Thursday, June 28, 2007

TRUE Mattered

During the 1940s and 1950s magazines catering specifically to readers with an interest in UFOs and various phenomena were certainly available on the newsstands and by subscription (Fate, of course, comes immediately to mind), and if monthly issues promising the truth and nothing but weren't of interest, there was a wide selection of popular periodicals such as Analog, which featured a science fiction theme.

Then there were the "men's magazines," predicated on the belief, for their time, that men were masculine hunters and gatherers of the intellect who demanded a reading source printed in testosterone ink. Their proliferation resulted in such dependable, adventure-laden monthlies as Saga, Argosy -- and, most important here, True.

True Magazine had a long, gritty history as the top periodical of its kind, but for those interested in UFOs we wish only to offer a brief tribute here for that aspect. True is the magazine that rocked the world in 1950 with an article by Maj. Donald E. Keyhoe (USMC, ret.), later the head of NICAP, proclaiming that "flying saucers" were real as he astounded readers with dramatic military reports. While True offered a diet of other articles about the strange and unknown over the years, it was Keyhoe's writing on UFOs that easily comes to mind when researchers remember True.

In 1965, a year after the Socorro, NM UFO "landing" and a period overflowing with UFO sightings, True Magazine offered yet another blockbuster article by Keyhoe, again highlighting military incidents and evidence that anything we dispatch from a launch pad can easily be shadowed by UFOs.

As stated previously, True was not alone on the newsstand with its wide appeal regarding matters of high interest, but this is the title carrying the most weight -- and you can bet that more than one member of Congress sat up and took notice as angry constituents wrote and called them in droves to encourage UFO investigations.

True Magazine is gone now, a victim of numerous circumstances like so many other print publications. But for its time, the degree of influence this newsstand king contributed to public opinion about UFOs may still be inestimable.