Cat People, Strippers and Telekinesis: Tales From Alien Abductees | Raw File | Wired.com
Alien abductions make for a good sci-fi plot devices, but it’s easy to forget that we walk among people — in the real world — who claim to have been visited, beamed up and probed by little gray men.
New York photographer Steven Hirsch, 63, has met many of these people face to face. He visited this year’s International UFO Conference to meet, photograph and interview people who avow close contact with extraterrestrials.
“I don’t want my audience to have any preconceptions about these people before they see my images and read their words,” says Hirsch of his Little Sticky Legs project. “My interviews barely break the surface of what is going on in their lives … or in their minds.”
Hirsch, who has freelanced for the New York Post for 18 years, makes a habit of shooting fringe members of society and gleaning their thoughts. Past subjects have included those leaving the Manhattan Criminal Court Building and Crustypunks in the parks of NYC.
For his profile photos and interviews, the fast-talking New Yorker actually shuts up and listens.
“I’m not an analyst, my questions are not intended to find answers but to allow people to tell us their stories. Courthouse Confessions, Crustypunks and Little Sticky Legs are all about storytelling. Their stories, not mine,” says Hirsch. “We’ve become desensitized to the TV sound bite. With these projects we can stare at the picture. Stare into their eyes. Feel their angst. It’s a very simple approach. There’s no distractions.”
Reports of alien abduction are a relatively new phenomena, with regular accounts emerging only in the 1960s. Estimates on the number of abductions vary wildly, from millions (unlikely) to thousands (more likely). It’s safe to say there are hundreds of reported cases in any given year.