Friday, December 21, 2018

The Seventh-day Adventist Church's UFO Investigation


An unlikely source for UFO history that time forgot... a six-part series from 1961 in a religious magazine, the Seventh-day Adventist Church's Review and Herald. It was written by the editor, Francis David Nichol, in his attempt to find answers for his readers. 
In addition to the motley array of saucer club enthusiasts, mystics, and spiritists, there are other people, genuinely good people, sincere, hard-working citizens, some of them religious folks—a few even in the circle of our church—who are greatly impressed by the reports of UFO's and who think that they may be manifestations of evil spiritistic power, a proof of the nearness of the end of the world. For such people we have a sympathetic concern, and wish to make explicit that we consider them in an entirely different category from the run-of-the-mill flying saucer enthusiast. In fact, it is because of the letters of inquiry from some of our subscribers that I have made this investigation and here publish the report of my findings. 
Nichol's quest to get to the bottom of the flying saucer mystery caused him to to travel to interesting places and meet memorable people from UFO history. Nichol examined the Contactee tales, travelled to NICAP headquarters, the Pentagon, and in Ohio, dug through the filing cabinets of Project Blue Book. 

Bellow is a listing of the articles and links to PDFs of the Review and Herald issues where they are found. 

March 23, 1961 Part 1 
"What About Flying Saucers?"

March 30, 1961 Part 2 
"An Interview With a Flying Saucer 'Traveler'" 
Nichol interviewed Contactee, Dan Fry, and also discussed the "weird claims" of George Adamski. 

April 6, 1961 Part 3
"The National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena"
Nichol traveled to the NICAP HQ and met Richard Hall. "I can frankly say, after visiting them in their office, that they seem like very normal people who are honestly seeking to do a job they think needs to be done. Unfortunately... very fine people can honestly proceed on mistaken premises, and this I think is the case with NICAP. "
April 13, 1961 Part 4 
"Air Force Intelligence and Flying Saucers"
Nichol visited the Pentagon, then Wright-Patterson AFB to meet with Major Robert Friend and examine Project Blue Book case files.

April 20, 1961 Part 5
"Air Force Explanations of Flying Saucers"

April 27, 1961 Part 6
"Some Flying Saucer Cases Examined" 
In the final installment, Nichol discusses some cases and end with his The present series of articles has sought to answer the one prime question:
"Are the UFO's supernatural, interplanetary entities? The answer I must give, in the light of present
knowledge, is that..." For the rest of that thought, you'll have to read the article.

Epilogue: 1966

May 26, 1966 
"From the Editor's Mailbag" 
Nichol returned to the UFO topic in reply to a reader's question about recent sightings.

Francis D. Nichol died in June 1966. 

There were no further Review and Herald articles on UFOs until 1969.

Epilogue: 1969


February 27, 1969
"UFO's - P.S." 
In an editorial following the conclusion of the UFO study led by Dr. Edward Condon, Review and Herald returned to Nichol's UFO study. Editor Kenneth H. Wood examined what relation UFOs have to Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy writings, but left us wondering saying, 

"Soon enough the mysteries that here perplex us shall be made plain." 

Friday, December 7, 2018

Astronomer Arthur L. Draper on The UFO Mystery

Arthur L. Draper (R) and two Buhl Planetarium visitors
Arthur L. Draper was an astronomer and the the director of the Buhl Planetarium in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania from 1940 until the time of his death, 1967. In that role, he was often asked to comment about UFOs, and was quoted in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, July 2, 1947. His professional opinion was that people were misidentifying things in the sky due to the contagion of excitement over flying saucers. 
From our experience, we have found that one person can claim to have seen a phenomenon and countless other people will immediately "see" it also. It is the power of suggestion.
Nevertheless, Draper  encouraged people to keep looking, and to be interested in what could be discovered in the night sky. In 1950, Draper put together a program put for the planetarium, "The Mystery of the Flying Saucers," and a short article appeared in The Pittsburgh Press accompanied by a stunning UFO illustration by Nat Youngblood.




The Pittsburgh Press July 2, 1950


Draper's program was a big success and ran weekly from July to September of 1950.

