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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2005 > May > May 30

The Lighter Side Of Ufology

From: Isaac Koi <isaackoi2.nul>
Date: Mon, 30 May 2005 20:07:57 +0100
Fwd Date: Mon, 30 May 2005 15:48:49 -0400
Subject: The Lighter Side Of Ufology

Ufologists are often accused of taking themselves too seriously.
Personally (speaking as a non-ufologist) I find so much material
by (and relating to) ufologists so amusing that I often find
myself agreeing more with a remark by Edward Condon on this

It is difficult to know how much of the UFO literature is
intended to be taken seriously.

The relevant remark appears in the Condon Report at page 879
of the edition available on line at the link below:


The range of amusing ufological material ranges across the
entire spectrum of fiction to non-fiction, from the cinema to
books, from the written word to cartoons, from DVDs to T-Shirts.
Below I mention a few bits of material that I've found amusing
in the following categories:

A.1. Televisual material: Documentaries/Video/DVDs
A.2. Televisual material: Cinema
B.1. Fiction : Intentionally funny novels and short stories
B.2. Fiction : Other (unintentionally?) Amusing Novels
C.1. Non-Fiction - Intentionally Amusing Books
C.2. Non-Fiction -Other (unintentially?) Amusing Books
D. T-Shirts
E. Bumper stickers
F. Cartoons / Postcards
G. Newsletters - Intentionally funny
H. Hoaxes / April Fools Jokes
I. Joke books:
J. Poems
K. Songs

A.1. Televisual material: Documentaries/Video/DVDs

The funniest DVD I've seen (at least the funniest one related to
ufology.) is Six Days in Roswell (from the filmakers behind
Trekkies). This DVD is described on the DVD commentary
soundtrack as a docu-comedy, and is based on events at the
1997 UFO Expo in Roswell and features a wide variety of
individuals attending events in Roswell that summary, as well as
an equally wide range of products being promoted during those
events. Not exactly the image of ufology that ufologists may
want members of the public to have, but nonethless hilarious.
For a review of this DVD see:


The other funny UFO documentaries that I can recall seeing were
both made by Britons. These are:

(a) Louis Theroux's Weird Weekends: UFOs - I don't know if the
Weird Weekend series has been shown in the USA, but one of
that series is entitled UFOs (original transmission: BBC Two,
22 January 1998) and is both amusing and depressing.

(b) Jon Ronson's, The Secret Rulers of the World, on the UK's
Channel Four, in which the main ufological element was based on
David Icke. Some of the relevant material appears in Jon
Ronson's highly amusing book, Them: Adventures With Extremists,
(2001), which discusses David Icke at pages 85-86 (in Chapter
2), 142-173 (in Chapter 6 generally) of the Picador hardback
edition. An edited extract (relating to David Icke) from that
book is available online at:


A.2. Televisual material: Cinema

I think the most popular film using ufo-related comedy is, MIB
(1997) starring Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones, which I doubt
requires any real introduction. Whilst a number of 1950s B-
movies spring to mind as featuring UFOs and being rather funny
(generally because the movies or effects were so bad), I don't
recall many other movies features ufos or ufologists that have
been that funny.

B.1. Fiction : Intentionally funny novels and short stories

(a) Anyone interested in the Disclosure Project or Operation
Right To Know should read Christopher Buckley's, Little Green
Men, (1999), which has an entertaining take on media interaction
with ufology, disclosure projects and the ufological subculture.
This is definitely the funniest novel to discuss MJ-12, Betty
Hill's star-map and other ufological matters. Any resemblance
any character in that book has to a real-life ufologist is of
course entirely intentional.

(b) Rather more hit and miss is Robert J Sawyer's Illegal
Alien, which tries to combine ufological humour with courtroom
drama. If you like both genres, give it a try.

(c) A bit rarer (at least in the UK) is a novel that Jenny
Randles recommended to me, They Came From SW19, by Nigel
Williams. Its humour attacks spiritualist churches as well as
sky-watching ufologists.

All three of these novels are available on Amazon, at the
respective links below:




In addition, a considerable number of science fiction short
stories are without mercy when it comes to parodying accounts
of UFOs. Several collections of relevant stories spring to
mind, including the following:

(a) Aliens And UFOs, edited by Cynthia Manson and Charles

(b) Flying Saucers In Fact and Fiction, edited by Hans
Stefan Santesson;

(c) First Contact, edited by Martin Greenberg and Larry

B.2. Fiction: Other (unintentionally?) Amusing Novels

I have to confess to enjoying trashy Sci-Fi action books. I
found Nick Pope's science fiction novels (which feature several
fictional ufologists and sightings) particularly fun. Those
books also show that Nick is capable of taking himself less than
entirely seriously.

C.1. Non-Fiction - Intentionally Amusing Books

Perhaps even funnier than the above novels are several
intentionally amusing non-fiction books. These include:

(a) Whether or not Jim Schnabel is an agent of the CIA, I found
his Round in Circles (1993) and his Dark White (1994)

(b) Rather more limited in scope, but with some great
photographs, is Douglas Curran's, In Advance of the Landing:
Folk Concepts of Outer Space (1985).

(c) Shockingly close to an autobiography rather than being
limited solely to ufology, is, Shockingly Close to the Truth!
(2002) by James Moseley and Karl Pflock. Gives an insight into
Gray Barker's role in ufology and the weird and wonderful
aspects of this field.

