication, but soon thereafter, when a certain lieutenant colonel gave out a lulu of a story on how he, too, had seen flying saucers, the general rebuked him blisteringly by telegram ... and sent, it collect.”

Remarks at a Rodeo

Two military celebrities were invited as guest of honor to festivities in Tucson, Arizona, Curtis LeMay and General Roger Ramey, famous in ufology for being involved in a 1947 New Mexico flying saucer misidentification case.
LeMay, (L) and Ramey
Tucson Daily Citizen, Saturday, February 25, 1950 Page 7, 
Top Officers Of Air Force Tucson Guests 
Two of the U. S. air force's top officers, Lt. Gen. Curtis E, LeMay and Maj. Gen. Roger M. Ramey, fly into Tucson today for a week end as special guests of Davis-Monthan base and the Tucson Chamber of Commerce... High lights of their visit include... a box of honor at La' Fiesta de los Vaqueros (Tucson Rodeo) Sunday afternoon.” 
La' Fiesta de los Vaqueros 
Eight years later, a comment made that weekend by Gen. LeMay on flying saucers was resurrected, in a story titled, "Maybe There Is A Santa Claus?" Summarized here from Loren Gross' UFOs: A History 1958 March - April:

The Arizona Daily Star printed: "When, in an interview here in Tucson, Sen. Barry Goldwater said he believed in flying saucers, he presumed something that his boss in the Air Force, Deputy Chief of Staff Gen. Curtis Le May, former chief of the Strategic Air Force, once denied in an interview in Tucson a few years ago. At that time, when General Le May was asked if he thought there was such a thing as flying saucers, his answer to the Arizona Daily Star was: 'Of course I do, they were first discovered by the Egyptians more than 2,000 years ago.' He then went on to explain that every incident of flying saucers had been investigated by the Air Force, and that in each case a reasonable explanation was found that discredited completely the existence of any such things as flying saucers." (Arizona Daily Star, April 11, 1958)

That is one of the most confusing articles we’ve ever seen on UFOs, but further research reveals it to be a seriously mangled misquote of what LeMay had said. Closer to the truth is the Associated Press story run at the time in the Arizona Republic, Monday, February 27, 1950, Page 4, and rerun the next day, Tuesday, Feb. 28, 1950,  Page 12

 Gen. Curtis LeMay, asked what he thought about flying saucers, replied: 
"The best information in my opinion on them is to be found in a book written by an Englishman explaining numerous such mysteries. He says that the first flying saucers were seen in Egypt about the year 3,000 B. C."
The article closes with some more of his comments, clarifying his position:
LeMay said the air force took the matter seriously enough to make a thorough scientific investigation at Wright Field, Dayton, O. This investigation, he said, showed that there was some other explanation, like a weather balloon or a meteor, where the witnesses were telling the truth. "And," he added, "some other witnesses were just lying in giving their testimony.”

Arizona Republic, Feb. 28, 1950
Interesting quote, but despite the fact that almost any mention of saucers was newsworthy, it didn’t catch on at the time. 

LeMay wasn’t prepared for a press conference, and may have just been speaking of the top of his head. There were no (non-fiction) books published on flying saucers until later in 1950, and it was even later before skeptical ones appeared. It’s most likely he used he used the phrase “flying saucer” in the generic context as an aerial anomaly. However, the “explaining such mysteries” part is odd, too, since most books on weird things were more about exploitation than explanation.

Major Donald Keyhoe's famous article "The Flying Saucers are Real" in TRUE Magazine dated January 1950 suggested that saucers had been coming here for centuries, and that was evidence they were real, spacecraft here to observe us.
"... True found that such reports have been recorded for more than 175 years... Advocates of the 'long observation' theory believe that only a few round trips by space visitors have been made in the past, because of the travel time required."
LeMay's quote seems intended to say just the opposite, that people have been seeing unknown things in the sky since at least as far back as 3,000 B.C., meteors, comets and other natural occurrences. LeMay was saying, the flying saucers are not real.

Whose Book did LeMay cite?

The last part of LeMay's remarks about the Air Force saying there was standard policy, but not the part about Egypt. There's no reference in the Project Blue Book files to anything similar. What book? “ ... written by an Englishman explaining numerous such mysteries.”


There was a piece in a 1947 science fiction magazine published by Ray Palmer that connected Egypt with saucers. It's an interesting footnote, but not connected to LeMay's comment. The artwork for the story carried the blurb, "Will the ancient gods of Egypt and other lost civilixations come back in time to avert an atom war?" From "Son of the Sun." by Millen Cooke (as Alexander Blade) illustrated by James Settles.  Fantastic Adventures Vol.9. No.7. November 1947. 

