[PW] Request help tracing Isaac Asimov quotation about UFOs

Linda Corets lcorets at myuw.net
Wed Sep 16 16:27:36 PDT 2015

Resending without attachment (rejected email)  - details below - but including link to newspaper article - Life Elsewhere To Be Probed By 'Open End' Panel:

tiny url: http://tinyurl.com/ok57ytr 

Linda Corets

-----Original Message-----

Checking the Seattle Times archives for Asimov mentions and found this April 1966 listing for a tv show "Is there life on other planets?" - a David Susskind-hosted discussion featuring "four of the nation's leading science-fiction & science-fact writers" Asimov, Ray Bradbury, Lester Del Rey & Walter Sullivan.  Fits into the time frame of your citation, for what it's worth.

Linda Corets

-----Original Message-----
From: Project-Wombat-Open [mailto:project-wombat-open-bounces at lists.project-wombat.org] On Behalf Of ADSGarson O'Toole
Sent: Wednesday, September 16, 2015 3:37 PM
To: list at project-wombat.org
Subject: [PW] Request help tracing Isaac Asimov quotation about UFOs

W0mbats: Your aid is requested for the exploration of a quotation about UFOs attributed to the science and science fiction writer Isaac Asimov. A book called "The Mothman Prophecies" contained a passage attributed to Asimov, and I've been asked to ascertain a precise citation (or determine that the quotation was spurious).

A match is present within the Google Books database in a magazine called "Science Digest". Here is the metadata from Google Books (which is sometimes inaccurate).

Year: 1966
Month: January to June
Periodical: Science Digest
Volume 59
Quote Page 146
Publisher: Hearst, New York.

I have checked three libraries that each listed the 1966 volume in their catalogs. Oddly, in each case the volume or a key issue was missing. In one case, I found that only the June issue was missing in a bound volume. Also, the other issues had fewer than 146 pages.
Hence, I think the desired article containing the quotation might be in the June issue.

When I performed a separate traditional Google search (i.e., not a Google Books search) I found a listing for an article by Isaac Asimov that was published in the June issue. This is currently the best lead:

Possible month: June 1966 of "Science Digest"
Possible article title: "UFO's, what do I think"
Possible article author: Isaac Asimov

Below is a link into Google Books that displays a snippet of text with part of the quotation:

Short link: http://bit.ly/1ibSYW4


Below is the text I am trying to locate:

[Begin extracted text]
I am told, though, that so many people have seen objects that looked like spaceships that "there must be something to it." Maybe there is, but think of all the people in the history of the world who have seen ghosts and spirits and angels.

It's not what you see that is suspect, but how you interpret what you see. After all, you can see with your own eyes that the Earth is flat and that the Sun goes around the Earth; you see that even though you have been taught that what you see is consistent with the interpretation that the Earth is a sphere and goes ...
[End extracted text]

The goal is to obtain a complete and accurate citation. A scan of the table of contents showing the date and article title together with scans of the article containing the quotation would be great.
Alternatively, simple visual verification is ok.

Please let me know if you can help.

With appreciation,
Garson O'Toole

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