Thursday, January 2, 2014

Conrad Freiboe

Conrad Freiboe was active as an illustrator in New Zealand during the 1940's and 1950's. I've found little biographical information about Freiboe with an article in British magazine Flying Saucer Review dated July-August 1957 indicating Freiboe was living on Oriental Parade in Wellington during the late fifties. Freiboe's fine hatching and sturdy draughtsmenship featured in early issues of the New Zealand School Journal and many A.H. and A.W. Reed Publications including article illustrations for Conquest magazine during it's two years of publication over 1945-1947. Conrad also contributed illustrations to the NZEF bulletin Cue and I suspect he was a staff artist for the New Zealand army bulletin Korero during World War Two although Korero contributions were typically uncredited.

First issue of Conquest The Magazine for Youth published in 1945

Article excerpted from Flying Saucer Review July-August 1957:

"Mr. Adrian A. C. Mills, of London, writes that his correspondent, Mr. Conrad Freiboe, of Quental [sic] Parade, Wellington, reports : "I was in Christchurch (South Island) over Easter and enjoying the continuous sun-shine. I first noticed the phenomenon when looking up at the sky near the sun and, of course, could not make out what was floating earthwards." The Christchurch Star-Sun of April 29 stated : "What is the nature of the mysterious, gossamer-like substance which appeared to fall from the skies in many suburbs yesterday after-noon. To the uninitiated it appeared to be spiders' web. But its texture was very different. When handled it immediately dissolved into nothing; though apparently very light, it was not light enough to defy gravity except with the help of a very high wind. A Woolston resident who happened to be looking towards the hills with an astronomical telescope about midday noticed the substance falling in large quantities. He immediately set his telescope to observe various distances, increasing them until he was observing at a height of 15,000 ft. At this altitude the material was really thick, and plummeting down steadily in sheets which appeared about the size of a dinner table. The Meteorological Department reported a westerly air stream extending to Australia at the time, so that it is almost certain it came from overseas. Similar substance has been reported in New Zealand before at Onehunga two or three years ago said the Woolston man. It has also been reported from France, the United States and South America. An American scientist has associated its appearance with that of 'un-identified flying objects,' the suggestion being that it is caused by the exhaust of some unknown type of engine."

During it's first year of publication each issue of Conquest featured companion articles by Everard Anson, The World of Today and The World of Tomorrow, with illustrations by Freiboe.

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