| LOOK TO THE SKIES!
By Mark Benson
As a young midwestern boy collecting comic books in the 70's, I simply found it intriguing that there were so many references to UFO's, flying saucers, men from Mars, and Planet X type cataclysms in American pop culture, especially comic books. When we take a look throughout history, we see that there are many accounts of the "sky-gods myth" indigenous to all cultures, from the primitive cave paintings of Europe and Australia, to the ancient stone tablets and petroglyphs of the Mideast and the Americas. The Bible itself contains some of these legends.
Why should it be any different today?
We are all familiar with the fact that in the summer of 1950, EC published Weird Science #13(#2) with a cover and story about flying saucers over Washington D.C. Then, two years later, the event really happened. On July 19th, 1952, hundreds of people saw with their own two eyes, strange glowing objects suspended above the Capitol building. Coincidence? You tell me. Remember folks, Captain America was cracking Hitler in the jaw almost two years before any American involvement in WW II.
Do you see where I'm going with this?
Another case in point: on July 17th, 1982, a NASA press release acknowledged the existence of an object believed to be tugging at the orbits of Neptune and Uranus. They called the find a Planet X type object with an eliptical orbit around our sun of approximately 3600 years.
But wait! Where's the pop culture parallel here you might ask? The answer is right in front of us. Or, more to the point, about sixty years behind us. In the early winter of 1950, DC published Strange Adventures #2, the greatest Planet X cover and story ever! The cover alone is terrifying enough when you really think about it. The story is complete with vivid descriptions of a rogue planet from out beyond the Pleaides, entering our solar system and triggering massive global geophysical upheaval, the Earth's crust being ripped open, volcanos going off, oceans spilling over coastal cities -- a mess of biblical proportions, you might say.
Strange how the present echoes the past -- the ancient past.
One more example. In late summer of 1996, President Bill Clinton made the announcement that a meteorite, believed to be from Mars, may have yielded evidence of primitive life. Now let's flashback for just a moment to the 50's and 60's. All things UFO and extraterrestrial have made there way from the big movie screen outside of town, to the little TV screen inside your home. And what's a favorite subject of viewing? You guessed it, flying saucers and men from Mars.
Without a doubt, men from Mars is the most popular and longest running theme in all of science fiction. We can't get enough of it. Attack on Planet Mars, Man o' Mars, Crusader from Mars, Lars of Mars, and last but not least, My Favorite Martian. The TV show, first aired on Sept. 29th, 1963. Not three months later, Gold Key published My Favorite Martian #1. A couple of years later, the TV show The Invaders debuted. Again, the story was about beings from a dying world, disguised as humans, trying to take over Earth. Soon after, Gold Key published The Invaders #1. There would be more titles that followed: Flying Saucers Comics, UFO Flying Saucer Comics, just to name a couple.
In closing, you really have to wonder why they (whoever they are) spend millions of dollars each year trying to convince us that there is no life any where else but here on Earth. Then they turn right around and allow almost every aspect of our culture to be saturated with information to the contrary, through radio, movies, TV, newspapers, magazines, and, of course, comic books.
Were these really the fresh imaginations of creative, artistic minds? Of course they were. But held in another light, one couldn't help but wonder that some of these stories may just have been carefully disguised bits of disinformation, strategically placed on the fertile ground that would be a country's fragile post war psyche. We as a people may never know. Only time can tell.
Truth is stranger than science fiction.