of the week
08:10:13 - 08:24:13
08:03:17 -- PICTURES OF THE WEEK: Soviet Tupolev Tu-16 swept-wing twin-engine jet bomber -- codenamed "Badger" by NATO -- which first flew in April, 1952. The Tu-16's primary mission was as an anti-ship aircraft, including a cruise missile capability, accounting for its repeated intrusion into U.S. naval exercises (fifth picture -- from 1963, a Tu-16 is "escorted" somewhere over the Western Pacific by a U.S. VF-96 "Fighting Falcon" from the aircraft carrier USS Ranger). Variations of the Tu-16 were equipped for reconnaissance and ELINT missions, as well as a Soviet Aeroflot jet passenger liner (designated the Tu-104) inaugurated in 1955 (bottom two pictures). The Tu-16 remained in service in the Russian military for five decades, and 120 are still in service under a license to the People's Republic of China.
08:17:13 -- PICTURES OF THE WEEK: Space-age designs for concept cars of the 1950s. Top, the GM Le Sabre Manta Ray, 1951. Second and third, the Lincoln Continental, 1952. Fourth, the Lincoln Continental, 1953. Fifth, the Ford Atmosphere, 1954. Sixth and seventh, the Lincoln Futura, 1955 (which 11 years later became the basis for the "batmobile" of ABC TV's Batman series). Eighth, the Oldsmobile Golden Rocket, 1956. Ninth, the Pontiac Club de Mer, 1956. Tenth, the Dodge Dart Diablo, 1957. Eleventh and twelfth, the Pontiac Firebird II, 1957. Thirteenth, the Chevrolet XP-700 Corvette, 1958. Fourteenth, the Ford X-2000, 1958. Fifteenth, the atomic-powered Ford Nucleon, 1958. Sixteenth, the Buick Centurion, 1959. Seventeenth and eighteenth, the Cadillac Cyclone, 1959. Nineteenth, the Pontiac Firebird III, 1959.
08:24:13 -- PICTURES OF THE WEEK: From 1950, posters for "The Flying Saucer" -- the first full-length feature film to deal with the subject. The upcoming movie had been the subject of a publicity spurt in October 1949 when it received attention in James Padgitt's nationallly syndicated "In Hollywood" column...
HOLLYWOOD (INS) -- Mikel Conrad, who battled alligators and swamp snakes in "Untamed Fury" and polar bears and walrus in "Arctic Manhunt" takes on flying saucers in his next.
It is aptly entitled "The Flying Saucer" and it was filmed very hush hush with 900 feet of the epic kept under guard in a vault throughout the 28 days of production.
The 900 feet, the 27-year-old producer-director-writer-cutter-actor claims, was filmed in Alaska as real flying saucers zoomed and streaked through the Arctic skies.
THE HUSKY ACTOR said when he was on location at Tigara, near Juneau, last summer he heard Eskimos speak of "things flying through the skies."
Conrad returned to Alaska, went 40 miles outside Juneau near the Taku river country and promptly spotted "a disc-like thing whirling across the sky."
The actor-producer claims he and his company saw their flying saucer eight times and obtained footage of it every time. On several occasions they attempted to chase it in their light plane. The strange object, however, outdistanced them.
The flying saucer footage is incorporated into Conrad's picture with the cooperation of the United States government. Federal officials studied the films and kept them for a long time before they were surrendered for use in "The Flying Saucer."
The footage so intrigued Maurice M. Wein, New York criminal attorney, that he financed the controversial picture.
Against the background of the elusive saucer the story deals with the Communist spies and federal agents in the Arctic zone, with a beautiful blonde secret service girl thrown in for good measure.
Declassified Project Blue Book files reveal that it had received press inquiries as the result of a press release by Conrad, and knew nothing of Conrad's claims. Released in January, 1950, the film proved to be a plodding tale of a saucer seen in Alaska which at the end turns out to me the work of a solo scientist whose assistant is secretly trying to deliver the saucer to the communists. The alleged "900 feet of the epic kept under guard in a vault" was nowhere to be seen. It would take until 1951 for the first clasics of the genre -- "The Thing From Another World" and "The Day The Earth Stood Still" -- to burst upon the national scene.
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