UFO Conjecture(s)

Monday, September 27, 2010

The Flying Saucer - Republished! (by Nick Redfern)



Bernard Newman's 1950 book, The Flying Saucer, is one of the most thought-provoking UFO novels ever written - largely due to the fact that the author moved seemingly effortlessly within the real-life world of international espionage, and may have based his novel on secret, real-life attempts by U.S. Intelligence to exploit the whole "crashed UFO" scenario for reasons relative to psychological warfare.

Indeed, I dug deep into the story of Newman and The Flying Saucer in my own book, Science Fiction Secrets, which was published by Anomalist Books last year.

So, you may ask: why am I telling you this now? Simple: a brand new edition of Newman's book has just been published by the good people at Westholme Publishing. A review-copy has just arrived at the Redfern household and, after re-reading it and refreshing my memory, I'll be posting a brand new review of the book right here.

For those who may want to obtain a copy of the new, 2010 edition of Bernard Newman's 1950 novel The Flying Saucer, here's the Amazon link:

Amazon link

10 Comments:

  • "Bernard Newman's 1950 book, The Flying Saucer"

    1948. 1950 was the year of US publication.

    This is the book Gilles mentioned a few weeks ago. He seemed to think Roswell ET advocates were avoiding it. I don't know why he thinks that or why advocates would avoid it.

    "may have based his novel on secret, real-life attempts by U.S. Intelligence to exploit the whole "crashed UFO" scenario"

    Was there a crashed UFO scenario?

    Nick, I haven't read your book (nor Newman's). Did you research the post-war phenomenon of veterans becoming writers? Kevin Randle is an example from the post-Vietnam War era. WWII and Korea produced many. Among the outlets for their work were the action/adventure men's magazines such as True, Argosy, Saga, as well as science fiction magazines. The phenomenon was parodied in the X-Files. You'll recall the cigarette smoking man's assay into writing: Take a Chance: A Jack Colquitt Adventure.

    The elements of the "Roswell Myth" (what I call "the rumors") a crashed alien craft containing dead or expiring aliens that the military/intelligence/government cover-up, is so rare in science fiction that I cannot think of an example prior to the Witness Era.

    The reason is that dead aliens are not much of a story. Living aliens, though makes for a plot and story line. But this breaks the Roswell mold, making it a Contactee story.

    Consider the movie It Came From Outer Space (1953). In it we have an alien craft that crashes in the desert, but the aliens are alive, not dead, and zombifying humans to carry out their will (which is to gather up the stuff they need to fix their craft). The aliens are also of the common BEM (Bug-Eyed Monster) variety.

    Such movies, stories, and novels are common enough after 1947. Even Newman's book has a contactee quality to it in that the purpose of the dead alien/crashed saucer hoax is to bring the world together in peace and brotherhood. The human conspirators providing the space brothers ideology.

    Some interesting titles: Arthur Clarke's 1950 short story "Guardian Angel" (later the novel "Childhood's End") presents aliens that look like Satan's minions. The 1950 movie "The Flying Saucer" (not Newman's) informs us the saucer is a Soviet craft. Philip K Dick's 1959 novel "Confessions of a Crap Artist" gives us an Asian ("Mr Watanaba") with an enlarged head and features (not an alien, though).

    The odds that Newman's book influenced later Roswell stories is about as sensible as thinking the idea that saucers as Soviet craft were influenced by the movie The Flying Saucer; that aliens are demons belief was influenced by Clarke's story; or that the idea the Roswell bodies were deformed Asians was suggested by PKD's novel.

    Don

    By Blogger Sourcerer, at Thursday, September 30, 2010  

  • Sourcerer:

    Yeah, I should have pointed out 1950 was the American date, not the UK one of 2 years earlier.

    Is there a crashed UFO scenario? In my view there is: it usually involves something coming down, bodies scattered around at the site (rather than inside), the military getting there and gathering up everything, and successfully confiscating any evidence that might fall into non-military hands. You may feel I'm painting the picture with too broad a stroke, but that is generally the scenario.

    Personally, I don't think Newman's book did ever influence Roswell witnesses, and I don't think I alluded to that.

    But, what I do think is that - given his links with the official world - Newman may have known of some early psy-op or similar that chose to use crashed UFOs as a theme (as early as 1947), and then weaved that into his novel.

    I recommend a good reading of his book, as it contains a number of intriguing nuggets of data that at the very least are thought-provoking when considering the possibility that he knew something of behind-the-scenes UFO manipulation.

    For more ono how Govt agencies may have manipulated crashed UFO cases, see my article "Manipulating the Crashed UFO Scene," which can be found at this blog.

    By Blogger Nick Redfern, at Thursday, September 30, 2010  

  • Nick: "Personally, I don't think Newman's book did ever influence Roswell witnesses, and I don't think I alluded to that."

    My fault for not being clearer that my comments referred to Gilles' comments in another discussion.

    There is a crashed saucer scenario, but it is not a common one either in the ufo literature or in science fiction. Newman's book (and Roswell, for that matter) is close to unique.

    As a common plot scenario in science fiction stories, that I don't see. It's not a common ufo scenario either, like contact or abduction are common.

    "But, what I do think is that - given his links with the official world - Newman may have known of some early psy-op or similar that chose to use crashed UFOs as a theme (as early as 1947), and then weaved that into his novel."

    Maybe. The military (and other agencies) create war and natural disaster scenarios or "games". One involving flying saucer reports is not improbable. If such a scenario was ever realized, then Roswell is about the only candidate for it.

    If Newman had insider knowledge of such a thing, it would have to have been very direct knowledge considering the timeframe. A strong link between Roswell and Newman would be intriguing.

