Issues Relating to the Reality of the Abduction Phenomenon

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Issues Relating to the Reality of the Abduction Phenomenon

Postby Cosmic Cowbell » Thu Jun 21, 2007 10:43 pm

A Brief Review of Issues Relating to the Reality of the Abduction Phenomenon

John Mack, M.D.

Summary: Since the publication of the hardcover edition of "Abduction", questions have been raised about the reality of the alien abduction phenomenon. These questions relate to the nature of the physical evidence which accompanies the abduction reports; the clients' expectations and possible investigator influence; the reliability of memory; the degree to which hypnosis influences the accuracy of memory; and alternatives to the hypothesis that what the experiencers describe is what has occurred. These are questions that can only be answered fully by a great deal more research. This appendix has been added to begin a discussion of these questions…

John Mack , M.D.

Published as Appendix A in the revised paperback edition of "Abduction"

Since the publication of the hardcover edition of Abduction in April 1994, a number of questions have been raised about the reality of the alien abduction phenomenon and the evidential basis for crediting the experiencers' accounts of what has happened to them. These questions relate to the nature of the physical evidence which accompanies the abduction reports; the clients' expectations and possible investigator influence; the reliability of memory in relation to the experiences; the degree to which hypnosis influences the accuracy of memory; and alternatives to the hypothesis that what the experiencers describe is, allowing for the ordinary reconstructions of memory, what has occurred. This is an entirely new area of inquiry, and these are questions that can only be answered fully by a great deal more research. This appendix has been added to begin a discussion of these questions, especially by highlighting those aspects of the abduction phenomenon that, in my view, would need to be considered if such future explorations are to prove fruitful.

The Ontological Context

Before any of these matters may be usefully considered, it is important to place the abduction phenomenon in an ontological context. For the "reality status" of this, like any subject, will determine the relevance of more specific questions and criticisms. This book describes a clinical map of the abduction territory, which I believe shows that we are dealing with a phenomenon that may not originate in our physical reality but penetrates variably into it or manifests within it in a variety of ways. This very concept is somewhat revolutionary and difficult to understand within our current modern secular world view. Nevertheless, my experiences with abductees push me toward this conclusion.

In the case of some abduction experiences, the individual appears actually to be missing as reported by others. But other incidents seem more like out-of-body experiences, or even encounters with strange forms of light, sound, vibratory or other energies capable of creating strong tactile sensations but without the occurrence of anything that could be called an abduction in any literal sense. The phenomenon appears to operate in subtle, elusive, even "tricky," ways, as if a mischievous intelligence were at work. Yet I have come to the view after five years of involvement in this field that this subtlety is intrinsic to it and must be embraced if we are to penetrate the mysteries of the abduction phenomenon.

To some of my critics the possibility that the abduction experience actually occurred but not altogether in our physical reality, nor in any reality or dimension to which we have access by empirical means, would be a contradiction in terms. But others have been open to the possibility that these experiences are occurring, at least in part, in another reality. Scientists like Fred Alan Wolf, Rudolph Schild, Jacques Vallee, Carl Brunstadt and Ronald Bryan are confronting the possibility that there exist parallel universes or other dimensions of reality from which information and material may enter our physical world.

But if the possibility may be allowed that there are "unseen" domains of reality, and in exploring abduction experiences we are dealing with a realm or realms in which objective, direct, and external measurement is not possible, then we must, of necessity, rely for our knowledge on subjective reports of human experience. Even research like psychiatric social worker John Carpenter's accounts of experiencers abducted simultaneously, where the reports corresponded in minute detail, depends on the evaluation of subjective experience (Carpenter 1993).

It seems to me that a responsible and encompassing study of the abduction phenomenon calls for the development and application of a science of subjective experience, such as that described by Stolorow (1992). As personal reports are our principal source of knowledge of abductions, we must be especially rigorous in evaluating their authenticity, affective intensity, and consistency in comparing them with one another, as well as the motivation, skepticism, believability, and sincerity of the reporter in reference to his or her experience, and the relation of the abduction experiences to the story of the person's life. I might point out, however, that this kind of evaluation of subjective accounts without corroborating physical evidence is the principal data of psychoanalysis and psychodynamic psychiatry. A correct psychodynamic formulation explains past memories and current behaviors and predicts future behaviors. Similarly, an adequate analysis of subjective abduction experience should be corroborated by and inform physical findings as well as predict future events.

The Question of Physical Evidence

I have been faulted frequently by critics, especially by professional colleagues in science and medicine, and even by those in the UFO field itself who are seeking legitimacy within mainstream science, for not dealing in this book more fully with the physical evidence that does exist for UFOs and abductions. This is a fascinating and controversial field that invites further study by those best qualified to do so. But it is important to keep in mind that every aspect of the physical evidence-from the sightings of UFOs, burned earth they leave behind, and strange behavior of electronic devices in association with abductions, to the reported absences of abductees during the abductions, missing pregnancies, subcutaneous implants, bodily cuts, scoop marks and other skin lesions-is also, as described above, subtle, elusive, and difficult to prove. There is a large literature in this field which the interested reader might wish to consult (Hopkins 1987; Pritchard 1992; Vallee 1988; Jacobs 1992; Fowler 1979; Neal 1992; Howe 1989). I have chosen in this book to emphasize my strong suit as a psychiatrist, namely, the power of carefully evaluated experiential reports corroborated where possible by physical evidence.

From my perspective, the physical evidence is important to corroborate the experiencers' reports. But if taken out of this context, the physical phenomena are rarely sufficiently robust to stand in their own right. If, for example, I were to publish photographs of skin lesions, even from several experiencers who obtained them in the same night during reported abductions (as occurred in one case in Florida), I would, as a physician, be leaving myself open to the legitimate criticism by dermatologists that I could not prove that they were directly related to the abduction experiences and not caused by other factors.

Client Expectations and possible Investigator Influence

Another central issue in the study of abduction experiences concerns the possibility of investigator suggestion or influence. Critics have speculated that experiencers are producing abduction accounts in compliance with my expectations or influence. As a psychiatrist, I am well aware of how powerful the caring intention of a therapist can be in helping people change their lives. I have, therefore, tried to be extremely scrupulous to avoid using that power to elicit abduction material. Colleagues and others who have observed my regression sessions, or who have transcribed regression sessions, verify that I do not lead my cases (Karen Speerstra, personal communication, 1994). Indeed, if I consciously attempt to lead experiencers, I find it peculiarly difficult to do so, in or out of hypnosis; they will directly contradict a statement which is incorrectly reflected back to them, and will clearly differentiate between material from their own experience and material they have heard or read about which is inconsistent with their own. Furthermore, I am often surprised and startled by the material revealed to me by experiencers. When I was beginning this work their reports shattered all expectations and continue to challenge my own sense of reality. For these reasons I find it unlikely that experiencers are trying to provide stories which conform to my expectations. Finally-and important for me to underscore as a clinician-in speaking to the experiencers in a manner that accepts the emotional truthfulness of their reports, I am not taking a position that validates the literal occurrence of these experiences in our physical reality; good clinical practice, especially in cases of traumatized individuals, must follow different guidelines than "objective" scientific investigation.

There is, however, the possibility that the experiencers are responding to more subtle pressures or expectations. I cannot altogether dismiss this possibility, but there are factors which argue against it as a significant distorting element. Current research delineates two areas of suggestibility which may, at first glance, be relevant to the retrieval of biased abduction reports. The first area concerns post-event suggestibility. Laboratory memory researchers have shown that apparently innocuous but leading questions about the details of a slide show or film can significantly impair accuracy of responses (Loftus 1993). But abduction experiences differ from laboratory experiences in that the former are first-hand, emotionally charged, and of central importance. Indeed, researchers of events of impact have concluded that memory for these events are retained better than laboratory audio-visual stimuli (Christianson 1992). Second, the more involved a person is in an event, the greater the likelihood that the central event is accurately remembered over time (Yuille and Tollestrup 1992). Emotion has been shown to aid memory for the central event of the story, although it undermines memory for more peripheral details (Reisberg and Heuer 1992). Thus, the lower levels of accuracy found in laboratory memory research are not likely to be directly applicable to abduction research. Clearly, investigators should try to minimize the use of leading questions in any case.

Investigation of interrogatory suggestibility clearly demonstrates that, under situations of extreme social pressure, false beliefs about actions and events can be created (Gudjonsson 1991; Brown, in press). My interactions with experiencers do not approach the conditions under which such false beliefs develop. First, my relationship with experiencers is not closed or exclusive. Individuals contact me and meet with me irregularly, with meetings weeks, months, or years apart. After initial disclosure to a willing listener, many experiencers are reluctant to continue to discuss their experiences, as they find it necessary to distance themselves from the material in order to cope with their daily lives. Second, there is little or no social value to be gained from reporting abduction experiences. Third, no repeated questioning or intense focus on past events is necessary to bring forth these experiences; abduction material arises quite readily, often with a minimum of relaxation and an attentional shift from an external focus.

Lastly, experiencers are not motivated to believe in the "truth" of their experiences. Often they prefer to believe that they have had some sort of bad dream, and become intensely distressed when they realize in the interview that they were not asleep when the experience began. Or they hope that I will find some sort of psychiatric explanation that can be treated so that the experiences can be stopped. Not only does the discovery of the actuality of the abduction experiences "shatter" their sense of reality, but this realization means that they may be subject to these disturbing experiences in the future.

Accepting the presence of these extraordinary events in their lives helps experiencers cope with some of the negative repercussions from those experiences. However, even after the powerful "reliving" of abduction experiences, these individuals usually continue to resist accepting the actuality of what they report at some level. Catherine, for example, who told me the story described in chapter seven, became upset when I recently gave her a scientist's report of media accounts of UFO sightings along the Northeast Atlantic coast in March 1991. These accounts corresponded to the time of one of her most powerful abduction experiences. This circumstantial corroboration of her experience in the physical world undercut some of the remaining denial of its actuality, which had enabled her to remain productive in a culture which also denies this reality, and tends to discredit people who report such experiences.

Reliability of Memory

The apparently false accusation in some instances of parents and other adults by individuals claiming they have been sexually abused has led to a contemporary controversy regarding the accuracy of reports of previously forgotten memories, especially as recovered in the context of psychotherapy (Lindsay and Read 1994; Brown, in press). The criticism of "false" or inaccurate memory has, not unexpectedly, been leveled at abduction reports. Here, again, the problem of responding to the relevant arguments is complicated by the fact that we are still in the process of trying to learn what has happened. In what reality is this phenomenon occurring? Since we cannot answer the matter of the accuracy of abduction memories by offering physical proof, the appropriate questions might be: did something happen to these individuals and, if so, how do we decide what it was?

There is good evidence that we can, indeed, trust that something extraordinary has happened to experiencers. As mentioned above, most research in the memory field indicates that memories associated with events that are of central importance to the individuals' lives tend to be more accurate than those that are of more peripheral significance (Christianson 1992). In such core experiences, as previously noted, emotion tends to aid memories of the central events of the story while undermining memory for more peripheral events (Reisberg and Heuer 1992). Adding complexity to this picture, however, are the findings that traumatic memories, or experiences occurring under conditions of high arousal, may be stored differently in the limbic system of the brain than less intense events (van der Kolk 1994; Ledoux 1993). In these situations memory appears to be encoded along sensorimotor, olfactory and visual channels, rather than within the semantic framework of normal memory. This may make traumatic memories less vulnerable to the same reconstructive but distorting tendencies of normal memory processing (van der Kolk 1994; Corbisier 1994; Brown, in press). However, at the present time this is merely speculation. There is little hard data about the accuracy of material transformed from traumatic to semantic memory. More research is needed in this area.

Clearly abduction experiences are of vital importance to their experiencers and they are sometimes, although not always, highly traumatic. Virtually everyone who has been with an abduction experiencer while he or she was recovering abduction material has been impressed with the affective power and the intensity of the bodily sensations that the individual is undergoing. These observers, like myself, have been impressed that something important has happened, even if we cannot know exactly what took place, or that every detail reported was exactly accurate. Similarly, in commenting on the controversial application of laboratory memory research to the courts, Scheflin notes: "it is illogical to reason from the fact [emphasis his] that a memory has false details to the conclusion that there is no real incident from which this false memory is an accurate depiction" (Scheflin, in press).

As has so often been said, there is, as yet, no recorded abduction experience that proved, upon investigation, to be a reflection of some other trauma or experience, despite a great deal of effort on the part of investigators to find some other source for these experiences. Nevertheless, therapists must be very careful not to validate the literal truth of what abduction experiencers report, helping experiencers keep an open mind as to what "happened" while exploring all possibilities. It seems clear to me at this time that we are not dealing with "false" or confabulated memories. However, because we are so dependent in abduction research upon subjective recall, it is vitally important to continue to collect abduction accounts from many different individuals so that the consistencies, variabilities, and other qualities of these narratives may be more firmly established.

Accuracy of Hypnosis

The potential inaccuracy of memories recalled under hypnosis must be considered in evaluating abduction reports (Frankel 1993). Studies do show that inaccurate material may be recovered under hypnosis (McConkey 1992; Scheflin and Shapiro 1989). For this reason, hypnotically obtained reports must be compared to reports made from conscious recall, and to other corroborating evidence. However, it is wrong to assume "that because hypnosis can interfere with memory it inevitably must do so" (Scheflin, in press).

My personal experience is that abduction material recovered under hypnosis parallels what has been obtained by conscious reporting. And, although research shows that some subjects have greater confidence in both these and false memories, recalled under hypnosis, the abduction experiencers with whom I have worked retain, for the most part, a skeptical and inquiring attitude regarding the factual accuracy of their encounters-this in spite of the emotional power of the apparent memories that are recovered. Furthermore, in some of my cases (see, for example, Ed and Sheila in chapters 3 and 4) the material recalled during the regression seemed more likely to be accurate than that reported in face-to-face interviews because 1) the information was less self-serving or compatible with positive self-esteem, or, conversely, more disturbing to self-regard, and, in some instances, even humiliating; 2) the material that emerged in the regressions was more believable in the sense that it was consistent with accounts provided by other experiencers-it lacked the gloss and ordering of recollections in conformity with conventional reality that tends to occur with conscious reporting; and 3) although emotional involvement is no guarantee of the accuracy of memory with or without hypnosis, the intensity of affect and expressed bodily feeling that occurs during the regression sessions of abduction experiencers is so powerful that even the most determined skeptic would be hard-pressed to conclude that something quite extraordinary and reality-shattering did not occur. Sheila's psychiatrist, for example, who had worked with her for seven years, came away from the two regressions he observed convinced that if not actual alien abductions, something very much like them had occurred.

It is hard to imagine how the psyche could generate so intense a level of emotion without some kind of exposure to an extraordinary experience as the template for that emotion. Most importantly, it might be useful to restate that a large proportion of the material relating to abductions is recalled without the use of an altered state of consciousness, and that many abduction reporters appear to relive powerful experiences after only the most minimal relaxation exercise, hardly justifying the word "hypnosis" at all. The relaxation exercise is useful to relieve the experiencer's need to attend to the social demands and other stimuli of face-to-face conversation, and to relieve the energies involved in repressing memories and emotion. In the case of the abduction phenomenon this process appears to fill out the recalled experience. Ongoing research is needed to explore the degree to which significant distortion occurs with hypnosis in abduction cases.

Alternative Explanations

It is useful, I think, to observe that the most intense demand for alternative explanations tends to come from those who are either unfamiliar with the rich complexity of the abduction phenomenon itself, or from those who are so wedded to a world view in which the idea of an intelligence or beings from outside of the earth visiting us is simply not possible, that they find unacceptable the idea that such experiences might actually be occurring. These individuals might believe in the existence of a personal God or a supreme being, yet not find possible the notion that cosmic entities such as these might enter our physical and mental world. What some of these critics may not realize is that frequently abduction experiencers have already been subjected to intense investigations of their abduction-related symptoms by physicians and various mental health professionals seeking a variety of neurophysiological and/or psychological and emotional explanations, sometimes with frustrating and even damaging effects (see, for example, the cases of Scott, Sheila, and Paul in this book).

It is not possible within the confines of this study to review all of the alternative explanations that have been offered to account for the abduction phenomenon. They range from various forms of psychopathology to physiological disorders or responses of the brain to psychosocial and cultural interpretations. Most of these ignore fundamental aspects of the phenomenon, such as the strong doubting of the experiencers themselves, the tight association with UFOs (sometimes observed independently in the experiencer's community), the various physical findings (including the fact that the experiencer is sometimes observed to be missing), or the occurrence of the phenomenon in small children. For any theory to be taken seriously it must, at least potentially, take into account the entire complex range of phenomena associated with alien abduction experiences.

Psychiatric examinations and numerous psychological tests have failed to reveal forms of mental illness that could, conceivably, explain the abduction phenomenon (Mack 1995; Bloecher, Clamar, and Hopkins 1985; Parnell and Sprinkle 1990; Rodeghier, Goodpastor, and Blatterbauer 1991; Zimmer 1984; Spanos, Cross, Dickson, and DeBreuil 1993). Some have suggested that we might be dealing with some sort of displacement from another kind of trauma, especially sexual abuse (Klass 1988). It is true that abduction experiencers do show some of the symptoms associated with post-traumatic states, but these symptoms appear to be the result, not the cause, of what the experiencers have undergone. Furthermore, there is much more involved in the complex narratives of abduction experiences than human trauma per se. There are, for example, consistent details of passage to and from the craft, the rich descriptions of the alien beings and the intricate relationships to them, the many non-traumatic activities and observations that occur within the craft, and the elaborate communications concerning the earth's ecology and other psychospiritual matters which are, in my experience, a frequent, if not regular, dimension of the abduction phenomenon. I have never encountered anything similar to this in patients I have known to be traumatized by humans, or in psychotic patients suffering from delusions.

Some experiencers do have histories of sexual abuse and other traumas. One investigator has even found a higher than average incidence of sexual abuse among individuals reporting UFO encounters (Ring 1992). If abduction were acting as an effective screen memory, one would expect the prevalence of sex abuse to be lower, not higher. Furthermore, abduction experiencers seem able, when interviewed carefully, to distinguish the residua of their alien abduction experiences from other kinds of trauma they may have undergone. It bears repeating that no case has yet been reported where the alien abduction story masked another kind of traumatic experience. The reverse, however, has frequently been noted, including in my case experience -- i.e. that a client presenting with a complaint of possible sexual abuse or trauma has discovered a history of alien abduction experiences, even when being treated by a therapist unfamiliar with the phenomenon and certainly not expecting that an abduction story would emerge. Others have suggested that abduction experiences are a reworking of imagery related to birth trauma. Lawson (1984) and his colleague McCall found that imagined abduction imagery in a small sample of nonexperiencers was related to aspects of their birth histories, but this has not yet been replicated with individuals reporting abduction experiences. Obviously, the relationship between abduction phenomena and other forms of trauma needs to be investigated further.

