Giza Necropolis, Egypt
access via Google Earth
Unknown location, the Netherlands.
Video by Mark Owen.
"I don't know if this was practice for them, but they were flying around more than an hour, early in the morning.
It looked like they were searching for something. And the police don't use Apache for searching for something."
Unknown location, the Netherlands. Photographs by Mark Owen.
UFO encounter. Footage released by US government, Department of Defence.
Click image to watch video on Youtube.
Close-ups of UFO photographs
released by CIA. UFO = A blurry ellipsis in the sky. UFO is a visual carrier for speculation of alien life forms. Blurriness and ambiquity leave room for that speculation.
Same location as in previous picture, access via Google Earth.
31° 26’43″N 109° 4’30″W
Somewhere in Arizona, US.
I named my project after monoceros, which is Greek for the unicorn. This mythical being is depicted in art and literature since the antiquity, but a similar creature can be distinguished in various mythologies worldwide. Unicorns symbolize extraordinary encounters, fantasy, and imagination – much like unidentified flying objects. However, I don’t make that connection in a derogatory way, quite the opposite. I see observing and documenting UFOs is about creating beautiful contemporary folklore.
Screencapture of an online news article regarding UFO landing. However, the site didn't feature proper photos of the crash site. Google Maps logo was used as sencorship.
At this point, I was interested in Google Maps as a research tool, or as a tool to truth-finding. UFOs always exist in an environment, which is my argument for using it in my final visual outcome.
31° 26’43″N 109° 4’30″W
Same location as in the previous picture, zoomed in.
We have shifted to a multi-truth era, where we individually hunt for clarity and comprehension of what is happening around us. This personal and subjective quest intrigues me. I consider the UFO as an archetype for truth-finding that has existed for many years, surviving many decades of scrutiny. Also, UFOs serve as a metaphor for this existential and epistemological journey for truth.
By carefully selecting fragments from various stories around UFOs I illustrate and mimic Truth-finding. My work presents truth as an assemblage of fractions of information and its interpretation. I want the spectator to question the nature of Truth, to question the limits of knowing, and to speculate on how truth ultimately manifests in our reality.
Email conversations with Mark Owen, a Dutch Ufologist. His stories inspired me greatly.
In this project, Google Earth (Studio) became my personal tool for truth-finding. It also served as a mindfield, or a playground, for playing with the concept of truth.
2019 marks the 50th year of existence of Mutual UFO Network (MUFON). It is the largest and oldest volunteer-based non-profit charitable organization in this field, with the purpose of researching and documenting UFO encounters. MUFON takes a strong stance that we are not alone in the universe, thus urging its (future) investigators to "discover the truth."
World UFO Day is celebrated on June 25 and July 2, depending on where you are situated on the globe. The aim is to expand awareness regarding unidentified flying objects and alien abductions. Also, governments are pushed to release documentation regarding UFO sightings.
On June 25, the first ever UFO sighting was reported by Kenneth Arnold in the US.
Supposed UFO crash in Roswell happened on July 2, 1947.
As I see it, there is a growing interest in this topic. Scientists, Ufologists and the general public are keen on speculating whether there are alien life forms out there and if they have visited us.
Declassified material by Canadian government.
Photos of UFOs are often mocked by their poor quality. This meme is circulating online, created from what has been observed in the culturescape.
This is an early experiment, my attempt of creating fiction.
Pyramids are subject to Ancient Astronaut theory: that they were built by visiting aliens.
Landscape of Antarctica accessed via Google Earth Studio.
I kept a visual archive of the glitches in the software. These images later inspired me with my concept.
Supposed UFO landing.
Another glitch in Google Earth Studio. Diving under the everlasting ice.
Supposed underwater UFO near Mexico.
More visual inspiration for final outcome.
How to Catch a UFO. An event I organised on June 4, 2019 at WdKA's Research Station.
Drawings from Britain's UFO archives.
Kim de Groot
Screenshots of final video.
The video consists of various materials: email conversation with ufologist Mark Owen, audio from How to Catch A UFO, my visual exploration in Antarctica.
Here, Google Earth (Studio) becomes an extended limb to explore foreign and remote places where UFOs are believed to have visited. Also, this software became a time-machine to the near past, since Google Earth’s satellite imagery is not live-feed. Some locations are rendered in hi-definition, whereas some areas are blurred out. This creates a division of spaces: public, private and secret. Blurriness and glitches occured when I was searching for UFOs in Antarctica and other locations. These traits only add to the mysticism around this phenomena.
For me, manipulating Antarctica (an unknown territory) through design software became a playground of truth. That’s why it occurs in my videos. In other words, Google Earth turned into a tool for truth-finding.