Are UFOs A Cosmic Art Project?
For the past couple of years, I have been giving a lecture called “The 1950s UFO Contactees: Charlatans, or Unrecognized Art Movement?” In the talk, I discuss the activties of the Contactees and their prodigious output of writing, drawings, paintings and artifacts, and how these can be considered creative ways to get a message across. Looked at in this context, it does not matter whether the inspiration comes from space people, from their own imagination, or a combination of the two.
A broad overview of the history of UFO sightings and contact can be examined in the same way, but the problem becomes what the message (if any) could be. Most people (at least those interested in the subject) would say that aliens are here and have been visiting us since at least the late 1940s. Some go further and insist that these aliens are intimately interested in our politics, religion, and even our DNA. None of this has ever been proven in a way that most of the human race would accept as unquestionable proof. That leaves us where ufology is today. It has not changed in 60 years. That’s a long time for something to remain unanswered, especially something as ubiquitous as UFOs.
Perhaps the reason we are not getting anywhere is that we almost always choose to look at the problem from the perspective of a society where science has answered most of our questions about our world and the universe. It’s a great tool, but not the only one in our box. We should take a look at others that may be just as valid, but not as obvious.
Humans express themselves in a variety of ways. When we look at razor-sharp pictures beamed to us from another planet, many of us are amazed and inspired that the human race could accomplish such a thing. We can also see a great painting, or hear a piece of music and this affects us in other, but similar ways. We can be touched by things that light up the circuits of our left or right brain. The best ones may be stimulating both.
The Annunciaton by Sandro Botticelli – 1490
This is one of my favorite paintings. It’s a subject that was treated by many Italian Renaissance artists–specifically the moment when an angel is telling Mary that she will become pregnant with Jesus. It’s a good example of the right/ left brain dichotomy and synthesis. The composition is centered emotionally and physically on the space between the outstretched hands. The vanishing point of the lines in the floor tiles lead right to it. A variety of concentric circles outlined by Mary’s body and the wings of the angel radiate outward from this point as well. What Botticelli was trying to do was to entertain, teach, inspire, and enlighten the viewer, when painting and sculpture was the only visual game in town, and Roman Catholicism was the biggest game in philosophy.
Woman With A Guitar by Georges Braque – 1913
This one shows how far we had come by the turn of the 20th century, and artists were breaking with traditional ways of seeing. We still see a representation of objects–a guitar, a newspaper, a table–but Braque is taking a two-dimensional surface and playing with space, time and emotion in that limited space. Things move and perpectives change. We concentrate on the things that interest us. When we examine the painting, we realize that there is a lot more going on when we look at something than just a frozen moment in time.
The intelligence (and there is almost definitely one) behind the UFO enigma may be doing something similar to these artists. When a witness sees something flitting through the sky (or perhaps closer) s/he is often forced to at least temporarily suspend what they think about “reality.” Some cases (like certain great art works) achieve a permanent shift in the witness’ worldview. It’s strange that most researchers choose to ignore this aspect of the UFO experience.
Next: What are they trying to say?
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