mercredi 15 mars 2017

The Coming of the (Term) "Flying Saucers"..

The coming of the term flying saucers. Why/how the term "flying saucers" have been used the 26 June 1947 in very few instances in comparison to later ones? Two possibilities (not exhaustive list then) are proposed.

It is a draft I have from 2010 I completed a little last night due to an interesting discussion in a social media. I will probably add several other things I have in another hard saucer (oups, disc^^).

You can clic to the images joined to enlarge them...


In a semi-private UFO discussion group, this very interesting topic (at least for me) have emerged. Why in the editions of the 26th June, there are very few mentions or uses of the "nominal syntagma" flying saucers and then why and how rare writers or journalists have made this choice in the editions of this day?

In fact, Bill Bequette not really "invented" or "coined" the term (he seems to have used "saucer-like", see after, in the news he dispatched to the national Associated Press network at Portland). As the strict term is at my knowledge not really present in his articles.

The Arnold report or sighting appeared first in the 25 June morning edition (East Oregonian), but the term was not used for the best of my humble knowledge until the following day (or?) and then when all AP journalist may have read the dispatched news and decided it must reach their own newspaper. 

You must wait "until" 26 June to see the term (again the terms flying saucer together, not saucer only). 

But it is in reality really rare that day (I mean as relative to the other words used). 

When I searched newspaper articles for my 2010 book about Roswell and about the 1947 UFO wave chapters, I found only 2 of them using the term flying saucer(s) that 26 June. Of course, some 26 June articles used "saucer(s)" alone, or words as saucer-shape, saucer flying, saucer-like.

Another investigator shared yesterday in this discussion he have only collected 5 articles using the term flying saucer(s) this 26 June in the newspaper (for a total amount of more than 18k newspaper collection during the 1947 "wave" !!). Maybe there were few other instances, but it was not a "flying saucers" word invasion that 26 June in the newspaper, so to speak...

In fact, other words have or seems to have been "preferred" like flying discs or flying disks or others (see after). Discs or Disks are probably and seem very more prevalent the first days of the 1947 UFO wave covers or articles devoted on in newspaper than flying saucer(s) - even if it is my impression not based on numbers / statistics -.

Flying saucer(s) term/nominal syntagma seems or must wait a little more days to "establish itself" as a "common term" to name these "objects in the sky". But it was used in few instances early the 26th June: why and how its choice by some writers?

Something then happened but why/what/how? 

The clue is maybe or imho (not only) under the dispatch to the whole Associated Press network of the news sent to Portland antenna by Bequette. 

But again, Bequette seems to never have used "flying saucer", only the term "saucer-like" among what may be the key words of his AP news dispatch (like pilot. 1200 m/h, missiles and few other key words).

And after, and relatively in an INDEPENDANT behavior/process (at least this 26 June before a snow ball effect), some RARE journalists/writers used the term flying saucer(s) probably when reading "saucer-like" in the AP story dispatched (?).  And saucer-like had "echoed" for very few of them and evolved to choose a term more "catchy"?

But echoed/ing from what such journalists/writers may already or maybe have in their mind/consciousness? 

A simple explanation (and the one I would prefer) is that, from the AP news dispatched, each writer or journalist this day choose his own title or content due to personal motivation, desire, preference, journalistic creativity.

Some choices (probably the most used that 26 June) were group of words like pie pans, mystery planes ,mystery missiles, or whiz planes, Etc. Few other used the term saucer maybe because saucer was present in the AP news (probably saucer-like) and after all, alone or saucer-like, saucer-shape, etc.

Very few will use flying saucers together (because it flew and the term saucer present? So a "logic" combination for some writers?) like it is the case for newspaper in Fort Myers, Cleveland, Oakland, Baltimore or Philadelphia this 26 June. There are few others (in Chicago I think, see before the first image/capture).

Then, flying saucer may have emerged in a vast choice of possibilities and then would be "only" due to "hazard" and all possibilities of writers and journalists creativity facing the AP news and its content. Useless then to choose a reason or "roots" for the very few who have decided flying saucer(s) in the title or lines. Flying saucers would be a simply hazard during and one the product of the creativity cognitive processing of the journalists and writers reading the AP news, for the 26 June headlines or text, like there are other titles or syntagma preferred by others. Aka a simple result product of the inter-individual differences (writers/journalists) and variability.

But there is another possibility?

When I was writing my 2010 book about Roswell and the chapter focusing on the 1947 wave, I was attracted by a 40's (1940) New York Times article titled WOOD, FIELD AND STREAM; Wind a Big Handicap, by Raymond R. Camp Special to THE NEW YORK TIMES. (); October 07, 1940. 

