Friday, July 5, 2019

UFOs: Real True Hoaxes of Advertising

Sell it with Saucers! Within days of the coming of the saucers in 1947, the UFO topic was exploited by promoters to get attention for their products. See our earlier piece, Discs in the Sky: Flying Saucer Commercialism  for some of the first products and pitches. The 1950s was when the practice hit its peak, and even the military of US and UK were hoaxing saucers in order to advertise their message.

May 1950: The Northern California National Air Guard used the flying saucer picture below to attract new recruits.

July 1950: The military captured a Martian invader in Alameda, California, but it was just a publicity stunt for Jaycee variety show "Life in a Swiss Cheese Factory."  

Future Magazine, July 1950

August 1952: There was another hoaxed flying saucer by the military, this time an advertising stunt recruiting drive for the US Navy Reserve.

While in a slightly different category, 1952 also saw the debut of the saucer that advertised itself, the coin-operated Flying Saucer ride from Meteor Machine Corp.

Aug. 1953: In Phoenix, Arizona, the Jack Stewart Studebaker auto dealership featured a flying saucer in its window display to attract customers.

Forbes magazine, Aug. 1, 1953

Dec. 1952: The Long Beach, California Air Show featured a mock saucer, since everyone knew they were the future of flying.

Independent (Long Beach, CA) Dec. 15, 1952 
July 1955: The United Kingdom got into the saucer show business. The Royal Air Force Maintenance Command built this one for their annual White City Tattoo.

RAF‘s “Flying Saucer” London: – ready for an armed forces show are specially-dressed “Martians” and the flying saucer from which they are slated to a light when it lands, the “Martian” crew consist of Brian Sheppard, 15 (left), of the Royal Army Ordinance Corps school, Aldershot, and Molly Day, 23, a member of the Women’s Royal Air Force stationed at Oxbridge, England. Built by the Royal Air Force Maintenance Command, the saucer showing is part of this year’s White City Tattoo, annual searchlight display of Britain’s Armed Forces, July 4-8. Credit (United Press photo)  7/3/55.
*A special thanks to Louis Taylor of Information Dispersal for the original UP photo.
Walla Walla Union Bulletin, July 11, 1955

Jan. 1956:  Another UK saucer for show business, this disc co-starred in the ice show, "Babes In the Woods."  
Kansas City StarJanuary 4, 1956

The commercialization of flying saucers is a regular topic of exploration at STTF, so we'll be back with more UFO and alien exploitation soon.

Many of the saucers above were located in the galleries at
UFOPOP: Flying Saucers in Popular Culture.

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