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11 April, 2008

Paranormal vs. nuts and bolts UFOs - 1

I'm currently reading Dimensions: A Casebook of Alien Contact by Jacques Vallee. I originally read this book many years ago, when it was first published. At the time, much of it went over my head. The bits I did understand, terrified me, for reasons I was unable to put my finger on. I remember being somewhat blown away at the time, by what I read. Now, almost twenty years later, I fully grasp what it is he is saying in that book. I'm still blown away, still shaken by his theories, but now I think I understand why. I truly believe Vallee is on to something.

In a nutshell, Vallee proposes that the UFO phenomenon is something that has been with us since the dawn of the human race. He reached this conclusion through a careful examination of ancient texts and artefacts, folklore, mythology and religious beliefs. He describes the phenomenon as something that is culturally and contemporaneously aware. It appears to evolve alongside us and adapt itself to the contemporary and cultural milieu of each witness. Throughout the ages, anomalous objects have been seen in the sky, described variously as balls of fire, flying shields, flying chariots - and flying saucers. Entities seen in association with UFOs have been described, depending on the era in which they have been witnessed, as gods, angels, demons, fairies, trolls, the Virgin Mary - and spacemen.

I find it especially fascinating that until human beings came close to inventing powered aircraft, the majority of anomalous aerial objects reported seemed to be of a celestial or divine nature. Sometimes they were reported as winged creatures, transporting gods on their backs. It's also interesting to note that people were less likely to question religion in those days. However, in the late 1890's, as the Wright Brothers and others worked towards creating the first powered aircraft, a new aerial phenomenon appeared all over North America and Europe. Peculiar airships appeared near farms and homesteads, their occupants engaging in often puzzling behaviour. Many times, people were seen working on the outside of these ships, as they hovered in the air. Sometimes, the occupants would clamber down ropes. Other times, the ships would land, and their occupants, usually described as normal-looking humans, would engage witnesses in conversation. They would often give confusing or cryptic answers to any questions asked of them. When the airships departed, they frequently accelerated away at amazing speeds. What airship was ever designed for speed?

It is interesting to note that the more technologically advanced we become - so do the UFOs. Yet, despite this apparent technological superiority, alleged encounters with the occupants of UFOs often have strong, familiar, quasi-religious overtones for experiencers. In fact, the spiritual aspect of encounters with strange beings seems to be the only constant of an ever-evolving phenomenon. Just think: how many of the world's religions were established by individuals who encountered strange aerial phenomena, such as balls of light, or spinning, glowing disks, accompanied by entities identified as angels, who performed miraculous feats? The majority of them, it would seem.

Vallee is adamant that such religious visions are really UFO encounters. To the consternation of many 'nuts and bolts' ufologists, Vallee utterly rejects the extra-terrestrial hypothesis as an explanation for UFO sightings. He places such encounters squarely in the realm of the paranormal. Furthermore, he insists that the intelligence behind the UFO phenomenon created religion as a control mechanism. This intelligence, according to Vallee, has manipulated and controlled the human race since time immemorial, to suit its own mysterious ends.

Thinking about some of my own paranormal experiences, I can't help but feel that Vallee may be on to something here. When I had the UFO sighting I experienced at the age of twelve, I reacted to it as I would to any other paranormal phenomenon. When I saw it, I didn't think 'ooh, aliens'. If I had, I think I was the kind of kid who would have happily waved at the craft, to make friends with the aliens. To me, the thing that hung in the sky was wrong. Very wrong. I had no frame of reference for it. When it began to sway from side to side, that was enough for me. I hid. To me, it wasn't a machine, it was something so strange, so unfathomable, and so threatening, I didn't want to look at it any longer.

I began to experience a malevolent presence in my room at night, which began shortly after the UFO sighting, I was bewildered. I feel certain now that they were connected. At the age of twelve, I made no such connection. I started to read UFO books after my sighting, of the nuts and bolts variety. There was no mention of any paranormal aspect to UFO sightings. I doubt, at that age, if I could have followed such reasoning anyway. If you're wondering where I'm going with this, I'm working my way back to Vallee's theory - that religion is a control mechanism imposed on humans by the intelligence behind the UFO phenomenon.

