Folklore of the 5th Kind



Philip J. Imbrogno and Marianne Horrigan. Contact of the 5th Kind. Llewellyn, 1997.
The authors define Close Encounters of the 5th Kind as Contact between a human being and an intelligence not of this world. In some cases a UFO is seen; however in other cases no UFO is reported, and this book includes a number of accounts of channelling. These. which include Dean Fagerstrom who has produced a series of technical drawings of strange devices allegedly from Donesta of Solarion, and channels music from Franz Lizst (presumably on leave from Rosemary Brown), show how easily the folklore of spiritualism can transform into the new folklore of ufology.


Indeed this whole book, which brings in Hying triangles, abductions, crop circles, Druids, mystery ruins in New York State, etc, should be seen as an account of folklore compiled from inside the UFO milieu. Within this American UFOlogical folklore pre-modernist. (legends of ghosts. haunted ruins. fairies. boggarts and demons). modernist (space ships, government conspiracies) and post-modernist (New Age, reincarnation etc) themes intermingle and merge into each other, The result is much more untidy than scientific ufologists, who would like to accumulate evidence which would prove that scientifically comprehensible ET's are visiting the earth, would wish.

Unlike the authors, I do not think much use can come of taking all of this literally as evidence that mysterious non human forces are intervening in human affairs. Rather they suggest some valuable possible lines of enquiry into the nature of human creativity, the social roles of narratives of the supernatural and patterns of continuity and change in folk­lore. -- Peter Rogerson, from Magonia 63, May 1998.

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