Bookpleasures.com is pleased to have as our guest today Gordon Lore, author of The Earle Family of Newfoundland and Labrador, Mysteries of the Skies: UFOs in Perspective, and Strange Effects From UFOs.
Gordon began his professional writing career as Vice President of the National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena (NICAP, then the world‘s largest UFO organization) in the mid-1960s. He was responsible for heading a large scientific network of subcommittees who lent their expertise toward solving one of the primary mysteries of the 20th century and beyond.
a prominent role in the first-ever Congressional day-long hearing on
UFOs in September 1968. Lore was an uncredited scientific adviser to
the late director Stanley Kubrick on his seminal science fiction
film, 2001: A Space Odyssey, in 1967.
He is also the senior author of Mysteries of the Skies: UFOs in Perspective (Prentice-Hall, Inc.. 1968), the first-ever book based entirely on the early history of UFOs. and the sole author of Strange Effects From UFOs (NICAP, 1969). He edited UFOs: A New Look, the UFO Investigator and the UFO Research Newsletter. He wrote and edited hundreds of published articles on one of the most mysterious scientific puzzles of all time.
Gordon also became a writer-editor in the public utilities field in which he became a White House and Congressional Senate/House Gallery correspondent. He was in the Oval Office of the White House in 1972 when President Richard M. Nixon signed the legislation bringing the Environmental Protection Agency into being. In 1975, Lore became the Editor of The Rockwell News, Rockwell International’s employee newspaper, and wrote about numerous topics from the Apollo program, the Space Shuttle and nuclear energy. From 1992 to 2012, he was a prominent writer-editor in the kidney disease and renal transplantation arena.
He was the Editor and Founding Editor of several prominent print and online journals in the dialysis and nephrology community. His hundreds of published articles on this topic led to his being recognized as a nominee for the prestigious first Medal of Excellence (known as the Nobel Prize of the renal care field) from the American Association of Kidney Patients (AAKP). One of the articles he solicited resulted in the formation of a dialysis clinic in the only hospital on the island country of Belize, leading to his AAKP recognition.
Gordon has also written and published on a number of other issues, including the spiritual, the occult and the early history of aviation. He is particularly known among his colleagues as never having missed an editorial deadline in his entire half-a-century career.
Norm: Good day, Gordon, and thanks for participating in our interview. How did you get started in writing and what keeps you going?
Gordon: I started writing very young in elementary school around the time of the end of World War II in 1945. I somehow knew I wanted to be a writer and had already begun reading works by such authors as Ernest Hemingway, John Steinbeck, William Faulkner, F. Scott Fitzgerald, even William Shakespeare and many others.
brought up in the small town of Solomons Island, on the tip end of
Calvert County in Southern Maryland where the Patuxent River meets
the Chesapeake Bay. I was in the seventh grade in a small two-room
schoolhouse that is now the site of the Calvert Marine Museum.
The look and smell of the sea was always present. My first effort was a handwritten story about a ship lost at sea with its crew valiantly struggling to get her into home port during a devastating hurricane. One of my very first memories was being caught in the middle of the Chesapeake Bay during the hurricane of 1938 and the struggle of my father to bring his boat, the Penguin, into port before we were lost. I remember my grandfather and grandmother on their knees praying for deliverance as the boat violently rocked while my father courageously struggled to bring her into home port. I showed the story to my English teacher, who said I had real talent and encouraged me to continue writing.
There were two other significant unpublished efforts before my professional writing/editing career began in 1965. Both of these came at the same time in the mid-to-late 1950s. I was, and still am, a great classical music fan and my favorite composer was Peter Ilyitch Tchaikovsky.
1956, I had the pleasure of meeting the grand niece of Tchaikovsky,
Madam Mishtowt, who was at the composer’s deathbed in Moscow in
1893 shortly after he conducted one of his seminal works, the Sixth
Symphony (“Pathetique”), in New York that same year.
I was introduced to Madam Mishtowt by Jessie Koushnareff, a family friend whose own husband Sergei Koushnareff was a pupil of the great Sergei Rachmaninoff, composer of the belovbed Second Piano Concerto and Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini. Madam Mishtowt read my effort during just one evening while I visited with her and Jessie on the western shore of the Chesapeake Bay and said she liked it and encouraged me to continue with it. She was a lovely lady who had also been a Lady-in-Waiting to Czarina Alexandra of Russia prior to the October Revolution of 1917 and the overthrow and eventual murder of the Czar, Czarina and their entire family. It was a great evening for me.
