Wilhelm Reich versus the Flying Saucers: An American Tragedy

Defining the presence of a cinematic self in the misunderstood psychologist and experimental scientist once considered heir to Sigmund Freud, Wilhelm Reich versus the Flying Saucers rejects orthodox portrayals of Reich’s engagement with UFO phenomena in the 1950s as evidence of psychosis. Combining original analysis and evidence from the Wilhelm Reich Archive, James Reich uncovers the fatal moments in Reich’s identification with the “spaceman,” and the development of the myth of a brilliant psychologist lost to his own grandiosity and paranoia. Taking seriously the influence of The Day the Earth Stood Still, Bad Day at Black Rock, and other narratives on Wilhelm Reich, this “psychoanalytic detective story” concerns existential traps, the conscious and unconscious collaboration of disciples, and unidentified flying object-relations. The author is not related to his subject.