Journal of Alternative Realities
                                                  Vol 7,  Issue 1,  1999
 
Contents:

 The Oz Factor                                            Technology Update
 Tracking UFOs by Satellite                         Alien Base
 Preamble to the Ultimate Debate                 From Atlantis to the Sphinx
 Spirit Possession                                         Alien Dawn
 Uri Geller                                                   Cult Encounter
 My ET Experiences                                    Robot Warriors
 Flying Saucers & Sonic Booms                   Legacy from the Stars
 Western Australian Sightings                       Underground Bases & Tunnels
 

 

The Oz Factor
Entering The Magical Realm
By Michael Jordan
 

The wondrous experiences of Dorothy in the film The Wizard of Oz and Alice in her Wonderland, happened as a result of these two adventurous young ladies being whisked away into a magical realm from whence they eventually returned, unfortunately without a shred of evidence to support their experiences.  Prolific writer and researcher in the field of UFOs and related areas, Jenny Randles coined the term the 'Oz Factor', to describe the sensations experienced by those who entered this state.
In her 1988 book Abduction, Randles describes the mysterious Oz Factor as, "an induced form of sensory deprivation which seems to alter the state of consciousness of the percipient.  It can become visible as a sensation of time standing still, or interfered with, or it manifests as all sound vanishing, a very odd feeling of being isolated from our world into a magic world.  It is less easy to describe than recognise, since witnesses often refer to it without having any idea of its significance.  This underlines its importance." (Randles, p.57)
Ufologists have long been familiar with the reporting of such sensations as a prelude to UFO related experiences including witnesses to so-called abductions.  Participants tell of feelings of disassociation and timelessness.  The impression created for the individual concerned is one of having temporarily vacated the material world with its distracting sensory input and entered a timeless, silent, dreamlike, mental state, unlike any other previously experienced.  Obviously a type of altered state of consciousness.

The records kept by UFO researchers are replete with cases involving aspects such as the paralysis of the witness, periods of missing time, the silence of the craft observed, its rapid or instantaneous disappearance and often the seeming absurdity of a lack of other witnesses, despite the vast size of the craft and the fact that it is seen in broad daylight.  These underlying patterns remain pretty standard and common to the Oz Factor, irrespective of language or location.
An early example of its operation is recounted by Jenny Randles:
"It occurred one hot and thundery day in the summer of 1944.  World War II raged around the village of Le Verger, near Toulon-sur-Arroux, France, when a thirteen-year-old girl, Madeleine Arnoux, decided to risk the many Germans and resistance fighters in the woods to cycle out and pick berries.  In doing so she confronted a strange object in the grass, like a small car but dull grey in colour.  She then noticed that small men stood beside it, no more than three feet tall and dressed in brown one-piece suits.  Feeling desperately afraid, she tried to run but was paralysed and lost all sense of time (the Oz Factor once more).  Then, inexplicably, the object had gone and the hold on her was relaxed.  She fled back to her village." (Randles, p.23)

In the same way that reports of hauntings describe how ghosts can suddenly disappear from view, not only do UFOs have the capacity to vanish in mid-air, but to disappear from radar screens as well.  In their informative and perceptive book of essays on UFOs, UFOs The Final Answer?, David and Therese Barclay include a chapter by Joseph Dormer in which he recounts the following personal experience recounted by a teacher in Rochdale, England:
"It was late November and I had just got home from college.  It was already dusk and, as my mother prepared to pull the curtains, she drew my attention to something she could see in the darkening sky.  I looked out through the window and saw this extraordinary craft, just hanging there, low in the sky, motionless and completely silent.  It was huge.  I mean it must have been about 100 feet long.  It was cylinder shaped, but rounded at the ends.  There were port holes along its entire length, and I could see figures in silver space suits moving about inside.  I couldn't believe what I was seeing.  I wanted to cry out but could not .... I mean I literally could not speak or move.  Neither of us could.  It was as if we were paralysed.  We just stood there, watching this thing as it began to glide slowly across the sky.  Then suddenly it was gone.  It did not just move off at tremendous speed, I'm certain of that – it just vanished into thin air.  And another strange thing was that we seemed to be watching it for only a few minutes or so, yet when I looked at my watch afterwards, I found that a whole hour had gone by." (Barclay, p.130)
The confusion caused by the Oz Factor is well illustrated by a case investigated by university lecturer, Frank Johnson, in Faringdon, Oxfordshire, involving the reported abduction of a family of five, three adults and two children, travelling by car from Reading to the Gloucester area.  Following the sighting of what they thought was a bright planet, their car appeared to drive itself, passing the same scenery again and again, including a non-existent brightly lit house (obviously an imposed screen, aimed at blocking out something perhaps a little more alarming).  During this whole sequence, time appeared to unravel slowly in classic Oz Factor style.  The end of the experience was marked by the appearance of a spinning, brightly lit disc and the stunned participants found their way home, eventually finding out that they had arrived an hour later than expected.
It would appear that in many instances, witnesses to a UFO event may experience a momentary amnesia, not realising at the time that a time-lapse had occurred.  These lapses are apparently introduced so skilfully, that the experiencer is unaware that even one second has passed.  Typically they may recall the sighting of a light or UFO, hear a sound like bees buzzing, or feel a type of numbness overcoming them, only to then find themselves in a different position in their car or journey, from what they would normally expect.

Cars that appear to assume control of themselves in silent gliding motion, passing no other traffic on the road, with their occupants seemingly mesmerised are part of the Oz experience.  One classic case involved a couple from Zimbabwe, driving from Harare to Durban.  Following the sighting of a strange light in the sky, their car appeared to assume control of itself, seeming to glide just above the surface of the road passing unreal scenery.  After covering what seemed to be a large number of kilometres, they were to find that their petrol gauge had not moved, a passage of missing time was unaccounted for and they were not where they should have been in their journey to Durban.

A peculiar silence often seems to be part of the Oz state.  Well known abductee, Betty Andreasson gives the following description of an encounter in which alien beings came into her house:
"I can see a light, sort of pink right now.  And now the light is getting brighter.  It's reddish orange, and it's pulsating.  I said to the children, 'Be quiet, and quick, get in the living room, and whatever it is will go away.'  It seemed like the whole house had a vacuum over it.  Like stillness all around ... like stillness." (Fowler, p.15)
The ability to eliminate sound, or else create a mind-set in which the observer believes there is no sound, is another aspect of the Oz Factor.  The recurring phenomenon of phantom helicopters that sometimes appear in conjunction with UFOs (since the mid-seventies), may look like helicopters in many respects, but may have parts missing, be entirely black without markings and above all, may be soundless.  Ann Druffel comments, "Researchers who have studied these reports are inclined to speculate that the mystery choppers are imperfect 'imitations' of earth craft, it seems as if whatever or whoever constructs them are either deliberately falsifying some part of their appearance in order to bring the craft to witnesses' attention or simply do not care whether their constructions are perfect replicas." (Druffel & Rogo, p.155)
It's sometimes difficult for doubters of UFO phenomena to miss the opportunity to explain away the conjunction between the mental experiences of the Oz Factor and the sighting of unknown objects as merely tricks played by the mind, a temporary aberration perhaps.  If they are psychic then they can't be scientific they argue.  However , if UFOs and related phenomena are merely psychic projections or products of imagination, we are left to explain the physical traces they leave behind.  Deep impressions at landing sites, unmistakable radar traces and incisions and scars left on some experiencers, constitute just some of the physical evidence.  In his excellent book The Holographic Universe, the late Michael Talbot wrote:
"I propose that such phenomena are difficult to categorise because we are trying to hammer them into a picture of reality that is fundamentally incorrect.  Given that quantum physics has shown us that mind and matter are inextricably linked, I suggested that UFOs and related phenomena are further evidence of this ultimate lack of division between the psychological and physical worlds.  They are indeed a product of the human psyche, but they are quite real.  Put another way, they are something the human race has not yet learned to comprehend properly, a phenomenon that is neither subjective nor objective but 'omnijective' – a term I coined to refer to this unusual state of existence (I was unaware at the time that Corbin had already coined the term imaginal to describe the same blurred surface of reality, only in the context of the mystical experience of the Sufis)." (Talbot, p.279)

There is little doubt that the pre-eminent psychologist Carl Jung, when he focused on the subject of UFOs, hoped to explain it in terms of his 'Archetype' hypothesis.  However, after evaluating the reports and case studies available, he was forced to conclude, "Unfortunately however, there are good reasons why the UFO cannot be disposed of in this simple manner."
The problem posed for science is that sightings of UFOs are reported by all sections of society including specialists, whose reputations as observers, in other circumstances, would be considered unimpeachable.  In addition the phenomenon is polymorphous and can be perceived in a number of different forms.  Another major drawback is the fact that not only are we no closer to solving the intrinsic mystery of their substance since attention was first paid to the subject some sixty years ago, but it has expanded to encompass aspects and enigmas previously thought to be entirely unrelated.
It would appear then that the Oz Factor is a state of sensory deprivation in which the mind, separated from normal stimuli, concentrates its focus inwardly.  As humans, we are either born with, or rapidly develop the ability to form a screen or barrier which can sometimes protect us from unwanted intrusion.  Whether this form of traumatic amnesia, with the brain responding to events so utterly different to our normal cultural experience, or mechanically induced as a direct result of the UFO experience, the net result is to leave the experiencer in a state of amnesia.  If we accept that the experience is totally hallucinatory, we are faced with a major paradox.  How can any hallucination leave ground and radar traces, cause radiation burns and affect the workings of aircraft and automobile engines?

As you would expect, researchers have put forward a number of theories to explain the occurrence of Oz Factor phenomena in conjunction with some UFO experiences, and the possible reasons for the induction of such a state.  There is much agreement on the central notion of an attempt to establish contact through consciousness.  How ironic that while SETI desperately searches for signs of technological contact from without, other energies may be trying to contact us through our consciousness!

Could the temporary disassociation from the barriers of time and space experienced, be designed to exploit an opening, some sort of gap in time, through which 'actual' information may slip through to our consciousness?  Perhaps contact designed to bring us to our senses about the omnijective, to use Talbot's term, holographic nature of the universe that we inhabit.  A kind of awakening from the spell of matter.  Interestingly, it is known that some animals enter a type of Oz Factor state, in which they appear drugged, many hours before major earth tremors in their locality.  Information about this future event is relayed to them during this state.

Well known French astrophysicist and UFO researcher Dr Jacques Vallee, in connection with the contact theory, writes in Messengers of Deception:
"At close range, the UFO phenomenon acts as a reality transformer, triggering for the witness a series of symbolic displays that are indistinguishable from reality.  These displays, which frequently begin with a bewildering series of blinking coloured lights of extraordinary intensity, induce a state of intense confusion for the subjects who are vulnerable to the insertion of new thoughts and new visual experiences."

It is as if the confusion and sudden removal from reality as we know it, provides an avenue for re-framing our total picture and effecting changes in our viewpoint.  Vallee continues:
"What we see emerging in the UFO phenomenon is not gradual contact but rather gradual control – of our beliefs, expectations, fears, hopes and dreams.  We know from behavioural psychology that the best schedule of reinforcement is one that combines periodicity with unpredictability (citing the intense patterns of UFO activity followed by quiet periods when it seems to have gone away entirely).  Learning is then slow but continuous, it leads to the highest level of adaptation.  And it is irreversible.  It is interesting to observe that the pattern of UFO waves has the same structure as a schedule of reinforcement."

The idea of receiving information about the true nature of reality, is a recurring one amongst writers and researchers of this subject.  Michael Murphy in The Future of the Body, puts it very succinctly:
"Are these 'somethings' – aspects of a greater existence, distorted perhaps by the subject's perceptual filters?  Are they first glimpses of a 'larger earth'?  To a frog with its simple eye the world is a dim array of greys and blacks.  Are we like frogs in our limited sensorium, apprehending just part of the universe that we inhabit?  Are we as a species now awakening to the reality of multi-dimensional worlds in which matter undergoes subtle reorganisations in some sort of hyperspace?  Is visionary experience analogous to the first breathings of early amphibians?  Are we ourselves coming ashore to a 'larger earth'?"

Michael Grosso, writing in Mind at Large, contends that there is a relationship between these different forms of contact with human consciousness, originating from a single source of intelligence which makes use of whatever aperture it can locate to instruct our collective mind and modify our basic ideas of the workings of reality.
With a difference of opinion from those researchers who support the concept of contact from alien intelligences, lie those who maintain that UFOs are a type of psychic projection.  They contend that as our knowledge and belief system changes so are we creating a psychic window through which those energies can interact.  The act or state of contact is a real event, but it reflects traumas submerged in the subject's unconscious.  Dr Kenneth Ring argues that UFOs are imaginal (not to be confused with imaginary) experiences:
"They are similar not only to the confrontations with the real but mind-created world individuals experience during NDEs, but also to those mythic realities shamans encounter during journeys through the subtler dimensions.  They are in short, further evidence that reality is a multi-layered and mind-generated hologram."
In The UFO Experience, one of the founding fathers of UFO research, Dr Allan Hynek, had this to say:
"It seems to us that rather than being extraterrestrial in any simple sense, UFOs could well be part of the same larger intelligence which has shaped the tapestry of religion and mythology since the dawn of human consciousness."

Does the state of mind described by the term the Oz Factor, then, create the bridge necessary for this type of contact?  Can we under the right circumstances attract the imaginal into our three-dimensional world?  In response to these questions Michael Talbot writes:
"At present we simply do not know, but in a world that is comprised less of solid objects travelling in space and time and more of ghostly holograms of energy sustained by processes that are at least partially connected to human consciousness, such events may not be as impossible as they appear .... the evidence suggests that we are still children when it comes to understanding the true nature of time.  And like all children poised on the threshold of adulthood, we should put aside our fears and come to terms with the way the world really is." 
 

References
Barclay, David & Therese Marie.  (1993)  UFOs The Final Answer?
Druffel, Ann & Rogo, Scott.  (1989)  The Tujunga Canyon Contacts.
Fowler, Raymond.  (1979)  The Andreasson Affair.
Grosso, Michael. (1989)  Private communication with author, February 17, 1999.
Hynek, Allen.  (1972)  The UFO Experience.
Jung, Carl.  (1958)  Flying Saucers: A Modern Myth of Things Seen in the Skies.
Murphy, Michael.  (1993)  The Future of the Body: Explorations into the Future Evolution of Human Nature.
Randles, Jenny.  (1988)  Abduction.
Ring, Kenneth.  (1989)  Towards an Imaginal Interpretation of UFO Abductions.  ReVision 11, No.4.
Talbot, Michael.  (1991)  The Holographic Universe.
Vallee, Jacques.  (1979)  Messengers of Deception.
 
