Close Encounters, Consciousness and the Paranormal.
by Simon Harvey-Wilson

As a UFO theorist I am interested in exploring ideas, from any field of research, that might help provide a scientific understanding of the UFO Close Encounter phenomenon.  In the first part of this talk I am going to suggest that Close Encounters and paranormal events are both somehow related to consciousness.  In the second part of the talk, I will discuss the idea that human consciousness may be able to access some sort of multi-purpose realm or dimension which the alien intelligence has researched more deeply than we have, and is therefore able to use in a manner that seems baffling to us.
Healing.  We have all heard of people with paranormal healing abilities.  We do not yet know how this works, but there seems little doubt that it does.  An article in the MUFON UFO Journal by Preston Dennett documents occasions when people have been healed of serious diseases by aliens.  Many abductees also claim to have developed paranormal healing abilities after being abducted.  Discovering how this happens may revolutionise modern medicine.

Telepathy.  This is the most common paranormal event that abductees report, and seems an ideal means of communication between different species.  If we all have latent telepathic abilities, then studying telepathy may help us understand the nature of alien consciousness.

Levitation.   Numerous aliens are reported to levitate or glide through the air, sometimes carrying abductees with them.  In the literature of the paranormal there are also numerous reports of humans who could levitate.  Many of these people had meditated or prayed for many years, which seems to link levitation to consciousness.  Studying human levitation might even help us understand the physics of anti-gravity and UFO propulsion.

Apparitions and Humanoids.   Ghosts and apparitions appear in all shapes and sizes ranging from normal looking people to giant see-through entities, and may be dressed in historical, religious, or modern clothing.  Aliens are reported to vary just as much in their appearance and behaviour, and are frequently described as ghostly or see-through.  In fact, sometimes it would be impossible to tell if the entity at the foot of your bed was a ghost or an alien.  By studying ghosts more carefully we might learn something about alien technology.

Psychokinesis or Direct Mind-Matter Interaction.   DMMI refers to the physical effects that the mind can have on matter.  Experimental research into DMMI is being carried out by Emeritus Professor Robert Jahn at the Princeton Engineering Anomalies Research Laboratory (PEAR) in the USA.  This work has shown that the mind can affect matter, but that some people are better at it than others.  In Colonel Philip Corso's book The Day After Roswell he claims that investigators discovered that the propulsion and navigation of the crashed Roswell craft was directly linked to the minds of the aliens flying it.  Obviously therefore further research into DMMI might help us understand UFO technology.  The most interesting psychokinetic ability is materialisation, which is the paranormal production of an object out of thin air.  The best documented examples of this ability are by the Indian spiritual leader Sathya Sai Baba, whom I have seem materialising holy ash from his hands.  Now in his seventies, Sai Baba has been materialising objects for over 50 years, yet we still do not know how he does it.  There are also examples where aliens demonstrate psychokinetic abilities, and on a larger scale, UFOs themselves sometimes seem to materialise or dematerialise.

Poltergeist Activity or Random Spontaneous Psychokinesis.   RSPK is perhaps the most varied and disturbing of paranormal phenomena, and may refer to household objects that inexplicably start flying across a room.  These objects sometimes materialise or display impossible trajectories as they float through the air.  One theory is that RSPK is caused by mischievous spirits from another dimension, while another theory links it with the psychic sublimation of emotional tension within the unconscious mind of a teenage member of the family concerned.  A third theory says that RSPK is a combination of spirits and human psychic energy.  What looks like a form of RSPK often occurs in the houses of abductees after their experiences.  This often involves electrical devices such as televisions or video players turning on and off by themselves.  In his book The Omega Project, Professor Kenneth Ring refers to people who develop 'Electrical Sensitive Syndrome' after either a Close Encounter or a Near-Death Experience.  These people discover that they now cause all sorts of electrical devices to malfunction, or they cannot tolerate being near such devices for very long.  This research seems to suggests there may exist an electromagnetic link between consciousness and physical matter.

