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1960 or 2010? 50 Lost Years in Ufology.

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posted on Jul, 3 2010 @ 08:07 AM
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Scene-setting and introduction



Hello ATS. I've been reading two UFO magazines from 1960 and couldn't help notice we have a lot in common today. Download links are at the end of the OP. In this thread, I'd like you to have a look and see if you can spot the differences?!

If it's possible for an elusive phenomena to have a heyday, then the 1950s were the heydays of the UFO subject....a Golden Age. Major flaps were witnessed and reported across the world. Public consciousness was permanently altered as UFOs set up a grey area where fact, fiction, myth and reality stared uneasily at each other.

Not for the first time, reality began to imitate art as science fiction inspired science fact. In a sense, the advent of the UFO era subtly added a new dimension to the solid reality of our daily lives. To some, this dimension represented fear, to others...redemption. Many more felt the sensation of magic and mystery, that strange adrenaline rush so familiar in early Spielberg movies. It's like the 'Christmas Eve moment' when anticipation and wonder mix together...cool huh?




Much like today, interest groups were formed on a regional and national basis. People formed small local communities and investigated local sightings. Naturally the media was feeding off this national chitter-chatter and generating more and more interest. Ufology, as a mad character in a patch-work coat and a tin-foil hat was born in that decade.

That was the 50s: rock n roll, men in hats, pulp fiction and space invaders. A heck of a decade and one many ATSers would love to visit. We now know that various nations set up committees and project groups to investigate what the hell was going on. Some countries were fairly open and others were quiet. Eastern Bloc govts told their citizens that UFOs were fairy-tale propaganda from the capitalist West. Just another lousy trick by the bourgeoisie to create hysteria in Worker's Paradise. Western govts began down the slippery slope of deceit, denial and ridicule.



The tangled knot of fact versus counter-fact, lie versus truth and official flim-flammery and deflection was here...and here to stay.

So much for the preamble. Here we are in 1960. We've looked back at the great UFO years and look to the future. From wondering about our visitors from space...we'll actually spend much of the 60s in space.

This thread is for discussing the state of ufology in 1960 and how it relates to ufology today. What's changed in 50 years? How much more do we know? Are the familiar issues of today a recent turn of events? Are we any closer to the truth or the mythical realm of 'disclosure?'

Flying Saucer Review 1960




Where better to begin than with the Flying Saucer Review? I'll link to two issues from 1960 and recommend you all read them. All the text extracts are from these two issues. I can't escape the feeling that they represent the ATS world as we would have been back then. You'll see why pretty soon as we look at the opening post of the decade's second issue. The editor (Super-mod?) opens with a plea for manners and decorum from the readership. Apparently the same squabbles between skeptics and believers was present then as now. This extract is like Skeptic Overlord demanding less BS from members and more manners...



Does any of that sound familiar? Different words, but the same sentiments expressed by ATS members and mods all the time. It's the sound of lively debate and high tempers. It's there across other UFO forums and in UFO radio interviews. The filed of UFO research is propelled by this 'boiling kettle' approach.

Conspiracies?



The similarities continue as the FSR publishes a couple of articles identifying certain groups within Ufology. I laughed when I read these comments. They say more than I could at this point...





Oh yeah, we all recognise these people and groups. If they are unrecognisable...you are one


As much as the skeptics and pragmatists despaired about believers 'ruining' or 'discrediting' Ufology...it's still here today...and so are they!

The believers had their own axes to grind. Much as today, they were concerned that disinfo agents were infiltrating the subject and actively silencing the discussion as part of a grand conspiracy. UFO researchers with military or government associations were looked at with distrust. No matter their apparent sincerity...they were not to be trusted. Kevin Randle and Don Ecker have been similarly accused. In this case, it's Donald Keyhoe...a man many consider a pioneer of Ufology as a serious subject...



The reason Keyhoe had come under attack was for suggesting George Adamski wasn't quite telling the truth and was hoaxing photos of UFOs. He didn't believe Adamski was in contact with aliens. In today's Ufology, this reaction has the same strength. When Greer was originally identified as being dishonest, believers attacked the doubters. When the guys who started Reality Uncovered identified Doty behind the SERPO hoax, they were banned from some forums. They recently blew open the Exopoltics-backed 'Source A' hoax and were attacked on forums again.

