January 13, 2019

A Letter from Charles Bowen, January 19, 1967

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Bowen’s next letter, from January 19, 1967, thanks John for a package of ufological material, especially a copy of Saga in which John had apparently plugged the Flying Saucer Review.

He accepts an article of John’s, but asks for more references, and discusses his desire to avoid duplicating material that had appeared in other UFO publications, since many readers read several of them. He doesn’t mention payment; there may have been none. In addition, he notes that FSR‘s circulation in North America had topped a thousand, and suggests that some of the stigma of ufology was waning, particularly for the work of Gordon Creighton, Jacques Vallee, Aimé Michel, Coral Lorenzen, John, and himself. The “Waveney” mentioned in passing is Ian Waveney Girvan, the founder of FSR.

January 6, 2019

A Letter from Charles Bowen, January 11, 1967

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Charles Bowen wrote his next air letter to John on January 11, 1967. He responds to a “stunner” of a UFO sighting John sent him, dismissing the idea that it was a “secret US project.” He also passes on a report from a correspondent, about a newspaper ad for the OS (I assume that’s the Ordnance Survey, the government mapping agency), using the Socorro symbol. The symbol, supposedly spotted on a UFO in Socorro, NM in 1964, had, understandably, intrigued ufologists. Bowen also invites John to contribute to the Flying Saucer Review.

ADDENDUM: As Ozinor notes in the comments, that’s probably “US,” not “OS.”

January 1, 2019

A Letter from Charles Bowen, November 23, 1966

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Happy New Year! We continue with John’s correspondence with Charles Bowen, editor of Flying Saucer Review. Bowen’s next letter was written the day after the last one. He reports meeting with his lawyer to discuss legal action against the Theoharouses, a couple in the US selling pirated copies of Bowen’s book The Humanoids. It’s not clear from the letter if they planned to reprint it, or simply order copies and sell them at a profit. In any case, John alerted Bowen, who was understandably grateful. One provocative detail: Bowen says “what they proposed to do was far worse than anything even Frank Edwards has done.” Apparently Edwards had a bad reputation among some of his colleagues!

December 20, 2018

A Letter from Charles Bowen, November 22, 1966

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John’s correspondence with Charles Bowen grows less formal, as Bowen switches to handwriting and gives John his home address. He was understandably grateful; John alerted him to a certain Mr. and Mrs. Theoharous, who planned to pirate Bowen’s book The Humanoids, then set to appear in a special issue of Flying Saucer Review. Piracy was a continuing problem in UFO publishing: John’s own book Operation Trojan Horse was later pirated by Manor Books under the title Why UFOs.

Coral Lorenzen was the founder of the Aerial Phenomena Research Organization (APRO). Jim Capello was the Advertising Director for Science and Mechanics. I don’t know who “the Harris spiv” is, but Bowen is obviously not a fan.

December 9, 2018

A Letter from Charles Bowen, October 26, 1966

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Bowen replies to a letter from John, not saved in this file. He thanks John for the copy of Look; I assume it was the October 4 issue, which featured an excerpt from John Fuller’s book The Interrupted Journey, about Betty and Barney Hill’s abduction story. The tall hairy creature is probably this one. The Humanoids was Bowen’s book on UFO inhabitants, first published as a special issue of Flying Saucer Review. And Bowen reveals quite a busy lecturing schedule.

December 2, 2018

A Letter from Charles Bowen, September 16, 1966

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Charles Bowen replies to John in a letter from September 16, 1966. As mentioned before, Playboy eventually refused John’s article, which he reworked into his book Operation Trojan Horse. I don’t know which articles in True Bowen is referring to here. Gordon is Gordon Creighton, a regular contributor to Flying Saucer Review. Trench is Brinsley Le Poer Trench, 8th Earl of Clancarty and an ardent ufologist; the book may be The Flying Saucer Story, which was published that year. John Watkins refers to Watkins Books, London’s oldest esoteric bookstore, then being managed by Geoffrey Watkins, the son of the founder. Charles Bowen’s study of UFO inhabitants, The Humanoids, was published as a special issue of Flying Saucer Review, and then reprinted as a book. John’s article, “New Landing and Creature Reports. Sightings in Erie, Pennsylvania,” was indeed published in the Nov.-Dec. issue.

November 25, 2018

A Letter to Charles Bowen, September 7, 1966

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John writes Charles Bowen (editor of the Flying Saucer Review in the UK) about his recent investigations and upcoming publications. Unfortunately, his “very long” article was rejected by Playboy; most of the material went into his book Operation Trojan Horse. True also didn’t publish his article in that December issue; I don’t know if they used it later. The sighting by William Rutledge and Donald Peck is mentioned in the first chapter of Operation Trojan Horse.

November 20, 2018

A Letter from Charles Bowen, July 8, 1966

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 11:07 am

I’ll turn now to John’s correspondence with Charles Bowen (1918-1987), who edited the British magazine Flying Saucer Review from 1964 to 1987. The letters are from 1966 and 1967, mostly Bowen’s, although John kept carbons of some of his. I’m afraid they’re less sensational than the Long Island material, but do offer glimpses into the vagaries of ufology and publication in the ’60s. For younger readers: the letters are blue because they’re aerograms, a lightweight air mail format now mostly discontinued (apparently Australia still issues them).

In this first note, Bowen discusses an article by Gordon Creighton about Antônio Vilas Boas, a Brazilian contactee who claimed to have had sex with an alien in 1957. He also mentions the “surprising” Solway Firth Spaceman photo, taken by a fireman named Jim Templeton in 1964, which seems to show an alien astronaut (interpreted by others as a blurry shot of Templeton’s wife).

November 14, 2018

Special File – Volume Three (19): Questions (QA-5)

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At the end of the file is a photocopy of Appell’s reply to John’s fifth questionnaire. The original was probably in red pencil, Appell’s favorite medium, and the photocopy has not aged well, but most of the answers are still legible.

November 4, 2018

Special File – Volume Three (18): A Letter from Appell, November 1967

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 9:08 pm

John bound photocopies of two letters and a questionnaire from Appell at the end of his “Special File.” I posted the original of the first one, from November 24, here. The second one responds to John’s letter of October 2, which John included in his file here. John had, quite naturally, objected to the suggestion that he and Jaye get married and have children, and Appell explains it was all an experiment.

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