Others explain abduction phenomena based on the notion that abduction experiencers have personality traits, such as fantasy proneness, hypnotizability, or a strong tendency to dissociation, which predispose them to these experiences. Individuals who are highly hypnotizable have the capacity to generate rich images and fantasies which are reported to rival real events in intensity (Wickramaseka 1986). Studies by Rodeghier et al. (1991) and Spanos (1993) found that experiencers were neither more hypnotizable nor more fantasy prone than the general population, although these results remain to be replicated. Abduction may be related to dissociation, a tendency to split off some elements of the ego from disturbing mental content in order to preserve the stability and functioning of the psyche (Jacobsen 1995; Powers 1994). But as already discussed in this book, dissociation is a coping mechanism; a strong tendency to dissociate tells us nothing per se about the source of the stress that gave rise to this mode of adaptation.

Neurophysiological explanations include sleep paralysis and temporal lobe epilepsy (Spanos et al. 1993; Persinger 1992; Blackmore 1994), but researchers exploring these possibilities have either failed to find such pathology among abduction experiencers or have chosen to overlook important aspects of the phenomenon. For example, many abduction experiences occur under conditions that do not appear to be associated with sleep. Second, abduction experiences are often corroborated by independent UFO sightings or physical evidence. Third, neurophysiological explanations do not account for hyperarousal and anxiety triggered by certain events or images symbolically linked to abduction. With the integration of the specific abduction-related traumatic experience, these reactions sometimes resolve, as predicted by theories of post traumatic stress disorder.

Some have suggested that in alien abductions we are dealing with some sort of mass psychosis, hysteria or hallucination (Sagan 1993). But abductions do not resemble mass phenomena (Hall 1995). Abductees are generally individuals who have, at least before being brought in contact with other experiencers for purposes of support, been isolated from people having similar experiences. Many of the details they report are not known in the culture or, at least until recently, reported in the mass media. Although it cannot be proven that no elements of abduction experiences have been incorporated from these media, by and large abductees avoid media accounts of abductions and are uniquely distressed by them. My impression is that the traffic is stronger the other way-i.e. that abduction stories, based on actual clinical cases, find their way into the work of media producers hungry for this material. Careful research on the complex relationship between the electronic and print media and the evolution of the alien abduction phenomenon waits to be undertaken.

Finally, a Jungian depth psychological explanation of abductions might be fertile ground for further explanation, especially since Carl Jung pioneered the exploration of this field (Shubow 1994). Abductees may, in fact, communicate in their reports material suggestive of the Tungian archetypes of birth, death, cosmic powers, joining with the source of creation, etc. This material, I believe, is important insofar as it reflects the profound psychological impact, opening and meaning of the abduction experiences. I have considered a Jungian interpretation, but a radical application such as this of Jung's notion of archetypes would inevitably introduce a wealth of new philosophical and scientific questions, without the possibility of doing justice to them. Unless we are to consider the whole universe in its psychospiritual and physical dimensions as but the play of consciousness, we would be hard-pressed to explain UFOs and all the physical elements associated with the abduction phenomenon in these purely depth psychological terms. In addition, a Jungian approach, to be really helpful, would need to account for the rich complexity, the detailed narrative consistency, and the specific contemporary forms of the UFO phenomenon and the abduction experiences.


In sum, the position to which I have come, after many hundreds of hours of work with abduction experiencers, is that we are dealing here with a profound mystery that has potentially vast implications for our contemporary world. For I have no basis for concluding as yet that anything other than what experiencers say happened to them actually did. The experiential data, which, in the absence of more robust physical evidence, is the most important information that we have, suggests that abduction experiencers have been visited by some sort of "alien" intelligence which has impacted them physically and psychologically. Indeed, this conclusion fits so tightly with the data that I and other abduction researchers have collected, that it is doubtful to me that this possibility would be so vigorously resisted if the phenomenon did not violate our scientific world view and the implied control of our living environment that accompanies it.

It seems impossible to avoid the observation that the alien abduction phenomenon is occurring in the context of a planetary ecological crisis that is reaching critical proportions and that information about this situation is often powerfully conveyed by the alien beings to the experiencers. As part of our effort to explore whether the abduction phenomenon, as has been suggested, is primarily a Western occurrence, my colleague Dominique Callimanopulos and I have been exploring alien abductions in other countries and among American indigenous peoples.

In November 1994, we interviewed Credo Mutwa, a Zulu medicine man in South Africa, who described classical abduction experiences, and we also talked with many children in a school outside Harare, the capital of Zimbabwe, who reported seeing in broad daylight during a classroom break several UFOs and two alien beings just outside the schoolyard perimeter. Mr. Mutwa, who was seventy three when we interviewed him, recalled vividly, for example, a terrifying experience he had when he was thirty seven. While on a mining job in the bush he was suddenly transported to an enclosure with curved walls where he found himself on a table surrounded by alien beings whose description was similar to the small "grays" with which we are familiar in this country. He was then subjected to the kinds of humiliating experiences described in this book. In February 1994 a farmer in Brazil reported to us with intense feeling a similar encounter with small gray beings.

Mr. Mutwa and the children were both distressed by their experiences. But they also spoke spontaneously of receiving powerful communications from the alien beings, especially through their huge black eyes, about the failure of our species to take proper care of the earth. This unsolicited information is quite consistent with what I have been learning from American experiencers. A recently interviewed geologist and abduction experiencer wrote me that his experiences have taught him that "We are a run-away species bent on self-destruction, because we (collectively) are unwilling to impose self controls to stop our growth and to plan for our future with forethought and higher purpose" (Bruce Cornet, letter to the author, December 1994).

The interpretations and conclusions in this book are hypotheses, designed to invite others to join me in the exploration of this important mystery. The alien abduction field is a new one, and it deserves a broad and systematic multi-disciplinary inquiry. It is my hope that, if nothing else, this book will encourage at least some of the skeptics who have criticized my methods and hypotheses to immerse themselves in the primary data of this field, namely the experiences of those who have undergone the abduction encounters, and draw their own conclusions about what is taking place here and what it might mean for the human future.

The following is a link to a 12 minute preview of "Touched", a documentary featuring the work of John Mack .
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An Abductee's Life

Postby Cosmic Cowbell » Sat Jul 07, 2007 3:53 pm

Thomas the Rymer

Thomas lay on Huntlie bank,
A-spying ferlies with his ee,
And he did espy a lady bold
Come riding down from the eldern tree.

Her skirt was of the grass-green silk,
Her mantle of the velvet fine,
Her steed was of the dapple-grey,
And at its mane there hung bells nine.
Her hawk and hounds she had her with,
And her bugle horn with gold did shine.

Thomas took off both cloak and cap,
And bowed him low down till his knee,
'O save you, save you, Queen of Heaven,
For your peer on earth I ne'er did see!'

'I'm not the Queen of Heaven, Thomas,
That name does not belong to me;
I am but the Queen of fair Elphame
Come out to hunt in my follie.

'Now gin ye kiss my mouth, Thomas,
Ye must not miss my fair bodie;
Then ye may e'en gae hame and tell
That ye have lain with a gay ladie.'

'O gin I love a lady fair,
No ill tales of her would I tell;
And it is with thee I fain would gae
Though it were e'en to Heaven or Hell.'

'Then harp and carp, Thomas,' she said.
'Then harp and carp along with me,
But it will be seven years and a day
Till ye win back to your ain countrie.'

She turned about her milk-white steed
True Thomas followed her behind,
And aye whene'er her bridle rang
The steed flew swifter than the wind.

It was dark night and no star light,
The lady rade, True Thomas ran,
And ever again he heard her bells,
Until he came to a water wan.

Thorough the water the lady went,
And Thomas waded above the knee,
There he saw neither sun nor moon,
But he heard the roaring of the sea.

Then they rade on and farther on,
Until they came to a garden green;
'Light down, light down, let me pull an apple'-
For lack of food he was like to tyne.

'O hold your hand, True Thomas,' she cried,
'That apple must not be touched by thee.
For all the plagues that are in hell
Light on the fruit of this countrie.

'But I have a loaf here in my lap,
Likewise a bottle of good red wine.
And now ere we gae farther on
We will rest awhile, and ye may dine.

'And when ye've eaten and drunk your fill
Lay down your head upon my knee;
Then will I take you to yon green hill
And there I'll show you ferlies three.'

Thomas has eaten and drunk his fill,
And laid his head on the lady's knee,
And she's taken him to thon green hill
And from it showed him ferlies three.

'O see not ye yon narrow road,
So thick beset with thorns and briars?
That is the path of righteousness,
Though after it but few enquiries.

'And see not ye that broad, broad road
That lies across yon lily leven?
That is the path of wickedness,
Though some call it the road to Heaven.

'And see not ye that bonny road
That winds about the ferny brae?
That is the road to fair Elphame
Where you and I this might must gae.

'And when ye come to our Court, Thomas,
See that a well-learned man ye be,
For they will ask ye, one and all,
And ye must answer none but me.

'Then I will answer them again
That I got your oath at the eldern tree,
But gin one word ye should chance to speak
You will ne'er win back to your ain countrie.

'For ilka seven years, True Thomas,
We pay our teindings unto hell,
And ye're so leesome and so strong
That I fear, Thomas, it will be yoursel'.'

He's gotten a coat of the elven cloth
And a pair of shoes of velvet green,
And till seven years were past and gone
True Thomas on earth was never seen.

Tom Rymer (pseudonym) is an associate professor at a small
private university.

An Abductee's Life
By Tom Rymer

"I’m an abductee. This short essay is a description of some, certainly not all, of my experiences and general thoughts on the subject. My purpose here is simply to add my voice to the growing compendium commonly known today as alien encounters. I can’t address every skeptical argument. It would be a uniquely bizarre essay if I tried. Nor is it my intention to say that skeptics are bad, narrow-minded folk. I can say without hesitation that abductees themselves tend to be more skeptical of their own experience than any researcher or writer could ever be. I am not seeking personal attention from what I have to say. Who in his or her right mind would crave that sort of attention?

For years I kept my opinion about what happened to me to myself, not even daring to share my feelings with the person I trust most, my wonderful and patient wife. Nor do I ask that the reader believe me. I can’t ask for that. If the shoe was on the other foot, I don’t think I could be openminded enough to believe that such a thing was possible. What happened to me just happened, and these are my experiences and my thoughts and feelings about them. If there was anything I would ask the reader to believe, however, it is that I don’t want this experience in my life. It has no place or purpose. What I’ve learned from this strange intervention into my life, I’ve learned in spite—not because— of it. Finally, if what I report here is ultimately proven true, then what I and people like me are grappling with are the biggest mysteries mankind has ever faced. Forgive me if what I say and the way I say it is enormously understated and clumsy.

A savvy online friend of mine once likened abduction to a death in the family. Medical technology has reached a point where there is now time to say goodbye to a loved one, and after saying goodbye to my mother a few years ago, I can only wonder whether that extended time is a blessing or a curse. I knew when I left the hospital room for the last time that her death was something I’d never actually get over: It was instead an unwanted event with which I’d have to cope. Abduction is a similar experience, except that the death I experienced was my own. I was forced to say farewell to my old life and work through the grieving process while living a strange, new one. I didn’t choose to live this new and sometimes horrific life, but as with the death of my mother, life simply served it up. I had no choice. And as with the death of my mother, I’ll be coping with abduction for the rest of my life.


I grew up in the Midwest, my father a family lawyer, my mother a medical technologist. We lived in a 1,200-squarefoot home in a lower-middle-class neighborhood. I have one brother, now an attorney and a judge in my hometown, and a sister, a speech pathologist. My parents considered themselves liberal Democrats, and my mom marched on Washington twice—once in support of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, once against the Vietnam War. I was raised with lots of love but also with that 1950s pragmatism all in my generation remember well. My father’s advice when I told him I didn’t want to go to college was, “This is America. You’re free to be an idiot if you want to.” I am now 49 years old and a teacher.

Early Experience

I went to bed one night as usual. Nothing out of the ordinary happened during the day. I suddenly became aware that I was very cold and wet. It had been raining when I’d gone to bed, and I felt my pajama legs saturated and glued to my ankles. I also realized I was unable to move. My back was against something cold and hard. I tried to look around me, but was unable to move my head. I believe my eyes were able to rotate, but I can’t be certain of that. I was standing in a small, round shaft of some sort. The walls were dark and rough, and seemed earthen to me, as though I was underground in a tunnel of some sort. Wherever I was, it was dimly lit. I couldn’t see the source of the light, but it was bright enough in the murk to be able to see my immediate surroundings. There was a smoky, misty substance in the air, and most of my peripheral vision was shrouded by the mist. At the same moment I began to notice my surroundings, I became aware of three little figures waddling towards me —one figure in front, and two trailing figures, one on each side. The figures were difficult to make out at first, and I was lost in concentration, not yet fearful. I suddenly heard a voice in my head saying something like, “Everything will be okay. You’ll be all right.”

The three figures were dressed in robes with hoods. The edges of the hoods were rather long, like cowls, hanging low in front, and masking much of the face. The little figure in front came right up close to me, and that’s when I became terrified. It was, in every sense of the word in my eight-year old experience, a monster. I first noticed the eyes. They were large and round—not the almond-shaped eyes you see depicted on many book covers these days. They were shiny, wet-looking, and black. The face itself was covered with three-inch dark-brown hair. I remember it matting away from the eyes. I remember some sort of mouth and nose, but it was difficult for me to look away from the eyes, and the little creature came close to me, no more than an inch or two away. We were eye to eye—nose to unnoticed nose. I have no memory of seeing feet beneath the robes. I also remember seeing the creature closest to me holding a short, silver stick, about six to eight inches long. I have no personal recollection concerning its function or use. Part of my problem in describing the little monsters was this close proximity of the first creature. The other was my paralysis. It seemed impossible for me to look away, and the smoky substance in the air limited my peripheral vision. I screamed. I have no idea if sound came out of my mouth. My suspicions were that it didn’t. I shrieked and kept on shrieking. A voice inside my head—a very difficult thing to describe—told me once again, “Everything would be all right.” I sensed activity beyond the little monster. There was movement. Each movement somehow seemed purposeful. I kept on silently screaming. At some point during what I supposed was a nightmare, I fully expected to wake up once again, this time warm in my bed. Yet this horrific experience continued. I remembered thinking that this was wrong. I was conscious of social roles at eight—no adult or authority figure would continue this if it terrified a child to this extent. When would this stop? When would it become understandable? It was all wrong.

I suddenly came to the realization that this was real—that hairy little monsters were confronting me. This was not a dream. This was a horrible reality. My immediate reaction was to try to give them whatever they wanted just to be left alone. “Why me?” I screamed. “What do you want from me?” The response was, “You are chosen,” or, “You are the chosen one.” All the while this madness went on, a movement continued just far enough out of my peripheral vision so that while I could tell it was occurring, I could not tell exactly what that purposeful movement was. It seemed planned to me, and even at eight I had the sense that this was a staged confrontation. Planned activities were being carried out. I have no idea how long this experience lasted in real time, but at this point, my memory lapses into fragments or snippets of occurrences. I was lifted up and physically carried at one point. The material of the robes rubbed up against my face and eyes. I felt it and saw it clearly. In another snippet I saw a taller being standing near the other three. I sensed anger, as though the taller being was giving orders to the three and was angry that some were not being carried out correctly. I also had an overwhelming fear that some impending physical something was about to occur. The next thing I knew, I awoke in my bed. My pajama legs were still damp, and there were grass and leaves in my bed. I felt exhausted. I quickly ran downstairs to tell my mother what had happened. She said, “You were dreaming, and drink your milk. And I keep telling you to empty the cuffs on your jeans before you play in the house or jump around on your bed.” I don’t know if I caught a hint of fear in her voice, but I knew she was wrong. It wasn’t a dream like any I’d ever had. It was real—but how could it be real? Still, I put the experience out of my mind for over 30 years. I remember it as clearly today as I did that morning at the breakfast table.

On The Road

By the summer of 1972 a friend and I had been saving money for a road trip for over a year. I graduated from high school that year, and with no draft or plans for the coming fall, we were free to plan a trip. We loosely charted a direction toward the northwest on an atlas and drove out of Wisconsin, into Minnesota, and up along the international border of Canada, dipping back down on occasion to catch the best of the national parks along the way. We spent our first evening in a rest stop, and then camped for a few days thereafter. We’d just left Livingston, Montana, and were having fun running up and down the two-lane roads. I believe we were approaching foothills. It was just about dusk, the time of day when the light changes and the greens and browns of forested areas take on new hues. We were driving on a two lane road, lined on both sides by trees. My friend was driving. I had the passenger side window down and my feet propped up on the dashboard. Suddenly, out from behind the tree line on the right side of the road, a huge fireball the size of my fist on my outstretched hand rose up in full view of the open, passenger- side window. We both saw it emerge and both followed its entire trajectory before us. We looked at each other and said something in unison like, “What the hell is that?” It made a perfect arc up and over the road, sort of lolled there, and then in the same arc, dipped behind the tree line on the left. We expected a crash but heard none— in fact, we heard no sound at all during the entire event. From the size and shape we both thought that the thing should have sounded like a freight train. The colors were striking. The top half of the orb was enveloped in orange flame and the bottom in green. It intermittently shot out sparks like a pitted piece of metal on a grinding wheel. It sputtered short showers of green and orange sparks, and there was very little tail if any at all. My friend slammed his feet on the brakes and we careened onto the slim shoulder. After debating whether to leave the car where it had come to a stop, beside the narrow shoulder on a winding mountain road, and go look for the crash site, we decided that with the approaching darkness it probably wasn’t a good idea. In retrospect I have no idea why we didn’t take it more seriously and look for it, marking the area before finding a place to camp, and then coming back the next day to search, but we didn’t. We pulled out on the road, my buddy still driving, and traveled on. I do remember that I abruptly fell asleep.

I awoke hours later and asked what was going on. My friend strangely replied, “I don’t know.” “What do you mean you don’t know?” I asked. “It’s obvious you’ve been driving.” “I guess so.” “What do you mean you guess so?” “I really don’t know,” he said. “I guess I’ve been driving.” I decided to drop it, chalking up the weird feeling and an odd conversation to road weariness. We put the conversation and the entire event out of our minds for nearly 25 years.