Invisibility.   In a fascinating article in The Anomalist Donna Higbee describes her research into what she calls 'Involuntary Spontaneous Human Invisibility', a condition whereby otherwise normal, healthy people find that they suddenly cannot be seen or heard by those around them.  These people report instances of invisibility in places such as airports, libraries, restaurants, and at home.  Luckily the effect seem to wear off spontaneously, otherwise we might never hear from them again.  Higbee at first thought that these people might all be abductees, but, as her data-base expanded, this appeared not to be the case, although they do seem to have higher than average psychic abilities, which might link these events to consciousness.
In his book UFO Chronicles of the Soviet Union, Jacques Vallee describes an incident where a UFO landed in a park in Russia near several children and adults.  A tall three-eyed being and a robot-like entity emerged and started moving around.  When some people started shouting, the beings and the UFO vanished on the spot, only to reappear five minutes later.  The tall being was now carrying a tube which he pointed at a nearby sixteen-year-old boy who instantly disappeared.  The alien then re-entered the UFO and flew away, and at the same time the vanished teenager reappeared.  Is this invisibility some sort of sophisticated stealth technology, or does it involve dematerialisation or other dimensions?
Teleportation refers to an object or person that disappears from one spot, and rematerialises somewhere else.  This may occur over any distance, and through solid obstacles such as walls.  The parapsychologist Scott Rogo gives several examples of teleportation in his book called Miracles.  People who teleport take with them their clothes and accessories such as jewellery and shoes.  There is also some evidence that someone with powerful paranormal abilities can teleport another person as well as themselves.  UFO abductees report finding themselves floating through closed windows, or seeing aliens moving through walls.  Others find themselves driving along roads kilometres away from where they were a short time ago.  The British UFO researcher Jenny Randles suggests that some abductees are pulled into an altered state of consciousness, a paranormal realm through which UFOs may operate.  She writes that: "These beings...have harnessed the power of consciousness to cross the gulfs of space".  Other reports suggest that aliens may be able to pull a person's spirit or consciousness out of their body.
Inedia is the paranormal ability to survive without eating or drinking.  The Catholic stigmatist Therese Neumann, born in 1891, is the best documented example of this ability.  From about 1923, until her death in 1962, it is claimed that Therese ate or drank nothing except a daily communion wafer.  A medical examination confirmed that her stomach had shrunk from lack of use, and apart from repeatedly displaying the stigmata, she remained in good health.  How is this possible?  What type of energy sustained her body cells, apart from the air that she was breathing?  As an aside, it is interesting to note that NASA has for years been trying to solve the problem of how to feed, and dispose of the waste from astronauts on long space trips.  Training astronauts to survive without eating might be the way to go.
The most common alien, the Greys, apart from looking as if they could do with a good meal, are generally described as having very small mouths, and some of the supposed autopsy reports on their bodies describe them as having atrophied or non-existent digestive systems, as if to suggest that they no longer eat.  Reports from the Roswell crash claim that researchers were puzzled that the craft contained no food or toilets and therefore concluded that it was a reconnaissance craft from a bigger mother-ship.  But could it be that the Greys, like Therese Neumann, survive on a paranormal energy source, and if so, where does it come from?

Other Relevant Fields Of Research.   So far, I have detailed similarities between the paranormal and Close Encounters which seem to imply that we need to develop a more sophisticated road map or topography of consciousness.  This is a quotation from Dr Jacques Vallee:
"The UFO Phenomenon exists.  It has been with us throughout history.  It is physical in nature and it remains unexplained in terms  of  contemporary science.  It represents a level of consciousness that we have not yet recognised, and which is able to manipulate dimensions beyond time and space as far as we understand them."
I am now going to discuss some other fields of research that might help us understand the nature of consciousness and its connection with matter.  Some of these are spiritual subjects, while others are more technical.  What interests me about them is that they all suggest that there exists another realm, dimension, or level of consciousness which aliens have learnt how to use, but which we have failed to research in any depth.  These topics are:  Mysticism, Shamanism, Topology, Neuroscience, Artificial Intelligence, and Near-Death Experiences.