 
 

Tracking UFOs by Satellite
By Simon Harvey-Wilson
 

For most of the cold war the superpowers' ground and satellite early warning systems would have needed to be able to track UFOs in order to distinguish them from nuclear missiles.  It would have been in neither side's interests to start World War III because for example NATO mistook a flight of five UFOs flying westwards from Russia for the first salvo of a nuclear strike against the West.

Detailed information on these early warning systems remains classified despite the end of the cold war.  This may be one reason why Western nations have been reluctant to acknowledge the reality of UFOs.  If they did admit their existence, the scientific community and those who had swallowed the 'They don't exist' line might demand to see the radar evidence.  But how could the Pentagon provide such proof and still keep the extraordinary capabilities of such surveillance infrastructure secret?  Yet without providing such evidence their claims would be no more convincing than those of the UFO community who likewise cannot produce any radar tapes.  The worldwide amateur UFO research community probably does not own a single radar set, air traffic control computer, jet fighter, or satellite between them.  All such hardware is in the hands of governments who so far have refused to use them to settle the UFO question.

I believe that Western governments would rather that the public knew as little as possible about their tracking systems, firstly for national security reasons and secondly because, once the public knew how extensive and sophisticated they were, they would realise that they were almost certainly capable of proving whether UFOs exist or not within little more than twenty-four hours.  Instead we are being asked to believe that such governments have apparently discovered nothing conclusive in this field for fifty years.

Where are these early warning systems, what can they do and where does information about them come from?  The first thing to point out is that all the information in this article comes from open sources.  Anyone can look it up in the library or on the Internet, provided you know where to look.  Writers and scholars who specialise in this subject call it 'Strategic Studies'.  My first source is a book called An Illustrated Guide To Space Warfare by David Hobbs, who was a researcher at Aberdeen University's Centre for Defence Studies.  Three other sources are The Ties That Bind: Intelligence Cooperation Between the UKUSA Countries by Jeffrey T. Richelson & Desmond Ball; Pine Gap by Des Ball; and A Base For Debate: The US Satellite Station at Nurrungar also by Des Ball.  Professor Desmond Ball has been the head of the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre at the Australian National University, and Dr Richelson has been a consultant and Senior Fellow at the National Security Archive in the USA.  I assume therefore that they know what they are talking about.  It should also be emphasised that none of these books mentions UFOs.

But why, you might ask, haven't these writers had their knuckles rapped for releasing classified information?  As far as I can gather the answer is because all the information they discuss is derived from open sources and is either out of date or sufficiently vague so as not to be of any threat to national security.  Nevertheless, out of date information is still relevant to the UFO debate.  If it can be shown that the world's superpowers had the equipment to track and therefore research UFOs thirty or more years ago, then it is most unlikely that today's equipment is any less capable, which suggests that they have been concealing their knowledge of the UFO phenomenon for all that time.

How would you track UFOs if you had an almost unlimited budget?  We know that some UFOs can be picked up by radar.  There are numerous reports available which attest to that.  Most civilian airport radars have a limited range and it is not the job of civilian air traffic controllers to keep a look out for UFOs.  Thankfully they devote their time to stopping passenger jets from crashing into each other, and most of us would prefer that they kept doing precisely that.  However military radar plays a different role.  In theory any nation's air force is supposed to be interested in identifying everything that flies into its air space in case it turns out to be hostile.  Despite government protestations to the contrary, this would definitely include UFOs.

BALLISTIC MISSILE EARLY WARNING SYSTEM.   The United States BMEWS system is vast, complex, and has a degree of redundancy built into it so that, if one part fails or is damaged, another part can take over.  Let us deal with the ground-based systems first.  Nuclear weapons can be fired from submarines, from underground silos, from the air, and perhaps even from space.  To protect the North American continent, the USA and Canada cooperate in maintaining a huge radar shield over their combined land mass which can detect incoming missiles or craft from any direction.  Because land-based missiles from the old USSR would have probably come by the shortest route, which is over the North Pole, this early warning system, now called the North American Aerospace Defence Command (NORAD), is especially strong in that direction.  The NORAD operations centre is inside Cheyenne Mountain near Colorado Springs in the Rocky Mountains.  NORAD is answerable both to the Canadian Prime Minister and the US President.  (More information about NORAD can be found on the Internet at: www.space.com.af.mil/norad/index.htm)  To complete the radar shield there are also huge radar beams facing West, South and East from the North American coast, so that nothing that is detectable by radar can fly into Canada or the USA from any direction without tripping this system.  This means that any radar-detectable UFO that is seen by the public anywhere within Canada or the USA must fall into one of these four categories.
 

This may be one reason why Western air forces these days do not seem very interested in UFO reports from the public.  They probably already have all the details they need on a tracking computer somewhere.

The US military also has its own missile tracking system separate from its NORAD cooperation with Canada.  This system extends into space and around the planet.  The US Air Force Space Command runs something called SPACETRACK which provides data on satellites and missiles from its network of sensors around the world, including NASA's tracking systems.  SPACETRACK also gets information from the US Navy Space Surveillance System (NAVSPASUR) which operates a line of radar stations running from Georgia to California that transmit a fan-shaped radar beam into space to a height of about fourteen thousand kilometres.  This system can detect and calculate the orbital characteristics of any satellite or other object breaking the beam. (Hobbs, p.76)

SPACETRACK is also linked to something called the Ground-based Electro-Optical Deep Space Surveillance System (GEODSS) which consists of a world-wide network of 100 centimetre telescopes linked to low-light-level television cameras which are powerful enough to provide real-time pictures of an object as small as a football in geostationary orbit 36,000 kilometres above the ground.  By now these cameras may be even more sensitive and include infra-red sensors.  I assume that this means that, if a UFO or mother-ship is detected by radar somewhere in orbit around the planet, one of the GEODSS telescopes somewhere on the planet can be asked to film it within minutes.  There are GEODSS telescopes in New Mexico, South Korea, Hawaii, Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean, Portugal (Hobbs, p.80) and probably several other places.  This would suggest that someone within the US military-intelligence community by now has a whole video library of state-of-the-art UFO footage.

To show how coordinated the US military's early warning systems are, it is interesting to read a 19th August 1998 press release from the US Air Force News Service which detailed the retirement of General Howell M. Estes III after thirty-three years in the US Air Force.  Before his retirement General Estes simultaneously held three positions.  He was the commander in chief of NORAD (CINCNORAD) which meant that he "was responsible for the air sovereignty of the United States and Canada, as well as providing tactical warning and attack assessment."  He was also the commander in chief of US Space Command (USCINCSPACE) which meant that "he commanded the unified command responsible for directing space control and support operations."  And finally, he was commander of US Air Force Space Command (COMAFSPC).  In that job "he directed satellite control, warning, space launch and ballistic missile operations through a worldwide network of support facilities and bases."  General Estes it seems had a very responsible position, but the press release neglected to say whether tracking UFOs was also a part of his job brief.  His replacement is General Richard B. Myers.

The US early warning system is not limited to the North American continent.  They have installations on friendly territory around the planet, occasionally in places one has never heard of.  Some of them have remarkable capabilities, for example the Cobra Dane radar system, located on the Aleutian Islands near Alaska, "is sensitive enough to detect a grapefruit-sized metallic object at a distance in excess of 2,200 miles [3,500km].  In its tracking mode it can simultaneously handle up to 200 objects at ranges of up to about 1,250 miles [2,000km]." (Hobbs, p.76)  I wonder how many UFOs they have tracked over the last twenty-five years and who got to look at the radar tapes.  There is little point in having such marvellous technology if an intelligence analyst somewhere does not get to see the data it produces.

What evidence is there that such US radar systems are actually used to track UFOs?  In an article called 'The Roswell Incident: Fragments of Evidence' by Linda Moulton Howe she quotes an anonymous informant's recollections of what his grandfather, who claimed to have been on the Roswell crash retrieval team in 1947, had told him about the military's concern about UFOs entering US airspace.  The grandfather claimed they had "recommended to the President that a Space Program be set into motion and that a system of satellites be placed into orbit by 1957, and this satellite system be patched into the DEW Line system (Distant Early Warning radar stations at 70th parallel across North America) which later became NORAD (North America Radar Defence).  Grandad stated that it was his opinion that NORAD was formed not only to track possible ICBMs from hostile nations, but as an established detection system for UFO craft."  Although this claim does not constitute concrete evidence, it would be very puzzling, if not irresponsible, if the US military was not doing their best to track UFOs.  After all, it's not as if they are short of (taxpayers') money.

Further evidence that NORAD may be involved in tracking UFOs is to be found in an article called The 'Colorado Connection' by Graham Conway in Flying Saucer Review.  Conway gives several examples of Canadian residents who had rung their local air force base to report seeing a UFO, only to find themselves patched through to someone in NORAD, Colorado who took the details.

SATELLITE SYSTEMS.   So far we have only discussed ground-based tracking systems which are limited by their inability to see beyond the horizon, although over-the-horizon radar can see further.  However nothing compares to the view from space.  In my opinion using satellites to detect and/or track UFOs would be the most cost-effective method because such systems are already paid for, are already there watching out for nuclear missiles, and are already classified.  Any extra work they did would go unnoticed.  But their most important advantage is that satellites can see a huge area of the planet at one time.

Most surveillance, communication and weather satellites are 'parked' in what is called geosynchronous or geostationary orbit.  This means that the speed at which they naturally orbit the planet matches exactly the speed at which the planet rotates.  That means that, when seen through a telescope from the ground, the satellite appears to be stationary.  This illusion occurs because the ground that the viewer is standing on is actually moving at the same speed as the satellite.  Therefore, if you want your surveillance satellite to monitor a particular area of the planet you just park it in a geostationary orbit above your target area, and it effectively just sits there looking down.  One of the disadvantages of this system is that everyone else who can afford it is doing the same thing.  The geostationary orbit above the equator is by now so crowded with satellites that they will soon have to install parking meters up there.  Another disadvantage is that geostationary orbit is about 36,000 kilometres above the ground which means that getting a clear picture isn't easy.  Add that to the fact that the ground beneath the satellite may be covered by clouds, and spends half the day in darkness as the planet revolves, and one begins to see why the spy satellite business is so expensive.

The field of view or 'footprint' of a geostationary surveillance satellite covers an enormous area of the planet.  For example a satellite parked over the equator near Singapore would be able to see a circle beneath it that extended from above the Arctic circle in the north to below the Antarctic circle in the south and from a line roughly joining Cairo to Moscow to the west to well past New Zealand to the east.  This is a vast area that includes most of Russia, the whole of Asia, the Indian Ocean and Australia.  With this kind of coverage one only needs to maintain three such satellites evenly spaced around the equator to be able to view the entire planet except the North and South poles.  To function effectively, a surveillance satellite must transmit the data it has recorded to a receiving station on the ground that is in line of sight beneath it, because electromagnetic radiation will only go in straight lines.  That is why the receiving stations for any geostationary satellites that are looking at Russia, Iraq, Pakistan, India or China must be on the same side of the planet as those countries.  And from a geopolitical perspective, the most suitable place to locate such satellite bases is in Australia.

PINE GAP.   There are two US satellite bases in Australia that are known to the public: the first is called Pine Gap and is located near Alice Springs in the Northern Territory, while the second, called Nurrungar, is in South Australia, five hundred kilometres north-west of Adelaide.  There exist several conspiracy theories about these bases, especially Pine Gap, that are beyond the scope of this article.  However it should be pointed out that UFO researchers who publish conspiracy theories about these bases who have not read the previously mentioned well documented books about them are not doing very much for their credibility.  Admittedly these books do not mention UFOs, but they are still important starting points for serious research.

According to Professor Ball the satellites that report down to Pine Gap are Signals Intelligence (SIGINT) ones.  SIGINT can be broken up into Communications Intelligence (COMINT), "the interception of foreign communications transmitted by radio or other electromagnetic means", and Electronic Intelligence (ELINT) which "consists of information derived from monitoring foreign non-communications electromagnetic radiation".  ELINT can further be broken up into Telemetry Intelligence (TELINT) which is "concerned with monitoring of foreign telemetry signals such as those produced in missile tests" and Radar Intelligence (RADINT) "which involves the monitoring of foreign radar emissions." (Ball, 1988, p.2)  SIGINT satellites also listen to foreign satellite communications.  More details of what all this means are in Ball's book Pine Gap.  Processing and analysis of the huge volume of information produced by these satellites are handled by the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).  Because its SIGINT satellites operate as giant vacuum cleaners in the sky, sucking up electromagnetic data, rather than as tracking satellites, it would seem unlikely that Pine Gap has anything to do with tracking UFOs.  This does not preclude the possibility that Pine Gap may have some sort of black UFO related mission(s) hidden behind the classified missions already discussed.

Professor Ball is a little vague as to whether Pine Gap also has a Photographic Intelligence (PHOTINT) mission.  However an article in The West Australian newspaper (Saturday, 7th September 1996) claimed that Pine Gap "is reportedly one of the earth stations for orbiting US photographic reconnaissance and electronic intelligence satellites."  So, do any Pine Gap satellites take photos of UFOs?  There is a significant technical difference between taking satellite photographs of fixed ground locations and taking them of small fast moving aerial objects like UFOs.  If the Pine Gap satellites do have PHOTINT capability they could probably only take photographs of UFOs if they received appropriate real-time tracking information about their location, unless they had actually landed on the ground.  As far as we know, providing tracking information is not what Pine Gap does, but it is what Nurrungar does.  (A Pine Gap Internet site can be found at www.octa4.net.au/marlinw/)

NURRUNGAR.   The United States satellite station at Nurrungar is a ground station for the US Defence Support Program (DSP) whose geostationary satellites provide the US Air Force Space Command with its first warning of the launch of any nuclear missiles in the event of nuclear war.  During the Gulf war they were also used to detect the launching of Iraqi Scud missiles.  In other words DSP satellites are designed to detect and track flying objects.  To do this they are equipped with 3.63 metre Schmidt infrared telescopes, visible light and ultraviolet sensors, and nuclear detonation detection (NUDET) sensors.  The infrared detectors are designed to sense the radiation emitted by nuclear missile booster rockets after they have been launched.

