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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2012 > Jun > Jun 2

Re: Dating Arnold

From: Jerome Clark <jkclark.nul>
Date: Sat, 2 Jun 2012 08:50:54 -0500
Archived: Sat, 02 Jun 2012 15:37:33 -0400
Subject: Re: Dating Arnold

>From: Don Ecsedy <don.nul>
>To: UFO UpDates - Toronto <post.nul>
>Date: Fri, 1 Jun 2012 13:10:47 -0400 (EDT)
>Subject: Re: Dating Arnold


>It can be too easy to implicate Palmer. Arnold was not an
>academic, and intellectual. His writing is casual,
>conversational, and expressive, on occasion hyperbolic. Taken
>flatly, literally, some things he wrote are absurd. His
>expressiveness is not 'cosmopolitan', but regional and local,
>and also specialized to his career and interests. He is innocent
>of irony. He seems to have been unaware of it and seems to have
>spent most of his life conversing with people pretty much like


That's an excellent, perceptive characterization of Arnold's
personality as I and others were able to observe it.

In the years I worked at Fate magazine, I often had occasion to
discuss Ray Palmer with Curt and Mary Fuller. They knew him
well, and their assessment of him was an unflattering one. They
told me that Palmer's hand was apparent in much of the content
of Fate in the late 1940s, including in material by-lined by
others (either Palmer pseudonyms or the names of actual people),
and that much of it was fictionalized or at least exaggerated.
(Co-owner Curt Fuller, a formally educated journalist and a
conscientious editor, was seldom in the office because he was
busy editing Flying and taking care of two small children while
Mary was confined to a TB sanatorium.)

When I checked, I found that the back-up files for the Fate of
the late 1940s were missing. The Fullers thought Palmer had
probably taken them with him when he moved to Wisconsin in the
early 1950s. Thus, documentation of the Palmer-Arnold
relationship from this crucial period is unavailable. We do,
however, know something of the dynamics of that relationship.

In matters literary (using the adjective in the broadest sense),
Arnold, who knew nothing of writing and publishing, relied
entirely on Palmer's assurances and left such to him, often to
his own detriment. In the time I spent with Arnold in 1977 and
in contacts in later years (he died in 1984), I noticed that
virtually his entire understanding of the UFO phenomenon, his
own experience aside, came from Palmer, delivered orally. He not
once referred to other UFO chroniclers. He wasn't a reader, and
he wasn't monitoring Palmer as, clearly, he ought to have.

In the vanished social world in which Arnold lived, a man's word
was his bond, and that was it. Unfortunately, in the larger
world, those constraints didn't apply to Palmer or Crisman or
Dahl, ready, willing, and able to exploit Arnold's lack of
cynicism, irony, or inability to detect deception.

Jerry Clark

Listen to 'Strange Days... Indeed' - The PodCast



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