Egypt? Many early flying saucer articles looked back a few centuries comparing other aerial mysteries to saucers, and a few even connected them to the Bible, like the wheel described in the Book of Ezekiel. In fact, that's the only reference to ancient times in Edward J. Ruppelt,'s 1956 on the AF's investigation, 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."
Asking around, I've gotten a number of suspects, but most authors didn't fit the timing; only books published prior to Feb. 1950 could work. What follows are the best candidates located that remain as possibilities.

Rupert T. Gould, author of Oddities and Enigmas is a strong candidate. He's British, the topic and time fits, and it's plausible that LeMay would actually have read this author. There seems to be nothing on Egyptian "saucers," though. Gould writes about the “Canals on Mars,” but otherwise about the closest he gets to UFOs is a discussion of the Tunguska event in the chapter, “The Siberian Meteorite,” of his book, The Stargazer Talks.

R. DeWitt Miller's Forgotten Mysteries was out in early 1947, and can almost be considered the first UFO book, with its chapter “Enigmas Out of Space.” It told of aerial apparitions from centuries past, but it featured none over Egypt, and Miller was an American. The book was cited in the media in connection with the flying saucer mystery and helped lay the foundation for the ancient astronaut notions.

Charles Fort? Not English, not explaining mysteries, but a good possibility. Fort’s books contain many accounts of UFO-type stories, but most of those were collected from newspaper accounts, not ancient history or legends. LeMay could have been familiar with Fort, though, even if it was second-hand. We know the Air Force examined Fort’s works, even though their astronomer, J. Allen Hynek, regarded them as "highly dubious."
https://www.fold3.com/image/1/11885611

Gould, Miller, and Fort are the top three candidates for the "Englishman" with Egyptian saucers, but none quite match.  Searching for the book has stumped the experts so far. Besides searching individual volumes, databases and newspaper archives and the project published in 1969 to assist the government's Condon Committee's UFO studies was also consulted.
UFOs and Related Subjects: An Annotated Bibliography, which the Library of Congress describes as "Compiled by Lynn E. Catoe of the Library's Science and Technology Division, the bibliography was produced with support provided by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, a unit of the Office of Aerospace Research, the research agency of the U. S. Air Force." It's a great source to locate early saucer literature, but no matches were found. (Link to the PDF of Catoe's bibliography.

Joshua Blu Buhs of the Fortean history blog From an Oblique Angle suggests Rupert T. Gould as the best fit, but with a dash of imagination from LeMay: "...I'll bet that LeMay conflated what Gould wrote with other stuff in the papers--there had been a number of articles mentioning flying saucers that might date back for centuries." That's possible, or LeMay may have been confusing the writings of Rupert T. Gould and Charles Fort. 

Saucers in ancient Egypt would later enter ufology in 1953 by way of a hoax, a fleet of “fire circles” described in the “Tulli Papyrus.” The tale surfaced in the Fortean journal, Doubt, and was assimilated into saucer lore, included in Desmond Leslie and George Adamski’s Flying Saucers Have Landed.

Conclusively identifying Gen. LeMay’s source may not bring us any closer to solving the UFO mystery, but it’s interesting to know what literature influenced the thinking of the leaders in charge of the US Air Force. 

If this unidentified volume is not already included in the bibliography of important Fortean and UFO books, it deserves to be. If you can help clear up the identity of LeMay's the mystery book, please send us a note at The Saucers That Time Forgot.



https://www.fold3.com/image/1/12427804

 Epilogue

Popular Science, January 1966 article, “Why I Believe In Flying Saucers” by MacKinlay Kantor. It contains an excerpt from the book he co-authored with Gen. LeMay, Mission with LeMay: My Story. Comparing it with his 1950 comments, it seems clear that while he may not have believed in the reality of flying saucers, he didn't think all the people who reported seeing them were kooks.
Popular Science, Jan. 1966
http://www.nicap.org/waves/1966PSWhyIBelieve.pdf

For more history and speculation on the role of General Curtis E. LeMay in the UFO story, see the 2012 book, UFOs and Government: A Historical Inquiry.

A big STTF thanks to all that offered help and suggestions in fielding suspects, especially researchers Barry Greenwood, Martin Kottmeyer, Clas Svahn , Jason Colavito, and Joshua Blu Buhs.



P.S.  Some early suspects that have been eliminated:

The Flying Saucer by Benard Newman, 1948. n Englishman, and the topic is right, but the book is fiction and there's nothing about ancient UAPs. Notable for being the first flying saucer book, however, it's a thriller about a hoaxed invasion by scientists manipulating peace on Earth.