Even Exopolitics had their highly-educated equivalents in 1960. Many a Doctor or scientist fell in behind the latest contactee or free energy discoverer. With hindsight, they look either ridiculous or working to cause divisions...



The author of this article is the man that published Project Blue Book's 14th Report. This well-known report amassed a huge amount of data about UFOs and related phenomena. The report's conclusion glossed over the 22% of unexplained sightings and concluded...


highly improbable that any of the reports of unidentified aerial objects... represent observations of technological developments outside the range of present-day knowledge.
After Blue Book

In this light, was Dr Ian Davidson being entirely honest?

Ancient Astronauts and Alien Bases



One of the more long-lived and popular subjects in the field of Ufology is the discussion about alien bases and life on Mars and the Moon. 50 years ago, those same ideas were being debated and suggestions being put forward. Ancient astronauts were supposedly living on our planets and moons. Of course, the subject then had more room to move within...it had so few barriers that almost any idea could be plausible. In 1960, they hadn't been in space or seen photos of the landscapes of our planets. Here's an early ancient astronaut hypothesis...



In 1960 they were wondering if Phobos was a spaceship and the Moon was covered in alien bases. Were these space visitors good 'space brothers' or bad 'space invaders?' They had people claiming to have been abducted. There was also a lucrative trade in contactee books. Check out 'Diane from Venus..' As today, contactees were making claims that the Earth was under imminent threat and how aliens wanted to save us. Surprisingly, even the early stirrings of Nibiru is buried in a contactee message. I've underlined it in red...



Every week, someone on ATS is debating about whether the Moon is real or artificial. There's a well-known theory that aliens towed it here and parked it out there. In 1960, it was much the same...



Even Baalbeck is described as a spaceship landing pad! To some that's just ridiculous, but quite a few ATSers believe this idea today.

Damned Nazis in South America



There's a very interesting account of two mysterious underwater objects in Argentina. The incident created a public outcry and media blitz. Once the objects were spotted, the Argentine Navy depth charged and bombed them mercilessly. No damage was caused to these mysterious vessels and they left as quietly as they came. The resulting explanations is like a typical ATS Thread gone into hysterical overdrive...



Brazil Attacked by UFO



In the first issue, there's a great story of a UFO attack. Such a tale should be part of UFO folklore. It describes a Brazilian fortress on the coast of Sao Paolo and how it was manned by a garrison. At night, a couple of sentries watched in growing fear as a large orange UFO sped towards them. It came close enough for them to feel the heat from the object.

In Brazilian UFO accounts, the UFO is sometimes reported as attacking people that point weapons at them. In this case, one guard points his machine gun at the object and....






[edit on 3-7-2010 by Kandinsky]




posted on Jul, 3 2010 @ 08:07 AM
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reply to post by Kandinsky
 

Official Denials and Confusion...



Today's Ufology looks at events like the Hudson Valley and Belgian UFO flaps or O'Hare Airport UFO sightings.. My favourite example is the heavily documented events of Colares 1977. These events seem to provide a large burden of evidence that something over and beyond our technical capacities is up there. So why the silence from our air forces, militaries and governments? The same thing was going on back then. Agencies were flip-flopping and contradicting each other. The 'curtain of laughter' was being drawn.

Suspicions were high, in some places, that the public was being misled. The USAAF, Congressmen and the CIA come under attack for telling mistruths and blatant lies. An interesting article reveals how the CIA protected Adamski from being exposed as a fraud...why would they do that?



A couple of final thoughts



Where have the past fifty years gone? As you read these issues with a smile and a nod, I'm sure you'll get the odd sensation that we really haven't moved a great distance from 1960. There are a couple of thousand UFO books out there. The public is still hungry to know more about UFOs and the sightings continue. Various Govts are still contradicting the bold statements of their predecessors and we're still left dangling.

What's changed in 50 years of Ufology?



A big apology for the size of some of these images. I took all morning last week and deleted the originals after uploading to ATS. I didn't realise how big until ten minutes ago. I could streamline the thread and re-edit them, but it's sooooooooo tedious!

