Extraordinary claims. Ordinary investigations.

Fred Astaire in a Flying Saucer (of the Gods?)

In this clip from the musical “Dancing Lady” (1933), Fred Astaire and Joan Crawford dance over a circular rug which then starts to fly around the sky until it comes back to ground, cheered by a crowd.

To us, of course, the flying carpet actually looks like a flying saucer, and the tassels may even be interpreted as exhaust plumes (or force field?). This is because more than a decade after the MGM musical, the flying saucer would enter popular culture in 1947 through Kenneth Arnold’s sighting.

By coincidence, this month’s Fortean Times also has a piece by founder Bob Rickard about the depiction of a vimana in a 1986 Indian TV series of The Ramayana. The “UFO-like flying platform” looks almost exactly the same as Astaire’s flying rug. fortean_times_8725_7

Flying platforms, once the stuff of fantasy, from the Ramayana to musicals, have already been developed as technological prototypes such as the Hiller flying platform of 1955:

Though that didn’t go very far, in more than one sense. [with thanks to Mary Castner and Martin Shough]

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Posted in Fortean,UFOs | 1 comment

1 Comment so far

  1. Anthony October 14th, 2010 9:12 pm

    Although I usually think that you have things right…not on this one. This Astaire clip is simply a take-off on Flying Carpets as in Alladin’s carpet…nothing to do with UFOs. This one is “reaching.”

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