Saturday, September 07, 2013
|By Frank Warren
The UFO Chronicles
There is no doubt that ET was here is 1957 . . . that is at least in the form of the first color cartoon made for television.
The production entitled, Colonel Bleep (as seen above) was created by Robert D. Buchanan and some might wonder if he was wearing his politics on his sleeve and or echoing the public’s mindset as the theme of the animated series is of an advanced civilization (from planet Futura) detecting the atomic blasts in 1945 and sending their “interplanetary intelligence agent” to save us from ourselves.
The parallels between the cartoon’s premise and long held tenets in Ufology are most apparent. Moreover, in 1957 we were smack-dab in the middle of the cold war with the former Soviet Union and each side was ratcheting up their nuclear prowess. That year there were 29 atmospheric tests of nuclear bombs in this country (Operation Plumbbob) and 16 in the Soviet Union (not to mention tests in China and the UK).
The listing at Wikipedia re Colonel Bleep, in part states:
The show took place on the fictitious Zero Zero Island, where the Equator meets the Greenwich Meridian. There, Colonel Bleep, a futuristic extraterrestrial lifeform from the planet Futura, protected Earth with the help of his two deputies. Representing the present day was Squeek (a mute cowboy puppet boy), and representing the past was Scratch, a caveman of great physical strength who was awakened from a sleep of several thousand years by the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the same event that triggered Colonel Bleep’s travels to earth. Colonel Bleep, like all of his fellow Futurans, could manipulate “futomic energy” in a variety of ways; for instance, to propel himself through space (inexplicably, on a unicycle), or as an offensive weapon. The amount of futomic energy Colonel Bleep could absorb at any given time was finite, and in several episodes he runs out of energy and becomes vulnerable.
The series drew heavy influence from the Space Age of its time.. . .
One has to wonder what fruit was borne from the seeds of 104 episodes aimed at America’s youth warning of the dangers of nuclear weapons and instilling the ideals of moral, extraterrestrial civilizations stepping in, to prevent our own annihilation and halting the spread of human terror to our galactic neighbors.
* Special Thanks To Robert Hastings