Friday, November 23, 2018

1950s UFO Abductions with Dr. O.L. Jaggers



The coming of the flying saucers in 1947 were seen by some as the fulfillment of Biblical prophecy of the end times, “fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven...  in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars”  - Luke 21, King James Version. The thought was reflected in a song,  (When You See) Those Flying Saucers performed by The Buchanan Brothers, Oct. 27, 1947:
...those flying saucers may be just a sign...
So repent today, you’re running out of time

When you see a saucer fly like a comet through the sky

You should realize the price you’ll have to pay
You’d better pray to the Lord when you see those flying saucers
It may be the coming of the Judgment Day"

The previous STTF article, Signs: Ezekiel, the Bible and UFOs, recounted some early examples of the intersection of religion and saucers. This piece will examine how UFOs became a core part of the World Church led by Reverend Orval L. Jaggers

The Los Angeles Times April 19, 1952
Reverend O. L. Jaggers

Reverend Orval Lee Jaggers (1916 - 2004) was a contemporary of Billy Graham of Oral Roberts, and began his ministry as a successful traveling revival evangelist, complete with tent shows and healing the sick. In 1952 he opened the World Church in Los Angeles, which by 1956 boasted a membership over 10,000, and reached an even wider audience by via radio, television and occasional speaking tours. Jaggers also wrote over 300 short books on a number of modern concerns, from the threat of Communism to the Atomic bomb, immortality and flying saucers.


Rev. Jaggers was an associate editor to The Voice of Healing, the monthly inter-evangelical magazine of the Last-Day Sign-Gift Ministries. Their July 1950 issue featured an article “Prophetic Significance of The Flying Saucer” by editor Gordon Lindsay, and it’s very much in line with the message Jaggers incorporated into his ministry.
"God is determined to punish a race that has rejected Him and given themselves over so completely to evil and depravity. It would appear that the matter of the Flying Saucers is one more warning to the sinner to repent and get right with God before the horror of irremediable judgment strikes the earth."
It's valuable snapshot of how the public viewed the UFO phenomenon at the time, as a pervasive mystery seen by many people, the origin unknown. Lindsay and Jaggers leveraged that and turned the belief of the seen, saucers, into a tool for managing belief of the unseen, God and Heavenly matters.


UFOs became part of Rev. Jaggers’ sermons, as seen in the clipping above from the Los Angeles Times, May 3, 1952, on his sermon, “Flying Saucers.”

PDF of book at http://www.universalworldchurch.org/w/images/6/68/Flying_saucers.pdf
In 1952, Rev. Jaggers expanded the sermon into a 48-page book,  Flying Saucers!   In the book, Jaggers said:
Documentary evidence both from government sources and otherwise; prove beyond any shadow of a doubt, that the so-called FLYING SAUCERS ARE REAL.” He goes on to say that UFOs were described in several passages in the Bible, and that Ezekiel’s Wheel was a description of flying saucers.
There are two types of angelic beings one is the CHERUBIM or the “LIVING CREATURES” and the other is the SERAPHIM.
Jaggers explained that their appearance is a warning to the USA due to the moral decay of the nation:
BECAUSE OF AMERICA’S SINS… FLYING SAUCERS… THE CHERUBIM OR WHEEL IN THE MIDDLE OF A WHEEL, WITH SUPERSONIC AND SUPERNATURAL SPEED AND POWER, ARE FLYING OVER AMERICA AS A WARNING THAT THE JUDGMENTS OF GOD ARE ABOUT TO FALL ON THIS UNRIGHTEOUS NATION!
Later in 1952, Jaggers' sermon answers the question:
“Who Are the Little Men in the Flying Saucers?”

The Los Angeles Times Aug. 16, 1952
There was nothing in Rev. Jaggers'  book about abductions, but kidnappings by flying saucers became an important topic in his sermons in 1953.

Los Angeles Times Dec. 12, 1953
The article by Tony Breeden at the site Christian Exotheology, “The Preacher Who Believed That Flying Saucers Were Kidnapping Human Beings – in 1953,” suggests that Jaggers was inspired by reading the article by Leroy Thorpe, “Are the Flying Saucers Kidnapping Humans?” in the October 1953 issue of Man to Man magazine. The article was not based on contemporary accounts, just an undated recycling of a mysterious disappearance taken from one of Charles Fort’s books.

Winnipeg Free Press, June 12 1954
Flying saucers kidnapping humans didn’t fit well with Jaggers’ angel explanation, so he eventually revised his point of view to say that some saucers had little men - or even giants - inside.

Odessa American Sept. 9, 1955
"Irrefutable proof that flying saucers and little men in flying saucers do exist!"
Press-Courier (Oxnard, CA) Aug. 31, 1957
Flying Saucers were an integral part of Rev. Jaggers' teachings an in 1974, he reissued his 1952 book under a new title, revised to include modern UFO news clippings, U.F.O.s and the Creatures That Fly Them! Those teachings along with some other extreme departures from Biblical teachings caused a divide between the World Church and more conventional evangelists. 


Somewhere along the line, Rev. Jaggers picked up an impressive collection of degrees, Doctor of Science, Doctor of Biology and Divine Physics, Doctor of Literature, Doctor of Divinity, Doctor of Philosophy, Doctor of Nuclear Biology, Ph.D. Professor of Human Genetics - all  apparently granted by his University of the World Church.

