UFO Conjectures

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Science Wonder Stories [1929] By: Frank R. Paul

How much did covers like this affect flying saucer/UFO "witnesses" in the late 1940-1970 time frame?

A flying saucer image, such as the one pictured here, would surely influence persons arriving at post-pubertal ages and well into their 30s and beyond.

It influenced Adamski apparently, but whom else in UFO lore was also directed neurologically to recall such a striking aircraft image when they observed something strange during the flying saucer heyday?

Impressionable images will replace. mentally (in situ or as a memory) what was actually seen, if one is inclined toward an extraterrestrial or exotic (Earth-derived) flying machine.

Jules Verne's 1886 Robur the Conqueror was, in part, the stimulus for the 1896 Airship "observations."
What UFO accounts were spurred by such iconic tales and imagery, as a result of an over-animated mind-set?

Upcoming I'll tie some notable UFO sightings/events to images from media.

Yes, this has been done before, but without, generally, a determined or specific association to a witness.

What suggestive sightings do you have?



  • 1930's SciFi pulp magazines such as "Amazing Wonder Stories" has many cover illustrations depicting saucers and flying anomalies including some in the shape of those reported by Kenneth Arnold. This includes cigar shaped craft acting as motherships to smaller ships. Clearly if these were in existence in the mid- to early 1930's we have a potential explanation for the basic shapes people claimed they had seen.

    By Blogger Brian B, at Saturday, October 24, 2015  

  • And I'm wondering, Brian, what neurological mechanism might lock in such imagery so that it replaces what was really seen with what was imagined or hoped to be seen.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Saturday, October 24, 2015  

  • Perhaps the subconscious exposure to tid bits of Sci-Fi genre, whether desired or not, activates fear, curiosity, wonderment, and imaginative thinking that culminates in the mundane transforming into the fantastic.

    By Blogger Brian B, at Saturday, October 24, 2015  

  • Indeed, Brian, but what's the biological or psychological mechanism that triggers the transformation?

    It's not germane to the thesis....I'm just curious in an Oliver Sacks way.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Saturday, October 24, 2015  

  • Rich: "How much did covers like this affect flying saucer/UFO "witnesses" in the late 1940-1970 time frame?"

    Not at all, before 1951.

    99 44/100 % of pulp covers, comic books, comic strips, movie serials, sf magazines, if they had a flying craft on them, they were bullet or needle shaped with fins, usually with flames shooting out from the back. The wonder is disks were reported instead, in 1947.

    Can anyone name a sighting prior to 1951 in which the witness reported seeing a disk with a big dome on top? The drawing of the Snake River sighting is close. One of the photos of the Trent object (1950) gives us (these days) the impression it might be domed. Did Paul Trent describe what the object looked like? To my eyes it looks like the Snake River one (absent the side jets).

    1951's The Day The Earth Stood Still has the disk shape that became the iconic shape. But earlier reports mention only a "cockpit", if anything, atop the disk. The movie needed a place to put the action inside the craft, and I think, that the big dome atop the disk is an ET thing (where are the aliens, otherwise in the saucer? Give the common dimensions (30-50 ft diameter, and thin like a coin) the aliens would have to be crab-like to live inside the disk. Thus, the dome.

    Best Regards,


    By Blogger Don, at Saturday, October 24, 2015  

  • Brian Bell: "Clearly if these were in existence in the mid- to early 1930's we have a potential explanation for the basic shapes people claimed they had seen."

    I think the explanation is they are "basic shapes". There are only a few.



    By Blogger Don, at Saturday, October 24, 2015  

  • Consider the context of the times that may have played on the psyche. Roaring 20s with it's pseudo prosperity followed by the market crash. Coupled with the rapid advancement with the airplane (powered glider to reliable platforms) and the increase use of zeppelins and blimps. Take into considerations those "crazy assed" theories coming from a frizzy haired scientist named Einstein and that voodoo of all science, quantum mechanics.

    We currently think that we are in the midst for technical overload, but this technological overload may have well been present in the 1920s and 30s. This may have been a silent tripping point for hysteria and other delusional qualities both short lived and long lasting.

    By Blogger Tim Hebert, at Saturday, October 24, 2015  

  • Fellows:

    It seems to me that somehow the disk-shaped pictures of alien or advanced Earthian craft took hold with some people, not the society as a whole.

    Thus Jung's proposition of the archetypal mandala intrigues.