Mysticism.  One definition of mysticism is that it is 'the art of union with Reality'.  Mystics actively seek a deeper experience of the spiritual or divine essence within themselves.  But paradoxically, this inner quest eventually transcends their individuality, and immerses them in a universal consciousness which they claim is the fundamental basis of reality.  This spiritual breakthrough from duality to unity has been termed Enlightenment, Illumination, Self-realisation, or a variety of other terms, and is frequently achieved by intense meditation or contemplation.  Mystics could therefore be described as the pre-eminent explorers of consciousness, and frequently develop paranormal abilities similar to those seen in the Close Encounter phenomenon, such as clairvoyance, healing, levitation, materialisation, and teleportation.  Mysticism asserts that deep within each of us there exists access to a level of awareness that transcends normal human consciousness, yet interfaces and unites all minds.  I believe that the intelligence behind the UFO phenomenon may have researched this realm enough to be able to use it to travel, to abduct us, and whatever else they are doing.  It would obviously therefore be to our benefit to learn as much as we can about how this realm works.
Shamanism could be described as the paranormal interaction with inhabitants of an unseen realm for various tribal or medicinal purposes.  Shamans act as liaison officers between the everyday world and a realm called the Otherworld or the Imaginal realm.  Unlike the mystic, the shaman uses the Otherworld for functional purposes, such as healing, clairvoyance, or communicating with the spirits of plants, animals, tribal ancestors, or the recent dead.  Shamans achieve their mastery of this realm as a result of natural psychic ability, a Near-Death Experience, or, in an manner strikingly similar to the Close Encounter phenomenon, they may be abducted or inducted into this realm by sky spirits.  During such an encounter they may undergo many of the indignities experienced by UFO abductees, but entry to this realm also gives them healing and clairvoyant abilities.  For over 90% of human history people had no doubt that such a realm existed.  As Joseph Campbell put it: "The two worlds, the divine and the human are actually one.  The realm of the gods is a forgotten dimension of the world we know."  It is only in modern times that we have chosen to believe that, if we cannot see this realm with our normal perception, then it must not be there.  A contrary opinion would say that, because we do not believe that the Otherworld is there, we cannot see it.  Some commentators have therefore speculated that the purpose of the UFO abduction phenomenon is to shamanise humanity.  To remind us of the existence of the Otherworld with its enormous spiritual, creative, paranormal, and perhaps technological, potential.
Jacques Vallee has for years pointed out in such books as Passport to Magonia that in many ways UFO occupants resemble the entities from myth or folklore, such as pixies, elves, and lephricauns, repackaged into modern space age outfits.  They have many of the same magical powers, and act in just as unpredictable, and often nonsensical fashion, as their folklore counterparts, thus leading Vallee to suggest that they come from another reality.  As Patrick Harpur points out in his book Daimonic Reality, the ancients called these beings daimons and, because they regarded them as messengers of the gods, they were not too surprised at their astonishing ability to shape-shift, or to materialise in and out of spacetime.
While the idea of an inhabited spiritual realm is perhaps the oldest belief in human history, its religious and metaphysical connotations mean the subject is avoided like the plague by conventional science.  But if such a realm does exist, and an alien intelligence is using it to travel, or to carry out seemingly magic acts including abducting people from closed rooms, then science's reluctance to research the subject becomes a liability for all of us, especially the abductees.  Professor John Mack speaks of "intrusions from the subtle realm", and calls the abduction phenomenon, "an outreach program for the spiritually impaired."  I believe we need a pragmatic attitude towards such spiritual matters.  Allowing religious or scientific taboos to obstruct research into such a realm may play right into the hands of the aliens, and does both spirituality and science a disservice.  We need more scientific rigour in spirituality, and more spirituality in science.

