(1892-1964) US author and humorist, variously prolific, who is best known for his influential UFO book, Behind the Flying Saucers (1950) – which many readers have assumed is fiction, or at least fictionalized. This was expanded from two instalments of his regular column for the Slick magazine Variety: "One Flying Saucer Lands In New Mexico" (12 October 1949 Variety) and "Flying Saucers Dismantled, Secrets May Be Lost" (23 November 1949 Variety). Scully appears alongside other pioneer UFO proponents in the brief early documentary film The Flying Saucer Mystery (1952). Many issues were aroused by his description of the landing of flying saucers in Western America in the late 1940s, and by the implication (see Paranoia; Pseudoscience) that there was a vast US government cover-up. Despite much sceptical rebuttal, Scully's autobiographical In Armour Bright: Cavalier Adventures of My Short Life Out of Bed (1963) includes a reaffirmation of his belief in the dubiously sourced UFO story's truth.
Dana Scully, the female lead of The X-Files (1993-2002), is named after this author. [JC/DRL]
Francis Joseph Xavier Scully
born Steinway, Long Island, New York: 28 April 1892
died Palm Springs, California: 23 June 1964
Previous versions of this entry