UFO Conjectures

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Comic Book Memories and Flying Saucer People, Cigar-shaped UFOs, et cetera?

While perusing this compilation of various, early DC comic books, I noted that many images (from comics during the 1940s/1950s flying saucer heyday) duplicate, almost in dream-like recall, images that flying saucer witnesses used when they described a sighting or flying saucer event.

Having pointed out, in the past here, that memory may very well insert itself in UFO reports, as extrapolations or enhancements of prosaic/mundane sightings, I see a connection.

I’ve titled the comic book pictures here with their dates, so you can see that most predate major sightings in the early, modern era of UFOs (flying saucers), even one with a Loch Ness-like configuration:

Did persons, in their adolescent years, embed such images, only to have them resurface when they spotted something strange in their adult environment?

Or did persons see something strange and then impose upon it, familiar images from their impressionable past?

The mind is a funny thing, just like UFOs. The two seem to work in tandem.



  • one of those pictures is a direct result of the old chicago tribune "Injun Summer" cartoon, 1907, that used to be published every october until political correctness stopped it. see it at


    By Blogger ufonalyzer, at Friday, April 15, 2016  

  • There was a radio series when I was very young in the eastern USA, called Captain Midnight; he was a daredevil pilot. In some of those episodes there were 'battles' with other aerial objects, though I don't think they were disc shaped. (Memory is fading now!)

    By Blogger cda, at Friday, April 15, 2016  

  • Cigar shaped spacecraft have most certainly been in existence for some time in the minds of science fiction writers.

    Amazing Stories 1930 Cover showing a cigar shaped mother ship:

    Look at this on eBay:


    Amazing Stories Quarterly Fall 1930 Cyril Wates John Campbell Aladra Septama

    Same 1930s illustration of the "little grey alien people":

    Look at this on eBay:


    Amazing Stories December 1930 Ed Earl Repp William Lemkin

    By Blogger Brian Bell, at Friday, April 15, 2016  

  • Trying to answer this question factually is an exercise of "which came first...?" sort. You're asking in effect "Did a social meme effect the reports?" but one could ask just as easily (and just as factually, "Did the reports create a social meme?" or maybe "Are space aliens manipulating what the masses think by releasing memes to influence public opinion?" or even "Is the government controlling the citizens or hbiding secrets by releasing memes about Aliens?" An answer to any question like these [if you could actually find one] is so loaded or obscured by other possible influences that a repeatable, provable answer will escape even the most careful researcher.

    Leading questions like the following are similar to Von Danikin's "Chariots of the Gods?" and the rest of the unexplained phenomena authors [Hancock, Pauwels & Bergier, Sitchin, Berlitz, et cie] -- they ask "leading questions" but do not provide actual or even factual answers:

    Are the "Greys" a modern version of "The Gentry" or "Fairies" because they were part of Irish folklore and the Disney cartoons spread the belief in them?

    Are the "little people" of world folklore really aliens or hidden occupants of Earth or are they vestiges of human fears and/or encounters with unexplained, numinous events of primitive humanity that have gotten "smaller over time" because memories get "smaller over time" from the original events?

    Was the 1896 airship flap a direct result of the translation of ancient Indian texts that spoke of the Vimanas ships during the same time period?

    Are the creatures seen in Ezekiel's vision signs of ancient visitations or was it a bread mold induced "trip" that influenced observers trying to describe an inexplicable observation?

    None of those questions can actually be answered with fact based answers using the scientific method. Implying that comics or pulp stories are *the* source of a belief pattern or reported events can only be answered with a "maybe / maybe not" and not actually with a declarative answer and an ironclad chain of proof.

    If one were to decry a single thing that's wrong in UFoolery or Sketchy Skience Skepticism, it is the chain of custody / proof. Most proofs seem to be "It's gotta be this way! It's gotta! -- because I say so!"

    By Blogger Joel Crook, at Friday, April 15, 2016  

  • Joel:

    You're really missing the psychological or neurological mark here.

    My query has to do with an implanted pre-adolescent or adolescent images resurfacing to decorate a strange sighting or event with UFO aspects.

    (And we try not to us wacky coinage here -- Ufoolery -- for which I chastised Zoam a few posts ago.)


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Friday, April 15, 2016  

  • Rich,

    Consider me chastised for my coinage. I promise to stop talking about slugs.

    I don't think I'm missing the point of the memetic tropes you were showing. It's true that one can easily "adopt" a "better description" from something seen or read. [How well I remember using a robotic sounding, "By your command..." as a snarky reply to someone who was being bossy]

    As I tried to point out in my "unanswerable questions", the comics / pulps are just a modern version of other "media tropes" that "might have influenced" a generation or generations of reports long past [true, false, or otherwise]. Were *all* of those reports of sexual encounters with Grey females because of Disney's Tinkerbell?

    The problem with making an assertion like this is that it is not definitively "provable" as a "general case for all percipients". The people making the reports were never asked "did you read pulp stories or comics as you grew up? Did you like them?" and a whole battery of other "tricksy" questions that might reveal the influence such media tropes / memes might have had. [Want a whole universe of media tropes? visit tvtropes.org]

    Can past "literary descriptions" or "media metaphors/tropes" influence observations? Why sure! [I seem to recall recently someone using characters from Moby Dick to describe various personalities on these blogs]... but that does not make the case that these visual or literary tropes of yesteryear rose from the unconscious to provide a description of what was perceived or what was "imagined".

    Once can say "maybe..." but not "affirmative".

    By Blogger Joel Crook, at Friday, April 15, 2016  

  • As a slave to Freud's and Jung's ideas about the unconscious, I give more credence to the possibility that past input often resurfaces during stress or obtuse happenings.

    Noting that "The people making the reports were never asked 'did you read pulp stories or comics as you grew up" goes to the heart of UFO research: ufology is a pseudo-science of course, but also an inept hobby for participants.

    That's why we can never know whether such things as noted in my post had an impact or not on what ended up being reported.

    It's a complex matter, memory, the unconscious, and neurological regression.

    No UFO person wishes to address the issue(s) seriously, as the subject (UFOs) seems too silly for such attention.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Friday, April 15, 2016  

  • Given that everyone knows what "little green men" means and that such coinage was used back in 1947 (Roswell heaven forbid) is evidence that a person doesn't need to be into science fiction to understand its meaning.

    I think this an obvious example of a social meme working through the psychological masses. Clearly the imagery created in the science fiction realm has influenced UFO descriptions.

    By Blogger Brian Bell, at Friday, April 15, 2016  

  • @ Joel

    You wrote:

    "Are the creatures seen in Ezekiel's vision signs of ancient visitations or was it a bread mold induced "trip" that influenced observers trying to describe an inexplicable observation?"

    Actually it's long been established that Ezekiel's vision is of a contemporary King's throne. This is confirmed by those who professionally study ancient mid-eastern texts and also Biblical scholars.

    No - he didn't see a "UFO" and his vision was not of an odd looking wheel contraption decorated by bizzare alien animals. These are all just elements of a throne from that era.

    So no aliens in that vision....

    By Blogger Brian Bell, at Friday, April 15, 2016  

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