Rex Barnes reveals Marvel’s pre-modern religious origins. Continue Reading →
The Last Twentieth Century Book Club, is an ongoing monthly column exploring religious ephemera by Don Jolly. Continue Reading →
A review of David Halperin’s Journal of a UFO Investigator (Viking, 2011)
By David Metcalfe
Riddles chased mysteries, were chased by enigmas, around and around my brain. –from Journal of a UFO Investigator
On June 24, 1947 the U.S. Air Force pilot Kenneth Arnold witnessed a series of angular, wedge shaped objects skipping like saucers across the sky near his plane. Although he described them as angular or wedge-shaped, from his statements about “a pie tin cut in half” the news reports gleaned the word “Flying Saucer.” The media’s misrepresentation of his description stuck, defining the iconic image of the UFO for decades to come.
Ambiguity from eye witness accounts, media misrepresentations, ‘expert’ analysis, and the phenomenon itself, pervades UFO culture at every level. On this unstable ground David Halperin builds his debut novel, Journal of a UFO Investigator, weaving the tale of young Danny Shapiro as he experiences alienation and personal growth inside the shifting realities of 1960’s UFO research and its heretical place in the cultural struggles of the mid- to late-20th century.
As a noted religious scholar specializing in traditions of heavenly ascent and the heretical messiah Sabbatai Zevi, Halperin may seem like an unlikely candidate for authoring a debut novel about UFOlogy. In truth, however, his expertise allows him to uncover some of the more perplexing and valuable aspects of the UFO narrative, and show how even at its most flimsy, the cultural phenomenon surrounding UFOs can provide real insights into the human condition. Continue Reading →
07 October 2005 “‘If Bush really wants to obey God during his time as president he should start with what is blindingly obvious from the Bible rather than perceived supernatural Continue Reading →