This is without exception the most difficult thing I’ve ever written. There is simply no sane way to describe a wildly bizarre phenomenon. While I have firmly come to believe in the reality of abduction, putting it into words is terribly hard, and for the literally hundreds of accounts I’ve read and shared online since my initial discovery, I’ve never seen anyone else do a particularly good job of it either. All the tales, all the rationale, all the accounts of not believing and then coming to believe—they’re all lacking to varying degree. Even as I write this, I realize most people will see it as my personal roadmap into madness. Those who’ve had the experience, however, will smile knowingly.

About seven years ago I was new to the web. Lots of people were. The computer was a huge toy, the Internet a constant video game—simply fun to see color pictures and read email streaming into my home from a world away. I’d moved from the Midwest to the South, took a teaching job on a lark, found I enjoyed it, and had pursued the profession. I’d married and within a year my wife was pregnant. I was, of course, excited about the prospects of this, the birth of my only child. I read everything I could get my hands on and encouraged my wife to take natural-birth courses. We had the baby when I turned 40. The baby was often sick with a seemingly endless string of ear infections, and I slept little for her first two years. I thank the immediacy of my child’s needs for pulling me back into reality and keeping my life on course. Without her and my extreme good luck in contacting the people I did, I suspect I’d have been in even worse emotional shape than I was. But it was the Internet that became the medium for my discovery, and ironically, an important part of my solace as well.

One evening I surfed to the UFO sites. I remembered my sighting on the mountain road at 18 and thought I’d try to find out what it was. I read countless stories of similar fireballs, meteors, and bolides. I read of a rare meteor that skipped in and out of Earth’s atmosphere during the summer of 1972, and many people in three mountain states sighted it. But I never came upon any picture that accurately reflected what my friend and I had seen on the road.

Deeper Into The Unknown

I began reading an abduction site. I have no idea why. I never connected my experience with alien abduction and didn’t at that time either. I had no reason to make any connection. I’d seen only the lurid images in grocery-store tabloids, considered them a joke, or worse, the sad stories of lonely, sick, destitute people in need of social and psychological attention. I remember the 1975 Betty and Barney Hill TV special that my parents wouldn’t let us watch, but I had no idea it concerned abduction. One site in particular drew my attention. The author asked the reader to submit his or her own abduction tale. I remembered the odd dream of my childhood. I was curious enough to see what the author would say about my story. I treated it and thought of it exactly as I’d treat a fortuneteller at a carnival, in other words as entertainment.

I withheld the best remembered and most explicit details of my “dream” and wrote a brief outline of what happened to me. (Many computer crashes later, I wonder what became of that initial letter.) To my surprise, I got an almost immediate response. The webmaster directed me toward a few pieces of UFO literature of the period; I believe I read Raymond E. Fowler’s first account of the Betty Andreasson DeLuca abduction. The webmaster remained communicative and available online. I asked questions about the experiences of others as I finished a book or an article. But this never became personal until I once again brought up my own experience. In contrast to what skeptics say about being led by abduction researchers and support groups, I never felt as though the webmaster was taking me in any particular direction. I remember that on many occasions he did his best to tell me that any decision I made on the reality of the abduction experience was entirely my own.

As I continued to read, my list of questions grew, and so did my feelings of unease at the similarities of the abduction narratives in the literature. I was always careful not to divulge to the webmaster what I considered to be confirmatory details of the event, and the webmaster was also careful not to tip his hand. It’s important to note that up until this point I hadn’t read any abduction accounts. Details like paralysis, telepathic communication, the metal object, close proximity of the beings, the hooded robes, and the physical description and behavior of the beings themselves were all unknown to me outside my own experience. As I said earlier, there is no way I could ever objectively prove this point— I simply know it to be true. I was reading some shockingly similar detail in the accounts of others, but they made no impact on me. I remained fairly detached from any emotional connection with the reality of abduction. That was to change.

I ultimately grew bored reading others’ accounts, and I finally began asking challenging questions about my own experience. I suppose my intent was to stop devoting time to this ridiculous subject and begin spending more time with my work and family. I threw out a challenge to the webmaster: “If abduction stories are so similar, tell me a detail I experienced that I haven’t told you about.” In a hesitant response he divulged two details. He told me that the material of the fabric was a “brown, burlappy type [of] material” and that he suspected one of the little beings held a metallic wand or stick. I was floored. I had been reading accounts similar to mine for months, but for whatever reason, none struck me personally until these two details were mentioned. I went cold. I panicked. I was suddenly confronted with a new and terrifying reality. As I have mentioned, my then two-year-old began suffering from constant ear infections. I was up with her nearly every night. The antibiotic would wear off, the incubation period for the new infection would mature, and then we’d be up all night together with her shrieking in agony on my lap. I credit my little girl with forcing me to hold my emotional life together during this period. Nothing drags one back to the here and now like projectile vomiting and hour upon hour of high-pitched screaming. I shut off the computer and didn’t turn it back on again for two weeks. At that point, memories of events covering my entire life of abduction were coming back to me. Countless details and snippets of experiences flooded my waking moments. I was particularly shocked by a memory of what I would later read about as a “smart baby” encounter described in the pages of a David Jacobs book. I returned to the web, joined email lists, and read literally hundreds of stories like mine.

Over time, I was able to settle down a bit. I now concentrate less on the phenomenon and abduction research and more on watching my little girl grow. Still, my life will never be the same. As the webmaster once said, “Welcome to the club to which nobody wants to belong.” I have learned to deal with this aspect of my life, I suppose; yet there are some moments of sheer terror from which I’ll never be able to insulate myself. Those moments occur when I think about my daughter’s potential involvement. One morning I walked into my daughter’s room to retrieve something. I found her lying on her back, flat on the floor. She’d arranged five or six of her dolls in the same way. They were all side by side, staring up at the ceiling. “What are you doing?” I asked. “I’m not really here, Daddy.” “Oh, yeah? Well, where are you?” “Okay, I’m here now, but I wasn’t last night.” “Where were you?” “The little monsters took me up on their airplane. And the little monster doctor put a stick on my tummy—right here.” I didn’t look. I told her I had to go to the bathroom. I locked the door and stayed there until I could get the horrified look off my face. Later that evening I found a triangular-shaped mark (what looked like a puncture wound) on her as she bathed. That one-sided conversation has haunted me since. It is extremely difficult to even write about. To this date, my daughter and I have never had a conversation about aliens or abduction. I don’t plan on doing so. I suppose that at some distant point in time, say, after she’s 40 and I’ve also given her permission to go on her first date, I may.

A friend of mine read part of this account and asked me why I came to believe in abduction. He also stated that abduction suffers the lethal combination of the wildly bizarre and utterly unprovable. I agree, to some extent. So why do I believe I’m an abductee? I suppose the quick answer to my friend’s initial question is that abduction provides the most viable, best-fit answer to all the strange, inexplicable occurrences, memories, and experiences I’ve had throughout my life. Perhaps the best way to explain myself is to list the commonly cited prosaic explanations that don’t apply to me. My hairy-dwarf experience occurred long before I’d seen any similar representation of these things in film or in books. But for a very few books and movies that typified my generation’s interests, I was never a science-fiction fan. I read Arthur C. Clarke’s Childhood’s End in high school. In my mind William Shatner currently plays a much more interesting television character as the despicable attorney Denny Crane than he ever did as Captain Kirk. I didn’t directly or indirectly, intentionally or unintentionally, borrow my experience from books, stories, or movies available to me when I was a child. I would sincerely prefer it if that were to be the case. My life revolved around baseball, TV cowboys, and endless games of kick-the-can.

What I am Not

I have never undergone hypnosis. My memories are consciously recalled. I don’t believe fantasy proneness is an issue. Although I’ve never been tested for fantasy proneness per se, my MMPI places me well within a normal range. I have never been “led” by an investigator—therefore, no “inaccurate retrieval cues.” I have never been the victim of aggressive therapy for a traumatic event, or a member of a “support group” for abduction. I have never suffered from severe nightmares or night terror as a child either prior to or after my Hairy Being confrontation. I have never been sexually molested by my father, mother, friend, foe, or family member. I am not a hoaxer. I have no financial or emotional stake in the validity of the abduction experience. In fact, if my beliefs were well known to my employers, I’d immediately lose my job. If Budd Hopkins and David Jacobs are correct about the multigenerational feature of abduction, my little daughter’s well-being (or at least my control over it) is at risk—and that alone is difficult for me to contemplate. I do not want fame or notoriety because of my claim, nor do I want to turn my experience into some sort of cash-raising enterprise.

After I learned that many people had similar experiences, I simply wanted to find out the truth as it concerned my own life, knowing first and last that the answers wouldn’t matter to anyone but me. In short, there is no personal or monetary advantage for me to believe in the abduction experience. Nor am I consciously aware of any escape-from-self tendencies or masochistic fantasies. I don’t believe I’m stupid, particularly clumsy, or unlovable. I’m a teacher, and although this might qualify me as something of a glutton for punishment, I don’t fantasize about being naked and strapped to a table in front of my students. I neither hallucinate nor suffer from delusions. I have never undergone any diagnostic treatment for sleep disorder, but then again, I don’t suffer any of the symptoms.

Additional Elements

The other night I went to see the Martin Scorsese film The Aviator. On my way out of the theater, I listened as two persons in front of me discussed what they had just seen. Their thoughts, impressions, and attention to details depicted in the movie differed, but one could tell immediately— in fact, there wasn’t any question—that they were talking about the same show. I think this is much like the hundreds of abduction experiences I’ve read since, mine included. People have had remarkably similar things happen, and those experiences are colored and vary by cultural and perceptual differences from person to person. When I was 25 years old I incurred spinal injuries and associated nerve damage. After years of unsuccessful remedies and treatments, a doctor prescribed Bextra, a Cox-2 pain inhibitor in the same family of drugs as Mercks’ Vioxx (now being litigated as a potential cause of 100,000 or more heart-related fatalities). Although Bextra had given me the first real pain relief I’d had in years, I became suspicious of it when Vioxx was pulled from drugstore shelves. I called my doctor, who immediately assured me that she had in turn been assured that Bextra was not related in any way to the dangers presented by Vioxx. If I were to believe science and the FDA, I had nothing whatever to worry about. Not being an idiot, however, I stopped taking it the moment I hung up the phone. Three weeks later, Bextra was named by Merck’s whistleblower as one of the five specifically dangerous drugs under investigation. I checked with friends on similar medication. We’d all quit taking them. All of us had quit taking them because we knew better. It took an ethical whistleblower and science three weeks to catch up with what had already become apparent to many of us. Similarly, abductees will have to suffer until science and honest inquiry catch up.

I don’t know if my particular path to discovery is possible any longer. Countless movies, books, and television programs have borrowed heavily from the lists to which I belonged. They’ve changed the landscape utterly and forever by pumping abduction elements into the mainstream culture. But I contend there is a valid core of the abduction experience, and it isn’t being taken seriously. All the while, those of us having this experience know better.

I’d like to say something on behalf of the researchers and writers I’ve met on my personal path of discovery. The great majority are sincere, dedicated, and bright. At no time did I feel I was being led, influenced, or in any way taken advantage of. To the contrary, I was continually challenged about my memories and subsequent beliefs. These researchers, I learned, are not at all as (negatively) portrayed in mainstream media.

Being an abductee is lonely, uncomfortable, and sometimes terrifying. If I were to offer advice to someone contemplating looking more deeply into his or her own experiences, I’d urge caution. However sincerely you devote yourself, there is no solution—no bottom or end to it. I urge you to leave the potential terror alone. Enjoy the simple pleasure of being alive. Don’t surrender it to those beings who already seem to take so much."

Although I am not "Tom Rymer", I might as well be. He has written, in essence, my experience better than I could have written it myself.

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Postby Cosmic Cowbell » Wed Jul 25, 2007 1:08 am

UFO Abduction Reports: The Supernatural Kidnap Narrative Returns in Technological Guise (PDF)

Dr. Thomas E. Bullard, The Journal of American Folklore, Vol. 102, No. 404. (Apr. - Jun., 1989), pp. 147-170.
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Inflation Theory

Postby Cosmic Cowbell » Fri Jul 27, 2007 10:22 am

Inflation-Theory Implications for Extraterrestrial Visitation (PDF)

Journal of the British Interplanetary Society, Vol. 58, pp. 43-50, 2005

"It has recently been argued that anthropic reasoning applied to inflation theory reinforces the prediction that we should find ourselves part of a large, galaxy-sized civilisation, thus strengthening Fermi’s paradox concerning “Where are they?” Furthermore, superstring and M-brane theory allow for the possibility of parallel universes, some of which in principle could be habitable. In addition, discussion of such exotic transport concepts as “traversable wormholes” now appears in the rigorous physics literature. As a result, the “We are alone” solution to Fermi’s paradox, based on the constraints of earlier 20th century viewpoints, appears today to be inconsistent with new developments in our best current physics and astrophysics theories. Therefore we reexamine and reevaluate the present assumption that extraterrestrials or their probes are not in the vicinity of Earth, and argue instead that some evidence of their presence might be found in certain high-quality UFO reports. This study follows up on previous arguments that (1) interstellar travel for advanced civilizations is not a priori ruled out by physical principles and therefore may be practicable, and (2) such advanced civilisations may value the search for knowledge from uncontaminated species more than direct, interspecies communication, thereby accounting for apparent covertness regarding their presence."
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Hill Abduction

Postby Lord Balto » Sun Jul 29, 2007 10:29 pm

Years ago, I wrote a short piece for INFO, the Journal of the International Fortean Organization, in which I concluded that the purported Hill Star Map was actually a map of New Hampshire and Vermont that included all the cities and towns important to the Hills in their everyday life and on their trip to Niagara Falls. It is my considered opinion that many abductee cases are simply lucid dreams remembered as reality (misfiled) by the brain. The logic of these "events" is very often dream logic and not the logic of everyday reality.
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Jane Leade and Parallels

Postby Cosmic Cowbell » Sat Sep 29, 2007 1:53 am

300 Year Old Abduction Account?

I wanted to repost here info contained in the link referenced by PP in the post above. I'll follow up at the end with the parallel to the case referenced by Steve above. That was a great thread...

From my post at UM:

There is one particular case that has fascinated me for awhile that goes beyond a simple sighting and seems to mimic all the requirements of what we consider to be the standard ET abduction scenario. The rub is that it occurred over 300 years ago. The works of Jane Leade, a 17th century prophet and founder of that era's Philadelphia Society are now available online and I will provide a link to them at the end of the post. This particular case refutes the ideas of many, including Susan Clancy and Richard McNally at Harvard that the Abduction scenario is the result of "Cultural Influence", you know, too many episodes of "Outer Limits". One must also take into account the religious interpretation Ms. Leade gives to these encounters. Having no other point of reference for them, many of the events she describes have extreme religious interpretation. I'll leave it to others to determine the validity of her take....


July the 16th. 1676.

A Vision of God's Flaming Eye.

This Morning...In a moment there appeared to me an Azure blue Firmament, so Oriental as nothing of this, in this visible Orb could parallel with it. Out of the midst hereof was a most wonderful Eye, which I saw Sparkling, as with flaming Streams from it. Which I am not able to figure out, after that manner in which it did present it self unto me. But according to this Form it was, as much as I am able to give an account of it, it was thus, or after this manner. There was a flaming Eye in the midst of a Circle, and round about it a Rainbow with all variety of Colours, and beyond the Rainbow in the Firmament, innumerable Stars all attending this Flaming Eye. From which the Word said, the Earth and the Heavens shall flye, and nothing abide, but what can live in this Eternal Eye, as ministering Stars of Glory, before the Throne of him: who like to this Circling Eye, which thou hast seen, hath neither Beginning or End."

March the 11th, 1677

In my first Sleep, in the Night time, many magical Workings and Ideas were presented to me. As first, a Figure of a Woman, with a Crown upon her Head, who seemed to me to be but of a small Stature, but her Visage was bright as the Sun, and clear as the Moon, with a White loose Garment girt about her with a seeming White Silken Girdle, who came near to me, saying, Behold and see, what ye may arrive to be in me? And so passed away.

Then after a while, there was a Child all Lovely and Fair put into my Arms; it was all naked, of a smooth shining Skin; I could not see who it was that disposed it to me, but it was unexpectedly let down into my Arms. I thought it to be very Weighty, though but little; so passing to go away with it, it suddainly slipped through my Arms unto the Ground, at which I gave a great Screek, and with great Fear and Concern, took it up again without much Damage."

March the 22d, 1677

In the Night, as I was waiting in my wonted solemn Retirement, what might further be administered. I was cast as into a magical Sleep, where I saw my self carried into a Wilderness; where I saw only pleasant, pastoral Walks and Trees, which much suited with my Mind and Inclination there to walk; where I found nothing to disturb my superiour Meditations. In which place I promised my self opportunity, as not willing that either my Name, or Place should be known to any, saving One. But while I was thus pleasured in my reserved state, I suddainly did see one, that was known to me, walking very strait and upright, with a Book reading in his Hand: He seemed to be as one, that would not look awry. But it was said presently, that this Person was a Spy: then presently two more did appear of the Female Sex, both which did make a kind of Assault upon me; but one of the Females was more fierce, and did give my outward Skin a prick, as with a sharp Needle. Upon which I called for Angelical aid to succour me, or else too hard they would be. Whereupon I was parted from them, and saw them in that place no more: A voice, saying, None here shall henceforth come, but such as can agree to walk with thee perfectly. And so the Vision broke up."

The Interpretation.

"Some Days after I did further enquire into the more full meaning of this Vision, why such should so conspire against my solitary reserved Life: but especially that one, who was in my Eye of more value, because of a known Life of Truth, and Integrity?

I found this written upon my Heart, Their Eyes must for a while be with-held; they will not you know, till ye can get the new Name engraven, as of precious Stones upon your Forehead. For it was secretly whispered to my Spirit, that in some there might be a refined and spiritual Emulation, as in others a more Gross and Sensual. Both of which I had councel, and caution, how to walk with; so as no occasion of stumbling might be given justly to the gainsaying Spirits: Whose pryings were to see how we would walk, while in the Wilderness state."

April the 26th, 1677

"As I was considering of the openings which I had, of that Vision relating unto the Cherubim-birth, which was hatched under the Hand of the Power: This Query arose in me, how the Spirit of this New Creature was sustained: And which way it could draw in that food, that constituted it to be of that strength and excellency of Body, and Spirit, that it could mount away, as a Dove into a unknown Orb? Ah, my Lord, what manner of Birth is this? Shall such a Birth ever be known to have existency in this terrestrial sphere? Sure such a Birth is only meet to be Born, where is a pure and unmixed Element, which may not be in strife against it. For verily it is hard and very difficult for such a Birth to be nursed and brought up to perfection, where all things work cross, rising up against it. Because it is a strange Child that beareth not this worlds Image"

It is explained to her that...

