Jackie Gleason's occult library on exhibit in Miami


BoingBoing reader Larry Carlson says,

The University of Miami has an exhibit of The Jackie Gleason Collection of Books. It includes approximately 1,700 volumes of books, journals, pamphlets, and publications in the field of parapsychology. The collection offers materials on such topics as: witchcraft, folklore, extrasensory perception (ESP), unidentified flying objects (UFOs), reincarnation, mysticism, spiritualism, mental telepathy, the occult, ghosts, clairvoyance, cosmology, demons, hypnosis, life after death, mediums, psychical research, voodooism, and others.
Link to online previews of this permanent collection, bequeathed in 1988 to the University of Miami Library by Gleason's widow.

Dude, *yes*, that Jackie Gleason. From the exhibit description:

Gleason, a comedian, television star, and motion picture actor of international acclaim, developed a deep and abiding interest in parapsychology and its many components. Gleason's interest grew from his inquisitive mind and sincere interest in the topic. However, the collection is not the product of Gleason's personal belief in the wide spectrum of phenomena represented by the term "parapsychology."

16

  1. From Wikipedia:

    U.S. President Richard Nixon, who was a friend of his, had arranged for him to view bodies of extraterrestrials at Homestead Air Force Base, Florida under conditions of extreme secrecy. Gleason had found the experience very troubling.

  2. Mr. Gleason also designed and built an ultra-futuristic circular house (apparently inspired by flying saucers) in Peekskill, New York, during the period when he was filming “The Honeymooners”. I’ve never been able to find any pictures of it, but I’d sure love to!

  3. Jackies wife claimed Nixon showed Gleason dead alien bodies.

    http://www.presidentialufo.com/jackie_gleason.htm
    “Jackie had been out very late one night I did not know who he

    was with,” She said. “He told me where he was that same evening,

    he said he had been in South Florida with President Nixon to see

    some dead aliens there and I believed him, he was very

    convincing.

    “He and Nixon were in contact quite a bit and I’m not sure how

    that was arranged, but it seems that their meetings were set up

    by an associate of Nixon’s. After he got back, he was very

    pleased he had an opportunity to see the dead little men in

    cases, he explained to me what they looked like and he was still

    talking about it the next day.”

    Beverly explained that during her interview with Esquire

    Magazine, she made the statement about Gleason’s claim to see

    dead aliens and afterward things between her and Jackie turned

    sour.

  4. Gleason also had an almost obsessive interest in
    radios. He had many very expensive models. He
    was also an avid police scanner user. When his
    collection of radios went on consignment I counted
    almost 20 Bearcat Service Search 300s, many
    with sequential serial numbers indicating that
    they were likely purchased en masse.
    I have a handful of his better radios but
    some of them were damaged by being stored
    improperly. (If you love something in Florida,
    don’t keep it in the garage…)

    The better radio models:
    Hammarlund SP-600
    Hammarlund HQ-180A
    Icom R-7000

  5. Yeah, sounds totally awesome. Except for the fact that the collection is only available for viewing Monday through Friday, 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM, thereby insuring that all people who work regular, business-hours type jobs (like your’s truly) will never get a chance to see it. I highly doubt that any U of Miami student is even going to care about this, so it annoys me that they’re seemingly not making it available to anyone else besides the student population. Come on. How hard would it be to have it open for a limited time one weekend?

  6. I recall seeing Sheila MacRae on a talk show describing Nixon showing her and Gleason photos on the subject while they visited the White House.

  7. THS CRP BT LN BDS S T MCH T B BLVD. PPL SHLDN’T B S GLLBL NT XCPTNG THS S FCT. SNDS PRTTY PRPSTRS.TS JST CNSPRCY BLF N LNS ND TH GVRNMNT

  8. Oh, and also, the exhibition ran in JANUARY 2007 according to the Miami library (I emailed to complain about the hours. Tee.)

    There’s no mention on the page of the actual dates, so be warned.

  9. Haha, sike. I mean, it says “through January 2007” but being as how BoingBoing posted this in September, I thought it was extended.

Comments are closed.