Monday, March 12, 2018

Deconstructing a 1950 UFO Fake

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First Picture of Flying Saucers (Crpd) - Teen-Age Times 3-24, 25, 26-1950
Teen-Age Times of Friday-Sunday, March 24-26, 1950. Credit: D. Marler.

     This story could be told in two ways. Starting with the problem and ending with the solution, or the reverse. In the case of this controversial UFO photograph from the early years of the flying saucers craze, I will not follow the chronology of when researchers became aware of the facts but the historical sequence, that is, when things developed, although they were known later.

Flying Saucers Over San Sebastián - La Voz de España 3-22-1950
La Voz de España, March 22, 1950 edition. Credit: J.C. Victorio Uranga.
La Voz de España was a Francoist newspaper edited in San Sebastián city, province of Guipúzcoa, in the north of Spain, 20 km from the frontier with France. The cover page of the issue of Wednesday, March 22, 1950 shared its selected news with this amazing headline: “Flying Saucers [Platillos volantes]
Vicente-Juan Ballester Olmos
By Vicente-Juan Ballester Olmos
over San Sebastián”. It reported that at 3:30 pm on the prior Sunday, Mr. Mauricio Basurco, a dental technician, and his two twin sisters saw “something black” through one window of their apartment. “Immediately I thought of the flying saucers fad,” the man said. This object was lost to sight between roofs. One of the ladies went to the kitchen’s window and from there they witnessed two more objects. “They didn´t look like airplanes to us,” Mr. Basurco claimed. They were oval-shaped with a black stripe in the middle emitting sparks around. They crossed a cloud bank and reappeared on the background of the blue sky. Now, their shape was “black and they looked like a gramophone record.” Then, five more objects bobbed up, three of which marched almost altogether, “as in a squadron”. The sighting lasted 5-6 minutes.

In my view, this is the unsuspected prelude, never told before, to a long story.
The Teen-Age Times was a short-lived1 weekly magazine for youngsters edited in Dublin (Ireland). Sensationalism-bound, the March 24-26, 1950 edition carried on its cover page an extraordinary and exclusive news feature: Russians had developed a “suspension bomb” that would be “swinging like a red star over your city,” and this could somehow be related to the apparition of flying saucers. This piece was signed by “Nobel Price”. Hand in hand with the information was a photograph of nothing less than “the first sensational picture of The Flying Saucers.” Two bomb shells, indeed…if true. Regarding the so-called suspension bombs, nobody heard about this anymore. Regarding the picture, we will judge it later.

The present article has been motivated by David Marler, a US UFO researcher who was investigating this picture for a long time. ...

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