Worlds in Collision by Immanuel Velikovsky. This crackpot book does mention as the planet Venus as a comet in ancient Egypt, but it's unlikely reading material for LeMay, and eliminated for being published in April 1950, two months after his comments.

The Riddle of the Flying Saucers: is Another World Watching? by Gerald Heard was published in the UK in 1950, but not in the US until 1951.  It's also missing the crucial Egypt material.

Harold T. Wilkins was English, wrote several sensational "non-fiction" about pirate treasures, lost civilizations and Atlantis (before turning to saucers in 1954). He would be just the sort to connect Egypt to aerial wonders like flying saucers, but no contemporary text doing so has been located. 

Friday, September 22, 2017

UFOs, Hollywood & The Outer Limit Legacy

Flying Saucers, the Atomic Bomb and Doomsday: The Outer Limit (Part 1 of 5)
The Outer Limit by Graham Doar: The UFO Parable (Part 2 of 5)
Radio, Television & The Outer Limit Legacy (Part 3 of 5)
Ufology & The Outer Limit Legacy (Part 4 of 5)


In our previous installments, we looked at how the 1949 science fiction short story, "The Outer Limit" by Graham Doar influenced ufology, and in the finale, we look at its impact on popular culture via entertainment, chiefly motion pictures.

Flying Disc Man from Mars



Flying Disc Man from Mars is worth a mention, even though it's probably not derived from Doar's story. It is a movie serial from Republic recycling Martian invaders, but it's the first film to connect them to flying saucers, and more importantly for our study, atomic weapons. The invader Mota from Mars is spying on our atomic developments, is shot down and his saucer crashes.
  "...Mota reveals his objectives: it seems that Mars, disturbed by Earth’s discovery of the atomic power that Mars has possessed for over a century, is determined to make sure that the upstart Earthlings do not endanger the rest of the solar system with their newfound knowledge."  From the summary of  Flying Disc Man from Mars by Jerry Blake.

The idea of the Earth's nuclear weapons posing a threat to the universe was catching on. Fawcett Comics (publisher of Captain Marvel Adventures) in Don Winslow of The Navy #66, March 1951, presented, "The Great Solar Mystery." The US has built a saucer of their own to investigate the UFO mystery. Flying it to the planet Venus, Don Winslow discovers an ancient advanced civilization there. Once again, as in Doar's story, space pacifists are willing to destroy the Earth. 
Click here for larger version.
The leader of the council explains, "You are working now on the Hydrogen bomb! If you detonate that-- the explosive chain might destroy the universe!" In this case, they were executing Earth without notice, but in the end, Winslow persuades them not to murder us by promising he'll alert Earth to the dangers of the bomb.

The Day the Earth Stood Still 



"Farewell to the Master" by Harry Bates was first published in the October 1940 issue of Astounding Science Fiction. (http://www.digital-eel.com/blog/library/Farewell_to_the_Master.pdf )
The story is told from the point of view of reporter Cliff Sutherland. A strange ovoid ship travels through space and time to suddenly appear on the grounds near the Capitol in Washington, DC.
There's not much about peace in the original story, just the implied intentions of Klaatu upon emerging from the spaceship:
"It was immediately apparent to all the assembled thousands that the stranger was friendly. The first thing he did was to raise his right arm high in the universal gesture of peace; but it was not that which impressed those nearest so much as the expression on his face, which radiated kindness, wisdom, the purest nobility. In his delicately tinted robe he looked like a benign god."
His companion is a giant man-shaped robot mad of green metal. "I am Klaatu, and this is Gnut." He gets out one sentence before being shot dead by a deranged man who thought "the devil had come to kill everyone on Earth." After the tragic incident the robot is motionless and the authorities build a  mausoleum for Klaatu and extended a wing from the museum to house Gnut and the ship.


Gnut, the star of Farewell to the Master
Sutherland discovers that Gnut is not inactive, but moves unobserved by night, but his actions are unfathomable. Eventually Sutherland sees that Gnut has managed to make a copy of Klaatu using a an imperfect recording, but he dies. Sutherland retrieves a recording in the hopes it will allow Gnut to create a permanent copy of copy of Klaatu. Gnut takes the recording but somberly, but delivers the line that provides the story's surprise ending. The message of the story seems to be that we are not the ultimate form of life or civilization- or something.

An interesting bit of saucer trivia: In the original story, Klaatu's spaceship is not a flying, nor a  saucer. It's perhaps more egg-shaped, we only have a mention of "the ship's curving ovoid surface." Maybe it's more of a time machine, or a time-space ship, since it's never seen flying. "On the area just to your right, just as it is now, appeared the time-space traveler. It appeared in the blink of an eye. It did not come down from the sky; dozens of witnesses swear to that; it just appeared. One moment it was not here, the next it was." When Hollywood got a hold of it, they'd make it a flying saucer.

