Over the last few weeks I’ve been working on correcting the page proofs for my anthology Foundations of Atlantis, Ancient Astronauts, and Other Alternative Pasts. I find the corrections to be frustrating, both because it forces me to confront my own typographical errors and also because it reminds me that in today’s publishing world, no one actually proofreads anything, and even the most ridiculously obvious typos stand until I correct them. Anyway, in checking some of the text, I have a conundrum that I hope someone reading this may be able to help solve.
But at least this is a relatively straightforward problem. I’m sure many of you have seen the more confounding issue of the so-called Roswell Slides. The story has been bouncing around for a while now, and yesterday Nick Redfern weighed in with a collection of words that approximated an article on the subject despite having no new facts, little purpose, and a laxness in its writing that can charitably be attributed to a need to stretch the story to fill a word count: “Maybe we will get the truth of Roswell. Maybe we won’t. Or, maybe, we will get what Ufology always gives us: more questions, more enigmas, and nothing 100 percent solid.”
Redfern’s piece is simply a summary of an earlier press release by Anthony Bragalia asserting that on May 5, astronaut Edgar Mitchell and a bunch of ufologists will take to the stage in Mexico City to show a series of Kodachrome slides taken by a Texas geologist that Bragalia asserts depict an extraterrestrial being. According to Bragalia, an unnamed expert verified that the slides were exposed in 1947 and therefore the humanoid depicted on them is one of the Roswell aliens from the saucer crash:
This humanoid is not a deformed person, mummy, dummy, simian or dead serviceman. It is not a creature that finds its origin on Earth. And given that the slides of this creature were taken the very same year as the Roswell UFO crash; that the appearance of the creature matches the reported appearance of the Roswell crash aliens; and given that the person who was in original possession of the slides was a geologist working the New Mexico desert throughout the 1940’s, it is not a jump or stretch to then conclude that these slides indeed show the corpse of one of the creatures found fallen at Roswell.
Frankly, if I had the only known photograph of a space alien, I might have found a way to get the information and the image to the public a lot sooner, rather than turning it into a months-long circus. But then again, I’m not a famous Mexican paranormal promoter who stands to make a mint off of the media circus, like Jamie Maussan, who is paying for the event.
But speaking of the 1940s: Did anyone watch Marvel’s Agent Carter on Tuesday? I’m lukewarm on the show, which I like in theory a little bit more than in practice. In this week’s episode, Agent Carter and a team of good guys find themselves behind enemy lines in Russia, when they come across a film projector. The projector shows about five seconds of a cartoon that has been altered to include subliminal messages. Since I have an encyclopedic knowledge of Looney Tunes (blame cable in the 1990s for showing Looney Tunes about 10 times a day across the Turner networks, USA, and Nickelodeon), I instantly recognized the brief flash of footage as a scene from the 1942 Merrie Melodies short The Dover Boys at Pimento University, a parody of the Rover Boys book series.
What I wondered, though, is why a Marvel Studios production, part of the Disney empire, would use a Warner Bros. cartoon. A little research found that United Artists, which controlled the short after acquiring it from Associated Artists, which in turn had bought the pre-1949 Looney Tunes from Warner, failed to renew the copyright in 1967, and the film slipped into the public domain. (As for the Looney Tunes, after Turner bought UA and folded into Time Warner, they were eventually reunited with the cartoons Warner Bros. kept.) I suppose this accounts for how a Warner cartoon ended up on a Disney show.
Anyway, I appreciated the added bit of enjoyment recognizing the cartoon provided to the episode.