UFO Conjecture(s)

Monday, January 04, 2016

Did religious images affect Reverend Gill's interpretation of his UFO?

Here are a few iconic art images that may have influenced Reverend Gill's interpretation  of what he and his parishioners saw over Papua New Guinea in 1959:


  • I don't discount the fact that beliefs and previously seen images might affect perception. About 25 years ago, I yelled to my wife to come out in the yard and see what I though was a UFO. It was nightime and there was some fog and I saw this very large and bright light where there should not have been one. We looked at it for about a minute...but then we figured it out. Someone was using a substantial spotlight on a mountaintop about 2 miles away. But notice what we didn't do. We didn't report a UFO to anyone; we did not see it for hours or consecutive days; we did not see it sway or rock or fly away quickly; we did not wave and get a response; and we didn't confuse it with Venus or the Moon. Those religious images that you posted are interesting...but do they really depict what some people actually observed or are they simply religious images to keep the faithful...faithful?

    By Blogger Dominick, at Monday, January 04, 2016  

  • Dominick:

    I'm only suggesting that -- after the fact -- Reverend Gill may have become rapturous and brought forth, from his collective unconscious, images of a sacred kind to supplant what he originally saw.

    It's a psychiatric view that Tim Hebert might appreciate, and supported by the views of Joseph Campbell in his book The Mythic Image which caused me to offer the conjecture.

    (In light of the earlier sightings (in Wonders in the Sky) of such "UFOs" -- all with a religious patina -- I thought my speculation might have merit of a small kind.)


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Monday, January 04, 2016  

  • Rich,

    The images that you posted can easily be construed as artistic interpretations. The Old Testament is rife with visual imagery of the Holy Hosts and Saints. This imagery is prevalent in early to middle age paintings where the artist transposes thought to canvas.

    Sometimes we tend to over complicate things and over look the probable simple answers.

    Was Gill predisposed to such imagery? Perhaps...

    By Blogger Tim Hebert, at Monday, January 04, 2016  

  • As an Anglican priest, I would assume that Gill saw things like those I put online.

    When I was in seminary, I often found my fellow communicants often assuming a state of rapture because of the iconography inside the church. And one young priest was in a constant state of ecstasy, and beloved by parishioners, because of his state of holiness.

    Thus, I can imagine that Reverend Gill may have had a similar mental state.

    That said, my view here is sheer speculation, as I've noted in comments that I think what he saw was described by him pretty much as he saw it -- not Venus or a mirage.

    My presentation with this post was to show that Reverend Gill may have registered some past religious images he saw and incorporated them, somewhat, in his description of what showed up in the sky in 1959, the event being so odd and mysterious.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Monday, January 04, 2016  

  • Gill's 'occupant' sightings were the climax of a big build-up of lesser, but still significant, UFO sightings he and others had over the previous 8 to 9 months, as documented in Rev Norman Cruttwell's report in FSR special issue 4, Aug 1971. Well worth a read, if you have that issue.

    I believe that after that 3-day 'climax', Gill never had any further sightings. Is this significant or not?

    By Blogger cda, at Tuesday, January 05, 2016  

  • Did Reverend Gill regain his senses? Or did the UFOs just go away?

    Or did the astronomical (meteorological) configurations change to the point of insignificance?

    Who knows and how can we know at this late date?


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Tuesday, January 05, 2016  

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