The Mysterious Traveler — “Zero Hour”

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The Mysterious Traveler (1943-52) aired “Zero Hour” (not to be confused with Ray Bradbury’s story of the same name) on June 22, 1948 as its 159th episode. As with all other episodes of this long running dramatic show featuring stories in the genres of science fiction, horror, mystery, and crime fiction, “Zero Hour” was written and directed by the team of Robert A. Arthur, Jr. and David P. Kogan (Arthur photo top right; Kogan photo lower right).

Kogan and Arthur timed this episode to coincide as closely as possible to the one year anniversary of the famous Roswell, NM UFO incident, the first newspaper reports being dated Tuesday, July 8, 1947, though as one report stated, the incident occurred “sometime last week.” “Zero Hour” is a possible scenario of what the documented crash really was part of, and what was in store for planet Earth, as a friend of a murdered professor offers his evidence to those in power only to be summarily disbelieved (of course). But is this theory naught but that of one prone to conspiracy theories…or is there much more to what he offers as his evidence than even he believes? With an almost imperceptible nod to another famous hoax perpetrated by an obscure radio figure with the name  Orson Welles, “Zero Hour” cashes in on the still wildly popular UFO craze still in the public’s consciousness a mere year after the most widely known UFO incident in human history.

The trio of newspaper and government documents shown below are shared from the wikipedia page on the incident. I have tried to make them large enough to read the headlines, but the wiki page enables one to enlarge them even further. Especially noteworthy is the government document from 1950, just released in 2011.

Play Time: 26:34

{Below: Roswell Daily Record, Tuesday, July 8, 1947}

{Below: The Sacramento Bee, Tuesday, July 8, 1947}

{Below: FBI document from March 1950, released in 2011}

{While enthralled with the Real Life UFO craze in June of 1948, youngsters of all ages could also read about other fantastic adventures of aliens and “outer space” in their favorite pulp magazines, several of which are shown below.}

[Left: Amazing, June 1948 – Center: Fantastic, June 1948 – Right: Planet Stories, Summer 1948]