Aliens Downstairs

This story is from the very recent archives of St. Petersburg’s agency of Russian EMERCOM (the Ministry of the Russian Federation for Civil Defense, Emergency Situations and Elimination of Consequences of Natural Disasters), one of the Russian Federation’s emergency services.

Image result for emercom of russiaThe EMERCOM agents respond to the unusual complain from a citizen residing in the second floor apartment of an upscale St. Petersburg’s building.

The agents ring the doorbell. A man wearing an aluminum foil cap opens the door just a crack. When the agents announce themselves and enter the apartment, they can hardly contain their bewilderment. Every surface  in the entire flat — walls, floors, ceiling and every piece of furniture — is covered with aluminum foil. The owner, still wearing the foil cap, explains the reason for his obsession with foil covering as an attempt to protect himself from the deadly radiation emanating from upstairs.  “You see,” he laments, “My neighbor from the apartment directly above mine constantly, day and night, irradiates me. Do something. Help!”alumium.PNGThe agents gently reassure the “victim of irradiation” and, on his insistence, head upstairs to visit the villainous neighbor. They don’t mind, really. As a matter of protocol, they have to make sure that the paranoiac foil-capped man doesn’t bother the inhabitants of the upstairs apartment.

Another doorbell, and the neighbor — bespectacled, bearded, looking, incongruously, like a mad scientist from a bad movie — opens the door. EMERCOM agents walk in and… encounter yet another curious setup. The entire apartment is filled with… microwave ovens. microwave.PNG

Dozens of them. All turned on and facing down. The “mad scientist” explains that this is how he fights against an alien living downstairs who wants to enslave the world!

Funny or not, this is a real and fairly recent story from Russia. I would’ve forgotten about it, if not for this article in Daily Mail: Billionaire Bigelow space mogul says he is ‘absolutely convinced’ there are aliens on Earth.

A billionaire aerospace entrepreneur who has recently worked with Nasa has said he is 'absolutely convinced' that there are alien visitors living on Earth. Robert Bigelow (pictured), speaking in an interview with 60 minutes, said he has spent 'millions' on alien research

A billionaire aerospace entrepreneur Robrt Bigelow has said he is ‘absolutely convinced’ that there are alien visitors living on Earth. 

Robert Bigelow, aforementioned billionaire space mogul, runs Bigelow Aerospace, a private space technology company, often partnering with NASA.

Speaking in an interview with 60 minutes, asked if he believed in aliens, Mr Bigelow responded: ‘I’m absolutely convinced. That’s all there is to it.’

Mr Bigelow made a number of other statements about his belief in aliens among us:

‘There has been and is an existing presence, an ET presence [on Earth].

‘I spent millions and millions and millions – I probably spent more as an individual than anybody else in the United States has ever spent on this subject [aliens].’

Mr Bigelow did not specify exactly how much he has spent on this research, and declined to comment on any personal UFO encounters.

Correspondent Lara Logan, who was leading the interview, then asked Mr Bigelow whether he felt it was risky for him to say in public that he believes in aliens.

She asked him whether he worried that people might think he was ‘crazy’.

Mr Bigelow responded: ‘I don’t give a damn. I don’t care.’ (–Excerpt from the article.)


Confusion In The Head

Franz Xaver Messerschmidt Character Head

Franz Xaver Messerschmidt. Character Head: The Beaked

This is the work of Franz Xaver Messerschmidt, a German-Austrian (Swabian) sculptor (1736-1783). One of the most fascinating sculptors of the Enlightenment, he enjoyed great success working in Vienna for the imperial family under Maria Theresa. At the beginning of his career he was a rather “conventional” artist, having completed his studies at the Vienna Academy, and taking up a position as a bronze chaser at the Imperial Armoury in Vienna’s Renngasse.

But then something happened… in his head, and he created his most famous group of works, the studies of heads known today as Character Heads.Franz Xaver Messerschmidt Character Head9

He began to suffer both from hallucinations and have paranoid ideas — evil spirits were after him, determined to possess him and destroy his art.

His situation came to a head in 1774 when he applied for the position of leading professor at the Academy (where he had been a teacher since the late 1760s).  Far from getting the promotion he expected and desired he was barred from teaching altogether.   The Chancellor of State, Count Kaunitz felt compelled to write a letter to the Empress explaining why this had happened.  Messerschmidt’s state of mind was referred to as a ‘confusion in the head’ in this letter.  Whether it was schizophrenia, bipolar disorder or another condition will never be firmly established but many art historians believe this to be the case. (Madness of Messerschmidt.)

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Apparently, Franz Xaver Messerschmidt had been suffering for years from a digestive illness (perhaps, Crohn’s disease.)  The twisted faces were the variation of his own facial expressions: to alleviate the agony of discomfort he felt constantly, he’d pinch his chest, causing terrible pain…

Franz Xaver Messerschmidt Character Head8

Franz Xaver Messerschmidt. Character Head: The Vexed Man

We might call it art therapy today but the busts in marble and bronze were to template himself for future medical study.  (Madness of Messerschmidt.)
In 1781, Messerschmidt confided in the noted German author, Friedrich Nicolai, that he felt he had angered the ‘Spirit of Proportion’ who it was said guarded the knowledge of universal balance which he was trying to express in his work. The spirit would come to him in the dead of night and inflict endless and humiliating tortures on him, which inspired one of his head, The Beaked, above.

Messerschmidt worked obsessively on these altogether 69 heads, the majority of whose faces are contorted into extreme grimaces. The spectrum of heads, which he conversationally referred to as his ‘Portreen’ – portraits – extends from natural-appearing busts modeled after those of antiquity to heads with exaggerated, highly expressive facial features whose supreme exertions manifest emotions that defy interpretation.

Excluded effectively from society by the powers of the Academy, Messerschmidt died in isolation, labeled both antisocial and unreasonable.  His hyper-real portraits, however, have survived the centuries. He has been a truly sick man, perhaps even mad, but his suffering has become his inspiration. Messerschmidt died in 1783.

16 original heads, the world’s largest collection from this group of works, and numerous plaster casts of the total of 54 extant works, currently housed in Vienna’s Belvedere Palaces.

The Upper and Lower Belvedere were built in the 18th century as the summer residence for Prince Eugene of Savoy (1663-1736).

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