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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2005 > May > May 17

Re: British National Archives UFO Research Guide -

From: Isaac Koi <isaackoi2.nul>
Date: Mon, 16 May 2005 21:09:38 +0100
Fwd Date: Tue, 17 May 2005 06:42:18 -0400
Subject: Re: British National Archives UFO Research Guide -

>From: Nick Pope <nick.nul>
>To: <ufoupdates.nul>
>Date: Sun, 15 May 2005 19:39:04 +0100
>Subject: Re: British National Archives UFO Research Guide

>>From: Brad Sparks <RB47x.nul>
>>To: ufoupdates.nul
>>Date: Sun, 15 May 2005 00:35:40 EDT
>>Subject: Re: British National Archives UFO Research Guide

>>>From: Nick Pope <nick.nul>
>>>To: <ufoupdates.nul>
>>>Date: Fri, 13 May 2005 18:23:58 +0100
>>>Subject: Re: British National Archives UFO Research Guide


>>>Although less well known, there is a second part to the
>>>Official History article. Part 2 addresses various questions
>>>raised by ufologists and can be accessed at the following


>>I was the one pointing out "odd discrepancies" in the
>>history. The way it still reads now is that "publicity
>>campaign" was the cause of Tizard's request to set up
>>the Working Party


>Nobody within government will admit to being media-led, but
>the fact of the matter is that both UFO sightings and media
>coverage will have had a part to play.


Hi Nick, Brad, et al

The view implied by the NRA guide (i.e. that Tizard's suggestion
was caused by media publicity) has also been implied by Dave
Clarke in his article in the Fortean Times about the Flying
Saucer Working Party, which stated: "Tizard felt the saucer
sightings could not be simply dismissed as delusions, and
demanded an investigation of the subject following a pro-saucer
newspaper campaign backed by one of the most respected figures
of the day, Lord Louis Mountbatten." See the relevant article
online at:


I don't recall any remarks in the documents relating to the
Working Party which really establish the alleged connection, nor
does the relevant article refer to supporting evidence. (David
Clarke and Andy Roberts also discuss the Flying Saucer Working
Party in their "Out of the Shadows" (2002) at pages 77-96 (in
Chapter 6) of the Piatkus hardback edition, but again there is
little discussion of the causes for Tizard's request).

However, many other events in the history of the British
Government's dealings with UFO reports for which documentation
is available (which basically relates to a considerably later
period than the Flying Saucer Working Party) are fairly clearly
media-led - whether directly (i.e. responding to press or TV
coverage of specific incidents or allegations) or indirectly
(e.g. in response to questions being raised in Parliament, many
of which relate to events that had been covered in the press or
in UFO books).

By the way, in relation to press coverage in the UK in 1950
(including, in particular, the serialisations of UFO books in
Sunday newspapers in October 1950) is discussed in some detail
by Waveney Girvan in his "Flying Saucers and Common Sense"
(1955) at pages 50-54 (in Chapter 4) of the Frederick Muller
hardback edition (with the same page numbering in the Citadel
hardback edition). As you probably know, Girvan commissioned and
published Gerald Heard's "The Riddle of the Flying Saucer" and
also published Desmond Leslie and George Adamski's "Flying
Saucers have Landed". At page 8 (in the Introduction) of his
book, he modestly notes that "Perhaps better than any other
private person in this country I can write of the subject and
its impact upon the public mind...".

His remarks in relation to the press coverage in England
indicate that before August 1950 the press interest within
England had increased to the point that Girvan was keen to get a
book written on UFOs by an English author as soon as possible.
 Relevant remarks include the following:

Page 45 (in Chapter 4): "My first step in 1949 was to subscribe
to a newspaper cutting agency to send me anything they could
discover where the words 'flying saucer' were used.  To begin
with these cuttings were not numerous in England. I do not know
whether it was because the incidents were few or whether, in
England, the saucers had not then received the publicity that
was later to be theirs.  However, in 1949 and 1950 the cuttings
produced some interesting evidence.  Not that there was, at that
time, anything very startling, but one was able to learn quite a
lot about the human reactions.  Most of my cuttings at that time
came from local papers: the national papers did not then pay
much attention to the subject."

Page 50: "The Spring of 1950 produced quite a good crop over
this country, but it was quite over-shadowed by the mass of
sightings that were being reported over the United States.  It
was at this time that the opinion grew that it was American
mass-hysteria that was responsible.  It was quite extraordinary
how the English sightings, though they were comparatively few,
were being ignored.  My cuttings still arrived but they were,
for the most part, from local and not from national papers".

Page 50: "The stirring of some public interest spurred me to try
[to get Gerald Heard to write a book on UFOs] again ... and a
typescript arrived at my office in August 1950".

Page 54: "On 8th October, 1950 two of the largest circulation
Sunday newspapers were carrying articles on flying saucers
prominently on their front pages. The result of the
simulataneous appearances of these two serials, prominently
featured, was to fling the subject so fiercely in the face of
the public that the flying saucers could no longer be ignored".

Kind Regards,

Isaac Koi

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