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Mid 1960's "UFO Net"




 
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Author Topic: Mid 1960's "UFO Net"  (Read 12183 times)
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W1GFH
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« on: February 20, 2005, 09:07:08 PM »

I ran across a reference to the "UFO Net", which was either a local or national HF phone net in the 1950's and 60's, and wondered if anyone here could give me further information on it. This was long before Art Bell or X-Files. It was apparently a bunch of teenage (or relatively young at the time) hams who would stay up all night discussing flying saucers and paranormal stuff.

I'm not doing an "expose" on it or anything, I'm just curious. I realize that before the internet, ham radio was host to many on-the-air "clubs" with topics like chess, cars, sports, etc. but as far as I know, the UFO net was unique.

I asked about it on the glowbug list, and someone told me:

Quote
Some of the Ops back then were W3DUQ (Bill, still on the air
today), WA1EKV, Chuck (today he's K1KW), and WA1HUM, Dana, and some others, who's calls have escaped me now, and a couple of years later, Tim, WA1HLR.
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kc3ol
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« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2005, 03:59:46 PM »

Check with W3DUQ about this.
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Steve - WB3HUZ
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« Reply #2 on: February 21, 2005, 09:27:17 PM »

I've never heard of such a thing. I've been listening to Bill since 1976 and  he never ran anything called the UFO Net. He and other guys talked about UFOs and such a lot over the years but usually in the course of wide ranging topicality.
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W1GFH
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« Reply #3 on: February 21, 2005, 10:00:37 PM »

Here's the info I got so far.

Quote
I used to listen to the "UFO" net in the mid-sixties (about 1965-66-67
believe).  Some of the Ops back then were W3DUQ (Bill, still on the air
today), WA1EKV, Chuck (today he's K1KW), and WA1HUM, Dana, and some others,
who's calls have escaped me now, and a couple of years later, Tim, WA1HLR.
I also recall W3YAM, and W3PHL were also on that net.

They not only talked about UFO's but also about psychedelic drugs such as
LSD, etc.  Some of the participants were "experimenters".

Boy what wonderful memories.  Unfortunately, I didn't get licensed untill
1969, so I missed out an all the fun.

Ed, VA3ES
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Gary - WA4IAM
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« Reply #4 on: February 22, 2005, 06:36:32 AM »

Back in late November, '04 the wife and I were driving home one Saturday evening and I happen to turn my FT-857D onto 40 meters. Scanning around I came across what sounded like a net pertaining to UFO's. The participants, particularly the NCS, were reading off stories to each other concerning recent sightings of UFOs from around the world. The two of us listened for a good 20 minutes because we thought it was such a hoot! I can't recall the frequency or thet stations involved, but I want to say the time was somewhere around 10:30 eastern time.
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WA1HZK
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« Reply #5 on: February 22, 2005, 10:55:06 AM »

Probably something like Timmie's "Skippy Peanut Butter Net". Lots of odd discussions there in the 60's.
Keith
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W1JS
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« Reply #6 on: February 22, 2005, 03:27:37 PM »

Bill, Chuck, Dana and even Timmy are on this board from time to time - Ask them.  

Personally, I don't remember a "UFO Net", but certainly the topics were discussed. The late 60's, early 70's would probably be a better time period, though.
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73 de
W1JS
Jack
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W2VW
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« Reply #7 on: February 22, 2005, 06:32:39 PM »

Check this:

http://www.arufon.org/
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John Holotko
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« Reply #8 on: February 22, 2005, 11:52:06 PM »

Quote from: Gary - WA4IAM
Back in late November, '04 the wife and I were driving home one Saturday evening and I happen to turn my FT-857D onto 40 meters. Scanning around I came across what sounded like a net pertaining to UFO's. The participants, particularly the NCS, were reading off stories to each other concerning recent sightings of UFOs from around the world. The two of us listened for a good 20 minutes because we thought it was such a hoot! I can't recall the frequency or thet stations involved, but I want to say the time was somewhere around 10:30 eastern time.


Not surprising. Back in the early 90's I remeber reading about a UFO net that met on the air regularly. Wouldn't be surprised if they're still around.
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KB2WIG
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« Reply #9 on: February 26, 2005, 01:07:23 PM »

Sometime in the 60's the Wayne Green was mumblin about UFO's and Hamateurs looking for them..... Check out issues of "73" from the mid 60's+ mine are packed away .............. klc
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w3duq
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« Reply #10 on: March 02, 2005, 04:51:20 PM »

there is a group call ARUFON that meets on saturday nights on lsb 3977.7
(Amateur radio ufo net)
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bill  w3duq
w8rca
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« Reply #11 on: March 03, 2005, 09:07:57 AM »

I have heard that group on 75 many times in the past couple of years
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W1GFH
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« Reply #12 on: March 03, 2005, 12:29:39 PM »

Well, according to responses (or lack of them) I guess there WAS no UFO Net in the mid 1960's. The facts seem to be as hard to pin down as UFO's themselves. I hear people say there was a net, but there's no proof, or no one willing to admit to being part of it.

It's not really the UFO's I was curious about. I was fascinated by the phenomenon of a net of teenaged hams hanging out all night shooting the bull. How many times do you hear teenaged hams operating phone on 75m? And a whole group of them? Although in the 60's I'm certain it was quite common.

