[PW] Request help tracing Isaac Asimov quotation about UFOs

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at gmail.com
Thu Oct 1 11:19:30 PDT 2015

Thanks to all the W0mbats who helped trace the Asimov quotation about
UFOs. The article on the Quote Investigator website is now available


[Begin acknowledgement]
Special thanks to Wombats Marci Frederick, Catherine Wilterding, Linda
Corets, and Todd Mason.
[End acknowledgement]


On Wed, Sep 16, 2015 at 6:37 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
> https://books.google.com/books?id=J9YCAAAAIAAJ&focus=searchwithinvolume&q=%22seen+ghosts%22
> 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
> QuoteInvestigator.com

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