Flying Saucer Review Archive on CD
Volumes 1 - 3
(1955 - 1957, 17 issues)
NOTE: In addition to the CD-ROM reviewed here the following issues are now available: 1958-1960 / 1961-1963 / 1964-1966 / 1967-1969 / 1970-1972 / 1773-1975 / 1976-1979 / 1979-1983 / 1983-1986.
Also available: FSR Case Histories 1 - 18 Issues + 5 Special Issues on 1 CD ( Includes the famous Humanoids Issue ) UK Only Orders of £13.00
Title: Flying Saucer Review archive 1955 - 1957 Vols. 1-3
Supplier: Flying Saucer Review (www.fsr.org.uk)
Reviewer: Joe McGonagle
Review date: 19th March 2004
Flying Saucer Review (FSR) was launched in the Spring of 1955, with Derek Dempster as it's first editor. At the time, there were a variety of UFO journals, including "Flying Saucer News" published by the "British Flying Saucer Bureau and Flying Saucer Club" which was on issue number 8 at the time of the first issue of FSR. Most contemporary UFO publications were however produced in the USA.
FSR quickly built a reputation for including articles from non-English speaking countries, particularly Western Europe and South America. Many UFO reports from these countries were heretofore neglected by the popular journals, due to the language barriers and a natural inclination to focus on local events.
An interesting article on p.14 v.3 No.5 (July - August 1957) complains about a "new" US publication "Flying Saucers from other Worlds" using articles from FSR without credit or permission - clearly, little has changed in nearly 50 years!
Over the years, subscriptions to FSR like any other journal have fluctuated, but FSR has rode out the periods of low demand and still produces regular issues today. Many of the other publications which flourished in 1955 have long since folded.
The CD arrived in a padded envelope, ten days or so after I had ordered and paid for it. It comes with a standard plastic CD case, and an insert with a classic front-cover design similar to the front cover on the early issues. On the reverse of the insert is a short introduction and very brief instructions as to how to use the browsing utility, "IrfanView", which is included on the CD. The disc itself has a similar attractive classical decoration to the cover, making it easy to spot amongst a pile of other CDs.
The supplied browser is ideally suited for viewing the pages on the CD. The simplest way to use it is to open up a windows explorer window, select the CD-ROM, and double-click on a file called "I_VIEW32". This launches the browser programme, from where you can select the folder you want to view and start browsing.
A problem that I encountered was that the default page-size was too big for my dinky screen, so each time I changed pages, I had to reset the display setting in the browser. To overcome this, I installed the browser on my PC hard-drive by running the set-up programme that is in the "IMAGE SOFTWARE" directory on the CD. The installation filename is "iview385.exe".
Having installed the browser on your hard drive, you can then set the option "fit images to window" in the "view/display options" menu.
There is no way that I can review 17 entire issues of FSR in a single article, so I will have to provide an overview of the contents instead.
All of the pages are easily readable using the browser. The cover of each issue is also included (in colour), as are the advertisements, and I also found occasional "extras" - newsclippings, or typed pages which had been inserted between the pages of the magazine by someone and either deliberately or accidentally included with the scanned pages. These made a welcome bonus.
I also noticed some hand-written notes on many of the pages, which added to, rather than detracted from, the authentic look-and-feel of the pages. Unfortunately, I didn't come across any clues as to who had made the notes, and most of them were trimmed or otherwise illegible.
There are a number of classical authors and UFO commentators represented in the articles, including Derek Dempster, Leonard Cramp, Brinsley le Poer Trench, Prof. Hermann Oberth, Dr. Carl Jung, Waveney Girvan, Arthur Constance, Wilfred Daniels, M.K. Jessup, and Desmond Leslie, to name a few of those which I recognise, plus many others which I didn't recognise the names of.
Topics covered include Astronomy, sighting reports (from all over the world), space exploration, technology, reviews of publications and events, as well as more esoteric topics like "Psychokinesis" and alien contact.
Notable articles include one on "Strange Lunar lights" by W.K.Oliver from V2 No.4 (July-August 1956), "Flying Saucers and the Psychic" by Wilfrid Daniels, Vol.1 No.3 (July - August, 1955), "Mexican taxi driver meets saucer crew?" by Desmond Leslie, Vol.2 No.2 (March - April 1956), "Build your own UFOscope for saucer detection" by Ernesto Thayat, V2 No.4 (July-August 1956), "Flying saucers versus the supernatural" by George Adamski, Vol.3 No.5 (September - October 1957), "The physical proof you have been waiting for!", by Brinsley le Poer Trench, Vol.3 No.5 (September - October 1957). I could go on, but the list would be very long!
Many of the articles include photographs and/or drawings which are clearly reproduced. I was impressed with many of the technical drawings of UFOs, astronomical maps, etc the artists were working without the benefit of computers, remember.
On the topic of space exploration, these magazines cover a critical period, the run-up to the launching of the first Earth satellite, Sputnik I, on 4th October, 1957. It is interesting to read the views in the magazines, both accurate and wildly wrong, that were prevalent at the time we took our first footsteps towards space.
I have absolutely no hesitation in saying "Go out and buy this - NOW!", it will prove interesting to UFO enthusiasts and researchers, social and space historians, and the curious. At the price, it represents the best collection of historical material which I have had the pleasure to come across.
CDROM, pages stored as .jpg images
Online, at http://www.fsr.org.uk/ArchiveCD.htm
FSR Publications Ltd,
Price: £13 including P & P (UK)
£16 Including P & P (international)*
All payments should be made payable to FSR Publications Ltd.
*overseas subscribers should remit by cheque drawn in sterling
on a bank in the united kingdom, or by cheque in us dollars drawn
in the usa only, or by international money order in sterling.
if remitting by giro then FSR's account number is 3563251.
IrfanView Web Site:
UFOINFO thanks Joe McGonagle and UFOLOGY UK for granting permission to use the reveiew.