The UFO Iconoclast(s)

Monday, October 04, 2010

The Roswell Newspaper Reports

roswell22.jpg

Don Ecsedy has provided a superb run-down of the initial press accounts for the Roswell event.

Click here to access Don’s “exegesis”

12 Comments:

  • Greetings,

    Nice article Don !

    I "hope" you will continue beyong or inside in the way of such newspaper analysis concerning Roswell case, in order the readers have cues of what is referring exactly "linguisticaly" and "Generaly" (excepted few anecdotical extracts) Flying Disc (or Disk) or Flying Saucer terms for the U.S. contemporans too.

    To point what the "seme" they have at this short period, when using the terms, before Palmer, Keyhoe, etc changed few after the general "semes" (soviet, domestic designs, aka "from Hearth") to another "seme" (extraterrestrial one).

    I modestly think for long time now, as develloped in my humble recent book, it is something important. See for example the article in column of the newspapers in picture here to illustrate your article.

    Anyway, I wait with great attention, the following parts of your "exégèse", and I reiterate my kudos for your article, despite all you know. Thank you very much for your source concerning Roswell available.

    Congrats then.

    Regards,

    Gilles F.

    By Blogger Gilles. F., at Tuesday, October 05, 2010  

  • Gilles, thanks for the compliment. I do have more material on the news stories. I'll want to present it in a way that doesn't depend much on statements from the witness era, mainly because I don't feel I've got all the witness material relevant to the news cycle yet.

    How ET got attached to the phenomenon is due, I guess, to its 'unidentifiability', thus becoming anyone's guess and ET is as good as any other. There's a predisposition to it due to science fiction, in the types of stories written in the 1930s, for ETs to come in spaceships. There's also the fantasy material (Buck Rogers, Flash Gordon and pulp variants).

    Was Donald Keyhoe the first to assert the ETH?

    Sampling newspapers and magazines for clues to the usage of disk or saucer should take into consideration 'style books' and that consideration should be extended to corporations, government agencies, and the military.

    A review of the style books of the major newspapers and magazines of the era, if available, would settle whether they had a usage preference. The army seems to have a preference for 'disk' or 'disc'. That would be influential on media who would quote it and influence their terminology in editorials and feature stories.

    Given access to the appropriate databases, it would be possible to sample the frequency of the terms in both headlines and body of newspapers, magazines, and in military and government documents.

    Memetically, speaking, 'flying saucer' had better odds of cultural propagation than 'flying disk', especially when combined with 'crashed'

    Regards,

    Don

    By Blogger Sourcerer, at Tuesday, October 05, 2010  

  • Donald Keyhoe was not the first to assert ETH. He was the first to put into book form in 1950, based on his famous TRUE magazine article in January of that year.

    However there were some articles in FATE magazine in 1948 promoting ETH. One was by Kenneth Arnold called "Are Space Visitors Here?"

    By Blogger cda, at Tuesday, October 05, 2010  

  • Look magazine also had early flying saucer accounts that suggested an alien presence.

    I'll be putting copies (scans) online, upcoming.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Tuesday, October 05, 2010  

  • Under the "There's nothing like looking for finding" are these:

    WOOD, FIELD AND STREAM; Wind a Big Handicap
    New York Times
    Oct 7, 1940
    And "feathers" don't count in skeet, for you either powder that flying saucer or the scorekeeper puts down a nice round goose egg next to your name."

    Los Angeles Times
    Jul 11, 1947
    THIS FLYING saucer talk is still out of hand ... fear one of the saucers take off like a bat out of a skeet sling ..."

    Maybe Keyhoe or Arnold were dedicated skeet shooters...

    Don

    By Blogger Sourcerer, at Tuesday, October 05, 2010  

  • Eya,

    Yep, a FBI report told us, dated 14 august 1947 :

    FROM: FBI SEATTLE DATE: 8-14-47
    TO: DIRECTOR
    SUBJECT: FLYING DISCS SIGHTED BY [redacted], TACOMA.

    PLEASE BE ADVISED THAT [redacted] DID NOT ADMIT TO [redacted] THAT HIS STORY WAS A HOAX BUT ONLY STATED THAT IF QUESTIONED BY AUTHORITIES HE WAS GOING TO SAY IT WAS A HOAX BECAUSE HE DID NOT WANT ANY FURTHER TROUBLE OVER THE MATTER. COMPLETE REPORT NOW EN ROUTE TO BUREAU AMSD, WHICH INDICATES PROBABLY [redacted] MADE THE ANONYMOUS PHONE CALL IN THE HOPE OF BUILDING UP THEIR STORY THROUGH PUBLICITY TO A POINT WHERE THEY COULD MAKE A PROFITABLE DEAL WITH FANTASY MAGAZINE, CHICAGO ILLINOIS. [redacted] WILL NOT BE REINTERVIEWED UNLESS ADVISED TO THE CONTRARY BY THE BUREAU.

    And Fate Magazine is born... (january 1948).

    Hmmm....

    So the impact of how Palmer jumped on the 1947 wave and Arnold Case, as consorts will be, must not be elimated in the equation to trie to understand the genesis of the flying saucers as ET MEANING.

    But before? In that summer?

    I doubt the Roswell protagonists thought on ET when acting, but only on FS or Disk, contextualized (soviet or domestic, aka manufactured things).

    Mogul wreckage was a good candidat legitimaly for such FS and Disk when you contextualized what they have in mind.

    They are no one indications in 1947 Roswell sources (historiographical ones) Roswell protagonists acted "against" Extraterrestrial materials. You must wait post 1978 to have a common retrospective falsification concerning a non event : Balloons and radar targets only, but insolit for the few protagonists.

    Just facing what a FS or Disc was in contemporan minds, LEGITIMALY.

