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‘Some Kind of Heavenly Fire’ is Maria Lax’s first monograph. Inspired by her grandfather’s book, she combines her own photography with family archive and newspaper cuttings. Using these elements, the book weaves together a delicate and ambiguous narrative about a small town with a big secret.
“I’m from a small town in Northern Finland surrounded by a vast, sparsely populated wilderness. Most pass through the town on their way someplace else without ever knowing it was a hotspot for UFO sightings in the 1960s.
Unaware of this history myself, it wasn’t until I read my grandfather’s book that I learned of the incredible stories of supernatural events, bravery and struggle against hardship in what is a largely barren land. Already suffering from dementia, he was unable to answer any of the questions I had, so I went looking for answers. I turned to the people who had seen the mysterious lights, to newspaper archives and my family’s photo albums from the era.
The UFO sightings coincided...