I spend way too much time listening to podcasts, far too little time on posts here and else where.
But I especially have enjoyed listening to the bits and pieces of old flying saucer related audio clips that crop up from time to time on podcasts. Some of the best was on the Over The Edge podcasts on KPFA when they were doing the Another UFO series, but there always seemed to be so much more out there than was available.
Audio was one of the major ways in which the flying saucer/UFO meme has spread, especially in the earlier years. The amount of radio coverage that it received was significant, with much of the earlier broadcasting coming out on the major radio networks of the time. Recordings were there from the beginning but they became harder and harder to come across.
Fortunately Wendy Connors and Roderick Dykes worked to collect much of this material before it faded away completed, and collated it into the Faded Discs series, which she began offering over the internet.
Unfortunately, by the time I became aware of this goldmine of audio material, her website was no longer up and there seemed to be no way of coming into this material.
Fortunately, travelling the backroads and searching through the cluttered old closets of the internet, a copy of one of the Faded Discs series came into my hands. It was a collection of recordings of various contactees, some speeches at some of the flying saucer clubs that erupted in the 50s, some on various radio programs, including Long John Nebel.
Then I came across another of the multidisc series! This one was on archive.org, a site dedicated to "building a digital library of Internet sites and other cultural artifacts in digital form. Like a paper library, we provide free access to researchers, historians, scholars, the print disabled, and the general public." There are a number of other interesting audio recordings there as well, including speeches by John Keel and radio logs of phone calls to National UFO Reporting Center from 1974 to 1989. (These may be part of a Faded Discs collection.) This was inspiring and led me to upload the Faded Disc collection of contactee material I'd come across, as well as a number of old Flying Saucer Magazines by Ray Palmer in PDF format.
Then this morning I was listening to the Mysterious Universe podcast. I told you I listen to too many podcasts, but it was in the car and it beats commercial radio all to heck and back again. They started talking about how they'd been looking for the Faded Discs and their frustrations at being unable to find them anywhere. Until now, when they'd come across a Faded Disc collection on archive.org!
So I got all puffed up and proud of my work in putting there, anxiously awaiting to hear they'd found my posting.
Unfortunately, it wasn't the contactee series I'd put up.
Fortunately, it was another that I'd been unaware of until now! In fact, there is a wide variety of Faded Discs material now up on archive.org.
This is an absolutely invaluable addition to any serious student of the flying saucer/UFO meme, as well as to anyone with even a casual interest in the subject. It is actually far more fascinating than most of the current web material out there, and listening to it gives a much closer to sense to what the phenomenon was like for those who were caught up in it in the heyday of the 50s and 60s.
There seem to be 11 (or 12, including the Contactee disc I uploaded) of the Faded Discs now available on line. The sheer amount of audio material collected by Connors and Dyke is astounding, and hopefully now it can find the audience it really deserves.
A final word...
If you have any digital material of a historic nature, whether on this subject or others, considering sharing it on archive.org. And if you find the material from Faded Discs valuable, consider contributing to archive.org. This is truly one of the most important and useful sites on the internet, fully deserving of all the support it can get!