CRAIG CONLEY (Prof. Oddfellow) is recognized by Encarta as “America’s most creative and diligent scholar of letters, words and punctuation.” He has been called a “language fanatic” by Page Six gossip columnist Cindy Adams, a “cult hero” by Publisher’s Weekly, a “monk for the modern age” by George Parker, and “a true Renaissance man of the modern era, diving headfirst into comprehensive, open-minded study of realms obscured or merely obscure” by Clint Marsh. An eccentric scholar, Conley’s ideas are often decades ahead of their time. He invented the concept of the “virtual pet” in 1980, fifteen years before the debut of the popular “Tamagotchi” in Japan. His virtual pet, actually a rare flower, still thrives and has reached an incomprehensible size. Conley’s website is OneLetterWords.com.
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This May Surprise You

Yesterday — April 3, 2020 (permalink)

"It was a beautiful thing and it was coming right down on Bismarck."  From UFO Newsclipping Service, 1970.
#ufo #vintage headline
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"Texts revered, persecuted in own peculiar life cycle" marked by "vacuumatic silence."  From the Brigham Young Universe newspaper, 1953. 

#vintage headline
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April 1, 2020 (permalink)

There is an "ephemeral New Zealand" in Tobias Conrad Lotter's 1762 map pf the world.  "Now you see [New Zealand], now you don't."  From UFO Newsclipping Service, 1972.
#new zealand #vintage headline
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March 30, 2020 (permalink)

"Get set, Georgia; here 'it' comes!"  From UFO Newsclipping Service, 1970.
#ufo #vintage headline #georgia
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March 29, 2020 (permalink)

History often neglects to mention that Lady Godiva suffered from crippling shyness.  (We would know: we're related to Lady Godiva — the barest branch of the family tree — on our maternal side.  You might be, too: see Heirs to the Queen of Hearts: Tracing Magical Genealogy.)  From The Film Daily, 1922.
#vintage illustration #horse #public nudity #lady godiva
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March 27, 2020 (permalink)

You've heard of the art crowd, but did you know they're color-by-number?  From The Art Crowd by Sophy Burnham, 1973.
#vintage illustration #vintage book #art #color by numbers
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March 20, 2020 (permalink)

Using goats to quiet babies -- a nearly forgotten technology.  From L'Impartial de l'Est, 1905.
#vintage illustration #goat
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March 17, 2020 (permalink)

You've heard that a cow jumped over the moon, but what jumped over the cow?  A UFO, of course.  From UFO Newsclipping Service, 1982.
#ufo #cow #vintage headline
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March 16, 2020 (permalink)

"Terror of the UFO carrots," near where the house-size oranges whizzed by.  From UFO Newsclipping Service, 1988.
#ufo #carrot #vintage headline
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March 15, 2020 (permalink)

It's easy to assume that a space alien saying "Take me to your leader" is merely humorous, but it actually happened.  From UFO Newsclipping Service, 1971.
#ufo #vintage headline
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March 10, 2020 (permalink)

"Not just anybody is allowed to 'sight' Nessie."  Until now: see How to Spot the Loch Ness Monster Every Time.  From UFO Newsclipping Service, 1985.
#vintage headline #loch ness monster #nessie
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March 5, 2020 (permalink)

