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Saturday, November 3, 2018

Hail Eris! All Hail the Saucers!

 When I was a boy, I used to love reading books about UFOs by the likes of Frank Edwards, the author of Flying Saucers -- Serious Business. I eventually outgrew my UFO interests, but fortunately Adam Gorightly did not. His upcoming book ‘A’ is for Adamski: The Golden Age of the UFO Contactees (available "before too damn long") seems likely to be a great read.

I base this opinion on Adam's new Historia Discordia article, "Discordianism Meets Ufology Part 00004: Were Gray Barker and Jim Moseley Original Discordians?" about a couple of memorable UFO pranks, including one pulled on UFO "contactee" George Adamski.

The letter in question—signed by the fictitious R.E. Straith, a member of the State Department’s “Cultural Exchange Committee”—informed Adamski that his 1952 encounter with Orthon the Venusian in Desert Center, California, had been confirmed by government officials, and Straith encouraged Adamski to drop by the Cultural Exchange Committee’s D.C. offices whenever he was in town.

Adamski all but wet his pants over this phony State Department endorsement, trotting out the Straith Letter at every opportunity to support his ET contact claims. This prompted an investigation by the real State Department and FBI, who ordered Adamski to stop pimping this cockamamie letter as it was an obvious hoax and there was no such department as the “Cultural Exchange Committee.” Of course this didn’t dissuade Adamski, who claimed that the government was trying to suppress the Straith Letter from the public. But he would not be deterred!

It was John Higgs who pointed out that sightings of UFO encounters suddenly declined in the cell phone era, when everyone walks around with a camera. See the chapter on "Science Fiction" in his excellent Stranger Than We Can Imagine.

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