My second effort was a 1,000-page typewritten novel about the American Civil War, which two of my U.S. Army friends read and said they really enjoyed. Even then (the mid-to-late 1950s), I was deeply interested in the Civil War and am writing this on April 15, 2015, exactly 150 years following the death of Abraham Lincoln. But, alas, that effort like the work on Tchaikovsky, was lost. I did write a few articles for my local county newspaper, The Calvert Independent, but was not paid for them. I would have to wait until 1965 before I became a paid writer/editor at NICAP.
Norm: Do you have a specific writing style and has your environment/upbringing colored your writing?
Gordon: I can’t say I have a specific writing style that is markedly different from other writers. My environment and upbringing have definitely colored my writing. As I was growing up, I constantly scribbled, then on the manual typewriter, little stories. Most of them were about the sea and some concerned the Navy veterans of World War II whom I knew from the Patuxent Naval Air Station across the river from where I was born and raised.
As I continued honing my writing skills, I realized I needed to know more about how my characters would feel and think. After relocating to Washington, D.C., I hung out in bus and railroad stations as well as bars observing people and how they talked and interacted with each other. In the early 1960s, I was part of a small theater group at The Market Playhouse in Washington. I wrote a one-act play entitled An Evening’s Entertainment, a kind of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Effort that was produced onstage. A critic for the Washington Post, Richard Coe, seemed to like it and urged patrons to see it. I also played Jim the Gentleman Caller in Tennessee Williams’ The Glass Menagerie and later got a good notice by the Richard Coe for what he called my “brilliant” acting in a one-act play by William Inge. All of this served to further hone my skills.
My upbringing in a seafood-oriented family on the Chesapeake Bay stood me in good stead in writing The Earle Family of Newfoundland and Labrador.
Norm: Do you feel that writers, regardless of genre, owe something to readers, if not, why not, if so, why and what would that be?
Gordon: Of course, writers owe something to readers. After all, without readers, there would be no writers. Writers owe their readers the truth, the honest facts, as they see them. Most of all, perhaps, they owe their readers as much of an enlightened, educated and enjoyable time as they can. They should be able to paint indelible pictures in the reader’s mind that will stay with him/her and which the reader can benefit from. The writer owes the reader an honest, truthful read which, hopefully, contains a true knowledge of something original and helpful that can be savored and enjoyed. Every good book should be a unique learning experience.
Norm: How did you become interested in UFOs and could you tell us a little about your two books Mysteries of the Skies and Strange Effects From UFOs?
As I was growing up on the Chesapeake Bay, my two main interests
focused on the sea and outer space. At night, I often walked out to
the end of the half-mile pier leading into the bay from the
Chesapeake Biological Laboratory on Solomons Island.
I had already
read Major Donald E. Keyhoe’s book, Flying Saucers Are Real, the
first-ever tome on the subject published in 1950, followed three
years later by his second book, Flying Saucers From Outer Space, and
became hooked on the subject.
As I looked out over the Chesapeake from that long pier, I saw flickering and fast-speeding lights I could not explain and imagined that they may be aliens from another planet observing life on Earth. I knew I wanted to be a part of that phenomenon. I even had two sightings of my own in 1958 that I sent to NICAP. One involved a cigar-shaped object hovering over the Patuxent River that suddenly turned into a silver disc that rose and disappeared at an incredible speed. The second sighting involved a huge light that followed me home in my car, emitted smaller objects that circled around it, then reentered what I called the Mother Ship.
Three years after moving
to Washington, seeking to start my writing career, I was hired as a
staff member at NICAP. I immediately began poring over the sighting
reports in NICAP’s files and became utterly engrossed. A friend and
colleague, Harold Deneault, who was hired shortly after I was, also
became fascinated by the subject.
We both soon learned that, except for a few not well-documented reports and old newspaper and magazine accounts, there was a paucity of sightings prior to pilot Kenneth Arnold’s experience of June 24, 1947, the encounter that officially ushered in the modern UFO era. We soon found that there were brief mentions of sightings of strange objects going back for several hundred years. Included was a great number of reports from 1896 and 1897 of strange airships seen in the skies from California to West Virginia. This became of particular interest to me.
