Unsurprisingly

After writing about Frank Edwards, the newscaster who found his niche in UFOlogy, I started looking for related material.

Surprisingly, Archive.org has an organized collection of the material, curated by Wendy Connors in the ’90s. There’s a huge amount of material: the UFO Hotline, news broadcasts, private interviews with Hynek and others, comedies that happened to be about UFOs.

This set seems to be the best and most varied ‘curation’.

Unsurprisingly, and contrary to current myths, the ’50s were looser and fairer than the current torture chamber.

THE FAIRNESS DOCTRINE WORKED.

Network news broadcasts and ’roundtable’ programs viewed the subject objectively and fairly. A few Experts took the modern attitude of arrogant condescension toward the ignorant masses, but most were rational. Most Experts understood that highly reliable and non-ignorant observers like experienced military pilots had seen something extremely unusual. Pilots are familiar with sundogs and lens flares and temperature inversions. These objects didn’t fit the familiar categories.

Experts also offered rational and empathetic analyses of human behavior. They recognized that some of the true believers were opportunists riding the craze to gain power and wealth, while most believers were simply seeing the world as it is, including odd moving lights and colorful disks in the sky.

The newsmen treated the subject lightly, with a lot of humor and no putdowns. UFOs were a break from “taxes and wars and troubles”.

Now there’s no lightness, no levity, no breaks, no relief, no humor. Everything is DEADLY SERIOUS EMERGENCY PANIC CODE PURPLE, and everything is strictly divided into D and R teams.

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Footnote for clarity: It’s not surprising that Archive contains the material, it’s surprising that the material is organized. Archive contains pretty much everything, but it’s normally piled up in an unsearchable mess of “inside joke” keywords and filenames from the pre-web bulletin boards where the audio was first digitized and uploaded. Thanks to Wendy Connors for doing the hard work of real archiving.