A History Of Unidentified
Flying Objects
On Television
By Jim Hickman <>
The Hickman Report

The mass media is being used to condition the human race for it's first contact with alien life. It's a fact. Someone is manipulating us, and everything that we see and hear. Why is a question that is still open to debate &
I will show in this report the strange way the media; especially TV has depicted the entire UFO scene. I am concentrating on shows from the 60's and 70's in this report. There are so many early episodes that I want to cover, I hope your favorite is among them &
One early example of the media using an alien theme is Rod Sterling's famous "Twilight Zone" many episodes were based on our contact with aliens. I have summarized a few of the best examples below, (submitted for your consideration)
Rod's show always starts with "There is a fifth dimension beyond that which is known to man...
The Twilight Zone
The Monsters are due on Maple Street
In this "cold war" episode, hysteria grips a small community as residents suspect invaders have caused a power failure from outer space disguised as Earthmen. (I love the smell of paranoia in the morning)
The Invaders
Not to be confused with the TV series "The Invaders" below, this classic episode, an old woman in an isolated farmhouse must battle a horde of extraterrestrial invaders. (Nothing like building up our expectations of what our first encounter would be like. This is not your friendly "ET" type.)
Will the real Martian please stand up?
This one is an offbeat entry about a pair of state troopers who must determine which member of a bus trip is, in reality, a Martian invader. (I really found this to be a mind-boggling show, I saw it again recently, and it's still a mind bender. You should try his mind experiment sometime, go to a busy place, a mall for example, and try to pick out the aliens in the crowd! I really liked his ending where a Venutian with a third eye beat the invading Martian here. It just goes to show you the early ET gets the worm)
To Serve Man
When aliens come to Earth bearing promises of a utopian existence, the military's suspicions and skepticism eventually prove justified. But just a little too late. ("It's a cook-book!!!" This show first suggests the phenomena of abduction years before the Betty and Barney Hill abduction incident, and also pre-dates the current cattle mutilations cases by decades.)
(I suggest you see this episode and then read my article titled "Do we really want to know?" about Human mutilations by Aliens, please, don't eat first)
Hocus Pocus and Frisby
The town windbag so impresses a visiting group of aliens who are masquerading as humans with his tall tale stories that they attempt to abduct poor Frisby, who finally broke out his harmonica to do battle with the mean old aliens. (One funny episode!!)
The Parallel?
Following a routine seven-day space flight, an astronaut is catapulted into a strange parallel universe. (Hmm, many of our NASA astronauts have seen strange objects while in space)
Black Leather Jackets
The three young motorcyclists who ride into a sleepy community are actually invaders from space who intend to contaminate the Earth's water supply. (Nothing like Biker Aliens for a change, but seriously, this story is quite interesting as it shows America's fear of the "unknown" and the mindset of folks back in the early cold war days.)
The Outer Limits
Next, I want to move on to "The Outer Limits" a '60's TV series with many aliens cast in it, this show covered the psychological aspects of "Close Encounter's" If you have never seen this show, these are the opening lines &
"There is nothing wrong with you television set. Do not attempt to adjust the picture. We are controlling transmission. If we wish to make it louder, we will bring up the volume. If we wish to make it softer, we will tune it to a whisper. We will control the horizontal. We will control the vertical. We can roll the image; make it flutter. We can change the focus to a soft blur, or sharpen it to crystal clarity. For the next hour, sit quietly and we will control all you see and hear. We repeat: There is nothing wrong with your television set. You are about to participate in a great adventure. You are about to experience the awe and mystery which reaches from the inner mind to ... the Outer Limits."
I have tried to include the best episodes &
The Architects of Fear
A scientific organization creates a fake alien being from one of their own members in an attempt to scare the world into peace. (It seems a little disinformation can go a long way)
During an interplanetary war with the planet Ebon, Earth POW's are subjected to a series of tortures. The whole thing turns out to be instigated by Earth officials to test the men's stamina! (Sounds like our military don't it?)
The Mice
A convict agrees to participate in an exchange program with an alien world -- via matter transmitter/receivers. The horrible alien shows up first, and it turns out his/her/its motives are less than honorable.