The ultraviolet sensors are designed to detect fluorescing gases around the booster rockets or missile nose cones during their flight.  Visible light television cameras on the satellites are also able to transmit pictures to the ground station when necessary.  UFO researchers will be interested to note that Professor Ball quotes Philip Klass as an expert on the equipment carried on these satellites. (Ball, 1987, p.22)  The NUDET sensors can detect certain nuclear particles, gamma-rays and x-rays from nuclear explosions.  (The Joint Defence Facility Nurrungar home-page can be found at www.roxby.net.au/~gumby/JDFN/index.html)

How clearly a satellite that is thirty-six thousand kilometres away can see what is happening down near the ground is highly classified, but one has to assume that DSP satellites, and any more recent versions, have the capability to see things that are as small and fast moving as nuclear missiles, otherwise they would be ineffective.  It seems therefore that these satellites would be ideal for tracking UFOs.  They wouldn't even need to be told to do it, they would track them automatically because of UFOs' resemblance to various missiles.  We know that UFOs sometimes radiate very brightly.  It is suspected that this is caused by plasma (fluorescing atmospheric gases) surrounding the craft.  We also know that UFOs often interfere with radios and televisions which suggests that they do emit some sort of radiation.  Given all the different electromagnetic frequencies that DSP satellites can detect, it would probably be safe to assume that they are able to detect and track at least some UFOs and have been doing so for some time.
The tracking and film recordings of these craft from such satellites would surely by now have revealed some interesting intelligence.  For example, by correlating this tracking data with geographical locations one could perhaps get a better idea of what UFOs are actually doing.  A single sighting from a witness on the ground may not tell us very much, but the cumulative data from say ten years of satellite tracking in Australia or anywhere else, including the large proportion of the planet that is covered in water, would present a very different statistical picture.

Some questions to be asked would be, are there more sightings near population centres, do they follow power lines, are they following some sort of grid pattern, do they revisit the same locations at fixed intervals, are they looking at known mineral deposits, or magnetic anomalies, or military bases, or is there no discernible pattern in the sightings?  As more data is accumulated, the more revealing and sophisticated such an analysis could become.  Different radar signatures for different types of craft could be gathered as well as technical data on acceleration and speed characteristics.

Such tracking data might help us discover whether some UFOs have underground or underwater bases.  Unfortunately we must assume that whoever or whatever is operating UFOs isn't stupid.  They may have very capable stealth or deception techniques that enable UFOs to pop in and out of view all over the place in a manner that completely befuddles any unfortunate intelligence analyst trying to find a pattern in the sightings.

An example of evasive action taken by aliens can be found in an article called 'Another Astonishing South American Report' by Flying Saucer Review consultant Jane Guma.  It describes the case of Orlando Jorge Ferraudi who in August 1965 was taken, fully conscious, into a UFO while fishing by a river on the coast of Brazil.  The UFO then set off under water.  Using telepathy, an alien explained that this was to avoid radar.  After a while they emerged from the sea and flew at a low altitude to the coast of Uruguay, before crossing the Atlantic Ocean to Africa from where they flew upwards into space.  The alien supposedly explained that "We must take these precautions so that we can thus avoid being regarded as invaders or conquerors.  We want your people to get used to us slowly, to see us just as like anybody else, because we are not strangers in this part of the Universe." (Guma, p.7)  It does however seem strange that the aliens would take such elaborate measures to avoid detection while explaining them to a human so that they eventually get published in a UFO magazine for everyone to read.

Being able to detect and track UFOs in real time would also enable the military to see at once if any of them had crashed.  The nearest rapid-deployment recovery team could then be alerted to ensure that any live aliens were apprehended, the UFO debris cleared up, and an appropriate cover story concocted before the media and local authorities got in on the act.  By ensuring fast and efficient crash retrieval such a tracking system would contribute to depriving the public of irrefutable evidence of the reality of UFOs, and facilitate the reverse engineering of recovered debris before anyone else got their hands on it.

BLACK PROJECTS.   How likely is it that a satellite station such as Nurrungar is tracking UFOs in addition to its other classified duties?  In an article to advertise his book Above Black: Project Preserve Destiny – Insider Account of Alien Contact and Government Cover-Up, retired Staff Sergeant Dan Sherman, who claims to have worked for the National Security Agency as an Intuitive Communicator with aliens, explains how US government extraterrestrial programs are hidden.  He claims that behind the usual categories of Secret and Top Secret exist what are called 'Unacknowledged Special Access Programs' (USAPs) otherwise known as 'black' programs.  These tightly compartmentalised programs operate on a need-to-know basis.  Behind them exist the most highly classified programs which are the extraterrestrial related ones.  This ensures that every alien project is carefully camouflaged behind another black project.

This classification system makes good sense and could easily operate at Pine Gap or Nurrungar.  Even those personnel with above Top Secret clearances might not know that a few of their colleagues spend some of their time accessing a highly restricted part of the computer system that receives and analyses UFO tracking data.  It is a common requirement in such work environments to activate a password controlled screen-saver on your computer terminal every time you get up from your desk.

It might be claimed that, quite apart from stealth technology to prevent satellites from tracking them, UFOs might not emit sufficient electromagnetic radiation to be detected by DSP satellites.  However in a detailed technical article in the MUFON UFO Journal called 'Do Our Satellites See UFOs', Ronald S. Regehr addresses this question and concludes that the electromagnetic intensity of at least some UFOs "is certainly detectable by today's technology satellites, thus effectively proving that at last one of our spy satellites could detect UFOs."  (Regher, p.18)

While this article has only discussed information about US radar and satellite systems that has almost certainly been superseded by more advanced technology, it must be remembered that an increasing number of other countries are launching sophisticated satellites that may be able to track UFOs as part of their surveillance missions.  Such countries include Great Britain, France, Japan and China, with several others in the pipeline.  This fact alone may provide some pressure on the United States to come clean about the UFO phenomenon rather than suffer the possible embarrassment of another country releasing such information before they do. 
 

References
A Pine Gap Internet site can be found at: http://www.octa4.net.au/marlinw/
Ball, Desmond.  (1987)  A Base For Debate: The US Satellite Station at Nurrungar.
Ball, Desmond.  (1988)  Pine Gap: Australia and the US Geostationary Signals Intelligence Satellite Program.
Conway, Graham.  (1998, Autumn)  The 'Colorado Connection'.  Flying Saucer Review, Volume 43/3, pp.20-21.
Guma, Jane.  (1997, Winter)  Another astonishing South American report.  Flying Saucer Review, Volume 42/4, pp.6-10.
Hobbs, David.  (no date)  An Illustrated Guide To Space Warfare.
Howe, Linda Moulton  (1997, August-September)  The Roswell Incident: Fragments of evidence.  Nexus  Vol.4, No.5, pp.73-77.
How the NSA communicates with grey aliens.  (1998, Feb-March)  Nexus,  Vol.5, No.2, p.61.
Pine Gap references:  http://www.octa4.net.au/marlinw/pine_gap_sites.htm
Regehr, Ronald S.  (1994, April)  Do our satellites see UFOs?  MUFON UFO Journal, No.312, pp.6-9.
Richelson, Jeffrey T. & Desmond Ball.  (1990)  The Ties That Bind: Intelligence Cooperation Between the UKUSA Countries.
Sherman, Dan.  (1997)  Above Black: Project Preserve Destiny – Insider Account of Alien Contact and Government Cover-Up.
The Joint Defence Facility Nurrungar home-page:  www.roxby.net.au/~gumby/JDFN/index.html
US Air Force News Service. (1998, August 19)  http://nacomm.org/news/1998/qtr3/estes.htm
 
 
 

Preamble to the Ultimate Debate
By Morley Legg
 

It is not always easy settling on what is true. For one thing too much truth too quickly can be unsettling indeed when
dealing with ufology, but ideas are afloat for the safest way through this.
A recent television debate between an historian, three theologian-scientists and the noted atheist zoologist Professor Richard Dawkins highlighted the gulf between the two sides of the ultimate disagreement on whether religion and science are compatible (Compass, February, 1999).

Whereas the religionists believed in God, a purpose in life, and that morality depended on the presence of religion, Richard Dawkins tersely stated that living creatures were made from "the same range of atoms as the rest of the cold dead universe", and that the only thing special about living matter was that its atoms were arranged as digitally coded genes.  He said all the information can now be read out of a cell and stored in a computer, and subsequently be available to be read back into other cells, saying that "the modern molecular digital gene is a nail in the coffin of the religious world view."
Naturally there were firm, tense disagreements.  In the face of his four opponents Dawkins was impressive.  He maintained life had no ultimate purpose and that religion was basically "stupefied superstition."  It was a debate that encouraged viewers to wonder and think.

Carl Sagan is equally critical of religion.  His book The Demon-Haunted World leads us to expect that in a debate on UFOs he would be as cold and abrasive as Dawkins.  It is odd that at the close of this millennium divisions are deepening, as if in anticipation of an outcome.  But will mainstream science on the one hand, and mainstream religions on the other, be overtaken by a growing mass of people eager for clarification as to whether or not aliens are here?  There is a fear that knowing too much too quickly could endanger the world economy.  Yet to continually dismiss the implications of the whole picture – sightings, abduction claims, the full range of physical evidence, cattle mutilations etc – by declaring all experiences to be misconceptions or hallucinations seems unwise indeed.  There are signs, however, that debates on this matter are a growing probability.

In Britain, in July 1997, a significant televised debate between ufologists and sceptics brought a phone-in response of one hundred thousand calls – with ninety-two percent voting for the ufologists (Strange But True, 1997).  The enthusiasm of the audience gave the impression that more would follow.  Such debates are of immense importance if the evidence and implications of an alien presence are to reach the wider public.
There is another reason why further debates could be inevitable.  On August 29th 1998, in England, The Times newspaper published a front page report saying that Father Corrado Balducci of the Vatican Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples, said it was wrong to assert that reports of encounters with aliens are not credible.  "Their existence can no longer be denied, for there is too much evidence for the existence of extraterrestrials and flying saucers", he said.  The report indicated that some Vatican officials were taking the matter seriously.

The announcement was further reported in the English UFO Magazine (November–December, 1998, p.65) which commented that because three leading religious figures attended the inaugural meeting of 'Origins' at the White House in the United States, they could have been warned: "You have five years in which to educate your flock to the extraterrestrial concept ..."

These unexpected admissions will fuel divisions, and the question of an alien presence on earth will need resolving.  It will take time for whole populations ignorant of the claims to adjust.  However, there could be help from an unexpected source.  In January 1999, on the Australian Broadcasting Commission, Radio National program Late Night Live, Peter Vardy, a philosopher from the University of London, was speaking about new approaches to aid in arriving at the truth.  There was no mention of ufology, but aspects of his talk offered hope for anyone dedicated to uncovering the truth from controversial or suppressed material.

Peter Vardy spoke of new ways to explore the important neglected ground between the idea of absolute truth and the idea that truth is only a social construct – that truth varies with different cultures.  Truth, he stressed, was "most dangerous with people who know", and who then use it as a weapon of power to inflict on others, as fundamentalists are inclined to do.  Comments were made that whereas imperialism in the Western patriarchal rational approach suppressed or controlled the feminine and the indigenous, control in our modern world had fallen into the hands of science and the owners of the world's media.  Many who explore anomalous phenomena have often felt science and the world media were reluctant to give fair representation to disclosures that undermine conventional viewpoints.

Getting to the prime truths behind major controversies – whether they are environmental, nuclear, or alien abduction – is surely of ultimate importance.  And this is where the advice of Peter Vardy is interesting.  He said it was important for young people to start thinking about meaning, value and what is true, and then to ask, "How do we critique what we have arrived at?"  Becoming familiar with the rudiments of arriving at truth, and being practised at facing even our own critique, would be essential for those taking part in debates.  Humility was essential; any sign of arrogance suggested truth was becoming elusive.  He said if you are making a "realist truth claim" you have to accept the possibility of being wrong.

Vardy said religious and values education (RVE) should not be associated with the church.  It was an academic subject open to all beliefs.  The aim was not to surrender to education as if it were an indoctrination, but to help young people to probe, to question, to analyse – to think through issues of meaning and value.  In Britain, RVE was now mandatory in science and business faculties because it was realised that huge advances in science involved consequences.  Students required a grasp of the end result of their endeavours.

Imagine a debate is in progress and we take a side on whether or not aliens exist on earth.  How would we cope with being proved wrong?  With so much disinformation fed into ufology, 'being wrong' about certain issues or cases is a possibility we should be prepared to admit.  As for being wrong about the whole UFO-alien phenomenon, well, we'll have to wait and see.  The important thing according to Vardy is to have developed and maintained the truth or the integrity of your seeking, and that integrity should enable you to admit being wrong, in spite of the costs involved.

It is hard for people entrenched in polarities to agree on the possibility of being wrong, and it is not unknown for fundamentalist attitudes to show up in anyone, scientists included, who use their education as if it were an indoctrination.  The debate between Richard Dawkins and the theologians suggested some personal work on desires and agendas was required.  Peter Vardy's idea of being open to re-examining knowledge, of becoming practised at self critique, could reduce divisions and antagonisms, thereby shifting emphasis from fighting to defend a position, to being open to learn something new.

This may call for a different mind-set.  The first essential is to have an adjudicator awake to preconceptions, and proficient at imposing fair standards.  This was proved possible with Michael Aspel's handling of the English debate.  And then it would be a requirement for each participant to have read and be questioned on literature chosen by the opposing side.  For example the sceptics might choose Carl Sagan's The Demon-Haunted World, and Curtis Peebles' Watch the Skies for ufologists to study.  The ufologists might challenge the sceptics with Jim Marrs' Alien Agenda and Timothy Good's Beyond Top Secret: The Worldwide UFO Security Threat.

It could be argued that Truth, like reality, has different facets; that each individual is like a lens with a certain setting.  Usually we remain with our unique focus, but it is known that under certain conditions one's consciousness can move through different settings.  Perhaps only then can one appreciate the ranges of difference between the perceptions of theologians, scientists, and abductees.  But in this rapidly changing world, exploring these different ways of sensing reality, or realities, should give us the best chance of discovering a way to survive.

Peter Vardy's ideas may be what we need to enjoy more fulfilling debates, and also a way to ward off the influence of selfish genes.  But when the question of an alien presence is brought forth for public scrutiny, dare we hope that we will be more satisfied with the truth, even if it leaves us feeling mistaken or vulnerable. 

