The UFO Iconoclast(s)

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Van Gogh's UFOs

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Dutch artist Vincent Van Gogh shot himself on Sunday, July 27th, 1890, and died from that gunshot the following Tuesday, July 29th at 1:30 in the morning.

Van Gogh’s mental state has been the topic of many articles and book chapters; not just for the period leading up to his suicide attempt, but for the whole of his life.

(Some have postulated that Van Gogh became deranged by the use of absinthe, a narcotic that was popular among artists. Others suggest Van Gogh was troubled by bi-polar etiology -- manic-depression. And one Ph.D – Wilfred N. Arnold, in Science, May 12th, 2006 – wrote that Van Gogh suffered from an inherited disease, AIP or acute intermittent porphyria. There are other diagnoses.)

But Van Gogh wasn’t psychotic, not at first anyway. He was subject to observations of UFOs after 1888, maybe before, and those observations affected him, as they would affect any hyper-sensitive person: an artist with the nature that Van Gogh had fro example.

Here are three paintings that show, not exaggerated stars but UFOs, all done in the year 1889.

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Was Van Gogh subject to more than observation of UFOs, like an abduction for instance?

He often painted alone, at night, as this except from an 1888 letter to his brother Theo recounts:

“One night I went for a walk by the sea, along the empty shore….”

And this from “Van Gogh: The Man and His Work” by Pierre Cabanne [Prentice-Hall, N.J. 1963, Page 160]:

“Night fascinated him….He would settle himself on the bank of the Rhone, sticking candles on the brim of his hat to give light, and paint the stars [our emphasis], his nocturnal sunflowers…

He was taking visible things as a starting-point from which to attain to the heights of revelation.”

This is what mystics do and have done. It’s also what abductees, real abductees, and UFO observers would feel, after an actual UFO incident.

And abductees would go mad, as Van Gogh did, if they were actually kidnapped, or even just had a vibrant UFO experience.

Van Gogh saw UFOs, painted them, and had psychotic episodes because of them.

Then he shot himself, in the stomach.

What do UFO observers and abductees (experiencers) do? They go back to business and life, as usual. No wonder we (and others) discount their anecdotes.

Rejection of the UFO Hypothesis

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Click here for a paper (PDF) that explains why the UFO Hypothesis doesn’t work.

(More papers on this subject will appear here shortly.)

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

William Shakespeare and UFOs

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Did the Bard see a UFO (or anything like it)? Not as far as we can tell from his oeuvre.

So what has he to do with the UFO phenomenon?

The mystery of Shakespeare (Did he actually write the works attributed to him, or were they penned by another, or others?) is analogous to the UFO mystery (Are UFOs the product of one alien presence or the product of many alien intrusions, some paranormalistic?)….

Shakespeare’s plays, and poetry, seem foreign to the life of the gentleman farmer; he didn’t seem to have the sophistication or intellect that the plays portray.

UFOs are a bizarre phenomenon, to say the least, but are they one phenomenon or many? Or are the interpretations bifurcated rather than the phenomenon itself?

The inconsistency of style and content in Shakespeare cause scholars to attribute the plays to his contemporaries, some afraid to produce them for fear of royal retribution because of the content, and some to provide creative posturings that wouldn’t affect their status in Elizabethan society: Christopher Marlowe, Edward de Vere, Sir Walter Raleigh, Francis Bacon, et alii.

UFOs present a similar dilemma. Do they represent one reality, or many realities?

Those familiar with the phenomenon know that UFOs showed up in ancient times under guises that were familiar to those witnessing them: chariots of fire, clouds of lights, shields of war, and so on.

Those could have been the disguises of the UFOs themselves or the interpretive attempts of those who saw them.

In the modern era, one finds the airships of the late 1800s, then lights following war aircraft (foo fighters) and ghost rockets after the war, with the crescent-shaped craft of Kenneth Arnold, and flying disks of all kinds from them on, intermingled with cigar-shaped craft, weird lights in the night skies, landed craft of various design, and lately triangular flying machines (among other configurations).

Some of the appearances show sophisticate design, while others show primitive design, if any design at all.

Shakespeare’s plays appeared similarly. Some sophisticated, some bizarre, and some almost primitive in style: Hamlet, Macbeth, King Lear, The Tempest, Titus Andronicus, Troilus and Cressida, Cymbeline, King John, et cetera.

The poetry was homoerotic. Shakespeare was not.

UFO abductions have sexual overtones, some are benign.

UFOs, like Shakespeare’s plays, are all over the place, and thus both UFOs and Shakespeare present similar problems for scholars, assuming there are some UFO scholars of course.

What are the sources or source for Shakespeare’s output? Surely it couldn’t be the folksy man from Stratford-on-Avon.

What are the sources or source of UFOs? Certainly it can’t be the U.S. military, alone.

But UFOs could be the product of a malevolent (or playful) alien race, just one with chameleon-like abilities they employ to deceive mankind, for who knows what reason, or the products of many extraterrestrial races.

Either way, just as with the Shakespeare conundrum, UFOs may never be resolved one way or another.

That’s the fun of them…and that’s all it is….fun.