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Flying Saucers Over Hollywood!

In early 1948, Raymond Palmer a science fiction writer and the editor of Amazing Stories started the pulp magazine titled Fate, specializing in “True Reports of the Strange and Unknown.” Included in the magazine’s inaugural edition was an article by Kenneth Arnold called “The Truth About Flying Saucers.” Arnold recounted his 1947 encounter with a flying saucer which marked the beginning of the modern UFO era. Criswell prognosticated the future with a six-page article titled “Criswell Predicts for 1949” in the winter issue of Fate.

Criswell’s involvement with the Flying Saucer and UFO phenomenon went beyond just his predictions and columns in the science fiction and paranormal pulps. He attended meetings with UFO contactees such as Orfeo Angelucci who had been contacted by beings from outer space since 1946. The meetings were first held at the Los Felix Club House and became very popular as people wanted to

know more about the visitors from space. Criswell and Max Miller of the non- profit organization Flying Saucers International suggested they move to the Hollywood Hotel music room to accommodate more of the curious. The Sunday afternoon meetings became so popular that they decided to host the “World’s First

Flying Saucer Convention” the weekend of August 16 to 18, 1953. Criswell helped orchestrate the event and was the principal program moderator as well as a guest speaker. The convention was well attended and speakers included a who’s who list of contactees and Ufologists including; George Van Tassel, Frank Scully, Arthur Luis Joquel II, George Adamski, Truman Betherum, John Otto from Chicago, Harding Walsh, and a mysterious Dr. X who spoke long and eloquently on the saucers then left immediately after speaking. The grassroots produced ‘Saucers’ magazine published by Flying Saucers International reported on the convention in the December 1953, Vol. 1 - No. 3 issue: “You are probably well aware aware by now of the World's First Flying Saucer Convention which was held by Flying Saucers

International last August 16th to 18th at the Hollywood Hotel, Hollywood, California. It has been agreed that it was a remarkable success with impressive crowds. Best estimates at present give the approximate total attendance at 1500. Jeron King Criswell, one of the speakers, announced that 2000 people were turned away Monday night (the 17th) alone.” The same issue of the type written zine

included the “Late News”: “The following is from the October 1953 issue of ‘THE ROUNDHOUSE’: “Jeron King Criswell has predicted that the government will make an official announcement on the existence of flying saucers on December 10, 1953. He previously said we would have space travel by 1963 because of the captured flying discs. It has been stated that he predicted Stalin’s death and the Korean truce far in advance.” Across the pond, the Autumn 1953 issue of Flying Saucers News: THE OFFICIAL JOURNAL OF THE FLYING SAUCER CLUB OF GT. BRITAIN, detailed the Hollywood convention the same way as the ‘Saucers’ zine piece and Criswell’s December 10, 1953 saucer prediction as from an appearance on a TV show called, “You Asked For It.” ‘Saucers’ September 1954 Vol. II - No. 3, described another UFO gathering.

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