Monday, April 30, 2012

The Flying Saucer Mystery

I have been wanting to see THE FLYING SAUCER MYSTERY for years. According to what I had read of it, it was a "short documentary" that dated from the early 1950s. It is cited as the first-ever dedicated non-fiction film on the UFO story.

Well, calling it a "short documentary" is stretching things more than a little. It's a newsreel. Based on the contents, it is almost certainly from 1952. That doesn't make it less interesting. It's a bit sensationalistic in places, but also goes out of its way to offer more skeptical theories.

I'm actually impressed by THE FLYING SAUCER MYSTERY. It gives time to people like Frank Scully and Donald Keyhoe, who were deep in the UFO thing (check out Scully's wild assertions), but also never descends entirely into hysteria. It's pretty even-handed. I'd have been super-disappointed if I'd bought it and discovered it was less than 15 minutes, but it's a fascinating time capsule of its era.

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