Cover image for Picturing extraterrestrials : alien images in modern culture
Picturing extraterrestrials : alien images in modern culture
Moffitt, John F. (John Francis), 1940-2008.
Publication Information:
Amherst, N.Y. : Prometheus Press, [2003]

Physical Description:
595 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
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BF2050 .M64 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrationsp. 13
Introductionp. 17
1 A Preamble to Modernist Apocryphal Portraiture
Overture to an Autopsy of the Extraterrestrial New Agep. 23
Identifying an Audience Culture for ETsp. 26
Portraiture and Television: How We Picture Earthlings and Extraterrestrialsp. 41
Documentation: How We Prove the Existence of Extraterrestrialsp. 50
2 Eyewitness Accounts of Close Encounters with Postmodernist ETs
More Documentation, the Kind "Proving" the Fact of Extraterrestrial Visitationsp. 59
Even More Documentation, with Even Closer Encounters with the ETsp. 67
More of the Same: The Hopkins and Mack Transcriptsp. 74
Easter Bunny and Tooth Fairy; UFO Historian and ET Archivist David Jacobsp. 84
3 Betty Crocker: An Art-Historical Inquest
The Invention of Betty Crockerp. 89
The Invention and Evolution of Betty Crocker's Visagep. 92
Marketing Betty: The Modern Mechanical Image and the Turn to "Style"p. 97
Betty Crocker's Invention as a Historical Artifact of Corporate Culture and "Styling"p. 104
Betty's Status as a Modernist Celebrity and Pseudoeventp. 107
Betty Crocker's 1936 State Portrait as an Art-Historical Toposp. 112
An Unlikely Pairing: Betty Crocker and Jesus Christp. 116
4 Extraterrestrial Portraiture: An Art-Historical Inquest
An Extraordinary Popular Phenomenon: The ETs among Usp. 123
The Historical Significance of Alien Visitationsp. 128
The Historical Precedents for Alien Visitationsp. 130
Some Extraterrestrial Visitations in Fifteenth-Century Spainp. 133
Chronology and Context for Postmodernist Alien Iconographyp. 139
5 It All Began with Betty and Barney Hill
The Mass Media and the Alien Time Linep. 147
Barney and Betty's Close Encounter in a Derivative Contextp. 149
The UFO Incident and the Fabulously Faked "Abduction" of Travis Waltonp. 157
The Awfully Close Encounters of Betty Andreassonp. 164
Whitley Strieber's Best-Selling "Communion" with the ETsp. 170
Coral Lorenzen: A Literary Matriarch for Alien Encountersp. 176
The Case for Extraterrestrial Nonintelligencep. 179
6 Premodernist Religious Transports, Possession, and Poetic Inspiration
Precedents for Betty Andreasson's Visions in the Traditional Literature of Mysticismp. 187
The Case for "Possession"p. 191
How Visionary "Inspiration" Was Described in Classical Culturep. 195
Ancient Evaluations of "Enthusiastic Inspiration" and Poetic Creativityp. 200
A Depiction of Classical "Inspiration" in Medieval Artp. 204
The Complementary Conditions of "Inspiration" and "Hysteria"p. 210
The Complementary Conditions of "Inspiration" and "Dreams"p. 212
7 The Incubus as Proto-ET: The Case of Henry Fuseli's Nightmare
The Sensational Motif of the Sexual Close Encounterp. 219
Henry Fuseli's Nightmarep. 223
The Incubus in Erasmus Darwin's "Night-Mare"p. 225
Eroticized Incubi in the Traditional Literature of Witchcraftp. 229
British Accounts of Eroticized Incubi and Succubip. 237
Hypnopompic Hallucination: The Modern Diagnosis of Fuseli's Nightmarep. 242
8 Here Come the Flying Saucers!
Flying Saucers and Frisbees: A Psychopathology of Everyday Paranormal Effectsp. 249
The UFO Sightings of 1896-1897p. 254
A Contemporaneous Reinvention of Hysteria by French Scientistsp. 258
Attack! The Martian Invasion of 1938p. 262
UFOs and Close Encounters Reinvented for the Cold Warp. 268
A Very Close Encounter with a UFO in 1952p. 278
ETs and the Millennium on Our Mindp. 286
Roswell and the Extraterrestrial Pseudoevent of the Millenniump. 293
Why We Love Hoaxesp. 302
9 The Faltering History of UFOlogy
Introduction to a Historiography of the UFO Experiencep. 311
Enter the Conspiracy Theories: Prefiguring The X-Filesp. 316
Rashomon Revisited: The Killian and Woodbridge Incidentsp. 320
UFOlogy Finds Itself Perplexed and Bewilderedp. 324
UFOlogy Switches Channels in the Swinging 1960sp. 331
UFOlogy Rises to the Challenge of the Me Decadep. 337
Alien Abductions, American Xenophobia, and Corporate Culturep. 342
10 Nothing New in Outer Space
Swedenborg and the Extraterrestrialsp. 349
Other Earthbound Space Touristsp. 351
Christ as a UFO Starp. 355
A Desperate Need for Angels, Demons, Charisma, and Heaven Abovep. 360
Updating Swedenborg with Erich von Daniken and John Mackp. 370
Labeling and Mislabeling: An Eyewitness Report of a Close Encounter with "Kolfr"p. 375
11 Some Mundane Contexts for Outlandish Beliefs
Grounding the Extraterrestrials in American Legend and Archetypal Mythp. 383
Grounding the Extraterrestrials in Reincarnation Legends: The Bridey Murphy Casep. 390
The Precedent of Ekphrastic Practice and the Phantasmatic Factorp. 394
Etiology and Demographics of Extraterrestrial Receptivityp. 404
An Etiology of the Modernist True Believersp. 415
The UFO Experience as a Postmodernist Alternative Religionp. 420
12 Picturing and the Modern Reinvention of Occultism
"New Age" Occultism and Credulity in Postmodernist Culturep. 429
Symbolist Culture: Modern Occultism Historically Definedp. 434
Modern Occultism and Art as Defined by Eliphas Levip. 441
Occultism and the Modern Artist (Even Those Who Draw ETs)p. 445
Swedenborg Revisited by the Modernsp. 455
Welcome to the Age of the Irrational!p. 460
Mysticism and Modern Art Theoryp. 466
13 An Etiology of the Modernist Experience
The Power of Images and the Modernist Mass Spectaclep. 475
Mysticism and the Power of Modernist Musicp. 487
Modernist Simultaneity in Time and Spacep. 496
14 More Strictly Mundane Contexts for ETs, and Some Conclusions
Reported Truth and the Legal Interpretation of Credibilityp. 507
"Retrieved Memories" and a Baloney Kitp. 516
The Televisioned Postmodernist Audience Culture for Extraterrestrial Esotericap. 519
The Modernist Cinematic Consciousnessp. 529
The Mass-Hysteria Hypothesis: A Postmodernist Mental Meltdown?p. 540
Some Conclusions, Mostly Drearyp. 551
Postscriptp. 555
Bibliography of Cited Publicationsp. 561
Indexp. 579