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Grey Matter

Lesley is also a columnist for UFO Magazine. Check it out !

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Classic TV Shows and Flying Saucers

I know that I often credit In Search of... as being the show that nurtured my curiosity of the paranormal as a child, but when I was thinking about it the other day, that really isnít entirely true. There are shows that I watched before ISO started airing that hold at least some of the blame.

However, they arenít documentary shows like ISO. TV sitcom shows like Bewitched, I Dream of Jeannie, The Adams Family, The Munsters all probably played a part in my interest in the paranormal.

I Dream of Jeannie, not only had a magical genie, but her boyfriend and later husband Tony (Larry Hagman) was an astronaut. Both I Dream of Jeannie and Bewitched had flying saucer episodes. In fact, it is likely that the same flying saucer was used in both - just painted differently. In the Bewitched episode, "Samanthaís Secret Saucer," Aunt Clara summons a flying saucer complete with an alien crew. In the IDOJ episode, "U-F-OHHH Jeannie," Tony and Roger are flying a top secret NASA flying saucer which crashes and the ďhillbilliesĒ think they are aliens.

Yes, The Addams Family also had somewhat of a UFO episode called "The Addams Family and the Spacemen." That episode doesnít have any real spacemen (just a misunderstanding) and the UFOs turn out to be Pugsleyís toy rockets.

I had to search because I donít remember much about The Munsters, but they also had an alien themed episode called - "If a Martian Answers, Hang Up." This is what IMDB says about it:

Herman has a new Ham radio and picks up two friends of Eddie playing Spacemen on their walkie talkies. Thinking Martians have landed, he and Grandpa go out searching for spaceships using the latter's radio direction finder.

I Dream of Jeannie's was probably my favorite UFO related TV sitcom episode. The episode is from 1968, but it is putting the idea out there into the mainstream that NASA has flying saucers. What makes it strange is they are suggesting that NASA has flying saucers in 1968, the year before we landed on the moon. It is almost totally going along with the debunkery ideas about Ufology. The people that find the crashed saucer are hillbillies and immediately think it is flown by aliens which they want to hand over for a reward. Debunkers always try to make it seem that only dumb hillbillies see UFOs and that they all believe them to be flown by aliens. Debunkers also seem to think that if you really did see something strange that was an actual anomalous solid flying craft, it was some sort of secret craft of ours.

The series IDOJ started in 1965 when American space travel was still in itís infancy. As a child when I first started watching the show in the 1970ís we had landed on the moon and it didnít seem strange then. However, now that I think about it and realize when it was first aired, it does seem a little strange that they would choose to make Tonyís profession an astronaut. Then again, maybe not. America did have space fever back then, trying to beat the Russian and fulfill John Kennedyís wish and an astronaut is probably a lot more interesting character than a CPA.

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