"First then know, this overshadowing hand, through which this birth doth spring, incompasseth only, what is Paradisiacal ground: there it drops in, its golden seed. This ground in its true native Virgin pureness, must be separated from the common cursed matter, of what produceth the earthly birth. These two different soils are to be found in the first Adam’s generative off-spring, but it is so mingled and overrun with the dark muddy element, that great care, labour and painful industry is used for its recovery out, by the wise and learned Spirit in the heavenly Chymistry, rightly to prepare for this holy Birth. Which will be easily known from the course and rudimental, that is in the image of the earthly."

But now to resolve that Question, What this Birth that is from above, which is coagulated into one unmixed matter must live upon in the house of humanity. Which for a time it must be brought up in, as Christ himself was, and tempted with the evil fruits, that will be daily proffered from the market of this world, but yet in no danger, though in minority. For it is left under the guardian Spirit, who warns it what to abstain from; whose nature and composition is of such heavenly essentiality, that it inclines naturally to obey the Paradisiacal laws. Which is the second character of this New Creature.

"Then again in the third place, while but in its Infancy, it will suck of no other, but its Eternal Virgin Mother; lay it to any other, and it will be sick to Death. And if at any time contrary Food is forced upon it, it doth presently Vomit it up."

May the 13th, 1677

The Glassy Book.

"In the Night when the outward Senses were reposed, I saw at a distance a reserved or separated place, which was as light as the Firmament, and there I saw the figure of a Book; it had no Clasps or Seals upon it, neither was there any thing therein written, that I could perceive; but the Leaves appeared all as transparent as the flaming light. After this came forth out of that bright Orb a Flock all in white Robes in a triumphant posture, rejoycing about me with pleasant bright Countenances, and would have me repose my self in the same alacrity with them; but I was more sad and ponderous, and could not move with that agility, which they did with their Airy Bodies. But I soon did feel a mighty influence from their Bodies; though at their first appearance, I was as one surprised: but such was their great affability, and friendliness towards me, that in a little while I was in their liberty, and joy. Which no sooner I was made sensible of, but they told me they must withdraw unto their own place: I then desired they would not leave me, but let me go along with them, which they could not permit at this season. This brought heaviness upon me again."

February 9, 1678

A Transport.

In the Morning after I was awakened from Sleep, upon a sudden I was insensible of any sensibility as relating to a corporeal Being, and found my self as without the clog of any Earthly Body, being very sprightly and airy in a silent place, where some were beside my self, but I did not know them by their Figures, except one, who went out, and came in again: and there was no speaking one to another, but all did set in great silence, and I my self with my Eye fixed forward. And I did suddenly see at a pretty distance, where I was, a rich splenderous thing come down all engraven, with Colors, the Ground thereof being all of Gold. It was in the form of a large Ship with Wings, I cannot say, whether more than four, which spread themselves out, being like varnished Gold, it came down with the greatest swiftness as is imaginable. Upon which amazing sight, I asked some by me, do you not see this wonderful sight? And they said no. But I saw my self, or something like my self, leaping and dancing and greatly rejoicing to meet it. But when I came up to it, then it did as suddenly go up again, withdrawing out of sight, unto the high Orb from whence it came. After which I found my self in my Body of sense, as knowing I had been ranging in my Spirit from it for a while, that I might behold this great thing."

December 15, 1678

The School of Wisdom, A Transportation

In the Night, after my first Sleep, I was consulting, whereunto the moving Star had brought us, and [perceived] it still was in its circling motion....Then, after all this Opening and Spiritual Parly I was over-set, and cast as into a Trance, and had all my outward Senses drowned, and was brought by the Spirit into such a place, that was as the Scene of another World. For the Ground where the Inhabitants moved, was as clear as Crystal and the same above was the same below all light and clear. The Spirit that brought me in, led me to do Obeysance to one, that was the Princess of that World. Who appeared great and full of Majesty, resembling the Face of a Woman, all cloathed as in waved Clouds. I was something abashed to come near her: but the Spirit animated me. And She directed my Guide, to bring me into acquaintance with the residue, that did move there in distinct Figures. But they at first looked somewhat Strange upon me, and shy: because I had no such clarified Body. Whereupon I did strive to make my Apology in way of Speech: but that did much displease. For, it was advised, this was the Magia-School; where all of Mortal Language was to be excluded. For all was understood by the operation of the Magia: here was no Speech, but all Power acted. Then one I was brought to, that had such a composure in his Countenance, as one might read profound Wisdom, signally resident upon him. I would have had them move free, and familiar with me, for I loved, and was much affected with them. But they saw, I was not versed in their high Method, and looked upon me as a stranger in their Region. And being very eager to ask them questions, what the denominated were? And who was the Soveraign Ruler here? And I was big with many Queries, but received a check, as being a young Novice, that did not understand the Magia-Rules. Then suddenly I was bound, and could move no way, but no Hand touched me. And this was to let me know, what Soveraignty they could put forth. And then as suddenly I was set free, and found my self at liberty.

Then heard I the Majestical Princess, that ruled all in that Sphere, say in a breath as soft as Air: ,Do not despise the unlearned, that are not acquainted with this high Art. For this thing, time is allowed, for the fiting her out thereunto. But know, O Spirit, before thou goest from hence, that this is the only one thing, that is worthy to be learned, whereby Nature's Beast may become tamed, and to a Heavenly Figure renewed by the Magia-working Power.,Äô Then brought I was into my Bodily Sense, where I was given to understand , what all this transportation tended to. Which I was cautioned to remind, and lay up as a secret: and watch the turn of the Wheel...."

December 15, 1678

The Theosophical Eye

....And there was presented unto me an Eye, from which went forth bright Beams of Light, which had a wonderful attractive Power to draw the Spirit of my Soul into it, as the Center of Wisdom's Light and vast comprehension, which must expose it self to the Infinitum of all Beings. And it was said to me, Now thou art to be tried, whether thou can'st leave all Visibilities, and come to live in this Theosophical Eye: which can generate all kind of working Powers, that may cast the model of the new Creation.,Äô Then replyed my Spirit, ,How shall I that am in Mortality, possibly be able to live in this bright Circling Eye? Although my Will do unfeignedly hereunto aspire, yet I cannot find the way that may fix me there; neither can I come so suddenly to such an Abnegation, as to forget and forsake my own Creaturely Being.

The beings answer:

"...there is an Essence of Love, that may constrain thee to come up to all the Magia-Rules. Although, yet the way seemeth uncouth, and as incredible for thee to pass into this Eye, as a Camel into the Eye of a Material Needle. But do thou know, that the Time is now come about, in which the Father of Magical Spirits will put those of his own immediate Line into it."

In the thread I referenced above, there was discussion of an interest in sexuality, the work of David Jacobs and Budd Hopkins and the history of fairies etc etc. Hugh chalks it up to MKUltra, SRA or with some other terrestrial foundation yet the following diary entry by Jane Leade shows us that this interest/experience predates any possible modern explanation such as Hugh posits....

August the 25th, 1677

"This Night, somewhat before break of Day, I did verily believe there lay one by me in the Bed. At which I was put into some fear: but then it appeared to be the Figure of my deceased Husband. Who discoursed many things to me, challenging Conjugal Love, and the renewing of that old affinity, which was betwixt us, with manifold circumstances thereupon attending. At which, at first, I was somewhat disturbed; but I took courage, and discoursed with him, and told him, I fear’d to have Union with any inferiour Spirit, till they had got up to the highest perfection; and asked him several questions, concerning which, he seemed to be silent, and could not give me satisfaction, as to his being in that full growing state, for the compleatment of his glorification. But still I beheld him magically hovering about me, and he asked me for a Bible. While, I thought, that he was now above that way of knowing God, which I urged much, that he might now know, as he was known: but he gave me no answer thereto. Then he proved me with some small Pence, which seemed to be like Gold: which I set light by, and did not receive them; as not understanding wherein they could be of service to me, aiming at greater things from Wisdoms Treasury. After I had said, that since his decease, I had made choice of an unchangeable Mate: for whom I must now be, and for no other, but as they are compleated in his glorified Body; where I should rejoyce to know him, and to meet him. Upon which he disappeared. And then coming to my exteriour sense, I understood in what a Magia Trance I had been."

UFOs, hybrid presentations, skin samples, temporary paralysis, transports to other worlds, an interest in all seems to be here. These encounters, and many others, occurred over the course of 25 years or so. There are all found contained withing the diaries/books of Jane Leade. Her complete works are published online at the following link. Please note I am not here to debate what these writings mean, but am only presenting them for others to discuss and make what they will of them.

Now for the parallels...

I finished reading "Captured", the recent book by Betty Hills niece, Kathleen Marden with input from Stanton Friedman. I've always found three interesting commonalities between Jane Leade's experiences and that of Betty Hill. The first is the mention of a needle, the second, the mention of a book and the third, relationships with both a friendly or familiar entity and those who seem to be more cold or businesslike . Both women share these all of these parallels in their experiences. In the appendix of "Captured", I found the following drawing by Betty describing the book she was shown. I've never heard it described in detail as to it's appearance but after reading it, my mind went immediately to Jane Leade's "Glassy Book".


Just wanted to add this bit to the dump for posterity....
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Cosmic Cowbell
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John Salter Jr.

Postby Cosmic Cowbell » Sat Sep 06, 2008 11:48 am

The interesting account of an academic and social justice advocate. John (Hunter Gray/Hunter Bear) now lives in Eastern Idaho which connects his story loosely with the Pacific Northwest. I communicated with John a few years back and post this with his permission.


By John R. Salter, Jr.
Copyright 1989 by John R. Salter, Jr.

When I think, as I so frequently do, of that night of March 20, 1988--the strange night of the UFO encounter and interception of my then almost 23 year old graduate student son, John III, and myself--I have only positive feelings (as does he) about the not-so-different from us people from afar whom we met and with whom we spent well over an hour. Still continuing recall images and sequences which have come to both of us, slowly and persistently through the fabric of induced (but obviously only intentionally temporary) amnesia, consistently point to good motives and beneficial actions. The physiological changes, more than a dozen, which have occurred in me--beginning since the encounter and still continuing--are witness to this.

There was no conscious sense of expectancy when we left Grand Forks, North Dakota on Sunday morning, March 20th, in my 1987 red Ford pickup. A light snow disappeared after we'd gone 30 miles but the cloudy sky continued. We were pointed toward Mississippi, and ultimately New Orleans at which I was scheduled to give a paper, "Civil Rights and Self-Defense," at the annual Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association gathering, a commitment made the previous August. Other activities were scheduled in Mississippi. None of this even remotely touched on UFOs and neither my son nor I (although we accepted the reality of these things and assumed their friendly extraterrestrial origins) had spent much time at all thinking about any of this. We had certainly read virtually nothing on the subject.

In retrospect--even very early post-encounter retrospect--it was clear that the route I had picked some days before for the first day of our junket was certainly not logical. I projected Grand Forks to the Twin Cities to Rochester (Minn.) and then to LaCrosse (Wisc.), Dubuque (Ia.), and the Bettendorf/Davenport (Ia.) area for the night. We had neither the time nor the special interest in the often rugged, frequently wooded, and generally lonely southwestern Wisconsin Mississippi River hill country that would justify that substantially out-of-the-way segment. Near the Twin Cities, John III spelled me off on driving. I looked at the road maps and, suddenly, noted the illogic of proceeding to LaCrosse and down to Dubuque (the roads between those two towns being narrow and winding); conversely, it obviously made much better sense to proceed from the forthcoming Rochester area down to Waterloo, Iowa, and double-highway, and then to Cedar Rapids, Iowa City, and an hour of interstate into Davenport. Reasonably, I moved to make this practical change. And then, welling up into my mind like a great wave of nostalgia from the past, came Kookaburra, the Australian lullaby:

Kookaburra sits in the old gum tree
Merry, merry king of the bush is he.
Laugh, Kookaburra; laugh, Kookaburra
Gay your life must be.

The significance is this: An active organizer in social justice endeavors since the mid-1950s, starting with civil rights and militant trade unionism in the Southwest where I grew up, I spent a long period (beginning almost immediately after my marriage (to Eldri) in 1961) and extending to the latter part of the 60s decade, in the Deep South as a key organizer in the Southern Civil Rights Movement. (1) During the academic term, 1968-69, we were glad to spend a pleasant recuperative year at Coe College, Cedar Rapids, where I taught sociology before going on to Chicago and four years of rough-and-tough community organizing on the South/Southwest Side. During that year at Coe, we often drove up to Waterloo to the K-Mart--myself, Eldri, and our two thus-far children, Maria and John III. On the way back, we would always sing Kookaburra and remembered those times fondly--along with many other happy occasions. From Chicago, I occasionally got over to Cedar Rapids and Iowa City to give talks and, in 1973, we moved to Iowa City where I was attached for almost four years as a professor in the Graduate Program in Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Iowa. I (and our family) often got to Cedar Rapids and, sometimes, in and around Waterloo a number of times after the Coe sojourn. We never thought poignantly of Kookaburra, though sometimes in the years since we would sing it. Now, in the afternoon of a late March day, 20 years after the Cedar Rapids experience, the plaintive Australian lullaby rose up--an extraordinary wave of sweet, nostalgic wine. It was simply overwhelming. In no way could I steer into those incredibly sweet and emotional waters: no swing down to Waterloo and beyond. We continued to Rochester and then to La . (If, as I'm quite certain, Kookaburra was drawn somehow from my psyche by an external force and magnified--intensively magnified--it was certainly a for more sensitively pleasant means of dissuasion than, say, a conjured up vision of our pickup colliding with a Semi on the outskirts of Waterloo. We now sing Kookaburra regularly with our nine year old daughter, Josie).

We were at LaCrosse late that afternoon: (2) fully awake, vigorous, well-fed (thanks to McDonald's), myself driving--and we left on combined highways 14 and 61, a narrow road. Our firm and clear intention was to keep on 61 when the roads forked at the small town of Readstown: at that point 61 proceeded to Dubuque and 14 to Madison. All of this was "new country" to us. Neither John III nor I have many memories at all of what happened the remainder of that late afternoon and early evening. Initially, of course, it was still quite light and the cloudy sky had broken somewhat. I clearly recall, as we topped out on one large hill two or three miles beyond LaCrosse and I looked westward/southwestward to the far horizon and the late afternoon sky, feeling an odd and intense twinge of expectant anxiety which registered quickly and then passed.

Although in retrospect, some time later, we felt we might have remembered a few landmarks after the large hill, a visit to the scene by me and my daughter Josie in early June, 1989, indicated that John III and I had been under very pervasive "mind control" characterized, among other things, by amnesia, for the next more than 60 miles. In the June, 1989 junket, I saw nothing beyond the large hill that I recognized--everything was "new"--even though there were quaint towns, unique hill formations, and Indian and other place names that would have definitely registered. (In checking with John III, now in California, no landmarks that I indicated were remembered by him.) Among other things, we did not recall Readstown and the much advertised forking of the roads with highways 14 and 61 very conspicuously parting company. Inexplicably, by conventional yardsticks, John III and I took Highway 14--much lonelier than 61--and thus went off course, southeast (although the two routes remain close together in that general area).

Sunset in that region on March 20 was about 6:13 p.m. It was twilight and about 6:25 p.m. when we came to the stretch of four-lane on Highway 14. (Turning out to be a very short stretch, this begins 68 miles or so from "inside" the LaCrosse setting and ends two miles before Richland Center, Wisconsin.) (3) Here the amnesia lifted (we would say, in retrospect, to give us a clear geographical point for future reference) and later both John III and I vividly recalled the wider road. (I remembered it very clearly in June, 1989.) We expressed hope to one another that it would continue and regretted when, after two miles, it ended. I recall saying, "I'm slowing down a little and turning on the lights." At that point, the curtain of amnesia (but not unconsciousness) descended on each of us. When I think about what came immediately after that, I sometimes get waves of strange, "electrical-like" sensations--vibrant chills--throughout my body. John III talks of "spooky feelings."

And this was the point of interception and close encounter--very close!

Then I was aware that I was driving at a normal speed and was going down a very steep hill by the highway. Quickly and smoothly my consciousness expanded--an awakening awareness--to include the bright lights of the pickup, the pitch-dark night, and the sounds of the engine and the tires. For a moment, a very sharp and clear moment, it was a summer night in 1957 when I, 23 years old, was driving in the isolated Arizona country somewhere around the little cow town of Mayer. My second thought was, "This was just like that time, then." It was about 7:45 p.m. Neither John III, whose amnesia lifted at the same time as mine, nor I had any particular sense of interruption; the interception and resumption had been accomplished with only a ripple of transition, if even that. (Later we realized that, at the point we'd "come out of it," we were in the immediate area where the physical interception had occurred.) On 14, we reached the outskirts of Richland Center and passed through that small town. (In June, 1989, I realized that, although I had that March night noted the outskirts of Richland Center and a long line of buildings on the other side of it, I had no recollection of passing through the business district. In checking with John III, I learned that he, too, had no recollection of the "downtown" section of the community. We both feel that double-amnesia was once again and briefly induced in order that we, still somewhat somnambulistic, pass through the business section without stopping and perhaps attracting negative attention.) On the other side of Richland Center and immediately beyond, I saw a series of signs indicating Madison, before grasping their significance; checking our map, we realized we had been on the wrong highway since far-away Readstown. The loss of time was utterly bewildering. From Richland Center to Dubuque is about 85 miles, including the back-on-course routes; we were in the Iowa town at 9:30 p.m., pushing on to Bettendorf for the night. We slept well and breakfasted at Peoria, Illinois.

