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harkalark wrote in coast_to_coast
Hey everyone...

I've temporarily joined this community because I'm hoping that some of you might be able to help me with a book I'm writing. It's a book about vampires, and in it, lots of people in a city disappear as they're killed by the vampires (some of them become vampires themselves, but the majority of victims just have their bodies hidden). The police don't really know what's going on, nor does the general public, and the news media don't want to commit to anything other than very vague speculation. The reader knows that it's all due to the vampires' activity, though, but there's plenty of denial to go around in the narrative.

What I would like to do is include a minor character who thinks that the disappearances are due to alien abductions and/or some kind of government cover-up. He's wrong, of course, but this is his perspective based on what he knows and believes. The problem I'm running into is that this story takes place in the mid-1980s. If it were to take place today, this character could be someone who reads all sorts of alien-related websites and is on conspiracy theory based listservs and such, but that stuff wasn't around back then. When I came up with the character, I thought he might be a listener of Art Bell's radio show, but my research into Art Bell revealed that he didn't start doing the paranormal stuff he's now known for until 1995. So that's out. In a way, this character is kind of like Fox Mulder from The X-Files, but a lot less cool. (If my story took place in the 1990s, he'd be a fan of the show.) He's an average, ordinary guy with interesting beliefs and theories, but no one wants to listen to him because they think he's too weird.

So my main question is this: How did people like the guy I'm describing exist back in the 1980s? Belief in UFOs and aliens dates back way before this, and I know that people who were into this stuff must have had some way to communicate and perpetuate their beliefs at the time. Were there newsletters? Conventions? I don't want this character to be a goofy stereotype with a tin-foil hait; I want him to be realistic. Was the Fortean Times around during this time? Would that be appropriate to mention? Were there maybe other radio shows at the time that this guy could have been a fan of?

I'd appreciate any insight any of you could provide on this. As I said, this is a minor character in the book, and I'd like to include him if I can write him correctly. Thanks!

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