Farewell to the Master: The Motion Picture

The Day the Earth Stood Still was released Sept. 1951 from 20th Century Fox. The screenplay was based on "Farewell to the Master," but Edmund H. North's screenplay was informed by other science fiction tales. The script was completed by Aug. 8, 1950 and a memo from by Darryl F. Zanuck on the 10th suggested revisions, including a title change. "Has the title The Man from Mars been used?"

Edmond H. North described how the screenplay developed in a 1986 interview, published in From Words into Images: Screenwriters on the Studio System by Ronald L. Davis:
"That was a short story by Harry Bates. It had the basic idea of a spaceship landing in Washington and the man aboard getting out. But then the story also had strange animals – gorillas and panthers and all kinds of things – that I really couldn't use in my script. So I had to start pretty much from scratch to develop a set of characters and a story. By the time I finished the script the Korean war had broken out. Julian Blaustein, the producer, and I went in for our final conference with the Zanuck with fear and a great deal of trepidation (that it would scuttle the project)."
In America's Film Legacy: The Authoritative Guide to the Landmark Movies in the National Film Registry,  Daniel Eagan wrote that Julian Blaustein was inspired by newspaper stories about the negative reception to the efforts of the United Nations to promote peace.
"He knew a science-fiction framework could disguise didactic intentions, and had Fox readers search for a story he could adapt to these purposes. In interviews he claimed to have read over two hundred stories and scripts before settling on "Farewell to the Master," a pulp story by Harry Bates published in the October 1940 issue of Astounding Stories magazine. Blaustein assigned a screenwriter Edmund H. North to the project, specifying changes in the plot and fleshing out the characters with the author."
 While searching for story material, they seem to have drawn heavily on The Green Man by Harold Sherman. Numar was a peaceful messianistic messenger who came to Earth in a spaceship, and he had the power to make our technology stand still. For the key motivation in the plot, they turned to Doar's "The Outer Limit," for an ultimatum from an interplanetary force policing space and eliminating worlds that threaten the peace.

In The Day the Earth Stood Still , It sounds a lot like Xeglon's warning when Klaatu tells Professor Barnhardt: 
"We know from scientific observation that you have discovered a rudimentary kind of atomic energy. We also know that you are experimenting with rockets... in the hands of your people-- We've observed your aggressive tendencies, and we don't trust you with such power...So long as you were limited to fighting among yourselves -- with your primitive tanks and planes -- we were unconcerned. But soon you will apply atomic energy to space ships -- and then you become a threat to the peace and security of other planets. That, of course, we cannot tolerate."
Peace through gunboat diplomacy in our time.
At the end of the film, Klaatu delivers the ultimatum to the people of Earth: 
"We have an organization for the mutual protection of all planets -- and for the complete elimination of aggression. A sort of United Nations on the Planetary level... The test of any such higher authority, of course, is the police force that supports it... (We) patrol the planets -- in space ships like this one -- and preserve the peace... It is no concern of ours how you run your own planet -- but if you threaten to extend your violence, this Earth of yours will be reduced to a burned-out cinder... live in peace, or pursue your present course and face obliteration. We shall be waiting for your answer. The decision rests with you."
In "The Outer Limit," we're told the Earth would be "a roaring ball of flame," if atomic bombs were used again. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, they say. Klaatu, in turn, would inspire others.


Other Brothers from Space

The Gazette and Daily, Nov. 7, 1955, 

Xeglon may have begat Klaatu, and Klaatu begat Orthon, and Orthon begat the Stranger from Venus.
George Adamski's book partner had his own version of Klaatu from The Day the Earth Stood Still in Stranger from Venus, a 1954 low-budget movie known in the the US as Immediate Disaster. In Keep Watching the Skies!: American Science Fiction Movies of the Fifties, Bill Warren says, "The Stranger is the advance man for the Venusians, who fear we are going to get out of hand with our use of atomic power and that we will blast our planet out of its orbit, which would upset the balance of the solar system." Or, as Orthon might say, "Boom!"

Stranger from Venus, aka Immediate Disaster, aka Venus Nos Ataca
In the 1951 adaptation for the TV series Out There, the abducted pilot was named Peter Graves. in this movie, the hero is played by actor Peter Graves.


