AbstractDefying the pundits of the past that the flying saucer craze would fade into history as a popular culture anomaly, the issue is still with us more than sixty years later. Indeed in terms of sighting reports it has quieted down a good deal from the almost hysterical headlines of the 1940s through the 1960s when every odd light in the sky was reported and published, no matter how lacking in detail. From the 1970s onward we saw the rise of strangeness in the reports. Stories became more detailed in describing close encounters, contacts, abductions, physical examinations of humans by aliens, and even hybrid breeding of man with extraterrestrials. This increase in reports of the intrusion of flying saucers into the lives of people so overtly certainly catches one’s attention, but with the downside of being less believable with, at least to date, the lack of any physical evidence to support the remarkable claims. We have settled into a period of the saucers becoming an amusing sidebar in life, with the daily news ignoring most reports of old-fashioned distant sightings in favor of features relegated to the “Lifestyles” sections of whatever medium is reporting. Flying saucers are not as alarming as they once were, yet it is undeniable that the phenomenon is with us forever in the collective consciousness. Enough time has passed for the topic to be regarded as history. Most of those who were there from the beginning of the modern UFO era in 1947 are no longer available to answer questions about those times. We have to rely upon retellings and reinvestigation to attempt to clarify those odd tales. Sometimes we learn new things. Sometimes old information is found not to be as unusual as was once thought. And sometimes we need to be reminded of what was so disturbing to those who preceded us.
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