Second Chance
An alien converts an amusement park space ride into a REAL spaceship, and abducts some individuals who have been specially selected via mental probing. The idea is to give them a "second chance" at life by working to avoid a massive catastrophe that will affect the alien's planet and, eventually, Earth. (I'm on my way to Disneyworld!!!)
A military base on the moon finds an odd white globe a little bigger than a bowling ball. It turns out to contain several alien intelligences that have incredible knowledge, and are trying to escape from an oppressive alien tyrants (hmm, odd white globe? Sounds like a UFO to me)
A Feasibility Study
Six square blocks from a U.S. city residential neighborhood are teleported to another planet by a horribly mutated race that wants to see if Earth people will make good slaves. Why so many abductions in the media? (This episode was from 1964)
The Chameleon
A human is altered to appear the same as some aliens who have landed on Earth, and whose intentions are unknown (but assumed to be hostile). The alteration is genetic, based on some fingernail scraping of one of the aliens. The human ends up liking the aliens a lot more than humans, and leaves with them. (Well, see how you are!!!)
Behold Eck
A two dimensional alien, visiting this space-time, discovers he can't find his way back without ripping the continuum to shreds, and if he doesn't go back the continuum the will get ripped open anyway. He eyesight is the problem, so he seeks the aid of an optometrist who has invented some special glasses made of quartz from a meteorite! (A strange episode, Oh boy, Alien optometrist's, at least he wasn't a proctologist!)
Cry of Silence
A simple but intriguing story of an alien intelligence that animates various objects on a deserted country farm in a fruitless attempt to communicate with humans. (Would this qualify as a CE-3?)
Keeper of the Purple Twilight
An alien exchanges intellect for human emotion as an experiment, with predictable results for both parties. (I don't have to tell you who got the short end of that deal!)
The Duplicate Man
A man who has brought a highly illegal alien creature to Earth, which then escapes, has a duplicate made of him to track it down and kill it. (Darn illegal aliens anyway!)
A group of people participates in an experiment to test their reactions to simulated deep space flight. Unknown to them, an alien creature is also on the "trip", which has a vested interest in their reactions.
The Probe
The survivors of a plane crash in the Pacific find their raft drawn aboard an enormous craft that turns out to be a giant probe from some alien planet. (An interesting study of extraterrestrial communication, and intelligence.)
The Invaders
The Invaders was a 60's science fiction series, which originally ran for three seasons.
The first episode was aired January 10th 1967 and the last, March 26th 1968.
The Invaders is very much a period piece, and reflects the public concerns of the time: Unlike Star Trek, which ran concurrently with it, the Invaders is set in the present. It draws influence both from America's first missions into space, which made ordinary people think about the possibility of contact with life from other planets, and also from the paranoia brought on at the height of the Cold War.
The series revolves around the character of David Vincent (played by Roy Thinnes), who has discovered that the Earth is being invaded by beings from another planet. These beings have taken human form, and are virtually undetectable from human beings.
This is the introduction to the show The Invaders - Alien beings from a dying planet their destination:
The Earth Their purpose: To make it their world. David Vincent has seen them. For him it began one lost night on a lonely country road, looking for a short cut that he never found. It began with a closed deserted diner, and a man too long without sleep to continue his journey. It began with the landing of a craft from another galaxy. Now, David Vincent knows that the Invaders are here, that they have taken human form. Somehow he must convince a disbelieving world that the nightmare has already begun. These are a few of the best from the Invaders &
Beachhead Architect David Vincent sees a flying saucer whilst coming home from a business trip. He pursues the aliens to a deserted village, which is being completely taken over by the Invaders. (I guess if it's deserted, it only takes one alien to take it over!)
The Experiment A college professor plans to expose the Invaders to the world at a conference in New York. He is killed, and his son becomes the subject of an experiment in thought control in order to find the evidence his father had amassed. (Though control? Let's keep the CIA out of this!)