True story: the last time we were in Hollywood, we picked up from a street vendor what we thought was a map to moviestars' homes, but it turned out to be an Alien Star Map.  Next thing we knew (having gotten lost looking for a restaurant), we found ourselves having to make a red-faced U-turn at the guard post of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in La Cañada Flintridge (non-authorized visitors not welcome).  Undeterred, the next time we got out of the car, it was over a mile up the San Gabriels at Mt. Wilson Observatory.  (We didn't even know how to get there; we simply ended up there!)  What an amazing view, mostly of mountain peaks and, way below them, the clouds.  Great weather above the weather, to be sure!  Turns out that they only give tours on the weekends, but we hadn't planned to visit the Mt. Wilson Observatory anyway, so we could hardly be disappointed.  The place was pretty much deserted, and not to say that we trespassed, but we did get to see the inside of the biggest telescope dome.  Weird experience as we were walking back down the mountain toward the parking lot, though -- we got rather oddly questioned by a male-female couple that were dressed as tourists but who asked such pointed questions that we had to assume they were undercover security.  The man asked us if that abandoned tripod near the restroom building was ours.  No, we said, our tripod is right here with us.  He studied our faces in an awkward period of silence, as if reading our truthfulness.  That's strange, he said, for someone to leave a tripod there.  Again he stared at us.  Did we arrive on those motorcycles? he asked.  We shook our heads no.  Were we in that jeep?  Nope, our car is down in the lower lot, I answered.  (Giving him more info than he was entitled to, but expert interrogators have a way; I was probably partly making up for my partner's refusal to offer any information at all.)  Of course now we knew this wasn't merely a concerned tourist, because why would a tourist be cataloging the cars in the parking lot?  Did we encounter an old man wearing a hat and glasses?  Yes, we passed by him on our way toward the telescope; he was walking the opposite way.  I found that question even weirder, because we had seen the old man a half hour previously, so this interrogator seemed aware of everyone on the mountain over a long period of time.  We had initially seen the presumed owner of the abandoned tripod, too -- he was taking photos of the clouds below when we first parked, and we last saw him at the midpoint pavilion where they sell tickets and refreshments on weekends.  I had actually been wondering why he didn't make it to the Echo Rock viewpoint with the best view of the big dome on the cliffside -- if he came all the way up there for photos, that was the prime spot.  So, apparently, he had disappeared off the radar of the observatory's security.  It actually is rather disconcerting and unlikely that a photographer would forget his tripod.  But mainly we felt as though we'd been plopped into some sort of mystery story or even horror movie, with a discrete cast of characters.  In a horror film, the old man would be the Harbinger archetype.  All we know for sure is that our interrogator's cologne smelled too fresh for 3:30 p.m. on a hiking trail, so we really don't think he was a tourist.  Anyway, to make a long day's account short (we were gone nearly 8 hours with absolutely nothing planned), on the way home we ended up at the Oak of the Golden Dream in Santa Clarita, which in our ignorance of California history we'd never heard of, but we learned that this highly unusual tree was the site of the first gold being found, kicking off the gold rush.  The plaque said that Señor Lopez fell asleep under the tree, dreamed of floating on a river of pure gold, then awoke and pulled up some wild onions that had gold flakes clinging to their roots.  His was the first documented discovery of gold in the state.  We felt enriched, if not monetarily.  We find a lucky rock, though -- painted gold with the word "Lucky" on the top.  It all just goes to show that one needs to be careful when picking up alien star maps from strangers.
"The alien star map."  From UFO Newsclipping Service, 1982.
#ufo #alien
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March 4, 2020 (permalink)

Having traveled extensively through Cornwall, we can vouch for it being this magical, indeed.  "Dragon spotting day has arrived.  Today is, of course, St. George's Day and by way of celebration we are conjuring up a dragon in Cornall."  From UFO Newsclipping Service, 1986.
#dragon #st. george #vintage headline
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February 29, 2020 (permalink)

Just as weeds are flowers, too, once you get to know them, deceased persons will open up to a good listener.  Ask questions that are simple but open-ended.  Resist the urge to overshare.  And learn the difference between friendliness and flirtation.  From Unknown, 1941.
#vintage illustration #macabre #necromancy #occult #living dead #corpse
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February 27, 2020 (permalink)

"Mystery apparently unraveled.  Bigfoot's named Butch."  From UFO Newsclipping Service, 1974.
#vintage illustration #monster #bigfoot #vintage headline
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February 22, 2020 (permalink)

You knew that "the sky is the limit," and you've seen the sky, but here's the actual limit itself.  From MacMurray's 1961 yearbook.
#vintage photo #vintage yearbook #the sky is the limit #the limit
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February 19, 2020 (permalink)

Evicted by the divine landlord.  From The Varsity, March 31, 1976.
#vintage illustration #god #eye in the sky #eviction #landlord
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February 17, 2020 (permalink)

"Canada doesn't exist."  From The Varsity, Sept. 10, 1975.
#canada #vintage headline #monkey costume
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February 16, 2020 (permalink)

The first building to be erected on a foundation of sandwiches!  From the Muhlenberg Weekly, 1938.
#architecture #vintage news #weird news
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February 15, 2020 (permalink)

You know the theatrical masks, Comedy and Tragedy.  But there's an entire range of expressions in between.  From the State Female Normal School's 1903 yearbook.
#vintage illustration #mask #vintage yearbook #faces #comedy and tragedy
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