PaperBackSwap Blog

World UFO Day – July 2, 2011

By James L. (JimiJam)

64 years ago this week, Foster homestead foreman William Ware “Mac” Brazel stumbled upon a pile of debris that has since become both infamous and legendary:  the alleged wreckage of an alien craft, believed by some to have crashed to Earth weeks earlier.  The story of the events at Roswell, New Mexico caused quite a stir – for a little while, anyway.  It wasn’t until nearly 30 years later, thanks to physicist and ufologist Stanton T. Friedman’s interviews with USAF Major Jesse Marcel, that interest in the incident was renewed, and genuine Roswell Fever was born.

Purported UFO Source: NASA

It’s impossible these days to escape the theme of extraterrestrial visitors, swooping down on our planet from far away star systems or galaxies.  Accounts bearing witness to advanced spacecraft and unidentified flying objects go back as far as the earliest written records of humankind.  Only recently, however, has the phenomenon been elevated to such a celebrated status as it enjoys today.


July 2nd is World UFO Day, as of 2001, celebrating the date on which most believe Mac Brazel made his now famous discovery in Roswell.  Since that time, the governments of the world have been quietly investigating (and at times instigating) sightings of unexplained phenomena witnessed in the evening sky.  Groups of lights hovering in the air, glowing orbs moving erratically across the heavens, silhouettes maneuvering at

Source: NASA

breakneck speeds and angles; all have been reported, with increased frequency, in the years since the idea of flying saucers from outer space crashed upon the pop cultural consciousness of the modern world those long years ago.  Of course, most are revealed to be simply remarkable meteorological phenomena, typical earth-based craft, or hoaxes.  Still, nearly 20% of sightings remain unexplained to this day.


Since those early days, Western civilization has become moderately obsessed with the image of strange life forms descending on our world.  Books, movies, and music all have had their hand in celebrating and analyzing the potential implications of visitors from the beyond.


Not A Flying Saucer. Not Courtesy of NASA

Some have argued that literary reference to alien encounters began as far back as the ancient texts and artworks of some of the world’s most well-known early civilizations.  Believers who subscribe to these hypotheses refer to such visitors as Ancient Astronauts, and find all manner of alleged evidence in scriptures, hieroglyphs, and primitive paintings from across the globe.  Carvings and statues have been said to depict spacesuits or rocket ships, and passages in texts and scriptures are said to have described airborne transport much like the planes and spacecraft of today.  Beginning with H. G. Wells War of the Worlds, the realm of overt fiction began a relationship that has now become an industry all its own, playing a significant role in increasing the popularity of the Science Fiction genre, and fostering the careers of well-renowned authors such as E. E. “Doc” Smith, Robert A. Heinlein, and Arthur C. Clarke.


In movies and television, too, alien species and extrasolar worlds have proven to be a near-limitless source of provocative and fascinating material.  While films such as Star Wars, E.T., Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and Independence Day have risen to iconic status in the eyes of American culture, they owe their very existence to earlier, classic cinematic works such as Flash Gordon, The Day the Earth Stood Still, This Island Earth, and Forbidden Planet.  Television series on the subject, like Star Trek, Doctor Who, or the X-Files, have turned out to be some of the most popular and beloved shows of all time.

Courtesy of NASA

Fiction alone cannot contain such a popular idea, as is evidenced by the number of serious scientific inquiries and experiments conducted, lectures by noted astrophysicists given, and earnest conspiracy theories espoused over the years.  Some of the most famously intelligent minds in recent history have, at some point, turned their focus toward the heavens, and weighed in on this controversial and popular subject.  They have never had much difficulty finding an audience for such conjecture, and that audience is growing larger every year.  Recent polls suggest that more than 60% of Americans believe that alien visitors have made contact with human beings, and about 50% believe abductions have taken place.

Source: NASA

The possibility of extraterrestrial contact is just too intriguing to ignore, the fanciful notions too attractive to resist.  Whether it’s a gripping space opera, an action-packed war between planets, the existential questions of humankind’s place in the Cosmos, the scientific ramifications, or the dark and mysterious conspiratorial flavor, people are just naturally drawn the mystery of the Unidentified Flying Object.  It is with this sense of curiosity and awe that I will find myself looking skyward over the course of the next few evenings, and wonder, are they really out there, looking back down at us?  Only time will tell; until then, the thought alone is more than enough to keep our eyes on the skies and dreaming.







Communion by Whitley Strieber


Chronicles of the Lensmen by E.E. “Doc” Smith


The Roswell UFO Crash by Kal K Korff


2001: A Space Odyssey by Arthur C. Clarke


The Boy from the UFO by Margaret Goff Clark


The UFO Files


The Puppet Masters by Robert A Heinlein


How to Make the Most of a Flying Saucer Experience by Professor Solomon


Tags: , ,

5 Responses to “World UFO Day – July 2, 2011”

  1. Cozette M. (CozSnShine) says:

    Thanks for bringing back memories of Roswell New Mexico. One of the many times my husband and I were driving across country, we stopped in Roswell to see the “UFO museum”. ROFL At time the museum was one room and then we got to see a saucer shaped hole in the ground. WOW, all of this for $5! Took us about 10 minutes to see it all. We laughed all the way back to the truck.

    I’d like to go back now that they have a new museum to just compare experiences.

    Thanks for your writing. I never know what is going to trigger memories I thought were long gone!

  2. James L. (JimiJam) says:

    I am so totally jealous of you Cozi! I’ve been a fan of space-based science fiction my whole life, but I’ve rarely gone traveling to places that would appeal to those interests. Just to be in Roswell at all would be an amazingly fascinating experience, let alone their fabled UFO museum. I’m just tickled that my entry evoked those fond memories in you, it makes having written it even more worthwhile 🙂

  3. Hunter S. (Hunter1) says:

    I’m fairly certain I married one of the aliens once. 😉

  4. Jerelyn H. (I-F-Letty) says:


    I am not one of those that is intrigued aliens. In fact it kind of creeps me out. But your article is very thoughtful, and well done. Thanks

  5. Vicky T. (VickyJo) says:

    My favorite part of this entire entry is the photo: “Not a flying saucer. Not courtesy of NASA.” Thanks for my first LOL moment of the day!

Leave a Reply