Artists' Statement: George, Albert, Fred, Stan and Jacques

The installation, George, Albert, Fred, Stan and Jacques comprises four complementary / contradictory UFO detection schemes and one UFO generation scheme, each embodying the ideas of a different figure from UFO history.

George is a radio shack with longwave radio receiver and a seance room with homemade Ouija board. The board is a replica of one used by self-styled anthropologist / UFO contactee George Hunt Williamson to contact extraterrestrials in 1952. Participants can try their hand with the mason jar/pointer. The receiver is tuned to 405 kilocycles, the same frequency at which Williamson received several International Morse Code messages from MASAR (Mars), having obtained his radio-tuning instructions via the board. We invite participants to listen and attempt to decipher whatever messages they hear at this frequency using the provided Morse Code translation chart.

Albert is a 70 foot long wire antenna connected to the longwave receiver in George, above. British ufologist Albert Budden recently theorized that radio antennae may contribute to the creation of "electromagnetic hotspots" in the surrounding landscape, which may in turn give rise to UFO experiences in "EM-sensitive" individuals. "EM-sensitive" participants are encouraged to precipitate UFO experiences on their way home after the show. We will post our best guess as to where a local electromagnetic hotspot may be found.

Fred is a closed-circuit video camera (aimed at the sky through a window or skylight) connected to a VCR with the VCR in turn connected to a video monitor. We have programmed the VCR to record nightly from 8:30 PM to 9:30 PM - the hour statistically determined by ufologist Fred Merritt to be the daily peak time for reported UFO encounters before 1970. Viewers are able to watch either the recorded tape or the live shot, but not both at once.

Stan and Jacques consists of two UFO detectors of contending designs. The first detector, Stan, is a magnetic field detection model based on a design published in the magazine UFOS AND FLYING SAUCERS 1967, which assumes UFOs to be physical machines employing some form of magnetic propulsion (an idea popularized in the mid 70's by ufologist/nuclear physicist Stanton Friedman). The second detector, Jacques, is a microwave detection model of our own design, which assumes UFOs to be psychic constructs produced by the action of ambient microwave energy upon the human brain (an idea propounded, also in the mid 70's, by ufologist / astrophysicist Jacques Vallee). If and when either detector senses a UFO, its own distinctive alarm will sound, thus providing a clue as to the true nature of the UFO phenomenon. Or, rather, this would be so, if not for the alternative explanations that physical UFOs may use microwave energy as a weapon and that ambient magnetic fields can also act upon the human brain to produce UFOs.

While Albert has the theoretical potential to generate UFO experiences, and George, Fred, Stan and Jacques all possess an equally theoretical potential to detect UFOs in some segment of the electromagnetic spectrum, it is somewhat unlikely that this would occur during the run of the show, given the relative rarity of UFO events. However, on the chance that something unlikely does happen, we offer the following warnings:

1.) Viewers should disbelieve anything they hear on George. Aliens are notorious liars.

2.) Viewers should mistrust anything they see on Fred. Only 18 percent of UFO sightings remain unidentified following investigation.

3.) If either Stan and/or Jacques should sound its alarm, it may be detecting high levels of electromagnetic radiation associated with a UFO close encounter. For their own safety, viewers should stay indoors until otherwise directed by staff.