(d) Apart from books the entirety of which is intentionally
funny, some relatively serious books contain an intentionally
funny chapter or two. For example, Some Trust In Chariots!,
(1973) (edited by E W Castle and B B Thiering) is generally a
serious study of Von Daniken's claim but it contains an amusing
chapter parodying Von Daniken's writing style (by Anonymous at
pages 123-128 (in the unnumbered chapter entitled Was Santa a
Spaceman) of the Bailey Bros hardback edition).

C.2. Non-Fiction -Other (unintentially?) Amusing Books

This heading covers many ufological books (whether by ETH
proponents or ETH opponents). Apart from obvious candidates by
various contactees and channellers, probably the most book I
have found most amusing is Gerald Heard The Riddle of the Flying
Saucers) (also published as, Is Another World Watching?). The
pages containing the reasoning he gives for concluding that UFOs
are saucers flown by giant bees from another planet are amongst
the most amusing mateorial I've read.

Apart from amusing theories, there are a considerable number of
amusing (alleged) contacts, e.g.. Joe Simonton's pancakes
(1961.0418) and Jean Hingley's mince pies (1979.0104).

My personal favourites are the contactees claiming to have met
aliens with names that are spelt differently than they sound.
I've often wondered how the knowledge of the correct spelling
was imparted, since few accounts of alleged contact with
extraterrestrials contain explicit reference to statements by
the alien visitor along the lines of And that's spelt with two
'z's, not an 's'.

D. T-Shirts

The Six Days in Roswell DVD mentioned above filmed a wide
variety of individuals in Roswell for the 1997 event and related
products, including showing T-shirts with (a) a picture of a
flying saucer and the caption Ships Happen; (b) a picture an
alien in a hat and the caption Illegal Alien; (c) various
slogans which I could not fully make out (or at least recall at
the moment).

My personal favourite is a T-shirt which was discussed (I think)
by Jodi Dean (1998) in her Aliens in America. The relevant T-
shirt was seen at the 1997 UFO Expo in Roswell and related to
the US Air Force's theory that the bodies reported at Roswell
were due to sightings of crash dummies. The relevant T-shirts
said: We're not dummies.

E. Bumper stickers

A quick search of the Internet revealed references to bumper
stickers stating the following:

UFOs are real, the Air Force Doesn't Exist.

We May look stupid, but we're not dummies

On a picture of a saucer crash: Don't drink and Fly

F. Cartoons/Postcards

As far as I'm aware, no-one has collected together ufological
cartoons (or a list of references to them), although several of
Carl Sagan's books are rich sources of ufological/SETI
cartoons. There are some books of cartoons relating aliens,
but the ones that I've seen had been simply by one author
(rather than a collection of the most amusing material), e.g.
Bill Barker's Schwa Corporation books, such as the one at the
link below:


Condon himself was the focus of some of the more amusing
ufological cartoons in various newspapers and other

Below is a link (with thanks to Joe McGonagle) to an inactive
discussion group, most of the content of which is not actually
relevant to its title of UFO humour, but is noteworthy simply
for its photos section (which includes a directory entitled
archive, which in turn contains a directory entitled
cartoons) which has several amusing cartoons:


(Note: You have to click on the option to join the Group
before accessing its files section.)

G. Newsletters - Intentionally funny

There have been several rather gossipy publications which
highlight some of the absurdities within ufology (or
ocassionally simply attack various ufologists). The most
obvious examples are James Moseley's Saucer Smear and Andy
Roberts' The Armchair Ufologist which are online respectively
at the links below):



More recently, Stuart Miller's publication UFO Review has had an
amusing mix of cartoons, amusing articles and diverse serious


As for Colin Bennett, I'm still trying to decide whether his
Combat Diaries etc are actually funny or not.

H. Hoaxes / April Fools Jokes

Perhaps it's a failing in my sense of humour, but I've found
very few acknowledged hoaxes, probably hoaxes, and April Fools
jokes within ufology to be terribly amusing. Cedris Allingham's
book was less amusing than Adamski's books. Similarly, David
Langford's An account of a meeting with denizens of another
world : 1871 incorporating material purportedly written by
William Loosley was actually rather turgid stuff. As for April
fool's jokes, I found Stuart Miller 2005 effort far better than
most (but depressingly similar to the sort of unsubstantiated
material circulating on the Internet on days other than the
first of April).

I. Joke books

The only joke book I have that is dedicated to UFOs and aliens
is a very small (one inch by one inch) Madcap mini-book for
children. The jokes are generally appallingly bad. Surely
someone has collected some funnier material together?

J. Poems

Several ufo magazines that I've read (particularly, I think,
issues from the 1960s) have featured various ufo poems. Also,
several poems have featured on this List. None of them has
particularly stuck in my mind.

K. Songs

Whilst I'm sure there are other amusing songs relating to UFOs
and aliens, the one musical item that springs to mind is
Roswell, The Musical (Book & Libretto by Gene Murray, Lyrics
by Gene Murray and Dana Morris) presented by the Roswell
Community Little Theatre during the 1997 UFO Expo.

The clips of this musical shown in the Six Days in Roswell
(about 1 hour 10 minutes into the DVD) suggest that this show
included a few amusing parodies of US Air Force statements.
Online reviews of the musical include the one at the first link
below, with various photos from a performance of the musical
included on the webpage at the second link below:



Does anyone else have any (ufologically related) recommendations
for those of us in need of a laugh?

Kind regards,

Isaac Koi

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