Monday, August 20, 2012

Gasp from the Past

We all (that would translate comfortably to "y'all" for fans of Vice-Prez Joe Biden) encounter things now and then capable of making us say "wow," if only for a few seconds.

When my mother died several years ago, she left behind a few things from her childhood, inconspicuously stored in an old cardboard gift box.  Among the contents were elementary and high school graduation certificates, report cards and a little artwork.  Things become a little fragmented here because some of the contents included drawings accomplished by an aunt who was only a few years older than she, and it's sometimes impossible to know who drew what.

Nevertheless, in the box were some old tracings (?) performed on paper thinner than standard onionskin -- paper of a quality akin to old sheets of women's dress patterns, very fragile. 

A specific image grabbed my attention immediately when I saw what appears to be a representation of some critter, perhaps a praying mantis, grasshopper or other insect. Are those wings?  I suppose instead that a frog or some amphibian may be involved, based upon what appear to be feet.  The triple-digit front extremities are interesting.  The image instantly reminded me of those rare UFO encounter cases where witnesses pen drawings of insect-like creatures associated with their experiences.  Actually, the critter even seems vaguely to resemble depictions of  John Keel's "Mothman" reports.  And yes, to me, something about the image bears a chilling resemblance to an emblem used by the Nazis in later years (no, my mom wasn't a Nazi, and she would have had to travel through time to become one -- I need to point that out because there are those out there who take me much, much too seriously when least expected or intended).

My best estimates would place the age of this artwork somewhere in the 1920s, maybe in the early thirties at the latest.

The scans here show the original fading, yellowed page, and then I've reproduced it in various other formats, including a close up view, to aid in comparisons.  Comparisons to what, I can't imagine.  We could raise a question about images perceived among the populace via the collective unconsciousness from eons ago, but I'm not ready for a trip to Amateur-Psychologists-R-Us today. 

Obviously, there's probably nothing significant to see here, but I reserve my right to induce panic in the streets.