Dr. David Clarke shares the story of the popular astronomer who orchestrated some flying saucer hoaxes in his career and believed that mysterious sightings had normal explanations.
The death of Sir Patrick Moore, at the age of 89, is a sad loss to astronomy and for all those who grew up with his iconic BBC programme The Sky at Night.
In his autobiography 80 Not Out, Moore credited his appearance on an obscure BBC television programme ‘Flying Saucers – do they exist?’ in 1956 as the launch pad for his career as Britain’s favourite TV astronomer…
Clark goes on to explain Moore’s interest in UFOlogy could be traced back to a 1950s interview involving famous alien contactee George Adamski (Flying Saucers Have Landed) for the BBC program Panorama. Adamski claimed he met with a beautiful alien from Venus.
To demonstrate how easy it was to write fairytales about visitors from other worlds, Patrick produced his own spoof novel, Flying Saucer from Mars. Written under the pseudonym Cedric Allingham, it claimed the author had witnessed the landing of a UFO in Scotland in 1954 and that he was taken on board and whisked around the solar system.
The book made quite a splash. He also admitted to concocting a hoax sighting reported to a newspaper.
Many astronomers, as did Moore, with their eyes to the skies, would dearly like to see actual alien craft. If anyone would know about them, they certainly would. And even though there are unidentified aerial phenomena still reported, that in no way equates to being visited from extraterrestrials or entities from other dimensions. The evidence is just not there.
More on Moore from BBC.