Flying Saucer Review Jan-Feb 1960

Flying Saucer Review May-June 1960


[edit on 3-7-2010 by Kandinsky]



posted on Jul, 3 2010 @ 08:15 AM
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Interesting that people tend to fear them, i saw a UFO with my twin brother when i was really young like 7 ore 8 years old ( probably back in 1995 or 96 ). It was 10 meters above us just flying slowly over us by our porch i never felt any fear back then when i saw it it was like my mind was at ease and this is just normal stuff on earth.

But as i grew older things just stayed the same... boring.. >P



posted on Jul, 3 2010 @ 08:19 AM
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Hi Kandinsky,

Interesting thread.

I've often wondered whether ufology has moved forward in the last 50 years. If anything, I fear that there was more intelligent commentary 50 years ago than today...

By the way, I know you have referred to it previously, but for the benefit of some other members of ATS I thought I'd post the following relevant curse by Philip J. Klass, published in "Saucer Smear" in 1983:



"To ufologists who publicly criticize me or who even think unkind thoughts about me in private, I do hereby leave and bequeath THE UFO CURSE. No matter how long you live, you will never know any more about UFOs than you know today.... As you lie on your own death-bed you will be as mystified about UFOs as you are today. And you will remember this curse."


Sigh.

Oh well, we do what we can and (probably more importantly) we have fun along the way...

All the best,

Isaac



posted on Jul, 3 2010 @ 08:25 AM
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reply to post by IsaacKoi
 
Thanks for the comments. It's been a slippery thread to write. Start, restart, delete, repeat. I just haven't been able to capture what I wanted to say. I gave up and posted as close a version as possible.

Hopefully, people will read the magazines, enjoy them and see for themselves.



posted on Jul, 3 2010 @ 08:42 AM
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reply to post by Kandinsky
 


Kandinsky....

It's such a great pleasure to read your thoughtful, well expressed commentary.

It's very late her now.....

I will review your work again tomorrow & try to add some measure of interesting commentary.

Kind regards
maybe...maybe not



posted on Jul, 3 2010 @ 08:51 AM
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Excellent piece, Kandinsky.

I too have been browsing through vintage copies of Flying Saucer Review. What struck me was the descriptions and witness sketches of the allegedly encountered “space craft” and humanoids. There seemed to be a common distance between observer and object – quite often just a few metres. The beings or craft were often observed close enough to take in the smallest details which would be sketched at the request of any UFO researcher. Sketches and stories, of course, render the evidence that anything really happened as anecdotal only.

Today things have (and in a way haven’t) changed as most people carry a camera, as a stand-alone device or inbuilt into a mobile phone. Most images or film clips of UFOs still have a common distance between observer and object, however, unlike the few metres of the past it is now usually several miles. The once highly detailed close-up sightings are now reduced to almost impossible to identify distant specks. Why would this be? Why should this be? Now that we have the technology to properly record these events, why should the alleged “very close encounters” stop happening? That is, of course, if they ever did happen!

Over the intervening decades have the “spacemen” suddenly developed an acute shyness?



posted on Jul, 3 2010 @ 09:33 AM
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reply to post by torsion
 
Interesting observation. You could be right in a recent sense. Some significant encounters have been reported throughtout the 60s and 70s. I'm thinking of the Hills, Zamora, Pascagoula, Rendlesham etc. Certainly, the 50s reports of spacemen bagging up samples of plants and soil seem to have long past.

In recent years, simple flying saucer sightings have apparently decreased. Orbs and spheres remain a frequently reported sighting and the cigar-shaped craft have all but vanished. Instead, we have the black triangles. Of all the sightings that have been reported, as far as I'm aware there's just two good videos (one of the Hudson Valley flap) and that one image from Belgium. That's not a lot when these huge objects are travelling overhead, slow enough to fall out the sky and (as you point out) everyone carries camera-phones. It was understandable in the 70s and 80s...much less so nowadays.