Topology.  Physicists these days frequently mentioned the possibility of other universes or higher dimensions, otherwise known as hyperspace.  For example, Superstring Theory suggests that the universe might have eleven dimensions.  The advantage of hyperspace is that it may facilitate shortcuts from one part of spacetime to another.  Topologists, who study other dimensions from a mathematical perspective, point out that 3D physical barriers, such as the walls of a room, cease to be obstacles in higher dimensional space.  Numerous baffling paranormal events such as RSPK, teleportation, and the abduction of people from locked houses, are easier to understand if one assumes that some sort of hyperspatial realm does exists; that it is somehow linked to consciousness, and that aliens have learnt how to use it.
Neuroscience refers to research into consciousness, and is the modern face of the old mind-body enigma.  Many neuroscientists claim that consciousness is something that emerges when the brain reaches a certain level of complexity.  I prefer the dualistic suggestion that consciousness can somehow function beyond the body.  Near-Death Experience researcher Dr Peter Fenwick refers to a Transmission theory of mind, which hypothesises that consciousness and the brain are separate but linked, so that information from our senses is somehow transmitted to an external mind.  This is a controversial subject, but it seems to me that any theory of consciousness that does not account for mystical, shamanic, and paranormal experiences is obviously incomplete.  Some researchers claim that there are insufficient neurones in the brain even to facilitate the computations necessary to drive a car.  If this is true, where does our extra data processing ability come from, and if consciousness can function beyond the body, how does it do it?  Professor Roger Penrose has suggested that consciousness may have something to do with the quantum or sub-atomic realm, so here again we have a reference to another realm.
The ability to process information at the subatomic scale would give the brain considerably more processing power.  Secondly it might give consciousness access to a bizarre property of the quantum realm called non-locality, or entanglement, otherwise known as the Holographic Paradigm, which means that a subatomic event in region A can have an instantaneous physical effect in region B, regardless of the distance or conditions between A and B.  Although some physicists would disagree, non-locality might enable consciousness to process information in a hyper-dimensional fashion beyond the body.  These are highly speculative suggestions, but if true, would help explain telepathy, and the phenomenon called Remote Viewing, a process in which a trained observer can acquire visual information about a distant location without actually going there.  There are claims that a unit within the US military has been successfully using this technique for many years.

Artificial Intelligence (AI).   This is a significant year for AI because for the first time a computer program called Deep Blue managed to beat the world chess champion.  But, if Deep Blue had had to fit all its computing power into the same volume as the human head, it wouldn't have stood a chance.  AI research has provided some of the incentive to study human consciousness with the aim of improving the intelligence of robots.  It has been suggested that some aliens may be robots or androids.  Robot designers long ago realised that, despite advances in miniaturisation, giving androids enough computing power to mimic human abilities would make them so heavy they wouldn't be able to move.  Today's robots are therefore either fairly dumb, or they need to have an umbilical cord, or radio link, connected to a computer that acts as their brain.  So how did whoever created us, whether it was evolution or alien geneticists, solve the problem of packing all our computing capacity into our heads?  One solution is to copy the design of Dr Who's Tardis, which, by accessing hyperspace, is bigger on the inside than it is on the outside.  If this is so, then the brain could be seen as an interface, or input-output, device between the body and a highly sophisticated hyper-dimensional data processing realm with almost unlimited capacity.  Some commentators have labelled suggestions such as this, that imply that there exists some sort of universal mind, or transcendental consciousness, as little more than misguided attempts to redefine God.  However, I cannot see how such criticism furthers the cause of scientific research.

