In 1969, my friend Jacques Vallee published Passport To Magonia, the first study of how modern UFO sightings are just the latest interpretation of weird "visitation" experiences that people throughout history have experienced in different forms: angels, demons, fairies, devils, Our Lady of Fatima, and on and on. (No, Jacques doesn't think UFOs are extraterrestrials who traveled here in spaceships.) This folkloristic study of UFOs has become a Fortean classic. Recently, Jacques and co-author Chris Aubeck followed that thread further, cataloging and analyzing hundreds of reports of mysterious aerial phenomena dating back all the way to ancient Egypt through 1879. Guess what? People have seen strange lights in the sky since way before Roswell, Communion, and the X-Files. The witnesses just described them using the language and metaphors of their time, instead of calling them flying saucers or gray aliens. And this phenomena, whatever it is, influenced religion and culture in profound ways.
Jacques and Chris collected their latest research in the book Wonders In The Sky and have now launched an Indiegogo campaign to publish a magnificent Collector's Limited Edition! The slipcased tome features more than 100 color photos and illustrations and includes a print portfolio of rare 17th and 18th century broadsheets documenting strange celestial events, and a facsimile of a 1648 French coin depicting a "legendary shield from the sky." Only 500 of these signed, numbered copies will ever be made.
Indeed, this edition of Wonders In The Sky is an objet d'art that exemplifies why the printed page will never die. Read the rest
Ionel Talpazan, who saw a UFO as a child above his village in Romania, painted spacecraft until he died two weeks ago at 60 years old. As a young man, after escaping Romania by swimming across the Danube, he made his way to New York City in the 1980s where he sometimes lived in a cardboard box on the street. Talpazan sold his UFO paintings and sculptures on the sidewalk until an art dealer helped bring his work into galleries and museums.
"My art shows spiritual technology, something beautiful and beyond human imagination, that comes from another galaxy," Talpazan once said. "So, in relative way, this is like the God."
More at NPR and the New York Times.
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Earlier this morning David posted a photo of a woman on Mars. We now know why she's there. Her 4-wheeled pareidoliaopede broke down and she is walking home. This is a photo of the axle and two wheels that broke off.
Here's the original photo at NASA's site. Read the rest
This mysterious humanoid figure was photographed on the red planet by the Mars Curiosity Rover. Read the rest
In the early 1990s, Harvard psychiatrist John Mack studied hundreds of people who claimed to have been abducted by aliens and wrote multiple books about his research. He invited Chris Carter to sit in on one of Mack's regression hypnosis session with a self-proclaimed abductee, an experience that Carter says informed his vision for the X-Files. Read the rest
Darren Millar, the Shadow Minister for Health and Social Services in Wales, posed three questions to Welsh economy, science and transport minister Edwina Hart about recent UFO sightings and funding research into the phenomena. A Welsh government spokesperson responded in Klingon: Read the rest
"It's crystal clear!" intones the narrator. Come for the pumping stock music, stay for the languid, awed discussion. [Youtube via]
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One of my all-time favorite podcasts, Nate DiMeo's Memory Palace, is back and on a weekly schedule. In the latest episode, Nate tells the story of a mid-century UFO hoax.
And don't miss Nate's live shows in Seattle, Portland, and LA! Read the rest
Brad Abrahams is making a documentary about a 70-year-old man named David Huggins who has had a lifetime of close encounters with extraterrestrials (including losing his virginity to one) and shares his experiences through oil paintings. Above, the trailer for "Love And Saucers: The Far Out World Of David Huggins" Read the rest
Fantastic UFO cult the Unarius Brotherhood will take over Los Angeles's Cinefamily this weekend for screenings of their 1970s-1980s psychotronic documentaries, costume exhibit, pop-up reading room, workshops, and other far out fun co-presented by BB pal Jodi Wille! Read the rest
Paul Hellyer was Canada's Minister of Defense in the mid-1960s. He is now a critic of the United States' willingness to trigger an interstellar war with aliens—aliens who might give us more advanced technology if only we were less belligerent. Read the rest
Mirage Men is my friend Mark Pilkington's excellent book of the story behind the UFO story -- a history of disinformation, paranoia, hoaxers, espionage, and weird psy-ops. While researching the book, Mark and his co-conspirators conducted video interviews with kooky ET enthusiasts, conspiracy theorists, and former air force officers whose truths, if you believe them, are far stranger than the fictions you'll get from most UFO books. The result is a wonderfully weird and provocative feature documentary, also called Mirage Men. After a fantastic reception during its world premiere in England this summer, Mirage Man will have its North American premiere next week as part of Austin's Fantastic Fest 2013 film festival. Mark and his collaborators John Lundberg and Roland Denning will be in attendance at the screenings! To tease you, above are the first 3 minutes of the film… Mirage Men Read the rest
This was the front page of the Roswell Daily Record sixty-six years ago today. You can read the full story here. And below is a 1991 live performance of The Pixie's "Motorway To Roswell."
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Robbo sez, "Charles Dellschau, a retired butcher in Texas in the late 1800's created a series of scrapbooks: '2,500 intricate drawings of flying machines alongside cryptic newspaper clippings filled the pages, crudely sewn together with shoelaces and thread' - it's an astonishing collection of mystery and whimsey with loads of drawings and plans for arcane flying machines, a secret society and coded messages strewn throughout. The books were found by a junk dealer in the 1960's and are now valued at $15,000 - per page."
These are astounding illustrations and amazing fantasies; they've been collected in a book called THE SECRETS OF DELLSCHAU: The Sonora Aero Club and the Airships of the 1800s, A True Story, which includes a lot of commentary on Dellschau's work and context.
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He began with three books entitled Recollections which purported to describe a secret organization called the Sonora Aero Club. Dellschau described his duties in the club as that of the draftsman. Within his collaged watercolors were newspaper clippings (he called them “press blooms”) of early attempts at flight overlapped with his own fantastic drawings of airships of all kind. Powered by a secret formula he cryptically referred to as “NB Gas” or “Suppa” — the “aeros” (as Dellscahu called them) were steampunk like contraptions with multiple propellers, wheels, viewing decks and secret compartments. Though highly personal, autobiographical (perhaps!), and idiosyncratic, these artworks could cross-pollinate with the fiction of Jules Verne, Willy Wonka and the Wizard of Oz. The works were completed in a furiously creative period from 1899 to 1923, when air travel was still looked at by most people as almost magical.
"What started out as a casual sightseeing trip to a historic castle in the Netherlands took a bizarre turn for one Dutch woman, who claims she may have spotted some kind of UFO
." [Fox] Read the rest
An unconfirmed report of a UFO over New Mexico is the most popular item in the FBI's online reading room, the agency reports. Russell Contreras with the AP:
Vaguely written, the memo describes a story told by an unnamed third party who claims an Air Force investigator reported that three flying saucers were recovered in New Mexico, though the memo doesn't say exactly where in the state. The FBI indexed the report for its files but did not investigate further; the name of an "infomant" reporting some of the information is blacked out in the memo.
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