Journal of Alternative Realities
Volume 10, Issue 1, 2002
UFOs: The Physical Evidence by Michael Jordan
Human Levitation by Simon Harvey-Wilson
The Leeds UFO Conference by Morley Legg
Honouring Multidimensional Reality by Mary Rodwell
Animal Mutilations by Brian Richards
Soul and Spirit by Judy Bryning
My Abduction Experiences by Geoff Evans
‘Magnetic’ People by Simon Harvey-Wilson
Western Australian UFO Sightings by Brian Richards
UFOs and the National Security State (book review) by Mike Jordan
Adventures of a Suburban Mystic (book review) by Morley Legg
UFOs: The Physical Evidence
Overwhelming – But As Elusive As Ever
By Michael Jordan
Any scientific study of the UFO enigma seems inevitably to result in frustrating ambiguity and contradiction. Really worthwhile UFO reports are frequently characterized by high strangeness, evasiveness, resistance to scholarly investigation and a seemingly unavoidable, bewildering array of conclusions. Writer K. Phillips, in an essay on The Psycho-Sociology of Ufology, notes that in addition to this elusiveness, "it can be shown that the UFO phenomenon has a religious, historic and folkloric dimension, the implications of which are only just beginning to be appreciated by those who are willing to sift the evidence.... moreover, by inspection of the tens of thousands of reports from all over the world, it would seem that ¾ paradoxically ¾ while the UFO phenomenon gives every indication of being impossibly remote from us, at the same time it displays facets that indicate that it is intimately close."
We may well ask the question: why is it, if UFOs leave real, quantitative physical evidence, as many cases seem to indicate, that there is still little understanding of their physical qualities? One explanation is that the irregularities and seeming inconsistencies of these many reports have not come under the scrutiny of cross-disciplinary study until relatively recent times. Of course any such study is beset by the differences in the way that physical and social scientists tend to view the application of scientific methods in their respective fields. The special nature of the UFO subject raises subtle and often unique problems that members of either group might see in differing perspectives.
So, does this mean that our hunt for explanations and solutions ends in smoke? Hardly, as we shall see. Where possible, the separation of physical evidence into defined categories, followed by interdisciplinary examination, slowly but inexorably yields a degree of clarity to our still murky understanding of what it is we are dealing with, or more correctly, is dealing with us. After many years of bitter experience, we know that, as far as this subject is concerned, recorded data of an event, even from an official source, is simply not acceptable. An accumulation of such evidence has had little impact on the sceptics. Again, a large part of the problem is brought about by the only filters and hurdles acceptable in the eyes of orthodox science. In order to be convinced of the reality of phenomenon, science requires that it should be capable of reproduction and prediction in a laboratory. We all know that there are many aspects of our world which cannot be understood within accepted terms of reference.
In this context, UFO historian Richard M. Dolan, in his monumental UFOs and the National Security State, writes, "Not only must we ask what constitutes proof, but who is authorized to deem it so. This is not so easy to determine. Certainly, an acknowledgment of aliens would have to come from a major spokesperson of official culture ¾ the President, perhaps. The matter is more political than scientific. UFO evidence derived from a grass roots level can never survive its inevitable conflict with official culture (fifty years of failure have borne this out). An acknowledgment about the reality of the UFO phenomenon will only occur when the official culture deems it worthwhile or necessary to make it. Don’t hold your breath. As a result, the easiest thing to do with UFO evidence is to ignore it, which is what most people do."
It would appear that the best prospect for achieving a meaningful evaluation of relevant hypotheses is likely to come from the examination of physical evidence. Setting out with this objective in mind, a review panel composed of nine scientists of diverse expertise and interests, convened a four day workshop in New York, from 30 September to 3 October, 1997. More on this undertaking later, but for now let’s look at the categories of physical evidence that were presented to these scientists by UFO investigators. The evidence was associated with particular UFO reports and included: photographic evidence; luminosity estimates; radar evidence; interference with both automobile and aircraft functioning; apparent gravitational or inertial effects; ground traces; injuries to vegetation; physiological effects on witnesses; and analysis of debris. An American space science textbook in use at the Air Academy up to 1970, listing classification systems common to UFOs, included : electro-magnetic effects; radiation; ground disturbances; sound; vibration; smell; debris; inhibition of voluntary motion by observers and the sighting of creatures or beings.
One can only wonder why the category of ‘debris’, was left out of the material presented to the 1997 panel. According to Timothy Good in Beyond Top Secret, Canadian government official and engineer Wilbert Smith, admitted that a number of fragments from UFOs had been recovered and analysed by his research group, including one that had been shot from a UFO near Washington, DC, in July 1952. Smith reported that, "A glowing chunk flew off and the pilot saw it glowing all the way to the ground. He radioed his report and a ground party hurried to the scene. The thing was still glowing when they found it an hour later. The entire piece weighed about a pound [454 grams]. The segment that was loaned to me was about one third of that. It had been sawed off.... There was iron rust... the thing was in reality a matrix of magnesium orthosilicate. The matrix had great numbers ¾ thousands ¾ of fifteen-micron spheres scattered through it." Smith was asked if he had returned the piece to the US Air Force when he had completed his analysis. "Not the Air Force. Much higher than that," he replied. "The Central Intelligence Agency?" asked the interviewers. "I’m sorry gentlemen, but I don’t care to go beyond that point," said Smith.
Good writes that according to information supplied to science journalists, NASA may be in possession of physical evidence relating to extraterrestrial materials. In 1974 a Polish biophysicist and engineer contracted to NASA, was a member of an international team of English, French and Italian scientists which was given some odd metallic and plastic-like material, supposedly originating from the Soviet Union, to analyse. Under analysis with an electronic microscope, the team found small pyramid structures in the nanometre range (ie: one thousand millionth of a metre), showing a kind of super reflectivity. They found alloys that could only have been made in conditions of weightlessness. Other tests showed traces of unusual Kapton and Kevlar-type synthetics. This was in the early 1950s and those materials had not existed at that time. The melting point of the metal samples was above two thousand degrees centigrade, and tests using helium, neon and ruby lasers had no effect. The foil seemed to possess a ‘memory’, like current memory metals, but to a factor of one thousand or better. (Several witnesses of the Roswell crash described a metal with similar qualities.)
So much for alleged debris. Rather than looking at UFO cases highlighting individual categories of physical evidence, let us instead move on to look at three of the best documented and researched events, each involving not one, but a number of physical effects. Let’s begin with one of ufology’s classic cases, that of fifty-two year old mechanic and quartz prospector, Stefan Michalak, who, just after noon on 19 May 1967, saw two cigar-shaped objects, glowing red and flying at high speed above the wilderness of Falcon Lake in Manitoba. The objects became more disc-shaped as they came closer, when suddenly one stopped in mid-air, before departing towards the west, while the other landed behind some bushes at a distance of about 160 feet [fifty metres] from Michalak. Assuming it to be an experimental American aircraft, he estimated it to be about thirty-five feet [ten metres] in diameter and about twelve feet [three and a half metres] high. He observed the object through welding goggles for a period of about half an hour, noting a smell of sulphur. He then decided to approach closer and at sixty feet [eighteen metres] distance heard the muffled sound of voices and the sounds of a motor and a rush of air. He first called out in English, but when there was no response, Michalak, who was multilingual, tried Russian, German, Italian and French and Ukrainian without any success. He decided to look inside the craft. In his own words, "the inside was a maze of lights. Direct beams running in horizontal and diagonal paths and a series of flashing lights, it seemed to me, were working in a random fashion, with no particular order or sequence. I took note of the thickness of the walls of the craft. They were about twenty inches [fifty centimetres] at the cross section." Suddenly the opening was sealed by three panels, so Michalak began to examine the craft’s exterior.
He noticed no welding joints and that the surface was highly polished like glass. When he touched the surface with his glove, he found that the rubber coating melted. Suddenly the craft changed position slightly and a blast of hot air struck his chest, setting his shirt and vest alight and causing severe pain. He tore these off and the object began to ascend in a rush of air, leaving a fifteen foot [four and a half metre] diameter circle on the ground. Michalak felt dizzy and vomited for a number of days and lost twenty pounds [nine kilos] over the next few weeks. Admitted to a hospital in Winnipeg, he was treated for minor burns to his face and severe burns to his chest. His hands swelled considerably and he experienced intense headaches and rashes. Tests by the Whiteshell Nuclear Research Establishment showed no radiation above the background level.
For several days after the incident, Michalak was unable to eat, his blood lymphocyte count was down from twenty-five to sixteen per cent and he continued to feel weak, dizzy and nauseous. Timothy Good reviewing the case in Above Top Secret, writes that, "A haematologist’s report indicated that Michalak’s blood had ‘some atypical lymphoid cells in the marrow plus a moderate increase in the number of plasma cells’." Altogether Michalak was examined by a total of twenty-seven doctors, most from official sources including the departments of Health and Social Welfare and National Defence. They were unable to offer a full explanation for the cause of his symptoms.
An investigator for the Department of Health and Social Welfare found a small contaminated area at the landing site, no larger than one hundred square inches [twenty-five centimetres square], that gave a significant level of radium 226. On 30 June, Michalak, searching with another person, found the landing site complete with outline of the landed object and the remains of his shirt. When the Royal Canadian Air Force searched the site on 28 July to collect samples, their representative described ‘a very evident circle’. They also found a high level of radiation in some samples, considering the site to be ‘a possible health hazard.’
In March 1983, GEPAN, France’s equivalent of NASA, submitted a sixty-six page report put together by a committee of seven scientists on a UFO landing near the village of Trans-en-Provence, on 8 January 1981. This proved over time to rank as one of the most convincing physical evidence cases ever studied. Not only were physical traces collected by the gendarmerie within twenty-four hours, but several government laboratories were involved in their examination.
Farmer Renato Nicolai saw a flying object making a whistling sound descend rapidly to land in his yard. Shortly afterwards the object rose to tree height, emitting a whistling sound and headed in a north-easterly direction. Nicolai, who was close to the site, saw four small openings on the underside of the object, which had been on the ground for some ten seconds. He examined the landing spot and noticed a six foot [1.8 metre] diameter circular imprint, with several abrasion areas prominent in the circle. He noted that the object was metallic grey in colour, had a thick band around it and had a diameter of eight feet [2.4 metres] and a height of six feet [1.8 metres].
The gendarmerie in Draguignan took photographs and samples on the morning of 9 January. The French National Centre for Space Research was immediately alerted and the samples delivered to GEPAN, while samples of vegetation from the landing area and surroundings were sent to the National Institute for Agronomical Research. It is important to know that, as the taking of samples is naturally critical to any study. In this case GEPAN had been able to provide law enforcement officers with detailed instructions for the gathering of samples, which were then divided amongst several French laboratories for double-blind study. Their tests included physico-chemical analysis, electron diffraction, mass spectrometry by ion bombardment and biochemical analysis of vegetable samples.
The summary of these analyses confirmed that strong mechanical pressure had been applied to the soil by a heavy weight, causing erosion, striation and heating (not exceeding sixty-six degrees centigrade) and chlorophyll pigment in the leaf samples was weakened from thirty to fifty per cent. Importantly, the GEPAN result stated that attempts to duplicate these changes were unsuccessful. A strange result of the analysis of alfalfa leaves at the landing site prompted INRA to report: "From an anatomical and physiological point, they had all the characteristics of leaves of an advanced age ¾ old leaves! And that doesn’t resemble anything that we know on our planet."
Beyond the effects of the phenomenon on soil and plants, scientists are left to consider the impact on human witnesses. In the case of Stefan Michalak we looked at the dramatic physiological effects that he suffered as a direct result of his close encounter. Our final case, which Jacques Vallee described as, "the best-authenticated close encounter incident in continental Europe", includes not only hard traces, botanical data and physiological data, but detailed descriptions of beings associated with the UFO. It came to be known as ‘The Valensole Case’. Not only is it one of the most thoroughly investigated close encounters on record, but examination by French government agencies began on the day of the event.
During early morning of 1 July 1965, Maurice Masse, a French lavender farmer, was working in his field in the village of Valensole, near the lower Alps, when he suddenly noticed an object that had landed in his lavender field. At first glance from a distance, he thought that it was a helicopter or some sort of experimental prototype, but as he approached closer to the object, he saw that it was oval shaped and rested on six curved legs and some type of central pivot. Through an opening in the craft he thought that he could see two back-to-back seats. Suddenly he saw two beings, less than four feet [1.2 metres] tall, wearing grey-blue-green suits but without any type of breathing devices. One of them pointed a small tube at the farmer, which immediately paralyzed him. Although lying on the ground, he remained fully conscious, noting that as they looked at him, with what he later described as ‘concerned expressions’, they made strange gurgling sounds from deep within their throats as they communicated with one another. Masse saw that the two beings had large hairless heads, smooth white skin, large eyes that slanted away, pointed chins and small mouths without lips. After their brief dialogue, they entered the craft through a sliding panel and the object took off, leaving a deep crater and an area of moisture that later became as hard as concrete.
After about twenty minutes Masse was able to move his arms and legs, but four days after the incident he collapsed and his sleep pattern was dramatically altered for several months. Rather than his usual five or six hour sleep break, he was sleeping for periods of twelve hours or more and his wife and father noted distinct behavioural changes. Masse was a former Resistance fighter, an astute farmer and regarded as ‘absolutely trustworthy’ by police investigators. Lieutenant-Colonel Valnet, Maitre Chautard, leading the gendarmerie and the Mayor of Valensole, in fact everyone who investigated the case, concluded that Maurice Masse was telling the truth.
Investigators found that the ground where the craft had landed was soaked with moisture, although no rain had fallen. Geometrically spaced indentations covered the area and the plants were affected by the proximity of the phenomenon, appearing to decay in direct proportion to their distance from the central column of the craft. The calcium content of the soil at the landing site was found to be much higher than in samples taken from other areas in the field.
Famous UFO writer and researcher Dr Jacques Vallee, returning to the scene of the incident in 1979 and meeting with Maurice Masse and two of his close friends, makes a number of interesting observations. He notes that Masse was reluctant to give all the details of his experience to investigators as well as to his own family at the time, including the fact that he believed that some type of silent communication took place between himself and the beings. From the beginning he wanted to minimise the impact of the experience, not wanting publicity, amongst other reasons. Like many experiencers of this phenomenon, he had changed in many ways as a result of the experience, including the belief that some form of contact, once established, continued in subtle forms. Vallee concludes, "Throughout these discussions with Mr Masse I had the feeling that I was in the presence of a very intelligent man, capable of deep emotions and rational thought. He is also quite humble; he has declined to appear on a television documentary with a nationally known journalist.... I had brought with me a photograph of similar traces left after another case. Mr Masse looked at me with a mixture of amazement and relief that someone else was aware of these particular marks. He told us that he sometimes found them in his field; that’s how he knows that ‘they’ have come back. He always erases the traces immediately."
As promised, let us now return to the 1997 workshop, with a panel of nine scientists reviewing purported physical evidence associated with UFO reports and funded by Mr Laurance S Rockefeller. Unfortunately the panel was extremely limited by the time allocation of just three days. Compare this with, for example, the two year long Colorado Project that was supported by both the Air Force and the Central Intelligence Agency. Chairperson Professor Peter Sturrock quite rightly points out in his report, with respect to the limiting time allocation, "It would certainly be highly unreasonable to expect such a panel to solve, in only a few days, a problem that has remained unsolved for fifty years."
Time was only one of the limitations that the panel faced that would hinder their progress in reviewing evidence in this whole area. UFO research teams have long been familiar with these difficulties. For example, with respect to photographic evidence, the panel noted, "photographic evidence can contribute to a better understanding of the UFO phenomenon.... it is highly desirable that the photographic evidence be accompanied by strong witness testimony, but it is very difficult to meet these requirements (as in the case of remotely operated scientific monitoring stations) because of the unpredictable nature of UFO events." Again, on the subject of radar records, "the panel concludes from these presentations that the analysis of radar records requires the service of radar experts. The panel also notes that information from military radar can be obtained only with the cooperation of military authorities, and that most military authorities do not offer this cooperation." Surprise surprise!
On the subject of cases involving vehicle interference, the panel found, "these reports to be intriguing. In order to contribute to the analysis of such cases, however, scientists would wish to have available evidence of a variety of types, certainly including narrative accounts, but also involving more concrete information such as radar records, tape recordings, etc." One can only ask the obvious question, as these records exist in enormous quantities, why were they not made available?
As a final example of the difficulties inherent in marrying UFO events to the requirements of orthodox science, we note the panel’s report on one of the better documented cases involving a helicopter of the US Army Reserve en route to Cleveland, Ohio, on 18 August 1973 at 11.00pm. The four man helicopter crew were returning from Columbus at approximately 10pm on a clear, calm night with fifteen mile [twenty-four km] visibility. The helicopter was cruising at ninety knots at an altitude of 2500 feet [760 metres]. Suddenly the crew saw a single, steady red light which appeared to be pacing the helicopter. The light continued its approach and the commander took over the controls from his copilot and put the helicopter into a powerful descent of approximately five hundred feet per minute. He made contact with Mansfield control tower but, after initial radio contact, the radios malfunctioned on both VHF and UHF. When the red light increased its intensity and appeared to be on a collision course at a speed estimated to be above six hundred knots, the commander increased the rate of descent to 2000 feet per minute.
With a collision seeming imminent, the light suddenly decelerated and hovered in front of the helicopter. The crew reported seeing a cigar-shaped grey metallic object that filled the entire windshield. It had a red light at the nose, a white light at the tail and a distinctive green beam that shone from its underside. This light swung over the helicopter bathing the cockpit in green light. There was no noise or turbulence from the object. Suddenly the object made a forty degree course change and left. While the object was still visible, the crew noted that the altimeter read 3500 feet with a rate of climb of 1000 feet per minute, despite the fact that the main power control was in the full down position. The commander raised the controls and the helicopter climbed nearly another three hundred feet before positive control was regained. Radio contact was then immediately resumed. In other words the helicopter ascended from 1800 feet to 3800 feet even though its controls were set to descend.
The Mansfield helicopter case involved not only the testimony of the helicopter crew but that of five ground witnesses, plus related evidence from an airline pilot, who before the event, reported unidentified traffic and a strong blue-green light source. The panel’s comment: "The panel finds reports of this type quite interesting, but without any existence of any solid physical evidence (such as analysis of the magnetic compass might have provided), it is difficult for a panel composed of physical scientists to draw any conclusions." The panel also found it curious that the commander did not know where to report such an extraordinary event. Yet again, we see how another strong case with impeccable witnesses, can be dismissed by some scientists because they will always find some filter through which it will not fit.
Despite the enormous limitations imposed by the brevity of its meeting time, Professor Sturrock and his panel of scientists were introduced to enough evidence to induce them to make a number of recommendations and suggestions in their Summary Report which are of extreme importance to UFO research. Some of these suggestions are: that the UFO problem is not simple and should receive more attention, with an emphasis on physical evidence; that regular contact between UFO investigators and the scientific community would be helpful, as also would institutional support; and that the possibility of health risks associated with UFO events should not be ignored.
The panel was greatly impressed by the work of GEPAN and there is no doubt that the best prospects for real advance in our understanding of the UFO problem would be the creation of similar projects in other countries. The most important change that could be made by scientists is to become curious. In view of the fact that modern UFO reports began in 1947, in view of the emergence of clear patterns in UFO reports and in view of great public interest, it is remarkable that some members of the scientific community have exhibited so little curiosity in the past.
It is likely that more scientists at universities would take an interest in the problem if they felt that their activities would receive the same recognition and level of support as their more conventional research. Moreover, students would become better informed if there were occasional lectures or seminars on this subject. Investigators could help this process by developing resource material for such seminars.
The UFO problem is very complex and it is impossible to predict what might emerge from research into this area. But the same is true of any real and exciting area of scientific research. As the panel remarked, "Whenever there are unexplained observations, there is the possibility that scientists will learn something new by studying those observations." What is learned may bear no relation to the concepts that were entertained when the research was undertaken. We venture to hope that more scientists will take an interest in this curious subject so that there will be more progress in the future. There could hardly be less. In conclusion, one can only applaud the panel’s recommendations, but also wonder how they could be so unaware of the fact that many scientists, mostly connected to secret programmes, have indeed been closely involved with the UFO phenomenon since early July 1947.
Barclay, David & Therese. (1993) UFOs: The Final Answer. London: Blandford.
Dolan, Richard M. (2000) UFOs and the National Security State. New York: Keyhole Publishing.
Fowler, Raymond E. (1979) UFOs: Interplanetary Visitors. New York: Prentice-Hall.
Good, Timothy. (1996) Beyond Top Secret. London: Sidgwick & Jackson.
Saunders, David R. & Harkins, R. Roger. (1968) UFOs? Yes! Where the Condon Committee Went Wrong. New York: Signet Books.
Spencer, J. (1994) Gifts of the Gods. London: Virgin.