Harold and I quickly wrote a proposal for a book focusing on the pre-1947 era and sent it to several prospective publshers. Almost immediately, we received a favorable reply from Daniel Moses, an Executive Editor at Prentice-Hall, then the world’s largest publishing company located in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey. We were lucky in immediately locating a big-publisher editor who was intersted in the subject and was familiar with NICAP and the work it was doing. We signed a contract and our research and writing efforts were soon in full swing.
Norm: Did you write the books to express something you believe in or was it just for entertainment? As a follow up, what purpose do you believe your books serve and what matters to you about the books?
In researching and writing the books, I didn’t think much, if at
all, about the possible entertainment effects. I believed that the
UFO subject was something that was really worth investigating and
documenting and I wanted to be a part of doing just that.
and still do, that a closer study of the subject may someday open the
door to future scientific discoveries that could be of great benefit
to the world and the billions of individuals who inhabit it. I was
convinced we could learn from these reports and what may eventually
be the reason that alien beings from outer space are observing us.
My own thought is that the UFO occupants could be keeping a constant look on our weapons and atomic energy buildup in the hope that they would not be a threat to possible inhabited plants beyond our solar system. That theory was beautifully examined in one of my favorite sci-fi films, The Day the Earth Stood Still, from 1951.
The book I wrote, Strange Effects From UFOs, examined reports related to such phenomena as electro-magnetic effects caused by close UFO fly-bys to cars, trucks, trains, planes and ships at sea. There were also reports of marks on the ground left by objects that had landed, then took off at tremendous speeds. I investigated several of these reports myself and found them credible. The most significant part of the book involved occupant reports of humanoid-type beings seen inside the saucers. This book, published in 1969, was a kind of precursor to the many credible abduction reports that followed in the 1970s and 1980s to the present time.
I believe that both books served to present to the public different aspects of the subject than they had been exposed to before. Perhaps they even opened the door to some extent to future reports that would tend to authenticate possible ongoing scientific investigations of the subject. What can we learn from beings from outer space? What makes their technology so far advanced from ours that they can travel millions of miles to Earth? What can we learn from them that would benefit human life on earth and, perhaps, help a warring planet such as ours take a step up the evolutionary ladder where war and global conflicts are no longer a signature theme? We are still trying to figure all that out.
Norm: Can you explain some of your research techniques, and how you found sources for your books?
I researched old sighting reports from the 17th through the 19th and
into the first half of the 20th century and found a wealth of
information from such sources as the National Archives, the Library
of Congress and from old newspapers and magazines around the country.
Many NICAP members sent us old newspaper and magazine reports they
had been keeping about sightings that were seen prior to 1947. These
included encounters from War II and the Korean War known as “foo
fighters.” World War II and Korean War fighter pilots had reported
a wealth of fast-moving objects circling or following their planes.
That was when the U.S. government began covering up such reports. I
later had several pilots telling me that the government had
threatened them with actual physical harm if they revealed their
I also remember one retired U.S. Air Force colonel telling me around 1980 that he had been a part of the investigating team that sped to a location in New Mexico where a saucer had reportedly crashed and alien bodies retrieved and quickly hidden by the authorities. The colonel told me that he had been warned by at least one government official that, if he told anyone about the report and his involvement in it, “there is a big desert out there and your body will never be found.”
My co-athor and I interviewed witnesses and their familes going back to the end of the 19th century. Some were very elderly and didn’t have clear, extant memories of what they had seen, but others were very clear about their sightings. This effort drew out a few witnesses who were still alive during what has been called the Great Airship Sightings of 1896-1897. It was a subject that completely fascinated me and had me hooked. The first two chapters in Mysteries of the Skies covered this sighting flap. We also interviewed astronomers, police officers, pilots, scientists, ship captains and many other credible individuals who had extraordinary encounters with strange objects seen in the skies.
Staff members at the Library of Congress, the National Archives and the Smithsonian Institution’s Air and Space Museum were also very helpful in letting us pore over some of the reports by pilots and others and letting us bring them to light in the book. We also talked with a number of scientists such as Dr. James E. McDonald, the Senior Atmospheric Phsicist at the University of Arizona who also became a close friend and UFO colleague responsible for persuading many of his fellow scientists that UFO reports were worthy of serious investigation. I also had profitable interactions and visits with Dr. J. Allen Hynek and Dr. Jacques Vallee at the University of Chicago. Along with Jim McDonald, these two men did much to eventually persuade their fellow scientists that these sightings of objects in the sky were really something worth investigating.
