Rob Price
Gutbrain Records
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2018 December 21 • Friday

Every morning in Brooklyn I drink coffee from a souvenir mug I purchased at a UFO museum in Roswell, New Mexico. And every evening for the last couple of weeks or so, I've been reading from Jack Womack's …Flying Saucers Are Real!, a superb catalog/survey/study of UFO books and their authors.

I was pleased to note that I already had a couple of the books you'll see within, as well as a couple of issues of Fate. Womack's volume presents beautiful scans of the front covers with selected photos, illustrations or other details from the inside, the occasional back cover, and fascinating sketches of the authors and their stories, contexts, etc.

Some of the images are quite beautiful.

Others are more of a curiosity.

And Womack has done a splendid job of wading through the personalities and claims you'll encounter within, as well as tracing the evolutions of various theories and assertions.

What are we to make of the similarity between Leonard Cramp's "astonishing schmeatic drawings of space ship interiors" and "similarly-detailed Japanese anatomical charts of Gamera"?

Howard Hughes was apparently interested enough in George Van Tessel's "Integratron", some kind of structure "within which alien technology would rejuvenate the cell tissues of any human who stepped inside", that he provided partial funding for it.

Then there's Gloria Lee, a flight attendant who insisted that she was channeling a being from Jupiter. According to Womack, she had a plan for world peace and to get attention went on a hunger strike, starving to death after 66 days.

Here's a whole paragraph from Womack, a good example of what you'll find throughout the book.

Gabriel Green (1924–2001), one of the last old school contactees, founded the Amalgamated Flying Saucer Clubs of America Inc. in 1957. Not long earlier he'd met saucer crewmen from the planet Korender, which orbits Alpha Centauri, and maintained regular telepathic correspondence afterward, generally regarding the imminent return of Jesus in a flying saucer. Green's one book, Let's Face the Facts About Flying Saucerts (1967) is a farrago of brief saucer accounts with no direct Korendian connection. He ran for President as a write-in candidate in 1960 and 1972. He didn't win.

I bought this book at Quimby's in Brooklyn, which is exactly the kind of place where you should buy it.