An Otherworldly End to A Dreamy Milk Gallery Show
Last night, a mixture of alien aficionados and art enthusiasts came to see Jack Womack, the author and collector whose ample compendium of books about aliens, alien abductions, UFOs, and any other otherworldly topic is currently on display at the Milk Gallery for two more days (until Sunday, August 21st). The occasion? A talk between him and fellow sci-fi author Ryan Britt, as well as a chance to snag a signed, advanced copy of Womack’s forthcoming book, Flying Saucers Are Real! But before things got started, Womack told the crowd that he doesn’t believe in any of it—not the aliens, not the UFOs, and not even the alien abductions.
Rather, it’s people’s hyper-obsession with aliens, particularly between the ’50s and the ’70s, that interest him—a topic that’s as funny as it is fascinating, if his brief historical overview is anything to go by. Womack talked about everything, from his favorite UFO-related book (Flying Saucers on the Moon by H. J. Wilkins), to the phenomenon of doctored photos, and the bone-chilling similarities between various abduction stories. Thankfully he also touched upon our favorite cover, Those Sexy Saucer People—particularly the hilarious and kind of terrifying cover photo of what looks to be an orgy on a spaceship, which him and Britt attempted to dissect.
Perhaps the best part of the night, however, was the Q&A portion. One audience member asked Womack whether he would categorize the majority of his canon as governmental, biblical, or sensual (Womack cryptically answered that everyone has a motive for creating their work), before a man raised his hand to tell Womack that “everything you are telling these people is a lie.” The man described himself as a Fortean, a true believer in extraterrestrial life forces—which, unsurprisingly, made for a highly entertaining exchange. Watching it felt akin to watching a ping-pong game, until Womack finally shut it down with an indisputable, diplomatic remark: “We have different reasons to be interested in this subject.”
The night may not have ended with a definitive answer to the age-old question, “Is there other life out there?” But it did excite the possibility of it. Maybe it’s time to re-watch The X-Files.
Images by Cole Giordano.
Stay tuned to Milk for more otherworldly adventures.