The 1954 film, Killers from Space, has some very strong similarities to Doar's story, but lacks the central idea of the aliens delivering an ultimatum. It's not an adaptation, but it's certainly possible it "inspired" it. Here, it's just some space invaders with a plan to conquer using atomically-mutated giant critters. It does, however, feature a more complete model for the typical alien abduction scenario, including a mysterious medical procedure that leaves an unexplained scar.



It's been speculated that the name of Doar's story may have inspired the title of ABC's 1963 The Outer Limits science fiction television series after the network rejected the original choice, Please Stand By.  We can almost imagine that it's Xeglon as the imperious Control Voice:
"There is nothing wrong with your television set. Do not attempt to adjust the picture. We are controlling transmission... You are about to experience the awe and mystery which reaches from the inner mind to – The Outer Limits."



There may even be an echo of "The Outer Limit" in Carl Sagan's1985 book and 1997 movie, Contact. There is no physical evidence of either alien encounter, but there's a puzzle. In Doar's story it's the return of the ship hours after it should have run out of fuel. In Contact, despite what the occupant(s) of the interstellar experiences, the device seems to go nowhere. However, the video cassette that was supposed to document the encounter inexplicably recorded 18 hours of static.

There's even a reflection of "the Outer Limit" in the 1996 Star Trek movie First Contact, but it leads to a happier ending. Instead of the atom bomb, it was the development of warp drive engines that attracted the our Vulcan space brothers to visit Earth. A historic day for the future:

...a Vulcan survey ship, the T'Plana-Hath, having detected the warp signature of the Phoenix, touched down in Bozeman, central Montana, where they met with the Phoenix's designer and pilot, Zefram Cochrane. This event was generally referred to as the defining moment in Human history, eventually paving the way for a unified world government and, later, the United Federation of Planets. (From Fandom Memory Alpha.)


Art Imitates Life, Life Imitates Art, and Hollywood Imitates Anything.

The ultimate UFO movie in many people's' minds is Steven Spielberg's Close Encounters of the Third Kind. The movie presents a fictionalized potpourri of UFO history and folklore in a dramatic setting that culminates with the arrival of the "mothership" that seems to prove everything, while still remaining enigmatic. 
In CE3K, the first to emerge from the mothership are the abducted pilots.

 CE3K does not appear to draw directly from "The Outer Limit," but there's a connection ,even if it's a distant one. At the Devil's Tower scene at the end of the film, many abductees are returned to Earth, some missing for decades, but all apparently back as young as the day they were taken. Some of the returned were were military pilots, who had mysteriously vanished while in flight. Doar's story didn't feature a mothership, but the extraterrestrial craft was huge, big enough to swallow the pilot's experimental jet-plane. More important was the nature of the aliens, who in Doar's story "seemed friendly, even gentle," which is exactly the message of Spielberg's film. 

Your Stupid Minds!

Going back to the future and the 1950s with the psychic Criswell, Ed Wood used a similar plot device for his science fiction epic. In the 1959 classic, Plan 9 From Outer Space, the motivation for the flying saucer invasion was to stop the bombIn Wood's film, the aliens are again the heroes, here to stop us from destruction. Commander Eros sent a message to Earth, and the recording warned:
"This is Eros, a space soldier from a planet of your galaxy... We do not want to conquer your planet. Only save it. We could have destroyed it long ago, if that had been our aim. Our principal purpose is friendly. I admit, we have had to take certain means which you might refer to as criminal, but that is because of your big guns which have destroyed some of our representatives. If you persist in denying us our landings, then we must only accept that you do not want us on friendly terms. We then have no alternative but to destroy you before you destroy us. With your ancient, juvenile minds, you have developed explosives too fast for your minds to conceive what you were doing. You are on the verge of destroying the entire universe. We are part of that universe."
Later in the film, Eros explains the escalating danger the Earth poses:
"First was your firecracker, a harmless explosive. Then your hand grenade. They began to kill your own people a few at a time. Then the bomb, then a larger bomb. Many people are killed at one time. Then your scientists stumbled upon the atom bomb. Split the atom. Then the hydrogen bomb, where you actually explode the air itself. Now you will make a bomb that  brings the destruction of the entire universe, served by our sun. The only explosion left is the solaronite."
Despite the aliens' ultimately peaceful intentions, their plan fails, and their ship is destroyed. The universe is left in danger that Earth will develop and use the solaronite bomb.

Graham Doar's "The Outer Limit "penetrated the public's consciousness early on, and will continue to echo throughout popular culture and ufology, now and into the future.
As Criswell said, "God help us... in the future."