BTW, interest on UFO's themselves peaked about 2000. The years leading up to the milllenium brought us X-Files and dozens of TV shows like it.  Nowadays the closest thing to a UFO net is hearing Art Bell and his buddies P+M'ing on 75 and 160 ssb, long into the night.
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VA3ES - Piss-Weak Ed
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« Reply #13 on: March 04, 2005, 11:15:48 PM »

Quote from: W1GFH
Here's the info I got so far.

Quote
I used to listen to the "UFO" net in the mid-sixties (about 1965-66-67 I believe).  

Yeah, that was me on the "Glowbugs" list.

Now, on reflection,  I don't know that there was a formal "UFO" net. Maybe it was just a nightly roundtable with a bunch of regulars.  Definitely recall Bill W3DUQ, and Chuck WA1EKV, amongst others I also vaguely recall the frequency around 3860-3865 kcs, or so.  It was "close" to the old "Green Mountain Net" frequency (or so it looked on my trusty HE30!)

A few years later most migrated to 3885 kcs, because I bought a crystal from International Crystal for that frequency around 1968 or so.  Used that rock to "calibrate" the receiver, using my homebrew Pierce oscillator!.
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w3jn
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« Reply #14 on: March 07, 2005, 07:52:47 AM »

Quote
How many times do you hear teenaged hams operating phone on 75m? And a whole group of them? Although in the 60's I'm certain it was quite common


I'm fairly certain that if any teenaged hams tried to get on 75 as a group nowadays, they'd be chased off the frequency by some self-appointed "net", some bitter old buzzards who need the frequency to piss and moan about their prostates and boils, or a holier-than-thou who disdains anyone who didn't pass the exam "the hard way".

Much like the bitter old buzzards in Mankato, MN that chased our college ham club off the local repeater years ago.

73 John
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W1GFH
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« Reply #15 on: March 07, 2005, 01:54:20 PM »

And who exactly are the old buzzard hams of today? Why, they are the cool young dudes of yesteryear!

Let's see I was 12 years old in 1965, and the hams I observed of that era were impressive. Their ages were mid 20's to 30's. These crew-cut, cigarette-smoking, slide-rule-carrying, dudes worked as engineers in the "high tech" companies of the day. Dress code emulated 60's NASA control room in Houston; white shirts, bow or clip-on ties, pocket protectors, penny loafers, etc. They listened to loud music! (Beach Boys, Ray Coniff) They drove cool cars (Ford Mustang, Volvo P1800)!

So next time you hear an old buzzard complaining on air about his lumbago, try and picture him in better days - i.e. doing the limbo to surf music with some chick that looks like Nancy Sinatra. Cheesy
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WA1GFZ
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« Reply #16 on: March 07, 2005, 02:36:27 PM »

back in the 60s we had W2OY to keep us kids in line.
No Kids, No lids, no space .....
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W1JS
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« Reply #17 on: March 09, 2005, 04:24:50 PM »

Blast(s) from the past:

Calls from my old (WA1ALM) logbooks:

1965:  WA1EKV, WA1DGK, K1YDA

1966:  WA1FTI, W1NXZ

1967:  WA1GOS, WA1GSO, WA1GUD, WA1HLR

1968:  WA1HUM, WA1ION, WA1IWQ, WA1JMR

1969:  WA1FAF, WA1KNX, W3DUQ
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73 de
W1JS
Jack
No. Weare NH
Jack-KA3ZLR-
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« Reply #18 on: March 09, 2005, 06:34:38 PM »

Hi Guys,

That's something I've always wondered about, operations through the sixtys, I mean with everything else happening, Was it Tough or was the experience a good one...How Was it..?
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Bacon, WA3WDR
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« Reply #19 on: March 10, 2005, 01:39:31 AM »

It was pretty easy in the late 60s.  There were decent shortwave receivers that were ho-kay for AM and even sideband on the ham bands, and then I got an old surplus homebrew AM transmitter for $25, and got on 75 meters.  At first I thought I had good communications quality audio.  But I noticed it was hard to set the mic gain so I didn't splatter, and Bill W3DUQ set me straight on audio.  Next thing I knew, I was experimenting with presence rise and voice polarization and upside down tubes and unilevel compressors and all kinds of stuff.  Finally I moved the antenna from 20 feet high (crummy) up to 40 feet high (much better!).  A two-813 AM linear, then the 810 modulated, two-813 plate modulated rig... not bad for 120V 30A service!  I pulled the whole neighborhood off-center when I keyed up.  Some lights got brighter, some lights dimmed, and it all flickered when I talked...  Heh heh heh...  The 30 Hz rumble from the furnace was very popular in the winter months!  One night I climbed up and hung a 40 watt fluorescent tube on the antenna at about 1AM... my dad did not approve, though.

Other kids popped wheelies with their hot cars after school... I did it with my radio!  The only problem was that girls were not as impressed with the radio...

I think it was easier to homebrew back then, because I could find junk TVs with real power transformers and 6.3V filament strings all over the place.  You could build a transmitter with that and the horizontal sweep tube.  And people were dumping surplus AM stuff for about nothing!

Tube stuff started getting cheap in the later 60s as solid state power amps took over hi-fi and older TVs got replaced with the latest color sets of the day.

Of course alcohol and psychedelics and partying all night long did not help design efforts... uhh, I can't cathode modulate a 6146 with a 12AU7?  Uhhh...  Oops

But normally, AM was pretty cool in the 60s, especially with the plate modulated 813's.  Blew the sidebanders away!  Oooph-phooph fwaphh-foopph (On come the 813's!!!)  Bwaaaaaaaph!!!  Bwyee Bwyeee...
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