Friday, June 22, 2018

The UFO Anniversary and the Giant New York Convention of 1967

John Keel, Gray Barker and Jim Moseley

On the 20th anniversary of the historic Kenneth Arnold UFO sighting of June 22, 1947, there was an epic event to mark the occasion, the 1967 New York UFO Convention presented by Saucer News,
James W. Moseley and the Congress of Scientific Ufologists.

Some changes to the final programming were made by the time of the event. Kenneth Arnold himself decided not to attend, as did Ray Palmer. Other guests were added to the roster, most notably actor Roy Thinnes, star of the hit ABC television series, The Invaders, a show about a crusading flying saucer witness.

Donald Keyhoe and his National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomenon, disapproved of the convention including Contactees, and NICAP published an article in their journal, The UFO Investigator, before the event, condemning it.
The UFO Investigator, May-June 1967 (PDF)
Despite the condemnation from NICAP, the convention went on to be a hit, reportedly the largest indoor UFO convention at the time.
John Keel, lecturing to a packed house.
NICAP did get in a word after the show, though in the forma of a newspaper article by the director of their Connecticut faction.
George W. Earley (circa 2007)
George W. Earley at the time was president of NICAP-CONN, the Connecticut Affiliate of the National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomenon, and employed as Aerospace Administrative Engineer at United Aircraft. He wrote an unfavorable review of the NYC saucer convention for the Hartford Courant, July 9, 1967:

"Hippies, Old Ladies, Over 30 Types Orbit in Flying Saucer Circles."

Hartford Courant, July 9, 1967

When James Moseley, congress chairman and publisher of "Saucer News," opened the Saturday session, a surprise guest was discovered in the audience Dr. Edward U. Condon.

A hard-nosed approach to saucer spotting was taken by James Randi, a radio - television personality who has been a UFO buff for many years. The amateur astronomer snapped: "I'm getting damned tired of sitting on a cold car bumper at 4 a.m. waiting for Venus to rise so some fool can tell me it is a flying saucer."
"You people," he said "have got to stop believing everything you are told. There are liars and frauds among us right now, but in among all the trash and nonsense perpetrated in the name of ufology, I think there is a small grain of truth."

The Fall 1967 issue of Moseley's Saucer News carried photographs from the convention, may of them contributed by George W. Earley himself.

For more on the historic 1967 convention, see the article by Rick Hilberg,
"Jim Moseley's Giant UFO Show" at


Saucer News NYC Convention Memories a photo essay by Karl Machtanz


  1. "Over 30 Types"
    That seems like such an oddball way to describe / demean people.

    1. George Earley almost certainly didn't write that headline. His article was meant to demean this particular conference; the headline was intended to demean anyone interested in UFOs as being childish, crackpots, or both.


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