Saturday, June 7, 2014

Retro Saturday: UFO: Friend, Foe or Fantasy

Click the arrow to watch the film. Video source: CBS News via nutsandboltsUFO YouTube channel.

Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey ends tomorrow night, so this week's Retro Saturday looks at a CBS Reports gem from 1966 by Walter Cronkite titled UFO: Friend, Foe or Fantasy.

The one-hour documentary includes an interview with a 32-year old Carl Sagan. A gum-chewing Carl Sagan, no less.

Click here to watch the Sagan clip.

In this interview, Sagan is described as an astronomer who is a consultant to a U.S. Air Force scientific panel. He is joined by astronomer Thornton Page who had served in 1953 on a scientific committee called the Robertson Panel after its chair, physicist Howard Percy Robertson.

At the time of this interview, Sagan was lecturing at Harvard. He didn't move to Cornell until 1968.

Although his presentation skills aren't quite refined at this point (spit out the gum, Carl!), the early seeds of his scientific skepticism are evident.

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