We left that city shortly after 10 a.m., March 21st, on a double highway going east. I was driving. The day was clear and there was no wind. At 10:14 a.m., there was no traffic right around or ahead of us in either direction. And it was then that we both saw a bright, expanding light coming directly toward and above us; immediately we realized it was an incredibly bright object, glowing with an extraordinary shimmering silveriness. (The closest analogy I can make is the glowing coals of an oak fire, moving back and forth.) It was about two-thirds the size of the full double highway and, when about 200 yards from us, swerved slightly and rose over the pickup at an angle. We could now make out its saucer-like form and, I think, a slight dome. Then, with incredible speed, it was gone. At that point, John III and I had three simultaneous thoughts: This was a deliberate appearance for us and for us alone; this was quite friendly; and this somehow explained the strange occurrences of the previous night. I then had another thought: I remembered the 1961 interception of Betty and Barney Hill, an interracial couple (he black and she white but with some Indian ancestry and both much involved in civil rights and related activities), in New Hampshire. I had heard of this situation in the mid-60s, when it became well publicized. (4) I recalled, too, that Mrs. Hill especially had had a positive, essentially friendly view of the UFO humanoid people. Mr. Hill died many years ago but Betty Hill continues quite active on social justice fronts and maintains a strong interest in UFO-related matters. I have had an excellently helpful correspondence with this extraordinary person, beginning early in the fall, 1988. In August, 1989, Eldri and I and Josie spent an excellent week with Mrs. Hill in New Hampshire and, among other things, observed a number of UFOs at night with her. (On the way back to North Dakota, we visited the Richland Center setting and the location of our encounter.)

The remainder of our trip south, while quite interesting and productive, did not involve anything related to UFOs. (Later in the day, March 21st, John III realized he'd lost his sunglasses, couldn't remember having them in the motel, and we searched the pickup fruitlessly.) But the strange events of March 20/21 were always no further than once removed in our thinking, and were frequently to the fore. Back in Grand Forks, I finished the University of North Dakota academic year in conventional fashion, assuming the chair of our Indian Studies Department. (Just before the trip, I'd received the prestigious UND Award for Student Advising; soon after the trip, the American Indian students honored me with a very special ceremony at the annual pow-wow.) I began doing some reading on UFO topics (5) and I affiliated myself with the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON)--one of the several quite reputable UFO research organizations. (In September, 1988, I became its State Director for North Dakota. Thus, I became acquainted with Kevin Henke, a young scientist at the University of North Dakota and a MUFON member who has become an excellent friend and whose sharply critical mind has been of great help to me.) John III received his M.A. at UND and accepted an important position in Northern California, directing a grassroots Indian education program. He and his wife moved there two months after the encounters. (In the fall of 1989, his program was designated as the best of its kind in the state.) In mid-June, 1988, I sensed a strong, growing stirring within me vis-a-vis the experiences of late March--and especially the "missing time" period. I began to put together a series of detailed little reports, outlining the development, locale, and times of the encounters and our general thoughts, preliminary conclusions, and what we were convinced was a mutually friendly atmosphere at all points. But, when it came to events immediately following the four-lane stretch in southwestern Wisconsin, I hit a block (as did John III with whom I stayed in close touch via A.T. & T.). Then, in late June, 1988, my recall suddenly began.

Invariably, as they've developed, my recall vignettes--images and sequences--have come first as vivid dreams in the early morning hours, then recede back temporarily into unconsciousness before emerging the following late morning or afternoon as clear flashbacks laced with a sharp memory of the earlier dream or dreams. (John III's recall began in November, 1988, tends to come just as he's slipping off to sleep, and meshes with mine.) (6) In both cases, the recall is our seeing things with our eyes--precisely as we saw them that night in Wisconsin. Although this process is still continuing, (7) steadily and deliberately, enough has come thus far to establish the context, the basic components and participants, the points of primary focus, and the ethos. Here, with recall arranged, is the basic linear progress of our March 20th encounter:

As the four-lane ended and total amnesia (but not unconsciousness) enveloped us, we are gently but firmly forced off the highway onto a very narrow and extremely rough road. -8- In June, 1989, we determined, on the basis of recall and contemporary observation, that this is the Pier Spring Road, about a mile or so in length. This starts a very short distance after the end of the four-lane. As one goes down Highway 14, it is a sharp right turn off one's right lane. We parked the pickup near the "upper," far end of this winding, timbered road.

Then we are standing, John III and I, not far from the passenger side of the pickup which is parked on the level stretch of the Pier Spring Road, under some trees. It is almost dark. Completely at ease, I can see two or three small humanoid figures climbing up on the back bumper, looking at our gear in the back of the truck. Up closer, they are four to four and one-half feet tall, thin bodies and thin limbs--but comparatively large heads and conspicuously large, quasi-slanted eyes. There are several of these small people--perhaps six or seven--and a taller humanoid figure, almost as tall as I (six feet) and not as proportionately thin as the others. His features are more, as we would use the term, "human"--and he may well be a mixed-blood. Whatever clothing type they're wearing, it's tightly fitting and, to us at this point in recall, non-descript. Our communication with them is more than thought-impressionistic; it's telepathically specific. John III sits down. Three of the small humanoids gather around, viewing him with as much fascination as he does them. Everyone is very pleasant. The tall humanoid is attached to us in a special fashion and is obviously our key liaison. Now we are walking through the darkening woods, up a ravine and over a small ridge, to the UFO which is in a rather secluded clearing, some distance from the pickup. I stumble and fall backward but am immediately cushioned by a (telekinetic?) force. Very, very gently, several of the humanoids reach for me and pull me to my feet.

Throughout this entire, still continuing recall process of mine is the clear, persistent definite sense of a brightly lighted room--a kind of white light--and a deep-blue glowing panel. An implant is placed very carefully up into my right nostril and well beyond. There is a strong sense that the last time this happened to me was a long time ago, when I was John III's age, in 1957. There is now an injection into my neck, at the thyroid area; and then an injection into my upper, central chest (thymus gland). John III's face is scanned very thoroughly with a "flash-light" type instrument whose head is so soft that it melds into the contours of his face; special attention is given to his chin and jaw area.

Then we are out in the open again. The feeling is downright powerful that the meeting has gone very well indeed from everyone's standpoint. Our tall humanoid friend walks with me back through the woods to the pickup. He is carrying some sort of light, obviously for our benefit. John III is slightly ahead of us. I believe the smaller humanoids have remained with the UFO. John III goes into the passenger side of the pickup, closing the door. I feel an extremely strong, poignant sense of farewell toward the tall figure, sensing equally strong reciprocity. (His emotional and intellectual reactions are like ours: sharp intelligence, good-natured, smiled a great deal, eager, very interested in things and sad--very sad--at parting. Basically, I think all of this holds true for the smaller people.) The tall figure and I tell each other (and John III is included) that we will see one another again in another place, in another time. Now, John III and I are by ourselves in the pickup. We wait. Very shortly from his window, John III watches the UFO rise and, brightly lighted, move diagonally up into the dark clouds and beyond. We drive a short distance to the end of the Pier Spring Road and take Country Road ZZ, well paved and very steep, back to highway 14 and on to Richland Center.

The still continuing results of my implant and injections (although initially their presence was not known to me in the fully conscious sense) began to emerge in some cases as early as May, 1988. (John III has had none of these.) By June and July, other manifestations were present. My head hair, fingernails, and toenails are growing two to three times their normal rate; eyebrows have become very thick; and fine body hair has developed all over my previously almost hairless arms, legs, stomach and chest. Cuts and scratches clot immediately and heal very, very rapidly. (A denture placed in 1984 resulted in almost daily blood until shortly after the encounter--four years later!--when the situation healed and remained so.) Some little age spots have shrunk or disappeared and the few wrinkles in my face have faded away for the most part. My skin tone is generally much clearer. Blood is much closer to the surface all over my body--indicating even better circulation than formerly. For the first time in my life, my beard is very heavy, very thick, and quite dark. My immunity is heightened; flu bugs may touch me but don't dig deeply in and the few colds I may now get are very insignificant and short-lived. My energy level is up and my sleep needs, never really substantial, are down. Although not in any sense a "craving," my protein needs are very heavy and, in May, 1989, I began taking eight amino acid supplements per day--which has returned to normal my burgeoning meat consumption! An auto wreck in Mississippi in 1963 left some residual disfigurement on the right side of my face, but by spring, 1989, this had faded completely into normalcy. I smoked for 40 years and very heavily for the last 35, four packs of cigarettes a day (often unfiltered) and then, for the last 21 years, a pound of pipe tobacco a week. In the spring of 1989, my pipe smoking slacked off to some extent; in mid-May, I realized I had gone almost 24 hours without smoking--and I then stopped completely and permanently, doing so without one single physical or psychological twinge! My psychic sensitivities are sharpened and there are increased telekinetic episodes, especially around electrical equipment. I have a mild aversion to sunlight and increased sensitivity to lights in general, now preferring cloudy weather and darkish offices. My left foot and leg coordinate and walk a little differently, initially running down my left boot heels; there are no walking problems now since I've learned to let it happen smoothly and naturally. Occasionally, a red welt appears on the lower right side of my neck, in the thyroid area; and a brown, circular spot about a half inch in diameter and with a round point-mark in its precise center surfaces on my upper chest over my thymus gland region.

In the earlier part of 1957, although deeply involved in good causes, I was having some difficulty in determining just what I wanted primarily to do with my life (portions of which had already been quite interesting). Then, at some point in the summer, (9) my focus sharpened into its permanently fixed commitment to social justice pursuits. My health became notably great. (For example, an effort to kill me via a rigged auto wreck in Jackson, Mississippi on June 18, 1963, left me seriously injured with many broken bones in my face and some elsewhere. I was operated on extensively that night and faced a substantial stay in the hospital. Three days later, so much of me had healed so quickly that I was out of the hospital and back in the arena--to the great surprise of my physicians and the great displeasure of the white Citizens Council and the Jackson police.) In the wake of the March, 1988 encounter, my normally good health has been boosted very significantly and I feel strong creative urges, constructive restlessness, and a major recharging of my social justice commitment. John III is doing many positive things in his California Indian educational work and is also writing genuinely excellent fiction. Two other interesting physical things have taken place: A watch, purchased by me in 1984, has been quite satisfactory but lacked any luminosity. I often expressed disappointment that this was so but, soon after the March, 1988 events, noticed the hands glowing. Although this lasts only a few hours at most before requiring new exposure to light, it has persisted dependably enough. In another situation, John III's sunglasses, lost as nearly as we can tell at the time of the evening encounter, surfaced in mid-December, 1988, behind the pickup seat. We had been behind that seat for one reason or another at least 100 times since spring, 1988--including every morning since well before Thanksgiving, since that's where we keep the windshield frost scraper/snow brush. In fact, the glasses were sitting casually on top of the much used frost-scraper brush! The lenses were not al all dusty. During a subsequent (February, 1989) visit to Grand Forks, John III positively identified the glasses as his. The pickup, incidentally, is kept locked at all times when not in use.

And a few suggestive but speculative things: In the summer of 1941, we were living temporarily on a Kansas farm--where I saw something big and strange over the nearby Smoky Hill River woods. It is even after we had moved to a nearby small town, I viewed that stretch of river woods with considerable apprehension. At some point around then, I developed an odd scar above my kneecap, an unlikely place for an injury (there have been reports of small flesh samples taken by UFO visitors from small children at about that age). In that general time period, I drew a picture (which I still have) of an "alien looking" person (large head, slanted eyes, no ears or hair) holding a human being. Only a few years after that, I developed a really very sophisticated interest in astronomy and chemistry. Strange things, difficult to delineate with precision, took place near Flagstaff, Arizona on Woody Mountain, one night in August, 1952, where I was a U.S. Forest Service fire lookout and asleep in my cabin at the base of the fire tower. Early the next morning, haunted by feelings of great "strangeness" (unusual for an 18 year old), I noticed a rock, two feet or so in diameter, which appeared to have moved 15 feet up the slope of the mountain, quite close to the base of the tower. It had rained briefly though heavily at some point that night and there was no particular "sign" on the ground. Unlike my encounter of 1957 and the events of March, 1988, all of which are very definite and tangible indeed, (10) these earlier situations are, as I've said, speculative.

In the last several years, a number of people who have had UFO encounter experiences, and some UFO researchers, have painted a bleak and oft-frightening picture of "alien motivations"--raising the possibility of genetic experiments and the like. Other people who have had this experience, such as myself and John III and Betty Hill, and a number of other researchers, take a friendly and positive view of all of this. I think, among other things, that we need to look at the socio-cultural backgrounds of the people involved in the encounters. Urban people--especially urban women--who live, understandably, in perennial fear of theft, rape, or other attack, are much more likely, I should think, to view a close encounter with UFO people as frightening and negative than are, say, rural people or part-Indian travelers on many frontiers like John III and myself and Betty Hill (or racially and culturally open minded people generally) who welcome new, unusual experiences, new friends, new challenges. With no false modesty, I certainly view my life, especially from 1957 onward, as having been a quite positive one to date: effective social justice organizing in many hard-core settings and much productive teaching and writing. I was pleasantly surprised in mid-January, 1989, to receive three awards for my social justice work (both contemporary and historic): one, presented by the general commanding Grand Forks Air Force Base; another from the State Superintendent of Public Instruction. The "big" one was given by the North Dakota Martin Luther King, Jr. Commission--its 1989 award--and was presented to me by Governor George Sinner. In late spring, 1989, I was elected president of the UND chapter of the North Dakota Higher Education Association (NEA) and, in the fall of 1989, I was voted chair of the UND Honors Program Committee.

As I've said, almost to the point of redundancy, we see all of this as being very friendly. I do have several basic, concluding thoughts: I believe the number of direct physical encounters with the "alien" humanoids is not nearly as great as some people are presently saying. I see these as rare but not super-rare. I believe these encounters are specifically selective (anything except random) and, as such, necessitate among other things a good deal of careful planning and maneuvering by the humanoids. I do believe that, across the Creation, there are certain universals: e.g., principles of logic, scientific methodology, and the concerns of bureaucrats about cost and time factors. It probably took several days and a good many humanoid-hours to set up and implement the 1 1/2 hour meeting with John III and myself on March 20, 1988. I believe these are extra-terrestrial persons similar to ourselves and perhaps even related in some intriguing fashion or at least the results of a parallel evolutionary course. They are solid and physical and "all-around" tangible entities, sharply intelligent (as one would assume trained astronauts and scientists and perhaps even professors to he), and their range of emotions is comparable to ours. I categorically do not see them as angels/devils/psychic manifestations.

Their actions (motivations and effects and related factors) are quite positive. While I think it's possible that there may be some "experimentation" involved, I think this is ethically and honorably done--and to good ends. However, I believe the basic thrusts focus on helping some of us (directly) "keep on keeping on" in the business of edging humanity closer and closer to the Sun--figuratively speaking and sensitizing humanity with respect to the relatively nearby presence of other forms of intelligent life.

New as I consciously am to the UFO situation, it may seem more than a little presumptuous for me to, (paraphrasing, I believe, Koestler's Ivanov in Darkness at Noon), point out that there are some strange terrestrial birds in the trees of "ufology." Without getting shrill about it and recognizing that there can be "reasonable differences of opinion between reasonable people" (as I was reminded occasionally a long time ago and still am from time to time), I do believe that the "gloom and doom" people in UFO research are often either downright paranoid, motivated by commercial considerations, or ideologically endeavoring to resurrect a new version of the Red Scare (but I don't think they'll be able to do that).

I do very strongly believe, and now I'm drawing on cogent impression existing above and below the water levels of my mind, that the people from afar that John III and I met (and the many other humanoids who look in on our struggling and so very often courageously valiant Earthly turf and drama), have good motives, very good ones, and the unfolding results of all of this--individually if our people can keep an open mind, and certainly with respect to the long-term perspective and future of human society--are and will be deeply beneficial through the many, many ages to come.

Note by JRS (October, 1990): Recall by summer, 1990, makes it clear that the 1952 and 1941 encounters are also definite.
Further note (September, 1991): It became clear by spring, 1991, that John III has grown more than 1 1/2" taller since the March, 1988 encounter. He had stopped growing several years before that when he was about 19 years old.

(1) See John R. Salter, Jr., Jackson, Mississippi: An American Chronicle of Struggle & Schism, (Melbourne, Florida: Robert E. Krieger Publishing Company, 1987).

(2) An odd thing occurred at a Mobil station at LaCrosse. Just as we were climbing into the pickup after gassing up, a strange looking little man, bundled in a coat and with a "Greek Fisherman's" cap, rushed, in stumbling fashion, from the station office to his Volvo. His eyes blocked briefly but intently with mine. As we left the station on a little intra-LaCrosse freeway, he followed us; I slowed substantially but he declined to pass. He remained behind us until we took the 14/61 turnoff. In the aftermath of the encounters, our minds were drawn repeatedly to this seemingly insignificant episode.

(3) The short stretch of four-lane is indicated in some quite recent road atlases and maps (such as our contemporary Mobil Wisconsin road map) but not in others.

(4) See the very well done book on the Hills' experience: The Interrupted Journey by John Fuller (New York: Dial Press, 1966 and various other editions) and also a fascinating compendium of articles dealing with the "star map" shown Betty Hill by the cordial captain of the UFO: "The Zeta Reticuli Incident," (edited by Terence Dickinson, (Milwaukee: Astro-Media Corporation (publishers of Astronomy), 1976

(5) Of particular value has been Thomas E. Bullard's massive two volume work: UFO Abductions: The Measure of a Mystery (Washington, D.C., Fund for UFO Research, 1987) and Richard Hall's Uninvited Guests--A Documented History OF UFO Sightings, Alien Encounters, & Coverups (Santa Fe: Aurora Press, 1988). Both men have since provided me with some excellent insights through correspondence.

(6) At all points in our joint March 20, 1988 experience, John III and I were "hit" simultaneously by amnesia and "came out" simultaneously. But, in the aftermath that night, he was groggier somewhat longer than I and his recall took longer to commence and has proceeded at a slower pace. It appears that he was "hit harder" than I. He is a little shorter than I am and much lighter and, on the surface, would be perceived as a less formidable "problem." Why, then, was he more profoundly affected by this (in part, at least) tranquilizing process? Was it because he is lighter and younger? A possible explanation, not known to me until August, 1989 (when he told me) is that John III was carrying a .22 automatic pistol on his person that night. We were on our way to, among other places, Mississippi--where memories are long. I had my unloaded .357 revolver, holstered and in a case on the pickup seat. The cartridges were in the glove compartment. Privately, John III had decided this was a too cumbersome proposition; hence, his on-person and loaded automatic. Could the humanoids have been aware he was carrying a weapon?