Doomsday Minus One The Aliens plan to knock the Earth off its axis by detonating an anti-matter bomb to coincide with an atomic test to be carried out by the US Army and Department of Energy. (oh those nutty guys at DOE)
The Innocent An Air-Force captain sets up a committee to investigate the Invaders activities. While tracking down a man who has taken one of the Invaders weapons, David Vincent notices that the aliens are behaving rather out of character & (Would that captain be named Ruppelt?)
Moonshot After several astronauts die in mysterious circumstances, David Vincent realizes that the Invaders are interfering with America's first manned Moon shot. (Sounds like our current Mars program to me) &
Condition: Red David Vincent prevents a full-scale alien assault by uncovering a plot to sabotage the Air Force's "Norad" facility. (As in Cheyenne Mountain? Oh no!)
The Saucer David Vincent captures an alien spacecraft but the Invaders are determined to get it back (They should have taken the keys!)
Valley of the Shadow An entire town learns the truth about the Invaders presence on Earth. David Vincent tries to convince the alien leader that there is an alternative to wiping out the entire town.
The Enemy An alien spaceship crashes with one survivor, who is rescued by an ex-Vietnam nurse. She tells David Vincent we're the killers. You've seen what they've had to do to protect themselfs against us. How do you know that they're not here on a mission of peace? (Yea right lady!!)
The Trial Charles Gillman kills an alien being and is arrested for murder. David Vincent tries to build a case in court that his friend is innocent of murder because the victim was not a human being. (Sounds like a job for Peter Gersten!)
The Peacemaker After convincing an Air Force general about the presence of the Invaders, a peace meeting is set up between a group of Air Force officers and the high command of the Invaders, but are both sides sincere in their wish for peace? (Did it take place at maybe Dulce? Or Area 51?)
Project UFO
Ezekiel saw the wheel. This is the wheel he said he saw. These are Unidentified Flying Objects that people say they are seeing now. Are they proof that we are being visited by civilizations from other stars? Or just what are they? The United States Air Force began an investigation of this high strangeness in a search for the truth. What you are about to see is part of that 20 year search. Those were the words, spoken by radio and television veteran, Jack Webb, that opened the premiere episode of "Project: U.F.O.". Jack Webb, the talented no-nonsense actor and highly successful producer of fact-based series such as Dragnet, Adam-12 and Mobile One, looked to the stars for his next inspiration. Not the stars living in Hollywood, mind you, but the stars of the universe. The series, which investigated the sightings of U.F.O.'s was based on actual cases documented in the declassified files of the United States Air Force's Project Blue Book. The series ran on NBC for a total of 26 one-hour episodes. The early episodes garnered very high ratings; some of the highest for any science-fiction television show ever aired!
Way before The X-Files, there was NBC's long-forgotten Project U.F.O., television's first attempt to dramatize UFO sightings. The show was based on incidents reported in the Air Force's Project Blue Book, which investigated UFO occurrences for 22 years. The show's creator, Dragnet's Jack Webb, obtained microfilm of more than 400,000 documents covering 13,000 alleged UFO encounters.
Project: U.F.O. centered around the United States Air Force's "Project Bluebook", which was formed to determine whether or not UFO's posed any threat whatsoever to our national security. Each week, Major Jake Gatlin, and Sgt. Harry Fitz would travel the country to interview people who had purported UFO close encounters. Some were outright hoaxes, but some were logged officially as 'unknowns'. Gatlin and Fitz even had a sighting of their own!
Their goal was to determine whether or not UFO's posed any actual threat to our national security. Produced by Jack Webb's production company, Mark VII Limited, the show was done in typical Jack Webb style a la Dragnet, Adam-12 and Emergency.
These are a few of my favorite episodes &
The Nevada Desert Incident
When an Air Force Lieutenant sees four metallic flying objects and a huge mother ship; he reports the sighting but finds that his claims have jeopardized both his career and his marriage. He sticks to his story that, while alone at dawn in the desert, he was stranded when his car stalled. While checking the engine, he saw four glowing, disk-shaped objects hanging in the sky. Then they took off in different directions, followed by a large mother ship. But, upon reporting his sighting, he finds his wife doesn't believe him, and his father-in-law, a Colonel in the Air Force Reserve, is sitting in judgment on a hearing board.