References
Dawkins, Richard  (1989)  The Selfish Gene.
Extraterrestrials and the Vatican.  (1998, Novenber-December)  UFO Magazine.
Good, Timothy  (1996)  Beyond Top Secret: The Worldwide UFO Security Threat.
Heart of the Matter.  (1999, February 14)  Compass.  Australian Broadcasting Commission Television.
Marrs, Jim  (1997)  Alien Agenda.
Peebles, Curtis.  (1994)  Watch the Skies.
Sagan, Carl.  (1995)  The Demon-Haunted World.
Strange But True.  (1997, July)  Independent TV, UK.  (reviewed in Legg, M.  (1998)  'Battle Lines', Journal of Alternative Realities, Volume 6, Issue 1, p.9).
Vardy, Peter.  (1994)  The Puzzle of Ethics.
Vardy, Peter.  (1995)  The Puzzle of God.
Vardy, Peter.  (1999, January)  Late Night Live.  Australian Broadcasting Commission, Radio National.
 
 
 

Spirit Possession
A Malay Experience
By Judy Bryning

After midnight and a seafood banquet on the beach, several of us still sat around the table, animated by talk and laughter.  Immersed in the sudden depth of holiday friendships were Malaysians Ghazzali and Unku from London with Pakistani friend Karim, and the only local resident, Ali from Kuala Lumpur.  Right out of our idyllic here-and-now context I was absorbed in hearing first-hand accounts of the world of theatre and fashion in London.  So I didn't at first look around when Ghaz interrupted with sudden concern.  Seeing one of the motel staff running to the beach, he exclaimed "She is possessed!"  Possession was just a figure of speech to me, rather than its original and literal meaning.  I still didn't take him seriously, but Malaysian-born Ghaz had recognised the signs instantly.
The girl who was running like a professional athlete from the fluorescent glare to the blackness of the ocean seemed unimpeded by her long nightgown.  Several of the kampong (village) men were in pursuit, but had no chance of catching up with her.  Luckily, before she reached the water's edge, someone managed to head her off, and she disappeared up the beach into the night.  The appalling screams and howling coming from the blackness were hard to relate to the charming, intelligent eighteen-year-old girl who enjoyed our exchange language lessons in brief interludes when free from the kitchen.  More extrovert than any other girl on the staff, her inquiring mind and strength of personality had impressed me at the outset.

By this time every available man from the kampong had joined in the chase.  Ma't Nur the local bomoh (village healer) was there, but it was hard to see who was who down near the water.  There was much alarm that she could climb and jump from the rocks, killing herself.  They explained that if she were allowed to rush into the ocean with "double power" she would swim and swim and only become conscious when the spirit left her.  She would then drown from panic and exhaustion.
I had thought that the problem would be resolved within the hour.  An hour and a half later, the screaming and struggling were continuing.  Twice at least she was brought up to the well-lit area and laid on the sand.  On one occasion her legs were bound up with a sarong.  Her eyes were gleaming, but unseeing.  Ghaz cautioned me not to look into them, and to move back.  I took this warning very seriously indeed, having once had a very nasty experience from innocently looking into the eye of a Westerner with occult training.  It took several men to hold the girl down.  One man found blood down the front of his sarong, but no wound on anyone could be found.  Next morning I saw that one young boy had little red crescent marks from her nails all over the left side of his chest.

Sometimes she would appear to calm down and said to them "Why are you holding me?  I'm not going anywhere."  Immediately they released her, she made a wild dash for it.  The next time she was captured, the local bomoh was holding her and achieved a dramatic if temporary effect when he pressed behind her ears.  As if from a strong sedative, her head dropped to one side and her body sagged.  When it seemed that she was calmer, the spirit reasserted itself in a screaming snarl and convulsive kicking and writhing.

At this stage it was established from what she was saying that the possessing spirit was a hantu air laut (ocean spirit).  "I don't belong here – I live there", she had claimed, pointing to the sea.  The second bomoh to try his abilities was a dark, wizened little man.  He sat on his haunches, right arm extended in a rigid gesture.  This had no apparent effect, as he was also equipped to deal only with land spirits.
Someone went by motor bike to another kampong to bring back an older woman bomoh who could handle sea spirits.  The proceedings then continued in a room at the back of the restaurant.  A little while later we heard that the girl was responding to treatment.  The screaming and superhuman strength of this tiny eighteen year old had lasted two hours.  Actually it had started well before midnight, when she was depressed and crying in her room.

At about three in the morning the crisis was over, and we could get some sleep.  Next day Ghaz reported that when the girl came to, she had asked why there was sand all over her arms and nightdress, and in her hair.  She remembered nothing of the incident.  Soon after, her parents arrived to take her back to her kampong.  She was very tired and bruised.  "How long do you think she will be away?" I asked.  "Maybe two days, maybe one week" was the reply.  She was absent only for one day, and resumed work the following day.  She had been made aware of what happened, and it was accepted by all as an incident without any ominous implications.  Emphatic cheerfulness in her response to my anxious enquires contained no trace of shyness over the episode.  "Baik, baik" (good), she smiled with positive confidence.

As her cheerful demeanour was resumed, my perplexity began.  Two days later Ghaz reported that another possession incident had occurred that morning, and it had been worse in a way.  Another girl had been growling like a dog.  This time it had not been a hantu air laut (sea spirit), but a hantu darat (land spirit), so the local bomoh had been able to deal with it.  These two cases recalled the contagious element in the medieval religious hysteria in convents, notably in the famous 'Devils of Loudun' episode.  However, the psychologists' explanation of hysteria seems as incomplete as the terms used by anthropologists — mana meaning supernatural or magical power, and semangat meaning vital force or spirit; labels which leave the underlying questions on possession unanswered.
On the other hand, some words do give clues to our understanding.  In another originally animistic culture, that of Java, the most common terms for spirit possession are kesurupan (to forget) and ndadi which means not only to trance, but also simply to happen or to become.  This illustrates the smooth transition between the unconscious trance state, and the acceptance of it as a happening, as with any event which succeeds another in the phenomenal world.

My grasp of Malay and the girl's English did not permit communication at more than a superficial level.  Yet I felt her to be a much stronger personality than the other waitresses, as she approached the guests with assurance, showing interest in their nationality and occupation.  Observing my efforts to learn some of the language with a small dictionary, she had taken every chance to join me in an exchange language lesson; how to ask the guests what they would like to eat or drink, etc.  Pleasant efficiency characterised her attitude.  Essentially she was a typical Malay girl, with all the dignity of her culture, with or without head covering.

Mr Adam, one of the staff, repeated with quiet insistence that her faith had not been strong enough, which was why the spirit had been able to enter.  I could not comment on this, but her strength of mind seemed to be an obvious character trait.  One incident which had drawn mild disapproval from the small village community was one which would have passed without much reaction in modern Western society.  One night she had gone into the town with friends and returned rather late.  The extended family/kampong lifestyle did not approve of such completely independent behaviour.  I conjectured that such a strong-willed girl could possibly feel the frustration of being in an Islamic culture which allowed less social mobility to women of less sophisticated families.  The safety that this restriction afforded to young kampong women was generally not resented by more conforming personalities.  The stress of waiting for her school exam results could also have contributed a definite anxiety.  In the West, we would call her personality type a 'free spirit'.  But in the Malay language the term 'free spirit' has a precise meaning – that of a wandering hantu (ghost)!  An interesting coincidence.

Here it is appropriate to quote from K. M. Endicott's book An Analysis of Malay Magic, "the most powerful essences are only vaguely defined, while the more clearly defined essences are more vulnerable to the constraint of material boundaries.  Free spirits, corresponding to vague anxieties, are much more powerful than semangat, which are bound to the physical bodies from which their clear definition is largely derived." (Endicott, p.132)  Vague anxieties could by this definition account for the powerful effects we had witnessed.  But also the openness of an inquiring mind could have admitted an uninvited guest inadvertently.
Russian-American psychic Olga Worrall, quoted in Realms of Healing by Krippner and Villoldo, states that in a true case of possession, a discarnate spirit "will occupy the body of a person who is easily influenced."  Certainly this girl was unusually demonstrative and open to new experiences.  Even recalling her extravagant farewell embraces, I was unprepared for the intensity of her welcome, six months later on my return.  In the interim I had sent her a photo of herself.  As soon as the taxi stopped at the back of the restaurant, she rushed out and dived in on me through the open car door, hugging me wildly.  There had been no return of the hantu in the intervening time.  She now had a boyfriend, and seemed just as bright, confident and cheerful as before.

There is a lot to be learnt from this encounter.  In any Western country, a young girl who exhibited similar violently disruptive behaviour would have been restrained by medical personnel and/or police.  Committal to hospital and the administering of strong sedatives would be routine treatment.  Dulled and quietened behaviour would have been the result, and a quick return to the community unlikely.  The patient would not be made to feel that the episode had been acceptable, although they would certainly not be held responsible.  Dismay and embarrassment would be felt in the family concerned.  After return from hospital, prolonged counselling would attempt to assist reintegration with the family and the community.  This Western approach to handling such a situation contrasts less favourably with the more humane kampong method.  I am not suggesting that one type of treatment, developed in a certain culture, can be transferred unmodified to another, just like that.

Each culture produces the corrective mechanisms to cope with the aberrations which occur in that particular culture.  So, the age-old way of the bomoh in Malaysia, called the dukun in Indonesia, both answer the psychological and spiritual needs of that culture perfectly.  In our society, the disturbed behaviour just described which could appear similar, might well include an element of psychosis, or evidence some extreme degenerative condition.
But the problem is that in the West, options in treatment are not open to the individual in the initial stage.  After such an episode, picking up the pieces will include the pieces which come from an iatrogenic jigsaw set, as well as the individual's own fragmented picture (iatrogenic means caused by medical treatment).

The Malay example above illustrates the problems of a syncretic religious tradition, where an overall and traditional stress is created in attempting to synthesise the indigenous forces of animism with Islam.  The earlier skilful integration of this legacy with Hindu tradition and Islam was made over the centuries in Java, but even so, the resulting mix forms a precarious balancing act.  This has been forced into the political arena for legitimation in the last twenty years.

Central Java being the bulwark of Javanist tradition, a centralised focus had been formed for those beliefs and that way of thinking to persist.  Recently, since the colonial period, there has been politically unrestricted access to a unifying common language, Indonesian.  The exclusion of all but the highest class of Indonesians from learning and using Dutch was a device to maintain control by the Dutch colonialists.  The Javanese situation had the effect of reinforcing and strengthening the Javanist way of thinking of the masses.  In Malaysia on the other hand the English language was freely used by everyone.  Also, since the fifteenth century, Malaysia has had a far greater concentration of heterogeneous influence from Chinese and Indian communities.

Despite these differing influences on the outlook of the Malay and the Javanese, the similarity in behaviour, in a predisposition to entering trance states, shows a distinct family likeness.  The economic progress of the last twenty years, together with growing Islamic fundamentalism, would have provided a similar cultural overlay for both countries.  It could be argued that modernism itself adds to the inherent stresses of a syncretic religion, or any religion for that matter.  This interpretation would probably be strongly resisted by adherents of Islam.  Dr Paul Stange would contend that an "inner Islamisation" has been achieved in many instances.  He warns against simplistic interpretations of the polarities of Javanism and Islam.  "Each pole is continually redefined through the process of their interaction" (Stange, p.43).  The stormy episode which I witnessed is more easily understood in the light of the dialectic of Islam and indigenous beliefs.
To change focus to a Western context, modern orthodox psychology seems unduly limited in its mode of dealing with aberrant social behaviour in comparison with the methods used in Malaysia and Indonesia.

Spirit possession and exorcism was the theme of a Commission convened by the then Bishop of Exeter in the United Kingdom in 1965, and an expanded version of the proceedings was published in 1987.  The participating English clerics who were frequently involved with day-to-day cases of exorcism show a similar alignment with the Malays and Javanese in their recognition of paranormal manifestations of social or personal unease and spirit presence.
As an addendum to the above, it is worth noting the term used in Java, kesurupan which denotes both trance and forgetting.  This implies an ancient awareness which Western cultures have either forgotten or have not considered important to emphasise in this way.  From the evidence of UFO abductees, it seems that the connection between trance and complete loss of memory  is not simply a socially-sanctioned form of behaviour common to a few remaining animist-based societies.  Instead it may be the product of a neuro-physiological mechanism common to human kind.
There are others who are able to control and exploit the trance function which we see as a random 'ethnic' aberration.  Instead of considering it as such, and treating the experiencer's account as being of doubtful credibility, researchers would do well to study the cultures where the trance phenomenon can still be seen in action, and relay their observations to those directly concerned with testing brain function for more subtle states of consciousness than we have yet been able to determine. 

References
Endicott, Kirk Michael.  (1970)  An Analysis of Malay Magic.  Oxford University Press, London.
Krippner, Stanley & Villoldo, Alberto.  (1976)  The Realms of Healing. Celestial Arts, California.
Perry Michael, (Editor, 1987)  Deliverance: Psychic Disturbances and Occult Involvement. SPCK, The Christian Exorcism Study Group, Great Britain.
Stange, Paul.  (October 1979)  Configurations of Javanese Possession Experience in Religious Traditions, Vol.2, No.2, WAIT, Western Australia.
Stange, Paul.  (1985)  Indonesian Religious History,  Asian Studies Programme, Murdoch University, Western Australia.

This article is based on one first published in the Proceedings of the Western Australian Intervarsity Barebones Symposium (1992), Postgraduate Student Association, Curtin University of Technology.
 
 

Uri Geller:
On Spoons & Saucers
By Kym Bidstrup
 

"Keem, you can do eet.  Concentrate.  Anyone can do eet!"  Uri Geller's accent was as broad as his encouragement.  He had hold of my wrist and was willing me to succeed.  But in my hands, the cutlery simply would not budge.  Moments later, I was witnessing the spellbinding spoon-bender do what has baffled and divided people around the globe.  He held the same spoon out from his body and began to stroke it lightly.  I had earlier examined the spoon carefully for signs of trickery, I could not have been closer to him, as a young man I had studied sleight of hand for five years, and my then eighteen years as a professional journalist had brought with them a healthy scepticism, but I can only tell you what I saw.  Uri furrowed his brow and directed my gaze to just above the bowl, and the spoon suddenly flopped as though molten.  He stopped stroking it, and the motion continued effortlessly for a second or so.  He then autographed the spoon and presented it to me.  I still have it, and I still don't get it.