    Some persons who saw a strange configuration in the sky chose to interpret it as a flying saucer, one like that pictured atop this posting.

    While others chose to see a strange thing and not connect it to a saucer shaped, exotic craft.

    Why did some go the saucer route, about which UFO lore has gathered their "reports, while others did not and their sightings not registered, generally, anywhere in the UFO "history."

    This is where separating the wheat from the chaff, or the signal from the noise, if you prefer, comes in.

    There is a mind-set or psychological/neurological predilection here. Why?


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Saturday, October 24, 2015  

  • Robert Taylor's description of the main object in his Dechmont Woods encounter story resembled a spherical machine that had been featured in a Dr Who episode. And the two similar "robots" might be Taylor's unconscious expression of Daleks.

    Though they may not be an exact match, Michalak's Falcon Lake saucers very much resembled the Invaders saucers--the program was airing at the time--as do many phony saucer photos from the late 1960s.

    Michalek flipped the usual inverted saucer shape of the Invaders but maintained the row of flashing colored lights separating the body from the cupula. And his description of the saucers glowing red in flight but cooling to metallic when landed is the Invaders exactly. That is reason alone to question his story, if nearly every other aspect or detail of his flying-saucer fairy tale wasn't equally dubious.

    I think we've all seen distant high-flying jets' fuselages reflecting sunlight while their wings are indistinguishable producing an "entirely predisposed" flying-saucer effect in some minds. (g)

    By Blogger zoamchomsky, at Saturday, October 24, 2015  

  • "There is a mind-set or psychological/neurological predilection here. Why?"

    There is an historically induced predilection beginning with the drawings of Robida and followed closely by cover artists employed by Hugo Gernsbach from day one of the twentieth century. The very first cover of Modern Electrics featured a fully developed "flying saucer" and this shape--often depicted as being powered by Tesla broadcast electricity--was featured on dozens of Gernsbach's Amazing Stories covers (and others) for fifty years before Arnold's 1947 "saucer-like" "saucer shaped" "like a saucer" unambiguous and very likely intentional so-called "saucer error."

    That's the other great determiner of this predilection, the so-called "saucer error." Arnold claimed he never said they were "saucer shaped" but that's what the AP story quoted him as saying--in more ways than one--so that's what people all across the US reported seeing "flying saucers!" Predisposition is Seeing.

    The chain of evidence in this case for a saucer predilection from Robida's electric flying machines of the future and the very first Gernsbach cover to Amazing Stories and Ray Palmer, the Shaver Mystery, Palmer's FATE magazine and Kenneth Arnold's fictional flying saucers come to life is simply a matter of historical fact.

    Those wishing to dispute that solid chain of evidence are either ignorant of this history or unwilling or simply afraid of its import, its fatal blow, its finishing stroke to the flying saucer myth and the "UFO" delusion.

    By Blogger zoamchomsky, at Saturday, October 24, 2015  

  • But Zoam,

    Can't one make the case that everything is delusional?

    So, in the land of the lame (or world existence) delusion is coin of the realm.

    That is, the framework is delusional and UFOs are part of that framework, "real" in the context."


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Saturday, October 24, 2015  

  • Here's another perhaps wild suggestion.

    Like many disorders passed through familial genetics, certain people are unwittingly born with a predisposition that alters perceptual reality when properly triggered by the right stimuli.

    We know the potential for addictions can be passed along as well as other disorders such as depression.

    Perhaps a percentage of people carry genetic attributes that for them, under the right circumstances, temporarily alters their reality.

    By Blogger Brian B, at Saturday, October 24, 2015  

  • Rich; you asked a question, I gave you a straight answer: The saucer predilection is a matter of pulp science-fiction history and Arnold's so-called "saucer error." For me, that's the whole--and very revealing--story.

    I can see that you're looking for more than that, some neurological basis of this now archetypal image, but I'm not sure there is one. Symbols are inventions, conventions, I don't think there must be some deeper significance to one's design.

    As a psychology student decades ago and a PSHer I'm very familiar with Jung's idea that the saucers were wish-fulfilling projections of the psyche, mandalas, visions of cosmic wholeness. I appreciate the poetry of that and of his notions of just about everything under the sun being expressions of archetypes resident in the collective unconscious, but I think the world is not so determined. The world is fully random but with an illusion of order about it fostered by regularity, and we impose our creative will upon it as best we can.

