Author Joe Friday And The UFO's  (Read 589 times)

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Joe Friday And The UFO's
« on: March 22, 2017, 08:03:37 AM »
Heh, heh, heh.

Cool series I came across hosted by none other than Jack Webb from 1978-79.



Re: Joe Friday And The UFO's
« Reply #1 on: March 22, 2017, 09:48:05 AM »
I loved that show as a kid.  It didn't last long though.

Re: Joe Friday And The UFO's
« Reply #2 on: March 22, 2017, 11:53:59 AM »
Now I want a Fatima cigarette.  :-\


Re: Joe Friday And The UFO's
« Reply #3 on: March 22, 2017, 02:01:17 PM »
Now I want a Fatima cigarette.  :-\
The best looong cigarette.  ;)

Why I love Greg Bell's Radio Classics on XM/Sirius or his "When Radio Was" on certain stations, he plays the commercials, government PSAs, new blurbs etc as was done during the initial broadcast (when possible.) So it is so funny to hear some "red scare" government PSA and then a show about the FBI busting a commie ring. Or Jack talking about the pleasure and benefits of Fatima and then obviously plugs in the show "want a cigarette?," "I'm going out for a cigarette," etc. Or the host of the newer Sherlocks drinking Petri wine with Watson before he introduces one of their capers. Good stuff!

Re: Joe Friday And The UFO's
« Reply #4 on: March 22, 2017, 02:13:21 PM »
The best looong cigarette.  ;)

Why I love Greg Bell's Radio Classics on XM/Sirius or his "When Radio Was" on certain stations, he plays the commercials, government PSAs, new blurbs etc as was done during the initial broadcast (when possible.) So it is so funny to hear some "red scare" government PSA and then a show about the FBI busting a commie ring. Or Jack talking about the pleasure and benefits of Fatima and then obviously plugs in the show "want a cigarette?," "I'm going out for a cigarette," etc. Or the host of the newer Sherlocks drinking Petri wine with Watson before he introduces one of their capers. Good stuff!

This show is new to me. I never heard of the show when I was growing up.  I had no clue that Jack Webb would have had the slightest interest in UFO's.  He always came across to me as someone who would think UFO's and other paranormal phenomena were poppycock.  Glad to know he was more broadminded.  Still it is funny that Joe Friday did a show on UFO's. 

Re: Joe Friday And The UFO's
« Reply #5 on: March 22, 2017, 04:05:27 PM »
This show is new to me. I never heard of the show when I was growing up.  I had no clue that Jack Webb would have had the slightest interest in UFO's.  He always came across to me as someone who would think UFO's and other paranormal phenomena were poppycock.  Glad to know he was more broadminded.  Still it is funny that Joe Friday did a show on UFO's.

I haven't had time to listen to much of it, but the opening is all "Dragnet" style. lol Thanks for digging this up!

Re: Joe Friday And The UFO's
« Reply #6 on: March 22, 2017, 04:06:37 PM »
This show is new to me. I never heard of the show when I was growing up.  I had no clue that Jack Webb would have had the slightest interest in UFO's.  He always came across to me as someone who would think UFO's and other paranormal phenomena were poppycock.  Glad to know he was more broadminded.  Still it is funny that Joe Friday did a show on UFO's.

Re: Joe Friday And The UFO's
« Reply #7 on: March 22, 2017, 04:16:16 PM »
This show is new to me. I never heard of the show when I was growing up.  I had no clue that Jack Webb would have had the slightest interest in UFO's.  He always came across to me as someone who would think UFO's and other paranormal phenomena were poppycock.  Glad to know he was more broadminded.  Still it is funny that Joe Friday did a show on UFO's.
Jack even uses the phrase "High Strangeness" in the intro! Good find. Will watch later. Not sure how this show did but Jack Webb was genius in radio and tv.

Re: Joe Friday And The UFO's
« Reply #8 on: March 22, 2017, 05:13:35 PM »
I loved that show as a kid.  It didn't last long though.

Same here.  I remember in one episode the two Airmen talking about Charlies Angels which was a goof
as the time period depicted was the 60's.

Re: Joe Friday And The UFO's
« Reply #9 on: March 22, 2017, 05:29:37 PM »
Jack even uses the phrase "High Strangeness" in the intro! Good find. Will watch later. Not sure how this show did but Jack Webb was genius in radio and tv.
Maybe Jack Webb and Rod Serling were brothers.  Or they were . . . hmm.  I never saw them together. :o  J/K ;D  Thank you for catching that, Albrecht. ;)

I was listening to MPIR last night and heard, Sherlock, Watson, and the Petri Family, lol, Sam Spade, Jonny Dollar and more.

I also don't remember Joe Friday And The UFOs.  Thank you so much for this thread, 21st.  You are one cool dude. ;) :-*

Re: Joe Friday And The UFO's
« Reply #10 on: March 22, 2017, 06:08:03 PM »
Heh, heh, heh.

