Nearly 70 years after the first widely reported UFO sighting, humanity's obsession with aliens has produced a multiverse of cultural artifacts, from blurry photos to blockbuster movies. A show at Milk Gallery called Flying Saucers Are Real! catalogs an impressive collection of the proof this community has accrued in the form of artworks, photos, and pulp sci-fi books gathered over the years by author Jack Womack.
Known for books like Random Acts of Senseless Violence, Let’s Put the Future Behind Us, and the Philip K. Dick award-winner, Elvissey, Womack began collecting items of significance to the sky-gazing community by purchasing dollar books at a local used bookstore. The cornerstone of his collection is Frank Edwards' Strange World—"a carefully authenticated compendium of strange, true events—so fantastic they baffle even the most brilliant mind," according to the blurb—but it has grown to include hundreds of books, pamphlets, and magazines published before 1980. While Womack admits in an interview with Milk that he doesn't believe in aliens, the show is a truly prolific collection of the artwork and texts that have made them a real part of our culture.
Anthology Editions and Boo-Hooray are teaming up to publish an accompanying book, also called Flying Saucers Are Real!, which will include 257 photos from the collection with text by Womack explaining their significance to the UFO community. In 2017, his full collection will become available to peruse at Georgetown University as the Jack Womack Flying Saucer Library. "When I first got to visit his personal library… I was astonished to see the depth of American weirdness as documented in rare books," Boo-Hooray curator and Anthology Editions co-founder Johan Kugelberg tells The Creators Project. "Anyone interested in how information and misinformation intermingle on the internet can study our book and this archive, and ponder the marvels and beliefs and hallucinations contained within." Check out some selects from the collection below:
Hudson, J – Those Sexy Saucer People