At the age of twelve, I thought the malevolent presence that invaded my life, shortly after the UFO sighting, was the devil. I was raised in a Catholic household, and was often told, as a child, that if I didn't behave myself, the devil would come for me. Well, I rarely behaved myself - and I thought he had come for me. In one of those weird synchronicities so often associated with the paranormal, a few months after the weird stuff started, my mother was digging in the garden one day, when she unearthed a wooden crucifix which she had lost off her rosary beads, many years previously. She brought it indoors, and I immediately pounced on it. I'd seen horror movies where people would ward off evil spirits with crucifixes and prayer. So I temporarily renounced my atheist ways, and started to keep the crucifix under my pillow at night, saying little prayers asking for its protection. Guess what? The malevolent presence went away. I believed I'd chased off the devil with a traditional religious symbol. No more UFOs, no more nasty entity.

So where does this tie in with Vallee's control mechanism theory? Well, looking back on those childhood experiences, some thirty years later, through the eyes of a born again atheist, a thought has occurred to me. What if the paranormal events stopped at that time, not because a bad, nasty demon was chased off by religion, but because the intelligence behind all the weirdness had achieved its purpose? I'd declared myself an atheist at the age of ten. Then freaky things started happening in my life, so I turned to religion. If Vallee is right, I succumbed to the control mechanism. Taking his theory one step further, whatever this strange paranormal intelligence was, may have decided it had no further need to bug me, because it had me where it wanted me - under control. I realize all this sounds a little freaky and somewhat insane. But it's no crazier than believing that an unseen deity created our world in six days, or that men were turned into pillars of salt.

Let's face it. Religious beliefs have had a profound effect on societies around the world, and quite often, not for the better. Hideous acts have been carried out in the names of various religions, because believers are often so easy to manipulate. Package something up as the will of their god, and human beings will often carry out the purported will of that god, no matter how heinous a punishment they mete out to their opponents. What's that old saying? United we stand, divided we fall. What better way to divide the human race and weaken it, than by introducing conflicting religious ideologies into human consciousness, and pitting those ideologies against one another? Religion, after all, is one of the most emotive subjects in the whole world. So emotive, that I can imagine many believers wanting me burnt at the stake for heresy, for the opinions I'm expressing here.

Using Vallee's theory as a springboard, I find myself asking what would happen if the human race totally abandoned organised religion. Or what if the whole human race developed a universal but godless spiritual belief system, which, instead of bowing in blind obeisance to multiple harsh, vengeful and omnipotent deities, placed mutual respect and global unity at the heart of its 'religion'? Would our paranormal friends still continue to haunt us? Would strange aerial objects still zip across our skies? Or would the spell be broken?

(Although I'm attracted to Vallee's theory that alleged contact with 'alien' beings is essentially paranormal in nature, his theory does not explain why some UFOs have shown up on radar as solid objects, or why some of them have left very clear landing traces. I have some thoughts on this, which I have briefly touched upon before. I'll save those thoughts for my next article).


Anonymous,  20 April 2008 at 17:38  

I read Vallee up to thirty years ago and was totally won over by him. Subsequently,I followed up with Paul Devereux and even Whitley Strieber though I think the latter has lost the plot.
I am not a fan of the nuts and bolts approach. I do believe that in a Quantum Universe all things are possible.
One entity manipulating the race is a mainstay of my novel and also the need for a unifying principle.

Siani 21 April 2008 at 10:00  

Aileni, I agree with you about Strieber - I have no time for his post-Communion writings. Quite frankly, I think he's simply a businessman who has built a successful industry around his alleged paranormal experiences. Maybe he did experience something initially - but much of what he spouts nowadays just sounds like a tall tale. Many researchers have found inconsistencies in his books, where he says one thing, then contradicts himself in a sequel. That rather sums it up for me.

Anonymous,  21 November 2008 at 13:48  

i am an abductee, and whitley strieber's stories reverberate very strongly with me. he seems like a very well read, intelligent and sensible person. the lack of consistency to his accounts might actually be construed as evidence for their veracity. i would be much more concerned if a person continued to answer questions as if he was reading from a book

Atrueoriginall 23 November 2008 at 01:29  

I have to agree with you Anomymous. Streiber's experiences are so "out there" that they have become the closest thing that I can relate to.

There is nothing that the aliens do or perform that makes sense to us, it's not supposed to. That is their stealth. I believe that their motto is, "make it as kooky looking as possible so that they never repeat it for fear of ridicule."

Then again, I haven't read Streiber in quite a few years for the same reason Siani mentioned. He seemed to be out there in left field there for a while. Then again, I've been in Unknown Country lately and it's gotten tame. More down to earth, every day situations.

Hey Siani, where you been? Me busy blogging as usual. I think I've worn away my fingerprints over the past 4 months from typing. lol


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