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THE HIDDEN HISTORY OF THE FLYING SAUCER MYSTERY eee STRANGE “OTHER-WORLDLY” DEVICES, WEIRD BEINGS WITH ORIENTAL-LIKE FEATURES, SINISTER MEN DRESSED IN BLACK, “DETRIMENTAL ROBOTS” RESIDING IN UNDERGROUND CITIES ARE ALL PART OF THE WONDRO US — LONG 0 SINCE FORGOTTEN — DAYS OF UFOLOGY OB cans in an eerie silence, barely noticed and generally ignored, without fanfare. It took years for us ‘to realize there was something up there, and then we ‘wasted more years arguing about what they might be, Where they were coming from and why they were here. In time, the silly arguments and polemics became more important than their presence. It didn’t matter what you saw, it mattered more what you believed you saw. And 80, after almost a hundred years of observation and study, we still don’t know anything at all about the mys- ‘erious objects or their purpose in our skies. We just know ‘that they are there and that they have succeeded in be- wildering us and deceiving us totally. The first man to “solve” the mystery was a young Brit- ish writer who was sick in a hospital in London, when jed_ a package of clippings from the United ey described the wondrous appearances of les which sprayed brilliant searchlights over by John A. Keel ‘the terrain. The year was 1896. The young man was nam- ed H.G. Wells. He knew there were no operational dirig- ibles of any worth anywhere in the world. He also knew ‘that searchlights were heavy and required heavy gener- ators ot batteries. The objects in the U.S. were plainly impossible. So he made up a story about invaders from other planets and called it The War of the Worlds. Meanwhile, in San Francisco and a thousand other places, the mysterious objects fluttered through the skies. that Thanksgiving. By Christmas, 1896, they were buzz- ing Boston. The following Spring, they were doing an aerial ballet over the midwest. The newspapers were de- lighted, and began to try to outdo each other by making up outlandish stories of landings in swamps, and “‘se- ret inventors” testing their delicate craft in the dead of night. Many years would pass before we learned that similar objects were being seen over the isolated forests of Siberia, half-a-world away, in 1887. By 1909, they would be soaring over Great Britain and Scandinavia. a Climax, Colorado (Sweden would set up the world’s first UFO investigat- ing bureau that year, manned by a single bureaucrat.) In 1914, the sightings spread to Africa, frightening and puzzling farmers on the veldt. Many researchers around the world have spent long, tedious hours in dusty libraries, pouring over yellowing ‘old newspapers to locate news stories about these events. In that era, at the turn of the century, man was just beginning to learn to fly. Count Zeppelin was blund- ering over Switzerland in his clumsy early dirigible. The Wright Brothers put a gasoline engine on a glider and took off. But somebody else — and we still don’t know who — was fiying all over the planet at will, never giving themselves away. By the 1930's, aviation had made some progress. Lind- berg had flown the Atlantic and early airlines were start- ing up. Fiying was still primitive, navigation instruments were few and radios were too clumsy and too heavy to be used in most aircraft. Nevertheless, someone had mas- tered the most hostile skies on the planet. Beginning in 1930, airplanes came over the North Pole and buzzed Lapland in Northern Sweden. Airplanes were a rare sight anywhere, yet these machines began to appear over ‘Sweden and Norway almost daily. They flew in the worst kind of weather. ... weather that would have grounded conventional planes. They often appeared in formations of as many as six aircraft. And, as in 1896-97, they flash- ed brilliant searchlights on the ground. They were even seen to land on distant hilltops. The Swedish government took the many reports very seriously and launched a mas- sive investigation, moving the tiny Swedish Air Force to the far north in an effort to track down the “ghostfliers”, as they were called. The activities of these phantom, planes continued until 1935. In 1936, the Soviet Union dramatically shifted a large part of their air forces to the Kola Peninsula, next to Finland and Sweden, because the “ghosttliers” were invading Soviet territory from the far North! Who were the “ghostfliers” and what were they do- ing fiying over the isolated, thinly populated Arctic Cir- cle in all kinds of foul weather? The New York Times of- fered an answer. The mysterious airplanes were piloted by Japanese! The Times correspondent never explain- ed his reasons for this conclusion. However, in an earl- ier “ghostflier’” wave over Australia and New Zealand, ‘some Witnesses claimed that the planes flew so low they could clearly see that the pilots had Oriental features. One of the witnesses to an airship landing in Mississipy 1897, also described the occupants as “Jay ‘So while the young H.G. Wells imagined they were from Mars, all of the data collected from these early waves suggested a simpler solution. The testimony of thousands of eyewitnesses all over the world described rather conventional dirigibles, balloons and primitive air- craft with open cockpits. The occupants of these machines seemed to be normal human beings of the earthly variety and, in numerous instances, they spoke the language of the country they were visiting. It was the mundane nature of these encounters that kept the lid on by not arousing undue suspicion. “Secret inven- tors” and sneaky Oriental spies were a far more accept- able answer than the extraterrestrial notion that became popular in the second half of this century. It is signi ‘cant that many of the UFO occupants seen in later years also had an Oriental cast to their features. Equally puzz!