In order to explain how I came to become friendly with Uri Geller, it's necessary to tell you a little about myself.  During the late 1980s, I was stationed in London as the Bureau Chief for Australia's Seven television network.  Arranging an interview with Geller was a routine, albeit exciting, assignment.  He was cordial and co-operative, proudly showing off his sprawling mansion in the picture postcard village of Sunning-on-Thames in Berkshire, complete with Uri memorabilia and artworks, including priceless original sculptures and drawings by the Spanish surrealist, Salvador Dali.  It is just one of the houses he has dotted around the world.

Clearly, Geller did not have to curve any more cutlery if he didn't want to.  But it was metal of a different kind that had made his fortune, he said, and there was an Australian connection.  Geller told me that for the past ten or so years he had been travelling the world for mega-mining corporations dowsing for minerals.  His starting price, he insisted, was in the region of two million dollars – plus royalties (remember, this is the late 1980s!) and he had been extremely successful in finding gold, copper, oil, even diamonds in exotic locations including the Amazon jungle and the Solomon Islands.  It had all begun, he said, with the Australian firm, Zanex Limited of Melbourne, and its pioneering CEO, Peter Sterling.

Geller was characteristically forthright about his dowsing success: "When I say very successful, from all the times that I did go and look for oil or diamonds or copper et cetera et cetera and minerals, I failed most of the time!  But  I am on a much higher success rate than conventional exploration.  So chairmen of the board who were daring, hired me on an unconventional way to look for minerals.  And literally I found oil and I found gold and that made me millions."  Geller said he worked initially from detailed maps, circling places he felt were promising, and then visited the actual location for a more accurate assessment.  It was not, he admitted, an exact science: "I could be wrong!  But there is nothing that I hide because every contract that I do says that it's a risk, and I don't guarantee.  I mean, I'm not a robot.  I'm not a machine that I can guarantee things to happen."

I was fascinated by my first meeting with this energetic and enigmatic character, but a busy work schedule left little time to reflect on individual assignments.  But within a week I began to have the persistent feeling that I should make contact with Uri Geller again.  And soon.  I suppressed the notion as some sort of ego reaction at hobnobbing with the rich and famous.  That is until it became urgent.

The feeling reached a peak one day at home when I was trying to fix a troublesome bathroom tap.  My mind was suddenly flooded with rainbow images and the compelling desire to telephone Uri.  Feeling extremely foolish and mentally speculating that I was the victim of a post-hypnotic suggestion, I rang.  Uri expressed surprise but said there was obviously some "psychic link" between us that should be explored.  When we met again he greeted me jubilantly at the front door and led me to one of his many bathrooms.  There he proudly displayed a vivid rainbow shower curtain.  It was the curtain, he insisted, that he had been installing at the time of my urgent vision.  I admit the possibility of an hypnotic prompt planted at our first meeting, and I see no reason why Geller could not have rushed out and bought something in rainbow colours as a stunt.  Two things though.  Let's face it, I am an obscure journalist from an obscure country and he is a wealthy world identity with little to gain by impressing me.  And secondly, while I told Geller about the rainbow colours, I did not mention where the vision had occurred.  I find it significant that we were both in bathrooms when this 'link' was forged.

Our 'connection' was to manifest itself many times over the several years I spent in England.  On one occasion, I remember arriving at his huge house to find Uri opening the mail and suddenly being struck by the idea that someone should make a movie about his amazing life.  No sooner had I voiced the notion than he handed me a letter from a world-renowned playwright with whom Uri had been negotiating to write a screenplay.  It had arrived that very day.  Another time Uri invited me to draw a simple diagram and try to transmit it psychically to him.  Aware that old music hall magicians had developed a technique of recreating drawings by watching their subjects' hand movements and inverting them, I was careful to cover the sweep of my pen.  Within seconds, Uri had produced an almost identical drawing.  On another occasion, I watched bewildered as he sucked in his breath and clenched his fists, then moved a large nautical compass out of alignment, first one way, then the other without touching it.

The Uri Geller I came to know was a complex character.  On the one hand he was renowned as a single-minded, even ruthless, businessman with the Midas touch.  He traveled regularly to Europe and the United States in his capacity as a one-man corporation, a kind of Uri Inc.  Among other things, he was an inventor – the Diamontron and Moneytron were particularly successful – an author many times over, psychic dowser and, of course, performer.  He even had a Geller board game.  Yet he spent unpaid hours poring over the first draft of what was, in retrospect, my pretty awful attempt at a first novel.  He generously offered to write a foreword.  He devoted many more hours suggesting agents and publishers who might be able to help me with my writing career.

He opened his heart and home to entertain a desperately-ill friend of mine who was recovering from a heart transplant operation, just because I casually mentioned her plight.  He was devoted to his wife Hanna and their two children, Natalie and Daniel, and yet I never saw him spend much time with them.

The Geller legacy seems assured though.  According to Uri, Daniel has now developed powers far beyond his own at the same age.  But the person I saw constantly at Uri's side was Shipi Shtrang, a combination of manager, agent, business adviser, confidante and permanent house guest.  He is also Hanna's brother and the man most often cited as Uri's partner-in-deception.  Shtrang has been with Geller since the start.  As a teenage entrepreneur, it was Shipi who arranged Uri's first performance at a Tel Aviv school hall in 1969.  Uri was twenty two, Shipi just fourteen.  Both have always denied they are accomplices.  In one of our on-camera interviews, Uri made it clear he didn't need outside help to produce what he liked to call "the Geller effect":
Question: No chemicals?
Geller: Of course not.
Q: No mechanical devices?
G: Of course not.
Q: Sleight of hand?
G: No.
Q: No assistants?
G: No.  Everything that has been said about me in the past, of these chemicals and assistants and laser beams and all that, is nonsense.  I mean, listen Kym, let's face it, if it was not real don't you think I would have been caught by now, after fifteen years?  It's ridiculous.  I mean, come on!
Q: No trickery whatsoever?
G: No.
Q: Have you ever used trickery?
G: Never.  The only time that I used something that you could call trickery is in my book, I reveal it.  I have nothing to hide.
Q: Uri, a lot of people would say, why don't you just go to a reputable laboratory, sit down, do all their tests and let them decide, let's get this controversy over once and for all.
G: Look Kym, I don't want to start pulling out books here, but I have done all that in the past.  I've done it!  I've sat in Stanford Research Institute, I've sat in Lawrence Livermore Radiation Lab., I've been in Kent State University, I've been in the University of London.  How long, how many times can I do it?

For a man who has been involved in a string of sometimes bitter lawsuits to protect his reputation, Uri could also appear downright cavalier about his image as a jet-setting super-psychic, more interested in show than substance:
Question: If that's all true, why do you insist that you're a showman?  It conjures up the image of ...
Geller: Well, I am a showman!  I am a showman!  I was born a showman!  I mean, look, everyone who appears on stage is a showman.  Don't you think that President Reagan (then US President) is a showman?  You think he is a showman and so do other people.  But he's also a president.  Everyone that can talk to people on the stage and entertain people is a showman.  If there are people who are against me because of that it's their problem.  There is no law that a person that has certain abilities has to live on a mountain and eat herbs in a cave!
Uri certainly didn't live in a cave.  But there's some truth in the herbal reference.  I don't believe it's generally known that he is a strict vegetarian, telling me on many occasions that it 'amplified' his powers.  He is also an exercise devotee.  At the time we were seeing each other, he would rise early, jog around the village and surrounds for an hour, enjoy a massive vegetarian breakfast, then adjourn to his exercise cycle for another punishing hour and a half while he opened his mail, dictated anything he might be working on, and answered calls from around the world.  It was an awe-inspiring sight.

Throughout history, charismatic figures have been said to influence people, events, the very space around them.  An apparently tireless self-publicist, Uri would sometimes amaze me by playing down astonishing reports about himself.  I was once present when, furiously pedalling on his exercise bike, he fielded questions from first Time magazine and then Newsweek on a story that was sweeping the US.  Allegedly, Uri had given a secret briefing to high government officials in a top security Washington bunker after agreeing to beam 'positive thoughts' to the Russian negotiating team at the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks.  The prestigious news agencies wanted to know – understandably – whether an Israeli entertainer was bending Russian minds and American arms policy?  Later, I questioned Uri about the story and found him uncommonly coy:
Question: Can you confirm that this meeting took place?
Geller: Part of the question, I can say, yes it's true the meeting did take place.
Q: And did it take place, as reported, in a sealed room, 'The Vault'?
G: Yes, it was because we were worried, or some people were worried that somebody could eavesdrop.  It was a de-bugged room and so forth.  The rest of the question, I cannot comment who was there.

Subsequent US reports claimed American security chiefs, US arms negotiators and members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee were all present at the so-called 'psychic briefing'.  As for Geller, he would only add that he had performed "sensitive security work" for several international security agencies.  He declined to name them or the countries involved, but assured me it had always been "positive and not destructive".

During our talks, Uri also laid to rest one of the greatest myths surrounding his long and controversial career.  While he has an enormous and educated interest in the UFO phenomena, he was not visited or controlled by extraterrestrial forces in flying saucers.  At least not as far as he was aware.  He admitted to embarrassment about the claims in Andrija Puharich's 1974 book Uri: A Journal of the Mystery of Uri Geller.  They apparently arose from dreamlike hypnotic sessions during which Geller gave his imagination full rein.  His fascination with space and space travel, going back as far as primary school, when he would entertain classmates with vivid sci-fi odysseys, is well-documented.  Today, Uri admits there is a slight chance that "some of my energies do have some kind of extraterrestrial connection", but nothing more.
So what are we to make of Uri Geller?  I have my own opinion.  Many disagree.  For millions around the globe the jury is still out.  And Uri is wise enough to know that there's longevity – and a tidy living – in mystery: "Remember Kym, I told you in the beginning, that I need a safety device.  I don't mind staying controversial.  I would rather stay, sort of mystical – is he real or is he not?" 

References
Puharich, Andrija.  (1974)  Uri: A Journal of the Mystery of Uri Geller.
Geller, Uri & Playfair, Guy Lyon.  (1986)  The Geller Effect.
 
 

My ET Experiences
By Tracey Taylor

From a young age strange occurrences became almost routine in my life.  I would wake up some mornings feeling exhausted and dazed after wild dreams of being taken aboard spaceships where many bizarre things occurred.  I was unable to accept that these were anything more than the crazy imaginings and dreams of my overactive mind, as those close to me would often put it.  At primary school I had an invisible, giant friend to whom I would talk, and to this day I can vividly remember the warm, large hand that used to guide me around the play-yard, telling me jokes.  At night I would sometimes have another visitor, whom I named Father Christmas, who made me feel uneasy and frightened as he entered my room.  But by hiding myself deep down under the blankets, too scared to breathe, a strong sensation of calmness and security would suddenly come over me.  I would then find myself floating in the night sky looking at the millions of shining stars around me.

At the age of five I was playing outside in the street with my friend from next door, when we saw what we presumed to be a plane heading towards us from the distance.  It rapidly approached, descending at incredible speed, halting in the sky directly above us.  Thinking it was going to hit us, we ducked down low as it descended below the telephone poles, before shooting off in the other direction.  Frightened and crying, I ran home to my mother who asked me what had happened.  I frantically tried to explain to her about the strange plane.  Not understanding the seemingly wild story, she comforted me telling me that it was illegal for a plane to fly so low.

From the moment I could hold a pencil I would draw.  It was my passion and my gift.  I started attending private art tutoring at the age of nine and began painting still life and landscapes.  Spending so much time looking at my subjects, which were usually nature and people, I developed the ability to see auras.  I believed this to be a fault in my eyes, until I came across a book on the subject a few years later.

In 1992, at the age of fifteen, I experienced a rapid onset of psychic and intuitive healing abilities, feeling a strong urge to heal people using my hands.  However I had never before heard of such a thing, and those around me thought I was just excessively imaginative.  With a deep sense of sadness I repressed those abilities for many years.  I dealt with the opposition from those around me by continually believing their opinions about my seemingly outrageous imagination.

Unable to express myself freely or communicate to others about what was occurring in my life, I fell into a deep dark crevasse of doubt and confusion.  The more I would try to fit in at school and elsewhere, the bigger the tear became within me.  I attended a rather hostile public high school in Geraldton, Western Australia, as a very shy girl who tried to keep to herself as much as possible.  If I was asked to express my so-called 'ridiculous' point of view about the world, I felt very isolated when I was ridiculed by the other students and sometimes the teachers.  My English teacher was mistakenly convinced that I was taking drugs because of the extraordinary short stories and poems I would write for assignments, often telling me in front of the whole class that I must be on something to come up with such crazy tales.
It all became too much for me, and by my final year of high school I had changed from a shy, gentle 'A' student, with my own way of thinking, into a rebellious, confused 'D' student who tried to fit in as best as she could with the other students.  I denied my inner truth, so that I could feel accepted by others and not to have to put up with the cruel teasing and pranks I had endured since primary school.

In 1996 I was catapulted into the fashion world as a model after winning a competition.  Having experienced so much previous invalidation and ridicule, the anxiety and insecurity of who I was inside was now overlaid with the acknowledgment of who I was on the outside.  I felt accepted and loved for the way I looked, which was validated by others.  Underneath, the secrets in my life were building, and my insecurity growing.  I was living a lie and it seemed there was nothing I could do about it.
I moved to Sydney to embark on a professional modelling career, which proved to be a constant struggle, emotionally and physically.  In the house where my partner and I were living I began to see spirits and other strange looking beings, usually possessing awkward bodies and non-human faces.  My dreams were becoming increasingly intense and obscure.  Some nights I would not sleep, in fear and anticipation of what was to come.  When I did sleep my dreams were bizarre, of undergoing physical examinations, or being in strange looking classrooms.  Grey beings with large black eyes would sometimes telepathically teach me to draw and write symbols in the form of holograms.  These would often extend from my hands via static-like beams of electric-blue light.  I lacked energy, my self confidence suffered greatly and it became almost impossible to get out of bed in the morning because I was so tired.  The model agency became increasingly suspicious and displeased because I was constantly calling in sick.  I didn't know what to say to them.  I could hardly tell them that I was up all night being abducted by little grey men and undergoing strange operations – I'm sure they'd have been really sympathetic!  I couldn't even tell my partner what was happening, let alone my new employer.

It became increasingly difficult to cope, I felt devastated and guilty about what was happening.  I honestly thought that I was going crazy.  My worried boyfriend talked me into seeing a doctor and immediately made an appointment.  I tried to explain to the doctor the effects that my horrible dreams were having on me.  After less than five minutes he told me I was just depressed, and wrote out a prescription for antidepressants and sleeping tablets.  Although I wasn't comfortable about taking the drugs, it was a relief to be able to have a decent night's sleep without such overwhelming dreams, and my experiences seemed less intense for a short while.