Sturrock, P.A. Physical Evidence Related to UFO Reports. Available at: <http://www.scientific
Vallee, Jacques. (1990) Confrontations: A Scientist’s Search for Alien Contact. New York: Random House.
Vallee, Jacques. (1991) Revelations: Alien Contact and Human Deception. New York: Ballentine Books.
By Simon Harvey-Wilson
Levitation has evoked awe, bewilderment or disbelief throughout history, and has a surprising number of links with the UFO and alien abduction phenomenon ¾ anti-gravity being the most obvious one. Human levitation occurs when a person hovers or moves through the air with no visible means of support, seemingly in defiance of the force of gravity. Despite its fascinating and anomalous nature levitation has seldom been the subject of serious research. Few people today claim to have seen someone levitating and science currently has no explanation for it, except to say that, if it occurs at all, it seems to be paranormal or miraculous. It is understandable, therefore, that human levitation has traditionally been regarded as a religious phenomenon with numerous saints from various religions being reported to have levitated. But a closer examination reveals that levitation reports come from a variety of settings, some of them with little religious flavour.
Most encyclopedias of the paranormal refer to human levitation, but I have only been able to locate three complete books on the subject, one of which was written in 1928. Apart from its controversial nature, one reason for this neglect may be because it is unclear who should study human levitation. Even today most physicists would be unwilling to jeopardise their reputation by researching anything to do with the paranormal. Parapsychology would seem the most appropriate approach, but I have been unable to find a single parapsychologist who is currently researching levitation anywhere in the world, let alone in Australia. If anyone out there is studying human levitation, I would be interested to hear from them.
Anti-gravity.The headline of a recent New Scientist cover-story reads, "Anti-gravity: Can the heretics turn physics upside down?" (Cohen, 12 January 2002). The article claims that NASA intends to spend US$600,000 on investigating whether it is possible to create a device to shield physical matter from the force of gravity. Apart from turning physics upside down, such a discovery could have enormous commercial and scientific implications. But NASA does not seem to be interested in spending any money investigating human levitation, which might also involve a force that can shield or counteract gravity. Given human levitation’s traditional religious connotations, it is ironic that the New Scientist headline uses the term heretic, while the accompanying graphic shows a man with arms outstretched as if he is perhaps levitating or being crucified. It was not that long ago that religious heretics were burnt at the stake.
UFOs are often reported to use anti-gravity. I am not a physicist, but it seems to me that there is a difference between a propulsion system and a device that shields you from the force of gravity. If, for example, it was possible to put on a futuristic space-suit that shielded you from gravity, surely all that would happen is that you would become weightless, which would not be much help if you wanted to fly to the next suburb. Being weightless is not the same as having a propulsion system, although they may be connected. For example, if a jumbo jet, which weighs about three hundred tonnes, had an anti-gravity device on board that reduced its weight to fifty tonnes, imagine how much less fuel it would use. And how much faster could a jet fighter go if it only weighed one tonne? There are other aeronautical considerations such as sonic booms and wind resistance, but there is no doubt that the military and aviation industry would be very interested in any anti-gravity device, even if it were only twenty or thirty percent efficient. However, in cases of human levitation we have people who hover in the air and cannot be moved, some who seem to float around like leaves in the breeze, and others who levitate a specific trajectory as if their intent were controlling their flight-path. This suggests that whatever facilitates human levitation may involve a sophisticated combination of weightlessness, propulsion and consciousness. How that might work is, at this stage, anyone’s guess but will obviously involve research into fields such as consciousness and parapsychology as well as physics.
Human levitationis most often reported to occur to spirit mediums at seances; to those supposedly possessed by demonic or spiritual entities or subjected to poltergeist activity; to shamans and witches; and to a few saints, mystics and spiritual adepts from all major religions. It also sometimes occurs during and after alien abductions. For example, a few people report being levitated towards a UFO during their abduction experiences, sometimes on a glittering beam of light, and, while many abductees later develop various paranormal abilities such as healing or the capacity to make street lights go out, a small percentage find that they sometimes spontaneously levitate. I will now briefly discuss the various groups in which human levitation sometimes occurs and it will become clear how closely linked they are, though they may not have initially seemed to be. It is the similarities between the beliefs and behaviour of these groups that might provide clues to how levitation works.
Spiritualism.Perhaps the most famous levitating spirit medium was Daniel Dunglas Home (1833-1886) who was born in Scotland, spent much of his childhood in America, and for most of the remainder of his life travelled throughout Europe holding seances during which he often levitated. In those days most seances were held in complete darkness, but Home often held his in daylight and was seen levitating on numerous occasions, sometimes by highly credible witnesses such as scientists, aristocrats or royalty who attended his seances. It is unclear why paranormal events such as the levitation of people and objects occur at seances rather than elsewhere, and there are those who assert that all such events are the result of deliberate deception on the part of the spirit mediums involved. Spiritualists claim that it is spirits of the dead who cause these phenomena, and obviously anyone who believes in spirits must also believe in an invisible spirit realm or dimension that they inhabit.
Shamanism.Examples of human levitation are reported in shamanism, although the documentation is not as comprehensive as in spiritualism. Mircea Eliade, whose book Shamanism: Archaic Techniques of Ecstasy (1951/1989) is regarded as the classic text on shamanism, writes that "the experience of height and ascent, and even of levitation … can be regarded as a typical feature of shamanic techniques in general" (p.61). He also tells us that in Tungus seances, "The shaman becomes ‘light’ and can spring into the air with a costume that may weigh as much as sixty-five pounds [thirty kilograms], yet the patient scarcely feels the shaman tread on his body" (p.243). It might be expected that levitation would occur during shamanic seances if it also occurs during European seances. Like spiritualism, shamanism postulates a spirit realm and, when in the appropriate trance or state of ecstasy, shamans claim to be able to contact various spirits of the dead. The seances of European spirit mediums could even be seen as perpetuating some of the beliefs and techniques of shamanism.
There apparently exists a video called Journey Into the Beyond (1992), part of which shows a shaman or witch-doctor called Nana Owaka (or Dwaku) levitating in a remote village in Togo, West Africa. The sequence was filmed by a German documentary crew who insist that it is genuine. The video is made by Burbank International Pictures. It is directed by Frank Martin Lang (later known as Rolf Olsen) and narrated by John Carradine. (I have searched unsuccessfully for this video, so if any readers have seen it, possess it, or know where to obtain it, I would love to hear from them.)
Spirit Possession.Levitation is sometimes reported in instances of poltergeist activity or possession by malevolent spiritual forces. D. Scott Rogo (1991, p.44) quotes the 1907 example of Claire-Germaine Cèle, a teenaged Bantu schoolgirl who had been raised by nuns on a mission in Natal, Africa. Her possession started after her first communion and involved convulsions, strange languages and the apparent ability to read the minds of attending priests. The local bishop acted as her main exorcist. Visitors and residents of the mission were amazed at her capacity to levitate. "On one occasion the girl levitated six feet over her bed during the reading of the rituals and then challenged the exorcist to join her!" (Rogo, p.45). Sometimes she floated vertically with her feet downwards, but on the occasions when she floated with her feet higher than her head, it was noted that her clothing clung to her body rather than hanging down as would be expected. If sprinkled with holy water while levitating she would resume her position on the bed (p.45). It would have been interesting if the exorcists had tried sprinkling her with normal water to see if that also worked.
Poltergeist activityis poorly understood largely because it occurs so infrequently and at times may be hard to differentiate from spirit possession because people or objects may be levitated or flung across a room in both situations. Today, poltergeist activity ¾ or Recurrent Spontaneous Psychokinesis (RSPK) as it is sometimes called ¾ is thought to be caused by the suppressed feelings of a psychologically disturbed teenager. If this is the case, we could speculate that RSPK only occurs when the teenager also has significant, latent, psychic ability which can be fuelled by those suppressed feelings, otherwise levitating objects and people might be considerably more common. Others researchers claim that RSPK is the result of spirits playing paranormal games with some people’s suppressed feelings (Wilson, 1994, p.554).
This appeared to be the case in the 1977 Enfield poltergeist outbreak in England, which is perhaps the best documented case in modern times. Colin Wilson describes the investigation in his book Poltergeist: A Study in Destructive Haunting (1981). There were four children in the family concerned, but the activity appeared to centre around eleven-year-old Janet. All sorts of strange things happened in the house and many were witnessed by various psychical investigators who tried to assist in ending the chaos surrounding the family. "On one occasion, with a photographer in the bedroom, Janet was hurled out of bed" (Wilson, p.241). The resulting photo shows her in midair with a look of horror on her face as she flies across the room. Another time, before several witnesses, Janet was thrown off her chair about two and a half metres across the room (Wilson, p.240). Researchers visiting the house found that they could communicate out loud with the various spirits or ghosts causing the haunting. On one occasion an investigator, called David Robertson, challenged it (or them) to levitate Janet. While standing outside the bedroom, Robertson "heard Janet being bounced up and down on the bed." When he eventually managed to get the door open, Janet "claimed that she had floated through the wall of the next house." When they asked for a repeat of this, it didn’t happen, but a book (ironically called Fun and Games for Children) that had been in Janet’s bedroom a few minutes earlier was found on the floor next door (Wilson, p.243). A neighbour walking by outside testified that, when looking at Janet’s window, she had seen "books and cushions striking the window, and Janet rising into the air ¾ in a horizontal position ¾ and descending again, as if being bounced on a trampoline" (p.244). To test for fraud, the researchers tried bouncing on Janet’s bed to see if they could replicate this feat but were unable to do so.
Witchcraft.Witches have traditionally claimed that they can fly or levitate through the air (referred to as transvection), sometime with the aid of various ointments or unguents that they smeared on themselves (Guiley, 1989, p.253). Stuart Gordon (1996) reports the amusing instance where "A Salem witch burned in 1692 said she was lame due to falling off her broomstick en route to a sabbat" (p.163). However, the considerable distance that they supposedly travelled, and modern research into the effect of such ointments, suggests that the witches may actually have been undergoing a form of visionary or out-of-body experience (Guiley, 1989, p.255) which provided the sensation of flying through the air although their bodies remained on the ground. However, it is possible that some witches were capable of levitating.
Saints and Yogis.The levitation of saints, mystics and spiritual adepts is well documented although there are those who insist that all such reports are fraudulent or the result of hagiographical exaggeration. The best known levitating saint is St. Joseph of Copertino (Chambers, 1998). Born in 1603 in Copertino, Italy, Joseph started having religious ecstasies at a young age and decided to become a priest. Despite being absent-minded, clumsy, erratic and inclined to practise austerities, he was eventually accepted by the Franciscans in 1628. At about this time he started experiencing levitations, some of which were so extraordinary that, were it not for numerous witnesses, they would probably not be believed. Typically he would give a familiar shriek and lapse into a trance before levitating. On some occasions in church he soared over the heads of the congregation in order to kiss a cross on the wall or get to the altar. During a visit to Rome he spontaneously levitated as he knelt to kiss the feet of Pope Urban Vlll. Although people flocked to whichever monastery Joseph attended in the hope of catching a glimpse of his miraculous abilities, the Catholic church was so embarrassed by his frequent levitations that he was eventually banned from celebrating mass in public, constantly moved from place to place, and obliged to eat his meals in private.
Indian yogis, fakirs and Tibetan lamas have also been reported to levitate, often as a result of meditation and breathing exercises (pranayama). One of the eight great supernatural powers (siddhis) associated with Hinduism is called laghima or weightlessness and supposedly enables the adept to levitate or move about at tremendous speed. Another is called garima or weightfulness, which is the power to become so heavy that one cannot be moved (Walker, 1968, p.394). The Tibetan yogi Milarepa is reputed to have been able to levitate over large distances (Rogo, 1991, p.29).
Ufology.Alien abductees report two types of levitation experiences. Some recall being levitated towards a UFO by a dazzling beam of light. In his book Alien Identities: Ancient Insights into Modern UFO Phenomena (1993), Richard Thompson writes that, "Psychical phenomena that typically occur during UFO encounters include telepathic communication, levitation, passing of matter through matter, and mysterious healing" (p.161). The second category of paranormal phenomena that abductees experience occurs after their initial abduction: remembering that many people eventually discover that they are repeat abductees. This generally involves something that resembles poltergeist activity, which some researchers call Electrical Sensitive Syndrome because it appears to be partially electromagnetic in nature. Professor Kenneth Ring describes this in his book The Omega Project (1992). Apart from effects like causing street lights to go out, there may be spooky examples such as an abductee’s CD player switching itself on in the middle of the night, playing that person’s favourite song and then turning itself off. Occasionally however, abductees may experience gravitational rather than electromagnetic anomalies during which they find themselves spontaneously levitating. In his book Dimensions: A Casebook of Alien Contact (1990, p.176), Jacques Vallee gives an example of a French doctor to whom this occurred.
There is a third levitation connection with ufology. In an article called "The Entities" in the MUFON Journal (1994, p.3), Dan Wright, who was then the manager of the MUFON Abduction Transcription Project, tells us that forty-one percent of the project’s abduction transcripts that mention how aliens move, describe them as levitating or gliding. Is it possible that some aliens have mastered the esoteric art of levitation and use it to move themselves and abductees around when in unfamiliar gravitational conditions? If this is so, we perhaps have an additional reason for researching levitation more seriously than has been done in the past.
Similarities.One way to find useful clues as to how human levitation might work is to analyse what the various groups that occasionally produce such reports have in common. Several connections are obvious. A belief in spirits and/or a spiritual realm is integral to shamanism, mysticism, spiritualism, spirit possession and poltergeist activity. Although such beliefs do not actually amount to proof that spirits and a spirit realm actually exist, they do suggest that something is going on; but what? The people who belong to these groups often enter trances or altered states of consciousness ¾ either voluntarily or involuntarily ¾ and many of them develop paranormal abilities other than levitation. This introduces the closely related and often controversial subjects of parapsychology and consciousness research, which will be discussed later. Alien abductions also have several interesting similarities with these groups. My own research has shown that many abduction experiences closely resemble shamanic initiation experiences (Harvey-Wilson, 2001, p.3). Like shamans, abductees often develop an animistic perspective in which they see aliens as a type of spiritual being from another realm or dimension. They may also develop various paranormal abilities, including healing. Like some shamans this may involve the ability to look into a person’s body and diagnose illness, almost as if they had x-ray vision. An animistic perspective also involves a deep concern for animals and the environment. Abductees may start to see Earth as if it were alive and in desperate need of better treatment than it is getting at present. This raft of feelings is perhaps best documented by Professor John Mack in Passport to the Cosmos (2000).
Another interesting similarity between shamanism and alien abductions is that in indigenous societies it is often believed that malevolent spirits can kidnap people’s souls, thus causing them illness. It is the unenviable role of the shaman to venture into the otherworld and retrieve the soul, thus restoring the patient to health. Similarly, alien abductees can be referred to an abduction counsellor because they appear to be suffering symptoms of post-abduction stress, yet are unable to recall what has happened to them. In a sense we could say that their memories of what happened to them have also been abducted. Somewhat like a shaman, the therapist ¾ often using hypnosis ¾ ventures into the abductee’s unconscious to help retrieve those lost memories and restore the patient to health. We could speculate, therefore, that the difference between a person’s unconscious and the shamanic otherworld might simply be a matter of cultural terminology ¾ they may actually be largely the same thing, whichagain brings us back to consciousness research.
There are a few religious groups who claim that aliens are actually demonic entities intent on corrupting or subverting the human race (Downing, 2001; Ritchie, 1994, p.56). In other words, they believe that alien abductions are a form of spirit possession. This is a delicate subject, but there is no doubt that many abductees report that initially they are completely unable to prevent or resist their abduction experiences. It is as if their body and/or consciousness has been taken over by a force greater than themselves. Repeat abductees may become more relaxed about their experiences and may even look forward to further encounters, while others report becoming familiar with various aliens and being able to negotiate the circumstances of future encounters.
If we think about this, we can see that there is not that much difference between, firstly, a shaman learning to interact with or be temporarily possessed by beings from the spirit realm, and, secondly, a spirit medium allowing the spirit of a dead person to temporarily inhabit his or her body during a seance. In some cases both these are similar to someone being abducted or interacting with an alien who has paranormal or spiritual qualities from some seemingly spiritual or interdimensional realm. The difference may be largely a matter of cultural definition and can perhaps be measured by how much control the shaman, spirit medium, or abductee has, or learns to have, over the initial and subsequent encounters. In indigenous societies a person who cannot get rid of a spiritual entity that has possessed him or her is regarded as mad rather than as a shaman. Likewise, in Christianity for example, a person who becomes involuntarily possessed and starts to display paranormal abilities and/or levitates is definitely not regarded as a saint, although some saints claim to have encounters with spiritual beings and may also levitate. The historical accounts suggest that some mystics were most reluctant to reveal instances of spontaneous levitation in case they were thought to be possessed. The Catholic researcher Olivier Leroy in his book Levitation: An Examination of the Evidence and Explanations (1928) makes it quite plain that he believes that saints that levitate are divinely blessed, while spirit mediums are just being duped by demonic entities. Leroy is clearly biased, but one wonders what he would have thought about alien abductions if he were still alive.
Taboos.The Catholic church’s apparent ambivalence about miraculous phenomena makes human levitation harder to investigate because it reduces the number of witnesses and subsequent documentation of such events. For example, the Croatian stigmatist Father Zlatko Sudac, who visited America early in 2002, claims to have "the gifts of levitation, bilocation, illumination, and the knowledge of upcoming events". However, when asked about them during a recent interview, he declined to elaborate until the Catholic hierarchy had made a pronouncement about the matter. A variation on religious ambivalence is the poor documentation of miraculous events in cultures where paranormal abilities are taken for granted. Such a blasé attitude is illustrated by a story about the Tibetan yogi Milarepa (1052-1135) who is reported to have once levitated over the heads of some distant relatives who were ploughing a field. "The man’s son … spotted the levitating monk and called to his father to stop work and observe the miracle. Milarepa’s relative looked up, saw the levitating holy man, and firmly instructed his son to ignore that ‘good-for-nothing’ and get back to work" (Rogo, 1991, 29).
Religion and science have always had an uneasy relationship, as for example in the still ongoing debate about evolution and creationism. While not so important perhaps, research into levitation is also hampered by centuries of prejudice about witches, possession, and spiritual taboos about paranormal abilities. In his book The Hindu World (1968), Benjamin Walker writes that, "Patanjali speaks of siddhis as ‘impediments to the attainment of true perception’, and other great thinkers of India also deprecate the pursuit of siddhis, since they are frequently rooted in desire and involve one in material things. The magician or wonder-worker is not regarded as a true adept and his performances are frowned upon by enlightened minds" (p.395). In my opinion, such taboos, and sceptical claims that levitation does not even exist, should not be permitted to obstruct open-minded research into human levitation, especially in the light of evidence that aliens may be using a mastery of this and other paranormal talents to abduct people, sometimes against their will.
Teleportation.Some researchers see teleportation as a "higher form" of levitation (Melton, 2001). John Hasted, who has a chapter on levitation in his book The Metal Benders (1981), writes that levitation could perhaps be seen as "a continual rapid series of teleportation events, each to a position very slightly removed from its predecessor; this would produce the appearance of continuous movement or suspension." While not exactly illustrating Hasted’s suggestion, the 1970s case of the seemingly possessed Italian nun, ‘Sister Rosa’, appears to illustrate a link between levitation and teleportation. On one occasion the terrified sisters who were attending to her saw Sister Rosa "rise up in the air, float slowly up to the ceiling ¾ and pass right through it." She was later found "standing on the floor above" (Gordon, 1996, p.162). This is interesting because it closely resembles reports of some alien abductees being floated or levitated through their bedroom walls, windows or ceilings during their abduction experiences.
As if being levitated wasn’t bizarre enough, one might wonder how a person or solid object could move through a wall or ceiling without breaking it. We do not currently know the answer to this question, but at least someone appears to be doing some research into it. In his book Psychic Wars: Parapsychology in Espionage and Beyond (1999), the German parapsychologist Dr Elmar Gruber reports that during experiments by the Chinese government into the extraordinary abilities of one of their star psychics, Zhang Baosheng, scientists used a four hundred shots-per-second high-speed camera to film while he transported or teleported a pill from inside a sealed glass container. "On one exposure the pill can be seen as it is penetrating the glass wall, on the next it is half inside and half out, and on the third it is completely outside the container" (p.120). During these experiments, most of the pills and glass containers were undamaged. This appears to suggest that, under the right conditions, solid materials can interpenetrate each other. This may not seem quite so amazing if we recall that physicists tell us that, down at the atomic level, so-called solid matter is largely made of empty space. If human science has demonstrated that such things are possible here on Earth, then it seems quite feasible that an advanced extraterrestrial species might be using such a technology in their space program ¾ if that is what we could call alien abductions. What I would like to know is; how does it work?
