New York artist Steven Hirsch kept busy at this year’s International UFO Conference where he met, photographed, and interviewed a number of people who claim to be alien abductees. The portraits, Little Sticky Legs, are eerily beautiful and mesmerizing — and the stories behind them are shockingly surreal. Tales about strange, humanoid beings performing operations, making telepathic contact, and more sound like something right out of a sci-fi movie. To these people, however, the experience was very real. Hirsch’s lens captures their deep emotion, fascination, and in some cases, seeming adoration. His camera is the real storyteller. “I don’t want my audience to have any preconceptions about these people before they see my images and read their words,” Hirsch told Wired during a recent interview. “My interviews barely break the surface of what is going on in their lives… or in their minds.”
One of the portraits includes an image of famed abductee Travis Walton, whose story was turned into the terrifying Fire in the Sky (adapted from Walton’s book of the same name). If you want to see a movie portraying an absolutely chilling abduction experience, seek out the film and brace for nightmares.
Behold the distant, dreamy gazes of Hirsch’s portraits — complete with quotes — past the break.
“In my dreams I see strange men. You know I want to say men but they looked almost sexless, like not necessarily men but just beings, creatures that were poking me, examining me, almost like when I got my boobs done. They were looking at me, searching me and exploring me and it was very strange and honestly quite disturbing, but I felt like they had a higher knowledge of myself then I even had on my own.”