UFO Conjectures

Monday, June 15, 2015

UFO Magazines: A source of our mania

Many of us were “indoctrinated” by UFO magazines, as those shown here:
The 1968 magazine had no by-lines but stories as shown, and in 1968 (and earlier) UFO magazines didn’t take the subject matter so seriously (Mouse over the image to enlarge and chuckle):
The 1977 magazine had an article by our friend Kevin Randle: The Pentagon’s Secret War Against UFOs [Page 28 ff.] which enumerates instances where air force pilots and various UFO witnesses fired on UFOs.
One account, Mr. Randle provides, tells of an incident in which a Colorado farmer fired at a UFO, four times, apparently hitting it (because he heard the bullets hitting metal!)

The glowing red thing, with a slight dome on top, deepened in color then brightened when it was hit, fading from view.

A more interesting account, by Mr. Randle, tells that a jet interceptor chased a UFO over the Atlantic Ocean and fired a “tactical nuclear missile” at the UFO, and “scored a hit but failed to stop it. The UFO, apparently, undamaged, stopped playing ‘games’ and flashed away.” [Page 54]

These are the kinds of stories we no longer get from news media.

And they affected some of us when we read them back in the day.

Even without absolute documentation, we accepted them as gospel, and is the cause of our current interest and fandom, despite the lack of proof for many of such stories, which only remain stories (or reports).

Zoam Chomsky is grinding his teeth surely, but the rest of us think there had to be something to such stories, as recounted by Mr. Randle and others in the UFO heyday.

That was and is the excitement that keeps us involved with the phenomenon, no matter what it is or isn’t.



  • Agreed, we old guys grew up with pulp UFO magazines.

    But there was also Project Blue Book (preceded by Sign and Grunge before my time) and NICAP. -As a boy I subscribed to the NICAP news letter.

    Are we to accept that there was no signal ("the null") amid the mass of noise then and even now?

    When skepticism becomes a religion without reasonable acceptance of UAP (Hi there, Bruce) I mus demur.

    Again, as a boy, I put on the headphones and explored the noise of shortwave looking for the signal. Not projecting but seeking.

    An here I sit as an old guy, still seeking without projection and fascinated with astrophysics, dark energy and matter, open to the unknown -and those UAPs.


    By Blogger Bryan Daum, at Tuesday, June 16, 2015  

  • Ah, Bryan...

    The joys of our youth....mysteries, not closed off by skeptical musings.

    What a time to be alive, but here we are in a dark atmosphere, beclouded by dark ramblings and scoundrels we never imagined were so plentiful.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Tuesday, June 16, 2015  

  • I used to work at one of those magazines; the characters were wildly interesting and odd and everything in between, and editorial conversations were enlightening. That was the fun part. But there was also too little real journalism, and too much hokum and hype and trying (unsuccessfully) to squeeze money out of a business where nothing ever got settled, nothing new ever developed. Not unlike today's experiences.

    By Blogger Ron, at Tuesday, June 16, 2015  

  • > fired a “tactical nuclear missile” at the UFO

    Fighter jets were equipped with nuclear ordnance? I am no expert, but this seems unlikely, as having a jet vapourised with a nuclear payload would be a tremendous health risk. Also, a fighter downed in hostile territory would give up some of its tech secrets. Surely nuclear secrets would be handled more carefully. Finally, if a nuclear missile were ever detonated (and why arm a jet with a missile that would never be detonated), shouldn't such a tremendous blast have been reported at some time?

    Someone tell me that "nuclear" bit was just overreaching on the mag's part.

    By Blogger Terry the Censor, at Tuesday, June 16, 2015  

  • Maybe Kevin can enlighten us.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Tuesday, June 16, 2015  

  • Terry, yes tactical fighters (interceptors) did have the capability to carry and launch nuclear air to air missiles, ie, the Genie. The Genie was carried by numerous aircraft such as the F-101, 102 and 106. The F-105, Thunderchief, was explicitly designed to carry nuclear armaments, yet it's history was that as the workhorse for the Air Force during "Rolling Thunder" in the early Vietnam air war.

    I find it somewhat difficult to believe that one pilot would have made the decision to launch a nuclear tipped missile at an "unknown target without proper authority to do so...command and control.

    Shall we chalk this story up to overly hyped?

    By Blogger Tim Hebert, at Tuesday, June 16, 2015  

  • Tim and Terry...

    Kevin writes in the piece [Page 54] about the use of such weapons: "Orders to use them practically had to come from the White House or the Joint Chiefs of Staff but the pilot had clearance."


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Tuesday, June 16, 2015  

  • I still have some back issues of Ray Palmer's 'Flying Saucers' magazine. He also had other zines such as the Shaver Mystery and other oddities which I never saw. Years later I learned that some of the readers' letters in the 'letters' section were written by Palmer himself, under a pseudonym of course, just to stir things up! What a guy.

    By Blogger cda, at Tuesday, June 16, 2015  

  • I, too, CDA, have a few Palmer mags and will put some of the material online, again....I did so, a while back.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Tuesday, June 16, 2015  

  • Terry's incredulity is understandable but gave me a laugh because there was no end to the horrifyingly stupid and irresponsible ways in which nuclear materials and weapons were developed, tested, deployed, mishandled, stored, disposed, shared....

    What an absurdist nightmare!

    By Blogger zoamchomsky, at Wednesday, June 17, 2015  

  • "without reasonable acceptance of UAP"

    How can there be "reasonable acceptance" of what cannot be shown to exist? Hmmm?