Perhaps it's because you've drawn my attention to it? There does 'seem' to be a certain distance that features in the recent images and alleged footage. I'll have to have a good think about that idea. Thanks.



posted on Jul, 3 2010 @ 09:47 AM
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reply to post by torsion
 


I can give one analysis of that. Now let me say, this analysis starts from the presumption that. Given the huge data base there is something to the UFO phenomenon beyond that of simply mistaken and misidentified natural occurrences.

The intelligence that controls these *craft* has been with us along long time. The moment we split the atom we became, even if unknowingly, a possible "threat" to this intelligence. As such the intelligence began to show more interest in humans and, to some extent was, flexing its' muscles, by making it plain to the public and the military. if they so choose they can run rings around our, present day, defense capabilities. They fully cogent with the idea that, the world's military arms are , understandably, reticent to talk about this phenomenon so the make themselves blatantly obvious to a large number of *civilians*, knowing the sheer weight of *sightings* will eventually impact upon the psyche of the human population .


In the 40s-50s-60s-70s and even 80s the intelligence could, pretty much with total impunity turn up put on a show knowing that the chances are there would be no record of it photographically, or on video. Plus, if someone was able to snap a few pictures they would , usually wholly dismissed as fakes or of a sufficiently poor quality as to cast doubt on their true subject.

Then, as our technology improved with cheap video cameras, phone cams etc etc, the intelligence withdraws to a distance, knowing that, one slip could just possibly give enough ammunition to have many people, not only accept they exist, but demand something be done about them. however futile this might actually be.

In short, they have the almost perfect stealth technology. They use the human's own natural skepticism as one of their primary tools. It could be that UFOs are a purely human creation from deep within our own psyche. Born from the need to feel *we are not alone*, they have become manifest. That doubt, is their perfect cover.

I suspect the likes of John Keel and Jacques Vallee would wholly have predicted a drop off in *close up good sightings* the moment cameras became legion on this earth. Is it just pure coincidence that this picture was taken on the cusp of us moving from the age of print and still photos to the age of the video and cam phone?

ufocasebook.com...

I strongly admit, this is my personal take on the subject, but it one held by a large rump of those who have studied the subject for a few decades.

As to the conspiracy. Yes i believe there is one. One born from TPTB who hold sway over this Earth simply not being willing to admit, for reasons of pure ego, they are not *totally in charge of their own airspace*. I strongly suspect, between 1940 and 1990 there was a small cadre of very good photos taken of these objects that were *lost* or quite deliberately destroyed by the various governments. There might well be less than 50 in total, but any 2 or 3 of that 50 would be enough to cause a huge shift in public opinion. As it stands right now. The government have it , pretty much , how they want it. Most polls show , nowadays, a majority of people believe we might well have been and are being visited by unknown intelligences. his despite there being no, truly, hard evidence. As such they don;t really need to do anything more and the mass panic that many suggested would grip humanity has not happened.

I believe, disclosure, if it comes will most likely happen in one of two ways. Firstly, some long forgotten incident will come to light along with the commensurate pictures that is, as good as a slam dunk. It will have been deliberately mis filed under some innocuous government department's papers and all the key figures will be, either dead or long since retired. The second scenario is that the intelligence, does what we all do, and becomes just a little too arrogant and makes a huge blooper that, in effect, shows them doing what they do, quite clearly and without any real doubt as to the authenticity of the footage. I'm not holding my breath for either scenario. The truth at the moment would seem to be. If you really do do your research, there is evidence that something is going on. What that something is, could be wholly human in it's origin, it could well be an external intelligence. it is there where it, for now, becomes a matter of one's own opinion.



posted on Jul, 3 2010 @ 10:38 AM
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Originally posted by FireMoon
reply to post by torsion
 



Then, as our technology improved with cheap video cameras, phone cams etc etc, the intelligence withdraws to a distance,



The problem with that argument, Firemoon, it that the distant object is only far away from the person with the camera who has shot the footage.

When these photos or videos are taken in populated areas there must be hundreds/thousands of people in the near-by vicinity of the object. They too will have camera phones but they choose not to film/photograph it because they can see quite clearly what it is - be it a bird, plane, Chinese lantern, balloon, kite or whatever.