    Pick another symbol, various crosses, very obviously Sun symbols in cultures worldwide. Is there necessarily some neurological basis, some collective unconscious impulse behind our understanding them as Sun pictographs even if they also become religious icons? You said it already, "Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar."

    "Can't one make the case that everything is delusional?"

    That's your Platonic or Neo-Platonic predilection talking, my friend. In the Scientific Realist socially constructed worldview the real world is congruent with the world we see. Some facts exist only only by agreement, institutional facts; and some facts are the world as it exists, brute facts. If you want to call everything a "delusion," then I say you're stretching the meaning of the word.

    "So, in the land of the lame (or world existence) delusion is coin of the realm."

    False beliefs about the world, social delusions, certainly abound.

    "That is, the framework is delusional and UFOs are part of that framework, "real" in the context."

    Back to facts and stretching the meaning of the word "delusion." There is truth in the world--the continuously evolving totality of facts at any moment--even if it's incomplete and ambiguous; and then there are false beliefs about the world held by large groups of people that are clearly delusions.

    By Blogger zoamchomsky, at Sunday, October 25, 2015  

  • Zoam,

    You know I luv ya, but there is a battleground skirmish among academics (with which you are familiar) about what is reality and/or consciousness, wherein there is the debate about what we sense: it is a real thing or an unreal thing that no one can confirm one way or the other.

    That is, the world as I know it may not exist in any real sense.

    This may not be the venue for such a ripe discussion, but there it is.

    UFO may be a delusion within a delusion, yes?

    Anyway, I do not discard your view(s) out of hand; they are as acceptable to me, intellectually as any other.

    Whether we can resolve any of that here, with the limited attendance an intelligence of visitors, is moot.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Sunday, October 25, 2015  

  • Rich: "...the world as I know it may not exist in any real sense."

    You and I know that the white horse is in a green meadow under a blue sky, and it all "exists". We also know it is a 'description', language; "in reality" what really exists is maybe a gradient of radiation.

    Horse, meadow, sky, blue, white, green, they exist because our sensorium resolves the raw data thus, mediated by language silently spoken 'in our heads'.

    As we view the field, so does the dog who accompanies us. It sees no green and blue, no horse, nor sky, nor meadow, but something else.

    Real every day reality for us is constructed out of language.

    I could quote theoretical physicists, but I'm not a scientist (I don't even play one on blogs), so instead a quote from an old movie (Prince Of Darkness), the introductory speech to Physics 1A class:

    "Let's talk about our beliefs and what we can learn about them. We believe that nature is solid and time a constant. Matter has substance and time a direction. There is truth in flesh and the solid ground. The wind may be invisible but it's real. Smoke, fire, water, light they're different, not like stone and steel, but they're tangible,

    We assume that time is an arrow and is as a clock: one second is one second for everyone, cause precedes effect, fruit rots, water flows downstream, we're born we age we die. the reverse never happens.

    None of this is true.

    Say goodbye to classical reality because our logic collapses on the subatomic level Into ghosts and shadows.

    From Job's friends insisting that the good are rewarded And the wicked punished, to the scientists of the 1930's proving to their horror the theorem that not everything can be proved, we've sought to impose order on the universe, but we've discovered something very surprising: While order does exist in the universe, it is not at all what we had in mind."

    Best Regards,


    By Blogger Don, at Monday, October 26, 2015  

  • Thanks Don...

    I'm about to provide material from a new book about what we believe (or not) and why; it's about reality.

    Your comments are within the book's ballpark.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Monday, October 26, 2015  

  • "We live in exactly one world, not two or three or seventeen." --John Searle

    From what one and only real world does one imagine any other?

    Tell us something about some world that is not a mere subject in this.

    When we imagine and speak about celestial or quantum otherworlds we do so from this material stage of actions and dialogue.

    We live here, we do not live in celestial or quantum otherworlds, period.

    That's the definition of reality.


    By Blogger zoamchomsky, at Wednesday, October 28, 2015  

  • Nope, Zoamy...

    We think we "live here." We may not, actually.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Wednesday, October 28, 2015  

  • Hey Buddy;

    Go directly to Chapter 7: Does the Real World Exist?

    Searle explains that the old anti-realists arguments in all their forms have been long destroyed. But he addresses (and destroys) them again in the present (1995)because they've reappeared in popular science writing and so in folk discussion.

    My gift to you (and all), make of it what you will, I'm finished for now. (g)

    By Blogger zoamchomsky, at Wednesday, October 28, 2015  

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