At Christmas in 1996 I travelled home to Western Australia to take a break and visit my family.  I was staying at my grandmother's house in Perth when one night I was suddenly overcome by an intense sensation to do some writing before going to sleep.  This was unusual for me, but, as there happened to be a pen and paper next to the bed, I decided to go with the feeling.  A page of information, over which I felt I had little control, seemed to flow from my hand without my knowing what was being written.  The next morning as I read it, I couldn't comprehend how I had used such large words to write something beyond my understanding.  To my astonishment and disbelief, contrary to everything I had ever been taught about evolution, there I was reading a paragraph stating that the human race had been created by extraterrestrials!  It also contained information about genetic manipulation, with the use of human and extraterrestrial DNA to create another species.

For me this was totally mind boggling and confusing to say the least.  I had never read, seen or heard anything about extraterrestrials doing experiments using DNA, let alone that we were created by them.  I just couldn't understand how it was possible for me to write information that went against every belief I had.  I had heard of channelling, but my knowledge of such things was extremely limited.  After trying to convince myself that this must have been a one-off occurrence, I started feeling more strange urges to put pen to paper.  More information seemed to flow through me of human-alien interaction, implants, dimensions, spirituality, the raising of consciousness and the creation of humanity.  If this wasn't enough, I sometimes found myself involuntarily writing or speaking another language.

In 1997 I signed a contract to work in Japan for three months.  It was the first time I had travelled overseas alone and with all that was happening it was quite frightening to leave the security of my family and boyfriend in Australia.  However, being alone was really a blessing in disguise, as it gave me the chance to confront my fear of these experiences and open up to them more than ever.  My dreams in Japan were the most vivid and frightening that I had had yet, but living on my own allowed me to delve deep into them, mustering up enough courage to ask the beings questions about why this was happening to me.  To my amazement I received answers in the form of dreams, writing, and from a voice within my mind.  From the answers I received, it seemed that I had chosen to be a part of an evolutionary cycle in the creation of a new and more spiritually advanced species, which will eventually inhabit planet earth.  I also received information about the raising of human consciousness and a dimensional shift which is now occurring on earth, assisting us to access other realms more freely and increase our spiritual understanding.  At the time this was the most bizarre information I had ever heard and I still did not know what significance it had for me.  The answer I kept receiving was, "Be patient, all will be revealed."
I kept a diary of my experiences while in Japan, and one morning felt the urge to draw a symbol which I had seen in a dream during which many spaceships were moving around in a starry night sky.  Then the stars moved into a configuration of a bird.  As I was drawing this, my hand seemed once again to take over and I ended up completing a geometric symbol that was more detailed than the one seen in the dream.  Over the next two years other similar drawings and interpretations have been completed, with what feels like hardly any input from my conscious mind.  The less I concentrate on what I am doing, the easier the information and symbols seem to come through.  This was all totally bizarre and I had no idea why I was doing this or what I was supposed to make of it.

After arriving home from Japan, modelling no longer interested me as a career.  I found it was too superficial, as I was now prepared to look more deeply within myself beyond my known reality, having conquered many of my fears about it while I was away.  At the end of 1997 my boyfriend and I headed home to Geraldton before moving to Perth.  My time in Japan had given me a new understanding of reality.  I could no longer deny my experiences, yet I had an even greater fear to overcome.  I was gradually integrating the intensity of my experiences, although I had yet to overcome the barrier of what others would think of me if I were to tell them of my findings.  New information and personal understandings were being realised daily.  Physical evidence of this reality began appearing in the form of strange marks on my body.  I could now consciously recall how they got there, and my many previous interactions with alien beings.  I found my watch would continuously play up while wearing it, but work perfectly while it was off my body.
For the first time I decided to tell my family and boyfriend about the bizarre experiences that had plagued me for so many years.  My honesty was confronted with disbelief and the opinion that I was in need of attention, and was using these crazy stories as a way of deflecting responsibility from the 'real' world.  My attempts at explaining my situation became more and more hopeless and again I questioned the validity of my experiences and the state of my mental health.
The isolation and embarrassment I felt became so hard to bear that I sometimes had thoughts of ending my life.  No one could understand what I was going through, and I honestly believed that I was going mad.  I decided to visit a psychologist as a last resort to try to find why my mind would play such horrible tricks on me.  My questions remained unanswered, the psychologist telling me that I was perfectly sane, and putting my experiences down once again to my creative imagination.  I felt unfulfilled and totally devastated, falling into a deep depression of doubt and confusion about myself.
While browsing in a bookshop one day, I came across Secrets, Truth & Destiny about the UFO abduction experiences of a Perth lady, Elizabeth Robinson, and the ways in which she coped.  I felt a strong urge to buy the book, even though I could not really afford it at the time.  For the next two days, I sat glued to it in amazement at how closely the words expressed exactly what I was going through.  A spark of hope reignited within me with the realisation that I was not alone after all.  Soon after, by an amazing coincidence, I met Elizabeth in a shop.  I felt that it was part of some predestined plan to head me in the right direction and give me the guidance I had been searching for.  It was such an amazing relief finally to have the chance to speak with someone who understood my experiences.

I was put in contact with Mary Rodwell, who co-directs the Australian Close Encounter Resource Network (ACERN) in Perth.  Meeting this wonderful lady has changed my life.  Sharing her wisdom and guidance with me has allowed me to open up and accept my experiences, realising that I am far from alone in this.  I was invited to an abductee support group which gave me the chance to speak to others who had had similar experiences.  I felt so nervous not really knowing what to expect but was delighted to discover that every one of the people at the support group seemed totally normal and sane, with ordinary jobs and otherwise ordinary lives.

Before attending the meeting I had had a dream telling me to place the symbols, that I had been drawing over the past two years, onto transparencies and that they would fit together in different configurations.  To my utter disbelief and amazement they did fit together as though they were all connected.  These were shown at the support group meeting which seemed to mesmerise those looking at them.  They all felt a strong connection with the symbols, as though they had seen them before, some even remembering seeing the symbols during their abductions.  One young man had some of his own symbols to show from his interactions with ETs aboard a spacecraft, which were remarkably similar to some of mine.  A lady who studies ancient symbols, sacred geometry, and sacred sites also looked at the symbols.  I sat there captivated as she was able to recognise and interpret many of the symbols.  They apparently exist inside ancient temples and pyramids around the world, many of which are related to different star systems such as Sirius.  I was also reminded that the symbols illustrate the link that many people now believe exists between ancient cultures and extraterrestrials.

One of the symbols was similar to a crop-circle that appeared two years prior to the meeting, which triggered the memory that it was exactly that long ago that I had begun writing and drawing the symbols.  I was later informed that a lady from France, who studies the phenomenon and assists abductees, was very interested in the drawings.  She had been sent copies and had found some connections with designs found in the Aztec pyramids.  The fact that they are on transparencies and fit together was also significant.
This was a groundbreaking experience for me, as up until then I had no way of validating the symbols as anything more than images from my imagination.  The fact that I have never before seen any of the symbols or ever been to any sacred sites made it even more credible for me.  During a more recent interaction with the alien beings, I was told to make them into a three dimensional form on a computer, which I am now endeavouring to have done.  What the reason for this may be, I have to wait and see.
At the abduction support group meeting I met another young lady who writes and sometimes speaks involuntarily in another language.  We compared copies of our writing, and found that the only difference was that hers went down the page and mine across.  When I turned mine to go downwards I realised that they looked identical.  We were both amazed at the bizarre coincidence especially as she told me that she had formerly written across the page until it felt more natural to write downwards.  So much was shared by everyone and I have now been guided, learning to trust my experiences beyond the boundaries and limitations of three dimensional reality.
It has taken me twenty-two years of enduring events such as visiting outer space in alien craft, feeling paralysed, and watching alien life-forms undertake complicated surgical procedures on me, to realise the connection between my experiences and those of other UFO abductees.  Unable to find a logical explanation for these experiences, I realised the need to search beyond the confines of conventional thinking.  This has forced me on a journey of gigantic proportions.  My life has changed forever since I have realised that I have had a life-long interaction with non-human beings. 

Reference
Robinson, Elizabeth.  (1998)  Secrets, Truth & Destiny.

Australian Close Encounter Resource Network (ACERN) directors Mary Rodwell and Elizabeth Robinson can be contacted at PO Box N1083, Perth, Western Australia 6843.
 
 

Flying Saucers & Sonic Booms
By Simon Harvey-Wilson

One of the most puzzling technical questions about UFOs is why they do not appear to make a sonic boom when they break the sound barrier.  A sonic boom is caused when any normal flying object, even a meteor, starts to move faster than the speed of sound.  The speed of sound varies with altitude, humidity, temperature and pressure.  At sea level under normal conditions the speed of sound is 1,220 kilometres per hour (760mph), but because the earth's atmosphere gets thinner the higher you fly, at 10,000 metres above the ground it is only 1,080 kilometres per hour.  Something is therefore said to be breaking the sound barrier or flying at supersonic speed, when it flies above the speed of sound for the prevailing conditions.  An aircraft flying at that speed is said to be flying at Mach 1.  Saying that a jet fighter is capable of flying at Mach 3 means that it can fly at three times the speed of sound (about 3,240 k /h).  With advancing technology aircraft designers are now starting to talk about 'hypersonic' flight speeds which refers to speeds above five times the speed of sound or Mach 5 (about 5,400 k/h).

Sound and air pressure are both transmitted through the atmosphere by air molecules bumping into each other like rows of billiard balls.  As a subsonic craft, doing less than the speed of sound, moves through the air it sets up a field of air pressure that informs the air in front of it to get out of the way.  This forewarning travels ahead of the aircraft at the speed of sound.  But once the craft itself reaches the speed of sound, it catches up with its own air pressure bow wave.  This creates a shock wave of sound and pressure shaped like a large sideways cone that moves parallel to the ground with the plane at its apex.  The lower part of this conical shock front leaves a swathe of noise and air pressure that moves along the ground behind the aircraft.  This sonic boom causes windows to rattle or break and makes a loud disturbing noise.

The legal ramifications of the extensive noise and repeated window damage that would be left in its wake is the major reason that the world's only supersonic passenger aircraft, the Concorde, is generally restricted to flying across the Atlantic on the London–New York route.  There are no windows beneath to worry about.  While over built-up areas, Concorde has to fly subsonic which makes flying on it rather pointless.  This sonic boom problem is one reason no modern supersonic replacement has been built for Concorde.
With the enormous growth in modern air travel, any aerospace company that builds a supersonic passenger plane that does not make a sonic boom will probably make buckets of money.  It is interesting to speculate as to why this has not yet been done given that UFOs are reported to have been flying around silently at supersonic speeds for at least fifty years.

In an article on UFO propulsion theories, nuclear physicist and UFO researcher Stanton Friedman writes that: "Substantial research, much of it classified, has been done showing that a magneto-aerodynamic (MAD) system would be capable of solving all the problems of high speed flight by controlling lift, drag, heating and sonic boom production – all electromagnetically rather than mechanically or chemically.  The system would be symmetric, highly manoeuvrable, relatively silent, would often have a surrounding glow, and would be capable of sudden starts and stops."  Unfortunately he then tells us that research on MAD propulsion systems is classified because they have some relevance to the flight aerodynamics of ballistic missiles.

In his book Unconventional Flying Objects: A Scientific Analysis the late Paul R. Hill, who spent his working life as a rocket scientist at NASA's Langley Research Centre in the USA, devotes two detailed chapters to an analysis of why UFOs can break the sound barrier without making a sonic boom or overheating.
Hill points out that with regard to sonic booms, in supersonic flight the air ahead of an aircraft does not know that the craft is coming whereas in subsonic flight it does.  In other words, once the speed of forewarning the air in front of the plane becomes slower than the actual speed of the aircraft, you have a problem.  The solution is simple.  If you are flying faster than the speed of sound, you have to transmit the information that you are coming to the air ahead of the craft at a speed that is also faster than the speed of sound.  This gives the air time to get out of the way, thus helping prevent a noisy shock wave.  How can this achieved?

Hill claims that UFOs radiate a force field a short distance ahead of the craft that is capable of repelling air molecules.  This force field travels at the speed of light and is therefore easily able to stay ahead of the craft even at hypersonic speeds.  By giving the air sufficient prior warning to get out of the way, no bow shock wave is created no matter how fast the UFO is flying.  Hill even points out that rain, small bugs, dust and sand particles would be repelled by this field and would flow around the craft instead of hitting it.  The UFO would not even need windscreen wipers he claims.
However that is not the complete solution.  The shape and length of a plane affects what sort of shock wave it creates as it breaks the sound barrier.  Some long planes make two sonic booms, one from the front and one from the back.  This distinctive double bang is well known to those watching NASA's Space Shuttle as it prepares to land after re-entering the Earth's atmosphere.  Coupled with this is the problem of aerodynamic drag and the overheating of a craft as a result of being buffeted by the atmosphere as it increases speed.  The outside surfaces of the Space Shuttle for example "reach a blinding-white heat, of the order of 1,300 degrees centigrade" on re-entering the earth's atmosphere (Hill, p.208).  To attempt to counteract these problems, most supersonic aircraft are long and thin with sharp points at the front, yet the average UFO is saucer shaped, which would seem to be a highly unsuitable shape to minimise overheating and aerodynamic drag.

To solve these additional problems Paul Hill produces pages of calculations to show that in addition to putting a repulsive force field facing its direction of travel, UFOs would need to put another repulsive field at the back.  To put it simply, any air that meets the UFO in supersonic flight would be repelled sideways from the front, sucked along the sides and then pushed away from the back.  This has the amazing result of enabling the UFO to fly with no wind resistance, no turbulence, and no sonic boom.  It also gives the UFO's propulsion system a higher level of energy efficiency and helps explain why these craft come in so many unaerodynamic shapes.

