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.

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