1957, Miss Velma and Beyond

At the top: The Los Angeles Times June 30, 1956
The San Bernardino County July 22, 1957
In an epic ceremony in 1957, Jaggers married his cousin, known as “Miss Velma,” and the church performances became more theatrical and often featured her "soaring above the congregation" on horseback, in a chariot, spaceship, or dressed as an angel. Rev. Jaggers’ teachings were controversial and he had an adversarial relationship with the Pentecostal church and it was said that “his imagination went wild.” They couldn’t accept his claims that miracle healing oil flowed from his hands - or that his believers could attain physical immortality.


According to the biography of Jaggers at the site Healing and Revival, things took a turn for the worse in 1957. Miss Velma joined the ministry and “participated in all of his increasingly weird teachings and found her niche in odd theatrical productions.” ... (A financial fiasco) caused the church to decline and it never recovered. Jaggers was no longer a daily news item and his teachings became increasingly unbiblical and weird. He taught that God was created by space aliens.” 


The Universal World Church hosts a site devoted to the memory of  Rev. Dr. O. L. Jaggers, Dr. Miss Velma Jaggers, and it includes much valuable information from articles to videos of the Jaggers in lectures and television performances.
. . .


Other Sources and Further Reading

All Things Are Possible: The Healing and Charismatic Revivals in Modern America
by David Edwin Harrell, Jr, 1979 (At Google Books)

Biography of O.L. Jaggers: "Healing As A Means To An End"

“O. L. Jaggers: January 8, 1916 - January 10, 2004,” The Voice of Healing

“Prophetic Significance of The Flying Saucer” by Gordon Lindsay, The Voice of Healing, July 1950

“What is the Mystery of the Flying Saucers?” by Gordon Lindsay The Voice of Healing, Oct. 1952

“The Mystery of the Flying Saucers” by Gordon Lindsay The Voice of Healing, April 1954

“Further Developments On the Flying Saucers” by Gordon Lindsay The Voice of Healing, June 1954

Friday, November 9, 2018

1950 Disclosure: UFOs are Made in the USA


Henry J. Taylor was a major news commentator, and in 1950 he made an amazing announcement that flying saucers are real, and they are US military secret projects.

Hartford Courant, April 4, 1950
In chapter six of The Report on Unidentified Flying Objects, ex-Blue Book head, Edward Ruppelt described the conflicting information being published and broadcast about UFOs.
The subject took on added interest on the night of March 26, when a famous news commentator said the UFO's were from Russia. The next night Henry J. Taylor, in a broadcast from Dallas, Texas, said that the UFO's were Uncle Sam's own. He couldn't tell all he knew, but a flying saucer had been found on the beach near Galveston, Texas. It had USAF markings.
Two nights later a Los Angeles television station cut into a regular program with a special news flash; later in the evening the announcer said they would show the first photos of the real thing, our military's flying saucer. The photos turned out to be of the Navy XF-5-U, a World War II experimental aircraft that never flew.
The public was now thoroughly confused.
Taylor's story was widely heard and read, and was reprinted in the June 1950 Reader's Digest magazine as "The 'Flying Saucer' is Good News."


As interesting as Taylor's claim was, he provided no more evidence than those saying the saucers were Russian, extraterrestrial, or even of Heavenly origins.

The Cosmic Ambassador

In 1957, Taylor made history by having his UFO beliefs prompt questions about whether he was fit to be appointed as the USA's ambassador to Switzerland.

Hartford Courant (Connecticut)  May 5, 1957
Taylor got the job and was named United States Ambassador to Switzerland by President Eisenhower, serving from 1957 to 1961. Taylor held fast to his belief that UFOs were real, but dropped the part about the USA origin.
APRO Bulletin, May 1957
Henry J. Taylor died Fe. 24,  1984. His obituary from the New York Times:
Henry J. Taylor, 81, Author And Ex-Envoy to Switzerland 

Friday, October 26, 2018

Houdini on the Meaning of Flying Saucers

A warning from beyond the grave about UFOs.


Joseph Dunninger had been waiting for decades for a message from his departed friend, magician Harry Houdini. 
Brownwood Bulletin Oct.14, 1952

Psychic Henry C. Roberts was making a name for himself as an expert on Nostradamus and his prophecies. This time, Roberts had a message for the world from another source, and he urged Dunninger broadcast it to the the world. He had been contacted by the spirit of Houdini, who told him that the flying saucers were a warning for mankind. 

Houdini, like the aliens Xeglon, Klaatu and Orthon, carried a message for the Earth:
Stop your wars and atomic bombs or be destroyed.


