Saturday, February 5, 2011

Towers on the Newspaper Beat, 1958 & 1959

We've noted that Tom Towers never shied away from reporting about UFOs as aviation editor of the (defunct) Los Angeles Examiner. These gems from his newspaper career reflect upon some intriguing UFO history, including a serious meeting about the subject hosted and attended by Disney personnel in the company of scientists and engineers. Some Walt Disney personnel and factions appear, at least in the past, to have entertained a curious interest in things far more "out there" than The Mouse and flying elephants.

Towers had little tolerance for UFO-related hoaxes and frauds, though he apparently enjoyed directing his readers' attention to the absurd and controversial. The heated dismissal by NICAP director Donald E. Keyhoe and NICAP's Los Angeles subcommittee of a conference focusing upon "contactees" was hardly unusual, as NICAP had been critical (generally for good reason) from its inception of people claiming outrageous stories of meetings and good times with space aliens. However, when the Barney and Betty Hill UFO abduction story emerged publicly in the sixties, followed by other seemingly credible accounts offered up by terrified witnesses, NICAP and serious researchers began to make a sharp and characteristically viable distinction between contactees' tall tales and disturbing abduction reports.

(Thanks to researcher and author Barry Greenwood for these clippings.)