The Wild Blue Yonder Incident
Student pilot Kay Galloway sights a UFO while flying a T-34 and recklessly dives to Earth trying to chase it, and then faces expulsion from school and humiliation from her fellow students. Because of the unique configuration of the T-34, Galloway's teacher doesn't see the UFO, and doesn't believe her story. Accused of buzzing a restricted area, Galloway is brought before an honor board at school that could recommend her expulsion. With no other witnesses to her sighting, Galloway is certain she'll be expelled, not realizing her boyfriend, is keeping important information from her and the honor board.
The Rock-and-Hard Place Incident
While dining at a restaurant with Theresa Ball, Major Gatlin is alerted to a UFO sighting at Wright Patterson Air Force Base, less than 30 miles away. Within seconds, Gatlin, Fitz and more than 100 diners have a spectacular sighting of their own as a UFO leaves a trail of exploding colors over the restaurant. As Gatlin and Fitz probe the amazing sighting, they find themselves under investigation by the government. In trying to desperately prove their sighting, they come to a startling conclusion
The Camouflage Incident
When a UFO attacks 3 prominent businessmen, 1 of them manages to successfully film the craft. Ryan and Fitz talk to the 3 men involved and find 2 of them willing to cooperate, but Charles Robinson, the man who took home movies of the UFO, mysteriously refuses to reveal any information or part with the film. The team's search leads them to citrus grove owner Harold Moon, who also sighted the UFO, and claims to have a piece of it in his garage.
The Whitman Tower Incident
Shortly after an air traffic controller at the Los Angeles Airport spots a mysterious blip on his radar screen, several residents of a luxury apartment building, known as the Whitman Tower, are startled by the appearance of a UFO outside their windows. Ryan and Fitz fly to Los Angeles to question the witnesses and ascertain the facts in the case. One of the witnesses, Mr. Rashoon, reports he saw only some red beams of light. The other residents, a family named Ryerson, give a more detailed description of what they saw. Their version includes the sighting of 2 beings with horse-shaped heads and medallions around their necks bearing horse images. Ryan and Fitz next head to San Pedro to search for additional witnesses and try and separate fact from fiction in this bizarre case.
The Atlantic Queen Incident
Steve Rollins, Executive Officer of the luxury liner Atlantic Queen, has a UFO sighting while the ship is returning home from its latest crossing. Ryan and Fitz are notified and fly to Boston and are taken by helicopter to the deck of the Atlantic Queen. Once there, they encounter the ship's Captain, who believes the Executive Officer has invented the UFO story to further his own career. That night Ryan and Fitz are visited in their cabin by former tv comic Ollie Hyers, who provides confirmation of Rollin's story and adds his own incredible account of a night-time encounter with a visitor from the UFO.
The Scoutmaster Incident
A Vietnam veteran with a dark secret has a dangerous encounter with a UFO, but insists that Project Blue Book is making too much out of the sighting. High School teacher Andy McMurtry had been leading a group of Explorer Scouts when they saw the strange lights and a flaming crash. When Andy went to investigate, he received mysterious burns from the craft. Ryan and Fitz find Andy a cooperative witness at first, but then the Vietnam veteran becomes strangely reluctant to reveal any more information.
The Devilish Davidson Lights Incident
Dr, Samantha Klein is enjoying a barbecue at the home of 2 fellow college professors when they sight and photograph 2 strange bluish-green V-shaped UFO's. The California coastal town of Davidson is abuzz with the news. Ryan and Fitz arrive the following night, just in time to miss a second mass sighting. While the Blue Book team investigates the mysterious appearances, the residents of Davidson turn off their lights to wait for the return of the UFO's. (Sounds like The Lubbock Lights Incident to me)
I recently uncovered a long lost interview with one of the principle actors in Project UFO, Actor William Jordan, who played Major Jake Gatlin on the show's first season, recalls that Project: U.F.O. was not the show he hoped it would be. "What was unfortunate was Jack was a very bright, innovative mind, but he was unable to go in any other direction other than his success with "Dragnet", explains Jordan. "Most of his storytelling cramped in terms of his dimensions. My character, Major Jake Gatlin, had no other life than just being with his Sergeant and traveling around and interviewing people. He had no family life he had no dimension. I think that was the fault of the show. There was never any further dimension. It made them out to be cardboard characters."
