Citing the saucers: astronomy, UFOs and a persistence of vision

Armstrong, Daniel 2012, Citing the saucers: astronomy, UFOs and a persistence of vision, Culture and cosmos, vol. 16, no. 1 & 2, pp. 193-206.

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Title Citing the saucers: astronomy, UFOs and a persistence of vision
Author(s) Armstrong, Daniel
Contributor(s) Campion, N.
Sinclair, R.
Journal name Culture and cosmos
Volume number 16
Issue number 1 & 2
Start page 193
End page 206
Total pages 14
Publisher Sophia Centre Press
Place of publication London, Eng.
Publication date 2012
ISSN 1368-6534
Keyword(s) UFO
Flying Saucer
Percival Lowell
Hoax photograph
Summary This paper consists of two parallel and interweaving investigations regarding the UFO phenomenon and its origins with respect to observational astronomy. First, as a young child, I was fascinated with astronomy and would spend many hours with my toy telescope, viewing blurred images of the night sky. I also held a deep belief in UFOs and was committed to seeing and recording a flying saucer for myself. This led me to fabricate my own UFO photographs and from these I developed a critical relationship with photography as a means of documentation and as a medium of illusionary projection. This paper is therefore partly personal and reflexive.The second thread investigates the advent of the UFO phenomenon as a consequence of nineteenth and early twentieth century developments in observational astronomy, and the speculative theories regarding life on Mars that emerged during this period. I will be considering the work of Giovanni Schiaparelli, Percival Lowell and the writings of Carl Jung. I will be arguing that the primary force that led towards a belief in flying saucers emerged from the speculations and misinterpretations of certain astronomical observations, together with a desire to project upon that which was observed, rather than to see that which was there.
Notes This special issue contains forty papers from the Seventh Conference on the Inspiration of Astronomical Phenomena (INSAPVII) held at the Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution, Bath, 24-29 October 2010.
Language eng
Field of Research 199999 Studies In Creative Arts and Writing not elsewhere classified
2202 History And Philosophy Of Specific Fields
Socio Economic Objective 970119 Expanding Knowledge through Studies of the Creative Arts and Writing
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2012, Culture and Cosmos
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