Frank Scully

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Frank Scully
Frank Scully.png
Frank Scully
Francis Joseph Xavier Scully

(1892-04-28)28 April 1892
Died23 June 1964(1964-06-23) (aged 72)[1]
Resting placeDesert Memorial Park, Cathedral City, California[2]
OccupationJournalist, author, ufologist
EmployerThe Sun, Variety
Spouse(s)Alice Scully (1909–1996;[3] his death) (married 1930)
AwardsKnight of the Pontifical Order of St. Gregory the Great in 1956[4]

Frank Scully (born Francis Joseph Xavier Scully; 28 April 1892 – 23 June 1964)[1][4] was an American journalist, author, humorist, and a regular columnist for the entertainment trade magazine Variety.


Involvement with Newton and "Dr. Gee"[edit]

In October and November 1949, Scully published two columns in Variety, claiming that dead extraterrestrial beings were recovered from a flying saucer crash, based on what he said was reported to him by a scientist involved.[5][6] His 1950 book Behind the Flying Saucers expanded on the theme, adding that there had been two such incidents in Arizona and one in New Mexico, a 1948 incident that involved a saucer that was nearly 100 feet (30 m) in diameter.[note 1] The saucers supposedly worked on magnetic principles. In the book, Scully revealed his two sources to be Silas M. Newton and a scientist he called "Dr. Gee." Sixty thousand copies of the book were sold. Scully was known for his idiosyncratic prose, describing Dr. Gee as having "more degrees than a thermometer" and an alleged crashed saucer in the Sahara as "more cracked than a psychiatrist in an auto wreck."[7]

Exposure as a hoax[edit]

In 1952 and 1956, True magazine published articles by San Francisco Chronicle reporter John Philip Cahn[8][9] that purported to expose Newton and "Dr. Gee" (identified as Leo A. GeBauer) as oil con artists who had hoaxed Scully.[10]

Behind the Flying Saucers was the only book Scully wrote on flying saucers. He briefly revisited the subject in his 1963 book In Armour Bright,[11] reiterating his belief in the veracity of a 1948 saucer crash near Aztec, New Mexico.

FBI memo[edit]

Like Scully's story, a FBI memo written by Special Agent in Charge (SAC) Guy Hottel, dated March 22, 1950, relates a claim of three flying saucer crashes in New Mexico. It states: "An investigator for the Air Forces stated that three so-called flying saucers had been recovered in New Mexico." It then goes on to say that "According to Mr. [redacted], informant, the saucers were found in New Mexico due to the fact that the Government had a very high-powered radar set-up in that area and it is believed the radar interferes with the controling [sic] mechanism of the saucers."[12]

However, skeptics suspect the unidentified "informant" was probably either Newton or GeBauer, who they say conned Scully, and likewise was telling stories to the U.S. Air Force and FBI.

On 25 March 2013, the FBI issued a press release concerning Hottel's memo. In addressing the memo's context and possible connection to a hoax, the Bureau wrote, "Finally, the Hottel memo does not prove the existence of UFOs; it is simply a second- or third-hand claim that we never investigated. Some people believe the memo repeats a hoax that was circulating at that time, but the Bureau’s files have no information to verify that theory."[13]



  • Scully, Frank (1932). Fun in Bed: The Convalescent's Handbook. Preface by Dr. Logan Clendening. New York: Simon & Schuster. OCLC 2430955.
  • —— (1934). More Fun in Bed: The Convalescent's Handbook. New York: Simon & Schuster. OCLC 2629757.
  • —— (1936). Bedside Manna: The Third Fun in Bed Book. New York: Simon & Schuster. OCLC 328577.
  • —— (1938). Just What the Doctor Ordered. Fun in Bed (Series Four). New York: Simon & Schuster. OCLC 3317354.
  • —— (1943). Rogues' Gallery: Profiles of My Eminent Contemporaries. Hollywood: Murray & Gee, Inc. OCLC 1661190.
  • —— (1950). Behind the Flying Saucers. New York: Henry Holt and Company. OCLC 1467735.
  • —— (1951). Blessed Mother Goose: Favorite Nursery Rhymes Retold for Today's Children. Illustrated by Keye Luke. New York: Greenberg. OCLC 6248166.
  • —— (1951). Blessed Mother Goose: Nursery Rhymes for Today's Children. Illustrated by Keye Luke. Hollywood: House-Warven. OCLC 27893933.
  • —— (1951). The Best of Fun in Bed. New York: Simon & Schuster. OCLC 687125.
  • —— (1955). Cross My Heart. New York: Greenberg. OCLC 2570206.
  • —— (1962). This Gay Knight: An Autobiography of a Modern Chevalier. Introduction by Dale Francis (1st ed.). Philadelphia: Chilton Co., Book Division. OCLC 1376376.
  • —— (1963). In Armour Bright: Cavalier Adventures of My Short Life Out of Bed. Introduction by Jack Paar (1st ed.). Philadelphia: Chilton Books. OCLC 1393335.

