Finances and his increasing sense of isolation are believed to have been a factor in Sun Ra's leaving college, but perhaps more importantly, he claimed a visionary experience as a college student, a strange event that was to have a major long-term influence on the young pianist. In 1936 or 1937, in the midst of deep religious concentration, Sun Ra claimed that a bright light appeared around him, and, as he later stated,
… my whole body changed into something else. I could see through myself. And I went up … I wasn't in human form … I landed on a planet that I identified as Saturn … they teleported me and I was down on [a] stage with them. They wanted to talk with me. They had one little antenna on each ear. A little antenna over each eye. They talked to me. They told me to stop [attending college] because there was going to be great trouble in schools … the world was going into complete chaos … I would speak [through music], and the world would listen. That's what they told me.Sun Ra said that this experience occurred in 1936 or 1937, but according to Swzed, even his closest associates cannot date the story any earlier than 1952 (Sun Ra also stated that it occurred when he was living in Chicago, a town he did not regularly inhabit until the late 1940s). With no substantial variations, Sun Ra discussed the vision to the end of his life. The trip to Saturn allegedly happened a full decade before flying saucers entered public consciousness with the 1947 encounter of Kenneth Arnold; about 15 years before the contactees and their stories of benevolent Space Brothers were publicized by the likes of George Adamski; and almost 20 years before sinister UFO abductions were a public concept with the 1961 case of Barney and Betty Hill. Szwed states that "even if this story is revisionist autobiography … Sonny was pulling together several strains of his life. He was both prophesizing his future and explaining his past with a single act of personal mythology.
It's no surprise then that this album is a spaced out, psychedelic and thoroughly groovy trip. It was released in 1966 but you will know that straight away from listening to it. I can just imagine Adam West getting his freak on to this stuff, it's outstanding from start to finish.