(7) On the March 20, 1988 trek from a few miles south of LaCrosse to the short stretch of four-lane where the double amnesia lifted briefly, all conscious recollection was blocked. But, almost a year later, in early March, 1989, an odd composite blur--almost an abstraction--began to emerge into my consciousness in a not unpleasantly sharp and forceful fashion with an implication of significance. It is a blend of road signs/markers and its emergence is accompanied by a strong sense that "we should have gone on the other road but we could not help ourselves." After our visits to the general area in early June, 1989 and mid-August, 1989, I'm convinced of that which I instinctively felt when this first surfaced in early March, 1989: It's a composite of road signs/markers from the critical Readstown junction (14/61) where highways 14 and 61 part company and where John III and I "inexplicably" took 14 and thus went to our destiny! When this composite/blur initially surfaced, I had the strong feeling that I should write up our encounter experience and this is what I did in my mid-March, 1989 paper--which I distributed widely and which has been well received. In late May, 1989, the composite/blur arose again--accompanied by the strong feeling that I should return to the site of the experience, and this is what Josie and I indeed did. At a number of subsequent points, the emergence of this has obviously been a trigger/signal for intensive and specifically delineated UFO interest/activity on my part.

-8- On May 13, 1989, I took my 1987 Ford F-150 pickup in for its first real maintenance (16,165 miles) since its purchase two years before and, with the exception of routine oil/lube jobs, the first maintenance of any kind since before our March, 1988 trip to the Deep South. The service person at Hansen Ford (Grand Forks) suggested that, in addition to the tune-up and related matters, a full alignment job be done and I agreed. Two very interesting things surfaced: (1) Although normally the right front wheel is supposed to be higher and the left front wheel lower, my pickup had things reversed. Computer measurement indicated my right wheel was .5 and the left 1.0; (2) The left rear rim was bent. The Ford people found this inexplicable--since we drive the pickup with great care and it's virtually never off a paved road. We could recall no conventional situation where this could have occurred.

(9) The 1957 encounter, which began to surface in the context of the March, 1988 experience, took place in late May of that year (summer in Arizona!) while I was returning to my home town of Flagstaff from a quick trip to Phoenix. The experience is definite; the details still remain somewhat murky. The humanoids involved are of the same basic racial group as those in March, 1988. The business of somewhat darker eyebrows and beard, heightened immunity, much energy, at least some aversion to sunlight and something of a preference for cloudy and dampish weather, all came after the May, 1957 experience and then, slowly, faded in the mid and late 1970s into the 1980s--until after March 20, 1988, when all of this bounced back more noticeably than ever before, plus much more. As long as I can recall, I've had some psychic abilities which have been noticed, over the years, by family and friends. There was some sharpening of these after May, 1957; there was no decline in the 1970s and 1980s; and there has been an increase since March, 1988.

(10) Almost from the moment of the March, 1988 encounter, I have had no hesitation in talking openly about the experience, its ramifications, and my positive perceptions of it. I have encountered little open skepticism and, although initially there was some fear by several older persons, this appears to have passed. Almost all younger people (under 35), and virtually all Indians regardless of age, have been very open minded and quite receptive--and many older non-Indians have, too. Regional newspaper and television interviews with me have been thoughtful, nicely done, and well received. UND Honors students have asked me to teach a three semester hour credit course on UFOs in 1990-91 and I have agreed. Only two colleagues, neither of whom at all doubts the reality of my UFO experiences, have suggested that I not draw attention to the episodes in order to ensure my continued credibility on other fronts. I answered them, reiterating my response to a television interviewer a short time later: "If I had worried about what other people thought, I would never have had the experiences I've had or accomplished the things I've accomplished."

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Postby Cosmic Cowbell » Fri Sep 19, 2008 11:14 pm

Studying Intrusions from the Subtle Realm: How Can We Deepen Our Knowledge?

by John E. Mack, M.D.

I want to talk with you about what I have been finding over the past now nearly six years in studying the alien abduction phenomenon. In the context of this meeting I wish to talk particularly about the ways that we know, how we actually know anything. What is the appropriate epistemology for a particular subject? It seems to me that all science, all knowledge really, is about the discovery of patterns, and that includes patterns of meaning. But how we know, the approach that we use, depends on what the matter at hand happens to be. For the sake of clarity, I would divide the realms that we are considering here between what has been called the gross material world on the one hand and the subtle realms on the other, or, in [psychiatrist] Stanislav Grof's language, the hylotropic versus the holotropic world, or in [physicist] David Bohm's terms, the explicate or manifest order or the implicate, or hidden, order, by which he means the structures, deeper reality and meaning in the universe.

By and large science, as it is traditionally spoken of, has addressed, and its methodology has been appropriate to, the gross material, the physical or manifest world, and the approach to this world has been largely dualistic: an observer studies something from outside of or separate from that person or phenomenon. We know that some of the best scientists do not think of their work in that way, but, nevertheless, that is the standard that we often think we mean, or are told we mean, by the “scientific method.” I might add that in the focus on the material realm to the exclusion of the subtle realms, we have virtually rid the cosmos of nature, rid nature of spirit and, in a sense, denied the existence of all life other than that which is physically observable here on earth.

What do I mean by the subtle realm? As I began to think about it more deeply, I realized this is not so easy to pin down. It has to do with phenomena that seem to come from another dimension: information obtained by telepathically; clairvoyance and the whole psi realm; out-of-body experiences; near-death experiences; telekinesis and the alien abduction phenomenon itself — i.e., phenomena that may manifest in the physical world, but seem to originate in another dimension, to come from a place unseen. We are speaking of matters which are not readily observable under ordinary separatist, dualistic scientific or methodological conditions, but make their presence known more subtly through an opening of consciousness or more receptive perception.

One of the fundamental tenets of the mechanistic or dualistic approach is that consciousness is seen as an epiphenomenon of the human brain. This is one of the basic assumptions we have to challenge if we are going to be able to study the subtle realms, which not only involve consciousness itself but the relationship of consciousness to the material world. We have to consider the possibility that consciousness-spirit, self, soul-all have a life, an existence, separate from the physical body. That, for me, was once a very great leap, and I had to do my own self-exploration through work with Stanislav Grof, and a great deal of challenging of my own materialist scientific and clinical upbringing, to come to appreciate the fundamental patting of the ways required between the materialist scientific approach and one which can begin to allow us to study more profoundly these subtle realms.

The Western world view, what Tulane philosopher Michael Zimmerman calls anthropomorphic humanism, has reduced reality largely to the manifest or physical world and puts the human mind or the human being at the top of the cosmic intellectual hierarchy, eliminating not only God but virtually all spirit from the cosmos. The phenomena that really shake up that world view are those that seem to cross over from the unseen world and manifest in the physical world. That is why someone like Uri Geller may be hounded from pillar to post. That is why people like Brian O'Leary, who studies free energy, or people who study phenomena that seem to challenge the great divide we have created between the unseen realm and the physical world, are given such a hard time in this society. By the 17th century theologians and other “spiritual people,” perhaps even psychologists, were given a mandate over the subtle or unseen realm and scientists were given jurisdiction over the physical or material world. There was not a great problem as long as phenomena seemed to array themselves neatly on one side of the divide. But if a phenomenon appears to cross over, if it will not stay on one side or the other, this raises a big problem in our culture.

The matter that I am studying is just such a phenomenon. There are others — the near-death experience, materializations, telekinesis. But this is the one that I have been studying, and I think it is one that by its very nature seems to "grab" us where we live just because it crosses over and manifests in the form or language that we do understand in this culture — spaceships, abductions, implants, instruments, surgery, hybrids, babies, reproduction, etc. All that seems very physical and ought to be reducible, or at least possible to study, by the dualistic methods of traditional science. But the alien abduction phenomenon does not seem to yield its secrets to that approach. The phenomenon challenges vigorously that sacred barrier we have created between the unseen and the material world. It undermines the fundamental world view of the Western mind.

I believe we need to consider another frontier, which I am only going to be able to touch up-on briefly here, namely what makes us so attached to a particular world view. Why do we cling so tightly to a world view in general and the materialist paradigm in particular? What makes our world view so fundamental to our existence? I do not believe it is just the huge economic investments — which there are, of course — that derive from the materialist view. Indeed the whole materialist marketplace mentality of technology and science as we know it is threatened by a world view that tells us of vast realms unavailable to our direct observation. In fact a result of the world view in which we are embedded is, ultimately, the destruction of the material playground, the earth itself as a living organism.

But there is more to it. A world view organizes our sense of self. It can give us the illusion that we have some control of ourselves and of nature, that we are in charge, that we are safe. Never mind that we all must die, and perhaps die more lonely deaths, for in this particular world view we have rid the cosmos of all consciousness, of spirit, of God him or herself, and thus can hardly come to grips with the notion of death except as a bleak end to everything. There is, therefore, a terrible loneliness in this world view.

Nevertheless, the materialist world view, like any paradigm, organizes our sense of self and constructs reality. When this or any world view is challenged and shattered, it creates terror. I think that some of the resistance that I have encountered, and which, naively, I rather underestimated, derives from this threat. People have said to me "Well, didn't you know if you started saying that little green men or spirits or funny beings were taking men, women and children away and doing things to them, didn't you realize that you would run into trouble?" But, like the frog who dies in gradually heating water, I think it kind of snuck up on me. I had been doing this work for several years and had not said anything publicly until I was pretty clear about what I was doing. Perhaps you have to be a little naive to wander off into these insecure realms of knowledge or you will not go there at all. For if you know in advance the opposition you are going to encounter, you might not choose to take on the adventure of such exploration at all. If what Bertrand Russell said about resistance being proportional to the square of the importance of what you are studying is true, I must be studying something very important indeed.

Finally, in one sense I appreciate the criticism, even the attacks I have encountered, for it is, I believe, useful for all of us to know more deeply about what resistance our work is stirring up. For then if we can embrace the questions and polarities that the critiques represent, perhaps we can go to a deeper level of understanding instead of finding ourselves, as we tend to, in opposition to the people that will not take in what we are trying to communicate.

I would like to say one more word about the challenge to our world view that crossover phenomena like the alien abduction story represents. Consider the blows to the collective egocentrism of humanity starting with Copernicus and Galileo and going on to Darwin and then Freud we have had to face. Little by little we have come to know that not only were we not at the center in terms of the geography of the universe, we were not the only God-given ones among the earth's creatures, but, with Freud, we learned we were not even in charge of our own psyches. Now, finally, we are learning from the abduction phenomenon that we may not after all, be the smartest guys in the universe. In fact, we may not be in control of ourselves, even in the most basic sense. Other beings-funny looking ones at that-little creatures with big black eyes can come and do what they will with us and render us helpless. That is truly a fourth blow after what Copernicus, Darwin and Freud had already done to our collective arrogance. I must admit to being a bit perverse, actually, for, as a psychiatrist, I believe that anything that can be a big blow to the human ego can only be a good thing in terms of our collective development. Such shocks can perhaps help us to grow as a species.

Before speaking of my specific work, I want to say another word about how a world view is maintained in a given culture. For this consideration, I have suggested the idea of the "politics of ontology," which has to do with how a society organizes itself, particularly through a certain elite group, to determine for the rest of that society what is real. The politics of ontology is a kind of governance of ideas. In this culture, there may be a very small group of scientific, governmental, religious, and corporate elite that determine the prevailing boundaries of reality. The forces that surround the determination of reality is an area of politics that we have not really thought about that much. We think about the politics of economics, of the governing of communities and the creation of a social order, but not much about how we are governed with respect to what we are supposed to think is real.

An interesting thing is happening, however, in this culture, as Michael Zimmerman has pointed out. With so much information available through the media, computer networks, and extensive public education, everybody is getting kind of smart. People know their own experiences and when what they have undergone does not fit the prevailing mechanistic world view. Whatever polling methods you may use it is apparent that large percentages of people seem to know there is an unseen world or hidden dimensions of reality. They may not call it that, but they know that the subtle realms exist. They know their own experiences and trust them. They are not fooled by NBC or the New York Times or Time or other official arbiters of the truth and reality. We have a kind of samizdat going on here, an underground of popular knowledge about the world and the universe. But this universe is not the one we are being officially told about. It is really going to be interesting to see when the official mainstream, the small percentage of elites that determine what we are supposed to think is real, wake up to the fact that the consensus view of reality is gone. We are, I think, getting near that moment.

In 1974 Margaret Mead wrote in Redbook magazine, “People still ask each other, 'Do you believe in UFOs?' I think this is a silly question, born of confusion. Belief has to do with matters of faith. It has nothing to do with the kind of knowledge that is based on scientific inquiry... When we want to understand something strange, something previously unknown, we have to begin with an entirely different set of questions. What is it? How does it work? Are there recurrent regularities?” (Mead, 1974). I resonate with that, because I am always being accused of being a “believer,” some-body who has come and gone over the edge from rationality to belief. My work has nothing to do with belief. It has to do with what I do as a clinician.

I began to see people in 1990 who seemed of sound mind but were describing experiences which simply did not fit into any kind of psychiatric category of which I could conceive. Child abuse, psychosis, neurosis, organic brain disease, fantasy-prone personality, you know the litany here. No diagnostic category came close to explaining what I was seeing. I often say this to audiences; there is not a single abduction case which does not fulfill my rather simple criteria for an authentic case, i.e., the person reports, with or without hypnosis or a simple relaxation exercise, observing some sort of humanoid beings, being taken against their wills into some kind of enclosure, and subjected to traumatic and sometimes enlightening procedures. There are now thousands of cases described in the literature that fulfill these criteria. These patterns are clear, down to quite specific details. Not one case has been shown to have a cause other than what the person says happened. No case, for example, has revealed that behind the reported experience is some kind of strange depression, or child abuse, or something else. Clinicians have made intense efforts to find this “something else,” because the motivation is very strong to shoot this phenomenon down, to find another cause, what I call the “anything but syndrome”— anything but that we are being visited by some unusual intelligence that is entering our world.

The methodological issues are important. On what basis do I ask that these experiences be taken seriously? In some ways, it is easier for a psychological clinician, like a psychiatrist, to use these methods because, in a sense, that is the way we always work. We are not basically people who get anywheres by standing back from other people and observing them as specimens. The way we need always to work, to be helpful to our patients, is by entering into their worlds through a kind of intuitive use of our total self-intellect, inspiration, and intuition. We use the total psyche, our total consciousness. In effect, trained consciousness has been our instrument of knowing from the beginning of the discipline when we were doing it right and not trying to act like physicists or pharmacologists. Our true roots as psychological professionals come from the use of consciousness, including non-ordinary states. We learn by methods that are participatory and non-dualistic. This is a "relational" way of knowing.

It is easy for people who use a dualistic approach to say, "You're contaminating the field. You're influencing, you're leading," when, in fact, you are joining the other person in bringing forth experiences. But you cannot get away from the fact that in any exploration of human experience two consciousnesses, two energy fields, are interacting or connecting and that what emerges is out of that participation, out of the relationship. Then, after that, you look at what you have found and apply rational judgment in analyzing the material. You ask, was this person trying to please? Was this authentic? What was the emotional intensity that came with the communications? Was this emotion appropriate to what the person was talking about? These are the yardsticks that psychological clinicians apply in assessing what a patient or client is reporting. It has nothing to do with belief. In my abduction cases, with few exceptions, I have felt people were describing as best they could what had occurred. In fact, they doubt as much as I do what they have undergone. They tend to come to me saying, "Can you make this go away?" or will report waking experiences as dreams if they occurred at night. They want the experiences to be found to be a product of their psyches, not to be "real." In case after case I have seen the lips quiver or tears come down the cheeks when the person realizes that he was not asleep and that what occurred was not a dream. I might then say, “Yes, I'm sorry, but I know many people who have had experiences like yours.” One woman who came to me a few days ago, and was eager to believe her experiences were dreams, said to me sobbing "But if it's real, then it can happen again. And I can't stop it and you can't stop it." These individuals prefer that this be a clinical phenomenon that will go away, or that I might cure it by giving them a pill, or talking them out of it or interpreting it in some dynamic sense, which of course is what many of my colleagues want to do as well.

So the method used here is to employ consciousness, my total self, my whole background or being, to be with a person, to create a safe environment in which the individual can share and bring forth that which is the most sensitive, most troubling, most confusing, most extraordinary kind of experiences that are imaginable, at least in the world view of this culture. I have worked intensively now with over a hundred people and done a modified hypnosis or relaxation exercise in which the person closes their eyes and just "goes inside" in about seventy cases. Contrary to what is said about hypnosis bringing distortions of memory in such cases, I often trust what comes out in the relaxation sessions more than in face-to-face interviews because the feelings are so intense and less acceptable. The person is able to bring forth more ignoble, more humiliating experiences, than in conscious, more social, kinds of interaction. When the individuals tell what they have consciously recalled, they tend to organize their thoughts in a way that is more palatable and appropriate to their positive self regard and world views.

The basic phenomena associated with abductions seem to be consistent worldwide. At the same time, paradoxes abound, and it is difficult to make statements that apply in all cases. For example, I do not believe that in every abduction case the physical body is taken. Yet there are cases in which the person is witnessed to be not there. A child, for example, may go into the mother's room at night and the mother is gone, and the mother reports an abduction experience that occurred at that time. But there are also cases where the person reports experiencing an abduction and other people have observed seeing the person still in place. But the basic phenomena: seeing a beam of light; the intrusion of humanoid beings into the person's life; the experience of being paralyzed and taken through walls into some kind of enclosure and subjected to a variety of procedures with the creation of a “hybrid” species; the conveying of powerful information about threats to the planet such as nuclear war and vast ecological change; the evidences of an expansion of consciousness that occurs for the people that undergo these experiences, for people that work with them and for those who will attend to what this appears to be about—these all seem to be quite consistent findings. Furthermore, the experiences seem also to be consistent worldwide. My colleague, Dominique Callimanopulos, and I have traveled to South Africa, to Brazil, and a number of countries in Europe. We are also getting reports from all over the world and learning that the basic phenomenon appears to have a consistent core. I have worked with a South African medicine man, Credo Mutwa, a Zulu leader now 74, who had a classic abduction experience when he was 38. This occurred during his training as a shaman. Mr. Mutwa was in the bush when suddenly he found himself in an enclosure surrounded by humanoid beings with large black eyes. He was terrified, and underwent the range of traumatic, educational and transformational experiences described above. He believes the "mandindas," as his people call these beings, are trying to teach us about the threat to the earth that our mindless destructive actions are causing.

I would like to turn now to what appears to be the basic pattern and meaning of the abduction phenomenon. First, abductees are being told over and over that this phenomenon is occurring in the context of the threat to the earth as a living system, a response to the ecological devastation that our particular species has undertaken. Credo Mutwa told us that, according to African mythology, the earth is one of what his people call “mother planets.” There are twenty-five mother planets in the cosmos, he said, and we may be destroying life on one of them. As one of the abductees I have worked with put it, the phenomenon is an effort to bring about “a cosmic correction”. For the earth, evidently, has a place in the larger fabric of meaning and significance in the cosmos, and this one species cannot be allowed to destroy it for its own exploitative purposes.

