The best type of art, is one that can be deconstructed from multiple viewpoints. Take films like Under The Skin, one type of audience views it as a simple A to B structured story, while another can ponder on the questions presented for days, weeks, months or even years to come. The scientific unknown tends to ask more than other outlets as, for the most part, they are left unanswered. The mystery and intrigue, of life on other planets, spawns a special kind of dedicated individual, one who spends a lot of their time: searching, collecting and (potentially) discovering scarcely spread information on extraterrestrials. While not a completely religious undertaking, the search of life elsewhere isn’t about lightsabers, flying discs or Klingons, rather an answer to questions about our own existence. Some search in holy structures, the internet, film, music and the sum of things we call art, but then there are those who look for proof in more tangible pieces, such as: journalistic evidence and previously classified documents. Collected over a lifetime, the tireless efforts of Russell Briers (grandfather of Melbourne artist – Martin Bell), is a fitting example to the dedication towards this infinite mystery, one that continues to this day. Compiled from an incredible amount of research, The Australian UFO Mystery, is Martin Bell’s fitting tribute to the search for fact and one mans quest to find them.
Printed in a fittingly monochrome newspaper clipping style layout, The Australia UFO Mystery, delves through a handful of inherited boxes presented to Bell after his grandfathers passing. Equally admirable and fascinating, the sheer collection of information, in this book alone, makes for a fascinating read. Articles, book covers, VHS tapes and correspondence are just some of the tidbits shared throughout this book, making for a throughout experience. Void of colour or any sort of guidance, viewers can spend a lot of time between the covers of this book, whether it be from front to back or flicking between pages. While some may look at it as pure science fiction, the sheer amount of evidence presented is certain to make an impression on even the most stubborn of minds. On one hand, this document is one man’s attempt at finding answers, on the other, it’s a collection of humanity’s reaction to the ongoing evidence of extra terrestrials. From the variety of sketches to the rarely seen news reports, the power of information reads like a scientific noir. Years of combing over reports, newspapers and VHS footage – searching for hard evidence and scientific justice – only to be passed on to the next generation, to conclude it’s mystery, whether it be in this lifetime or the next. Initially amassed by a close nit group, The Australian UFO Mystery, shares this valuable experience with the rest of the universe, leaving questions open for those who continue to wonder.
RIP Russell Briers.
The Australian UFO Mystery is available now from Heavy Time Books, if you’re interested in life beyond the stars, specifically circling around our most southern point, I can’t recommend it enough.