Frank Scully (1892-1964) was an American author and columnist for Variety magazine. In 1950 he published a controversial best-selling book titled Behind the Flying Saucers. In it, Scully described an account by oilman Silas M. Newton and scientist "Dr. Gee" of a flying saucer crash in the New Mexican desert. The saucer's purported occupants were all dead. Scully described the space craft as constructed on the "System of Nines" and that it flew using magnetic propulsion. His book was translated into multiple languages and sold more that 10 million copies. It was a significant contributor to the flying saucer craze of the 1950s and 60s. His papers contain documents that illustrate that craze, including newsletters, magazine articles, comics, lecture ads, and more.
Magazine clippings related to UFOs, 1949-1966
Articles on UFOs from popular magazines including Saturday Evening Post, True, Time, U.S. News & World Report, Life, Look, Reader's Digest, Harper's Magazine, Flying, See, The American Weekly, Fate, Sir, Coronet, America, PIC, Male, Stag, Cavalier, Yankee Magazine, Bluebook, Argosy, and others.
UFOs in comics of the day, 1950s and 1960s
Vic Torry and His Flying Saucer was a one-off comic book published by Fawcett Comics in 1950, released at the height of America's first "flying saucer" craze. Also included are UFO-related topics found in comics popular in the 1950s and 1960s including Li’l Abner, The Strange World of Mr. Mum, and Neddy Nestle.
Ads for UFO publications and lectures, 1950s and 1960
Ads for books, lectures, conventions, and the 1956 film UFO. Books and lectures are by well-known and marginally known figures in the "flying saucer" scene of the 1950s and 1960s, including Donald Keyhoe, Orval Lee Jaggers, Orfeo Angelucci, Truman Bethurum, Cyril Richardson, John Otto, Bryant and Helen Reeve, Robert C. Gardner, Calvin Girvin, Reinhold O. Schmidt, Gloria Lee, Howard Menger, Gray Barker, and others. The extent of publications and presenters indicates the level of public interest in this topic during that time period.
Nexus, the first newsletter of S.A.U.C.E.R.S, 1954-1955
James "Jim" Moseley, an American UFO observer, author, and commentator, exposed (and engineered) UFO hoaxes over his nearly sixty-year career. He founded S.A.U.C.E.R.S. (Saucers and Unexplained Celestial Events Research Society) after returning in 1953 from a cross-country trip to investigate UFO phenomena. The next year he co-founded Nexus as the group’s newsletter.
Saucer News (formerly Nexus), the newsletter of S.A.U.C.E.R.S., 1955-1957
S.A.U.C.E.R.S. newsletter Nexus transitioned to Saucer News. Newsletter editor Jim Moseley was known as a UFO skeptic and trickster, but also published serious research and reporting about UFOs. He was among the first to expose George Adamski’s claims of alien contact in several issues and reported his investigation into the Ralph Horton flying saucer crash, which he also conducted during the 1953 trip.
"Straith letter" to George Adamski, December 1957
In 1957 George Adamski, a prominent self-claimed UFO contactee, received a letter signed by "R.E. Straith," who purposted to be from the U.S. State Department's "Cultural Exchange Committee." The letter claimed that federal officials knew of Adamski speaking to extraterrestrials in 1952, and highly placed U.S. officials planned to corroborate it publicly. Adamski used the letter to support his claims. Many years later, in 1985, ufologist James W. Moseley revealed he and friend Gray Barker had written the letter as a prank.
Saucer News, the newsletter of S.A.U.C.E.R.S., 1958-1959
Saucer News, the newsletter of S.A.U.C.E.R.S., 1960-1962
Through the 1960s, Moseley was increasingly active among the UFO community, and his public profile grew. He gave many lectures about flying saucers, and even made several trips to an isolated area in California's Mojave Desert known as Giant Rock, which became a gathering place for UFO contactees and their followers in the 1950s.
Saucer News, the newsletter of S.A.U.C.E.R.S., 1963-1964
Moseley sold Saucer News to his long-time friend and fellow UFO skeptic Gray Barker in 1968. Mosley would go on create another newsletter in 1970, Saucer Smear, and write his memoirs published in 2002, Shockingly Close to the Truth: Confessions of a Grave-Robbing Ufologist.