    Don

    By Blogger Sourcerer, at Thursday, September 30, 2010  

  • Nick wrote: "For more on how Govt agencies may have manipulated crashed UFO cases, see my article "Manipulating the Crashed UFO Scene," which can be found at this blog."


    I read it. Agencies of the US were concerned about psychological warfare regarding flying saucers as far back as the foo fighters, and appeared again with the 1946 ghost rockets. The material you quote is obviously about countering Soviet, psyops (imaginary, I think) not inititiating one. A story told by Karl Pflock, whose source was Silas Newton, is not my idea of evidence. Neither is a good source without corroboration.

    I don't doubt the involvement of US agencies in some flying saucer business. One look at some elements from the Forteans, the occultists, to the Shaverheads would be convincing evidence of a population given to lunatic fringe anti-government conspiricy theories who would be ripe for the machinations of "the masters of deceit", and thus worth a US effort to infiltrate, modify, and disinform them.

    There then might be an effort to disinform the Soviets, and as well, given 'office politics', disinforming other agencies.

    Because the crash scenario is so rare and with so many rich pickings available, I don't understand why it would be selected for psyops. Promoting the space brothers myth seems a far more likely operation.

    Btw, I haven't read it, but someone wrote it was a crashed saucer story: Amazing Stories, June 1946 "Luder Valley" by -- you guessed it -- Shaver/Palmer.


    Don

    By Blogger Sourcerer, at Friday, October 01, 2010  

  • Sourcerer:

    I would agree that this was largely about countering the Soviets re psy-ops. However, I would argue that to a degree to counter the Soviets, also required a degree of initiation too to sow the seeds of the story.

    And, I think it might be argued that re the Kingman case of 53, the crashed UFO story may have been prompted by a desire to hide sensitive data on atomic bomb tests, but that seeds were also sown within the US to spread this tale.

    As for Silas Newton, you're right: he was hardly reputable. However, if the story has truth to it, this would not be the first time that Intel agencies have used questionable people/groups to achieve a specific goa - look at, for example, the connections between the Intel world and the Mafia/Mob.

    By Blogger Nick Redfern, at Monday, October 04, 2010  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger Sourcerer, at Tuesday, October 05, 2010  

  • Nick: "And, I think it might be argued that re the Kingman case of 53, the crashed UFO story may have been prompted by a desire to hide sensitive data on atomic bomb tests, but that seeds were also sown within the US to spread this tale."

    But, why that particular tale? Why the crashed saucer story? It's not the first thing that comes to mind as a cover to hide something.

    'Seeding the story' is another 'why that story'? The methods for 'seeding' were described (and many invented) by Edward Bernays (there's a Wikipedia entry) back in the 1920s.

    Picking something unusual like a crashed saucer, a story that is likely only told to very few people, can be used to track or trace its vectors of propagation.

    I'm curious about the crashed saucer stories. The idea they might be 'seeded' naturally makes me wonder why.

    Regards,

    Don

    By Blogger Sourcerer, at Tuesday, October 05, 2010  

  • Don:

    Re Kingman and why it may have motivated a crash story: the key witness, "Fritz Werner" was attached to the atomic bomb series of tests known as Upshot-Knothole.

    One of the aspects of U.K. was to fly USAF drone aircraft through the mushroom clouds, to try and determine what the effect might be on USAF human pilots, in the event of WW3.

    The drones had monkeys on board and at least one crashed after going off-course. The tests occurred at the Nevada test site, which is not exactly a million miles away from Kingman, in specifically aviation terms.

    So, we have the alleged crash of a UFO with a small body at Kingman (during the U.K. tests) and we have the crash of a drone aircraft with the small body of a monkey on-board (during the U.K. tests).

    Since the event clearly leaked outside of official channels, and technically a vehicle with a small body was recovered in secret, it may been seen as useful to suggest that the down-to-earth USAF vehicle and unfortunate monkey were something far more exotic - just in case anyone else, such as the Russians, came looking. In other words, swamp the incident with a crashed UFO angle to hide something more mundane, but still secret (because of the analysis of how pilots might be affected by radiation).

    I also think such stories are seeded to weed out people in the military who may be perceived as being troublesome for security reasons.

    Let's say CIA employee "A" is seen as a suspected Russian sympathizer.

    How does the CIA prove this? Maybe provide employee "A" with a bogus crashed saucer tale that contains certain specifics that can be proven to be unique to this charade and to nothing else.

    Then, if the story makes it to the KGB, and US Intel picks up on it, they will know that their suspicions are correct about "A".

    However, no real secrets will have been compromised.

    On a similar track, there are countless stories (such as those related bv Stringfield), where military personnel were apparently shown alien corpses in underground locations, hangars etc - but where their jobs did not even require them to be exposed to such evidence at all.

    This suggests to me: fakery, to see if the people keep their mouths shut or not, and if they can be considered trustworthy.

    If they stay quiet, all well and good. If they don't, well there's been no real compromise of security, as the bodies are dummies.

    And, most people will not believe the whistleblower even if they do go public, so the military is at an even better advantage by making use of a crashed UFO/bodies story.

    By Blogger Nick Redfern, at Tuesday, October 05, 2010  

  • Nick "This suggests to me: fakery, to see if the people keep their mouths shut or not, and if they can be considered trustworthy."

    Yes. It provides a trace of the vector of propagation.

    I was thinking of the psyop as being directed against Soviet state security, which would require more levels of convolution.

    Regards,

    Don

    By Blogger Sourcerer, at Tuesday, October 05, 2010  

  • Nice and thanks!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Monday, June 13, 2011  

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