The last benefit of UFO airflow-control force fields that Paul Hill discusses is of "aerodynamic heating" (p.208).  Hill's calculations suggest that by diverting the atmosphere from the front of the moving craft, allowing it to flow along the sides and then pushing it away from the back, no thermal energy is imparted to the UFO's surface.  Not only does this prevent the UFO from heating up, but Hill suspects that the opposite may be the case.  He claims that air repelled from the front of the UFO will experience "a big pressure drop" causing it to expand and drop in temperature as it goes along the sides of the craft (p.326).  "The temperature gets so low that even with boundary-layer friction the air at the UFO surface is below ambient atmospheric temperature …. Under these circumstances, the UFO is cooled at various flight speeds, not heated.  This would be true at any speed for which the UFO can maintain the high field strengths needed." (p.326)
There have been a few UFO close encounters where evidence suggests that the UFO somehow significantly cooled the surrounding area.  I recall a case where a witness who had seen strange lights at night while returning home from driving in the country, was unsure whether he had had a close encounter or not.  What he did know was that a water bottle that had been in his vehicle was frozen solid when he got home later that night.  This was very puzzling because the weather was warm, so what he wondered had frozen the water in the bottle?  Paul Hill's calculations about aerodynamic heating and cooling may have provided an answer.  "In a surprise fallout it was found by this theory that if a UFO left such an air-control mechanism turned on while hovering low over water, air temperatures near the machine could get cold enough to create ice" (p.327).
If these well informed calculations about UFO aerodynamics are currently available in the public domain from a NASA scientist, it is perhaps not unreasonable to suspect that the United States military has known about the matter for years and has probably had time to conduct the appropriate experiments and test fly various prototypes of their own versions of this technology.  If this is the case, one wonders for how much longer air travellers are going to have to endure the tedium, cost and inconvenience of travel by outdated subsonic passenger jets. 

References
Friedman, Stanton T.  (1980)  UFO Propulsion Theories.  The Encyclopedia of UFOs.  Ronald D. Story (editor),  pp.281-284.
Hill, Paul R.  (1995)  Unconventional Flying Objects: A Scientific Analysis.
Scott, Andrew.  (1990)  Acoustics.  The Guinness Encyclopedia,  p.31
 
 

Western Australian Sightings
With Overseas Observations
Compiled by Brian Richards

It seems that the enigmatic flying triangles won't go away.  They continue to be seen in many parts of the world often flying very low, silently, and at speeds that would stall a conventional aircraft.  Lights are often observed at each point and beneath the craft.  Sometimes a beam of light from the triangle scans the sky above, or the ground below.  Witnesses have been filled with mixed emotions.  Are these alien craft keeping one step ahead of our own technology, or at least appearing to?  Such claims were made when alluding to the great airship flap across the United States from November 1896 to April 1897, when scores of intelligently controlled 'dirigibles', more often than not flying against the wind, caused much concern and fiery debate fuelled by the popular press of the day.

If the flying triangles of today are our own secret advanced technology, then the secret is out.  Flying such test aircraft over heavily populated areas would risk a mishap.  The repercussions from such an accident would be hard to contemplate.  No such incident has yet been reported.  If these craft are so safe as to be accident proof, then a really advanced propulsion system is being operated – so advanced in fact that further manufacture of conventional aircraft should be stopped immediately.  This cutting edge technology must be introduced now for the benefit of all.  But don't hold your breath!
Peru is in the throes of a UFO flap.  Hundreds of reports are coming in from all over the country and UFO buffs everywhere are trying to secure the videos which show numerous flying objects.  Thanks to Mike Farrell, director of Project GUFONE '99 for the following reports which are just a few of the many compiled:

Wednesday 3rd March 1999.  For forty minutes, five glowing discs flew over Lima, the capital city of Peru.  Two OVNIs (objeto volante no identificado: the Spanish acronym for UFOs) flew off by themselves and performed manoeuvres whilst the remaining three darted away to the east.  Home videos taken of the overflight were broadcast on Canal (Channel) 2 Television Frequencia Latina following the incident.

Tuesday 2nd March 1999, 6.30pm.  Two OVNIs flew over Pucallpa in the Amazon, 600km north-east of Lima.  "Plenty of witnesses saw them cleave through the cloudy sky", Alfredo Mendiola reported.  "They were bright enough to shine through the mists.  In the sector of the city, they appeared as a bright dot.  Others reported seeing the light change colour from white to yellow, red and blue."
Home videos were aired on the local TV station in Pucallpa.  "The video showed an object in the form of a spinning and humming top with a surrounding light (aura) and clear brown colour tones.  Another showed a cone with a point coming to a rise.  A helicopter of the Policia Aeria tried to chase the OVNIs, but the pilots lost radio contact with the ground, which seems impossible because they have high frequency radios."
Towards the end of February in Andacolla in the Neuquen district south of Lima, residents watched glowing UFOs "that moved in a zigzag.  We watched them cross the sky with lights in the front.  There was also another OVNI like a great luminosity that pulsated as well."  In Lindera, 440km south of Arequipa near Peru's border with Chile, local residents were astonished to find several crop circles in a field of wheat.  The crop circles were described as 'tripods' (three circles joined by straight lines).  There were sections of the circles where the grain was squashed flat but not broken.

Six UFOs Seen By Hundreds Near Monterrey, Mexico.  Sunday 28th February 1999.  Canal (Channel) 12 of the city of Monterrey, (924km north of Mexico city) in Coafiuila state, aired home video of six UFOs flying over the La husteca section of the city, heading for Las Pampas mountain.  Hundreds reported the overflight which lasted several minutes.  The video showed six luminous triangular objects flying westward in formation, with the camcorder focus set on 'zoom'.  (Thanks to Marco Reinoso Ballesteros y Guillermo Alarcon for this report).

Flying objects of the unidentified kind remain a fascinating area of study, but such studies remain forever shallow because of the very elusive nature of the objects.  UFO experts there are not, but UFO case study experts there are.  What is generating much interest at this time are the accounts/experiences of ordinary people, or personal contact experiences (PCEs).  Brave individuals are coming forward without fear or favour, and recounting extraordinary stories of personal interaction with unknown life-forms or 'energies'.  The events are often recalled without hypnosis and invoke fear and loathing, love and adoration, confusion – a whole range of emotions.  To get regular reports of such accounts, e-mail 'Citizens Against UFO Secrecy' in the USA at: CAUSupdate@caus.org  or go to their website:  http://caus.org/feedback.htm

WA SIGHTINGS UPDATE
There are no earth-shattering sightings to report, but there are some interesting ones.  Accounts are down on previous years, but February 1999 appears to have been a busy month.  I was diving on the Pandora (1791) wreck in far-north Queensland for the four weeks, so thanks to Mike Jordan for dealing with the all-hours phone calls and compiling February's report.

26th February 1999, 8.10am.  Jeremy phoned from Albany to say that he was travelling to Mt Barker on the previous night with his brother, when at about 9.15pm they saw a white light with smaller white lights appearing to move around it up and down like a yoyo.  The sighting lasted from ten to fifteen seconds.

21st February 1999, 8.45pm.  Eric of Mirrabooka reported seeing a bright flash of white light with a blue afterglow, followed by another such display.  He said they were like sheet lightning, but there was a clear sky and no clouds anywhere.  There were four other witnesses with him.

19th February 1999, 9.45pm.  A man (a farmer) rang, but did not leave his name.  (Judith took the call because I was at a meeting).  He said that, as he was returning to York, he saw a strange white and red light which came closer and he saw it pick up another car.  He would not give details to Judith but said he would ring me in the morning.  He did not call.

16th February 1999, 3.10pm.  Phillip of Booragoon said he and his wife had seen two white lights moving across the sky about 7.55pm.

15th February 1999, 8.15pm.  Tania of Rockingham phoned to say she and two other witnesses had seen two white lights moving at the same time (not parallel), travelling south at about 8pm.  She said they were not planes, and had no coloured lights and no noise.  Larger than stars, they moved in different directions across the sky.

13th February 1999, 7.20pm.  Colin of Wilson (not Colin Wilson!) said that he and his wife were lying on their trampoline looking at the stars, when a bright light approached and then turned on its side revealing a huge box-shaped or "it could have been a triangular shaped craft."  It then shot up into the sky at great speed.  He said he was a sceptic and didn't believe in UFOs, but was now re-thinking his situation.

11th February 1999, 10.45am.  A woman phoned to say that at 1am the previous night she was putting her sewing away, her husband and child were asleep, when an object making a very loud whooshing sound passed very close over her house.  She said the sound lasted for a few seconds, it was definitely not a plane or helicopter and left her shaking and unable to sleep for a few hours.  I did not catch or recognise the name of her location, but she was north of Perth.

11th February 1999, 10.12am.  Richard, a social science graduate, was fishing in a dam nearly 200km north-east of Perth when he and friends saw a blended white and red light stopping and zigzagging for approximately two minutes.  The blurred reflections of the light could be seen in the dam.

11th February 1999, 5.05am.  Brian D called from his mobile phone from approximately 100km north of New Norcia.  He and his family were travelling from the North-West by car.  He reported that they saw a white light behaving in an erratic flight pattern before disappearing.  Then a large red glowing light was seen in the bush.  There was no noise and it was not a plane or helicopter.  Brian said they were listening to the ABC Radio and their brief news bulletin reported the sightings of UFOs over WA.

Thursday 21st January 1999, 2–3am.  Casuarina, WA.  A man, Jason L, reported hearing a humming sound, a low drone.  Utensils were rattling in the kitchen.  The witness went outside the house and noticed a very bright light to the NNW at about sixty degrees.  This object was moving about in a zigzag fashion and appeared to be spinning.  Two other star-like objects appeared, one either side of the larger one which allegedly shone a laser-type beam to each of the smaller lights.  At this time Jason reported their microwave oven was arcing, the radio and stereo were affected, as was the power supply to the house.  Jason also claimed beams were being shone into the house, which he avoided.  I suggested this may have been light from the bright stars Regulus or Capella, but this does not account for the erratic aerial manoeuvring, or the humming noise.

Tuesday 12th January 1999, midday.  Denmark, WA.  A man, Roger C, reported seeing twenty-five or thirty dark objects moving east to west over the sea at twenty-five to thirty degrees.  The objects appeared to stop at one stage before moving on.  The witness was adamant they were not birds.

Friday 25th December 1998, 9.30pm.  Rockingham, WA.  Four witnesses were watching Jupiter in close proximity to a new moon.  A very bright object appeared about one hand-span (at arm's length) to the left of the moon, flashed three times, then headed south very rapidly.

Monday 21st December 1998, 11.40am.  Belmont, WA.  Fred H and his daughter had just left Bott's Chemist when they saw a very bright white metallic object moving slowly from SW to NE.  It appeared to be very high up and shaped like a round ice-cream container surrounded by a dark aura or haze.  The duration of the sighting was six minutes.

Friday 18th December 1998, 10pm.  Richard G was looking north from Leederville, WA, and watched three star-like objects in the shape of a triangle move from east to west at about forty-five degrees.  The leading light was red and the trailing two were white.

Tuesday 15th–Wed 16th December 1998, 8pm–1am.  Mr Brian K of Karrinyup, WA, reported his son's sighting from Busselton, WA.  Apparently Chad K and a friend watched six star-like objects in the north-west sky perform unusual aerial manoeuvres, zigzagging and jumping about, for over five hours.  What appeared to be the same objects repeated the performance the following night (16th Dec).  Chad, who is an amateur astronomer,  watched the objects through a telescope.  They appeared to be triangular.

Sunday 13th December 1998, 1.05am.  Dianella, WA.  A man reported seeing a bright white fireball with no tail pass silently overhead from the NNE to the SSW.

Friday 4th December 1998, 9pm.  Mullaloo, WA.  Shane and two other witnesses reported an unusual 'incident' which started at 9pm and went on for some time.  A small red light was seen moving about sideways and up and down over the ocean to the west.  It also moved in close towards the beach.  A hovering helicopter had a light on the object which itself had revolving red and blue flashing lights and was disc shaped.  A jet plane was also seen flying about over the sea.  The totally silent object came in over the beach and was in the dunes for about two minutes and simply disappeared.

Friday 4th December 1998, 9.30pm.  City Beach, WA.  This sighting was reported in the Sunday Times newspaper through UFORUM, witnessed by Caspar F and a girlfriend.  A huge mid-grey triangle flew over the witnesses from the north-west, heading south-east before turning east.  Underneath the object were about twelve rectangular red lights parallel to the rear edge.  The leading part of the craft or apex was illuminated by a very bright whitish yellow light.  A low droning sound was heard.  The witnesses calculated its height as between 200–300ft.  It was travelling so slowly that a conventional aircraft would have been unable to remain airborne.

Friday 4th December 1998, 9.45pm.  Safety Bay, Rockingham, WA.  Helen S was looking north.  Travelling from west to east at about forty-five degrees, were three 'stars' in a triangular formation.  No sound was heard.  The objects were about a hand-span apart, and the formation "shaped like a Vulcan bomber."  There was cloud about, but the witness said the formation flew under the cloud and "just disappeared."

Saturday 14th November 1998.  A lady, Pamela of Kiara, near Beechboro, WA, inquired about our group, ASPR/UFORUM.  After a while she told how from the age of two, her son, now four, would talk about strange beings with whom he would interact, usually at two or three in the morning.  He described them as tall and skinny with big eyes, large hairless heads, thin arms, small mouths and holes for ears and nostrils.  They were a greyish blue colour and would regularly take him to 'the airport' where he would be introduced to a little girl with blonde hair.  He has suffered nose bleeds, is a high achiever and is never sick.  On the 14th November 1998, the family reported an orange light going overhead.  The little boy was clearly disturbed by the sighting and kept pointing and staring skywards for a long time afterwards.


At the time of this sightings report going to press, a very unusual story is circulating about an alleged UFO crash in Western Australia.  So much interest is being generated by the claim that even our conservative West Australian newspaper ran a feature about it on Saturday 20th March 1999.  This report is reproduced in full.  You can draw your own conclusions.  However, the claim should be treated with suspicion, or at least healthy scepticism until more evidence is forthcoming.  One would ask the following questions.  How did Margie Parker know of the crashed UFO, or make contact with the aliens?  How did they communicate their needs?  Would advanced extraterrestrial beings be able to use our welding equipment on their (supposedly) alien alloys, and how would they know of such equipment?  Would it not be correct to assume that the aliens would have a contingency plan in place for recovery in the event of such an emergency crash landing, or at the least a homing device?
Surely NORAD, possibly Pine Gap, Nurrungar, and /or the Exmouth facility in WA, and a number of other high-tech 'monitoring agencies' would have detected the UFO entering our atmosphere and been aware of its demise.  This would have created another Roswell, with the area being cordoned off, swarming with military and recovery teams, and a cover story being issued.  Whether this case turns out to be genuine, a hoax, or something else, I hope that the credibility of ufology is not too damaged.  Time will tell.
 

