Copyright 2012, InterAmerica, Inc.
This is the November 1954 issue of Fate magazine:
It had an article by Major Donald E. Keyhoe – How The
The article (Page 27 to Page 43) was essentially an excerpt
from Keyhoe’s book, Flying Saucers From Outer Space, with a smattering of 1950s
UFO sightings that Major Keyhoe thought important.
What was interesting, to some of us, was the extensive use
of comments and material from Canada’s Wilbur B. Smith, who is often given
short shrift by UFO researchers but whom Major Keyhoe considered a serious
When one reads Mr. Smith’s hypotheses about flying saucer
propulsion – electrical and/or magnetic – one can see that Smith and his
Canadian colleagues were on to something about UFOs, or saucers.
The elaborate presentation of Smith’s views in Fate and the
book it came from provides a reason to reconsider Smith’s status with the Canadian
and United States governments.
Smith’s views were underwritten by scientists such as Dr.
Fernand Roussel, a notable Canadian physicist, Dr. Franz Zwicky of the
California Institute of Technology, and scientists from the British
(Some visitors here wonder why we hark back to the past. The
Fate article and stance on UFOs were sober and dramatic. They offered
non-sensationalized views of the flying saucer phenomenon – something that is
sorely missing in today’s UFO reportage. We note that this Fate approach was
intact before Jerome Clark got involved with the magazine and changed its
To further our examples of Fate’s early, serious take on
flying saucers, we cite this issue of the magazine:
This March 1955 issue had a piece about some of those
encounters we like of little creatures spotted by a European peasantry,
including the Lotti encounter:
But for our purpose(s) here, we note that the article
Unsolved Saucer Mysteries by Fate editor Curtis Fuller made a point to exploit
the magazines use of Dr. Lincoln La Paz, Director of the University of New
Mexico Institute of Meteorics (along with J. Stewart Williams and Clyde T.
Hardy, professors of Geology at Utah State).
The Fuller piece was about an explosion in Logan, Utah on
May 1st, 1954 from which emanated a red sphere.
La Paz investigated for Fate and was used by the magazine for
other UFO incidents.
La Paz, a highly respected and noted scientist, was not
loath to work with or for Fate. (And La Paz was implicated in the 1964 Socorro
sighting, and some say he had a tangential connection to Roswell’s 1947 event.)
The point, again, that I’m trying to stress here, is that
the early, modern years of flying saucer and UFO sightings were regarded
seriously and with much expertise when written up in magazines, until 1978
(which we’ve dealt with previously here).
Fate was and is good resource for details and objectivity
about UFOs/flying saucers, up to the point when Jerome Clark got involved. (Mr.
Clark did no wrong; it’s just that his time in the UFO heyday is marked by a
smug attitude that was more cavalier than that of his predecessors.)
Scientists, like La Paz and Wilbur Smith and UFO buffs (like
Keyhoe. Max Miller, et al.) were conscientiously determined to get a handle on
the UFO mystery.
They were methodical and cogent.
Today that is not the case with science, surely, nor with
“ufologists” who strive mostly to make a buck off the phenomenon or its mavens.
But in the good ol’ days there was a curious purity. And
some of us miss that.