|This article needs additional citations for verification. (January 2011)|
September 14, 1927|
New York City, New York, U.S.
|Died||March 24, 1997
Tallahassee, Florida, U.S.
|Genre||Military history, science fiction|
|Spouse||Dee Dee Caidin|
Caidin began writing fiction in 1957, and authored more than 50 fiction and nonfiction books, as well as more than 1,000 magazine articles. His best-known novel is Cyborg, which was the basis for The Six Million Dollar Man franchise. He also wrote numerous works of military history, particularly on the subject of aviation.
Caidin was an accomplished pilot as well, and bought and restored a 1936 Junkers Ju 52.
Caidin's fiction incorporated future technological advances that were projected to occur, and examined the political and social repercussions of these innovations. In this respect, his work has an echo in the writing of Michael Crichton. One recurring theme is that of the cyborg—the melding of man and machine, epitomized in the use of replacement body parts called bionics. Caidin references bionics in The God Machine (1968) and in his most famous novel, Cyborg (1972). Cyborg was loosely adapted as the top-rated, 1973 television movie The Six Million Dollar Man, the first entry in what would become a television franchise. Caidin wrote three sequels to Cyborg: Operation Nuke, High Crystal, and Cyborg IV. These novels constitute a different continuity from that of The Six Million Dollar Man franchise. Novelizations of several of the television episodes were written by other authors; these tend to adhere more closely to Caidin's original version of the Steve Austin character than the less violent television franchise does.
Years later, Caidin would revisit bionics, in a tongue-in-cheek manner, for his novel Buck Rogers: A Life in the Future, a reinvention of Buck Rogers in the 25th Century in which Rogers is given bionic parts after being revived from his centuries-long coma.
Caidin's novel Marooned (1964) is about an American astronaut who becomes stranded in space, and NASA's subsequent attempt to rescue him. The book was adapted into a movie, also titled Marooned (1969), which stars Gregory Peck, Richard Crenna, David Janssen, James Franciscus, and Gene Hackman.
Other books written by Caidin include Samurai!; Black Thursday; Thunderbolt!; Fork-Tailed Devil: The P-38; Zero!; The Ragged, Rugged Warriors; and A Torch to the Enemy.
Caidin bought and restored to full airworthiness the oldest surviving Junkers Ju 52 aircraft, a Ju 52/3m, Serial № 5489, which he named Iron Annie. Caidin was pilot-in-command of Iron Annie on November 14, 1981, when 19 people walked on one of its wings, a world record. He was one of a very small number of pilots to have successfully taken off a Junkers Ju 52 in less than 400 feet (120 meters). After touring extensively on the warbird circuit, Iron Annie was sold to Lufthansa in 1984. The airline renamed her Tempelhof, and continues to use her today, for charter and VIP flights. Caidin chronicled the warbird restoration movement generally in Ragwings and Heavy Iron, and the restoration and further adventures of Iron Annie specifically in The Saga of Iron Annie. His novel Jericho 52 also incorporates many of his experiences with Iron Annie.
In 1961, Caidin was one of the pilots of a formation flight of B-17s across the Atlantic Ocean—likely the last such flight ever—from the United States to England via Canada, the Azores, and Portugal. On the trip, the pilots had a near-miss with a submarine, got in a brawl with KGB agents, and narrowly avoided being thrown in a Portuguese jail. Caidin recounted this journey in his book Everything But the Flak.
Caidin also worked as a pilot on the movie The War Lover, flew with the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds demonstration squadron for several months, and was made an honorary member of the U.S. Army's Golden Knights parachute demonstration team.
Additionally, Caidin wrote an aircraft manual for the Messerschmitt Bf 108, which has been approved by the Federal Aviation Administration as the standard manual for the plane, and twice won the Aviation/Space Writers Association award for the outstanding author in the field of aviation.
Caidin also established a company with the purpose of promoting aeronautics to young people.
Talk show host
In the mid-1980s, Caidin hosted Face to Face, a confrontational television talk show in which he challenged representatives of many prominent American far-right organizations and hate groups. The one-hour broadcasts were co-written and produced by Bob Judson, and taped at the Nautilus Television Studios outside of Orlando, Florida. Among those whom Caidin confronted on Face to Face were Matt Koehl, successor to George Lincoln Rockwell as head of the American Nazi Party, Rabbi Meir Kahane, head of the Jewish Defense League (who would be assassinated a year later in a New York hotel lobby), Dick Butler of Aryan Nations, journalist Charlie Reese, and John McMann of the John Birch Society. Caidin was a friend of 1960s talk show host Joe Pyne, and used the same "gloves off" interview style, coupled with in-depth research.
Caidin also taught a progressive journalism course at the University of Florida in Gainesville, titled Caidin's Law.
Claims of psychic ability
Also in the mid-1980s, Caidin began claiming to have the power of telekinesis, specifically, to be able to psychically cause movement in one or more small devices called energy wheels or psi wheels. Parapsychologist Loyd Auerbach, a friend of Caidin's who sometimes appeared with him in demonstrations and workshops, reiterated a strong endorsement of him in his June 2004 Fate magazine column. Magician James Randi offered to test Caidin's claimed abilities in 1994. In September 2004, Randi wrote: "He frantically avoided accepting my challenge by refusing even the simplest of proposed control protocols, but he never tired of running on about how I would not test him."
- Sherri M. Owens (March 25, 1997), Writer Whose Stories Took Flight On Screen, Tv Dies, Orlando Sentinel, p. C1, retrieved October 15, 2013
- It has been claimed that Caidin authored, in total, eighty books. Martin Caidin, The Tigers Are Burning, Pinnacle Books, Los Angeles, 1975, 1980, p. i.
- Caidin, Martin. Ragwings and Heavy Iron (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company), 1984, page 261
- Caidin, Martin (January 1994). "Telekinesis". Fate (Lakeville, USA: Llewellyn Publications/Galde Press, Inc.).
- Auerbach, Loyd (1996). Mind Over Matter. Kensington Publishing Corporation. ISBN 978-1-57566-047-9.
- Heath, Pamela Rae (October 2010). Mind-Matter Interaction: A Review of Historical Reports, Theory and Research. Jefferson, North Carolina USA: McFarland. ISBN 978-0-7864-4971-2.
- Auerbach, Loyd (June 2004). "The Psychokinetic Zone". Fate, monthly column "Psychic Frontiers" (Lakeville, USA: Galde Press, Inc.). "Martin Caidin was capable of moving things with his mind."
- "Swift, September 24, 2004". Retrieved February 1, 2011. Online newsletter of the JREF.
- Martin Caidin at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database
- Martin Caidin at the Internet Movie Database