Near-Death Experiences.   NDEs typically have two stages.  During part one you may find yourself floating invisibly above your body, watching what is happening beneath you.  In stage two, you may find yourself in a completely different realm where you meet dead family members or a spiritual figure who persuades you that it is not yet time to die.  Here again we have a strange realm which we cannot normally see.  I suspect that this realm is simply another facet of that experienced by the shaman, the mystic and the abductee.  So where is this realm?  If we can't normally see it, then is it really there?  This question continues to puzzle ufologists, paranormal researchers and theologians.  Some try to get round the problem by claiming that there are other solid, but invisible, worlds that interpenetrate this one.  Unfortunately this is rather hard to prove.  I suggest that at this stage we just admit that we don't know exactly where this realm is, but that that does not mean it isn't real, or that we cannot continue to research it, by for example, drawing up a list of its attributes.
In my opinion a helpful way to analyse this realm is from the perspective of science's most sophisticated invention which is Information Technology.  I note that shamanic researcher Terence McKenna calls this realm the Oversoul, and writes that: "We are in a symbiotic relationship with an organism made of information."  With reference to his work on psychokinesis Professor Robert Jahn has made some very interesting observations about information and its relationship to energy and matter.  He points to a progression in the history of science whereby early scientists focussed on the "mechanics, chemistry and physical properties" of solid objects, or mass.  Then came the more sophisticated notion of energy in its various forms such as, "mechanical, electrical, thermal, chemical and nuclear" energy.  More recently what he calls a "third physical currency" has started to dominate scientific thinking, and that is information.  Professor Jahn predicts that while the transmutability of mass into energy, as in E=mc2, has dominated much of 20th century physics, the more subtle conversion of energy into information and vice versa, will dominate 21st century science.  If Jahn is right, an understanding of the three-way interchangeability of matter, energy and information could help explain numerous paranormal anomalies ranging from shape-shifting aliens, to how someone can materialise solid objects, seemingly from just the information in their mind.  This perspective implies that matter and energy can perhaps be seen as solidified forms of consciousness, and that whereas aliens have mastered the physics of this three-way transmutability, so far we have only worked out two of them.
Insights gained from developments in Information Technology could help us understand the nature of this realm.  For example the Internet is a realm that in a sense transcends time and space, whose location is very hard to define, and whose information content is doubling every two years.  The idea that an informational realm called Cyberspace could today so dominate our lives would have been incomprehensible even forty years ago.  I read somewhere that if you don't understand the importance of Cyberspace, you might care to ask yourself where you think your bank is keeping your money?  We might also get helpful ideas from continuing research into Virtual Reality and holographic videos, which are both methods of presenting a viewer with an increasingly convincing informational form of reality.  Early this year the US Army Research Laboratory in Maryland, claimed that their research into non-linear optics might in future enable the army to project 3D holographic images of tanks, planes and soldiers onto a battlefield to confuse the enemy.  Perhaps aliens are already using a sophisticated version of this technology.
We are told that there are about 100 billion neurones in the human brain.  Given the current rate of miniaturisation it is predicted that by the year 2020 we will be able to put that many transistors onto a single computer chip.  This might mean that within 25 years we could be manufacturing self aware androids whose consciousness might be able to access the realm that I have been discussing.  However, aliens may have already achieved that goal.

The Realm.   This is my list of suggested qualities of this realm:
It is the realm of the shaman, the mystic, NDEs, life-after-death, and deep hypnosis.  The realm is an extension of Dr Carl Jung's Collective Unconscious, and is accessible through altered states of consciousness.
The realm is beyond, yet interpenetrates and enfolds, spacetime.  It stores information in a nonlocal fashion which facilitates clairvoyance, telepathy and Remote Viewing.  "All information is everywhere."  If the realm unifies the four basic forces of physics: gravity, electromagnetism, and the strong and the weak nuclear forces, it may contain almost unlimited amounts of energy.
The hyper-dimensional physics of this realm overrides 3D spacetime physics, and by linking matter, energy and consciousness facilitates paranormal events such as healing, psychokinesis, teleportation, and the materialisation of matter.
Any intelligence that has mastered the physics of this realm can use it to teleport, or to pull a person's body, or just their consciousness, into the realm for whatever purpose they wish, as for example during many Close Encounters.  The realm also has its own inorganic life forms which can materialise within spacetime as 3D entities.
For thousands of years Earth has been visited by various aliens that have used this realm to demonstrate miraculous abilities.  Human reactions to this have varied depending on that society's dominant mythology or paradigms.
Throughout history this realm has been accessed by a few human spiritual giants.  The record of our interaction with this realm has been codified as religion, folklore, mythology and the supernatural.  The Close Encounter phenomenon may be helping dissolve the barriers between this realm and normal consciousness.
This realm is currently the subject of classified research by several governments who do not yet want the public to know of its extraordinary potential, for fear of a religious backlash, and the challenge it poses to many long-cherished scientific beliefs.

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This is the text of the talk given to the 'Australian International UFO Symposium' by Simon Harvey-Wilson, in Brisbane on Friday 17th October 1997.

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