Something slightly different – and frankly bizarre! – obscure US Military Patch graphics. I first tagged this set a while back (2008) but only just rediscovered whilst mining through the ever increasing stack of Sci-Fi-O-Rama resource bookmarks!
What we have here then are six samples or military shoulder/pocket patches taken from “I Could Tell You But Then You Would Have to be Destroyed by Me: Emblems from the Pentagon’s Black World” (published Melville House Dec 2007) a compendium of rarely seen “Black Ops” Military Unit/Projects memorabilia researched and compiled by American Artist’s Trevor Paglen. What constitutes a Black Ops Project then? well basically it’s any classified US military research project veiled in secrecy that quietly guzzle funds from the federal budget. Examples of Black Ops which have trans-located into the public domain include the F-117 Stealth Fighter or the B2 Stealth Bomber and those projects that don’t and remain forever shrouded? well it’s a conspiracy theorists wet dream isn’t it…
I’ve always been a fan of embroidered sew on patches be they Military, Space, Movie or otherwise (having assembled small collection via ebay) anyway this set with it’s extremely weird mix of cartoon visuals, Sci-Fi, the Occult and sinister cryptic slogans pretty much blows any other patch art into oblivion…
Here’s the notes then for the chosen images:
Top: National Reconnaissance Office Dragon Path – This patch is one of Trevor Paglen’s absolute favourites, and it’s not hard to see why! The whole visual concept – the green dragon holding the world in its clutches, American flag wings, and its tail wrapped around a diamond – is extremely sinister, and screams “Imperialism/New World buy generic lipitor cheap Order/Illuminati” well at least that’s my half-baked conjecture!. The actual source of the patch apparently has something to do with a classified Satellite (probably signals-intelligence) launched into a geosynchronous orbit in 2003…
2nd Top: This one’s definitely my favourite – wicked design – Minotaur is a still-classified program undertaken by Lockheed Martin’s Advanced Development Programs division, the Skunk Works.
3rd Top:“We Own The Night” – This patch commemorates the August 17, 2000, launch of a “classified National Reconnaissance Office payload” atop a Titan IV rocket.
4th Top: The Tri-Service Standoff Attack Missile was a classified cruise missile symbolized by the Tasmanian Devil. The acronym Tssam recalled the cartoon character.
5th Top: The classic ‘Grey’ alien with a B-2 bomber in it’s clutches, the slogan “To Serve Man” apparently a reference to a classic Twilight Zone episode… The 509th Bomb Wing flew B-2 stealth bomber test flights, and used to be based at Roswell, N.M., home of the notorious ‘Roswell Incident‘.
Bottom: This one with it’s glowing eyed green wizard creature remains something of an enigma, Trevor notes: The origins of this patch remain unknown. The red star is in Southwest, which is many secret units’ home, while military intelligence typically uses green vaults.
Also you can buy a copy of “I Could Tell You But Then You Would Have to be Destroyed by Me: Emblems from the Pentagon’s Black World” starting from via Amazon, here’s a link: http://is.gd/eMdbl
And finally for more Secretive Military patch design inspiration check out this site: http://www.u2sr71patches.co.uk/area51.htm
A long overdue feature on Eric George Fraser (June 11, 1902 – November 15, 1983), one of the great British Illustrators of his time. Eric’s most renowned for creating lavish covers for the long running Radio Times Magazine as well Illustrating many classic scenes from mythology, Shakespeare and Tolkien – Here’s some notes on the featured images:
Top: The Red Dragon Express – British Railways menu card dating from 1960 via Flickr User: Mikeyashworth
2nd top: Eric Fraser Beowulf & Dragon via Flickr user: hitmissmaybe
3rd top: Exploration of the Moon – book jacket 1965, again via Flickr User: Mikeyashworth– The structure is very Norman Foster Associates!
4th top: St Peter, St Paul and Atilla (Pen Ink and Watercolour) dust jacket cover 1968 via: chrisbeetles.com
5th top: The Talisman (Watercolour and Bodycolour) 1956 via: chrisbeetles.com
6th top: Laxdolela Saga (Pen and Ink) Dust Jacket 1964 via: chrisbeetles.com
Bottom: Smaug (Pen and Ink) Illustration taken from The Hobbit published by the Folio Society in 1976 (thanks for the tip Zhu) see the full set here: tolkien.com.pl
For further reading and or galleries, check out:
Eric Fraser @ chrisbeetles.com with a chance to buy signed prints…
Also check this Flickr group: Eric Fraser – artist and illustrator
Finally here’s a link to buy Eric Fraser: Designer and Illustrator a hardback coffee table book compiled by Sylvia Backemeyer.
Ok so something a little different here, Non SF/Fantasy related material!
The above images come from a full colour 1968 Magazine Publication “History of the 20th Century” that I came across recently. The magazine was a long running weekly publication that built up in to volumes of 16, forming a substantial encyclopedia of mankinds recent past – as you can imagine, the focus is on colonialism, imperialism and of course war and its devastating effects that have shaped our modern world…
Aside from the extremely in depth content “History of the 20th Century” contains some stunning imagery, all of which has a real “technicolor” saturated feel photography in the way that only 40+ year old colour print can have.
Some notes on the images:
Top: Illustration from a poster produced by the Bolsheviks during the Russian Civil War (1917-20). Wrangelm the White (anti-Bolshevik) general, is shown striding towards Moscow, accompanied by Tsarist officers, a train of priests, officials and capitalists all bearing Tsarist flags… The slogan for this poster was “Wrangel is Coming! Proletarians to arms!”
2nd Top: Allegorical painting: comment on the legacy of war by Russian artist Vereshchagin. Painted in the early years of the 20th Century.
Bottom: From an extensive article on The Boer War; This map details part of the timeline from “The battle of Spion Kop” – which the article notes was perhaps the bloodiest single engagement of the war.
For more imagery from “History of the 20th Century” check Flickr user Mando Maniacs gallery