Trying to transmit the narrative of the abduction mythos in all its surreal, quasi-oneiric complexity to an outsider is an almost insurmountable task, due to both the limitations of language as much as the intrinsically personal nature of the experience itself.
Because of this the medium of classic, hand-drawn Animation seems to provide a more suitable approximation than other conventional methods of expression. It’s not just about the cliched “a picture is worth a thousand words,” though. To me there’s something in creating the illusion of life and movement out of lines drawn into some canvas or piece of paper, that is nothing short of magical –and, perhaps, closer to the mystery of what’s behind these liminal experiences.
The first clip, above, was produced in 1995, based on recorded interviews of some of the subjects researched by the late Budd Hopkins –a recognized visual artist on his own merit– including a few sessions of hypnotic regression. The second one, below, is a sand animation created in 2009 by artist GingerAnne, to tell the story of what happened to her own mother in 1986. Both videos choose the approach the subject from a different perspective, both artistically and narratively, and both IMO make a very good job in communicating their message to the viewer in an honest, and almost visceral way.
Please note this is not about ‘endorsing’ the veracity or validity of these stories. As you may or may not know, by the end of his life Hopkins and his research methodology came under heavy attack by both skeptics and UFO advocates alike, particularly with regards to the controversial Linda Cortile/Napolitano case, which is featured in the video. Likewise we don’t have ways to vet the account portrayed by GingerAnne, and the fact that it seems similar to the famous Hopkinsville ‘goblin attack’ of 1955 would be perceived to either corroborate or undermine the story, depending on your particular bias.
What I’m interested here is in how the medium shapes these narratives, which in my mind are the ultimate cultural paradox; because on the one hand the alien abduction mythos has penetrated every instance of our civilization, particularly when it comes to pop culture –what teenager in the Western world doesn’t know what ‘probing’ is thanks to South park?– yet on the other hand, not one of these mass-consumed artistic representations has ever done justice in capturing the TRUE alienness of these experiences.
The artists responsible for these videos came close, and for that they get my praise.