Once the "distance value" has been taken out of the equation the object ceases to be a mystery. That's why nobody is filming close-up UFOs - because close up they are identifiable.

cheers



posted on Jul, 3 2010 @ 11:18 AM
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The main reason, and biggest culprit in engendering, WHY we are (and have been since the 1960's) in a sterile no-mans land is this



Later declassified, the Robertson Panel's report concluded that UFOs were not a direct threat to national security, but could pose an indirect threat by overwhelming standard military communications due to public interest in the subject. Most UFO reports, they concluded, could be explained as misidentification of mundane aerial objects, and the remaining minority could, in all likelihood, be similarly explained with further study.

The Robertson Panel concluded that a public relations campaign should be undertaken in order to "debunk" UFOs, and reduce public interest in the subject, and that civilian UFO groups should be monitored. There is evidence this was carried out more than two decades after the Panel's conclusion; see "publicity and responses" below.

Critics[1] (including a few panel members) would later lament the Robertson Panel's role in making UFOs a somewhat disreputable field of study.


Link to full Wikipedia 'Robertson Panel' article

en.wikipedia.org...


The minute that conscious decision was made, and the policy instigated, it almost guaranteed that we would end up where we are today.

You can actually see examples of that deliberately fostered conditioning here within ATS's UFO forum, in practically every thread that gets posted. It's almost second nature now for people to view ANY tale, anecdote, event, or UFO-related happening through the filter of disreputability that the deliberate policy fostered.

Yes, one can argue that the numerous charlatans and hoaxes the field has attracted over the last 50 years REALLY hasn't helped. In fact what they've helped is the very same people who decided to do this.



Furthermore, the Panel suggested the Air Force should begin a "debunking" effort to reduce "public gullibility" and demystify UFO reports, partly via a public relations campaign, using psychiatrists, astronomers and assorted celebrities to significantly reduce public interest in UFOs. It was also recommended that the mass media be used for the debunking, including influential media giants like the Walt Disney Corporation. The primary reasoning for this recommendation lay in the belief that the Soviets might try to "mask" an actual invasion of the USA by causing a wave of false "UFO" reports to swamp the Pentagon and other military agencies, thus temporarily blinding the US government to the impending Communist invasion.

Their formal recommendation stated "That the national security agencies take immediate steps to strip the Unidentified Flying Objects of the special status they have been given and the aura of mystery they have unfortunately acquired.


It is only my opinion... But I firmly believe that the reason the study of UFO is in the 'stalled state it is; the reason newscasters giggle when presenting a UFO event; the reason people are still as reluctant to talk about their experiences; and the reason people still pour scorn and derision on the subject, to the point of it still being a 'career killer' ... the reason is the very deliberate, clever and devastating policy of debunking and ridicule encouraged as a result of the Robertson Panel.

Just my opinion, of course



posted on Jul, 3 2010 @ 03:32 PM
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reply to post by Kandinsky
 
Interesting thread Kandinsky. I'll look forward to reading some of these old magazines. I agree, it doesn't seem like we've made much progress in 50 years.


Originally posted by IsaacKoi
curse by Philip J. Klass, published in "Saucer Smear" in 1983:



"To ufologists who publicly criticize me or who even think unkind thoughts about me in private, I do hereby leave and bequeath THE UFO CURSE. No matter how long you live, you will never know any more about UFOs than you know today.... As you lie on your own death-bed you will be as mystified about UFOs as you are today. And you will remember this curse."


The problem with that curse is it seems to affect even those to whom it's NOT addressed!



posted on Jul, 3 2010 @ 04:02 PM
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reply to post by torsion
 
You make a good argument. Are you attempting to apply it across all UFO sightings?



posted on Jul, 3 2010 @ 05:32 PM
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Originally posted by torsion

Originally posted by FireMoon
reply to post by torsion
 



Then, as our technology improved with cheap video cameras, phone cams etc etc, the intelligence withdraws to a distance,



The problem with that argument, Firemoon, it that the distant object is only far away from the person with the camera who has shot the footage.

When these photos or videos are taken in populated areas there must be hundreds/thousands of people in the near-by vicinity of the object. They too will have camera phones but they choose not to film/photograph it because they can see quite clearly what it is - be it a bird, plane, Chinese lantern, balloon, kite or whatever.

