In the late 60's/early 70's, I read a novel about aliens who came to help Earth. I remember only two details:

  • They turned the coffee in the Pentagon green in an attempt to get people to take them seriously
  • Their spaceship morphed into a VW Beetle.

Help! I would think I made up this plot, but my Mom remembers reading it as well.

  • This sounds pretty "far out man!"
    – Monty129
    Commented May 19, 2013 at 22:43
  • Yeah, I'd never take anyone seriously who turned my coffee green. By the way, did the word "morph" even exist in the early 70s?
    – Mr Lister
    Commented May 22, 2013 at 11:14

1 Answer 1


Pandemonium on the Potomac (1966) by William Charles Anderson.

Book cover

This fits both details in the question:

  • The spaceship that morphs into a Volkswagen:

    “And then you turned your spaceship into a Volkswagen.”

    “Oh yes. Straightaway. I had no desire to arouse curiosity by having the early light of dawn disclose a flying saucer parked on the dome of the monument.”

  • And the green coffee:

    “You mean all the coffee within a radius of a mile and a half is green this morning?”

    “Yes,” said Homer, his eyes shining. “Is that not most interesting?

  • 3
    Can you offer any confirming details from that book, ideally linking to a source? Commented Oct 29, 2016 at 4:47
  • Well, this is definitely it. I could add some text about the green coffee and the Volkswagon if the edit doesn’t go too far.
    – Adamant
    Commented Oct 29, 2016 at 7:47
  • @Adamant - you should always feel free to edit in 'supporting quotes' (e.g. those that bolster the answer rather than rewriting it).
    – Valorum
    Commented Oct 29, 2016 at 8:50
  • @Valorum - Agreed, but I prefer to give the author a chance to edit first. Most of the time, I like to be cautious with edits.
    – Adamant
    Commented Oct 29, 2016 at 8:56
  • @Adamant - I've never seen anyone complaining about the addition of a book quote or a single-sourced review.
    – Valorum
    Commented Oct 29, 2016 at 9:07

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