Norm: What was the most difficult part of writing these two books?
Gordon: At first, the most difficult part of researching and writing Mysteries of the Skies was getting authenticated accounts of reports prior to the modern era that began in 1947. My co-author and I corresponded and talked by phone with NICAP members who had many of these old reports, mostly in old newspaper and magazine accounts. Other reports were also from their friends and relatives who had seen pre-1947 objects in the sky, with some actually landing on the ground. We had to persuade some people who had sightings to curb their fears about coming forward, that nothing would happen to them and that they could provide valuable information leading to learning more about the subject, even how it may benefit the public by adding to future scientific, even spiritual advancement.
Norm: What served as the primary inspiration for your most recent book The Earle Family of Newfoundland and Labrador? Could you tell our audience a little about this book?
I first became interested in writing a book about this family in 2010
through my step-daughter-in-law, Carol Triche, who lives near me here
in Santa Clarita, California, and who traveled to Change Islands,
Newfoundland, with her sister and late brother to spread her mother’s
ashes in Notre Dame Bay in 1988.
Twenty-two years later, Carol told me that her grandmother, Mina Winifred Earle, had been a member of one of Newfoundland’s founding families and that certain members had seafood franchises in the province. I did some quick research and discovered that the similarities between the long-time seafood businesses of the Earle family in that Canadian maritime province and my own family’s 150-year old seafood business in Southern Maryland were striking. I quickly began researching the Earle family with the initial thought of writing a short book for only Carol and her family.
As I got further into the project, however, I knew I had to contact members of the Earle family in Newfoundland with the intention of writing a full-length book. I was surpised to learn early on that no book had ever been written about that pioneering family whose roots in that eastern-most Canadian island date from the early part of the 17th century. My research took me to an excellent website by Elizabeth (“Libby”) Earle-DePiero (www.sskyle.org)., whose father, the late Captain Guy Earle, had his own seafood and seal-hunting business in Carbonear, Newfoundland, across Conception Bay from the provincial capitol, St. John’s. Captain Guy was a dashing seafarer whose legendary adventures rivaled those of the heroes in such Hollywood films as Captain Blood, Down to the Sea in Ships and Captains Courageous. Indeed, Guy Earle had been called “the Errol Flynn of Newfoundland.” Guy had also met the actor during a trip to Jamaica in the 1950s.
Libby was of tremendous help to me in fueling the seafaring flame for the book. Her cousin, Neil Earle, a good friend who currently lives not too far from me here in California, was also of great help and has his own chapter in the book following the long section on
Guy Earle and the effort his daughter, Libby, has made to save her father’s coastal vessel, the SS Kyle, from complete deterioration at its resting place on a mussel bed in Harbour Grace following its near-fatal Titanic-like collision with a 150-foot tall iceberg and the brave, successful attempt of its crew to sail her home to Carbonear while loaded down with 20,000 seal pelts! It is still a landmark in that historic provincial town. Other members of the Earle family along with the staff at Memorial University of Newfoundland in St. John’s were also very helpful in providing valuable information for the book.
The book includes separate chapters on prominent Earle family members who added so much to the genealogical, historical, scientific, artistic and cultural history of the province. It is slated for publication by DRC Publishing in St . John’s by late Spring or early Summer 2015.
Norm: Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?
Gordon: I heard from a few readers who said they really liked Mysteries of the Skies and a number of favorable reviews from the critics, including the following:
“Mysteries of the Skies is recommended for the aware professional and with-it aerospace industrial libraries.”- F.C. Durant III, Smithsonian Institution, Astronautics & Aeronautics.
“No unprejudiced person could read this book… and continue to believe the strange objects seen by so many all over the world to be merely fragments of the imagination or somebody’s elaborate practical joke.”-Miriam Allen Ford, San Francisco Chronicle.
“There’s plenty here to keep one sky-watching.”-The Kirkus Review, New York.
“This book is a solid, factual documentation of early UFO history.”-Borden Deal, Dealer’s Choice, The Herald Tribune, Sarasota, Florida.