In The Metal Benders (1981), John Hasted also reports that: "In 1977 a young Soviet physicist, August Stern, defected to the West and related some of his experiences in parapsychology. He had worked in the Siberian science city of Novosibirsk" with about fifty scientists who induced levitation by enclosing a subject "within a cube of mirrors. The multiple images, apparently stretching in all directions to infinity, have the effect of disorienting the subject, who then levitates if he has the ability." Hasted tried the same experiment using Stern as the subject but was unsuccessful. I am not aware of any reports of experiments into human levitation appearing in popular science magazines, so we might speculate that, if they are taking place, such research is classified for reasons of national security.
Radiance.There are a few reports that some people who have been seen levitating were also surrounded by a brilliant light, sometimes in the form of a beam and sometimes as a general illumination. For example, Scott Rogo reports that in 1608 the mystic St Bernardino Realino was seen to be levitating nearly a metre off the ground in the kneeling position while praying in his room at his monastery in Lecce, in southern Italy. The saint was radiating light so brightly that the witness, Tobias de Ponte, had initially thought that the room was on fire in (Rogo, 1991, p.21). It is unclear whether this radiance is connected to human levitation or whether these are different paranormal phenomena that sometimes occur together. Nevertheless, here we have another possible connection to UFOs, who themselves appear to levitate, perhaps using the same force as in human levitation, and are often surrounded with a brilliant light ¾ thought to be plasma ¾ and may shine what resemble searchlights or laser beams at the ground or abductees (Harvey-Wilson, 1998). Abductees also frequently report that the interiors of UFOs are lit by a seemingly sourceless illumination.
Consciousness research, or neuroscience, and perhaps psychiatry, appear to be relevant to human levitation because trances and altered states of consciousness are so often mentioned. However, it is difficult to define altered states satisfactorily given that consciousness researchers are so sharply divided as to how normal consciousness works. The confusion surrounding such issues is partially illustrated by the furore that resulted from the publication of psychiatrist Dr John Mack’s book Abduction: Human Encounters With Aliens (1995). There seem to be as many reports of paranormal events in ufology as there are in religious history, and Mack nearly lost his job at Harvard for having the audacity to research such a controversial subject. One could write an entire article on the possible links between consciousness and paranormal phenomena, but what seems to be at the heart of the controversy is one provocative question. Can consciousness in some way transcend the physical limits of the human body and, if so, how? This might sound like a simple issue but it certainly is not. Other ways of putting it are to ask whether there exists a ‘ghost in the machine’, whether the mind has a transpersonal component, or, to use religious terminology, whether humans have a soul or spirit? There is not space here to discuss the numerous ramifications of these questions except to say that some researchers answer them with a resounding and dogmatic "No!". If that is the case, other scientists respond, how do we explain things like paranormal phenomena, remote viewing, out-of-body experiences, near-death experiences, and the fact that shamanism, spiritualism, and every religion in human history assert that spirits, life-after-death, and some sort of spirit realm do exist? We can see then how further research into consciousness is central to a possible explanation for human levitation.
Transcendental Meditation.Some TM practitioners claim that it is possible for advanced meditators to learn to levitate, and many people have seen pictures showing them appearing to hop around while sitting cross-legged. Although hopping is clearly not the same as levitating, this practice is based on various Eastern esoteric traditions which can supposedly lead to some adepts being able to levitate. For example, in her book Magic and Mystery in Tibet (1965), Alexandra David-Neel describes jumping exercises done by various Tibetan ascetics while sitting cross-legged on thick cushions. She writes that, "Some lamas succeed in jumping very high in that way" and that "the body of those who drill themselves for years, by that method, become exceedingly light; nearly without weight. These men, they say, are able to sit on an ear of barley without bending its stalk or to stand on the top of a heap of grain without displacing any of it. In fact the aim is levitation" (p.207).
Party Games.Many people have heard of the party game in which four people stand on either side of someone sitting on a chair and, by putting their fingers under the person’s armpits and knees, they discover that they are able to lift the person into the air with considerable ease. The impression gained is that the subject has somehow become lighter. There are several variations to this exercise. Sometimes the lifters first put their hands on the person’s head and push down before lifting, while others believe that the four lifters must be standing at the correct points of the compass for the exercise to work. Unfortunately, this does not count as true levitation unless the lifters can actually remove their fingers leaving the subject suspended in mid-air. John Hasted (1981) has suggested that the subject’s apparent loss of weight could be investigated by putting all five people onto a large weighing device during this exercise.
Explanationsfor human levitation seem to depend on the spiritual beliefs of those concerned. As mentioned above, shamans, mystics, spirit mediums, those who are possessed or subject to poltergeist activity, and many alien abductees believe in some form of otherworld or divine realm inhabited by various gods and spirits. With minor variations, their explanation for human levitation is that these spiritual forces are responsible. Unfortunately, this explanation could simply be seen as replacing one mystery with another, because the existence of invisible spiritual beings is at present not particularly amenable to scientific investigation.
On the other hand, some people claim that they alone are responsible for their levitation. Seenath Chatterjee (1887) describes meeting "a Lama from Tibet" who was not only happy to demonstrate his capacity to levitate at will but pointed out that, "this sort of ‘commonplace Siddhi’ could be performed by even Lama-pupils in his Guru’s monastery who were not very far advanced" (p.726). Paul Dong (1984, p.167) describes two doctors of Chinese medicine who are able to levitate as a result of their mastery of ching gong (lightweight gong), which is a specialised aspect of the traditional Chinese breathing technique called qi gong. While both these examples do have some spiritual connotations, they appear to illustrate that, after sufficient practice, a few people can learn to levitate at will and are then less inclined to blame invisible spiritual entities. This suggests that an analysis of the similarities in behaviour and beliefs of people who are reported to have levitated, and the various cultural and religious settings in which it is reported to occur, may lead to a clearer understanding of how human levitation works. It may be particularly relevant to discuss the training and beliefs of those who have claimed to be able to levitate at will.
Conclusion.Unlike many other paranormal, spiritual or religious experiences, the phenomenon of human levitation ¾ if and when it does occur ¾ is at least a clearly visible act. In several ways we could regard human levitation as a liminal phenomenon; one which straddles the visible and invisible, the physical and the spiritual, the earthly and the heavenly, the divine and the demonic, the alien and the human. It could be seen as a phenomenon where, for a brief while, the invisible actually reveals itself, or at least its power. Such opportunities should not be ignored. Researchers of all persuasions have for too long concentrated on things that they can easily measure, dissect, weigh, describe, or replicate while avoiding, or even denying the existence of, things that are invisible, intangible, spiritual, paranormal, or alien. It seems to me, therefore, that researching human levitation might be an ideal way to start making inroads into these hypothesised invisible dimensions. There are numerous possible outcomes. It may eventually be discovered that human levitation is a load of nonsense, but I doubt that this will turn out to be the case. There have been too many surprisingly similar reports throughout history from all over the world. I suspect that where there’s smoke there is probably fire. Any scientist who asserts that levitation is impossible because science cannot currently explain it is, frankly, just an idiot and should hand his lab coat over to someone who understands that research is about exploring the unknown, not ignoring it. As the bumper sticker says, "Science should be the investigation of the unexplained, not the explanation of the uninvestigated"
It may be discovered that genuine instances of levitation, from for example spiritualism and Chinese qi gong, have different explanations. Perhaps aliens and invisible spirits do exist and can levitate people, but, with the right training, a person may learn to levitate at will without the help of spirits. The energy involved in human levitation ¾ if that is what it is ¾ might, like electricity, be accessible to anyone who has the appropriate motivation, resources and expertise to use it. We might discover that blaming levitation on invisible entities (saints blame god; the possessed blame demons; shamans and spiritualists blame spirits; and abductees tend to blame aliens) is just a natural but misguided human tendency when faced with anomalies that appear to derive from unknown dimensions of consciousness. We might even discover that some sort of anti-gravity force does actually exist and that writing about it, in addition to the popularity of movies like Harry Potter, helps remove the current taboos and psychological barriers about levitation, with the result that eventually a few people in the community might start to levitate as a means of getting about or climbing over things.
Public Appeal.I am currently researching human levitation and would like to hear from anyone who, whatever the circumstances, has either found themselves levitating, or seen someone else doing it. I can be contacted in confidence at email@example.com, or at PO Box 670, Mundaring, Western Australia, 6073, Australia. I may want to interview you or send you a questionnaire later, but you would be completely anonymous when the research was published.
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The Leeds UFO Conference
By Morley Legg
Our first stop-over on the way to the 20th Leeds International UFO Conference in England was Oslo, Norway, on 4 September 2001. I had contacted Norwegian ufologists on the Internet and arranged to visit Odd-Gunnar Roed, the editor of UFO Norge. A reason for this diversion was that I had lived and worked in Oslo for three years (1955-58) while in my mid-twenties. I then settled in England, married in Nottingham, and returned to Perth in 1963, with Sheila and a daughter. Arriving in Oslo again, for probably the last time, was poignant but also challenging.
Odd-Gunnar lives about two hours drive south of Oslo where he owns a company and manages the Tonsberg cinema. He proved to be charismatic, divorced, with three daughters. He drove me to his home where we spent three hours talking about the similarities and differences in our approach to ufology. ‘UFO Norway’, which he joined in 1974, is a nation-wide organisation with ten leaders and forty investigators, now tabling its two thousandth case. What had led him into UFOs? He said it was probably a near-death experience as a child ¾ he fell through ice while skating. He had discussed this in San Marino with two American ufologists who had also had NDEs. One of them, Linda Moulten Howe, was driving and found she was winding up the window, not knowing why. Seconds later a deer-buck smashed into the window causing her to crash into trees. A.J Gevaerd had survived a car crash in Brazil.
We touched on Norway’s most prolific UFO site at Hessdalen, a valley in the far north, one hundred and twenty kilometres south of Trondheim. Hundreds of UFO sightings have been made there; at one time as many as twenty a week. Different committees were formed in the 1980s to study the phenomena. One was made up of people from the Norwegian Research Establishment (NDRE) and the universities of Oslo, Bergen and Trondheim. A team of Italian radio astronomers had just concluded their study of strange lights in August and it was claimed they had encountered new phenomena.
I had brought with me Mary Rodwell’s video, Expressions of ET Contact, and I showed Odd-Gunnar copies of abductee Tracy Taylor’s paintings. In exchange for our latest Journal of Alternative Realities he gave me four UFO Norge magazines (a forty page quarterly with over eight hundred subscribers) and a video of the recent UFO Conference in Oslo. We talked about crop circles; he suspects the more complex ones are man-made. His English ufologist friend, Philip Mantle, plans to settle in Norway. Odd-Gunnar said he lectures all over Norway, in schools, clubs, and also on oil rigs in the North Sea. He tries to keep a low profile examining close encounters of the third kind and has a US psychologist regressing Norwegians who claim abduction experiences. He hopes to visit Australia. It was a great meeting that sharpened expectations for the Leeds Conference.
We flew to Manchester, where at first we ignored the television highlights of planes exploding into the twin towers of the World Trade Centre in New York, thinking it was a new film. But during the following ten days before the Conference the significance of the catastrophe and our vulnerability, began to sink in. ‘Heathrow May Be Next’ rang the headlines.
The 20th Leeds International UFO Conferencewas held at the usual place; the Conference Auditorium at the University of Leeds (21-23 September 2001). The five hundred seats were sold out. The theme was, ‘UFOs and the Experiencers’. Our shared impression on arriving on the Friday evening was the mass of people in the vendors’ room. Greetings and laughter continued in a wide range of different accents. There is nothing like authors standing behind their books, displayed on tables, to draw in pressing crowds. People were queuing to buy or question the authors. Among the familiar faces of high profile people were John Mack, Nick Pope, Budd Hopkins, Georgina Bruni, and Timothy Good. We found Alan Alford was selling hardcover remainders of his excellent Gods of the New Millennium for $15 Australian. I had some questions for him. Former Australasian Society for Psychical Research committee member, Humphrey Plumstead, understood from reading When the Gods Came Down that the gods, angels, and aliens in ancient writings were nothing but meteorites. Alan admitted he should have made it clearer that "every material object has life, a spirit." Anyway it was food for further thought. His latest book on display was The Atlantis Secret.
Sheila and I introduced ourselves to Graham Birdsall (editor of UFO Magazine), reminding him of our meeting in Fremantle. He was delighted to see us and insisted on taking us upstairs to meet a number of people. After an hour of the important social activity of intermixing, the crowd gradually moved upstairs to take seats in the auditorium. The speakers, assisted by a giant back-projection screen, gave short introductory talks about what they would be covering on Saturday or Sunday. An ‘Armchair Forum’ followed where they answered questions from the audience. Would the UFO conference, with its usual focus on anomalous undercurrents behind surface appearances, throw any light on September 11, or on what might happen next? Ten days had passed since the catastrophe, and many were hoping for insights. My original interest was to hear the latest news and theories, but I had Mary Rodwell’s abduction video and five Journal of Alternative Realities to give to the most appropriate recipients. Learning about other UFO groups was another priority, and it proved stimulating to meet and share viewpoints with the internationals: Koreans, Burmese, a Jamaican, a Swede, Americans, etc.
We stayed at a nearby hotel which provided bed and breakfast to over thirty international students. This proved another unique setting to gauge the mood of the world. We talked to Africans, Indians, Singaporeans, and a Greek lady studying (too much it seems) the philosophy of science, who knew nothing about the destruction of the World Trade Centre when I brought the matter up. "What ... when? Where? Why?" On Saturday morning at eleven Graham Birdsall opened the program and first set a minute’s silence in memory of the thousands of victims of the September 11 attack. He then announced the first speaker, Professor John Mack of Harvard Medical School.
John Mackbegan by saying there is strength in coming together, in sharing experiences and speaking out. He had now worked with two hundred experiencers, and had won reluctant approval from Harvard to continue his abduction research. Of all the speakers at the conference I appreciated him the most because in saying, "There is a dynamic resonance between the outside world and inside world," he stressed the importance of links between world problems, environmental and economical, and the world’s refusal to face the UFO mystery squarely. He spoke of the increased emotional awareness of astronauts returning from the moon and seeing Earth from space, exploding the consciousness of who and what we are. His research over twelve years had opened up new meanings, and led him to criticise corporate behaviour throughout the world. "Ufology doesn’t belong to academia," he said. "We don’t yet have a science of human experience." He went into the significance of what happened on September 11 and added an economic fact, long ignored by the West, "the inequality of wealth ... one out of three has no food ... the successful part of the world suppresses the unsuccessful.... If humans try to bury something it will come back to us. If we are not able to become one human family, it will rise up to show us."
He mentioned Steven Greer’s Disclosure Project which began with twenty key figures from the military, science and technology, who spoke of their experience with UFOs, and yet America remained disinterested. He stressed the importance of sensing the interconnectedness of everything, and added that, "Once people come to terms with the trauma of their abduction experience they sense that they are ... one with all the peoples of the Earth, with Islamic peoples, with Hindus, with Sikhs."
During the breaks Graham Birdsall was always a master of ceremonies. He brought up news, topics of interest and liked to use humour. He welcomed the visitors from overseas in the audience. Each nationality was asked to stand and received applause. But I and others wished we were given name and country tags, as MUFON does at its conferences in the USA.
Georgina Bruniproved to be an accomplished investigator-journalist, one with the right connections to have once been sitting beside Margaret Thatcher at a dinner. The title of her book, You Can’t Tell the People came from Thatcher when Bruni brought up the question of UFOs. Georgina’s sense of protocol at the top military levels helped her see through the politics involved in maintaining the cover-up of Britain’s most sensational UFO case. Her latest news on the Rendlesham Forest landing (dismissed by authorities as having ‘no defence significance’) only confirms that the landing of the object in 1980 must have been something extraordinary if, as Admiral of the Fleet Lord Hill-Norton (Chief of the British Defence Staff, 1971-73) claimed, it cannot be reviewed again for release until 2025.
Three of the many military witnesses who saw the craft experienced forty minutes of missing time, and now Jim Penniston admits he saw human-looking aliens by the craft. Numerous drawings by witnesses were shown on the screen. Records show that people experienced similar lights in the same area in 1947, 1956, and one was seen in Oliver Cromwell’s day, in 1646. Georgina’s book probes into every aspect of the case and is a revelation in disclosure. If the claims are of no importance why are pages of the account missing from so many log books? Lord Hill Norton, after persistent questioning in the House of Lords about the case, was recently given some files. But six files were held back.
Budd Hopkinsspent a few minutes saying that he and his wife had witnessed the destruction of the World Trade Centre towers from their residence. He said that since the publication of his book Witnessed in 1996, four new witnesses had come forward with supporting evidence. He revived memories that on 30 November 1989, United Nations traffic was stalled on the Brooklyn Bridge at 3am while Linda Cortile was seen floating out of a twelve story window in a blue-white light. It was now confirmed that Richard and Dan, key witnesses in Linda’s abduction, had been identified as top government security agents. Slides were shown of a newspaper photograph of Gorbachev and Reagan in New York, with Dan among officials. In another, Dan was present with Reagan, President Bush (senior) and Gorbachev. Another showed Linda Cortile with Cardinal O’Connor. Budd stressed the significance of these photographs, particularly Linda with the most powerful Roman Catholic figure in New York, who was also close to the Pope.
Budd’s closing assumption was that the aliens envy our diversity, but he hopes they can learn from us. Monsignor Balducci of the Vatican was said to accept aliens as a theological issue, saying, "It has all been discussed at the highest level." It makes one wonder if the World Trade Centre catastrophe is linked to other dramas going on behind the scenes and whether the top echelons of wealth, knowledge and power are keeping to themselves what they prefer to keep from us.
I had been looking forward to hearing Graham Ennis as he was reputed to have sound connections with mainstream science. According to UFO Magazine he had been organising a gathering of international scientists for a workshop on gravitational physics and had agreed to be a speaker at the conference. It would be interesting to have some of the disparities between mainstream minds and UFO enthusiasts clarified. But he failed to arrive. Professor John Mack’s ‘politics of knowledge’ came to mind. The risks of studying UFOs can curtail funding and ruin a career. Richard Haines also failed to arrive, but he had understandable difficulty in getting a flight out of New York.
Comments from Question Times.John Mack was asked to comment on channelling. "Not everything is true," he began after admitting his reluctance to comment. "We need to learn more about evaluating channelling." Someone rose to say he had just returned from a science conference in Glasgow where it was announced that shifts in the flow of the Gulf Stream meant that in six years Scotland would freeze. It caused a murmur around the auditorium and mention was made of Whitley Strieber’s The Coming Global Superstorm. When questions were raised about the apparent US disinterest in the Disclosure Project, Mark Hall said, "The biggest problem is public apathy."
Russel Callaghanspoke about UFO videos that were sent to UFO Magazine. A video of shots taken by Christopher Martin showed some UFOs and impressive spheres over London. Selections from others showed barely visible objects in the skies while comments bordering on the hysterical were made by those present during the filming. Their worth is questionable until we know more about the time and place they were filmed. At the end someone from the audience took the microphone to boom. "That film was rubbish!" There was instant silence and then a gradual swell of laughter. The specks, "millions of them!", could have been newspapers, plastic bags or balloons. Oh, well, we do need to be discriminating.
Nick Pope and Bridget Grant.Nick Pope, an official of the British Ministry of Defence (MoD), who spent 1991-94 tabulating UFO reports, has now interviewed over one hundred experiencers. Bridget Grant, who was accompanying him, had had ongoing paranormal experiences, and Nick had been using regressive hypnosis in his attempts to understand them. He conducted an interview with Bridget which helped to convey what had been happening, and how her experiences compared with those of others world-wide. She told of sighting UFOs ¾ "one was forty foot long" ¾ and aliens when she was in America, and slides were shown of where they had appeared. One slide showed scoop marks which had appeared on her legs. Each gave interesting accounts of their investigations.
Martyn Stubbswas the Canadian researcher who had recorded two and a half thousand hours of NASA’s shuttle down-link. This revealed the ‘smoking gun’ in the video The Secret NASA Transmissions. It showed UFOs moving around and behind the NASA tethered satellite, as well as other anomalies. Martyn had been suffering from a brain tumour and had just been released from hospital. He passed on the story of astronauts who claimed there were repeated knocks on the hull of their space shuttle, but felt they were receiving deliberate disinformation from the ground crew as to the actual cause. He was apparently well-known and received strong applause.
Ted Roe,the executive director of NARCAP (National Aviation Reporting Centre on Anomalous Phenomena), speaking in place of Richard Haines, drew clarity from the mass of statistics that showed UAPs (Unidentified Aerial Phenomena) posed risks to domestic aircraft. He said a relatively common report was that flying objects would orbit a domestic aircraft, sometimes momentarily blinding the crew with a white light. He introduced two British Airways pilots. Graham Shepherd began talking about the World Trade Centre, chilling many of us who had air tickets to fly home, explaining that a plane-load of passengers hijacked by suicidal terrorists would be impossible to save. His more benign experience across the Atlantic concerned a clear night when an unidentified star began extreme manoeuvres and was joined by another. The military confirmed the sighting. When he landed he was ordered not to report it. His colleague, Malcolm Smith, reported that four years ago a triangular shadow the size of a football field, flying faster than his plane, flew over him. He stressed that the MoD cannot afford to build such a craft, yet fifty sightings of them have been made. They are silent, sometimes low-flying, and slow enough to be overtaken by a car.