    I'm open to anything that can be shown, but so far, all that can be shown is a quaint fiction that once aspired to reality in the pages of a boys' magazine. (g)

    By Blogger zoamchomsky, at Wednesday, June 17, 2015  

  • Zoam says that he's "open to anything that can be shown..." So let's move to a slightly different UFO phenomena and get his views on the "green fireballs" that were seen in late 1948 and early 1949....almost all in New Mexico. There is no doubt that green fireballs were seen, i.e., they were "shown." At a conference at Los Alamos in February, 1949, almost all of the scientists that attended had seen one; the only question was whether they were "natural" or not. And as Zoam probably knows, Dr. Lincoln La Paz, a world famous authority on metorites and head of the Univ. of New Mexico's Institute of Metorites, concluded that they were NOT natural (for a variety of reasons I will not detail here.)

    What about it Zoam? Do you want to rewrite history and tell the newbies that it was all a "quaint fiction that once aspired to reality." Or was it very real and un-natural as Dr. La Paz concluded?

    By Blogger Dominick, at Wednesday, June 17, 2015  

  • Come now Zoam,

    "How can there be "reasonable acceptance" of what cannot be shown to exist? Hmmm?"

    I think that is quite reasonable that there are unknowns being observed from time to time.

    Please pay close attention to the word unknown...as I suggested, saying you saw something unknown is not a projection of any kind in itself until a projection/hypothesis is first made. Once a hypothesis is made the game changes.


    By Blogger Bryan Daum, at Thursday, June 18, 2015  

  • Dominick;

    Experts can be wrong. They can also be victims of social delusions like anyone else. They can misperceive or fail to identify otherwise mundane things in the sky and honestly create a "UFO" narrative about it. Prof La Paz was such a person.

    Many other experts at the time thought the "Green Fireballs" were completely natural. They were right. Green fireballs are caused by common iron-nickel meteors burning up in the atmosphere. It's the nickel that produces the green color.

    The "Green Fireball" "UFO" related flap was the product of post-war jitters just as much as the larger "flying saucer" mania. And it had all of the same elements of human psychology and followed a similar course. Like all "UFO" reports and flaps, some single report in the media initiated this “flying saucer” mania, “red scare” expression of latent paranoia flap, a sudden flurry of interest in some mundane thing—now perceived as a danger--that was present all along. But the threat is nonexistent, unreal, and the flap runs its course and resolves itself into inconsequentiality.

    Most important in understanding this flap is the fallacy of selective observation. There had always been green fireballs, there were green fireballs reported in many states west of the Mississippi even during the flap--it was never confined to New Mexico. And green fireballs are still very much a common occurrence the world over.

    If the science on green fireballs was not fully developed at the time, the "Green Fireball" flap helped to further it, I’m sure.

    Thanks and best wishes, Dom!

    By Blogger zoamchomsky, at Thursday, June 18, 2015  

  • Hey Bryan! Love the picture you paint of a guy maintaining his sense of wonder.

    But I say "UAP" is a projection because it contains the judgment "phenomena."

    Anyway my comment was light-heartedly made, even if serious in content. We could talk about the definition of "UAP" but there's no doubt that people regularly see mundane things in the sky that they misperceive and so fail to identify or misidentify—a virtual “UAP.”

    But just because they very subjectively do doesn't mean they've seen some real unknown, a TRUE "Unidentified/Unknown Aerial/Aerospace Phenomena." And since you're probably chuckling and thinking "there he goes again," I'll say that it's no insignificant point, it's the entire point! And the longer I belabor it, the more it becomes apparent to me that it's another proof of the absurdity of the "UFO" myth and delusion. That is, it's not even a subject that can be considered seriously as containing even the slightest bit of reality, some signal in all the noise, and it never was.

    Here's an example, a Wittgensteinian “by negation” (the father of the Null hypothesis) thought experiment of sorts: What if the opposite of what I know to be the case, “there are no real “UFOs” of any kind and never were,” were true? And every “UFO” report for the last century was of various aspects of one or of various species of some real unknown thing, some physical phenomenon/a haunting the stratosphere and nearspace. Picture it, a world where there are innumerable unambiguous but totally unknown and inexplicable things floating around in the sky and about the Earth. It’s an absurd picture I think you will agree because it’s simply not possible! That’s not the world that you and I experience. What do you think?


    By Blogger zoamchomsky, at Thursday, June 18, 2015  

  • A hello to you too, Zoam!

    "There you go again(!)" is indeed funny and not quite it. We may not be on the same paragraph but pretty close to the same page.

    I agree that there is some interpretation getting in the way when we talk of phenomena. You perceive it as a judgement. Adding the phenomenon label does seem to put a spin on it.

    Heck, I have read it as only as and unidentified something without the "UFO" projection or judgement. Just simply, UAP means unidentified and airborne. UAP was an effort to avoid the "judgement" you suggest. Then how else can we proceed in discussion, what word or phrase do you suggest?

    Moving on to frequency: When you put forth "...a world where there are innumerable unambiguous but totally unknown and inexplicable things floating around in the sky and about the Earth. It’s an absurd picture..." you beg the question though exaggeration, and that is itself an around-the-corner projection. Don't you agree?

    The subject we discuss is complex when it is something seen so often only once or in such an instance that predictable repeatable observations can't be made which is a major part of the problem. Made worse, of course, by true believers, deceivers, and unverifiable claims, not to mention hushed military experiments. The burden of proof skeptics rightly call for is extraordinary evidence.

    Yes Zoam, it's not clear in the world you and I experience. But it IS simply possible, as all thing seem to be. And seeking a signal in the noise is a worthwhile endeavor (Ask SETI!) but we may indeed never find it. Agreed?

    Best regards -Bryan

    By Blogger Bryan Daum, at Saturday, June 20, 2015  

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