UFO Shot Down in 1829 – Phantoms and Monsters

Lon Strickler leads off a quartet of historically-minded UFO articles with something like a very early 19th century airship tale. The “UFO” may be identified in the end, but the stimulus could have come from a current news report. Hopefully the reaction of the 19th-centry inhabitants of Wandsworth, a burg southwest of London, would not be repeated these days. Scott Corrales brings us closer to the present with Backtracking: Early 20th Century UFO Mysteries. Corrales relates an interesting array of Hispanic cases from both the Old and New Worlds to illustrate the contention that Ken Arnold did not “invent” UFOs in 1947. Readers will note, however, that these cases seem to be memories reported after Arnold’s sighting. Curt Collins reminds us that the Arnold sighting touched off a period of information overload in the 1950s. Local Ohio folks needed someone to boil all this data down into understandable and hopefully satisfying terms, so in steps Dr. O.K. Brown, The Flying Saucer Dentist. Maybe the guy was too credulous, but ol’ Doc Brown sounds like a true Renaissance Man, and his talks must have been quite entertaining. More matter-of-fact but still fascinating are The “UFOs” of Project Moon Dust. Nick Redfern gives us a medley of worldwide reports that the secret retrieval program dealt with in the ’60s. (WM)

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