    The rest is the well known "I want to believe" syndrom.

    Best Regards,

    Gilles F.

    By Blogger Gilles. F., at Tuesday, October 05, 2010  

  • Gilles:
    The teletype you showed was on the 'Maury Island' affair, which Palmer was obsessed with (he received some of the molten rock from Dahl & Crisman). But I wonder if either Arnold or Palmer, in 1947, considered the UFOs seen (allegedly) over Maury Island were ET in nature. As far as I know Palmer NEVER considered them as ET. He used to talk about saucers from inside the earth! Arnold may have leaned towards ET, but I think it was not until he wrote for FATE magazine that ETs entered his head, though I don't know for sure.

    As for flying 'discs' & 'saucers' the terms were often used in 1947, with 'discs' appearing much more than 'saucers', I believe, but I have not studied the newspapers to see if this is true. There was an occasional mention of space visitors in summer/autumn of '47, but I think the first real mention, in the form of an article, was in FATE in summer '48.

    Perhaps Don can locate an earlier one, but I doubt it.

    By Blogger cda, at Wednesday, October 06, 2010  

  • Gilles: "So the impact of how Palmer jumped on the 1947 wave and Arnold Case, as consorts will be, must not be elimated in the equation to trie to understand the genesis of the flying saucers as ET MEANING."

    Let's see...Hal Boyle's 7/9/47 humorous article on being taken aboard a flying saucer by Martians and touring the solar system. He might have foreshadowed the Contactees with that. Many newspapers carried it. Boyle wasn't the only one writing such stories. They were popular and amusing and other reporters and feature writers tried their hand at it.

    Why were satirical news articles then being written about "Martians" and their "flying saucers"? Satire has no point if there isn't anything to satirize. It is a trace of a common association between ET and flying saucers back in 1947.

    Also on July 9, 1947, newspapers reported the comments of Senator Taylor (Dem, OH) "Taylor said he almost hoped flying saucers would turn out to be space ships from another planet. He said the "mere possibility" that they might be hostile would "unify the peoples of the earth as nothing else could". -- Milwaukee Journal 7/9/47.(Nick, looks like Senator Taylor lapped Bernard Newman on that angle)

    In 1940 when the Wehrmacht turned westwards, US newspapers described the Germans as "men from Mars". It was very common in the news. For example,

    Headline

    "Stalwart Dutch Halt Nazi Invasion; Stem 'Nazi Men from Mars'

    Palm Beach Post, 5/11/1940


    It spread to referring to other things.

    May 10, 1941, Pittsburgh Post Gazette has a photo of a line of TWA mechanics wearing big bullet-shaped helmets (something to do with maintenance). Headline "Men From Mars?"

    Or firemen or any other worker in something like a 'hazmat' suit were referred to as "men from Mars".

    I don't have to cherry pick this stuff. It was very common.

    The "Men from Mars" is interesting because in neither the novel nor the radio adaptation were the Martians "men" or even humanoid, but tentacled critters like an octapus. But facts will not stand in the way of an idea gone viral (a meme).

    Regards,

    Don

    By Blogger Sourcerer, at Wednesday, October 06, 2010  

  • First off, Don, I wish to thank you for such a great web site with very good information

    Gilles said: "...Balloons and radar targets only, but insolit for the few protagonists."

    Actually, with all due respect, the press stories actually bolster the strange aspects to all of this, not the other way around.

    The earliest reports are all about a "DISC"
    or other large piece or "instrument", which Brazel stored under some covering, or stored in a shed. It was reported that it was this large piece that was being shown to the military.

    Whatever "it" was, mundane or otherwise, it was not mentioned again. Instead we get shredded foil, which can more easily be mistaken for regular radar target stuff than some large chunk being stored in a shed could.

    By Blogger Bob Koford, at Wednesday, October 06, 2010  

  • Bob, thanks.

    I think the Brazel interview is worth some "exegesis". I can pull together my notes for an article.

    What I don't have from the 7/9 Daily Record are the texts of the photo captions . If anyone knows where they might be found online or in a book, please, let me know.

    I'd like to find good reproductions of the photos (as well as any of Mac Brazel) printed in the RDR. The ones online I've seen are poor scans of photocopies.


    Regards,

    Don

    By Blogger Sourcerer, at Wednesday, October 06, 2010  

  • CDA wrote:

    "However there were some articles in FATE magazine in 1948 promoting ETH. One was by Kenneth Arnold called "Are Space Visitors Here?""

    In researching the subject of ET in newspapers and magazines, I noticed the material thins out prior to 1947's saucer 'wave'. Developing good search terms for pre-1947 requires the material is in databases with a query language. Searching just on literal strings (as we do with Google) is
    not very efficient.

    The best literal strings I found were "Martians" and "Men from Mars". To the extent (I'm not forgetting radio and movies)that newspapers and magazines both created and reflected the common culture of the era, I don't see much evidence that the concept or class we refer to by 'ET' or 'alien' existed then.

    In the prior 60-70 years, since the Martian canali and Wells and Welles, the concept of an ET was a 'Martian'. That 'men' was joined to 'Mars', deviating from Wells and Welles, indicates the concept and category was coming into existence. Soon enough the language drops 'Mars' and 'Martians', become the subject of humor and jokes (probably the phrase "little green men" rises out of the backwater of language and becomes popular. The phrase quickly lost its older associations, and became wholly attached to 'ET' when it merged seamlessly with "from Mars"}. Terms like 'Space Visitors' replaced them.

    These days 'ET' supplies the terminology needed to express the concept and category.

    Regards,

    Don

    By Blogger Sourcerer, at Thursday, October 07, 2010  

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    By Blogger Sourcerer, at Thursday, October 07, 2010  

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