This collection of gloriously retro UFO books explores the designs of an otherworldly subculture

Date
15 September 2016

The term “Flying Saucer” was coined in 1947, when a US pilot claimed to spot a flock of them over the Cascades mountain range in North America. The sighting was covered in the national press and spawned the world’s first conspiracy theory — not to mention thousands of books on the subject.

Flying Saucers Are Real! is a new book by author Jack Womack featuring 257 images from some of these publications, celebrating in particular the hugely varied cover artwork of the sensationalist tomes. The book titles themselves are brilliant, and visually represent their era, from the 1955 novel Round Trip to Hell in a Flying Saucer, to 1987’s Elvis UFO Connection: non-fiction account of alien intervention. They also verge on the fear-inducing in UFOs Satanic Terror and the scandalous in Those Sexy Saucer People.

Jack’s collection features a glorious mix of retro type and illustration, and some incredible photography. In one shot taken from 1982’s The Universal Hierarchy. A Pictorial Tour of Unarius a gold lamé-clad lady in a crown holds a saucer tower, and in another, scantily clad ‘space men’ ride the bonnet of a car. It’s a veritable visual feast of bonkers subculture.

The author’s collection comprises hundreds of books, including a number of publications from the Saucerian Press, as well as typescripts, pamphlets, tracts and magazines published mostly between 1948 – 1980. Next year, 242 items will also be archived in the Jack Womack Flying Saucer Library at Georgetown University, US.

Flying Saucers Are Real is published by Anthology Editions on 16 September.

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Jack Womack: Flying Saucers Are Real!

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Jack Womack: Flying Saucers Are Real!

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Jack Womack: Flying Saucers Are Real!

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Jack Womack: Flying Saucers Are Real!

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Jack Womack: Flying Saucers Are Real!

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Jack Womack: Flying Saucers Are Real!

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Jack Womack: Flying Saucers Are Real!

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About the Author

Jenny Brewer

Jenny (she/her) is online editor of It’s Nice That, overseeing the website’s daily editorial output. She was previously news editor for five years. Contact her with stories, pitches and tips relating to the creative industries on jb@itsnicethat.com.

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