Second, this other intelligence appears to function as a kind of intermediary between the Source of creation and us, emissaries perhaps, of that correction. This does not mean that every kind of alien being is involved in that mission. But the beings are often perceived in this way.

Third, a message is coming through to us-I will shortly provide some clinical material related to this-that we have lost connection with what some aliens, humans who have had these experiences, call Source, or Home, the divine core of creativity, the light-different traditions have varying ways of talking about this realm. We are being told that we have grown too far from that Source and have lost our connection with it.

Fourth, these encounters are changing the consciousness of the people that are undergoing them, and, I believe, influencing consciousness on the planet as the power and implications of the abduction phenomenon are becoming more widely recognized. The phenomenon seems to hold the potential of reconnecting us with our divine Source.

Fifth, the hybrid “program,” which can be deeply traumatic for mothers and fathers (particularly when they are brought back to see and hold these odd children especially as they cannot know when they will be able to see these creatures again), seems to be a kind of awkward insurance policy for the next step of evolution. We do not, of course, know in what reality these hybrids exist. It could be an intermediate realm between the material world and the unseen world. A number of abductees have been told that the hybrids represent a step in evolution that is being created for the time when we have destroyed ourselves so that some aspect of our genetic structure or nature can be preserved.

Finally, the human-alien relationship, which is not simply good or bad, is, nevertheless, reciprocal. We do not know from what dimension or Source the whole connection is being orchestrated. Perhaps it serves them and us. It may emanate from another dimension, inviting us to explore its mysteries.

Now I will tell you about the case of [name] who wishes to be called Ifyani. She is a 34-year-old mother of three children. Her oldest son was killed in an automobile accident several months ago, and her abduction encounters have been important in enabling her to integrate that terrible loss and to put it in a larger cosmic perspective. Ifyani has had a wide range of abduction experience, from being "used" for the breeding project to having a dual identity, seeming to serve the aliens, identify with them and do their work while at the same time experiencing the trauma of her encounters. She has a complex religious background. She is a native of a Central American country, where she experienced both African-derived religious influences and while also being raised as a Christian. We have been working toward enabling her to overcome the victimization aspect of her abduction experiences. Ifyani has undergone profound personal growth in the context of her encounters.

The session from which I will quote occurred on July 31, 1995. Ifyani had been having ongoing encounters with the beings during the days before that and was struggling to change these encounters into more reciprocal exchanges. She sensed that the beings were struggling to connect with her at a soul level, even to take her soul, or to connect with her, body and soul. She found that by emanating love towards them, the demonic or dark dimension of their being was affected. They seemed to pull back from the love she sent them, and, at the same time, to thrive from it. Thus, a kind of loving connection seemed to grow out of that struggle. This was not a regression but a regular interview.

Ifyani, referring to love, says,

"I think it's what started everything, and I think everything has that love in it. I think it's a real power. I think it's the most powerful thing in the whole universe and every other universe that we know. I think it's what everything is made of."

She does not seem to be speaking of what she had learned through reading or formal education. Ifyani continued,

"I look at love as like an umbilical cord that connects my soul to the main major Source where all this love comes from. That's how I look at love. It's my cord. It's my umbilical cord. It's my extension cord."

Speaking of the aliens, she says,

"They seem very frail. I think they're after our love and our experience, and I think they envy us, and I think they're jealous of us. I think that maybe if they try to create these half-and-half babies or whatever, I think maybe that's so they can use those bodies for themselves, trying to somehow, if they get enough human qualities in that body, they can use that body for themselves and then try to get nurturing from the mothers or from someone else."

I hear this in a number of cases, i.e. that the alien beings envy our dense, physical embodiment and seem to treasure our sexuality, our nurturance, our intense physicality. This is something that they want from us, while they, in turn, crack our barriers, breaking down the egoism that distances us from our Source.

In Ifyani's words,

"They're like starving children who are trying to sneak in with the other kids, the other babies who are being breast fed. I think that they remember what this felt like. They know what it feels like, and I think they want to go back to that, but for some reason, I don't know why, they can't connect to the Source the way we can, and I think they have to go through us to connect to the Source."

This is paradoxical, because in another sense they seem to function like emissaries from Source. But what I think she means here is that the beings do not have the kind of deep, rich physical, emotional and spiritual experience of connection with Source for which we long. She continues,

"They have to actually be in me and for me to give up my body or whatever, my soul willingly, and have them come in. I think that that's the only way that they can even try to connect with the Source. To me, it's like they're trying to use tricks and, I don't know, I don't know why. I'll tell you one thing. I don't consider them evil in the way that, you know, we look at evil. I don't say that they're bad or anything like that. I think that they're just, that that's the way they are. I do believe we all came from the same place. I believe if we look back on religion and myths and legends, I think all the answers are there. But we've gotten to the point here where we consider ourselves so technologically advanced and so educated and just, you know, just up there, that we, we don't even think it's necessary to remember where we came from. We've been educated fools. I think that religion has been made into a tool that keeps us blind or that keeps us from remembering where we came from. I think Source's purpose for letting that happen [that is, the beings coming and doing this, encountering us this way], and this is just totally weird, but I think Source's purpose was to let us remember things, to bring back memory to us of Source to empower ourselves. I mean, the power has always been in there. It's always been there. It's not like Source is giving you this power now. It's always been there. It's self-realization. It's to open up your consciousness more. I think it's almost like a baby going from crawling to walking and realizing that I am. That's what I think Source's reason for, was for this. I am...

I think there's so much more to this body. I think even our DNA, we don't even know a lot about our DNA. I think we can restructure our DNA. I think we can become what the Bible said, that in the last days people will have new bodies, indestructible bodies. They will be new beings, and I think it's all inside of us. It's all here, this package, and I think the mind is the key. I think our minds will expand and open, and I think that whole percentage of the brain that we don't even use, we're gonna remember how to use it, and I think we will free ourselves because I don't think humans are free...

We look at everything as good and bad and 'Oh, how can God let this happen?' We look at things and think, 'Oh, my God, how horrible, how terrible,' but that's because we're looking at it through these eyes. We're not looking at the whole picture. I don't think there's ever an end to anything or a real beginning to anything. I think everything just is... I think every action you look at, even sending a little kid to school for the first time, just everything we do just mimics the way Source does things. If you look at patterns in life, patterns are repeated always, over and over and over in our actions, in the way we raise our children and the way government treats us. Just everything mimics over and over and over. Where is that pattern coming from? You know, we come here with those patterns. I think that's from the main source. I guess in a way we're like a small replica of what goes on everywhere else. And I think we come here like a baby Source and we come here and we mature...

We're getting ready to graduate... A lot of us are starting to wake up and remember and realize, and I think graduation time is coming up... The earth has gone through a lot. It's gone through having to support a whole kindergarten of kids mauling it and spray painting it, crayoning it. I think this class is gonna graduate and I think the earth will have to go through a whole cleansing process, a whole cleansing period, and I think a whole new set of little Sources will come through, and I think this has happened before. I think it's gonna continue happening. I think it's basically what this is all about...

Poison in the water. Poison in the water. I keep having all these visions and dreams about the water being poisoned, the air being poisoned, plus people poison it just by being here. The way in our mentality, the way it is now. We give off almost like negative energy, and we're poisoning the planet just with that energy because I think our Mother Earth, to me it's like a living organism. It's a living organism and we're giving off these repelling energies, and it's killing it. It's killing it. It affects the animals. It affects the insects. It affects everything. Everything-all of it, the trees and everything. If we're giving off this, this negative energy all the time, after a while the earth looks at us as something like a harmful bacteria and it will repel us. It will fight back. I think Mother Earth is actually fighting back. These blue baldies [that's what she calls the alien beings]-I won't say they own this earth. This is their home. I think this is where they belonged first. They're the keepers, the true keepers of this earth... Whether they mean to or not, they're here to help us with this growth period, to help us to mature."

This, I would remind you, is a person who has been highly traumatized by her experiences, but with the trauma, or perhaps as an outgrowth of it, she has demonstrated personal growth and knowledge.

I would say we're getting to a point where we're all, you know, waking up, but I think these blue baldies-Mother Earth belongs to them and I think they were put in charge of Mother Earth and I think they're the ones that are going to clean it up. It seems to me, it seems that now that I'm becoming more conscious of things, it seems like there's an actual chemical reaction that's happening in the back of my brain, like something that's actually changing.

In conclusion, I would begin by paraphrasing what the American Catholic bishops said at the time in the early 1980s when they took a policy stand against nuclear deterrence: We could destroy God's work. Also, the Dalai Lama, when a group of researchers met with him around the alien abduction phenomenon in 1992, suggested that, “These beings, these creatures, they are very upset. We are destroying their physical and spiritual homes.” They have no choice, he added, but to become physical and come back and try to stop us.

Next, the alien abduction phenomenon appears to be a kind of spiritual outreach program from the cosmos for the spiritually impaired.

Third, we and the beings, evidently, come from a common Source and that love is at the core of the cosmos as its essential creative power.

Fourth, to know in the domain of our relationship to the subtle realm requires, paradoxically (and this phenomenon is filled with paradox), an attitude of not knowing, what the Buddhists call empty mind. Knowledge here seems to come like the creation of the universe itself. As the universe emerged from nothing, so knowledge in matters such as this seems to emerge from radical not knowing. The new paradigm we have heard so much about has to do, I believe, with a different notion of our relationship to reality, one that is co-creative and evolutionary, as if we were co-creating with nature and with God.

Fifth, and finally, our job at this time, for all of us, appears to be to overcome the dualism, the separateness, that has characterized not only our world view but our scientific approaches to all the realms that have been studied up to this point. The task now is to integrate the polarities at every level. At the intrapsychic level this means the darkness within us, as well as our loving spiritual selves. At the interpersonal level we have to overcome the polarized individual and collective human relationships that fmd expression, for example, in “ethnic cleansing,” an instance of extreme polarization within the human community, what Erik Erikson called "pseudo-speciation," feeling and behaving as if we were not even a single species.

Finally, we need to transcend the separateness that disconnects us from nature If we could transcend this division, we might then explore, enjoy, and travel ecstatically, lovingly, materially and non-materially, among the unique particularities of our own being, our own natures within the cosmos, experiencing at the same time an essential unity and sacredness of creation. That possibility is, I think, what this extraordinary phenomenon has to teach us.


Mead, Margaret (1974) “UFOs-Visitors from Outer Space?”Redbook, September 1974

© 1996 John E. Mack, M.D.
Developed from a talk given at the International Association for New Science Conference, Fort Collins, Colorado, September 16, 1995; Mack adapted this presentation into its current form on or about October 23, 1995.
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Postby Cosmic Cowbell » Sat Jan 31, 2009 12:40 am

"I say then there were two invisible internal principals opened and discovered to us, which may be called Mundi Ideales, being two spiritual worlds, extending and penetrating throughout this whole visible creation...Now these two Principal worlds, seemed very much different from one another, as having contrary qualities and operations, by which they work on this visible creations...some[creatures in them being] poysonful and noxious, others -wholsom and harmless"

The Wisdom of John Pordage

From the Introduction by Arthur Versluis

This little book by John Pordage is the most lucid and comprehensive work on Christian mysticism I have ever read. It is remarkable, given the clarity and profundity of this work, that it has not been available or even noted by scholars since its original publication in 1683, two years after Pordage’s death. But undeserved obscurity has been the fate of all Podage’s works, the English originals of which have all been lost save what you hold in your hands, originally published under the title Mystica Theologica. Pordage’s work is so extraordinary because it offers his direct spiritual experience in a rigorously organized, logical structure. If you think that the word “mysticism” means wooly-minded self-indulgence, prepare to be surprised. Here, Pordage offers nothing less than initiation into the deepest mysteries of Christian spirituality.

Who was John Pordage? The son of a London merchant, Pordage was born in 1607, and entered Pembroke College, Oxford, in 1623. It is possible that he obtained a diploma of a doctor of medicine at Oxford in 1640, but some scholars doubt this (Hutin 82). Certainly it is true in any case that he was not destined to practice medicine, but to be an exemplar of homo religiosus. For whatever his other schooling, Pordage entered into the order of the Anglican Church and was made vicar of the church of St Lawrence’s at Reading in 1644. Soon, under the auspices of Elias Ashmole, he was made rector of the rather wealthy parish at Bradfield, a position he held until 1654.

At Bradfield, Pordage’s wife, Mary Freeman, an especially pious and spiritual woman whom he married for that reason, began to have visionary experiences. Soon Pordage himself was experiencing remarkable phenomena, including angelic apparitions, and these were witnessed too by others in a small group of theosophers who gathered around Pordage and his wife in a prayer group. This group was eventually to include men like Thomas Bromley and Edmund Brice—both of whom were educated at Oxford and themselves wrote theosophic treatises—and women like Anne Bathurst and Mrs Joanna Oxenbridge, both women of high society who left records of their spiritual journeys with the Pordages.

Pordage’s visionary experiences began in August of 1649. This opening of the worlds was the revelation to Pordage and his family of the good and evil invisible realms that inform this visible world of ours. Pordage and his family saw firsthand the Mundi Ideales, or invisible realms, one full of love, the other of wrath. The wrathful realm was evidently quite unpleasant: Pordage and his family, he wrote, witnessed not only the presence of evil hierarchies—in monstrous theriomorphic forms, all “misshapen,” with cat’s ears and cloven feet and fiery eyes—but their physical manifestations in sulphuric foul odors and even the imprint of their images on the windows, ceiling, and chimney of the house. He and his wife, being unable to remove these various images from the chimney using wet cloths, resorted to smashing them off with hammers. But Pordage wrote that he also passed through the flames and entered into paradise, which he called Mundus Luminosus, or the light world. Here there were “multitudes almost innumerable, of pure Angelical spirits, in figurative bodies, which were clear as the morning-star, and transparent as Christal.” Here they saw the rare beauty of these beings, felt the inexpressible joys and harmonies of heaven, smelled delightful heavenly scents, and heard celestial music. The “tongue can hardly express these Odours of Paradise,” and these glorious visions and sounds, Pordage wrote.

About this time, Pordage was tried before the local Anglican commission as an heretical minister of the faith. Against him were arrayed a whole range of charges, including provocative statements, and immoral conduct. Pordage was able to defend himself well against all these charges: the supposedly provocative or heretical statements imputed to him he proved to have been taken out of context and misinterpreted; the charge that he had kept a mistress in London he demonstrated to be quite false. Thus he was able to exonerate himself from the accusations, and he was allowed to continue as a minister from 1649 to 1654. In the same period, Pordage’s small group grew to include such people as Thomas Bromley and Edmund Brice. But in 1654, Pordage was tried again on the same charges, and despite his eloquent rebuttal, he was in fact removed from his ministerial position at Bradfield. One of the chief accusations against Pordage was “that he hath very frequent and familiar converse with Angels.” that when he was attacked by a dragon in his home, “his Angel stood by him and upheld him.” Further, “That Mrs Pordage and Mrs Flavel had their Angels standing by them also, Mrs Pordage singing sweetly, keeping time on her breast, and that his children saw the spirits coming into the house, and said, look there, Father. . . And the whole roof of the house was full of Spirits (Innocencie, 14-15).”

Some sense of the atmosphere in which Pordage‘s second trial took place can be gathered from his account of the judge’s rancor. The judge evidently was prejudiced against Pordage from the beginning, growling to Pordage that he was worse than a felon, for all he knew, and that he had no objection to trying Pordage again on the same charges on which he had earlier been acquitted. Pordage did have legitimate reason to be upset, for even the very act under which Pordage was being tried was itself not instituted until a full year after those things with which he was charged had been reputed to take place! In such an atmosphere, one is hardly surprised to find Pordage ousted from his pastorate, but his peroration is moving. He writes:

"And now ye Ministers of Berks, my persecutors, tell me, what wrong or injury have I done you; have I lusted to preach in any of your Pulpits? Have I privately gone from parish to parish, or from house to house to get followers, or make proselites of your hearers? Have I publicly or privately railed against you or your Doctrines? Have I not lived privately in my own place, onely holding forth that strict, dying, resigning life, as the way to life eternal[?] Why then am I persecuted with so much fury, and violence, as though I were not worthy to live amongst you? The Lord judge betwixt you and me, and give you to consider and repent of what you have done." (Innocencie, 79)

But although he was deprived of his livelihood, and although Pordage found himself in extremely difficult circumstances for the remainder of his life, these outward difficulties only served to intensify his, and his group’s, convictions and inward life. Of course, their persecution did mean that for some years they lived spiritually in the “outer darkness” surrounded by wrath, suffering something akin to what St John of the Cross called the “dark night of the soul.” But eventually they were restored to angelic communications and to the spiritual light. Yet until his death, Pordage and his small group kept themselves out of public view and therefore censure.

Even when the Restoration took place under Charles II in 1660, and suspended clergymen were allowed to return to their positions, Pordage did not take this step, but remained quietly with his group of fellow theosophers. As a leader of a small, private, non-Anglican religious group, however, Pordage was constrained to meet with them and to live discreetly, for by 1664 such non-conformist meetings were again outlawed, and their leaders potentially at least subjected to fines and imprisonment. Worse, 1665 and 1666 saw the advent of the Great Plague and the great London fire, seen by many as signs of the Apocalypse (fears intensified by the associations of the number 1666 with the number of the Beast in Revelation). Many people fled London, and Pordage and his group had to return to Bradfield to live, only returning to London in 1668, the year Mrs. Pordage died.

This time of outer difficulty also saw the most important affiliation of Pordage’s life, in some respects: that between Pordage and Mrs Jane Leade, who first felt called to join his group in 1663. She remained a member of his group, and in fact assumed leadership, especially after April, 1670, when, after her husband’s death, she experienced a vision of the Holy Virgin Sophia, who called her to a virginal life (Fountain I.17). From this point on, she was to write a large number of extraordinary visionary treatises, and to become a central theosophical figure of her era. In 1674, she moved into Pordage’s own house, at his request, so that together they could form a more powerful spiritual union.

During this time—from the early 1670’s until his death in 1681— Pordage wrote most of his elaborate, lucid, and concisely expressed metaphysical treatises that belong to the tradition of the German theosopher Jacob Böhme (1575-1624). But Pordage only occasionally refers to Böhme directly, for all these treatises were based wholly and directly on his own spiritual experience, exemplary of which is the treatise Sophia, which consists in twenty-two daily journal entries dated from 21 June to 10 July, and which contains biographical data from the year 1675. Pordage’s magnum opus, Göttliche und Wahre Metaphysica, [Holy and True Metaphysics] was also written during this time, probably concluded in the year of his death, 1681. But none of these works were published during his lifetime and, even more surprisingly, only two were published in English after his death. Although all his works had a wide private circulation, and were extremely influential in both England and the Continent, it remains a strange fact that Pordage’s primary works—albeit written in English—were published only in German, and have been accessible only in that language to the present day.