Graham Birdsall,editor of UFO Magazine, and the driving force behind the conference, spoke of a 1996 coalition involving the Clinton administration, NASA, eighteen top scientists, and three top religious leaders. It was formed to launch ‘Origins’, a research programme to seek evidence of extraterrestrial life. Details were listed of why humanity and world religions would find it hard to cope if it was suddenly officially announced that ETs existed, or had already landed. Apparently an alien presence would involve serious political, economic, social and religious implications. We were led to consider that the findings of the coalition were being gathered for an indoctrination process to help the world to come to terms with ET reality with less disruption.
The speculation was raised that perhaps it was already known that ETs existed, and programmes like SETI were designed to give humanity time to evolve or adjust to new religious sensibilities. One wonders if the controversial Bishop Spong’s A New Christianity for a New World (2002) has gone far enough to help us replace the fundamentalism we have been caught in. A quip was made: "Will they send missionaries to other planets to save them?" But it was a talk that got everyone thinking. Graham feels that the Vatican, by building a powerful astronomical observatory in Mount Graham in Arizona, opening with ten scientists but now having twenty, will be able to maintain its authority and "indoctrination process" over followers by using its scientific knowledge, its handing down of proof of what the Pope has called "the fingerprints of God".
He commented that Professor Frank, chief designer of the Galileo spacecraft instruments, saw Martyn Stubbs’ smoking gun video and admitted that the anomalous phenomena in the NASA footage were not easily explained, adding that scientists were reluctant to examine such material. Graham said that an aerospace engineer had agreed to offer Martyn’s video to Dr Ian Morrison, the head of the Jodrell Bank Observatory in the UK. But Dr Morrison had replied, "I refuse to look at it. It’s more than my budget is worth ... NASA could pull the plug." Graham received a long applause for a talk that was full of behind-the-scenes intrigue.
Santiago Yturria Garza, from Mexico, gave the last talk, more a poetic voice-over to impressive film footage on the big screen. Hubble shots of galaxies, the Milky Way, our sun and neighbouring planets, and finally to Earth. Then down to Mexico, the Mayan civilization and their icons of the gods. Scenes were shown of UFOs appearing beside the active volcanoes in Mexico. Much was made of specks in the sky which gradually floated down to look like suspended humanoid figures, matching some of the rituals of suspended sky gods of more recent times, and still prominent in the ancient texts. It was well-meant, but many were unimpressed that the humanoid figures were left as a mystery. Surely a cameraman with the right lens in a helicopter could have clarified the matter.
After brief chats with Nick Pope, I gave him Mary Rodwell’s video, and a copy of our Journal of Alternative Realities to his friend Bridget Grant. The remaining five journals were given to Shauna Jones and Steven, who were just starting their own UFO group in Leeds; to two Welshmen who come to the Leeds Conference every year; and to Jostein Molde, an historian from Norway who by chance happened to be the last person sitting next to me. He and I had much to talk about.
The conference was wonderful. Now it had ended, still leaving a huge difference, a potential resonance, between the mainstream and ufology ways of perceiving the world. We did have the high of running into John Mack at the Leeds Railway Station an hour or two later. We exchanged comments and said goodbye. I suddenly remembered to ask if there was a chance of his coming to Perth to talk to us at the Australasian Society for Psychical Research. He turned and said, "Just call me." These days, with any speaker, it could be almost as simple as that.
Bruni, Georgina. (2000) You Can’t Tell the People. London: Sidgwick & Jackson.
Hopkins, Budd. (1996) Witnessed. NY: Pocket Books.
Rodwell, Mary, (2000) Expressions of ET Contact [video].
Spong, John S. (2002) A New Christianity for a New World. Pymble, NSW: HarperCollins.
Strieber, Whitley & Bell, Art. (2000) The Coming Global Superstorm. New York: Pocket Books
Stubbs, Martyn. (2001) The Secret NASA Transmissions: The Smoking Gun [video].
UFO Magazine [UK]. <http://www.ufomag.co.uk>
UFO Norway. <http://www.ufo.no>
Honouring Multidimensional Experiences
By Mary Rodwell
"In this culture there may be a very small group of scientific, governmental, religious, and corporate elite that determine the prevailing bounds of reality. People know their experiences, and what they have undergone does not fit with the prevailing mechanistic world-view. Large percentages of people seem to know there is an unseen world or hidden dimensions of reality…. The Abduction/Contact phenomena challenge the sacred barrier we have created between the unseen and material world. It undermines the fundamental world-view of the Western mind." Prof John E. Mack, Sept 1995.
This article is about awakening to our multi-dimensional nature through Contact experiences. The Australian Close Encounter Resource Network, ACERN, honours all realities but specialises in Contact experience (interaction with non-human extraterrestrial beings). The classic form of Contact is immortalised in Whitley Strieber’s book Communion (1987). These experiences incorporate such things as unexplained marks and scars on the body, and the trauma of night visits by strange beings. But my research suggests that other far less tangible and esoteric forms of Contact exist, and this has led me to conclude that classic Contact may be just part of a fairly broad spectrum of multi-level Contact experiences. It is possible that far greater number of people experience the more subtle forms of Contact, with none or just a few of the classic indicators. This subtle form is even less tangible in third dimensional terms than the classic form. To explore these experiences more fully we may need to redefine what we now understand about Contact experience, and also what makes these experiences a reality for so many.
From my seven years of research into this phenomenon I have collated data that show many indicators to suggest Contact. These indicators are far broader and require openness to the reality of strong emotion, creativity, psychological and spiritual focus. Indicators, which although less concrete, can have a profound effect on the lives of those who experience them, and which require an openness to the exploration of our multidimensional nature.
I was in touch with Whitley Strieber recently when inquiring about his book The Communion Letters (1997) in which he discusses the vast spectrum of Contact experiences and in which he confided that some of the most unusual came from Australia. In his book, which is a compilation of letters he has received, he remarks on such diversity of experiences: "One particular type of letter we get, describes journeys with the visitors. These letters have very similar characteristics in that their authors have usually had many years of conscious contact experience. They are generally people who have been interacting comfortably with the visitors for most of their lives, so these may be stories, in a sense, from the future of mankind." Whitley continues, "Issues of fear and consequent traumatic amnesia generally don’t enter into these narratives. How real are these stories? As incredible as these are, there is no more reason to dismiss them than any of the others. One of the main problems with the visitor experience is that anything that doesn’t fit expected patterns is generally ignored." (Strieber, 1997, pp.141-142).
We know that Contact can manifest through intangibles such as symbolic images and strange sounds, as mentioned by Strieber in his books. But, with all forms of this experience, there may be inexplicable emotions and strong drives within the psyche that create confusion for the individual. The classic Contact experience leaves tangible evidence, but the individual still experiences huge conflict as it challenges his or her reality paradigm. Television programs such as The X Files have made this experience recognisable as ‘night visitor’.
"The light, the light … the loud humming sound, your body stiffens, paralysed, a creeping dread ... panic ... as your eyes carefully scan the room while your heart pounds. You want to call out, but can make no sound, and it becomes the inner scream, no, not again! You have no control, as you hear the familiar low buzzing sound, something is about to happen. You sense ‘them’, bizarre shadows, feeling someone is close. Suffocating, misty shapes ... strange, elusive, they edge closer, panic fills you, and your mind screams ... as your worst nightmare unfolds once again. Please, please, don’t touch me. And then the deep knowing ... this has been happening all your life."
Julia (pseudonym), who has experienced this classic form of Contact many times, says: "Phew! The first bit sounds like an excerpt from the film Psycho" and then continues, "Yes, yes, I know, my experience was psycho! I had no idea what was going on with me, but, whatever it was, it never left me and I was literally terrified witless on a regular basis all my life. By the age of forty, I used to put it into the too-hard basket and get on with life. I felt I had ‘phenomena’ tattooed on my forehead. Things like audio tapes that played back to front, Earth disaster dreams, sleeping problems, eating disorders, strange rashes, violent nose bleeds, anxiety, and night clothes found back-to-front and inside-out. A constant presence would sit on my bed, tap me on the shoulder, produce footsteps up the path and in the house, and call my name. There was paralysis and strange smells. My animals would behave strangely; electric lights would flicker and flash. The old weatherboard house I lived in literally shook so violently I thought it would collapse. Strange events with black dogs and endless sagas of the unexplainable with nowhere to put them mentally!"
"People around me also saw these things going on, so I had proof, but I couldn’t put it down to a night visitor because I never knew what would happen next. I went to psychic development classes that I thought would sort it out. Nope! But I learned to distinguish what was what, and it gave me my interest in healing and let the floodgates open for manifestations beyond my wildest nightmares, as now I knew it was ET. And now my world collapses a thousand times plus with the realisation that this was what I had been dealing with alone all my life."
Julia continues: "When I met my partner, something began to stir again, more phenomena, but now we were both in it, he was having his own individual experiences on his way to work, and when we were in the same house. I called you. It was beyond our abilities to deal with it without help! It’s all around us, Mary, people just don’t know, that’s all. So what has taken me all this time to say is, are you going to give the other scenarios, the not so commonly known ones, which would make people think?"
Despite the amazing array of physical and psychic phenomena, Julia struggled to acknowledge that it was a reality, as she comments: "And now my world collapses a thousand times plus!" How much harder to validate experiences which have no physical Contact markers. It is a huge misconception that experiencers are gullible, fantasy prone, space cadets. Most are extremely sane, normal individuals who may have never seen a science-fiction movie, let alone believe in little green men. And, contrary to what most may believe, no one is more sceptical of their experiences than they are. After all, they need to be, as they need to prove to themselves that they are not crazy! With constant questioning of their personal reality, those who have the more subtle indicators often struggle even more as their multi-level experiences challenge their reality in an identical way, but without the more tangible physical markers.
The more subtle forms of Contact can incorporate identical symbology, such as owls and clowns, but other indicators may be psychological, emotional, and spiritual. But they can have enormous impact on the psyche with feelings of confusion, isolation and continual questioning of reality. I have documented this information into a soon-to-be-published book called Awakening in which I explore all forms of Contact, and have isolated over one hundred indicators of these experiences. A few of these indicators are:
These indicators can be seen as esoteric and illusive, especially those requiring evidence from a nuts and bolts paradigm. And understandably, many of the researchers in this field are still wary of this kind of data. But, like it or not, when enough individuals experience this multi-reality, we have to call into question the method of quantifying data even if that data challenges our present understanding. Through the latest research into quantum physics and consciousness, multi-level reality concepts such as scientific remote viewing, out-of-body experiences and high senses are more acceptable. But as soon as extraterrestrial beings tap into our reality space and reveal more of this multidimensional reality by travelling through space, time and solid walls, we start to panic.
Contact is often the catalyst for personal reality crises as individuals try to integrate their third dimensional principles with their multi-level experiences. Isolated by their apparent differences of perception to others, they may believe their experiences must be the products of their imagination. Many are tempted to block out this awareness through medication or alcohol. This is a consequence not of extraterrestrial trauma but trauma imposed by discrimination against anomalous personal experiences and a multi-reality which conflicts with conventional science.
Professor John Mack comments that our obsession with science has meant that we have learnt to dismiss any personal experience which cannot be explained scientifically. We are often ashamed to admit to experiences that are beyond our normal concepts of reality, believing that if science can’t explain them, they must to be suspect. Meanwhile our experiences tantalise us as we struggle to understand what they mean. And, as our experiences nag at us, we deny or ignore them. Such denial causes conflict and trauma to our psyche and promotes even more confusion as we continually question what is real. But we can never integrate or understand our experiences of an extended reality whilst our beliefs are still rooted in this present limited one. As John Mack, who is a professor of psychiatry, writes, "People know their experiences." But, if they try to verify them by seeking help, they are often confronted by the very people who are promoting these limited beliefs. They are also taught to believe that these are faulty perceptions due to their own reality programming.
Health professionals may suggest limiting your experiences through medication, which sadly further traps individuals into a denial of their experiences and the limited reality they feel they should believe in. This action may not stop the experiences; just limit their effects, and the psyche continues to question. If we are to become paradigm healthy, we have to acknowledge that our present understanding is limited and re-evaluate what makes up personal reality. It might be advisable to honour our personal experiences as one way of understanding what our reality consists of, and continually to stretch our reality paradigms by taking a quantum leap into the unknown of our own psyche. Human nature wants to understand despite the conflict of longing to put the bizarre into a deep hole within us and forget about it. But, if we do that, often another bizarre event occurs as evidence that something is happening.
Many of our spiritual masters have already challenged this third dimensional mind-set in the guise of religious events. They have manifested extraordinary behaviour which even yet is not explainable by modern science. Some events certainly are believed as a matter of faith, but maybe it’s not faith so much as understanding more of how our beliefs about our reality limit us. The so-called primitive tribal cultures have no difficulties accepting this multi-reality, and some of their experiences certainly echo Contact experiences. They talk of sky beings and how these beings have visited and taught them new things. They do not see these experiences as mental aberrations, but the experiences of an honoured and respected person, who demonstrates the abilities of the shaman. Knowledge of Contact experiences with beings from the stars features in tribes of Africa, North America, and Australian Aborigines. They believe that their ancestors came from the stars; they show amazing and detailed knowledge of the galaxy and constellations. These indigenous peoples have no access to powerful telescopes from which most of our knowledge about the universe is gained. This is indeed a mystery unless what they are telling us is fact, and indeed their understanding does come directly from our galactic visitors.
Research suggests that Contact encounters are in many ways similar to shamanic initiation experiences in indigenous societies in many parts of the world, during which the initiate shaman may be ‘abducted’ by sky gods and taken to a spiritual otherworld where he or she may undergo all sorts of challenges or indignities, but then return with paranormal gifts such as healing abilities. As in such shamanistic initiation experiences, individuals who have experienced Contact develop gifts of heightened awareness, healing abilities, telepathy and changes of perception. Ufology researcher and MUFON representative, Simon Harvey-Wilson, recently completed a thesis called ‘Shamanism and Alien Abductions: A Comparative Study’ at Edith Cowan University in Perth, Western Australia. His research demonstrates many interesting parallels between shamanism and the abduction or Contact phenomenon. This could be interpreted as evidence that for thousands of years shamans have known that some form of multidimensional, spiritual otherworld exists and ¾ on behalf of the people in their society ¾ have acted as power-brokers and travellers between that realm and this one. It may be possible that today aliens are using the extraordinary paranormal advantages of such a realm to explore the universe and interact with human beings. This suggests that it is more about the different interpretation of these experiences. What to one person may be an angel, may be a demon to another. What may be a spirit guide or alien to one culture, may be a spirit, ghost, or departed soul to another. It seems that part of the problem is modern society’s ignorance and primitive fear of this unseen world, because we have been programmed always to question any anomalous inner awareness.
If these experiences are real, regardless of their source in extended reality, then we have to honour them if we are to become paradigm healthy. Contact in its classic form has such markers, and even its trauma is a possible validation of its reality. We need to explore openly the less tangible anomalous experiences whether they are classic forms of Contact or not, not only to understand what personal reality is for ourselves, but to counter the discrimination against these personal experiences which prevents us from exploring our reality and finally becoming paradigm healthy. This discrimination means that many people live in confusion, when simply honouring their personal experiences would enable them to assimilate them and develop into a balanced multi-aware individual instead of a confused, frightened and limited one. It is possible that the Contact experience is about awakening us to our multidimensional reality, and when we do, perhaps things will finally make more sense!
Mack, John E. (1995) Abduction: Human Encounters With Aliens. London: Simon & Schuster.
Mack, John E. (1995 Sept. 16) Studying intrusions from the subtle realm: How can we deepen our knowledge? [talk]. International Association for New Science Conference. Fort Collins, Colorado.
Mack, John E. (2000) Passport to the Cosmos: Human Transformation and Alien Encounters. London: Thorsons.
Mack, John E. (2000) How the alien abduction phenomenon challenges the boundaries of our reality. In David M. Jacobs (Ed.), UFOs and Abductions: Challenging The Borders of Knowledge. Lawrence, Kansas: University Press of Kansas.
Strieber, Whitley. (1987) Communion. London: Century.
Strieber, Whitley & Anne. (1997) The Communion Letters. New York: HarperPrism.
An Ongoing Mystery
By Brian Richards
When, in September 1976, an Appaloosan mare called Lady was found dead and mutilated in the San Luis Valley in southern Colorado, no one would have believed that such bizarre practices would continue thirty-five years later. And continue they do, not only across North America, Canada, Mexico and Argentina, but in Britain, Sweden, France, several other European countries and in Australia. Satanic cults and sadistic perverts have been blamed for removing cattle genitalia and other organs, yet not one miscreant has been arrested, let alone caught performing these evil deeds. No tracks to and from the dead animals have been found, or land vehicles seen or heard arriving or departing from these crime scenes. Coyotes and predators have been blamed for much of the grisly surgery, but it defies belief how any wild scavenger might extract teeth (even if desperate for a calcium supplement), drill perfectly circular holes to remove rectums, ovaries, mammary glands and even hearts and livers. Eyes, ears, tongues and teeth are often neatly excised. Patches of hide are often removed with such precision that the flesh beneath is never cut. An unknown cutting implement is used which seems to cauterize as it cuts. There is never any bleeding. Blood is absent from the dead animal yet there is no vascular collapse. This is sometimes referred to as exsanguination.
At the time of writing (June 2002), over two hundred animals have been found mutilated in Argentina. This is of epidemic proportions, and a three hundred percent increase in a week. What is more ominous is the extent of the problem. Now a report has come in of mutilated sheep in Mexico and the first report of a mutilated cow in Uruguay.
Cattle seem to be the prime targets of these mostly nocturnal predators, but many other kinds of animals have not escaped these vicious vivisectionists. "I have never seen anything like it," said veterinarian Marcello Erro, describing a dead horse. "It is missing its tongue, an eye, an ear and its genitals. Another vet, Jorge Robles, examined a dead cow in the Arano District. He recalled the autopsy, "When I reached the pelvic cavity, I found a hole resembling a tunnel and I couldn’t find the uterus or the ovaries. They took its eye, tongue and ear, and a patch of skin bordering the lips. The incisions on the horse and cow are identical." Robles went on to say this was not classical surgery. He was not aware of any laser technology that could cut hide in this way without cutting anywhere else. Wild animals could not make those incisions. He added, "A bird or an animal that attacks a carcass isn’t after the eye, the ear or the mammary glands. They are carnivores and feed on flesh. In this case eighty percent of what’s missing is hide. The animals are found in remote spots and all the carcasses have had their heads towards the east and the tails pointing west." Robles concluded, "What is happening here does not fit within the framework of medical science." (Thanks to Scott Corrales, from the Institute of Hispanic Ufology, and Gloria Coluchi for translation.)
There are thousands of cases world-wide that have remarkable similarities. Linda Moulton Howe in her excellent book, Glimpses of Other Realities. Volume 1: Facts and Eyewitnesses (1997), lists hundreds of cases with eyewitness accounts and graphic photographs. The book deals with mutilations from 1968 to 1993. The thousands of additional reports since 1993 are simply mind-boggling, not just for the reports themselves but for the fact that they have been largely avoided by the mainstream media. We’re talking about millions of dollars in lost stock here, increasingly angry and frustrated ranchers and farmers, and a seeming lack of action or plausible explanation from the authorities.
In 1975, one of the busiest years across the USA for these secretive surgeons, mutilations occurred in nearly every state. Mysterious, usually black and unmarked helicopters were being reported from 1973 onwards, often flying dangerously low over private farmland. Sometimes silent lights of differing colours and sizes were reported hovering over private land and mutilated carcasses were discovered in the vicinity of the lights soon afterwards. Dead, mutilated and missing cattle were on the increase and farmers demanded action from the authorities.
Such was the outcry that in 1975 the United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced an investigation into the black helicopters, especially in the northeast of New Mexico where reports were rife. But after some time when no announcements were forthcoming, the FAA denied they had ever set up an investigation in the first place, contrary to newspaper reports at the onset of the study. Obviously they found something during their investigations that was too controversial to make public.
To reiterate, mutilations are not just confined to cattle. Sheep, dogs, cats, rabbits, goats and birds, have all fallen foul of the mystery mutilators. All carry similar hallmarks: no blood, no tracks, no signs of struggle, delayed rigor mortis, holes drilled, organs removed. Predators avoid the carcasses, at least for a few days. It is even rumoured that human victims have been found in Britain and elsewhere displaying the familiar, gory surgery. When private investigators in Britain have tried to go public, they have been threatened with the dreaded D Notice. This means incarceration without trial under provisions of that country’s national security legislation. Because no information about these allegations has been made public, such rumours should be treated with cautious reserve.
