Tricky Dick and the Flying Saucer


Fifth Estate # 66, November 14-27, 1968

An interesting omen—a few days ago, barely preceding the Nixonian “renaissance” I received in the mail a strange newly-issued artifact of the Eisenhower-Nixon era. It was a pamphlet titled HOW TO SAVE THE WORLD, published by- none other than The Planetary Council, reminding me that not only is Dick Nixon still unfortunately alive (in a primitive biochemical sense) but so are FLYING SAUCERS, the favorite after-dinner conversation-topic of the former Eisenhower-Nixon era.

At this moment the two events (the receipt of the article, and Nixon’s election to the highest office of the land) edging simultaneously into my cranium seem frighteningly appropriate and congruent. Who, after all, can think of one without the other? It’s like ham and eggs, bagel and lox, Liz and Eddy, right?

For those of you who cannot readily recall The Fifties, except to reminisce the fact that you were barely staggering upright in your pee-soaked diapers, I should like to point out that we seem to be on the edge of-re-living all That Experience over again, and if you will simply keep your hot-seat, you probably won’t have missed a thing. On the other hand, there’s a lot of us who have seen this movie before, have found it incredibly dull and dangerous, but can’t seem to find the EXIT, and thus find ourselves taking our old seats again for this ominous re-run.

Using an old Norman Mailer trick, I intend to talk a little about eggs, hoping to suggest something important about ham, and their relationship. Here, for instance, I intend to talk a little about this Flying Saucer artifact, HOW TO SAVE THE WORLD, written by the former Laura Marxer of The Fifties “Play School” TV fame, who has now become “Laura Mundo,” a local leader of The Planetary Society. Perhaps, using this approach, the character of Dick Nixon will come a little clearer, and the path of our nation come into sharper focus.

Laura Mundo, resident of Dearborn Heights, and “only a housewife and mother…over 35 and going through menopause” (already sounds like Nixon, right?) claims she has a right to speak about The Family of Mankind because she has raised a family of her own. Now that sounds reasonable enough, doesn’t it? Yet, wasn’t the Boston Strangler a family man? (Quiet!)

Like Mr. Nixon, Mrs. Mundo has an agile and alert mind which, spinning with flying saucers, makes the following statement to begin her weighty treatise: “If the lack of jobs are keeping people poor, causing rebellions, THEN CUT THE JOBS IN HALF AND SPREAD THEM AROUND.” An omen, methinks, of the up-coming indisputable razor-sharp analysis of the Nixon era. We seem to be in for a lot of that kind of brainstorming.

She goes on to say: “If wars bring us closer to annihilation by the atom bomb…then get the nations that would to form a neutral planetary police force.” MMMHMMM. And can you imagine what Nixon’s “Eureka experiences” will be like? (I’ve got it! Let’s blow up the Eastern Hemisphere!”) Yes, folks, that water is really filled with scorpions.

Actually, Mrs. Mundo (I’m surprised she didn’t pick Mrs. Terra Firma), a hard-working and zealous “religious and political independent,” has a basic philosophy so zany and uncanny that she will no doubt eventually appeal to countless new Howard Johnson generations of Americans, as well as the militant cadre of Nixonian republicans whose leader is no doubt on Mrs. Mundo’s mailing list, or ought to be.

During a telephone interview with her the other day I discovered that she has been publishing” an “underground newspaper” for the last 15 years, The Emergency Press, still available each month upon request. Her philosophy, both in her newsletter and as expressed to me over the telephone, is worded in the most vague and politically inoffensive terms I’ve heard in recent years. Though Mrs. Mundo obviously spends a great deal of her time proselytizing a kind of Second Coming…Christ or somebody or something in a flying saucer…she claims she is not interested in convincing anyone of the truth of what she says. Though she would scoff at the idea, I suspect Mrs. Mundo is, in effect, the rather silvery (with quiet velvet-toned wrinkles of laughter) Pastor of a kind of Flying Saucer religion in our community, similar to the now-famous Cargo Cult (of what country was it?) who began worshipping, shortly after W.W. II, a crashed B-29 that landed in the jungle.

Those of you who are too young for this Flying Saucer stuff ought to know a little of the background. The American Flying Saucer culture began to grow as early as 1947, when the first modern sighting was made and reported by one Kenneth Arnold to a listless news media on the West Coast. During the next few years, through the glorious Fifties, flying saucers became, with increasing reports from all over the nation, and the world, a modern legend to equal any in Bulfinch’s mythology.

The flying saucer years spawned their culture heroes (George Adamski, Desmond Leslie, Major Donald E. Keyhoe, and others) and almost as quickly faded from public apprehension, most people seemingly convinced it was all another silly-season fad, and others convinced it was a government whitewash of genuine interplanetary visitation. Whatever it was, the big hoop-la seemed to die with the death (or the hibernation) of the Eisenhower-Nixon era.

According to Mrs. Mundo, the Saucer Thing really didn’t die at all. The Flying Saucers, like Tricky Dick, had gone underground, and apparently on the threshold of a new Nixon era (where every woman will wear a demure size 32 brassiere) all the creatures of Pandora’s uptight 1950s box are hobbling back into the limelight with a new vengeance, coiled eyes, clacking together like seashells, delicate threads of insane blood running from the sides of their mouths. Heh, heh, heh.

Truly, we seem on the edge of something Big, a return of the good old Flying-Saucer-reasons-for-doing-things, reasons full of protonic flares, and wild images of Pre-Being Higher Neutral Radiant Neutrons, and a crackerjack encyclopedia of naivete (dousing rods, Lysenkoism, Bridey Murphey, Dianetics, Orgonomy, Velikovsky, etc.) that seem virtually endless.

In 1927 David Jordan, in a brilliant book titled THE HIGHER FOOLISHNESS, coined a word for all this—”sciosophy,” meaning “shadow wisdom,” the systematized ignorance of the pseudo-scientist, and I might add, the politician. All this is coming back you can bet on it, and it’s coming back through our toilets, slopping up on the bathroom floors. The underground is a strange breeding place for the wisdom of shadows, and now, as we feel the nation turning back to Flying Saucers and Richard Nixon (both of which have been grooming themselves in their underground for the last 15 years) that shadow-world where we ourselves have spent so many pleasant hours looks a little more ominous, a breeding place not only for the Good-Guy Expansion of Radical Consciousness, but also for the expansion of the consciousness of monsters and criminals and hollow-headed fanatics.

Nixon has returned! And the Planetary Council rides again!

If you would save the world with Sciosophy, write to. Laura Mundo, c/o the Planetary Council, 27328 Cranford Court, Dearborn Heights, Michigan, 48127, Earth. P.S. Mrs. Mundo said that one of the most recent flying saucer sightings was made by Henry Ford II, reported on the business pages of the Detroit News only weeks ago.

See what I mean?