Ufology – Sonoma Sun | Sonoma, California
Posted on April 25, 2022 by Larry Barnett
I loved science fiction movies and books when I was a kid; I still do, even though I don’t read much science fiction these days. In 1958, at Camp Androscoggin in Maine, Earth versus flying saucers was shown one movie night, and the visions of a crippled saucer crashing into the Washington Monument stayed with me for years. The original version by HG Welles War of the Worlds (with Gene Barry, of Bat Masterson fame), featured saucer-like craft that hovered on magnetic fields and wielded weapons that disintegrated matter; It’s still a fun movie to watch.
Flying saucers and space invaders are still popular, like Tim Burton’s twisted Martian attacks, part comedy, part satire, but full of UFO fun. And then there was Spielberg’s Cowboys vs Aliens, one of the strangest pattern mixes in recent cinematic history. The list goes on, but what interests me most recently is the outpouring of UFO material on Facebook and online.
Of particular note are the photos and accounts of UFO encounters by a Swiss gentleman named Billy Meier. His stories and images were published in a book in the 1990s and are now considered by UFO aficionados to be some of the most compelling evidence that UFOs exist, visit Earth, and interact with people. Add to that the videos shot by everyday people using their smart phone cameras, recently released footage from pilots, and comments from what appear to be very sincere people inside and outside the government, and we’re in the midst of a UFO/space travelers fixation matched only by the 1950s.
Of course, the other fixation of the 1950s was the threat of nuclear war. Once the commies had the H-bomb, Americans’ anxiety skyrocketed. My childhood friend Jimmy Hindels told me that his father was building a bomb shelter; The “duck and cover” drills at school have fueled a lot of concern. The convergence of atomic weapons and science fiction was natural. Ray Milland starred in The man with x-rayed eyes. A city was destroyed by the small budget The 50 foot tall woman. And aliens came to earth to seek help because their planet was destroyed by atomic war in This island land. Godzillastill starring in movies today, was notoriously awakened by the atomic tests.
When things get tough, people get supernatural, and at some point or another things always get tough; whether it’s weather, locusts, earthquakes, volcanoes or floods, blaming otherworldly forces asserts itself. It’s much easier than admitting that “shit happens” or that we ourselves are responsible for our unhappiness; such are the imperatives of stress, a return to our penchant for mythology, or should I say ufology.
It’s no coincidence that science fiction is and UFOs are all the rage right now; between climate change, extreme weather, deadly viral pandemic, political instability and brutal war, now is the perfect time for space visitors to intervene in human affairs, like Michael Renne, star of The day the earth stood stillattempted to stem the tide of human violence and the threat of a nuclear apocalypse.
This threat, the annihilation of our own hands, has been the sword of Damocles hanging over the head of humanity for all my life and that of all generations since 1945. Like all civilizations that have preceded us , in hope and despair, for salvation or damnation, we look to the stars.