Cool series I came across hosted by none other than Jack Webb from 1978-79.
Love the line; "We've got more unanswered questions than a senate sub-committee." ;D ;D ;D

Re: Joe Friday And The UFO's
« Reply #11 on: March 25, 2017, 09:27:12 AM »
I haven't had time to listen to much of it, but the opening is all "Dragnet" style. lol Thanks for digging this up!
I watched it 1st-run, & can tell you it's not just the opening, it's like they extended all of Dragnet into UFO investigation, like it was the new beat they were xferred to.  Episodes as formulaic as Bollywood cinema used to be.  Still somewhat fun.

Re: Joe Friday And The UFO's
« Reply #12 on: March 25, 2017, 09:58:38 AM »
Jack even uses the phrase "High Strangeness" in the intro! Good find. Will watch later. Not sure how this show did but Jack Webb was genius in radio and tv.
"High Strangeness?"  Then it has to be good.  ;) It would be amusing to see Joe Friday deadpanning a cattle mutilation scene.

"It was just another Monday.  Except for the
perfectly excised bovine organs..."


Re: Joe Friday And The UFO's
« Reply #13 on: March 25, 2017, 12:34:40 PM »
"High Strangeness?"  Then it has to be good.  ;) It would be amusing to see Joe Friday deadpanning a cattle mutilation scene.

"It was just another Monday.  Except for the
perfectly excised bovine organs..."


"Another one Jack, sometimes I don't know what is this city coming too. What kind of person would core a rectum?"
"I don't know Ben. I'm going out for some cigarettes, need one?"

Re: Joe Friday And The UFO's
« Reply #14 on: April 26, 2017, 10:03:34 PM »
This show was fairly controversial at the time it aired, it wasn't liked by either UFO enthusiasts or the USAF.  Not only did the program depict USAF investigators/investigations of UFOs to be too fair and even handed for those who believed the Air Force was conducting a UFO cover-up, but the true purists also disliked the liberties the producers took with classic UFO cases on which individual episodes were based.  Some of the most famous cases of early ufology, such as the Mantell case of 1948, were butchered by the producers' decision to "update" incidents as if they occurred and were investigated in the (then real time) late 1970s.  To an airplane guy, retelling (sort of) the Mantell incident with an F-106 in place of a P-51 was near sacrilege.

If you watch the opening and closing credits of the show, you'll notice the producers did not thank or even acknowledge the USAF for their assistance.  It's my understanding the USAF did not assist the producers of the program, although a lot of stock footage of WPAFB and USAF aircraft were used.  If other bases were involved in an episode, the bases were given fictitious names.  The Air Force did not like the fact the show put them back in the UFO business nearly a decade after Blue Book was shut down.  While I don't recall specifics, I do remember the USAF received an increased number of unwanted sighting reports during the show's two year run.  I think the same thing happened during the early years of "X Files".

As others noted, the executive producer of the show was Jack Webb.  Anyone who grew up watching Dragnet/Adam 12/Emergency would have instantly recognized the Webb formulaic approach to the show, complete with attempts at deadpan humor and reasonable accuracy in depicting the series' characters doing their jobs.  Also noticeable were many of the actors who formed Webb's repertory company and played multiple roles across his various series.  One casting quirk was that of Edward Winter in a lead role as the courteous, level headed officer (captain) in charge of Blue Book for the show's second season.  At the time Winter had a reoccurring role on "MASH" as the paranoid, over-the-top intelligence officer, Colonel Flagg!  I did find it odd "Project UFO" received almost no mention in the official Jack Webb biography approved by his family.

Re: Joe Friday And The UFO's
« Reply #15 on: April 27, 2017, 11:10:10 PM »
This show was fairly controversial at the time it aired, it wasn't liked by either UFO enthusiasts or the USAF.  Not only did the program depict USAF investigators/investigations of UFOs to be too fair and even handed for those who believed the Air Force was conducting a UFO cover-up, but the true purists also disliked the liberties the producers took with classic UFO cases on which individual episodes were based.  Some of the most famous cases of early ufology, such as the Mantell case of 1948, were butchered by the producers' decision to "update" incidents as if they occurred and were investigated in the (then real time) late 1970s.  To an airplane guy, retelling (sort of) the Mantell incident with an F-106 in place of a P-51 was near sacrilege.

If you watch the opening and closing credits of the show, you'll notice the producers did not thank or even acknowledge the USAF for their assistance.  It's my understanding the USAF did not assist the producers of the program, although a lot of stock footage of WPAFB and USAF aircraft were used.  If other bases were involved in an episode, the bases were given fictitious names.  The Air Force did not like the fact the show put them back in the UFO business nearly a decade after Blue Book was shut down.  While I don't recall specifics, I do remember the USAF received an increased number of unwanted sighting reports during the show's two year run.  I think the same thing happened during the early years of "X Files".

