Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Movie Article Eclipsed by Cover Model's Tragic Plea

Winter was solidly in control by the time the February, 1977 issue of Official UFO hit the nation's newsstands late in December or early January. though I really don't recall exactly when I received contributor's issues and a very, very small check which couldn't begin to cover research expenses. Like so many other things, shallow payments were the publishers' invention.

The movie article, entitled " 'U.F.O.' Revisited," looked good and finally seeing it in print was great, but there was one little disappointment worthy of a groan: The magazine's cover.

"Mother Says UFO Took My Daughter to Eternity," screams the headline, as the photo of an old woman beckons the sympathetic readership. But, unknown to subscribers and newsstand purchasers who plunked down their money to read of this tragic UFO abduction, not a word was true. Fabricated by the publishers with the assistance of a staff member, obviously there existed some expectation that profits would rise significantly.

Nevertheless, it's not the cover I would have chosen to either herald or hide my article about the important 1956 motion picture. Frankly, the whole stunt tarnished the magazine's standing amongst contributors, and as far as I'm concerned a magazine cover reflects both the contents and the reputations of every writer inside.

Copies were promptly mailed out to Clarence Greene, Tom Towers, Al Chop, Dewey Fournet, Willis Sperry and others who helped with the research and to whom I will always be profoundly grateful. Towers seemed pleased with the article (see note) and Fournet, busy and wrapped up in events as usual, approved of comments about his role (see letter). Chop wrote later on (see next blog entry), but I recall receiving no response from either Clarence Greene or Willis Sperry, though a note from Sperry may still be in my files somewhere. Regarding Greene, I sort of had thoughts that he might be ticked off because, now that Towers' name was corrected, Tom probably did look him up for a pleasant conversation about those movie residuals he assumed United Artists and Greene owed him!