With that, we'll close with the opening lines from Graham Doar's "The Outer Limit," The alien commander's status report:
Patrolship, SJ23, Galactic Guard, Sector K, reporting.... Pursuant to instructions, from the Central Council: Planet 3, Star 5, Galaxy C, Sector K has been placed under absolute quarantine. Notification to inhabitants made. Mission accomplished.                                                                                                                                         XEGLON, Commanding.
- - - 


References and Recommended Reading

"The Case of the Vanishing X-15 Pilot" by Curtis Peebles, Magonia 88, May 2005
http://magoniamagazine.blogspot.co.uk/2014/01/x15-pilot.html

"Abducted in Space: The Saturday Evening Post, Playboy and the Vanishing X-15 Pilot’s Return" by Curtis Peebles, Magonia 91, February 2006
http://magoniamagazine.blogspot.com/2014/01/abducted-in-space.html

"Ultimatum alla Terra" (aka "The Day the Earth Stood Still")
UFO.it, an Italian site, has an excellent article on the film.
http://www.ufo.it/ufo/2015/11/27/ultimatum-alla-terra-1951/#

"Graham Doar and the Collective Unconscious: How One Author Created the UFO Phenomenon We Know Today" by James E. Elfers 
https://www.scribd.com/document/60414342/Graham-Doar

Site with synopsis and links to several radio adaptations of "The Outer Limit":
http://www.escape-suspense.com/2008/12/escape-the-outer-limit.html

"The Day the Earth Stood Still "by John M. Miller
http://www.tcm.com/this-month/article/145423%7C0/The-Day-the-Earth-Stood-Still.html

"The Eyes Still Speak" by Martin Kottmeyer
http://www.reall.org/newsletter/v06/n05/eyes-still-speak.html

"Gauche Encounters: Bad Films and the UFO Mythos" by  Martin Kottmeyer
http://www.talkingpix.co.uk/ArticleGaucheEncounters.html

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Ufology, Contactees & The Outer Limit Legacy (Part 4 of 5)


Flying Saucers, the Atomic Bomb and Doomsday: The Outer Limit (Part 1 of 5)
The Outer Limit by Graham Doar: The UFO Parable (Part 2 of 5)
Radio, Television & The Outer Limit Legacy (Part 3 of 5)

In our previous installment, we looked at how "The Outer Limit" by Graham Doar, was adapted into radio and television, introducing millions in the audience to the concept of flying saucers with extraterrestrials abducting human beings. In this piece, we look at the lasting influence on the story on ufology.

Divided by dogma, but united by saucers.

The Outer Limit Legacy: Ufology

“The Outer Limit” by Graham Doar was hugely influential in shaping the public's thought about the possibility of extraterrestrial visitors being inside the flying saucers. It preceded the first depiction of saucers as alien craft in the movies, the 1950 serial, Flying Disc Man from Mars. It also introduced an alien abduction that resulted in the person returning with a loss of memory, some "missing time" they cannot account for. More importantly it established the idea that watchers from space disapproved of the Earth using nuclear weapons.

Curtis Peebles, in an article in Magonia 91, February 2006, "Abducted in Space: The Saturday Evening Post, Playboy and the Vanishing X-15 Pilot’s Return," described how Doar's story could have served as a primer for the Contactees in particular:
“The Outer Limit” also gives insights into the development of the flying saucer myth... Bill, like the later contactees, is carrying a celestial warning from the heavenly beings to stop nuclear testing. He, like the contactees, was also specially selected to be the messenger. In the Escape script. Zyll warns Westfall that atomic war “would upset the balance of the entire universe, throw all space into chaos.” The later contactees would have the ‘space brothers’ making similar comments. These story elements suggest that the ideas and concepts of a proto-contactee mythology already existed at the dawn of the flying saucer era. What the story lacks, however, is the mysticism of the contactees.
There's a taste of that proto-contactee mysticism seen in our prologue. In "The Outer Limit," the aliens might as well be God. They represent a higher authority, and the Earth is being penalized for breaking the law. It's an Old Testament kind of penalty that is at hand, the fiery end of the world.


Lay Off Making A-Bombs

Whether Doar's story directly influenced the development of ufology, it's a fact that the central concepts he presented were embraced in discussions of extraterrestrial visitors. When Major Donald Keyhoe expanded his True magazine article into the 1950 paperback book, The Flying Saucers are Real! he described a future scenario in which we were the aliens, watching Mars:
"Suppose for a moment that it happened many years from now... The first reaction would undoubtedly be... to find how far they had advanced with atomic bombs...It might take one hundred years--perhaps five hundred--before the Martians could be a problem. Eventually... Mars would send out space-ship explorers... discover that the earth was populated with a technically advanced civilization. Any warlike ideas they had in mind could be  quickly ended by a show of our superior space craft and our own atomic weapons--probably far superior to any on Mars. It might even be possible that by then we would have finally outlawed war; if so, a promise to share the peaceful benefits of our technical knowledge might be enough to bring Martian leaders into line. Regardless of our final decision, we would certainly keep a close watch on Mars--or any other planet that seemed a possible threat. Now, if our space-exploration program is just reversed, it will give a reasonable picture of how visitors from space might go about investigating the earth."