We do know that a Brazilian was found on 29 September 1988 near the Guarapiranga Dam, not far from Sao Paulo. The victim was a forty-four year old male. The lips, eyes, tongue, anus and all the pubic hair had been surgically removed, yet the coroner’s verdict was a lightning strike followed by carrion (vulture) attacks. An investigator, Encarnacion Zapata, obtained details of the autopsy from a medical contact. Some of those details are that tissue had been removed from the upper and lower jaw, as had the eyes, ocular cavities, tongue and other muscles. There was surgical extirpation of more muscle and viscera subcutaneously. There was extirpation of the umbilical scar and a circular perforation three centimetres wide through which the abdominal organs had been removed. The scrotal sac and testicles had been removed, as well as excision of the anus through a surgically opened orifice. What incredible carrion! It is alleged that files of twelve similar cases are under lock and key in the district coroner’s office to which researchers and investigators would love to gain access.
Reading like something out of the Fortean Times magazine, author and researcher, Salvador Freixedo, describes the night of 9 January 1978. Three men were driving home from work in Brazil when the upper torso of a man crashed through their vehicle’s windscreen and landed on the laps of the men in the back seat. In a state of shock the workers threw out the torso rather than carry it to the authorities. The driver was gaoled for ‘vehicular homicide’, but when the victim’s legs were later found some distance away from the torso, a judicial inquiry released the convicted driver. The judges ruled that the injuries sustained could not have been caused by vehicular impact or by any of the witnesses. The forensic evidence stated: no blood, no extruded organs, spine neatly (surgically) cut, no torn clothing. The torso was also cut cleanly, as if by a giant guillotine.
On 21 April 1990, two rabbits were found near Sound Beach, Long Island, in the United States. Both had been mutilated and one was headless. The classic signs were there: no blood, no tracks and the removal of eye tissue around an empty socket. Around all the incision lines Dr John Altshuler found evidence of high heat.
Author and investigator, George Andrews, writing from France, detailed bloodless sheep mutilations. He had reports of nearly two thousand cases and summarized more recent events. "We had a flock of about two hundred and fifty sheep mutilated and drained of blood in 1985, plus a flock of two hundred that died under mysterious circumstances in 1986. The incidents near Cajuers military base in the autumn of 1992 involved about two hundred and fifty sheep." Andrews continued, "It’s as if periodically in France someone somewhere needs a ‘fix’ of fresh blood and tissue. If it was needed for some secret government project, it would be far simpler for the government to run a flock of sheep through the local slaughter house, telling the butcher how they wanted the sheep processed."
In Canada and the USA, from 1991 to 1993, scores of mutilated cats were found. That is to say, halves of the cats were found. Cats would disappear and either the top half or the bottom half would show up, but never both halves. Vic Warren, the supervisor of Animal Control for the Vancouver City Pound, said in March 1993, "They’re clearly being butchered by someone – it’s a real surgical job. All I hope is that these cats were already dead when they were cut in half."
An even more bizarre story to emerge recently was from Heather Ratcliffe of the St Louis Post (dispatch 23 May 2002). "Eighteen Cow Eyeballs Found in St Louis Yards – Families Shocked." The gist of the story is that some children ran into their house screaming after finding thirteen eyeballs staring up at them in the back yard. Police were called in and gathered up the grisly find to send off for forensic examination. The St Louis County Medical Examiner, Mary Case, said the eyes were not human. They came from cows. The police collected eighteen eyes and left some behind. No one has managed to explain the find in a residential neighborhood. Is there a connection between this story and cattle mutilations, bearing in mind the often absent eyes from the found carcasses? The answer to this may never be known.
Another story to emerge from researcher, Scott Corrales, had these headlines, "Add Wild Boar To Mutilations in Argentina – More Lights Seen." This case is unusual because wild boar have exceptional olfactory senses and can swiftly detect humans and any other possible threats, allowing them a rapid getaway if needs be. This is the second wild animal to be found mutilated since the discovery of a mutilated guanaco (wild llama) in Chubut. The dead boar was found by rancher Nestor Soulé on Sunday 23 June 2002, near a gully some fifty-five kilometres from Rio Colorado, in the Pichimahuida District, Argentina. Soulé explained that the animal had geometrically-perfect incisions and was missing the anus, tongue and jaw. No tracks to and from the animal were found. To the surprise of the cattleman and farm worker accompanying him, the boar was still soft in spite of the minus fourteen degree temperature. The rancher didn’t file a police report, but loaded the dead animal into his trailer to show his neighbour. Soulé remarked, "I’m not a researcher or anything similar, and that’s why I don’t know what to say, but this is strange and I never saw anything like it before."
This is a sample of other recent cases to come out of Argentina. La Pampa: an Aberdeen Angus cow, found two kilometres from the town of Embajador Martini. Missing part of its tongue and mammary glands. Left maxillary sectioned off. North of the Pampan town of Rancul at the Los Caldenes Ranch: a cow had died of natural causes in the afternoon, to be found next day missing its tongue and part of its jaw. The Province of Entre Rios, an epicentre of mutilation events: a rancher found a one hundred and seventy kilogram heifer and a five hundred kilogram cow about eight hundred metres from each other. Both carried the familiar incision marks. Carhué: numerous animal deaths have occurred near this city.
Veterinarians Fernando Lopez and Horacio Volpe are baffled. Called to a property a week ago, they examined an eight month old calf and found hide and organs removed and that the animal was still flaccid. There was a total absence of blood. An employee on the property told Volpe that his brother had been cultivating at night and had seen some intense red lights, as though from a laser, moving very quickly across the countryside. Rio Negren, near the town of Choel Choel: a race horse was found dead with strange mutilations. The police report described the stud horse, of considerable commercial value, as though it had been hollowed out from within. Veterinarian Carlos Montobbio, who certified the death, reported that the animal was missing an eye and part of its tongue. It had been castrated and a considerable part of its small intestine and rectum had been removed. The vet dismissed media claims that the attack on the horse was the result of yellow-jacket wasps. "The surgical incisions presented by the animals cannot be made by insects," said Montobbio. (Thanks to Scott Corrales, from the Institute of Hispanic Ufology, Proyecto Catent and the Rense.com website)
There are more questions than answers to these puzzling events and too many cases to list here. All kinds of theories from the sublime to the ridiculous have been put forward as to who or what is behind these mutilations. And why. There certainly seems to be some kind of cover up, as illustrated by the reluctance of television stations and the Western press to take issue with the subject. Huge amounts of valuable stock are being lost. Where are the farmers’ federations and unions in all this? Why are Congressmen not being lobbied? If they are, what is their reaction or action?
UFOs have been seen in proximity to dead animals. Farmers have even reported cattle being levitated into airborne craft. Silent, black, unmarked helicopters have been seen hovering over private land. Wild animals, dogs, carrion, coyotes, wasps, Satanists, perverts, pranksters or whoever have been blamed for the attacks, when clearly this could not always be the case. The military have been blamed. Aliens have been blamed. The government in cahoots with aliens has been blamed. Black project geneticists have been blamed. Many of the theories are convincing, but only a concerted effort by the authorities will reveal the truth. But possibly the truth is too awful to reveal. National security and secrecy must prevail. Or it is deemed that we, the general public, don’t have a ‘need to know’?
Howe, Linda Moulton. (1997) Glimpses of Other Realities. Volume 1: Facts and Eyewitnesses. Jamison, Pennsylvania: LMH Productions.
Inexplicata: The Journal of Hispanic Ufology and the Institute of Hispanic Ufology website (Scott Corrales): <http://www.inexplicata.com>
Jeff Rense website: <http://www.rense.com>
Spirit and Soul
By Judy Bryning
Spirit and soul are terms which take for granted the actual existence of the elusive phenomena these concepts represent. Considering the seemingly non-material nature of experiences such as NDEs, OBEs, remote viewing and some close encounters, not to mention plain old-fashioned ghosts and hauntings, we could ask what exactly the words spirit and soul mean? Modern researchers into the paranormal have similar difficulties defining the word consciousness. Some people believe that consciousness is able to transcend the physical body, while others insist that it cannot. If consciousness does have a transpersonal aspect, could the religious terms soul and spirit refer to that component? The distinction between spirit and soul has varied in different times and cultures, and many religions have confusing definitions for them. It may therefore be helpful to review these varying interpretations to see how they have evolved. Early last century the Oxford philosopher, Gilbert Ryle, referred to the ‘ghost in the machine’ to illustrate his contention that humans do not have an invisible spiritual entity within them. The phrase then became the name of a book by existentialist philosopher, Arthur Koestler, who disagreed with Ryle’s claim and whose later bequest helped establish the Koestler Parapsychology Unit at the University of Edinburgh.
There are still many neuroscientists, Daniel Dennett for example, who believe that consciousness is just the product of the brain ¾ the ‘meat machine’ as some crudely put it ¾ which of course denies the existence of a spirit or soul. In all this ambivalence, can we see any common ground, and if so, why should it be of concern to psychical research? Indeed, can spirit and soul be separated at all or could they be two aspects of the same phenomenon? There seems to be a tendency towards differentiation in human thinking, and a corresponding difficulty in viewing a subject in a holistic way, so it is interesting to analyse how these two aspects, spirit and soul, have been apportioned and characterised in various cultures.
The Fang of Gabon.According to Riviere (1987), the Fang people of Gabon in Africa name seven types of souls: (1) a vital principle located in the brain; (2) the heart (the seat of conscience), both of which they believe do not survive death; (3) an element of individuality; (4) the force of the individual, both of which survive death; (5) the active principle of the soul, as long as it is in the body; (6) both shadow and soul; and (7) the disincarnated spirit, which can appear as a ghost. The first two are mortal, and the remainder appear to have a more "perpetuating substance," as Eliade puts it. It is surprising that two of these ‘souls’ (3 & 4) which relate to personal identity, supposedly survive, far from being perishable or ephemeral.
Australia.Eliade notes that Australian Aboriginals distinguish between two souls. The first is a real ego, pre-existing the individual and surviving death, which certain tribes believe occurs through reincarnation. The other soul is deemed to be a trickster-soul which appears to have a transpersonal element and a link with the unconscious in dreams. An interesting feature is that it is said to resist definitive separation from the body. In this it resembles the Fang’s force (4) which survives death. This trickster-soul may also "remain in the body of another person after the death of its owner". This sounds like a sort of posthumous possession, or the so-called ‘walk-ins’ of modern folk belief. The African and Aboriginal examples, very broadly summarised, indicate that the attributes of their multiple souls could, in another system, be divided into soul and an animating spirit with tenacious and enduring aspects.
It is likely that languages which are spoken by small isolated communities evolve uniquely different forms and it has been noted that Aboriginal groups in northern Australia have very complex kinship structures. These two situations could reflect in the complexity of the soul categories of the people of Gabon. Language, meaning and thought formation are interrelated, and all human communities since Palaeolithic times would have been open to exactly the same evidences of spiritual forces from their shamans, oracles and priests, so could there be a mechanism of human thought which, when activated by an accident of geography, accounts for the variations in the definitions of spirit and soul across cultures?
Judaism.Three Hebrew terms from the Kabbalah (the mystical doctrine of Judaism) which describe the soul are: nefesh, the vital element which enters the body at birth; ruah, which comes into being by overcoming one’s physical desires; and neshamah, which consists of the spark of the divine and may facilitate knowledge of God (Bemporad, 1987). These three aspects of the soul are considered to be different parts, not separate souls such as those recognised by the Fang. One Jewish theologian, Luria, developed a theory of a sort of reincarnation granted to those souls seeking to redeem scattered sparks of divinity in the world. It was an improvement on an earlier model in which reincarnation was considered to be a punishment for sins. Interestingly, after death it is the ruah which goes to a terrestrial realm graded according to the virtue it has accumulated in life, which would appear to be a recognition of the possibility of reincarnation. The nefesh hovers around the body for a while after death and is liable for punishment.
Christianity.The Greek New Testament concept of the psuche derives directly from the Hebrew nefesh and equates to the English word soul, while the ruah relates directly to the Greek pneuma, which is associated with the breath, the most basic indication of life, and has come to represent the spirit. It was at this stage, therefore, that the separation of the two major aspects of spiritual consciousness becomes evident. In the New Testament the psuche assumes a special connotation of eternal life and encompasses notions of the self. The soul-body unity which had prevailed earlier in Hebrew thought now became separated as flesh=evil and spirit=good (MacGregor, p.457). However, just when we think we’ve worked it out, we are reminded that psuche and pneuma can’t really be separated, because implicit in the noun psuche is the verb psuchein, meaning to breathe.
It is important to investigate the vicissitudes of the two Christian aspects of soul and spirit subsequent to the split between body and spirit which was officially incorporated into church dogma in the ninth century. In Daimonic Reality (1995), Patrick Harpur claims that an essential distinction was lost when soul was subsumed under spirit and separated from the body. "For it is precisely to soul (Greek: psyche; Latin: anima) that psychic reality refers: an intermediate world between the physical and spiritual, partaking of both" (p.36). Harpur quotes Jung on the nature of psychic reality, the intermediate world lost in the merger of spirit and soul. Thoughts are not just self-generated, but have a psychic objectivity, "like animals in the forest, or people in a room" (p.36). This helps us understand that certain people can see thought-forms as ghosts or phantom animals. Harpur (2002) later notes that in ancient Greece, two souls, thymos (thumos) and psyche (psuche) were recognised. Contemporary medical knowledge of the function of the thymus gland, located in the chest, discloses some very meaningful connections.
Dr John Diamond (1979), a behavioural kinesiologist, tells us that in the past the thymus was thought to be irrelevant, as were the tonsils, to the health of the body but is now considered to be a true endocrine gland with an important immunological function. Diamond notes that the word thymus is derived from the Greek thymos, "which is untranslatable into modern terms but denoted life force, soul, and feeling or sensibility…. thymos originally referred to the breath. It was the stuff of consciousness, the spirit, the breath-soul, upon which depended a man’s energy and courage" (p.29). Interestingly, modern Greek gives the primary translation as anger! Towards 500 BCE, psuche, which then meant an unencumbered soul and individual personality, merged with thumos and became the centre of consciousness and immortality. Psyche became the Latin version of psuche. Eliade writes that, "The essence of the soul is power, to the extent that power, soul, and life become interchangeable categories" (p.426). These revealing definitions contrast with the later more depleted and corrupted distinctions of spirit and soul which developed in medieval Christianity.
Islam.The Islamic division of soul and spirit translates as nafs and ruh respectively. Nafs can also mean self, which encompasses similar evolving connotations as nefesh and psuche in Hebrew, Greek and Christian thought. The ruh corresponds with Hebrew ruah and Greek pneuma. The Qur’an states that there are three aspects of the soul: Ammarah, by nature carnal and prone to evil; Lawwamah, which blames and upbraids itself in the quest for goodness; and Mutma’innah, the tranquil soul of the virtuous believer. After death there is a period of waiting for the day of judgment and the consequent destinations of heaven or hell. It is interesting though that pre-Islamic Arab poetry conveys the impression that there was nothing beyond the grave.
Earlier Greek philosophy influenced Islamic thought. For example, in the idea that the power of the spirit (ruh) to cause animation, breathing, sensation and movement, derives from the immaterial, immortal soul (nafs). Debate between theologians and philosophers focussed on the topic of bodily resurrection; whether the body was composed of material or non-material atoms; and whether what was resurrected was the original body, a copy or a new body. Some identified the soul with the body or with life, which they considered was a transitory accident occurring to a body, and there was disagreement that spirit, soul and life were identical. One theologian, Al-Juwayni, who had a traditional view of the soul, commented that spirit was a body which animated the physical body. It would appear that the three monotheistic religions emanating from the Middle East, Judaism, Islam and Christianity, have a far more politicised view of the soul than those indigenous beliefs mentioned earlier.
Ancient Egyptwas a culture obsessed with the survival of soul and spirit beyond death. Shaped by political concerns and guided by priests requiring costly payments, these concerns foreshadowed events that developed thousands of years later in Europe. Egypt is a popular ancient culture, so some of us are already familiar with their concepts of ka, ba, akh and ab. The ka is broadly agreed upon by scholars to be the "vital force," so we can see it as an antecedent of the nefesh and psuche of Hebrew, Greek and Christian beliefs. It involved power and the ability to do. The ba has a curiously literal quality; it is the power of transformation, animation of a person after death. Even a statue or an amulet of a god could be empowered to be a repository of the ba, or the presence of a god. This still resonates today in the Russian Orthodox church where icons are venerated as the actual presence of what is depicted. The akh is termed a transfigured spirit and is characterised by a mood of optimism. In this condition the deceased is happy and freed from any further obligations. The ab refers to the heart in terms of conscience, which after death is weighed against a feather in the Hall of Judgment. The two aspects are also linked in the beliefs of the Gabon people.
Buddhism,as well as the Hindu thought which preceded it, are more conceptually sophisticated systems than those of the personified monotheistic beliefs. Categorising Buddhism as a religion is strongly resisted by its practitioners, and understanding and insight through its disciplines are goals in marked contrast to the dogma which characterises some world religions. Buddhism promotes the concept of anatta (no soul) meaning ‘devoid of self’. Note here that soul and self are used synonymously, as could be the case also with the Islamic nafs. One affirmation of anatta is a direct quote from the Buddha: "whether Buddhas arise in this world or not, it always remains a fact that the constituent parts of a being are lacking in a soul [atta]". By soul here is meant a permanent soul or self. Of course, for practical purposes in daily life, Buddhists recognise a functional self as an entity (pudgala) which distinguishes one individual from another. The Abhidharma school of Buddhism believed that the pudgala was the individual conscious aspect. In the Hindu Vedanta school, jivatman means the living individual form of the soul, but not the universal soul. The fact that the first syllable of the Hindu jivatman is the word for life, suggests a similarity to the life force in many other beliefs. Similarly, as in the Greek term psuche, the Buddhist universal soul, atman, is similar to asu (Sanskrit) which carried the meaning of breath. So here, as in the Greek system, there is also a crossover in some definitions of atman and jivatman, as with psuche and pneuma, nafs and ruh. Rather than a permanent individual soul or self, Buddhists believe in a changing combination of five ‘constituent factors’ ¾ the fifth of which is consciousness ¾ described as ‘becoming’ rather than any static state of being. To illustrate this, the fifth century teacher, Buddhaghosa, uses the analogy of a chariot: "just as the chariot as an entity disappears when its constituent elements are pulled apart, so does atman disappear with the dissolution of its ‘constituent factors’"(p.442).
Chinese beliefs.Before the expansion of Buddhism from India to China, indigenous Chinese belief, as far back as the fifth century BCE, recognised an earthly aspect to the soul called p’o. After p’o is created at the beginning of human life, the heavenly aspect called hun develops which is regarded as the spirit of a person’s vital force expressed in their consciousness and intelligence. So here is another seeming dichotomy, or at least two separate elements. However, in this case the heavenly aspect of hun seems more accessible to human awareness because it is both consciousness and the animating force which defines spirit. This interrelationship is indicated in the Greek psuche and pneuma also. After death the hun was said to disperse in heaven and the p’o returned to earth where we could speculate that it has potential for reincarnation. This two soul theory is symbolised by the well-known yin-yang diagram which also represents "the two primordial forces of the cosmos". Tu Wei Ming writes, "This infinite process of mutual penetration makes an exclusivistic dichotomy (such as a dichotomy between creator and creature, spirit and matter, mind and body, secular and sacred, consciousness and existence, or soul and flesh) inoperative as a conceptual apparatus in Chinese cosmological thinking." The sophistication of this earlier mind-set in China shows why Buddhism found a natural home there. The continuous interchange symbolised in the yin-yang figure is called ta-hua, the ‘great transformation’ in that everything was considered to be in a dynamic process of ‘becoming’. If the indigenous pre-Buddhist philosophers could have looked in on the twentieth century, they may have easily accepted the quantum physicists’ discovery of interchanging waves and particles.
Reincarnation.The example of the Fang’s classifications of soul which are thought to survive death gives us a clue about which aspects might be reincarnated. The Fang seem to recognise an interface with the soul in ‘an active principle’ while in the body. The remarkable work done by Dr Ian Stevenson of Virginia, USA, appears to corroborate the belief in the transmigration of souls. His ground-breaking work, Twenty Cases Suggestive of Reincarnation (1966), presents convincing examples of modern people who have been able to contact their former families. A BBC television documentary presents testimonies from members of contemporary Christian Druze communities in Lebanon who can recall a previous lifetime. The frequency of these experiences in young children is a curious factor in itself and could be due to the ready social acceptance of this belief in that cultural climate. In various parts of India, where reincarnation is a core belief of orthodox Hinduism, Stevenson has also elicited similar accounts.
Australia does not figure at all prominently in this field. Many people who have come here since World War II have suffered such a troubled transition that perhaps that is more than enough to cope with. The Australian cultural background is largely European, where church censorship of the concept of reincarnation has prevailed since the fourth century, although prior to that it had been accepted. Subsequent cultural denial may have caused such awareness to be suppressed from conscious realization.
