One of my favorite films is Close Encounters of the Third Kind, directed by Steven Spielberg. While watching it recently, I realized something: I’ve never noticed a significant overlap between the science fiction community and the UFO community. Sure, there are science fiction stories about aliens invading Earth, and I’m sure that there are plenty of UFO fans who read science fiction, but otherwise, the two communities seem fairly separate.
The modern UFO community emerged during the 1940s and 1950s following some sensational reporting and incidents that they latched onto. A major component of this community had some roots in science fiction fandom in the form of Raymond A. Palmer. Palmer had edited Amazing Stories, and founded some of the more influential publications for that community.
- Over my Shoulder: Reflections on a Science Fiction Era, Lloyd Arthur Eshbach. Palmer shows up a couple of times here, and this book is good for context for the 1930s publishing field.
- Seekers of Tomorrow, Sam Moskowitz. Moskowitz mentions Palmer a bunch of times here, and provides some good context.
- The Man from Mars: Ray Palmer’s Amazing Pulp Journey, Fred Nadis. Nadis’s biography is a solid, entertaining read, and it’s certainly worth picking up for a more in-depth look at the author.
- SF Encyclopedia: Palmer has an entry here that largely skirts over his connections to the paranormal / UFO communities.