Friday, August 08, 2008

Do You Believe?

January 1, 1939 - Organ Cave, West Virginia, USA
I grew up watching TV shows like In Search of... and Arthur C. Clarke's Mysterious World and have always had a fascination with the unexplained. There is a certain irresistible kitsch factor with UFOs and mysterious beasts like Bigfoot or Champ, but what I find more interesting is how these stories and their visual motifs continue to pervade our culture. Photography has played a huge role in elevating these tales from legend to folklore with certain encounter images actually transcending photography to become part of our collective visual memory.

December 10, 1954 - Sicily, Italy
Yesterday I happened on the site UFO Evidence and spent the next couple of hours viewing their extensive gallery of UFO encounter photographs. I have seen a few of the photos before, but all of them feel familiar.

February 6, 1967 - Zanesville, Ohio, USA
I was taken by how UFO motifs seem to change over the years and match the visual aesthetics of their time. From streamlined metal discs in the 40s, 50s and 60s to colored lights and sleek modern designs in the post Close Encounters of the Third Kind 80s and beyond.

March 10, 1993 - Maslin Beach, Australia

May 26, 1987 - Waterbury, CT, USA

August, 2005 - Jersey City, NJ, USA
Do you believe that beings from another place or time are visiting us to record our way of life? Or, do you take the Jungian view that these photographs represent the symbolic projection of our psyche in uncertain times? Are they observing us or are we observing ourselves?
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