Thursday, September 24, 2020

Updating UFO History

George M. Eberhart describes himself as a librarian, cryptozoologist, historian, researcher, and Fortean. He recently published something very noteworthy.

After an effort of many years, I have prepared a comprehensive timeline of UFO history that will be useful to UFO researchers and historians. "UFOs and Intelligence” is an up-to-date retrospective of UFO history (from Agobard of Lyons to the newly appointed US investigation agency UAPTF), intertwined with events in US and world history concerning military and civilian intelligence agencies and the cult of secrecy. It is now 679 pages and more than 555,000 words (including a substantial “Sources and Further Reading” appendix). 

Readers will discover or rediscover many events, people, and UFO cases they may not be familiar with. Some will find it useful for current or planned research projects. Military cases, those involving commercial aircraft, close encounters involving physical traces and other evidence, reports involving occupants or entities, and events surrounding military and sensitive nuclear sites are emphasized, but this timeline covers the full spectrum of UFO history, from contactee experiences to misidentifications of mundane phenomena and notorious hoaxes. Links to online sources are given, and links to biographical information are provided when available. 

A timeline like this allows us to view events from a different perspective, letting us make connections we might not otherwise see. It forces us to view the big picture, amid the grand flow of UFO cases, military security decisions, a vast swathe of personalities, and world history. 

Eberhart's timeline is hosted as a 679-page  PDF at the NICAP or CUFOS sites:

George Eberhart's timeline is a great  resource, and we're proud to see The Saucers That Time Forgot included among the many sources. We understand that George will be periodically revising the timeline, so this will be worth following for the additions and updates.

Speaking of Updates...

The work of Louis Taylor at Information Dispersal was the subject of our July, 16, 2020 posting, Ufology: Information Dispersal - Documents and Photos. Louis has kindly shared other historical documents and photographs for recent and forthcoming articles. He also provided a few rare items pertaining to some of our previous articles. The following six have been updated with:

An extremely rare flyer from the film distributor to UK theaters on the exhibition of The Flying Saucer Mystery has been added to: The First UFO Documentary: The Flying Saucer Mystery

An original UPI photo of the airframe and artist's conception of the: Princeton University's Flying Saucers for the US Army.

An original UP photo of witnesses John Black and John Van Allen from an early saucer contact case has been added to: Flying Saucer Ambush: Brush Creek, CA, 1953.

A flying saucer model photo from the 1959 National Models Exhibition in London: UFO Exploitation: Targeting Children.

The flying saucer and Martians of the UK's the Royal Air Force Maintenance Command for: UFOs: Real True Hoaxes of Advertising.

An original Buhl Planetarium flyer for the program "The Mystery of the Flying Saucers" has been added to:Astronomer Arthur L. Draper on The UFO Mystery

Thanks again to both George Eberhart and Louis Taylor for their work in preserving and sharing UFO history.

Thursday, September 10, 2020

UFO Exploitation: Targeting Children

When flying saucers became a fad in 1947, there were advertising stunts to exploit them from saucer-themed advertising stunts and products renamed to cash in, everything from sandwiches and sundaes, even cocktails. Children were a ready market for flying saucer products, since space toys were already popular based on the comic strip heroes Buck Rogers and Flash Gordon. Once it was clear the saucer sensation wasn’t just a summer flash in the pan, manufacturers started cranking out products targeted at kids.

The first installment of The Saucers That Time Forgot featured a story on two boys who had a close encounter with a flying saucer. This “scrapbook” edition focuses on kids, saucers, and the merchandise that connects them.

In 1948, Walter Frederick Morrison and his partner Warren Franscioni marketed a plastic throwing disc called the “Flyin-Saucer.” In 1950 the licensed the popular Li’l Abner comic strip to boost sales.

Flying Saucer Spelling Game, was introduced in 1949, probably the first educational toy related to UFOs.

March 24, 1950 – the Walker Bank of Pittsburgh sold young savers a flying saucer bank.

July 23, 1950 - Sears Roebuck and Co. pitched Flying Saucer T-shirts to children.

Sept. 1950 - "My Weekly Reader" carried an amazing disclosure for kids by Tom Trott: "I am now allowed to tell you that some flying saucers are real. They belong to our Air Force. They will some day be a big help to our country."

1952 saw the debut of the coin-operated Flying Saucer ride from Meteor Machine Corp.

A Trip to Outer Space with Santa promotional comic book, the earliest known edition is 1952.

Lebanon Daily News (Pennsylvania), Dec. 22, 1952 – Firemen at the Ebenezer Fire Company made sure that Santa Claus gave all children attending the Christmas party a toy flying saucer.

Amarillo Globe-Times March 31, 1953 - Saucer Cub scout project by Michael Holik of Amarillo, Texas.

1953 Capt. Quick's Flying Saucers and Rocket Ships was a punch-out folio of ships and space toys.

Claire Leader, Aug. 4, 1954 - Japanese ban a dangerous flying saucer toy.

Waterloo Daily Courier (Iowa) June 13, 1954 - John Oberele in his flying saucer costume for the Youth Day parade in Waterloo.

 Lebanon Daily News (Pennsylvania), July 1954 - Cub Scouts' "Air Adventure" featured a flying saucer contest.

Here's few other from the 1950s, exact dates unknown:

Felix the Cat candy from Phoenix Candy Co. Inc.

Flying Saucers T-shirts to start your own flying saucer club. From McMurdy’s in Rochester, New York, circa 1954.

The Disneyland special edition Flyin' Saucer for Tomorrowland, circa 1955

Japanese metal toy, Flying Saucer Z-101

October 31, 1955 Kokomo Tribune carried the news of a Cub Scout troop winning the Halloween parade costume contest for their group effort as men from Mars and their flying saucer.

From 1959, a kid is awed by a model saucer, thanks to Louis Taylor of Information Dispersal for the original Wide World press photo. 
Caption: Rounded View: A close study of a flying saucer model is made by Roy Milani, 10, at the National Models Exhibition in London. The model was made by Dorabji Dhanjisha Bilimoria of Bombay, India, from details published in an American magazine. Bilimoria believes it is a model of an actual experimental craft of the U.S. Navy. [Date stamped from Wide World Photo] Feb. 14, 1960

The site imago images has a different picture of the scene with the caption:

Dec. 12, 1959 - Opening of the Model Engineer Exhibition. Model of Flying Saucer: Convinced that flying saucers actually exist - as experimental machines developed by the United States Navy - Dorabji Dhanjisha Bilimoria, of Bombay, director of the Bombay Society and Calcutta and a member of the Bombay Society of Model Engineering, has made a model of one for the New Horticultural Hall. Photo Shows 10-year old Roy Malani, of South Kensington, seen with model flying saucer type aircraft, at the Exhibition today. (Credit Image: ZUMZ/Keystone) 

For more fabulous saucer-themed items, see the extensive collections at
UFOPOP: Flying Saucers in Popular Culture

Frank Edwards: Making UFOs Newsworthy

Dr. J. Allen Hynek on UFO literature (in  The Edge of Reality , 1975): “If I were to recommend anything in the popular category, I would cho...