Monday 29 July 2019, MJ Banias launched his first book, The UFO People, in his hometown of Winnipeg.
I had a commitment of my own that evening, in Montreal, to give a poetry reading at the Accent Reading series. Though I couldn’t help Banias celebrate in person, at least I was able to acknowledge the launch of his book with a performance of the poem “Flying Saucers” from my book Grand Gnostic Central.
Congratulations, MJ! A review of your book is forthcoming (eventually) here at Skunkworks…
3 thoughts on “On the launch of MJ Banias’ The UFO People”
Martin Shough pointed out to me several years ago http://www.astronomyufo.com/UFO/SUNlite3_1.pdf [page 1] that Arnold did not say the objects traveled in a V-formation. “They were flying diagonally in an echelon formation with a larger gap in their echelon between the first four and the last five… Their echelon formation was backward from that practiced by our Air Force. The elevation of the first craft was greater than that of the last.” We are not alone in making that mistake, but I felt an obligation to inform you that the original texts do not say the objects flew in a V.
This is a good example of one of the complications in creatively (poetically) working the more-or-less documentary material up into a representation of the mythology that was inspired by the reports, in their various, garbled, and embellished forms (which is part of the myth, too, the way a report gets worked on by the populace and its communications media to become a small or large part of the greater myth: at one point I thought to collage the versions of the Mantell case to represent just this, but its mythic aspect is of greater importance, e.g., the pilot’s name (doubting) Thomas Man-Tell; the incident’s happening near God-man AFB, Orthodox Christmas day (7 January), near Fort Knox (with all its (alchemically significant) gold), even what he might have experienced as the oxygen levels slowly decreased….
But here it’s important not to let the facts get in the way of the truth, by which I mean Arnold’s experience is in a sense “revolutionary”, signified by the (fictional) V-formation pointing south rather than (true) north. Thus the mythologically significant truth of the experience is better represented by my own fateful transcription error. That v-formation also has the advantage of being a much curter expression than the one you quote, which would be a devil to rework into a form that would fit the poem as it stands (and it has for me pretty much reached a state of formal rest).
Nevertheless, this detail is duly noted, and should I take up the Arnold sighting again, in a kind of “cubist” manner, juxtaposing its variations to bring out a kind of “blur” or at least a profile of the way a report develops (e.g., the very coining of that fateful expression, ‘flying saucers’), it will very likely find its way into that component of my presentation of the myth!
Thanks, again, for your generous erudition (and interest in my project, here).