[PW] Request help tracing Isaac Asimov quotation about UFOs

Todd Mason foxbrick at yahoo.com
Thu Sep 17 13:10:07 PDT 2015

While digging out my search in replying to Garson's offline query as to where I found that citation, I note that (unsurprisingly) a lot of UFOlogy sites and pages are citing the Asimov article, which might well contribute to pilferage from at least some collections...sad to realize.
Todd Masonhttp://socialistjazz.blogspot.com/2015/09/some-jazz-singers-and-buffy-sainte.html


     On Wednesday, September 16, 2015 9:14 PM, Todd Mason <foxbrick at yahoo.com> wrote:

 Best citation I've found is this: Asimov, Isaac 1966 UFOs: What I Think. Science Digest (June): pp. 44–47
--remarkable that this would be a widely stolen issue. There is a copy on sale at Amazon, I see, for $25...but am sure at least one listmate has an intact set at hand at the moment.
Good hunting!
Todd Mason 

     On Wednesday, September 16, 2015 6:38 PM, ADSGarson O'Toole <adsgarsonotoole at gmail.com> wrote:

 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
Project Wombat - Project-Wombat-Open
list at project-wombat.org



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