Discussion.In each of the belief systems discussed there are equivalents of what we know as spirit and soul, although their status may vary. Broadly summarised, the personal, individual and animating aspects are those that can transmigrate from one body to another, and can be grouped under the heading of spirit. The higher aspects of soul may exist, but are normally beyond the reach of conscious awareness. In the Middle East soul has pre-eminence and greater authority. African and Aboriginal views identify an element of danger and deception in one type of soul, and an enduring and pre-existing capability in another. Many definitions of spirit relate to breath, a functional aspect and an active principle of life. In the Hebrew and Chinese traditions, a terrestrial continuation is suggested, allowing for reincarnation, implying that the spirit is the controlling factor. In Islam, however, spirit is subsumed under the power of the soul.
Aristotle argued that the soul can only develop while inhabiting a body. He did not envisage an individual immortality, only a sort of world or universal soul similar to some Eastern philosophies, which in one sense is aligned with part of the early Hebrew belief in a soul-body unity rather than having a soul or having a body. Unfortunately, at the same time a dichotomy developed and the body was considered to be flesh and evil. The subtle interpenetration of soul and spirit shows in a linguistic clue with the words ‘psuche’ and ‘psuchein’ as mentioned earlier and can be clearly seen also in the design of the yin-yang symbol. These are obvious indications that the concepts of soul and spirit are embedded in each other. For example, the Christian theologian, Abbot Vonier (1953), writes that, "The spiritual substance which we call the human soul has both spirit functions and soul functions." At death "the soul’s causative influence on the body ceases" and "the soul turns back on itself, and enters, that very moment, upon the pure spirit state."
The meditative or ascetic practices of various Eastern religions are designed to enable the adept to achieve enlightenment by merging their consciousness, spirit or soul with the absolute, thus transcending the human condition. This often produces paranormal abilities, although how this works is not understood. Artificially induced brainwave patterns can now supposedly accelerate these experiences, thus assisting the individual to take responsibility for the state of his or her spirit and soul, although there are many who mistrust these expensive New Age aids.
Sometimes modern science appears to validate ancient knowledge. When anthropologist Michael Harner (1978, p.158) tells us that a person’s soul may leave his body after drinking the South American hallucinogen ayahuasca, we could ask whether that part of consciousness would be called the spirit in another culture. Research reveals that there is a natural secretion of the pineal gland, a beta-carboline, which is chemically almost identical to ayahuasca which, "could lead to a greater understanding of a physiological process underlying certain psi-conducive states of consciousness" (Roney-Dougal, 1993, p.107).
In conclusion, there remain at least three unresolved issues concerning the relationship between the soul/spirit and the body. Firstly, whether called soul or spirit or any of the numerous terms mentioned in this article, how is it that this supposedly non-material substance interacts with the material body? How can something that is non-physical affect something that is physical? Secondly, considering that many definitions of soul and spirit refer to the breath, we could ask how it is that some mystics appear to stop breathing for an extended time while meditating, but do not die or appear to suffer any subsequent brain damage? Lastly, the religious literature contains numerous reports of what is referred to as incorruptibility, which refers to the bodies of various saints and yogis showing no sign of decay many years after their physical death (Murphy, 1992, p.511). If the spirit or soul leaves the body at death, as all religions appear to believe, then what is it that sustains the body in these cases of incorruptibility? Regardless of one’s definition of soul or spirit, these may be fruitful subjects for future research.
The main reference for this article is ‘Soul’ in Mircea Eliade (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Religion (1987, Vol.13, pp.426-465). New York: Macmillan Publishing.
The relevant encyclopedia sub-sections are:
Bemporad, Jack. Soul: Jewish concepts (p.454).
Collins, Steven. Soul: Buddhist concepts (p.443).
MacGregor, Geddes. Soul: Christian concepts (p.455).
Marmura, Michael. Soul: Islamic concepts (p.460).
Riviere, Claude. Soul: The Fang of Gabon (p.428).
Tu, Wei Ming. Soul: Chinese concepts (p.447).
Berger, John. (1972) Ways of Seeing. BBC TV.
Diamond, John. (1979) Your Body Doesn’t Lie. New York: Harper & Row.
Harner, Michael. (1978) Hallucinogens and Shamanism. Oxford University Press.
Harpur, Patrick. (1995) Daimonic Reality: Understanding Otherworld Encounters. London: Penguin Arkana.
Harpur, Patrick. (2002, Feb.) Body and soul. Fortean Times, 155, 30-34.
Murphy, Michael. (1992) The Future of the Body. Los Angeles: Jeremy P. Tarcher.
Roney-Dougal, Serena (1993) Where Science and Magic Meet (Rev. Ed.) Shaftesbury, Dorset: Element.
Stevenson, Ian. (1966) Twenty Cases Suggestive of Reincarnation. New York: American Society for Psychical Research.
Vonier, Abbot. (1953) The Collected Works of Abbot Vonier (Vol.3). London: Burns Oats.
My Abduction Experiences
By Geoff Evans
There is a Buddhist chant that speaks of a journey, the journey of the self. "To go beyond the familiar world of the five senses in which we have lived, to go beyond who we think we are, beyond our conditioning and our circumstances, to go beyond what we believe." I find that chant relevant because I have often viewed my encounters with non-human beings or extraterrestrials as a journey of the self. Sometimes the most interesting aspect is not the encounters as such, but understanding myself and where my emotions or feelings come from. Another aspect that interests me is the paranormal or psychic experiences involved because they not only show us what some beings are capable of, but they also give us indications of what we are all capable of achieving. I think the last phrase of that chant says it all, ‘to go beyond what we believe’; to move beyond our perceptions or beliefs of this phenomenon and become more open to other possibilities.
I tried to keep my first article about my close encounter experiences (Evans, 2001) down to earth by including some fairly acceptable encounters. But not long after the article was published, I wished I had gone into more detail and also included some encounters that were more interesting, although probably less acceptable, to the majority of people. Sometimes, how much is acceptable depends on one’s own belief system. The reason I am writing about my experiences is, firstly, that they may provide a different perspective on this phenomenon, but also because they may be beneficial to people who have similar encounters.
I sometimes find it curious that people would want to remember or to have such experiences. Maybe it’s because the grass always seems greener on the other side of the hill. To be honest, I occasionally desire the opposite and wish for a more normal life, but that is usually when I’m going through a difficult time coping with some experiences. Close encounters can invoke a varied array of emotions. On one occasion I felt as though I was on a roller-coaster ride because I was having difficult flashbacks followed by wonderful ones. Occasionally flashbacks can occur at the most inappropriate times. The general perception is that they are frightening, which is true, but other more complex issues and emotions also get invoked. Such as the bond I feel with some beings I have met during these experiences, including a female human, our children and also the occasional feeling of missing them.
Human Offspring.In my previous article I wrote briefly about the human-looking beings seen during my encounters, and now I feel that it’s important to expand on that, largely because of the concern some women have expressed about their babies being taken, and also to explain why I believe that the babies are not hybrids of the Greys and humans. I don’t intend to go into details regarding some procedures because I don’t feel it’s appropriate and because some are too personal, but I will relate selected parts to illustrate some points.
During some encounters, sperm had been collected from me and usually a female human whom I seem to continually meet is present. Then, during a later encounter, I am present when a baby is removed from her. In a sense we have been paired up and have supported each other during some difficult times. During one encounter, a small baby or foetus was removed and I was quickly shown the baby before it was taken into another room. At the time I felt quite proud and happy and the impression from the Grey was that this was our offspring. The Grey had its hands cupped together and was holding the small baby within them. I was very curious to see how many fingers the small baby had and, although its fingers were small and curled, I could see that they appeared normal with an opposing thumb. I had a feeling from the Grey that the baby was special, but I don’t think that was meant to imply that that particular baby was different from the other ones. Maybe it just illustrated the way they viewed them, because on another occasion the Grey had commented that, "It’s a beautiful baby."
On one occasion, I was in a corridor and standing next to me was the same female human whom I had seen during some other encounters. Standing directly in front of us was a small boy, and standing behind him was a Grey. It felt as though the Grey was presenting this child to us and that this was our offspring. He seemed around five years old and was wearing a white gown and his hair looked a light, sandy colour, fairly short with a fringe just above the eyes. There didn’t appear to be much, if any, physical difference between him and a normal human child. He did seem petite but no more than some human children. I had a feeling the child was a bit apprehensive of us and maybe not sure how to react. Perhaps he was also concerned how we would react towards him and I sometimes think that it’s an awkward situation for all involved. Being in a situation like that may sound unusual, but it didn’t surprise me and maybe on a deeper level of awareness it’s familiar. What I found unusual was that I felt a bond with the lady standing by my side and I was more curious about her.
Some offspring appear to be the result of interactions between humans and the human-looking beings that are often seen with the Greys. In a sense, having relations with these beings was easier to accept than with a female human. On one occasion, when I had been paired up and intimate with a female human-looking being, she had told me beforehand that she wanted a baby. She had also communicated that she had to ensure she got pregnant, then she quickly left the room.
Although I had some memories of seeing this same female with a baby and a small child, the most powerful memory was invoked during a regression I had to seek help regarding another matter. During the regression, I entered a room and, standing there with some small children, was the same adult female I had seen before during some conscious encounters. The children seemed happy to see me and one small girl who was holding my left arm was jumping up and down. It surprised me because it seemed as though they had seen me before. It may sound unusual, but it was as though seeing the children had invoked some deep feelings within me and I felt happy to be with them. I knew they were our offspring and I noticed the female adult standing near a bench with a smile on her face. The worst thing about the whole situation was realising that I had to leave, and I found myself feeling upset. I broke down during the session and it often surprises me how such encounters, whether they are conscious or regressed memories, can invoke such powerful emotions.
The children and adults look a lot like us and I was even told by one adult that she is not a hybrid. Their physical features seemed more refined and I once thought that their eyes were slightly larger, but I think it’s more a case of the eyes being very striking. What I find curious is that I had often communicated with some human-looking beings as though I knew them well. They look familiar and I guess it’s because these encounters are ongoing and on a deeper level it can sometimes feel very familiar. They have expressed a wide range of emotions including being happy or sad and have even been intentionally funny. I occasionally think of them as being carefree and, like all the other beings I have encountered, they are telepathic. During some other experiences, the indication was that these beings live on another world and apparently the Greys just transport them between worlds. The impression was that they had been seeded on that world and I will include some encounters that gave me that indication.
There is a common perception that the Greys don’t have any feelings and are more like unemotional scientists, but I have to disagree. I sometimes think it’s our own fears that stop us sensing how they communicate. The Greys seemed aware that I have memories of some encounters and also that some had affected me and have helped. They have talked to me during one procedure in an attempt to change my perception of it and to understand that how we view things often determines how it affects us. The Greys also help by other means, and sometimes looking into their eyes, or even being in their presence, can have a beneficial effect. It can be a very calming experience and any emotional trauma dissipates. In one instance, I had observed a Grey standing directly in front of a distraught female holding her hands. She appeared to be looking into the Grey’s eyes and after a while her whole demeanour changed. It’s difficult to know what happened to make her change but she absolutely lit up and seemed very happy, so much so that she hugged the Grey and I even had the impression from the Grey that he was also happy and even proud of her.
A group of beings.Some experiences seem similar to remote viewing, which I’m mentioning because that can be a good way to understand them. Apparently remote viewing was once used by a branch of US army intelligence as a means of gathering information, which illustrates how it is possible to be physically in one location, while simultaneously on another level of awareness to be somewhere else. There are a few books on that subject and I have even seen courses advertised and it does seem to be well-known.
In October 1998, I had an unusual encounter and, if it were not for some other similar experiences, I wouldn’t be writing about it. While relaxing and meditating, I found myself in two places at the same time. I was still conscious of my physical body, but my awareness was somewhere else. I was being escorted by two Greys, one on either side of me, into a circular room. There was a balcony around the circular-shaped floor and, sitting in the balcony, were what appeared to be an assortment of different types of beings. Some didn’t seem physical in the sense we know it, and some seemed fluorescent or seemed to emit light, but they all appeared humanoid. The impression I had at the time was that a few were human. Then vivid memories from my past came to me and I had the feeling that these beings were also witnessing my memories. I felt like an open book in their presence and felt a bit embarrassed. I didn’t want to be there and I tried to feel connected and move my physical body, but I couldn’t move. Then I felt understanding and compassion from them and it didn’t feel as though I was being judged. I had the feeling that they had obtained what they needed from me and it was only then that I was able to feel connected and move my physical body. Like many other encounters, it seemed very real at the time and it was only later that I questioned if it had really happened. I kept it to myself and never gave it much thought until I had similar encounters.
A few years later, while going through a very difficult time, I had a similar experience while conscious. During that time in my life I was feeling depressed about the impact of some of my encounters on my life and I felt increasingly isolated around people. In a sense I no longer wanted to be on this Earth. Then at some point I found myself in that circular-shaped room again and a tall being was standing behind me. I could feel his arms wrapped around my torso and I felt content in his presence. Then he said, "Trust the Federation," and I was slowly turned around to see all the beings that were in the balcony. Like some previous encounters some of them seemed luminous, but more so this time, and I felt great caring and loving emotions from them. Even while writing about it I still find myself getting emotional and it brings tears to my eyes. Writing about it doesn’t really do it justice and words can’t describe how wonderful it was.
Another similar experience occurred spontaneously during a regression. I was reliving an encounter of looking at a screen that showed a meteorite hitting the Earth and the devastation afterwards. I was no longer aware of looking at the screen, but I was seeing another world that looked similar to our own planet and it looked like a beautiful place. I could see large, grey, dome-shaped buildings in the distance and some people wearing white gowns. Standing on the grass were some small children and standing by their side was a human-looking lady that I recognised from some previous encounters where we had been paired up. I had the impression I was being given a choice on where I wanted to be and it was an easy decision to make; our Earth looked a mess compared to this other world.
Then the memories stopped for a while and I found myself standing in that circular-shaped room again. A large, tall being was by my side. I had seen this type before and I had the feeling I knew him. In a way they look similar to some Grey types, except they have vertical pupils and are around seven feet [2.1 metres] tall. In my last article I said that they were well over six foot tall [1.8 metres]. That was a guess because they normally hunch forward while standing next to me and communicating. We were on one side of the room and, standing on the other side, were around five or seven beings. They were all slightly different, but still humanoid in appearance. They were communicating between themselves and it felt as though a lot of information was being transferred. There was something about "the agenda for change has been accelerated" and a real sense of urgency concerning our world and us. Although I knew the topic of the conversation, I wasn’t allowed to know the details and it felt as though they were keeping the information between themselves. Then I turned to look at the tall being by my side and he said something which was curious. He said I had done well and he seemed happy. I looked up into his eyes and, like so many other similar instances with different types of beings, I also found myself feeling happy. Maybe the eyes are the windows to the soul.
Since then I have had more similar encounters and the only conclusion I can come to about them is that there is a group of different beings including the Greys that work together. They called themselves the Federation, which, according to my thesaurus, means alliance, coalition, group, association or amalgamation. That may be the most appropriate description of their structure that they could offer. It appears that they gather information and have shown concern regarding this planet and us. They even seemed aware that I was going through a difficult time and I can only describe them as enlightened beings.
Extrasensory encounters.In my previous article I mentioned how Greys and other types of beings would appear in a translucent or spiritual form while I was in an everyday situation, and the impression I sometimes have is that either they exist on a different level of awareness, or had projected an aspect of themselves to my location, or maybe both. Sometimes I’m aware of their presence before they appear and my consciousness would change during these encounters. It seems obvious that sometimes they want to make their presence known.
In early 1999 while at work, three beings appeared in front of me and, although they appeared in a translucent or spiritual form, it was as if they were almost physical. It was obvious they wanted me to be aware of what was happening. Standing directly in front of me was a small human-looking being and standing by his side were two Greys. The male was slightly smaller than me and was wearing a white gown. He seemed petite and had long blonde hair that came to just above the shoulders. He reminds me of some of the human types associated with the Greys. He raised his hands so that his palms were facing me and a intense tingling or energy sensation entered my abdomen and I found myself having an image from somewhere else. It was of another human I had seen during some encounters but she was sitting on a chair in a room talking to someone and looked agitated about something. It felt as though I was seeing this as it was happening and later it was almost as if I was seeing who she was talking to through her eyes. Then it stopped and I found myself still standing with the three beings. Then they vanished and I was left wondering why I was shown her and also what I should do about it. Maybe something was triggered during that encounter because I started having continuing images of her in an everyday situation and at first it was interesting, but it can be annoying, mostly becauseit continues and also because of my feelings for her.
Perceptions.On some occasions not only am I aware of a being appearing on another level, but other people who are sensitive also notice a presence and describe a similar being. In one instance, while in a group situation, I became aware of a being that I had seen on a few occasions from some encounters. It was the same type of tall being with vertical pupils mentioned earlier. Then a lady mentioned that a tall praying-mantis type of being was in the room which I found curious, mostly because she described the mantis as seven feet [2.1 metres] tall with vertical pupils. Another interesting feature of the so-called mantis being is the way their body is inclined forward. I find that interesting because the being I have seen had on occasions bent forward while standing next to me and communicating. I felt that the similarities were more than a coincidence and wondered if we were in fact seeing the same being and interpreting it differently. I am aware that people often perceive the Greys and other beings as reptilian or insect-like, so the description didn’t surprise me. It seems as though our own minds produce a familiar image which in a way may make their presence easier to accept. I feel it’s important to consider all possibilities and also question our own perceptions of these beings and these encounters. Accepting everything at face value may be detrimental to understanding this phenomenon and ourselves.
The connection with a Grey.Sometimes while looking directly into a certain type of Grey’s eyes and connecting with it, I found myself seeing from its perspective and I find myself looking into my own face and eyes. In one such instance I was taken out of my bedroom with a Grey on either side of me. They each had a hand around my upper arms and were holding me up. I had little if any physical control over my body. I was moved through the hall and into the living room where a slightly taller Grey stood and then I was positioned directly in front of him so my eyes were level with his, which I felt compelled to look into. While looking into his eyes, I found myself seeing from his perspective or though his eyes. I was then looking at my own face and into my own eyes. Unfortunately, during such a connection, my memory of what happens afterwards is affected so that I either end up with a gap or I don’t remember anything.
A few years ago I started getting images and they didn’t feel like flashbacks or memories. My impression at the time was that I was somehow connecting with a Grey type of being and I was viewing things from his perspective. In one instance, I was having images of standing in a room with another Grey directly in front of me. While looking into each other’s eyes, something unusual happened. It felt as though we were connecting with each other and there was some type of interaction between us. Maybe we were sharing information, but it seemed more than just that. It felt as though we were merging and sharing each other. That’s the best way I can describe it, because it no longer felt as though we were two separateindividual beings and all sense of an identity was gone. It was a very peaceful feeling.
Other images included seeing other humans. During one such instance, I was examining a person lying on a table, but what I found curious was that on some occasions I would also see myself. I began to notice after such a strong connection with the Grey that my perception of myself changed. It felt as if I was projecting a mental image over my physical body and, when I looked at my body, I would also see myself as a Grey. How strongly this happened varied.
I was used to seeing or becoming aware of beings appearing in a translucent or spirit form around me and I sometimes noticed a tingling or energy sensation in my abdomen. Sometimes this moved intensely through my entire body. During one such occasion, I was aware of a Grey type of being and it started communicating. While explaining some concepts, I was also having images and feelings and it was a very effective way of conveying information. What it said may seem controversial and like so many experiences there is no way to verify it, but it may offer a different perspective.
He communicated to me that they (the Greys) serve and work for the hierarchy; that it’s their purpose and that they take great honour in it. When he said that I could also feel a slight sense of honour and pride, the impression was that their life was one of service. I was informed that they are making beautiful beings and seeding them. It was the hierarchy that had decided to do this, and that they work for them. They had agreed to be here and help. While he explained it, I had images of people. Some looked like the human-looking beings I had seen during some encounters, but I also had the impression that it related to humans too. When he mentioned beautiful people, I could actually feel how much he cared about them and he seemed proud of them. He commented that they are seeding them, and I saw what I assumed was another world, like our Earth. It had green vegetation and blue skies; in the distance were large dark grey domed buildings, and it did look like a beautiful place.
Many theories have been put forward regarding the human-looking beings associated with the Greys and they mostly revolve around the Greys wanting to create hybrids for their own purpose. But some things I have experienced, including what I was told, indicate that they are seeding them on another planet. The Grey mentioned working for the hierarchy and, although I didn’t get any images, I knew what he was referring to. I had the impression it related to my experiences in the circular room with the different types of beings that called themselves the Federation. Maybe a good way to view it is like our own United Nations; different nations providing information, manpower and resources for the good of all. Then he explained the connection I have experienced with a particular Grey. Depending on one’s beliefs and perception it may be difficult to accept, and it may not help my credibility, but the reason I’m including it is because I know people have had similar encounters or feelings and it may offer a possible explanation.
