Sunday, July 15, 2007

When Journalists Roamed the Earth

If UFO-tinged nostalgia is your thing, you've come to the right place. I'm in the process of unearthing files even I haven't seen in years, and it really is my intention to post scans of interest. Currently, I'm digging through 1966 and this year will occupy us for a while. I've located several more things from the late President Gerald Ford when he was still a Michigan congressman, pertaining, of course, to the Michigan UFO sightings and his concern for a UFO inquiry.

But today I'm posting a letter from Look Magazine, received in March of 1966. The February 22 issue of Look, another beloved American periodical gone to the great magazine heaven in the sky, had shaken the country with John G. Fuller's article, "Outer Space Ghost Story," his account of UFO close encounters in Exeter, NH. The same year, Fuller's story became a best-selling book entitled Incident at Exeter, a work we've mentioned a couple of times previously here.

I wrote Look about the piece and related my interest in the Socorro, NM UFO incident of April, 1964, and I suppose I asked the editors to run more about that subject in the future, too. You see, one of my dirty little secrets is that I've long been more intrigued by the Socorro case than the Roswell UFO furor. Call me misinformed, call me a fool, call me stupid because I'm waiting for the wrong train to pass by -- can't help it, that's just the way I've felt and am perfectly content to let those far more familiar with Roswell pursue the facts (and, I will admit, the Roswell story is a crackling hot fire right now, so go for it).

An editorial staff member kindly took a moment to reply in the letter shown here. How I yearn for those days again, a time when a letter to a company warranted an actual typed, personal, one-of-a-kind response instead of a computer-generated one-size-fits-'em-all piece of electronic blather.

I will say this much. Ms. Celli wasn't kidding around when she said that the editors of Look were interested in "flying saucers" and would pursue the subject in the future: On May 14, 1968 Look and author John G. Fuller again shook the nation with the story, "Flying Saucer Fiasco," an expose' of serious trouble in the very bowels of the University of Colorado UFO "study." The emerging scandal centered around a particular in-house memo and the revelation that, no matter the evidence, the study would focus upon issuance of a negative report regarding UFO existence.

Gerald Ford was concerned (see my Ford letter posted several entries ago), NICAP was angry, the public was upset -- and Look Magazine and Fuller subsequently proved to be right-on about Colorado U. Obviously, non-existent UFO sightings, videos, photos, pilot reports and other phantasms continue to this very day. Just live with it, okay?