Contributions, introductions, forewords[edit]

  • Tchirikova, Olga Wassilieff (1934). Scully, Frank, ed. Sandrik, Child of Russia. Introduction by Grand Duke Alexander. New York: Dodd, Mead & Company. OCLC 1522799.
  • Kirkus, Virginia (1935). Scully, Frank, ed. Fun in Bed For Children: First Aid in Getting Well Cheerfully. New York: Simon & Schuster. OCLC 4054743.
  • —— (1935). Scully, Frank, ed. Junior Fun in Bed: Making a Holiday of Convalescence. New York: Simon & Schuster. OCLC 5859811.
  • Scully, Frank (1940). "The Beaut from Montana". In Gingrich, Arnold. The Bedside Esquire. New York: Tudor Publishing Company. OCLC 706396.
  • Sper, Norman (1942). Norman Sper's Football Almanac [Eastern section, 1942]. Introduction by Frank Scully. New York: Greenberg, Inc. OCLC 31249461.
  • Francis, Dale (1960). Kneeling in the Bean Patch. Forewords by Frank Scully. New York: P.J. Kenedy & Sons. OCLC 3026310.
  • Walker, Gerald, ed. (1963). My Most Memorable Christmas. A Pocket Book special, 10021. Anecdote contributed by Frank Scully. New York: Pocket Books. OCLC 4182787.

Feature films[edit]

  • Scully, Frank (Writer (1964 U.S. version)) (1957). Une fée... pas comme les autres (Motion picture) (in French). France/Italy: Cine del Duco, Del Duca Films.[14]


Popular culture[edit]

The fictional character Dana Scully from The X-Files television series is named after him.[15]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ 99.99 feet (30.47695 m) to be exact.


  1. ^ a b "Frank Scully, Columnist, Dies; Defied Disabilities With Jests". The New York Times. 25 June 1964.
  2. ^ Frank Joseph Scully at Find a Grave
  3. ^ "Alice Mellbye Pihl Scully". Variety. New York. 3 December 1996. Retrieved 2 April 2013.
  4. ^ a b Scully, Frank. "Frank Skully". Retrieved 28 March 2013. Originally published by Walter Romig in The Book of Catholic Authors
  5. ^ Scully, Frank (12 October 1949). "One Flying Saucer Lands In New Mexico". Variety. New York.
  6. ^ Scully, Frank (23 November 1949). "Flying Saucers Dismantled, Secrets May Be Lost". Variety. New York.
  7. ^ Reece, Gregory L. (2007). UFO Religion: Inside Flying Saucer Cults and Culture. London; New York: I. B. Tauris. p. 34. ISBN 978-1-845-11451-0.
  8. ^ Cahn, J.P. (September 1952). "The Flying Saucers and the Mysterious Little Men" (PDF). True. pp. 17–19, 102–112. Retrieved 29 March 2013.
  9. ^ Cahn, J.P. (August 1956). "Flying Saucer Swindlers" (PDF). True. pp. 36–37, 69–72. Retrieved 30 March 2013.
  10. ^ Bartholomew, Robert E.; Howard, George S. (1998). UFOs & Alien Contact: Two Centuries of Mystery. Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books. p. 193. ISBN 978-1-573-92200-5.
  11. ^ Scully, Frank (1963). In Armour Bright: Cavalier Adventures of My Short Life Out of Bed. Introduction by Jack Paar (1st ed.). Philadelphia: Chilton Books. OCLC 1393335.
  12. ^ "Guy Hottel Part 1 of 1". The Vault. Federal Bureau of Investigation. Retrieved 29 March 2013.
  13. ^ "UFOs and the Guy Hottel Memo" (Press release). Federal Bureau of Investigation. 25 March 2013. Retrieved 30 March 2013.
  14. ^ Une fée... pas comme les autres (1957) on IMDb
  15. ^ Reece, p. 33

External links[edit]