Cosmic Science newsletter, Vol. 1, Nos. 1-12, 1962
C.A. (Carol Adin) Honey (1928-2007), a hypnotist, became a close associate of George Adamski in 1957. Honey succeeded Lucy McGinnis as Adamski's secretary and ghostwriter. He also published Cosmic Science. Honey broke away from Adamski in 1963 after discovering for himself apparent fraudulent activities on Adamski's part.
Newsletters of the Amalgamated Flying Saucer Clubs of America, Inc., 1959-1964
AFSCA was founded in 1959 by Gabriel Green and grew out of the Los Angeles Interplanetary Study Groups, which Green started in 1956. That year he also began a magazine, Thy Kingdom Come. Green became interested in UFOs after his own purported sighting. He intended AFSCA to create public acceptance of UFOs, so he planned petitions to Congress and held national conventions. AFSCA peaked in the early 1960s with 5,000 members in 24 countries.
The A.P.R.O. Bulletin, March-April 1965
Coral (1925-1988) & Jim (1922-1986) Lorenzen founded the Aerial Phenomena Research Organization (APRO) in 1952. It grew into a respected civilian UFO group with many state branches and remained active until late 1988.
Interplanetary News Service newsletter, Vol. 2, No. 2 and No. 3, ca. 1965
Editor Timothy Green Beckley at age 14 purchased a mimeograph machine and started putting out this newsletter. He went on to become a well-known ufologist and author who wrote and published books on creatures, weird phenomena, and flying saucers in his trademark colorful writing style.
Issue of Flying Saucers magazine, 1967
Flying Saucers was a monthly magazine published and edited by Raymond A. Palmer. It was devoted to articles on UFOs and the Shaver Mystery. The magazine was first published as Flying Saucers from Other Worlds in 1957, before evolving into Flying Saucers in 1958. The magazine continued until June 1976 when it ceased publication.
Response letters to Frank Scully's UFO articles and book, Behind the Flying Saucers, 1950
Scully publicized what became known as the Aztec, New Mexico UFO hoax in two columns he authored in Variety magazine in 1949 and the next year in his book Behind the Flying Saucers. The book declared that flying saucers were most likely from Venus and that they were controlled by a magnetic force. He received responses from audiences worldwide for several years, so many that he and his wife Alice could only answer a portion. Responses ranged from admiring belief to disparaging disbelief.
Frank Scully's correspondence and notes, 1946-1950
Scully introduced to readers Silas M. Newton and "Dr. Gee" who provided him with the account about the alleged 1948 UFO crash in Aztec, New Mexico. Newton had befriended Scully around 1946. There is also Scully's UFO-related notes and items related to Behind the Flying Saucers as well as Newton and Gee. For many years, Newton was under investigation by the FBI for fraudulent activities.
Scully correspondence, notes and article, 1951
Notes, correspondence, and a draft UFO article by Frank Scully. Notes are by Frank and Alice Scully and mention Gerald Heard, Silas Newton and his wife Sharon, “Dr. Gee,” and Hollywood writer Herbert Margolis who sought to film Behind the Flying Saucers. Self-styled UFO expert George Adamski becomes a frequent correspondent. Letters also relate to reporter J. P. Cahn’s investigation into Scully's book.
Scully correspondence, notes and article, 1952
Letters from John P. Bessor, Coral E. Lorenzen, Jerrold “Jerry” E. Baker, and others. Notes by Frank and Alice Scully about a follow-up book to Behind the Flying Saucers and other matters. A True magazine exposé of Scully's book by J. P. Cahn. Also, materials on a lawsuit against Silas Newton and Leo GeBauer ("Dr. Gee") for fraud.
Scully correspondence, notes, and other UFO-related materials, 1953
Scully correspondence, notes, and other UFO-related materials, 1954
Scully correspondence, notes, and other UFO-related materials, 1955-1965
Magazine articles from 1955 and 1956 discrediting Scully, Newton and GeBauer and a magazine article by Scully titled “Flying Saucers and the Desert” (Palm Springs Villager, Sept. 1956) about Van Tassel’s Giant Rock conventions. There are Frank Scully’s notes from January 1957 regarding visit by Gene Dorsey who brought various pieces of UFO-related news.