Lubbock Avalanche-Journal (Lubbock, Texas) Aug. 3, 1952
That story seems to have been about the extent of Henry C. Roberts' involvement with UFOs - and Houdini's. Joshua Blu Buhs' blog, From an Oblique Angle, has more on the saga of Roberts' life, see: Henry C. Roberts as a Fortean


Friday, October 12, 2018

Scientist Predicts ET Contact / FBI Crashed UFO Document


In 1950, the public had been told that flying saucers are real, but there was even more exciting news circulating. A scientist disclosed that four spaceships had been captured by the US government - and we should expect another flying saucer landing soon. The story was issued by United Press (UP) and published as front page news by many papers across the USA on October 20, 1950.

Hartford Courant Oct. 20, 1950

The Minneapolis Star Oct. 20 1950 
The "scientist" was oil man Silas M. Newton, billed in the news as a geophysicist. Newton's story was the basis for the best-selling book by Frank Scully, Behind the Flying Saucers
Newton and Scully
The Newton story began circulating in late 1949, and spread faster than a virus, and by early 1950, several variations of it were in circulation. 
... the story got from Silas Newton to J. Edgar Hoover: Newton told George Koehler (employed at radio station KMYR in Denver), who told Morley Davies, who told Ford dealers Murphy and van Horn, who told auto dealer Fick, who told the editor of the Kansas City Wyandotte Echo. By that time, Koehler had become "Coulter," just like a game of "gossip" (or a game of "pi")!       
This article was picked up in the news, where it caught the interest of the OSI. The OSI agent passed the story on to Guy Hottel of the FBI, and he gave the 8th-hand story to Hoover. http://www.nmsr.org/aztec.htm

The FBI Hottel Memo


A version of Silas Newton's story was recorded by agent Guy Hottel of the FBI New Orleans office on March 31, 1950. It's a real document, but it has often been misrepresented, taken out of context. Since it surfaced in the 1970s, the "Hottel Memo" has been frequently cited as evidence of a government cover-up of recovered UFOs, and also falsely linked to another incident, the alleged flying saucer crash known as the "Roswell Incident." The document itself can be viewed at the FBI Vault:

In 2011, Isaac Koi made a thorough examination of the frequent "re-discoveries" of the Guy Hottel Memo: "Debunked! The FBI alien bodies memo – A case study in the reinvention of the wheel"

The story was a hoax, part of a scam by Newton to provide an exotic technological origin for the "doodlebug" he was selling with partner Leo GeBauer, a device that was supposed to magnetically detect oil deposits beneath the earth. He was tried and found guilty of fraud in 1953.

Before: Co-defendant Leo GeBauer, his attorney, and Silas Newton
After: Newton Sentenced
Here's a short version of the Silas Newton Aztec hoax, a non-UFO article examining the episode as just as an oil swindle. It's from the site of the The American Oil & Gas Historical Society:


The Gift that Keeps on Giving

Although the hoax had its critics, it took two years before it was debunked by J.P. Cahn in "The Flying Saucers and the Mysterious Little Men" in True Magazine, Sept. 1952. Newton and Scully exploited the hopes and fears of those interested in the UFO mystery, promoting the belief that extraterrestrials were visiting Earth and that there was a Government conspiracy to hide it. When the hoax was exposed, the story was largely forgotten, but the alien and cover-up concepts were adopted as canonical beliefs. The Air Force was portrayed as a villain in Newton's story and Scully's book, and it continued to be a source of irritation. In 1965, answering a request for information about it, the Air Force replied:


For more on the Frank Scully book, see the previous STTF article,


The Shape of Things to Come

As for Silas Newton's 1950 prediction that a flying saucer would soon land, he was off. It happened in 1952, according to the story told by George Adamski.

Friday, September 28, 2018

Kenneth Arnold's 1952 UFO Book Promotion


Kenneth Arnold was back in the news in September 1952, due the release of his new book, The Coming of the Saucers, which was co-authored by his friend and publisher, Raymond A. Palmer. The story "Flying Saucer-y" was prepared by King Features Syndicate, and carried in many newspapers as a full-page story.

Here's a shot of the page, followed by larger views of the pictures and text.


The article also featured 11 photographs from the book, both about Arnold's experiences and other UFO and Fortean events he found genuine.
Radar ghosts or "angels."
Here's the two columns of text from the article.




There were a few photographs from a rising star on the saucer scene, "Professor George Adamski," from pages 190-191 of the Arnold-Palmer book.



Also included were photos of  mysterious objects in the sky and a puzzling bridge fire.



Here's the advertisement for the book from Ray Palmer's  Sept. 1952 Fantastic Adventures magazine:

The Coming of the Saucers by Kenneth Arnold and Ray Palmer is hosted online as a PDF at the British Earth and Aerial Mysteries Society.


Early UFO Radio Host: Hugh McPherson

Saucers yes, but what about: The Ufologists That Time Forgot?  Many researchers, investigators, authors, broadcasters and ev...