"The UFO Incident at Galilee"

Jacopo-Giuseppe Palma (Jack-Joseph Palmer)

Like his cousin, Jeanne-Jacqueline Lewis-David, Palmer was a master forger, but he took art forgery to new heights by copying only priceless ancient paintings for which there was no original. His first work of this nature, the classic landscape "Sodom and Gomorrah by Moonlight" was mistaken for a missing de Felber, an utterly unknown artist; his second and third, "Jacob Wrestling with the Angel by the Ford of Jabbok, Best 2 Out of 3 Falls", were taken for the long-lost second and third panels in the colorized Gustav Doré triptych, Super Sihon Smackdown.


The painting shown above is Palma at his best, supposedly done in 1582 by a fictional "Jacopo-Giuseppe Palma"— a thinly-disguised play on Palmer's own name, brazen devil that he was. The scene supposedly shows laundry-folding day among the Galilee town bachelors by the side of the river Jordan, suddenly interrupted by the appearance of an extraterrestrial craft piloted by space aliens.


Palmer reveals his talent in this exquisite imitation of the style of late 16th-century Italian Mannerism. Note the odd point of view, characteristic of the Venetian Mannerist school, the triviality of the subject matter, and the fact that the main attraction, the alien spacecraft, isn't shown at all! One student of Palmer's work suggests that the absence may have been a calculated move on the forger's part: if the picture shown sold for big bucks, Palmer could then "discover" the upper portion, to be sold to the highest bidder.


Palmer disappeared in 1968 while attempting to sell the so-called Voinich Ikon to the KGB in Moscow as a decoratation to the entranceway to the interrogation rooms of Lubiyanka Prison. It is said that after 6 hours with the KGB, the icon confessed to being a fake.

 

BACK          NEXT