First published: Winter 2021/22
We are now well into our first era of documented alien contact. Some maintain that extraterrestrial (ET) communication with humanity has been going on for thousands of years, if not longer, while others dispute the very existence of the phenomenon. The reality (or not) of UFOs is not the primary concern here. The focus for now is upon visionary artists and their alleged experiences with flying saucers, alien abductions and close encounters of any kind.
Visionary Art and Science UFO... , Ionel Talpazan, 2001, mixed media on cardboard, 20 x 17 in. / 51 x 43 cm, courtesy: Henry Boxer Gallery
Artists like Daniel Martin Diaz and Ken Grimes have had an abiding fascination with UFOs, while painters such as Royal Robertson and Howard Finster maintained that they had visions of flying saucers, and yet none of them claimed to have encountered ETs in real life. Not to discount Diaz’s and Grimes’s avid interest, nor to dispute the veracity of Finster’s and Robertson’s intuitive inspiration, but the following discussion is devoted to artists who profess or professed to have had actual perceived confrontations with ET events – and whose very reason for making certain works of art is a result of those confrontations. It is organised in accordance with late astronomer and UFO researcher J Allen Hynek’s initial classification of close encounters of the first, second and third kinds in his book The UFO Experience: A Scientific Inquiry (1972).
The Thanaton III, Paul Laffoley, 1989, oil, acrylic, ink, and vinyl lettering on canvas, painted wood frame, 73.5 x 73.5 in. / 186.5 x 186.5 cm, courtesy: Kent Fine Art
Romanian native Ionel Talpazan (1955–2015) ran away from his foster home when he was just seven years old in 1963. While sleeping in a field one night, he awoke to find himself encircled by an uncanny blue light that felt like it was “from another world” (see Raw Vision 45). He later recalled the complete silence, and said, “I see things I never see before.”
Implant, David Huggins, 2007, oil on canvas, 16 x 21 in. / 40.5 x 53 cm, courtesy: Love and Saucers
Talpazan subsequently determined that the light must have emanated from a flying saucer hovering above him, even though he had no memory of actually seeing it. As it was a visual sighting that took place within 500 feet (150 meters) of the source of the mysterious light, it may qualify as a close encounter of the first kind.
by MICHAEL BONESTEEL
This is an article extract; read the full article in Raw Vision #109