“The discerning reader is invited to join in the movement for the scientific rather than the sensationalistic investigation of UFOs by the authors.”-Cross Country News, Fort Worth, Texas.
“The authors’ report is impartial yet open-minded, leaving room for intelligent speculation.”-The Times, Woodbury, New Jersey.
There were a number of other reviews in the same vein. All of them praised my co-author and I for a job well done and credited Major Keyhoe and NICAP for allowing us to use their files.
During my tenure as the Editor of For Patients Only, the only nationwide magazine devoted to promoting the cause of kidney patients, I received many letters from satisfied readers. These included:
“I can’t tell you how pleased and relieved I was to receive the last copy of For Patients Only. You certainly have done me proud… God bless. I shall keep in touch.”-Elizabeth Despard Ward, OBE, HonLLD, President, The British Kidney Patient Association, Bordon, England.
“Thank you for publishing my story in Lifestyles & Profiles. I have had excellent feedback from patients and dialysis center personnel.”-Sue Astrum, President, Astrum Productions, Los Angeles, California.
“I very much enjoy For Patients Only… These stories strike resonant chords with some readers and have induced many to seek further information.”-Curtis L. Atkin, PhD, Research Associate Professor of Internal Medicine and Biochemistry, University of Utah, Holladay, Utah.
“I am still rather astounded at the positive overwhelming response from your Lifestyles & Profiles cover story.”-Philip G. Chen, Houston, Texas.
“An article by Gordon Lore presented an investigative report of the dialysis cruise scam situation. He not only mentioned the company with the problems, but went out of his way to remind patients that there are at least some legitimate dialysis cruise companies. He chose to inform his readers so they could make educated decisions, not just scare them. We applaud his jounalistic integrity.”-Sheryll Rowett, RN, The Dialysis Traveler, Madison, Connecticut.
“You are providing a valuable service for people like me and it does not go unappreciated.”-Beverly Stroh.
Again, there were many more letters from satisfied readers. I was most grateful that they seemed to think that my journalistic efforts added a positive contribution to the health and welfare of dialysis and kidney transplantation patients everywhere.
Norm: What has been your overall experience as a published author?
Gordon: It has been very positive over my 50-year career as a writer/editor. As I indicated above, I was particularly grateful and satisfied from the many letters I received about my articles on dialysis and kidney transplantation, especially from the patients themselves but also from dialysis and transplant staff members.
Norm: Where can our readers find out more about you and your books?
Readers can log onto my PERSONAL WEBSITE to
find out more about my writing/editing career. They can also contact
me directly by phone at (661) 255-7155 or through my e-mail at
Gordon.firstname.lastname@example.org. For information on the release of my
soon-to-be-published book on the Earle family of Newfoundland, they
can log on to the WEBSITE
I am also looking for other topics to research and write about. If any of your readers are interested in utilizing my expertise on a writing-editing project, they can contact me directly.
Norm: What is next for Gordon Lore?
Gordon: I am also working on getting a book I have been nursing from its infancy to the present over the last 30 years published on the Barnes & Noble Nook Book site. This work has the working title of The Priest of Kali: A Non-Fiction Work Based on the Life and Spiritual Ecstasies of Sri Ramakrishna. And I am looking for an actual book publisher. Ramakrishna has been a huge spiritual influence on my life and writing a different and personal work on his life and teachings has served to benefit my own spiritual growth in a very positive way.
I am also
co-authoring and editing a book on ice hockey with my friend Neil
Earle. Like myself with the Ramakrishna book, Neil has been working
on his book for the last 20 or so years. The working title of this
book is Hockey in Popular Culture: A Fan’s Odyssey.
Neil describes the effort as “a personalized reflection on the history of ice hockey at the National Hockey League and community levels and the implications for the study of popular culture, fans and heroism.” Several chapters of the book have gotten very positive and encouraging feedback from some hockey experts. My work with Neil has also educated me about the game, which I knew little about before teaming with him.
Norm: As this interview draws to a close what one question would you have liked me to ask you? Please share your answer.
Gordon: I can’t think of anything. Your detailed, penetrating questions did their job most adequately. I had a lot of fun answering them.
Norm: Thanks once again and good luck with all of your future endeavors.
Gordon: Thank you, Norm. It’s been a real pleasure for me.