As others noted, the executive producer of the show was Jack Webb.  Anyone who grew up watching Dragnet/Adam 12/Emergency would have instantly recognized the Webb formulaic approach to the show, complete with attempts at deadpan humor and reasonable accuracy in depicting the series' characters doing their jobs.  Also noticeable were many of the actors who formed Webb's repertory company and played multiple roles across his various series.  One casting quirk was that of Edward Winter in a lead role as the courteous, level headed officer (captain) in charge of Blue Book for the show's second season.  At the time Winter had a reoccurring role on "MASH" as the paranoid, over-the-top intelligence officer, Colonel Flagg!  I did find it odd "Project UFO" received almost no mention in the official Jack Webb biography approved by his family.

You did your homework on this well.  I binge watched a dozen or so episodes and of course got a chuckle at some of the Battlestar Galactica prop room cast offs that passed as UFOs.  I can only imagine the wanted to portray a level of nuanced silliness to the topic and disguise that they were doing this within a framework of seriousness - much like the attitude of news broadcasts. They were still enjoyable episodes as far as portraying the human element to witnessing something otherworldly. We are still left with a viewpoint that the phenomenon is real, but to temper a healthy skepticism with the realization that the UFO witness is their own worst enemy. Worse, hoaxes can spring up from a singular real event and muddy up the whole works. This mirrors the today's world really well. My favorite of episodes so far: The Joshua Flats Incident.

Re: Joe Friday And The UFO's
« Reply #16 on: April 28, 2017, 12:11:03 AM »
One thing the series did very differently from Dragnet was to use an old technique from serials: the misleading cliffhanger.  Project UFO would go into a commercial break with a puzzling or shocking shot from a certain POV, then not at the next resumption but maybe the one after that, maybe even after 2 breaks, "explain" it with a more informative shot.  Very effective, lots of fun.

Re: Joe Friday And The UFO's
« Reply #17 on: April 28, 2017, 01:17:18 PM »
You did your homework on this well.  I binge watched a dozen or so episodes and of course got a chuckle at some of the Battlestar Galactica prop room cast offs that passed as UFOs.  I can only imagine the wanted to portray a level of nuanced silliness to the topic and disguise that they were doing this within a framework of seriousness - much like the attitude of news broadcasts. They were still enjoyable episodes as far as portraying the human element to witnessing something otherworldly. We are still left with a viewpoint that the phenomenon is real, but to temper a healthy skepticism with the realization that the UFO witness is their own worst enemy. Worse, hoaxes can spring up from a singular real event and muddy up the whole works. This mirrors the today's world really well. My favorite of episodes so far: The Joshua Flats Incident.

Not so much homework as memory.  At the time the series was being aired, I was a co-op engineering student at WPAFB.  Not only were there multiple local media reports (including at least one article in the WPAFB newspaper, the "Skywriter"), but lots of discussion among WPAFB employess about the program.  During the same period, I attended several meetings of a local UFO enthusiasts' group that was somehow affiliated with MUFON.  I also routinely bought and read UFO magazines of the period where attacking the series was stock in trade.  Between being at what amounted to ground zero relative to the premise of the program and following the UFO community of the period, I got a fairly comprehensive feel for how the series was viewed by the various stakeholders.

BTW, back fifteen years or so ago, there were various projects and publications in the works to commemorate the 75th anniversary of Wright Field.  One of the proposed topics was WPAFB in TV/movies/books etc.  I offered to write a blurb, similar to my previous post, on "Project UFO" but no one seemed interested.  Basically the same response, or lack thereof, I got when I proposed an article on foo fighters for the "Aerial Oddities" feature in "Aviation History" magazine.


Re: Joe Friday And The UFO's
« Reply #18 on: April 29, 2017, 03:55:18 AM »
Not so much homework as memory.  At the time the series was being aired, I was a co-op engineering student at WPAFB.  Not only were there multiple local media reports (including at least one article in the WPAFB newspaper, the "Skywriter"), but lots of discussion among WPAFB employess about the program.  During the same period, I attended several meetings of a local UFO enthusiasts' group that was somehow affiliated with MUFON.  I also routinely bought and read UFO magazines of the period where attacking the series was stock in trade.  Between being at what amounted to ground zero relative to the premise of the program and following the UFO community of the period, I got a fairly comprehensive feel for how the series was viewed by the various stakeholders.

BTW, back fifteen years or so ago, there were various projects and publications in the works to commemorate the 75th anniversary of Wright Field.  One of the proposed topics was WPAFB in TV/movies/books etc.  I offered to write a blurb, similar to my previous post, on "Project UFO" but no one seemed interested.  Basically the same response, or lack thereof, I got when I proposed an article on foo fighters for the "Aerial Oddities" feature in "Aviation History" magazine.

There is a very similar attitude in the space publications and forums. Folks will fork out $100+ bucks for autographs of Edgar Mitchell, Gordon Cooper or Story Musgrave, but when it comes to discussing their current "extracurricular activities" there is silence, kind of like they are the crazy relatives that live in the attic, and everyone knows this, but its not to be discussed.  I can only assume its clever and persistent gatekeeping. The Smithsonian air and space historians and James Oberg seem to be the ringleaders and trendsetters. If Oberg says it didn't happen, then it didn't happen :/  I've seen that guy do mental gymnastics that would make Phil Klass blush to keep something safely debunked.