This being informed me that he and I are one and the same and that we had split to participate as different beings. We work at different places and also as different forms at the same time. I was having difficulty understanding what he meant, and he was having difficulty finding the right words to explain it to me, but then a memory of an old encounter came to me. The memory was of standing in the examination room, and when I noticed my hands, they looked like the hands of a Grey type of being. When I looked up I saw myself sitting on a table a few metres away. Then I had the memory from my own perspective while sitting on the table. Maybe a good way to explain it would be like having two different memories of the same event; from a Grey’s perspective and then from mine. Then I realized what this being was referring to, and he asked if I understood how we operate. He again confirmed that we were one and the same. It is the reason we connect and why I have memories of being a Grey.
Later it left me with a sickening feeling in my stomach; the type of feeling one gets when you realise the truth and you are not sure if you like it. But, like other encounters, it just took a while to feel comfortable with the idea. The impression at the time and the way I perceive it are from a consciousness or spiritual point of view. Obviously any thought that consciousness or spirit exists and is capable of splitting to become two separate beings depends greatly on one’s own beliefs. I can only relate what I was told and the way I perceive it. I did question the validity of what I was told, but had a similar encounter and images that indicated that a lot of Greys had split their consciousness to participate as humans. It seems this had been done to achieve certain goals, and I find it interesting that the Grey referred to it as work.
My perception of these encounters had changed over time. For years I lived in fear of them and viewed the reason they are here as negative. I guess it’s our own nature to fear what we don’t understand, and we often assume the worst. Once I got over the fear, everything changed for me, and knowing how they feel about us has made a big difference. I now have the highest regard for them and believe their purpose for being here is important and honourable. Having these encounters can still be difficult for a variety of different reasons and I feel it’s important to mention that, but sometimes I feel it’s the way that we perceive these encounters that also makes a difference. While writing this article I tried to avoid theories or beliefs; I prefer just to relate my experiences and thoughts and let people come to their own conclusions. Ť
Evans, Geoff. (2001) My encounter experiences. Journal of Alternative Realities 9 (1), 28-30.
By Simon Harvey-Wilson
A rather unusual article entitled "Antiscience Trends in the USSR" in a 1991 edition of Scientific American (Kapitza, p.18) includes a half-page-sized photograph of a smiling young girl holding up the palms of her hands. Seemingly stuck to one hand is an iron, while four ornate teaspoons are stuck to the other. Part of the photograph’s lengthy caption tells us that, "Claims of supernatural phenomena … have surfaced in the USSR capturing attention and credibility at all levels of society." It goes on to say that the "description of the photograph provided by the official news agency Tass … tells us that the ten-year-old girl from Soviet Georgia is demonstrating her phenomenal ability to attract metal objects, ‘from teaspoons to irons’ with her hands" (p.19). The editor of the article, Sergei Kapitza, who we are told is "president of the Physical (sic) Society of the USSR and editor of the Russian edition of Scientific American" (p.18), writes at length that the then Soviet Union was suffering from similar antiscience trends to countries in the West. He claims that the growth of interest in such things as "ESP and UFOs, astrology and clairvoyance, mystic cults and mesmeric healers" is "a sure indicator of social unrest, personal uneasiness, frustration and loss of purpose" (p.20). Later, perhaps to remind the reader that he is a genuine scientist, Kapitza assures us that "the authority of science is based on the power of the scientific method and resides in proof by experiment rather than by pronouncements of the learned or the vote of the people" (p.20).
While not disputing the possibility that an interest in paranormal matters and UFOs may be related to cultural unrest, what bemused and irritated me about Kapitza’s article is the fact that he appears to take it for granted that such topics are, by their very nature, unscientific. Yet he then has the audacity to remind us that science is all about research and not unsubstantiated pronouncements by scientists. Perhaps the most bizarre aspect of Kapitza’s article is that, although it contains a large photograph of a girl apparently doing something paranormal with her hands, there is no mention of whether any scientists have actually investigated her to see if metal really does stick to her hands. Despite not being a physicist, if I had been sent to photograph someone who claimed to have such an unusual ability, just out of interest I would certainly have checked how strongly the metal objects were attached to her hands or whether she had just glued them there. However, Kapitza displays not the slightest interest in the phenomenon, so for eleven years after reading the article I was none the wiser about the girl’s puzzling ‘magnetic’ ability.
I was delighted, therefore, to find an article entitled "Mr Magnet Sucks: The Secret Behind Malaysian Magnetic Man’s Extra-special Powers" in the English Fortean Times magazine (February, 2002, p.12). The article tells us that, "Liew Thow Lin, 70, from Gunung Rapat in Malaysia" has demonstrated his ability to make metal stick to his body in several dramatic ways. "Using a chain hooked to an iron plate placed on his stomach," he has apparently pulled a car for over fifty metres. He is also able "to carry weights of up to thirty kilograms on his chest, including bricks stacked on metal irons". The article also tells us that Liew Thow Lin’s sons and grandchildren have the same ability. The accompanying photograph shows a bare-chested Mr Liew with seven metal forks and an iron attached to his chest and, to demonstrate how strongly he can make metal stick to his body, there are three bricks sitting on the iron.
Quoting from a Malaysian newspaper, the Fortean Times article goes to tell us that, "researchers at the Technological University of Malaysia at Ipoh tested Mr Liew and found that while his powers are not explained by magnetism, they are not an illusion. ‘His skin has a special suction effect that can help metal stick to it,’ said Professor Mohamed Amin Alias, who conducted the research. ‘That is why his two sons and two grandchildren also have the magnetic-like ability. They have his genes’." A similar article with the same photograph of Mr Liew also appeared in The Australian newspaper on 26 October 2001.
While it is pleasing that someone has actually researched this phenomenon, I would still like to know more. If the metal attraction of Mr Liew’s skin is strong enough to pull a car, how does he get the forks and iron off his chest? Can he control or increase the power by concentrating? Does his whole body attract metal? If it does, what happens if he sits on a metal chair? Does someone have to pull it off him when he stands up? Saying that his skin has a special suction does not appear to explain very much. What exactly is it that is doing the sucking, and does it only attract metal? Can it attract all metals or only steel? If the ability really is genetic, does that mean that future researchers will be able to locate the relevant gene(s) and start breeding people or animals who can do things like climb the Eiffel Tower in Paris by just sticking to the metal without any ropes? What about occupational health and safety concerns? Could future generations deliberately breed people with these genes to enhance their employment prospects? For example, will future cat-burglars, window cleaners and workmen on high-rise building projects only be employed if they have such metal-attracting genes, and are therefore less likely to fall? Will those without such genes have to pay more for health insurance? Some of the possible implications are very interesting.
The Fortean Times article about Mr Liew ends with a reference to an earlier story about some Russian "magnetic people" (FT59:11), but the magazine’s archive of articles on their website do not go back that far. However, an Internet search produced possibly the same article, containing more information about this strange phenomenon. The article tells us that:
"Leonid Tenkaev, a factory worker, his wife Galina, their daughter Tanya and Tanya’s son, Kolya, all have some strange ability to attract and make metal objects stick to their bodies. According to Dr Valeri Lepilov, professor of physics at Saratov State University, the four have only to concentrate and think about generating heat inside their bodies in order to set in motion some strange ability that triggers their alleged magnetic properties, which is said to be extremely powerful. Leonid, who was born in 1928, reportedly can attract up to fifty-two pounds [about twenty-three kilograms] of ferrous metal to stick to him at any one time. According to Dr Lepilov, removing it is difficult ¾ ‘like dragging a metal object off a magnet.’ The entire family was flown to Japan to demonstrate their ‘wild’ talents. One of the witnesses, a Dr Atsusi Kono, who was at that time the chief physician at the Djo Si Idai Hospital in Tokyo, was so impressed that he commented: ‘There is absolutely no doubt that the objects stick as if their bodies were magnetic.’ The family first noticed their wild talents in 1987, the year after the accident at Chernobyl, which lies about seven hundred miles [about 1,120 kilometres] to the west of the Tenkaev homestead. It has been suggested that the accident had something to do with their abilities, in some as of yet undiscovered way, but there is absolutely no scientific evidence to support this. Are they the only ones? Well, no. In June of 1990, the Soviet Weekly carried a story about a militia patrolman named Nikolai Suvorov [spelt Suvarov in the Fortean Times] who also had this rather odd ability. And in 1991, Bulgaria’s Sofia Press Agency reported that no fewer than three hundred ‘magnetic’ people turned up for a contest to see who could attract the most metallic objects to their bodies for the longest time."
A photograph of patrolman Nikolai Suvorov with various bits of metal attached to his chest can be found on the Blue Moon News website (see References below). If this Internet article is true, it casts some doubt on the earlier claim that this ‘magnetic’ ability is genetic. While the claim that Leonid and Galina Tenkaev’s daughter and grandson have the ability might suggest that it is genetic, what is the explanation for the, presumably genetically unrelated, husband and wife having the ability? Or are they just two people with the same genetic ability who just happened to get married? The other interesting piece of information this report reveals is that these ‘magnetic’ people seem to be able to control their ‘magnetism’ by concentrating. This of course suggests that the ability is more complicated than merely having sticky skin, as the Malaysian researchers suggested earlier. And what are we to make of the report that Bulgaria managed to produce three hundred such people? If there really were that many there on that occasion, how many ‘magnetically’ gifted people are there worldwide, and can we perhaps expect similar competitions eventually to become an Olympic sport!
In his book True Life Encounters (1998, p.14), Keith Tutt reports on another ‘magnetic’ man called Miroslaw Magola who was born in Poland in the 1960s. Magola apparently not only has the ability to attract metal, ceramic and wooden objects to his body, but originally claimed that he could also levitate. Tutt claims that Magola appeared on an English television program, called Beyond Belief, in 1996 but was unable to levitate, although his other abilities apparently created strong public interest. Magola claims to have learnt to increase the strength of his ‘magnetic’ abilities so that when he was "investigated by Dr Friedbert Karger of the Max Planck Institute in Germany" in January 1997, he was able to demonstrate the ability "to pick up a cup from the floor without touching it, and to control its suspension in mid-air" (Tutt, 1998, p.15). Magola now has his own web-site (see References) with photographs of himself demonstrating his ‘magnetic’ abilities.
If Magola can attract objects that are not made of metal, then ‘magnetic’ is obviously not the correct word to describe his abilities. Could we then perhaps revert to using the term psychokinesis (PK) to describe such talents? We should remember that PK is just a blanket term used by parapsychologists to describe a wide range of phenomena for which they currently have no scientific explanation. Furthermore, it is claimed that many PK events have puzzling electromagnetic characteristics. In his book Mysterious Fires and Lights (1967), Vincent Gaddis describes the 1889 case of Frank McKinstry, from Joplin, Missouri, who was supposedly a good dowser, but whose body was charged with a strange energy. "His charge was so strong in the early morning that he had to keep moving. If he stopped even for a second, he became fixed to the ground and had to wait until a helpful passer-by would pull one of his legs free. There would be a small faint flash and the grip would be broken ¾ until the next time he stood still" (in Brookesmith, 1984, p55).
Another famous example was seventeen-year-old Caroline Clare from Ontario in Canada, who in 1877 took to her bed for about two years with what might be described as a Western version of shamanic initiation illness. She lost about a third of her weight, but the doctors could find nothing wrong with her. After a while she started going into trances and would describe distant locations as if she was spontaneously remote viewing. When she eventually recovered, she was a different person. "She seemed now to be supercharged with electricity. She had only to enter a room and everyone in it would feel the influence, which was strong enough for her to give twenty people a shock if all linked hands with her. If she wanted to take up a knife, the blade would leap towards her hand; needles would hang from her fingers" (Evans, 1989, p.98). Evans describes several other people who possessed strange electromagnetic or bio-attraction abilities. For example, "Jennie Moran, who lived at Sedalia, Missouri, in 1895, was so highly charged at times that one day, when her powers were strongest, she killed the family cat simply by picking it up; an investigator who held her hand for a few seconds was rendered unconscious" (p.98). So how do these strange abilities work? Unfortunately we are never going to find out unless more scientists and science magazines put their prejudices aside and start doing some serious research into these subjects. As this article illustrates, there appears to be no shortage of people with these baffling abilities who could be studied.
Blue Moon News website: <http://www.bluemoonnews.net/images1.htm>
Brookesmith, Peter (Ed.) (1984) Incredible Phenomena. London: Orbis Publishing.
Evans, Hilary. (1989) Frontiers of Reality: Where Science Meets the Paranormal. London: Aquarian.
Gaddis, Vincent. (1967) Mysterious Fires and Lights.
Kapitza, Sergei. (1991, August) Antiscience trends in the USSR. Scientific American, 265 (2), 18-24.
Magola, Miroslaw: <http://users.aol.com/mmagola>
Mr Magnet Sucks. (2002) Fortean Times 155, 12
Tutt, Keith. (1997) True Life Encounters. London: Millennium.
Western Australian Sightings
Compiled by Brian Richards
Western Australian reports coming in through 2001 were fairly sporadic; certainly not a year of intense activity. However, early 2002 was a different story, with scores of people seeing orange balls of light (OBOLs); more so over the southern Perth suburbs of Coolbellup, Kardinya and Willagee. Overseas, especially in Canada, UFO sightings almost doubled in the last year with 374 reports; 123 of these from British Columbia. Six OBOLs were reported flying in a V-formation over Portage la Prairie, Manitoba. UFO reports from Malaysia have doubled with a close encounter case and alleged abductions. Hessdalen in Norway continues to have many enigmatic lights of all shapes, colours and sizes flying through the night skies. For example, one brilliant white light, as large as the sun, split into four parts which paired up and flew off in different directions. In the USA, illuminated or dark, silent triangular craft continue to be seen across the country. Belgium and the United Kingdom have reported similar objects often flying very low. If these are experimental military aircraft, then flying them over populated areas could be a serious breach of safety standards. No organization, military or civilian, has taken responsibility for these craft, let alone admitted that they exist. There has been no serious government investigation anywhere to prove the existence and origin of these airspace invaders. The same could apply to crop circles and animal mutilations, which continue to baffle the serious thinker or be the butt of ridicule from the cynical sceptic.
Wednesday, 6 March 2002, 7.30pm.Hilton, WA. Two witnesses watched a brilliant, constant red light travel slowly from east to west. The light appeared low (about 1,000–2,000 feet) and made no sound. It grew dimmer by distance. As they watched, a brilliant white fireball passed overhead from north-west to south-east. It had a short, sparkling, truncated tail without tapering. Before reaching the south-east horizon, it seemed to vanish.
Monday, 4 March 2002, 1.30pm. Augusta, WA. Lyn and Peter were admiring the view from their accommodation. Lyn decided to take three digital photos of the scene, as it was such a clear sunny day. To their surprise, the second image showed what must have been a very fast moving dark object travelling south to north. What appears to be a light plume extends for a short distance from the rear of the object at an angle of forty-five degrees. Because the object is so blurred, zooming in merely pixelates the object to such a degree that clarity is degraded rather than enhanced. (This could be some kind of stealth technology following on after the Lockheed SR-71A Blackbird which was capable of flying at an altitude of about 26,000 metres [85,500 feet] and had a maximum speed of about Mach 3, which is 3,660 km/h [2,275 mph]. The whitish plume could be the tail plane reflecting sunlight, but then again it could be something more exotic. BR)
Sunday, 3 March 2002, 10.30pm. Rockingham WA. The witness (Dave) reported a very bright, intermittently pulsating light travel from south to north at an eighty degrees elevation. After two minutes, it could not be seen any more. In 1989 the same witness watched a large, silent, orange light near Bunbury, WA, hovering above the ground in a paddock (field). He could see white lights around the object and some of the lights were illuminating the ground sixty metres [200 feet] below.
Saturday, 2 March 2002, 5.15am. Perth central business district, WA. The witness, Greg, was travelling north towards Perth along the Kwinana Freeway. It was still fairly dark. As he approached the Narrows Bridge, he noticed a triangular, stationary object above the city. There was a white light on each corner of the triangle, with one red light between two of the white ones. The three white lights were flashing on and off in unison. About five kilometres [three miles] farther north the witness turned off the freeway to Osborne Park, but was unable to visually re-locate the object.
Friday, 1 March 2002, 7.20pm. Hamilton Hill, WA. A man was facing west towards the Indian Ocean, when a bright, white, star-like object approached him increasing in brilliance as it got closer. No sound was heard. The sighting lasted less than a minute. It suddenly reversed direction, heading back to sea and was gone in a flash.
Friday, 1 March 2002, 8pm. Leighton Road, Mandurah, WA. A man and his son watched two satellite-type lights travel SW to NE. They were side by side maintaining a constant speed. It was so unusual for the witnesses to see two lights together that they trained their binoculars onto the lights. What they could see behind the two lights, about two finger widths at arm’s length, was a triangular arrangement of much smaller lights. They said it appeared to be towed behind, as everything was in perfect unchanging unison. The sighting lasted a minute.
Monday, 25 February 2002, 8.42pm. Wilson (southern suburb), WA. The witness, Russell B. reported a silent, star-like object travelling overhead from NE to SW. After its initial pass, the object arced south and executed a fairly large clockwise ellipse followed by a tight clockwise circle before heading north-east at terrific speed. Russell said he wished he had not witnessed the event as it altered his otherwise sceptical view of such things. This incident left him bemused. Total sighting time was twelve minutes.
Friday, 22 February 2002, 9.30pm. Osborne Park (northern suburb), WA. Brian J. saw two star-like objects travelling together from NE to SW. They were flashing intermittently, one behind the other and veered towards the west before being lost to view.
Monday, 18 February 2002, 10.15pm. Two independent witnesses reported an OBOL travelling south to north. It was described as silent, orange/red and very bright. The first witness, Jan, of the southern Perth suburb of Glen Iris, saw the object pass over her car as she headed south along the Kwinana Freeway. She was convinced it was coming in to land and expected to see it grounded when she looked over her shoulder. Steven and his girlfriend were in the northern Perth suburb of Heathridge, near Ocean Reef at 10.20pm, when a bright orange/yellow light passed by from south to north. It appeared to have smaller lights within the main body and dimmed down and reduced in size as it passed. Total sighting time was twelve to fifteen minutes.
Sunday, 17 February 2002, 8.45pm. Kardinya, WA. Don and Lorraine P. watched an orange light travel from south-east to west. It seemed too bright for a satellite and the wrong light configuration to be an airplane.
Saturday, 16 February 2002, 10.45pm. Leeming (a southern suburb), WA. Rex M. reported two OBOLs travelling south to north. He was looking west. One of the lights was about two minutes behind the first and higher up, and he believed the lights were travelling along the coast.
Saturday, 16 February 2002, 11.05pm. Alfred Cove (south of the Swan River), WA. Scott H. watched three orange/yellow balls of light travel from south-south-east to north. The lights were very bright, silent and about 2,000 feet [600 metres] up, travelling in a group. The first light in the group suddenly rocketed ahead of the others. The second light faded out and the third travelled north as if following the coastline.
Saturday, 16 February 2002, 11.40pm. Near Murdoch (southern suburb), WA. This writer was privileged to witness one of these enigmatic OBOLs. And I can state categorically that this was not a conventional aircraft or an orange garbage bag fuelled by fire-lighters or any other combustible material ¾ the product of hoaxers or pranksters as claimed by Bickley Astronomical Observatory to puzzled witnesses. I went into the garden to check the pool filter pressure gauge prior to switching it off. I was bemoaning the fact to myself that although I receive many phone calls from witnesses reporting sightings, I rarely see anything unusual in the night skies. Almost at the same time, a brilliant, orange/yellow light was moving above me from south to north. It was totally silent and about the size of a quarter of the full moon at arm’s length. It was possibly between 1,500 feet [450 metres] and 2,000 feet [600 metres] high, although difficult to judge. I called out to the family to come and look, which they did. I raced in to get a camera and telephoto lens, but the lens wasn’t where it should have been, so the opportunity was lost. When I came back out, the object had dimmed and reduced in size. It climbed higher and parked itself like a star but more orange, to the right of and higher than Orion’s Belt. It jumped to the left about two fingers width at arm’s length, then remained absolutely stationary for six minutes. I watched the object through binoculars and could see no identifying features or appendages. After six minutes the object started to move slowly west and at one point was a very impressive fourth (top) star of Orion’s Belt. Even the spacing was correct. It then disappeared behind a gum tree. My son, who was on the garage roof by this time to get a better view, said there was a flash and the object simply vanished. I should add that the breeze this night was from the south-west, so the object, travelling initially from the south and later heading west, would have been against the wind on both occasions, and it remained stationary for six minutes; hardly the expected norm for a wind-driven device.
