Suffice it so say that the “Chaplin of Hell,” as Rev. Spriggs calls himself, not only heartily believes in the existence of UFOs, but believes they and their alien pilots appear in the Bible, citing the now infamous verses (4–28) from the first book of Ezekiel covered in Barry Downing’s The Bible and Flying Saucers and Erich von Däniken’s Chariots of the Gods?, both published in 1968. His conclusion is:
I believe that we’re living in the last days. I believe that Jesus is soon coming back again… With all the problems of Communism and the lacksadaisical [sic] attitude of the people in America, I think that we are just upon the horizon of some great tragedy…
The first track is definitely worth a listen, as the Chaplin cracks bad jokes such as, “Anybody that’s been married for thirteen years surely believes in flying saucers…” The jokes are followed by unsettling, canned laughter. He also tells us that flying saucers could not be of Russian origin because “she” would have already done us great harm if that were the case. Conversely, the UFOs could not be from the U.S. of A because “we would have saved some of our soldier boys’ lives in Vietnam.”
The second track is an interview with Sgt. Neil Schneider, a Michigan (Washtenaw County) sheriff’s deputy who, along with several others, reported sighting a UFO in March of 1966. The case is now famous in the UFO literature, with J. Allen Hynek attributing the sightings to “swamp gas,” a conclusion that Rev. Spriggs mocks on the first track. Hynek, of course, would later repent his words and become the “father” of scientific UFO research, writing the seminal The UFO Experience: A Scientific Inquiry (1972).
The third track is a standard hell and brimstone sermon about setting your soul right with the Lord before the Second Coming.
The Christian embrace of flying saucers and ancient astronauts appears odd on the surface, but it makes perfect sense. At the time, more than half of Americans believed UFOs were real. Fitting the anomalous craft fit into the divine framework of the Bible was an excellent way to fish more souls out of the secular sea. As Barry Downing explained in The Telegraph almost twenty years later:
It would establish scientific plausibility for the whole biblical field… It would reinforce faith and make it possible in a scientific context.
You can listen to the record in its entirety courtesy of WFMU, where I got the images above.