The Wisdom of John Pordage consists in a modern version of the two works published in English: A Treatise of Eternal Nature with Her Seven Essential Forms (1681) and Theologia Mystica, or the Mystic Divinitie of the Aeternal Invisibles, viz, the Archetypous Globe (1683). The Treatise of Eternal Nature offers a general introduction to the concept of Eternal Nature, the “first original and true ground of all created beings and so of all true knowledge (Eternal Nature, preface).” Outward, physical nature, then, has its origin in an archetypal, pure realm of “Eternal Nature” similar to the Platonic realm of Ideas or Forms. Thus Divine Nature is “hid in Nature, as a Jewel in a Cabinet;” it is manifested in the Seven Essential Forms, and has its origin in the Abyssal Nothing, which is the “ground of all Essences, and yet no Essence to be seen in it,” the “fruitful Mother of all Things.” In Pordage’s treatise, then, we see a visionary hierarchy or ascent from the natural world to the archetypal, to the Seven Essential Forms (the qualities informing existence), to the Abyssal Nothing of God Himself.

When we look at Pordage’s and Bromley’s works, as indeed at the whole of English theosophic literature, it becomes quite clear that these authors are referring to a single theosophic initiatic process that entails the opening of inner vision and access to what Pordage calls in Sophia a “magical earth,” what Bromley describes as when “our internal Eye is more unlocked, to behold the paradisical World, with those luminous Objects and Inhabitants that are in it.” The “magical earth” seen in spiritual vision is precisely what Henry Corbin called a mundus imaginalis, or imaginal realm: it represents an intermediate state between the duality of earthly life and the inexpressible unitive realization of total transcendence.

This visionary realm belongs neither to the realm of the subjective (fantasy) nor to the objective (scientific observer), but rather represents a realm in which subject and object reflect one another and ultimately are indivisible from one another. In Pordage’s account, for instance, the initiate (the subject) perceives the divine object (if we may so put it) as joyous presence—as delight-filled taste, touch, smell, and so forth. Boundaries between self and other are dissolving, not only here, in the visionary realm, but also in the theosophic initiatic circle as well. Each individual is able to perceive the joys and sorrows of the others even at a distance because habitual divisions into self and other are being transcended.

Thus it would be totally mistaken to attempt to place a great divide between Pordage’s visionary gnosis and the via negativa. I have elsewhere argued that via positiva gnosis both leads into and manifests via negativa gnosis; that spiritual symbolism both reveals and reflects sheer transcendence. Here we have a case in point. Pordage in particular explicitly recognized the crucial importance of the Böhmean ungrund, or not-ground, the sheer transcendence that is the godhead, prior to all being. This is the “Abyss” of the “Abyssal Globe” that Pordage’s inner Eye perceives at the opening of its visionary experience; it is the essential nature of paradise itself. Pordage’s spiritual vision here is very much akin to what we find in Vajrayana Buddhism, particularly in the Nyingma tradition, where it is not at all uncommon for someone who is spiritually realized to have visionary experiences as part of their initiatic path. These visionary experiences are not seen in the tradition as somehow opposed to or fundamentally different from the fundamental nature of existence as sunyata, or emptiness, but rather as visionary revelations of that fundamental nature expressing itself in revelatory form. It is important to observe that the word “initiation” has the meaning of “to begin,” and this is very much implied throughout these accounts of theosophic initiation. Initiation in a theosophic context is most definitely a continuing process, and even what we see here as an end—catachresis—is only the beginning of another stage, the living out of the Christic life. For Pordage, this life was lived largely in reclusion, rather in the manner of a Sufi shaikh and disciples. Indeed, much of the theosophic initiatic tradition reminds us of Sufism, not least the visionary recitals of Pordage’s major works, Göttliche und Wahre Metaphysica, Vier Tractätlein, and Sophia. Pordage left behind a vast corpus of works that, taken as a whole, very much suggest he was like an explorer who had entered into a new terrain and had set out to map it for all who would follow after him into it.

Taken as a whole and in the context of such works as Henry Corbin’s Spiritual Body, Celestial Earth, the writings of Pordage, and his fellow theosophers do indeed suggest that there is a terra lucida to which we may have access through spiritual vision. While scientists sought to explore and manipulate the outer world during the eighteenth through the twentieth centuries, Western society was entirely neglecting the inner realms; it abdicated our spiritual calling in favor of tekhné, our increasing ability to control the physical realm. All the while, there remains an entire inner terrain that calls out for exploration, and whose exploration is synonymous with inner fulfillment. Yet we must keep in mind that this inner exploration can only take place at a price—that of our own ignorance, oftentimes the most painful of prices. This journey is not merely that of a “neutral” and manipulative observer, but rather the transmutation of the observer into that which is observed. To enter the terra lucida, we must give up our ordinary habitual selves and be willing to undertake the most fundamental adventure of all, that of our own transfiguration.

For it is self-evident that the initiatic journey Pordage outlines is nothing less than a radical, total transformation of the individual. It is not that the visionary realms which the soul traverses are its own creation—that would be mere solipsism—but rather that the soul must leave behind everything it holds dear, indeed, everything, including its concepts of itself, in order to enter into a realm where it gradually realizes its own joyous unity with all that transcends it. Held onto as a visionary event by a discrete self, even visionary experience can become an impediment. In its very nature, then, this is a path that is closed to all who refuse the radical openness it requires as a sine qua non. No wonder that it has remained so little known in the Christian world! Indeed, what you are now reading is the only specific discussion of this Christian initiatic path in print.
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Postby zhivkov » Sat Jan 31, 2009 1:10 am

Fascinating as always CC-thanks so much for the information in this thread! Had to go through and read new info-really great -I had never heard of Pordage before-but just recently read something by Corbin and had seen some things printed about the 'imaginal' realm of the Sufi tradition-very glad I caught this new article-thanks again!
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John E Mack - Experiencers: interesting doc

Postby NaturalMystik » Sat Jan 31, 2009 2:40 am

An interesting doc worth watching about the alien abduction phenomena:

Dr. John Mack appears only briefly in the film, his death having occurred soon after production began. More substantial are visits to the New England countryside with experiencers, including one couple who videotaped an unidentified flying object hovering above a lake a few hours before they were abducted from their lakeside cottage. Also in the film is New York artist and alien encounter investigator Budd Hopkins. Although this documentary is similar to other documentaries commonly seen on American cable television, it has a more leisurely pace and gives more time for the experiencers to explain themselves than is commonly granted in US productions. One of the best interviews in the program is not with an experiencer at all, but rather with the husband of an experiencer, who matter-of-factly explains how his family has come to terms with his wife's experiences

John E Mack - Experiencers - Google Video Link
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Postby Cosmic Cowbell » Sat Jan 31, 2009 11:35 am

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Postby Cosmic Cowbell » Fri Mar 13, 2009 10:54 pm

Following up on Pordage, I ordered Verslius's 'The Wisdom of John Pordage' hoping to find other examples of what could be interpreted as contact with "others". A good third of the book is the intro by Versluis, some of which was posted earlier in this thread. Because the book is comprised of two short essay's by Pordage rather than the twenty year diary kept by Jane Leade, the pickings were slim. However, a couple of passages did stand out.

Pordage writes:

"Those images and figures which the opening of the eye manifest are not shadows and empty representations, but real and substantial ones; they are not figures of heavenly things but the heavenly things themselves.

"The simplified spirits are numberless and distinct from one another, like stars in the firmament. They are all alike and co-equal; they are all of the same essence and all equally eternal, and appear like bright sparks or eyes"

Going a little deeper...

"How were they generated by God? This, I confess, is a great mystery, but we can say that these simplified spirits did from all eternity exist ideally in the eye of eternity, and that these ideas were actually manifested on all worlds, for they are ideas conceived in the divine mind, which then desired they come into being"

"Their speaking to one another is thought; whatever they but think is answered immediately; their thoughts are all known to one another and forthwith answered"

"Gods Wisdom is a bright ray or glance issuing from the eye of eternity

Trying to bring this altogether:

UFO-alien abduction sleuth spots Christian 'smoking gun'

Roger Marsh
March 12, 11:50 PM

“If this is real. This is huge.”

An agnostic UFO researcher worked the incoming reports and followed up with witnesses in the field. Curiosity fed his hook-up with the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) and set-up up as Florida state section director in Brevard County. The beat was fielding a regular flow of incoming reports of unidentified flying objects - civilian reports of flying saucers and related anomalies. Monthly meetings boosted the witness count. Some of those witnesses were reporting alien abduction – a challenge working in a “nuts and bolts” scientific organization – but he soon realized that it’s all part of the same phenomena.

The investigator is Joe Jordan. His story is multi-layered and takes us down a rough and questionable road to get to the truth – a turn to Christianity – and an awakening in him of a simple, historical and rather frightening truth about UFOs and aliens. And no one's talking about it on CNN. The “real” in “if this is real,” is that an emerging and growing body of alien abduction experiencers seems to have not only discovered a way of ending a single abduction scenario – but a method of halting the abduction process completely – by invoking the name of Jesus Christ. Stories of unidentified flying objects, flying saucers, aliens and alien abduction, have been popping up throughout Man’s history – based on the earliest writings and art that have survived from many different cultures and artifacts found over the centuries. Today’s 21st century communication methods and cheap digital photography may make it appear that the current daily reports globally are a hot new topic.

“The contactees and abductees claim they were in contact with the so called beings behind the sightings,” Jordan said. “I turned to MUFON, and said, ‘Guys, we’ve been chasing our tails with sighting reports. If we’re going to try and get to the actual events going on and the purpose of what’s going on, we have to get to the source itself. And if these people are getting close, these are the people we need to get in touch with.’”

“We need to invest in alien abduction,” he said.

CE-4 is formed

By early 1995, Jordan had founded CE4 – a private group that studies alien abduction and they began compiling a database from their research. The experiences along the way changed Jordan. “We started working with experiencers,” he said, “seeing the same similarities. I came in as an agnostic. I was practicing new age stuff myself. I was converting Christians around me into the new age and metaphysical side. But I got challenged.” Since the majority of alien abductees Jordan was interviewing were women, he felt that he needed to bring a woman on board CE4 to make those giving up testimony feel more comfortable – and a woman he knew stepped in to help. The woman was Christian, and after working with Jordan for a time, pulled him aside. “She said, ‘If you’re going to work in this realm, you have to have some protection.’ So I pulled out my crystals. And she said, ‘I’m talking about real protection,’ and this is when things started to change. She handed me a Bible.

“I pushed it away and said that this had nothing to do with what we’re dealing with. But she showed me the protection the Bible offered.” Jordan ended up taking her up on that offer and read the Bible – and soon became a Christian himself. “But at the same time,” he said, “I’m a UFO investigator. I have this want to know as much about something as possible. Now as a Christian, I want to know more.” The Christianity learning curve for Jordan wasn’t moving along fast enough and he opted to step into a video course as part of a friend’s Bible study group – two or three hours of video nightly for two weeks over a Christmas holiday.

“It was very intense,” he said of the experience. “I couldn’t have learned all of this in 50 years of Sunday school.”

Jordan has a vision

But during one of the video screenings – Jordan had a vision as he sat watching the media. The vision was an alien gray face right in front of his face. “I watched that face morph,” he said, “into a horrific thing. I said, 'this is not what it seems to be. This is something we should not be working with." Jordan put his investigations aside. But a couple of weeks went by, and he had an inspiration – “you’re not done with this.” “I kept getting this – ‘you’re not done with this.’ I asked, ‘What do you want me to do?’ And I heard, ‘You need to take this message – what you learned – back to what you were doing." Jordan pressed further. “I can’t share this with the new age people – you’ve got to give me something better than this.”

He pondered humorously. “You don’t talk back to God, but a couple of weeks later, I hear – ‘You already have what you need.’” Jordan the investigator then turned to colleagues, repeated the message, and announced – “let’s look again at what we already have.” What they already had was witness testimony. One of those cases was six months old, a guy named Bill who was interviewed on video in his living room during a two-hour session. “It was like, originally, we never heard what he said,” Jordan said. “It starts out as a typical experience. He saw something from his living room window. He went to sleep and had an abduction experience. But during that experience, being terrified, he cried out – ‘Jesus, help me’ And the experience instantly stopped. He woke up in bed next to his wife.”

Jordan wondered why this piece of the story where the abductee invokes the name of Jesus Christ did not stand out before.

“If this is real,” he said. “This is huge.”

Other researchers contacted

No where in the alien abduction research that Jordan had poured over had he ever read about any method at all where one could stop an experience once it was in motion. He decided to check it out and began calling alien abduction researchers around the country. He set up the story by simply telling them that he did not know what to make of a particular case and needed an opinion. In each case, he said, the researcher did the same thing.

“Can we talk off the record?”

“They all pretty much said the same thing,” Jordan said. “They had come across similar cases where the abductee cried out the name of Jesus, said prayers. So this is not a once in a lifetime case.” But when asked why this had not been brought out into the open before, Jordan said he got one of two answers. The first answer was basically, ‘well, we didn’t know what to make of it.’ “But what bothered me,” he said, “was the second answer. They were afraid to go there as it would affect their credibility in the UFO field.”

Some details 'under the rug'

Jordan was confused. “We’re looking at what people call a cover-up. They’re not sharing everything that they have.” This research fueled the fire under Jordan. “I told them that I was going to take this on,” he said. “I think it needs to be recorded and shared. I’m going to build this database. They told me – 'please do – because we can’t.' I thanked them all and moved on.”

In the 13 years that followed, Joe Jordan has worked more than 350 cases – and has fought hard to get the word out. This summer, he makes his third annual presentation at a major UFO symposium in Roswell, NM.

Part 2 coming soon

Stop back in two days for part 2 - more about Joe Jordan's CE4 ministry and some background on a Christian view of UFOs and aliens as a worldview - with both historical and Biblical references as well as witness testimony.


I also came across this just today from a link posted at Unknown Country. It's a CBS broadcast with Edward R Murrow from 1952 or so. About halfway through Murrow refers to a case from Selma Alabama. Fairly standard sighting description described by what I assume is the witness herself. However, what she says she feels at the end of her description is pertinent here. She says:

"That gives me a feeling that God is trying to say something to us. We have had that feeling within us, since"

Which very much reminds me of something Barney Hill uttered to himself during his encounter while making eye contact with the "Leader" through his binoculars .

"Maybe this will prove the existence of God"
he said.

Edward R. Murrow on UFOs - MP3

If nothing else, give it a listen to learn the real origin of the term "Flying Saucer". I'm sure Hugh will be pleased.

More on John Pordage when I get around to it. I have a diagram in the book to scan, a drawing by Pordage himself that looks very much like this symbol.


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Postby Cosmic Cowbell » Sat Mar 14, 2009 11:27 pm


Disclaimer: In posting this material I would rather not appear to be endorsing any particular religious point of view but rather have it be understood that I am seeking to add weight to the hypothesis that too many parallels exist between the described encounters of both Leade and Pordage and the modern day abduction narrative to be coincidence. If nothing else, it shows that the basic components of the experience transcends -by centuries- the basis for the cultural contamination hypothesis. ~C

Jane Leade:

March the 22d, 1677

In the Night, as I was waiting in my wonted solemn Retirement, what might further be administered. I was cast as into a magical Sleep, where I saw my self carried into a Wilderness; where I saw only pleasant, pastoral Walks and Trees, which much suited with my Mind and Inclination there to walk; where I found nothing to disturb my superiour Meditations. In which place I promised my self opportunity, as not willing that either my Name, or Place should be known to any, saving One. But while I was thus pleasured in my reserved state, I suddainly did see one, that was known to me, walking very strait and upright, with a Book reading in his Hand: He seemed to be as one, that would not look awry. But it was said presently, that this Person was a Spy: then presently two more did appear of the Female Sex, both which did make a kind of Assault upon me; but one of the Females was more fierce, and did give my outward Skin a prick, as with a sharp Needle. Upon which I called for Angelical aid to succour me, or else too hard they would be. Whereupon I was parted from them, and saw them in that place no more: A voice, saying, None here shall henceforth come, but such as can agree to walk with thee perfectly." And so the Vision broke up.

The Interpretation.

"Some Days after I did further enquire into the more full meaning of this Vision, why such should so conspire against my solitary reserved Life: but especially that one, who was in my Eye of more value, because of a known Life of Truth, and Integrity?

I found this written upon my Heart, Their Eyes must for a while be with-held; they will not you know, till ye can get the new Name engraven, as of precious Stones upon your Forehead. For it was secretly whispered to my Spirit, that in some there might be a refined and spiritual Emulation, as in others a more Gross and Sensual. Both of which I had councel, and caution, how to walk with; so as no occasion of stumbling might be given justly to the gainsaying Spirits: Whose pryings were to see how we would walk, while in the Wilderness state."

Jane Leade describes in this passage being led by someone familiar and yet described as a "spy" and goes on to lament "but especially that one, who was in my Eye of more value, because of a known Life of Truth, and Integrity? I suspect she was describing John Pordage. Either way, this experience is repeated in modern day abduction lore in this story:

"The Way It Has To Be"

Whomever it was, I'm sure she forever after thought them "too weird".

She also describes calling upon "Angelical Aid" and sure enough, it worked. Why?

Another recent example of an encounter which apparently engendered strong spiritual reaction.

"The smell of roses drew him out to my balcony where, when he looked up, he saw a gigantic triangular craft, silent, and observing him. It hovered, soundless, for ten minutes or so, and sped away with a speed he couldn't comprehend. He said he felt a connection in his heart and heard directions in his mind." ~ Shirley MacLaine on the Kuchinich UFO Encounter


And then there's Fatima...

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Postby Hugh Manatee Wins » Sat Mar 21, 2009 9:58 pm

Cosmic Cowbell wrote:.....
Pordage writes:

Roger Marsh
March 12, 11:50 PM

“If this is real. This is huge.”

CE-4 is formed

By early 1995, Jordan had founded CE4 – a private group that studies alien abduction

Wow! "CE4!"

By amazing coincidence...the Assassinations Record Review Board had just been formed which brought the 'Magic Bullet' that zig-zagged around Dealey Plaza defying the laws of physics to kill JFK, CE399, right back into focus.

"CE399" meant [Warren] Commission Exhibit #399.

CE399, CE4. It just follows!
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