Even Donald Keyhoe's alleged sources were worried about aliens and the A bomb.  He wrote that a Washington official told him... 
"I'm not completely sold on the interplanetary answer. But assuming it's correct that we're being observed, I can think of a stronger reason than fear of some distant attack. Some atomic scientists say that a super-atomic bomb, or several set off at once, could knock the earth out of its orbit. It sounds fantastic, but so is the A-bomb. It's just possible that some solar-planet race discovered the dangers long ago. They would have good reason to worry if they found we were on that same track. There may be some other atomic weapon we don't suspect, even worse than the A-bomb, one that could destroy the earth and seriously affect other planets." The Flying Saucers are Real (p. 133-4).
Discussing UFOs in his 1953 book, Flying Saucers From Outer Space, Keyhoe repeated a discussed the frequency of green fireball UFOs around military installations in the Southwestern United States. He said,  "I know one astrophysicist who says they may be warnings for us to lay off making A bombs..."

From Xeglon to Orthon to the Stranger to Eros


In his 1953 book, George Adamski, Flying Saucers have Landed told of meeting a man from Venus that he'd later call Orthon, who seemed like a kinder, gentler Klaatu. The Venusian didn't speak English, so they communicated with an improvised sign language:
"He made me understand that their coming was friendly. Also, as he gestured, that they were concerned with radiations going out from Earth... But I persisted and wanted to know if it was dangerous to us on Earth as well as affecting things in space?
He made me understand—by gesturing with his hands to indicate cloud formations from explosions—that after too many such explosions... he said, ‘Boom! Boom!’ Then, further to explain himself... pointed to the Earth itself, and with, a wide sweep of his hands and other gestures that too many ‘Booms!’ would destroy all of this."
According to the site, Our Elder Brothers Return, 
Before becoming world famous for his books about his contacts with the Space Brothers in the 1950s, George Adamski (1891-1965) had already attracted a group of followers as a lecturer on esoteric philosophy in Laguna Beach, California. His lectures were broadcast on several local radio stations. In 1934 he founded The Royal Order of Tibet, which published this book expounding his philosophy of “Universal Law.” 
In  his 1936 book, Wisdom of the Masters of the Far East: Questions and Answers by Royal Order of Tibet, Adamski answers the question, What is the law of attraction? "This law of attraction is recognized by man in many separate faces of expression – gravitation, the affinity of Adams, military, etc. It is the force which keeps the universe in a total state of balance." 
Wisdom of the Masters of the Far East
Adamski seemed comfortable with blurring the lines between fact and fiction and science and religion. In his 1949 science fiction book, Pioneers of Space, Adamski said there was no war on Mars, but they "knew of the war we on Earth have just gone through. They got the picture of the Earth madness so well that they have a photograph of it here, showing airplanes flying above the Earth and blowing it up.As for A-bombs upsetting the balance, he mentioned it in more literal terms. Describing a visit to Mars' Temple of Science for a meeting with scientists, one of them spoke up:
"your Earth planet is slightly off-balance. It has been thrown off its natural axis by the exploding of powerful explosives and due to this there are going to be some atmospheric changes take place... You on Earth should be cautious in handling the new power called atomic power, since you have not yet found the element which goes into it which makes it serviceable but not dangerous..."

With this foundation, it's understandable why Adamski and the Contactees saw the destruction from the A-bomb as something that would cause a disturbance in the force and upset the balance of the universe. There were many others who emerged claiming contact who followed in Adamski's footsteps, from Howard Menger to George Hunt Williamson who warned, 
"Space visitors have said: 'It is not right that man should destroy his brother by utilizing the powerful forces of atomic energy, but the destruction you witness is minor, indeed, compared to the enormity of chaos created in the Microcosmos by the release of such energy!'" (Other Tongues, Other Flesh, 1953)
In Saucer News for June-July 1955, editor James W. Moseley offered some uncharacteristic political commentary on the saucer and Contactee scene:
"... let us all give some very serious consideration to the many alleged space men being called to the public's attention– all of whom invariably tell us of the dangers of war and the exploitation of atomic energy. No one desires peace any more sincerely then we do, but let us remember too that it is part of the Communist 'peace line' to frighten the American people into ceasing our atomic experiments. It is quite possible that some of these "space men" are unwittingly playing into the hands of the Communists."
The FBI may have thought so, too, and thought the Contactees might be spreading an un-American message, they kept an eye on them. From FBI a report on a lecture given by George Van Tassel on April 17, 1960, in Denver, Colorado.
Van Tassel's document begins at page 5 of this FBI file.

