Monday, January 13, 2014

Exposure to Flying Saucers: Your life may change!


This is an autobiographical piece of sorts, where I look at my memories of being exposed to the notion of Flying Saucers from childhood and beyond.

Me circa 1965,  ready for school.


Roughly the order of exposure, regardless of my love for them:



Past my bedtime, but caught this episode that gave me the creeps!


Not really Saucers, but Ancient Aliens at the Earth's core!

Not really My Favorite Martian, but nothing else on… At least he's friendly!


WE are in control (but lost).
Less scary when we have the Flying Saucer! Space travel goes mainstream via prime time TV.


THEY are in control (but humorless).
A scary show, bad aliens every week!

This is where I got hooked! All the Blue Book classics in four color glory!


An examination of alien races, featuring Orthon and the Flatwoods Monster!


After that, the first "real" book I ever bought!

 Flying Saucers- Here and Now!  by Frank Edwards!
And this book had pictures of real flying saucers!
They can't put it in a book if it isn't true!

 And in the news...

The first UFO case I remember on the news, mostly due to it happening in my home state of Mississippi.

The Pascagoula (Hickson/Parker) Alien Abduction


Through the 70s, I read every UFO book I could find in the library (not many, but free). Along the way, I also had interest in many other sensational things like the NASA programs, comic books, Bigfoot and Fortean weirdness. The only movies I recall seeing about UFOs were Chariot of the Gods (spooky), and later, Close Encounters (disappointing). By 1980, my interest in UFOs was waning, but a film advertised as if it were a documentary caught my attention.

WHY WON'T THEY TELL US?
I actually took my mother to see this!
Hangar 18 was so bad it may have killed my interest in the topic. After seeing it, I just drifted away to more concrete and productive interests. I still loved science fiction and monster movies, though!

If a UFO show came on, I'd watch it, but there was all this very weird stuff about abductions, probing, cutting cows and Cosmic Watergate… pretty ugly and unbelievable stuff. Later, it was more entertainingly served up on the X-Files, which I didn't realize at the time was basically a filmed adaptation of the 80s "darksider" UFO mythology.


Years passed, and I happened to watch a film on Netflix about Gray Barker, a flying saucer writer who was equal parts trickster:

Shades of Gray


I became fascinated with Barker and tried to learn more. Reading about him, I kept seeing mention of a friend and co-conspirator of his who was also featured in the film. Having not found my answers in the literature, one day I wrote him a letter. Before long, the phone rang, 
"Hi, it's Jim Moseley…"



The conversation was interesting, the first of many.

I was back in the grip of the saucers...