UFO Conjectures

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Thomas Cole: Painter of UFOs?

Thomas Cole  [February 1, 1801 – February 11, 1848], the noted founder of the Hudson River School of painters, was obsessed with allegory -- allegory that he turned into paintings of angels and what might be considered phenomena that would likely be called UFOs today.

His angel-paintings are often overlooked or ignored by art aficionados as they bespeak a psychological quirk that art historians and lovers of art would prefer to dismiss.

But the Romantic "visions" that Thomas Cole produced indicate, to me, a mind-set that sees things not real to others but very real to them.

This is a mind-set that has "hallucinated" UFOs in our time but provided less technological hallucinations in earlier times.

Some flying saucer and UFO accounts that have ended up in the lore can be attributed to this mind-set or quirk, and seems to be neurological in nature.

Thomas Cole died relatively young (48 years) and had no outward signs of dementia or mental illness but art historians play down or eschew his angel paintings as they indicate an obsession they'd prefer to submerge.

Joseph Smith [December 23, 1805 – June 27, 1844], the founder of Mormonism lived in the same time frame and also said he saw angels (Moroni) who helped him establish the Church of Latter Day Saints.

For some reason, the age that begot these two men was ripe for such visions, hallucinations, or hoax-dreams.

Here are some of the allegorical paintings of Thomas Cole, with angels or bright splotches one might call UFOs:


  • My conjecture of the day is that our nascent awareness relies on imagination and our orientation is projected upon proxies that allow us alternatives that transcend the grave, literally in historical terms like Bigfoot, or on a more personal level like Angels, Space Travelers or what have you using various literal and metaphorical vehicles whether it’s the vehicle of a heaven, or a spacecraft. The many guises of the same desire sublimated or buried as to not deal with issues of mortality, but they pop up in different epochs wearing new clothes.

    The radiant light of energy brings to mind Ouspensky’s conclusion that the sun “is the sum of all possibilities”

    Whether it’s NDE or UFO’s, inside or outside, it’s not surprising that the old colonel in Welle’s “Magnificent Ambersons” contemplating his own impending death and trying to reconcile that journey, thinks aloud “we came from the sun”.
    None of this is surprising as we are dependent on it, as some metaphysical texts suggest “we live in poverty”...dependents. We own nothing.
    Independence is ( according to them ) a fallacy. Yet we have various vehicles of escape, lodged in images of energy whether they be time traveling, spaceships, even the “soul” itself….that suggest an elusive possibility of personal freedom, even escape outside of the known universe.

    One could say this dependency is transcendent, that we are a constituent of something greater than ourselves as an intrinsic component, immortal in that sense. Others would say this is simply a self comforting balm in opposing death.

    We imagine this or that, and artists, ufo aficionados and under the general umbrella of paranormalists, religions...all wrapped up in a transcendent light that takes us “elsewhere”.

    They ( these other creatures) may or may not exist literally but the draw for us as a species will always be there...as a need. Whether they do or do not almost seems at times to be beside the point of the exercise.

    By Blogger Bruce Duensing, at Saturday, January 24, 2015  

  • Let's not forget that this golden age produced those fun-loving/silly Fox sisters. They were rapping well before Tupoc, Eminem, et al.

    By Blogger Tim Hebert, at Monday, January 26, 2015  

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