Saturday, 16 February 2002, 10.50–11.05pm. Willagee (southern suburb), WA. June F. and several other witnesses watched a group of three OBOLs travel from south to north. They were silent and brilliant, like mercury-vapour street lights. Directly over the prime witnesses’ house, the three lights stopped for two or three minutes before two of them headed west before turning north. The third light seemed to disappear. A fourth similar orange/yellow light was witnessed travelling from south to north at 11.20pm.
Friday, 15 February 2002, 9.50pm. Coolbellup (southern suburb), WA. Glen H. and his family watched two OBOLs travel from south-west to north-east. The witness watched the objects for about ten minutes and was able to obtain video footage. One of these images was published in The Sunday Times on 17 February (p.11) with a small article covering a number of reports related to orange balls of light and UFORUM’s involvement with the investigations.
Friday, 15 February 2002, 10.30pm. A Samson (south of the river) man, John R., was looking east when he saw two brilliant orange/yellow lights, one above the other, travel from south to north. The lower light varied its intensity from time to time, and both lights seemed to stop for a while in the north-east before being lost to view. The witness was adamant that the objects were not stars, helicopters, airplanes or hot-air balloons.
Saturday, 9 February 2002, 11.15pm. Heathridge (northern suburb), WA. A group of ten witnesses watched as four silent, bright orange/yellow lights moved slowly west towards the Indian Ocean from the east. They were in a diamond formation, with the first three lights in a triangular configuration, apex forward, and the fourth some distance apart taking up the rear. They grew fainter with distance and one of the lights seemed to drop down towards the sea.
Tuesday, 5 February 2002, 2.30am–4am. Maylands (north of the river), WA. The witness, Nikki, watched a bright white light moving erratically about over the city (Perth) in the region of King’s Park. There appeared to be some sort of electrical charge coming off the light and three other lights were seen around the main one. One of the three lights seemed to change shape and a dome-like top appeared. Red and green lights could also be seen. As the three lights approached the main (largest) one, electrical or sparkling effects were observed from all four objects and small trails or tails were seen as the objects darted about. The witness eventually tired of the display and retired to bed.
Tuesday, 1 January 2002, 12.04am. Munster (southern suburb), WA. Sharon J. and six other witnesses, celebrating the new year, watched two bright orange balls of light travel east to west, one behind the other. No sound was heard. At one stage the leading light moved backwards to align itself with the other, coming alongside. They then rose into the night sky and appeared for some time like stars. Total sighting time was six minutes. There were other revellers in the street who saw the objects. According to Sharon, none thought it was anything conventional.
Tuesday, 1 January 2002, 9pm–10.30pm. Shoalwater Bay (near Rockingham), WA. Several witnesses claimed to have seen, over two nights, a light rise up from low over the horizon in the west, over the Indian Ocean, and grow larger and brighter to a pale yellow. For an hour and a half the light performed amazing aerobatics, zipping from side to side, up and down, and zig-zagging in every direction. Sometimes the light would slow down, speed up or come to an abrupt halt. When it finally left the area heading west, the whole ocean lit up.
Thursday, 27 December 2001, 10pm. Jarrahdale, WA. A prison officer from Karnet reported three lights flying in a triangular formation from south to north. The two front lights were white and the third orange. On reaching the vicinity of Orion’s Belt they split up. One white light headed west, one north-east and the third (orange) one went straight on north.
Wednesday, 19 December 2001, 8.10pm. Peppermint Grove (north riverbank), WA. The witness, Rod, out walking his dog, watched a white light like a satellite come in from the east directly overhead. Unlike a satellite, the object zig-zagged to the north-west, performed a curve westwards before changing course yet again as it headed south-west to be lost to view.
Tuesday, 18 December 2001, 11.15–11.30pm. Karnet, Jarrahdale. The witness’s attention was first drawn by his dog which was acting very excited or agitated. The witness noticed a movement in the sky and looking up saw a huge dark shadow only 200 feet [60 metres] up blocking out the stars. He calculated it to be 30 metres across. It was shaped like a stealth bomber but did not have the steps cut out of the wing’s trailing edges. It was moving silently and slowly south-east before turning south. Prior to this sighting, he and a group of other people counted eighteen satellites between 8pm and 9.30pm, which in itself is an unusually high number.
Saturday, 1 December 2001, 2.15pm. Michael M. of Kalgoorlie (Goldfields), WA, reported a shimmering, silver object going west to east at a steady rate. He described it as a sisalation square, like a panel off an aircraft, slightly curved. No appendages could be seen and no sound was heard.
Sunday, 11 November 2001, 9.30pm. Heathridge Park (northern suburb), WA. Susan L. and her twelve-year-old son, Tristan, were heading west along Ocean Reef road. They turned right into Poseidon Avenue heading north. Ahead of them was a large, stationary, bright light about the size of a helicopter. Its height was difficult for them to ascertain. They pulled over to the left-hand verge and stopped for a better look. Tristan had a laser pointer and pointed it at the object. Instantaneously coloured lights flashed around the object; blue, red and green. Between these colours was a yellow light that did not flash at all. Within seconds the object flew at great speed towards their vehicle, causing alarm and consternation. Tristan involuntarily ducked, expecting a collision, but the object presumably flew over the top of their car, except that when they looked out of the rear window expecting the craft to streak away, they saw nothing. It had totally vanished.
Tuesday, 16 October 2001, 10.25pm. City Beach, WA. Melanie and friends reported a brilliant orange light with a short tail that travelled rapidly from south to north. (Probably a fireball. BR)
Sunday, 7 October 2001, 9.30pm–9.50pm. Morley/Bassendean (northern suburbs), WA. Simon and his girlfriend were travelling along Anzac road towards Bassendean train station. They noticed a star-like object zig-zagging about to the right of their car. The object would come in close to the car and then recede. Being curious, they stopped the car and shone a torch in its direction. As if responding, it came back closer and then retreated over the horizon. However, the couple spotted the object near Bassendean Broadway, where it remained stationary to the west. Six pencil-like beams of light shot down from the craft, curiously detached like falling neon tubes. The couple, heading north by this time, realised they were still being followed by the light which was now orange. They started to panic and Simon’s girlfriend was crying. They drove home as fast as they could and the object shot off at great speed.
Friday, 7 September 2001. 7.49–8.24pm. Mooliabeenie (between Bindoon and Gingin), WA. Carolyn was driving along the Bindoon-Moora road. Looking east she saw a bright, red, stationary object just above the horizon. It kept growing bright and dim. It appeared to be spherical and the colour of a red traffic light. The ball finally faded out at 8.24pm but left a glow in the sky for some time. The witness, who knows the area fairly well, thought the object was over a valley between two lines of hills.
Saturday, 11 August 2001, 9.30pm. Rockingham, WA. Two independent groups reported seeing a group of three bright OBOLs almost overhead. They did not know from which direction they came, but the lights were moving in all directions; up and down, back and forth and around each other. At one point they remained stationary overhead for a few minutes. The lower light of the three dropped even lower and dimmed out. Some of the witnesses reported seeing an arrow shape where the light had been, before the lights headed west out to sea.
Saturday, 28 July 2001, 8.30pm. Waikiki and Warnbro (south of Perth), WA. Two separate groups of witnesses reported five orange lights in a cross formation moving slowly from north to east. One of the lights was moving up and down and from side to side. Soskia, one of the witnesses, swore she could see arrow shapes behind the lights.
Wednesday, 18 July 2001, 11.05–11.25pm. Armadale, WA. Greg W. and six other witness watched five orange lights (OBOLs) travel from east to west at around thirty-five degrees between Garden Island and Rottnest Island. They were changing position and moving around each other. Three dimmed out, while the other two moved further west and were lost from view.
Tuesday, 17 July 2001, 10pm. Westfield, near Kelmscott, WA. David W. watched three OBOLs travel from east to west behind each other. The third light stopped almost overhead. The second caught up with the first and continued on. All three lights switched off simultaneously and disappeared.
Tuesday, 17 July 2001, 10.05pm. Kelmscott, WA. Sara reported three silent, bright orange lights travelling from east to west, moving in and out of formation until they seemed to disappear.
Thursday, 28 June 2001, 7.30pm. Ballajura, WA. Six people witnessed a bright red/orange ball travel from north to south. It stopped for about seven minutes when a white object was seen to drop out of the object and fall towards the ground. It eventually moved further south and was lost from view.
Thursday, 28 June 2001, 7.45pm. Leanne of Ballajura described "a flickering red ball of fire" going south towards Bayswater before veering left (east) towards the hills. She watched it for three minutes and thought it was the size of a full moon.
Saturday, 5 May 2001, 3.30–6.30am. West of Merredin, WA. Five people in two vehicles were delivering newspapers on the early morning run through Mukinbudin and Kununoppin. A bright, white, incandescent light appeared to the north and right-hand side of one of the vehicles. It came in low in front of the van, then followed behind before moving to the front again. When they got to the Nungarin Hotel the driver of one of the vehicles woke up his mate to witness the ongoing encounter. He was very frightened by what he saw and lay on the floor of the vehicle, the hairs on the back of his neck standing up. Apparently, the cab of the van heated up to an uncomfortable level and the temperature gauge indicated that the engine was overheating. The engine itself started knocking loudly and loss of power was evidenced by no response from the accelerator. When the light rose up into the sky and appeared as a small star, the van’s engine functioned normally again. As daylight approached, this ‘star’ could not be seen in the brightening sky.
Wednesday, 2 May 2001, 6.10pm. Woody Woody Mine, south-west of Port Hedland. Karl was eighty kilometres west of the Woody Woody Mine. In the light of his bull-lights he saw a strange object hovering ahead about thirty metres up. It was oval and shaped like a flounder about nine metres across. Along the side edges were "undulating fins," hence the flounder comparison. The underside of the object was white, whilst the top was brown and segmented like a tortoise shell. Centrally underneath the object there appeared to be an hexagonal aperture surrounded by a bluish haze. There was a blister or possibly some sort of cabin at the front leading edge and a series of holes running round the object. After about a minute, the craft took off at lightning speed in the direction of Port Hedland to the north-west. Karl found out later that a number of women had witnessed a bright object streak over Port Hedland from the south-east a minute after his sighting. That the object was one and the same cannot be verified.
Tuesday, 1 May 2001, 6.30pm. Nollamara, WA. A brilliant white fireball with a long sparkling tail travelled east to west. No sound was heard.
Friday, 16 March 2001, 2.30–2.45am. Mt Magnet, WA. A truck driver, Bottica, was travelling north towards Mt Magnet. He was surprised to see in his rear-view mirror a bright light following behind, to the right of his truck. He realised this couldn’t be another vehicle because of its position and this was confirmed when he saw what looked like an egg or acorn shape sitting on a saucer-like base. The whole object was flashing blue, red and green lights. The witness stopped his truck a few times to try and make sense of what he was seeing. But the object always stayed about five hundred metres behind, although moving from side to side. At one point he waved to a passing truck driver and pointed to the hovering object in the sky. The light or lights followed Bottica for another fifty kilometres through Mt Magnet and a further twenty kilometres past Paynes Find where it was not seen any more.
UFOs and the National Security State
An Unclassified History. Volume One: 1941–1973
By Richard M. Dolan. (2000) New York: Keyhole Publishing
Book review by Michael Jordan
Of the hundreds of books on the UFO subject, this volume would have to rank amongst the top two or three in terms of its ruthless, accurate and thoroughly researched exposure of the policy of systematic deceit practised by the US military-intelligence complex in a determined effort to conceal the mass of undeniable evidence of the presence of UFOs in our midst. Dolan, who studied at Alfred and Oxford Universities before completing his graduate work in history at the University of Rochester, also studied American cold war strategy, Soviet history and international diplomacy.
The book, which is over five hundred pages long, is unique in that it provides, in the author’s words, "the crucial foundation everyone needs: a clear, comprehensive, but concise historical narrative of the problem." What his study does is to provide, in narrative form, the facts which lead to a detailed analysis of the national security implications of the UFO phenomenon. These facts include particulars of close to three hundred documented military encounters with UFOs and events occurring at over fifty Air Force, Navy and Army bases in relation to UFO activity.
The book covers in precise chronological order and with great clarity, the maze of political machinations and military intervention leading often to the downright duplicity of findings from the CIA-sponsored Robertson Panel, the ill-fated Condon Committee and other such attempts at deliberate whitewash. It presents a blow by blow description of the doomed endeavours to end, once and for all, UFO secrecy. Any implication that such matters necessarily involve a dry listing of facts, is quickly put to rest. Dolan’s racy narrative style, while unrelenting in its focus on accuracy, never allows the reader to become bogged down solely in detail. Aspects such as his analysis of the Roswell saga and the concluding chapter detailing his considered thoughts on the significance of all of these findings, make for fascinating and informative reading.
One of the many admirable aspects of this history that is absolutely unavoidable, is Dolan’s courage. Here is an American writer presenting the thoroughly unpalatable facts about his country’s government and its frequent inability to exert control over a rampaging military-intelligence complex, with absolutely no limitations on their determination to remain in control of information, that they did not want in the public domain. For those who doubt that any government would be capable of such disregard for the wishes of its people, Dolan points out, "that the cover-up of UFO information is nothing unique. A state capable of conducting terminal mind control experiments, biological spraying of American cities, illegal mail and cable interceptions, nationwide domestic surveillance by its military, human plutonium and syphilis injections, sundry coups and assassinations, ongoing media manipulation and flat-out public lying on a continual basis, would surely be capable of lying about UFOs too."
Apollo 14 Astronaut, Dr Edgar Mitchell, has described UFOs and the National Security State as, "thorough and monumental." Every one of its five hundred and thirty-four pages should be obligatory reading for the debunkers and preferably force-fed to the members of CSICOP. Richard Dolan is currently working on the second volume of this work, which will document the relevant events through the remainder of the twentieth century. All those readers who know that there is a bigger picture will await its publication with confidence that the impeccable research standards of volume one will be repeated.
.Adventures of a Suburban Mystic
A True Story of Spiritual Transformation and Supernatural Encounters
By Lyn Halper. (2001) Victoria, BC, Canada: Trafford Publishing.
Book review by Morley Legg
Lyn Halper suffers and learns from a sequence of psychic adventures that persists for over a decade. The experiences and the knowledge gained from them move the reader to realise there is an urgency to rethink our place in the world. The story begins in 1984 when Lyn Halper, married to Phillip with two sons, senses a mounting anxiety illness gathering to explode. She seeks solutions from Ian, a recommended psychic, who tells her not to run to healers. "This is a consciousness changing factor. Something is trying to show you the bigger picture." Eventually the ‘something’ arrives. "Suddenly, a lightning bolt flashed downward piercing the top of my head with volcanic force." It is accepted as an awakening Kundalini, a latent, potent spiritual energy which ebbs and flows in intensity over the years. The continuous undercurrent of this drives her to seek the advice of psychics, spiritualists, shamans, and study all manner of experiences besides her own. She writes so well you feel you are present.
Lyn attends a ‘Mystery School’ where two hundred students train to develop healing and psychic abilities. There she consults Kyle Branning, a gifted healer who provides temporary relief by pressing chakras. When Kyle is called away, the Kundalini begins again. She hears voices and loses weight. A voice says, "Own the fear." Some wonderful writing reveals how bad it can be, reviving a memory in this reviewer of Paul Valery’s "Never go into the Self except armed to the teeth."
Lyn improves enough to enjoy the tranquillity of home life, of initially wanting nothing more of the psychic and spiritual life. Gradually she moves from the joy of feeling the energy of people and situations, to discovering new psychic and spiritual gifts and the ability to do absent healings. "The mechanism of change was the Kundalini. She had worn me down to raise me up; taken me to the edge, into an abyss, a deeper abyss, and through it to the other side.... I had dropped through the hole of the modern world and was Persephone returned. Persephone in suburbia! It was ridiculous. It was sublime."
A new phase opens when she feels compelled to develop an intellectual understanding of the Kundalini process. A remarkable Maharishi tells her that soon she will have good times with her daughter. She explains to him that she only has two sons. He replies, "You do have a daughter. I see her standing right beside you." A delightful synchronistic experience of her saving a little boy of four from heavy traffic fuels the compulsion to find ‘her daughter’. Her sceptical husband, Philip, accompanies her to adoption agencies.
There are unexpected turns in this book. In London Lyn attends a spiritualist meeting and happens to ask the medium, a stranger, if there is anything she should know. The medium passes on a short message, from what appears to be Lyn’s deceased father, that, "Another couple has her." Lyn senses it means the loss of ‘her daughter’ and is devastated. But, back in New York, Lyn eventually hears that the adoption agency has ‘Nicole’, a four year-old South American daughter for her. The meeting is touching.
When Nicole turns seven, mother and daughter enjoy learning about the Indian civilizations from indigenous teachers, and how knowledge is passed on through teaching children. They tune into Lakota consciousness and become adept at exploring the psychic dimension. Nicole proves to be a gifted psychic. Much of the book is made up from meetings with remarkable psychics. For instance Lyn and her husband, Philip, meet Zenta, a visiting Russian physician, who was commissioned by the Soviets to spend years in Lhasa studying Tibetan medicine. The details are fascinating. Zenta examined Nicole, with Lyn and Philip present, and listed many problems because of Nicole’s history, mainly liver poisoning from tainted food and water in South America. Prescribed Tibetan remedies begin a healing process.
Mother and daughter develop their own films of experimental seances, and are startled to find some negatives have recorded mirror writing and anomalies with crystals. Among the sessions with spirit guides, psychokinetic bending of metals and relationship insights from martial arts, there are her studies on the succession of ‘psychic surgeons’ in Brazil, linking perspectives from ancient history and her more recent delving into the UFO literature. There she finds parallels between UFO contactees and those drawn to play roles in religious miracles. Although it may seem enchanting to explore psychic jungles by carelessly drifting down uncharted rivers, rapids and waterfalls often lie ahead. Heed the warning: their psychic explorations do open excursions into the Dark Side. Consulting the I Ching one night, Lyn receives predictions of misfortunes for "turning away from innocence." So much like Adam biting the apple. Miraculous synchronicities make her sense a plan is in operation. There are spates of poltergeist activity, knockings, etc. She and Nicole have nightmares. Both wake up with nosebleeds. Only later they learn that nosebleeds are common in abduction cases. Accidents follow. She admits she was naive. "I believed myself protected by the intellectual nature of my work. I was not a kid playing with a ouija board." She maintains, "we need to go through the negative to the opportunity."
I received an e-mail from Lyn Halper in February 2001, congratulating the Australasian Society for Psychical Research (ASPR) on its website, and asking if I would consider reviewing Adventures of a Suburban Mystic in ASPR’s Journal, which I later learned had been recommended to her by ufologists in New York. The book duly arrived. Since reading it I have wondered what religious fundamentalists and conventional American medical practitioners would think of it. The latter would probably recommend assessment of her anxiety, voice hearing and other ‘psychic’ experiences, and suggest prescribed drugs to suppress these ‘symptoms’ ¾ and subsequently her insights and her book. My concern, after feeling averse to one or two of the photographs, was the possibility of Nicole, as a child, attending some of the occult seances and absorbing adverse influences. Dr. Halper e-mailed to assure me this was not the case. Thus Nicole’s arrival and progress remains the important anchor to love, meaning and conventional reality.
A literary friend with connections to spiritualist friends disliked the book. She felt much was exaggerated, "too spooky", and that proper psychic handling would have shielded Lyn from ongoing negative experiences. She would have refused to review it. Lyn admits that traditional religionists are distressed by the implications of her findings, and feels disinclined to advertise the publication to colleagues. Anyone who has had psychic experiences may appreciate hearing that when individuals are selected to carry out religious missions, a certain sequence of events takes place. "Generally the individual is seduced by numinous paranormal experiences, or pressed into spiritual service with physical or mental maladies, thus the well known ‘shamanic illness’."
Lyn reasons that although we can be deceived and robbed of energy in both physical and psychic worlds, there is a compassionate intelligence in the universe interactive with our minds. Accelerating advances in science indicate that contacts with otherkind are not confined to the mystic. Different interpretations, however, are given to account for the phenomena encountered: 1) The intruders could be extraterrestrials, or 2) paraphysical entities from other dimensions, 3) time travellers, 4) exteriorisations of the psyche, 5) holographic interaction between universe and mind. The reader is encouraged to think and question.
Kundalini arousal and the alien abduction scenario are said to be on the increase, and as both involve a turbulent opening of the subconscious mind, entities move in when the individual is weak or vulnerable. As an overview of the theory that predatory intelligences have always invaded and controlled humanity ¾ instigating wars and racial divisions ¾ William Bramley’s book The Gods of Eden is recommended. Optimism remains that knowledge will increase through "the development of superstring and the newer ‘brane’ theory that posits a megaverse based on multi-dimensions."
Her interpretations do go against the cosy assumptions of society and of psychiatry. But the end result of persistent seeking, and courage, has earned Lyn Halper a PhD in psychology, and a professorship of Religious Studies at Rockland Community College of the State University of New York. The insights from her personal experiences move us closer to realizing that we probably do live in a megaverse, and it is time we started devising maps to mark our place and purpose in it.
End of Journal