On the last page, the FBI agent recaps the key points:
"In summation, (Van Tassel's) speech was on these subjects: 
(1) Space people related to occurrences in Bible. 
(2) Atom bomb detrimental to earth and universe.
(3) Economy is poor and would collapse under ideas brought by space people. "




The interrupted journey of Bill during "The Outer Limit" seems to be a predecessor to the missing time episodes so often associated with UFO abductions. His memory of the events are incomplete, during the missing hours of his flight. In the case of Betty and Barney Hill's lost hours from 1961, John Fuller wrote in the The Interrupted Journey, "But most critical of all —what happened in the two hours when the Hills suffered double amnesia? What could have happened? What did happen?"

In 1967, Carroll Wayne Watts of Loco, Texas claimed a series of escalating encounters with Martians, and even took a few pictures along the way, and got to know them. "We think Aliens are peaceful, but will chase you if you run..." The Martians eventually persuaded him to come aboard their ship and submit to a physical examination, but he was examining them, too. "They were all about 4 feet high, with white or gray skin, broad flat noses, a thin line mouth, no hair and eye sockets that ran back nearly to their ears."
One of the most unusual features of the ship was a weapons or gun rack, perhaps an option for landings in rural Texas. After his alleged encounter, Watts said, they "knew that we were going to get to the moon,” and eventually Mars, and "they said they do not have war on their planet and they were going to have to do something to keep us from bringing it to them.” There was no mention of the A-bomb threat, but once again the aliens wanted to keep warlike man confined to his own planet. After publicizing the story and failing a polygraph test, Watts confessed it was all a hoax, but then some people will say anything.



The X-15 and The Outer Limit

Other than inspiring George Adamski and the Contactees, alien abduction lore and promoting the extraterrestrial hypothesis, "The Outer Limit" seeded another UFO story, but the atomic warning message was lost, leaving it a just jazzed up space age kidnapping story. It was presented in a early 1960s lecture at the Giant Rock UFO convention, and was later recounted in Firestorm: Dr. James E. McDonald's Fight for UFO Science by Ann Druffel, about how in 1968:
Dr. Robert M. Wood... was a physicist and a highly placed executive at McDonnell-Douglas. He was very active in UFO research in the southern California area...
He also told McDonald about an intriguing report he’d heard from a source he considered very reliable. It concerned Gene May, a Douglas test pilot, who had been involved with the X-15 experimental aircraft for several years. According to the story Wood heard, May had taken the experimental craft for a flight five to eight years ago with 15 minutes’ fuel in the X-15’s tank. Yet May didn’t land back at the airfield until three hours later. May allegedly reported he’d been taken aboard a UFO, X-15 and all! As a consequence, he was examined by psychologists at Edwards AFB. Wood’s reliable source was a colleague who worked at Vandenberg AFB who knew Gene May well. McDonald tucked the story in his journal, to be checked out later.
Gene May on the cover of Flying from Oct. 1951
 Dr. Bob Wood later was on the board of directors for the Mutual UFO Network, and their site states "Dr. Wood is uniquely qualified to provide credible analysis about the nature of the UFO reality." Be that as it may,  he missed the problems with the second-hand story he told McDonald. Chiefly, while Gene May was a test pilot, he never flew the X-15. Also, the story was pure science fiction.

Captian Edward Ruppelt wrote in the 1956 book, The Report on Unidentified Flying Objects, about how in the age of atomic uncertainty, some people were looking to the heavens above for reassurance:
... this "will to see" may have deeper roots, almost religious implications, for some people. Consciously or unconsciously, they want UFO's to be real and to come from outer space. These individuals, frightened perhaps by threats of atomic destruction, or lesser fears—who knows what—act as if nothing that men can do can save the earth. Instead, they seek salvation from outer space, on the forlorn premise that flying saucer men, by their very existence, are wiser and more advanced than we. Such people may reason that a race of men capable of interplanetary travel have lived well into, or through, an atomic age. They have survived and they can tell us their secret of survival. Maybe the threat of an atomic war unified their planet and allowed them to divert their war effort to one of social and technical advancement. To such people a searchlight on a cloud or a bright star is an interplanetary spaceship.

In our final installment, we'll look at
Hollywood & The Outer Limit Legacy (Part 5 of 5)

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