I was making researches when and where (or if?) the term have been already in use, but for other thing and in particular by journalists or in newspaper. At this stage, I didn't know several softwares or data bank of newspapers. Only "googling" or the Library of the Congress data base. Ngram Viewer for example was not used (nor existed I think, as the data bank is using books, not newspapers if I'm correct).

I discovered that the term flying saucers then was already in use in... sport pages. 

And in particular concerning skeet shooting: There were writers searching or "seeking" to a term in order to "replace" or to become a synonym for the clay DISKS/Pigeons in use in this sport or hobby.

I never captured the newspaper in question (I must subscribe money for this at the time), but it seems we found here the same idea.

In the Oxford dictionaries, we find too:
Flying saucer had previously been used to mean a clay pigeon, a disk thrown into the air by a trap as a target for shooting. Whilst research thing article, I discovered an example from 1889, and it was used in the years immediately before 1947 in American newspaper stories about anti-aircraft sharpshooters, so this may have been in the headline writer’s mind.

The term flying saucer via Ngram (books data base, no newspaper if I'm correct): Only about a factor 2 1946 to 1947...

Another investigator told me today that a similar hypothesis have been proposed by Chris Aubeck.

Maybe we can find other instances of the term "flying Saucer" in 40's sport newspaper or others "media" regarding skeet shooting or anti-aircraft sharpshooters?

Maurizia Verga investigator did a quick search about the frequency of the term in newspaper (in trapshooting columns). His results are the following and the instances look pretty rare, despite existing (I suppose that's if there exist three results, it was because he used three sort of newspaper data banks):

"Flying saucers" comes up about 80 times in a large sample of US newspapers between 1900 and 1946 mostly in relation to trap-shooting (the first one in 1900).
"Flying discs" comes up about 190 times in a large sample of US newspapers between 1900 and 1946 in relation to trap-shooting (the first one in 1902).
"Flying disks" comes up 52 times in a large sample of US newspapers between 1900 and 1946 in relation to trap-shooting (the first one in 1901).

It was shared to me other press clippings using the term in the same sport, and among them one of 1944, as 1946 and July 1947 (not reproduced here).

Another problem for the "linguistic" hypothesis in my humble opinion is that to the best of my knowledge and during the 1947 UFO wave, I have never seen articles alluding or connecting the "trapshooting flying saucers" to the "objects" (for example in humorist articles or drawings). But maybe it existed and will update if it was the case.

EDIT: There were some of them in July 1947 - actually drafting and archiving -, but looks like in my humble opinion an a posteriori and "logic" connexion due to the "similar" shapes between clay pigeons and flying saucers, in order to (easy) jokes and not an evidence for the "linguistic" hypothesis or lead.

As examples (Courtesy Chris Aubeck, one the co-authors of Return to Magonia with Martin Shough. Anomalist Books. iBooks. pp.127-128:

On our desk is a ‘Genuine Flying Saucer’ in the shape of a clay pigeon sent by Bill Francey (inside one editorial dated July 16, 1947).

There is a cartoon (I hope to obtain) of a trapshooter guy firing at a small “flying saucer” appearing alongside an article in the Mexico Evening Ledger of July 8 1947.

Isaac Hunter wrote in the Montreal Gazette on July 18, that after watching sportsmen shoot clay discs into the air, He instantly realized that it was one of the flying saucers we have been hearing so much about...the mystery of the flying saucers was a mystery no more.

In Corpus Christi Times of July 10, 1947: a "joke" that skeet shooters at the local gun club should be posted to bring down the next ‘flying saucers’ that show up overhead.

This one in Life (July 1947), but the connexion is far to be "limpid"!

Courtesy Curt Collins..

You can take a look at this link (courtesy Chris Aubeck):

Courtesy Chris Aubeck...

Courtesy Chris Aubeck...

Courtesy Chris Aubeck...

And then, some (very rare) journalists/newspaper writers, reading saucer-like in the AP news dispatched by Bequette to the Associated Press jumped to this term (instead of missile, saucer alone, etc.) the very first day(s), having in mind flying saucer(s) as used in skeet shooting or military sharpshooters lexicons?

Or it is the complete hazard of a "creativity process" and the logic product of the inter-individual variability from the words and contents of the AP news dispatched for this 26 June, some writers and journalists having a preference or "insight" for flying saucer(s)? (Again, I'm inclined to this hypothesis).

And these two possibilities before the term, by "snow ball effect" established itself (because sounding well/good in English? Catchy/Punchy? Unusual, new for the public and creative? and many variables in a feedback loop).

Gilles Fernandez, March 2017.