Outer space. A final frontier or sci-fi hype?
Everybody loves flying saucers. how can you not? They are the coolest. Ever since I was a little kid I’ve been fascinated by the whole phenomena. It really captured my imagination. In all honesty, over the years, I’ve read nearly every book on the subject, from the crackpots to the respected scientists. Some of the books are utterly fascinating , while others make you laugh out loud. If you ever bother to read the lore, read the books in chronological order (if you can). The whole thing reads like a developing religion, like a fantasy that feeds on itself, and (as per that thing that our species does so well) that fantasy becomes reality.
The whole story is what I like about the ufo (and it’s permutations), the whole development of the flying saucer fantasy over the years and it’s slow acceptance as (perhaps actual) reality. As a result, I love flying saucers, but I remain skeptical. I want one to land in front of me.
Back in 1947, Kenneth Arnold spotted the first “modern” saucers while flying over mount rainier near Tacoma, Washington. He described them to a reporter as nine bat-winged shiny metallic craft flying in formation and moving through the sky “like a saucer skipped over water”. Some local yokel reporter wrote a headline “flying saucers seen over Mt. Rainier”. And the name stuck. They weren’t saucer shaped at all, they were precisely described at “bat-winged”. Interesting how fiction becomes fact, isn’t it?
The “lore” of the flying saucer is rife with this phenomena. and other great example is the weird effect that flying saucers have on automobiles – indeed, any sort of electrical device nearby. It stalls them. Dead in the water. And then when it leaves, everything becomes ok again. fascinating huh?
Do you know where that phenomena first popped up? The first documented incident? a play. A theatrical production performed live on a stage. A fiction. The first time the idea ever appeared in public was in that play in the early 1950′s almost immediately, it began to emerge in “eye witness accounts” and sightings. Now, it’s so much a standard event in the lore that if your car doesn’t stall, people think you’re making the whole story up. isn’t strange how this stuff works?
Like I said, the history of the flying saucer phenomena is rife with this sort of thing. Yet, it seems to become part of the reality experienced. It’s like when the bizarre “UMMO” hoax (a debunkers’ favorite) emerged in south america. those ‘aliens’ even had a logo on their craft and on their uniforms (it looked almost exactly like the old ‘international harvester’ logo. A hubcap logo, no less.)
Strangely, decades later (long after the ummo hoax was forgotten and tossed aside) a massive sighting that happened in a soviet park (on the other side of the planet) sites literally hundreds of witnesses to a craft landing and beings emerging from that craft – HUNDREDS of witnesses in a public park. And on the side of that ‘craft” was the UMMO logo. so, go figger that one out.
Now, the reason I pointed out that Kenneth Arnold saw specifically BAT-WINGED shaped craft over Mt. Rai
is very important here. the first sightings – even the notorious roswell crash – were always batwing shaped in those early days. (sometimes they were ‘cigar shaped’). This is important. the name “flying saucer” didn’t appear until some time later as the reporters flubbed the story. Gradually, the shape of the craft drifted into the classic ‘flying saucer’ shape. It was a shape kick-started by pop culture.
In fact, it was the extremely popular movie (it was a huge box office hit) “the day the earth stood still” was among the first of the films to depict a flying saucer in all it’s glory. (aside: I think Ray Harryhausen’s “earth vs. the flying saucers” may have been earlier, but it didn’t command the viewership that “day the earth stood still” did. So, I discard it from consideration here.) after ‘Klaatu and Gort’ emerged from that flying saucer, the world shifted on it’s axis and nobody ever saw a “bat-winged shaped” flying craft in the skies ever again. It was gone virtually that sudden. From then on it was the ‘flying disk’ that people saw almost exclusively.
So, my question here is “who designed the flying saucer”? the answer is almost as weird as the whole of flying saucer history. It’s a small foot note in the lore that the creative directors on the film ‘the day the earth stood still’ consulted the legendary Frank Lloyd Wright on the design of the saucer craft. He proposed (did he make a model? i dunno) a disk shaped craft based on a parabolic curve. and THAT is the craft you see on the screen. So, that sorta indicates that Frank Lloyd Wright actually designed the modern concept of the flying saucer. To this day, all people ever describe are Frank Lloyd Wright’s design shifting around in the night sky. very very weird.
Don’t go looking for the credit on the film titles. it’s not there. This info seems to be as sketchy to pin down as the ufo we all love so much. I`ve read this info in respected books and heard it personally from “noted experts” that it’s true. If any of you out there have concise reference material to note, please share it.
Did Frank Lloyd Wright invent the flying saucer?
Art Chantry:yeah, this is a nifty cover. for years i’ve collected paperbacks and cheezy magazines because i like their BACK covers. believe it or not, the BACK covers of cheap-o paperbacks have been a major influence on my design thought….who is that nerdberger on the back cover, by the way? it may be the author or the editor, i dunno. reminds me of a stupidly stoned leonardo dicaprio…