"We were the number one rated show for a season. This was about the same time that Close Encounters Of The Third Kind came out. It was very timely, and people were very curious. The first several shows were very promising of what might be revealed that the Air Force perhaps covered up for years. Jack, even though he was a very talented man ... didn't want input into his ideas."
Jordan candidly reveals, "Jack and I parted in that series after about a year, because he was intolerant, not wanting suggestions. What about showing that we have a life of some kind other than just Air Force staff? Don't I have friends? If you give people the same thing every week, in that same tone of voice like Dragnet, for two, three or four years, that's pretty boring stuff."
Jordan is kinder to his co-star on the show, Caskey Swaim. "Caskey was a very pleasant, cooperative actor ... He did a very nice character that he developed, and he had a very nice quality."
To properly adapt case files for a prime time TV series, it was necessary to "dramatize" the events and structure them to be entertaining and accessible. As Jordan explains, "It's not so much fictionalized as Jack chose to put them together in a fashion that fit his purposes at the time. There were some liberties taken. The way they compiled, so to speak, the story construction. It's part of television to be aware of the constraints of time and the needs for the hour to fill. I never got to be a contributor in the sense of seeing the original Project Blue Book stories. I was never given that opportunity."
Jordan laments that if the producers had been more creative and allowed the show wider parameters, "we would have been a much more profound experience for everyone." Jordan also wanted stories that were more pointed about the phenomenon of UFO's. "I felt there was more to be learned had we sought the direction of trying to be bold in storytelling. In the outcome of the episodes, a lot of the resolutions were very matter-of-fact and there were no abstractions. In my way of thinking, it would have been better had there been more mysterious stories rather than the indirect reference to balloons and gases. In many cases, we had open-and-shut cases."
As to his own thoughts about UFO's, Jordan wonders if Air Force personnel know more than they are revealing, "and don't quite know how to disseminate to people. I think they don't know how to make them palatable."
Lots of viewers thought Jordan did know all about the project Blue Book. He reports that fans assumed he knew much more than he ever revealed on the show, and they would write to him asking for more information.
"If I wrote back and told them I didn't know, a lot of them would be disappointed or be angry that I would not be forthcoming with information. There was resentment sometimes that I would not be able to answer their questions about the phenomena. Because I'm on television playing an Air Force officer doing this, I must have knowledge of a lot more than I would be able to tell them."
If Jordan looked official and well cast in the role of Major Jake Gatlin, it was because he did serve in the Air Force and served time in the Korean War in 1959. "It was not like I needed training to be an Air Force officer," he says. "I spent three years and nine months as an officer." As a result of Jordan's background, he rightly could call himself an authority in the portrayal of such military men. "I used to have a lot of differences [with Webb] about military bearing and behavior I would have as an Air Force officer, as opposed to nuts-and-bolts, stilted kind of Dragnet qualities that were sometimes imposed on me. I felt I had a beam on the character and what this character might think as opposed to military bearing imposed on certain projects like this. After all, these characters are people first."
When Jordan left the show at the end of its first year, actor Edward Winter took over as Captain Ben Ryan, while Caskey Swaim carried on. The show was cancelled after 13 episodes of the second season.
In the end, Jordan remarks, "Every time I run into someone who was at NBC and knew the show, they would say, 'we're sorry we didn't listen to you more closely, and that we let Mr. Webb influence us so drastically.'"
So for at least 30 years now we have had aliens shown to us in about all types of situations by our own television sets in the comfort of our living rooms. The NSA advises in its article titled "UFO hypothesis and survival questions" (
To survive we must "Adapt as many of the advantages of the opposing people (aliens) as you can as fast as possible, while still protecting your own identify by molding each new knowledge increment into your own cultural cast"
Are we being molded into a new cultural cast that includes UFO's?


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