- ing, the notorious Men In Black (MIBs) who harassed wit- nesses and became a general nuisance to many UFO in- vestigators, also looked like Orientals. MIBs are not new. At pagan festivals (notably those of witchcraft), one participant always dresses in black and acts out the historic role of The Man In Black. Orientals black robes are a classic part of the b ‘Shambala and the King of the World. The King is supposed to live in an underground city somewhere in the Himalayas and the MIBs are his agents who journey to the surface to kidnap innocent folk and engage in all kinds of skulldug- gery. The myth has been around for hundreds of years and has millions of faithful adherants. Virtually all religions, in fact, have their own versions of the MIB lore. The vampire myths of the Middle Ages were based on the appearances of black-suited Orient- als who were often accompanied by mysterious aerial lights when they sucked blood from animals and humans. The innumerable Virgin Mary cults of Christianity were based on the appearances of female entities with dark skin, Oriental eyes and excessively long fingers... .all much-reported traits of UFOnauts. In the 1940s, a new version of the Shambala legend ‘swept América, complete with the standard black-garbed slant-eyed uglies. Now they were called Detrimental Rob- ots (DEROs), and they were supposed to live in under- ground cities where they ran machines which focused John Keel — pictured here with a miniaturized likeness of West Virginia's Mothman creature — is among a hand- ful of legendary characters in the UFO field. Sprinkled with wit and humor, his writings have become popular with an audience that goes well beyond the UFO buf- fery. Over the years, he has contributed to such widely diversified publications as the National Lampoon, High Times, True, and Readers Digest. /n this field, his main contributions have been the books; UFOS: OPERATION TROJAN HORSE, MOTHMAN PROPHECIES, THE EIGHTH TOWER, and STRANGE MUTANTS. Several months ago, Keel became the father of the New York Fortean Society named after Charles Fort the famed chronicler of anomalies and other unexplainable events. The charter members include “scholars, authors, gadflies and students of the weird,” noted Keel in the first issue of the society’s newsletter. Several meetings have already been held with topics like Tim Beckley’s in- vestigation of cattle mutilations in Colorado and a trip to the Nicholas Roerich Museum having been on the agenda. A recent conference on the “Men-in-Black” who silence UFO witnesses took place before a standing room only crowd. Readers interested in participating in future ‘meetings may contact the group for a schedule at Box 20024, New York, IV.¥. 10025. 70 ee mind-controlling rays on the human population above. They also operated peculiar-looking fiying machines that would eventually be called UFOs, The creator of this now “Devil Theory” was a welder named Richard Shaver, who claimed he received mental messages from the DEROs while he was operating his welding equipment. Shaver wrote a crudely inept story about those messages and sentit off to Raymond A. Palmer, editor of a pulp maga- zine called AMAZING STORIES. Palmer rewrote the story, adding many touches of his own, and published it in 1944. To his amazement, thousands of letters pour- ed in, all from people claiming firsthand experiences with the DEROs, their rays and their strange flying machines. AMAZING STORIES’ circulation leaped from 25,000 to 250,000 in four short months! The Shaver Mystery was bom, and Palmer spent much of his time grinding out new stories for the series, many of which he based on. the letters he was receiving. Hardcore science fiction readers were appalled by the Shaver stories, but the pub- lic gobbled them up for four years (1944-48) and the Shaver mystery remained so popular that LIFE magazine devoted an eight-page article to it in 1952. ‘The Shaver stories contained all the elements of mod- ‘em UFO reports. Men-In-Black, abductions, amnesia, distortions of time and space, all had been experienced by Palmer's readers in those early days. Later, the U.S. Air Force would openly accuse Palmer of having in- vented the whole fying saucer mystery just to sell mag- azines. A few others were taking notice of things in the sky during the 1930s and “40s. One was a novelist named Tif- fany Thayer. He had founded the first Fortean Society (Charles Fort, the namesake for the Society refused to join it). Boasting about 1,200 members, the Society pub- lished a magazine titled DOUBT, which occasionally ran rare newspaper items about unidentified flying whatzits. ‘So Thayer and his followers were on top of the subject long before the general public had even heard of it. A political conservative and eccentric, Thayer was bitterly ‘opposed to President Franklin Roosevelt and his New Deal. He saw governmental conspiracies in almost every- thing, and was the first to accuse the Federal bureau- crats of deliberately covering up the flying saucer mys- tery. Later, his anti-government theories would be adopt- ed by all fledgling UFOlogists.