Once the "distance value" has been taken out of the equation the object ceases to be a mystery. That's why nobody is filming close-up UFOs - because close up they are identifiable.

cheers


No , the vast majority of people don;t even notice what's going on in their own street, let alone the sky.

www.bbc.co.uk...

5million people live within a 50 mile radius of that sighting. How many people actually reposted it? So I'm not sure what the point is you are trying to make here.



posted on Jul, 3 2010 @ 07:18 PM
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Kandinsky...and others

Great to read your very observant thread, I think the answers lie in this very interesting interview with Robert Morningstar on the Veritas show, I would encourage all to listen - www.veritasshow.com...

ENJOY...

PS:Willbe interested to hear other opinion of this interview.



posted on Jul, 4 2010 @ 05:42 AM
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Originally posted by FireMoon
No , the vast majority of people don;t even notice what's going on in their own street, let alone the sky.

www.bbc.co.uk...

5million people live within a 50 mile radius of that sighting. How many people actually reposted it? So I'm not sure what the point is you are trying to make here.


The case you link to is exactly what I mean. It happened in 1987 - pre-camera phone days. The fact that the witness in your link became a born again Christian after his alleged sighting implies, to me, that it is likely a tall tale with an agenda. Further, his claim that there was no traffic on the road seems like a device to explain the lack of corroborative independent witnesses.

Google Earth location of Brett Forrest's "sighting" 52°28'53.79"N 2° 7'42.14"W
Could a noisey aircraft carrier-sized triangle fly at a height of 60ft over that area unseen?

My point is now that most people carry a camera there are no more close-up sightings of "aircraft carrier sized spaceships." In the past we simply had to take the witnesses' word (as in your linked example). It was easy for people to make up contact stories.

Now that extraordinary claims can be proven with video evidence the extraordinary sightings have ceased. All we see are endless Youtube videos of Chinese lanterns, satellites, insects or other prosaic objects - all very small and very far away and very conveniently rendered unidentifiable!

Where are the post-camera phone invention incidents involving 10,000 ton nuts and bolts, port-holed floating hulks hovering 60ft above the witness?



posted on Jul, 4 2010 @ 07:00 AM
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Torsion, your argument is silly. It presumes that real, close-up UFO events occur with a very regular frequency.

How many "real" close encounters should occur in a year, over densely populated areas? And can we even assume that a witness to such an event would grab for his/her phone/camera in all cases?

Otherwise admit you merely set up a strawman, and knocked that down.



posted on Jul, 4 2010 @ 07:46 AM
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Originally posted by jclmavg
Torsion, your argument is silly. It presumes that real, close-up UFO events occur with a very regular frequency.

How many "real" close encounters should occur in a year, over densely populated areas? And can we even assume that a witness to such an event would grab for his/her phone/camera in all cases?

Otherwise admit you merely set up a strawman, and knocked that down.


I don't think you follow what I'm saying, jclmavg.

If you look back at UFO reports of the 60s, 70s, 80s there were regular claims of close-up sightings. By close-up I mean that the witnesses were near enough to see the objects in great detail - even board them. There were a few photographs produced (virtually all subsequently shown to be fake) but mostly witnesses only provided sketches to prove their claim.

By way of an example Flying Saucer Review May-June 1979 has has a drawing on the cover of a very detailed typical flying saucer landed in a field with a humanoid. The first report inside is the Dapple Grey Lane incident - a very close-up encounter with crawling brains(!); p7 Close Contact on Reunion; p11 (cover story)Sunderland Family Encounters close contact with landed saucer and occupant; p18 Conversation With Entities (direct contact with saucer occupants; p28 Bedfordshire Cross Country Chase landed ufo close enough to see details of windows etc. Virtually every report in the issue is a close contact one.

Now that practically all people have cameras handy the imagery we get is all the same type distant object - no close-up footage.

We only hear reports of crawling brains, claw-footed humanoids, landed saucers and aircraft carrier-sized triangles when there are no cameras there to record it.

When cameras are available all we see are little points of light.



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