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ufos and science fiction

from forgetomori on Nazi UFOs

One of the most interesting finds by Verga in my opinion is the image at the top of this post. The comment that it would be something very cool from a fictional point of view had a reason: pay attention to the signature.

The illustration comes from Amazing Stories, published in July 1943. That’s four years before the start of the modern obsession with flying saucers, and therefore way before anyone associated them with Nazis, much less Aliens.

As Verga remarks, in the 1950s that exact scene – a flying saucer fighting a squadron of Superfortress – would be depicted as a supposedly real event over Schweinfurt in 1944.

It’s not news to the psychosocial theorist that all and every allegedly real element from ufology can be found years before in science fiction. Some examples, however, can be quite impressive, and the Amazing Stories illustration foretelling later Nazi UFOs tales is clearly one of them.

From Mark Pilkington’s Screen Memories

What I intend to explore in this essay is the apparently symbiotic relationship between the representation of UFOs and aliens on screen in films and television, and the way they are perceived and described in reality. That films can directly affect the way people think, particularly about things they do not understand, is beyond doubt; people today are still afraid to swim in the sea after seeing Jaws. I hope to show that the borrowing of themes and imagery is a two-way process; some times the fiction follows the perceived fact, and at others the reported fact is quite clearly rooted in fiction. A clear example of this, rare in its extremity, took place in England in the late 1980’s. In the final episode of the Dynasty spin-off The Colbys, its main character, Fallon, was abducted by a UFO; she returned later in Dynasty and detailed what had happened to her. Soon afterwards a woman contacted BUFORA (British UFO Research Association) and related an abduction experience that was identical to the one on the programme; the date she gave for the incident was the night after the relevant episode had been shown and luckily the investigator recognised the connection. Though such literal transpositions of fiction onto apparent reality are uncommon, it is possible to trace many of the key elements of the UFO mythology, particularly those concerning abductions, back to images from science fiction film, television and artwork.

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