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Mollie Thompson - from worlds afar Mollie Thompson, imagined by Simon Murphy
From Worlds Afar is a lovely album of simple country-folky tunes by a woman from Stockport in the UK, just her on acoustic guitar and the occasional tambourine, singing about UFOs and aliens. But they aren't mean abducting, anal-probing or cattle-mutilating aliens, they are benevolent wise beautiful aliens in one-piece silver suits, offering us a chance of a better future if we only stop fighting wars etc. The music is gentle and optimistic, and funny.
I bought this record in the late 1990s - it's a private pressing (essentially a DIY project) from some time in the 1960s. I was getting interested in UFO kitsch and recognised George Adamski's hubcap and ping-pong ball UFO on the cover, so I snapped it up. He had been discredited in 'serious' UFO circles in America by the late 1950s, but his stories were so hopeful and utopian that some just couldn't let them go.
I don't know who Mollie was, what happened to her, or what she looked like – the drawing above is how I imagine her. I was hoping for a younger Mary Whitehouse, but couldn't get the glasses right. If anyone knows anything about her, please get in touch.
Simon Murphy Contact: museum at popmail dot com
Mollie Thompson - back sleeveOriginal sleeve notes from the album From Worlds Afar - click the titles to hear the songs.
There is a surprise around every corner – and one of the biggest and loveliest surprises that met me was to the discover that there IS life on other planets and in other galaxies. And so how was I to set about sharing this fact with other people? I have tried talking to them – a few listened with interest but the majority dismissed the whole idea s science-fiction-fantasy.
It is almost as though I have a garden full of roses, all of different colours and perfumes, but when I open the gate and invite people into my garden they run in the opposite direction as fast as they can go.
People are funny things but I am very fond of them – so now I am going to see how far my singing will carry. You can join in and sing, you can dance if you want to, or you can just sit and listen and see if you like the thoughts you can hear. The words and music came into my head, though I am neither a writer nor a composer, so I think I can saythat this record is the result of "inspiration" – a word which to me simply means "breathing in" – (the air in my rose garden is full of a variety of novel ideas).
1) The Cockeyed Ballad (.mp3, 516kb) I start with a smile on my face, for although living is a serious occupation it also has its funny side. Even so I am not laughing AT "The Institution", I am laughing WITH it.
2) Three Wise Men (.mp3, 620kb) Life seems to be presented to us in three sections – the past, the present and the future; but I prefer to think of it as a string of NOWs all joined together.
3) From Worlds Afar (.mp3, 672kb) The story in this one could happen to any one of you at any moment. It might come as rather a surprise when it happens but if you get accustomed to the idea first you will find yourself more able to sit back and enjoy meeting these new friends.
4) Heralding The Dawn (.mp3, 420kb) Who wrote this one for me I wonder? Perhaps someone who knows more about us than we know about ourselves – so I am glad that they see the dawn as a rosy glow.
5) Isn't It Amazing (.mp3, 348kb) A human brain is a fascinating instrument. It can ask questions but the answers that come out must depend upon "how the computer is programmed" – and we do not have all the information yet because it is a huge universe.
6) There's A Lot I Could Tell You (.mp3, 628kb) Someone else taking a look at us – and it seems as though she is down here among us, but not as a tourist, more like a public relations officer.
7) Time No More (.mp3, 496kb) I am not entirely sure what time no more implies – unless it is suggesting we can live fully in each NOW as it arrives without regrets for past or apprehension for future.
8) Space Talk (.mp3, 732kb) We can send our envoys into space, visit all sorts of other worlds, and their technology will give us more of a boost than any booster rocket.
9) Dawn Breaks (.mp3, 348kb) This is a glass full of champagne bubbles – light and joyful the human equivalent of the dawn chorus of birds who have woken up after being asleep for so long.
10) Think Big Thoughts (.mp3, 668kb) This last song is the golden key to all tomorrows – a "do-it-yourself-handbook." Thoughts are such powerful things for they shape the world in which we live. The world which my inner eyes view is peopled with a race of human angels. They will have a dictionary in which you cannot find such words as hate, fear, poverty or disease – tomorrow's earth will even have forgotten what these unlovely concepts were.
Long Play Play 33 R.P.M. Mono
Asteroid Records JH 101 Nield & Hardy Ltd Stockport Cheshire England
All songs written and performed by Mollie Thompson
Mollie Thompson seems to have been one of George Adamki's fans in England, where he was championed by Desmond Leslie and other writers associated with the oddball publishers Neville Spearman. Though Adamski died an old man in 1966, they continued to reprint his 1950s books Flying Saucers Have Landed and Inside The Space Ships well into the 70s. Thompson's vision of the beatific all-knowing space brothers closely matches Adamski's elaborate Venusian fantasies, as well as elements of classic early 1950s sci-fi films like The Day The Earth Stood Still.
See also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Adamski Adamski's hub cap and ping pong ball flying saucer Adamski's 1950s photos of the Venusian 'Scout Ship' are amongst the best known of all UFO images, yet they were effectively exposed as fakes by Yankee magazine in the US as early as May 1954. Writers at the magazine shot their own photos of an uncannily similar craft made from a coffee can lid, a Chrysler hub cap and three ping-pong balls. Space Brother One thing that Adamski and his followers were fixated about (and that Mollie specifically refers to in The Cockeyed Ballad) was the seamless one-piece silvery outfits worn by their alien friends. This one was sketched in the mid-60s, but contains all the features of Adamski's original alien contacts in the California desert in 1953. It was published in a book suggesting that Adamski was somehow reincarnated as a Venusian called Yamski, and appeared to an acolyte in Devon in 1964.