UFO RESCUER HUNTS TWILIGHT ZONE SQUAD
 Sydney.  By Steve Pennells.
The truth is out there ... apparently somewhere between Kalgoorlie and the South Australian border.  A $50,000 rescue mission has started for three stranded aliens and their 2km-wide spacecraft which allegedly crash-landed on the edge of the Great Victoria Desert.

Sydney woman Margie Parker flew to Kalgoorlie this week to organise a team of experts to find the stricken UFO.  She claims that the extraterrestrials were off-planet engineers who experienced mechanical problems while flying over WA and had to make an emergency landing in the middle of the Nullarbor, about 160km north of Haig.
She will not say how she knows about the spacecraft but says the aliens want help to repair it so they can leave the planet quickly.  The extraterrestrials apparently need a welder, water and lifting gear.  Ms Parker's plan is to get to the stricken spaceship and have her rescue team help the aliens carry out repair work.  Offers of help have flooded in from interstate and overseas.  One United States benefactor is offering $32,000.
Ms Parker contacted the UFO National Hotline in Melbourne to set up the rescue.  "We put her automatically in our 'fruit-cake' category but she is very insistent," the hotline's Ross Dowe said yesterday.  "It is not usual for us to make an expedition like this.  I don't think that we have ever been commissioned or paid to look for flying saucers before.  No doubt, it will be a real eye-opener if something is really there."
Ms Parker has commissioned a team of geologists, including a Perth expert.  She was meant to meet him on her arrival at Perth Airport on Wednesday night.  She was booked on an evening flight but did not make the meeting.  She has reportedly begun setting up a rescue team in Kalgoorlie and has approached air charter companies to fly her to the remote location.  Kalgoorlie police also have been asked to help.  Kalgoorlie police Sgt John Hall said he had not received any report of stranded aliens.
(Article from The West Australian, Sat., 20/3/99, p.3) 

ASPR/UFORUM's Western Australian UFO Sightings & Reporting Centre can be reached
on (08) 9337 1638
 
 

Technology Update
By Simon Harvey-Wilson

Implants are small objects thought to have been put into the bodies of UFO abductees by aliens.  In the 1997 edition of this journal, Mike Jordan discussed some of the pros and cons of this puzzling subject (Jordan, p.18).  The first problem in conducting research into implants is actually finding them in the human body.  X-rays have generally been used in this regard.  The second problem is trying to work out what the implant is, once it has been found and/or surgically removed.  It can be very hard to tell the difference between a small piece of metal that may have lodged in someone's body as a result of military service, a childhood, car or industrial accident, and a device that may have been surgically implanted for a specific reason.
The third problem compounds the second.  Once you think you have found an implant, and perhaps even worked out what it was designed to do, how can you be sure who put it there?  Obviously a device implanted by aliens might be so advanced that modern scientific analysis is unable to determine its function.  A very sophisticated device might even be designed to look as if it does one thing, when in fact it does another.  Given that some of today's intelligence services probably have numerous sophisticated devices that are unknown to the public, one can see how merely finding, removing and studying a so-called implant is quite a different matter from proving that it was put there by aliens.
Just to make things even more confusing, an article in the MUFON UFO Journal entitled 'New Microchip Human Implants Designed to Locate Kidnap Victims' tells us that a company called Gen-Etics, which is based in Milan, has patented a tiny microchip which, once implanted in the body, can be used to locate that person via satellite to within less than one hundred and fifty metres.  The device is being marketed in Italy because of that country's serious kidnapping problem.  The Sky-Eye chip, as it is called, costs nine thousand US dollars and was originally developed by Israeli intelligence.  Made out of "synthetic and organic fibre", it is invisible to x-rays and, by using a small amount of energy from the body, can be tracked using the Global Positioning System.
If this report is true, one wonders why alien implants are not also invisible to x-rays.  Does this imply that they are probably human inventions, or does their function, whatever it is, require them to be constructed out of metallic compounds?  It has often been speculated that alien implants are tracking devices, but this was thought to be unlikely because the only comparable human inventions that we knew about were small metallic implants, mainly used to identify pets, that could only be read with a scanner held less than a metre from the animal.  Now that human designed implants can be detected by satellite, should we perhaps speculate that at least some of what were thought to be alien implants are actually manufactured here on earth?

References
Johnston, Bruce.  (1998, Tuesday, October 6)  Microchip implants to foil VIP kidnaps.  Electronic Telegraph.  International summary, Issue 1229.  www.telegraph.co.uk
Jordan, Michael  (1997)  Implants: More red herrings?  Journal of Alternative Realities.  Vol.5, Issue 1, p.18.
New microchip human implants designed to locate kidnap victims.  (1998, November)  MUFON UFO Journal.  No.367, p.7.
 

Element 114.   A short article in the 1996 edition of this journal discussed Bob Lazar's 1989 claim that an alien UFO in the possession of the US government used either element 114 or 115 as its fuel source.  It pointed out that in February 1996, scientists in Germany had briefly managed to synthesise one atom of element 112, which had survived for no longer than one thousandth of a second, and speculated that we might not have to wait long before someone managed to create either element 114 or 115 so that we could see whether its properties were as amazing as Lazar had claimed.
It now appears that the wait may be almost over.  In January 1999 an unofficial report from the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research at Dubna in Russia, claimed that an eighteen member team under the leadership of Dr Yuri Oganessian, assisted by five American physicists from the Lawrence Livermore Laboratory in California, had succeeded in creating one atom of element 114 which had survived for the remarkable time of thirty seconds.  (Other reports claimed thirty minutes which would be even more remarkable.)  To do this they had spent four months bombarding a rare isotope of plutonium with a rare isotope of calcium in the hope that the two would fuse together at least once to create the sought after new element.  To confirm these results, other labs in the US and Germany will attempt to duplicate the experiment.

One might think that an element that only takes thirty seconds (or minutes for that matter) to decay would not be of much use to anyone, however it has long been speculated by physicists that somewhere around element 115 there exists an 'island of stability' of fairly stable ultra-heavy elements with properties not previously available from lighter artificial elements.  Whether this includes the property of having its strong nuclear force (that normally holds the sub-atomic particles in the atom's nucleus together) extend beyond the edge of the nucleus so that it might be available for amplification is yet to be discovered.  Lazar claimed that the substance that he studied while secretly working for the US government was so stable and had such a powerful strong nuclear force that it could be amplified to behave like 'gravity waves' that would distort spacetime enough to enable such a craft to cross the vast distances of space in a relatively short time.
We may now be on the verge of discovering if Lazar was telling the truth.  However one might speculate that if scientists did discover that this new element, or the next most heavy one, does have the properties claimed by Lazar, they may not be permitted to tell us.

References
Browne, Malcom W.  (1999, Friday, January 29)  US-Russian team may have created ultra-heavy element.  New York Times.
Daley, J. P.  (1999, February)  Evaluation of a gravitational propulsion system.  MUFON UFO Journal, No.370, p.10.
Harvey-Wilson, Simon.  (1996, March)  UFO propulsion and element 115.  Journal of Alternative Realities.  Vol.4, Issue 1, p.14.
Seife, Charles  (1999, January 30)  The heaviest element of them all.  New Scientist  No.2171, p.14.
Loveland, Walter & Seaborg, Glenn.  (1991, August 31)  The search for the missing elements.  New Scientist.  No.1784, p.25.

Animal Mutilations & Laser Surgery.
For several years now it has been speculated that the sophisticated 'surgery' found to have been inflicted on dead animals in various parts of the US was probably the work of aliens.  Two main reasons were put forward for this.  Firstly, farmers and ranchers had reported seeing strange lights or craft in the vicinity not long before finding the dead animal(s).  Secondly, the precision and nature of the wounds on the animals suggested that they were done in situ with very high-tech laser instruments that were thought to be more advanced that anything possessed by modern medical technology.  In retrospect, we should perhaps have known better.
In the last chapter of his book Underground Bases and Tunnels (reviewed elsewhere in this journal) Dr Richard Sauder discusses whether the US military might be involved in these animal mutilations.  The cause of his suspicion is a United States Air Force Material Command fact sheet that he has reprinted in his book with permission from Phillips Laboratory, Office of Public Affairs, Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico (p.122 & illustration 49).  Entitled 'LASER MEDICAL PAC', it describes a very compact device being developed in the Phillips Laboratory which, "provides the field paramedic or physician a unique, portable and battery-operated laser capability.  The laser is able to cut like a scalpel, as well as coagulate bleeding, and close wounds."  Small enough to be attached to the waist, the laser device measures about eighteen by eight by six centimetres, which is about the size of a transistor radio.  "Laser energy is delivered to the instrument by a fibre-optic cable, the fibre providing very intense power density at the tip of the instrument.  The output wavelength, which ranges from visible to mid-infrared, can be designed to provide different tissue interactions."  The device can run for twenty minutes using two 2-volt batteries for the laser, and a 9-volt battery for its electronics.  For those interested in the technical details the fact sheet claims that "the light at the end of the fibre is very intense (one kilowatt per square centimetre)."
As it is probable that special forces troops operating on behalf of the US government had access to such laser devices for some time before the technical details were made public, UFO researchers should perhaps now look more closely at the possibility that at least some animal mutilations have been being carried out by humans rather than aliens. 

Reference
Sauder, Richard.  (1995)  Underground Bases and Tunnels. What is the Government Trying to Hide?
(see book review on page 38)
 
 

Alien Base
Earth's Encounters with Extraterrestrials
By Timothy Good.  (1998)  London, Century.
Book review © 1998 by Warren P. Aston
 

At the outset I do not hesitate to say that in my opinion, Alien Base has joined a small group of books that will come to be regarded as pivotal and classic works in shaping our understanding of the phenomenon of alien contact.  I believe it will eventually be seen as authoritative and substantial in its field as Good's Beyond Top Secret now is.  Timothy Good's greatest contribution in this book is to force the reader to face a substantial body of data that has, in many cases, been routinely ignored and ridiculed by many UFO researchers and groups in recent decades and kept from the public at large.

Good tackles head-on the disturbing direction that main-stream ufology has taken in the last two decades by the almost institutionalised rejection of reports involving contact with humanoid beings to the point where 'alien contact' in ufology and in the public perception equates only to an 'abduction' by a stereotype 'Grey'.

The cases covered in Alien Base are anything but the standard abduction scenario.  Good has amassed ufology's largest collection of reports where the witness has encountered – and often interacted with – beings of apparent extraterrestrial origin, sometimes living incognito among us.  A handful of intriguing cases also suggest that one or more alien groups have humans living with and working with them.  Many of the book's reports are published here for the first time and the cumulative weight of their evidence is impressive.
The author does not shy away from the famous 'contactee' cases of the fifties and sixties but succeeds in integrating their stories as part of a larger continuum of alien contact, not apart from it.  In the process it quickly becomes clear that such claims are not as rare as many people have assumed.  This is not to say that Good accepts that all the contactee claims are genuine – far from it.  But he makes a strong case that perhaps in some instances, what began as a genuine encounter was then perpetuated, for any number of reasons, by deception and fraud.

Case in point perhaps – George Adamski.  Alien Base, to the inevitable dismay of some readers I'm sure, devotes a long section to Adamski's story.  Much of this material will be familiar to any well-read researcher, but some will not be and is therefore worth approaching with an open mind.  The original or early aspects of this case are stronger than many are willing to give it credit for and while I personally remain unconvinced, Good gives some good reasons why the case should not be rejected out of hand or tossed into the too-hard basket.  Not least of these are the apparently credible stories of other people with impressive parallels to Adamski's claimed experiences.

As well as Daniel Fry and Howard Menger, the book goes into considerable detail about the Paul Villa case and devotes more than half its colour illustrations to some of his photos, making it clear that here are cases that still cry out for solid investigation.

Despite the time that has elapsed, definitive treatments of these cases have yet to be written.  Although not without its faults and biases, Kal Korff's devastating exposé of the Billy Meier case (Spaceships of the Pleiades) is a recent example of what an intensive investigation can achieve and what remains to be done with the classic contactees.  Some readers may feel more comfortable with other stories that Good examines in detail, such as the little-known Carroll Watts and Bruno Ghibaudi cases with their impressive photographic support or with the fantastic but compelling 'Joelle' and Ludwig Pallmann cases.
Alien Base however makes a contribution beyond the mere compiling of reports.  By including some of the very early encounters (the 1920 Albert Coe case is the earliest, with a good sampling of cases from the thirties and forties, including my own research of the 1940 Wartena case) the book repudiates for example the continuing simplistic attempts by some to dismiss all genuine UFO sightings as man-made military craft.

The careful reader will note certain recurring themes throughout the encounters reported, regardless of the circumstances, the time period or the witness.  Notably, these include the pervasiveness of the basic human form throughout the cosmos, that earth has always had alien monitoring and intervention, that intelligent life on earth was 'seeded' from other worlds, that man destroyed his civilisation thousands of years ago and a variety of environmental concerns.  Implicit in all this is the unavoidable conclusion that earth is being visited by many races, far more than the conventional half-dozen or dozen races normally allowed for in the ETH (extra-terrestrial hypothesis).  A strong case could be made for at least a score or more based just on the better documented and more believable cases printed in this book.
My criticisms of Alien Base are minor.  Interspersed throughout the text are a number of conventional UFO reports, perhaps to introduce variety and perhaps sometimes to strengthen the book's premise that our planet is being used as a base by extraterrestrials.  While they are usually interesting and substantial sightings that deserve recording, in my opinion they lengthen the text unnecessarily and their omission could have served either to reduce the size of the book or to allow more contact cases to be included.  Surely there would have been more value in including for example the Reverend Gill case – a multi-witnessed sighting of humanoids atop a craft – rather than yet another daylight disk report.  In particular I would also have liked more space spent on the information communicated in the 1976 Dr Leopoldo Diaz case, a totally credible witness.  A chronological listing of all the cases would have been both helpful and interesting and would make comparisons easier and trends more obvious.
Those in the UFO community inclined to reject out-of-hand the type of reports found in this book will undoubtedly be less charitable toward this book and may feel that I have been over-generous in my assessment of its value.  For the rest of us however, Alien Base is a reminder that whatever our individual assumptions and biases lead us to do with such accounts, these too are an integral part of ufology. 

References
Good, Timothy  (1996)  Beyond Top Secret: The Worldwide UFO Security Threat.
Korff, Karl K.  (1995)  Spaceships of the Pleiades: The Billy Meier Story.
 
 
 

From Atlantis to the Sphinx
Recovering the Lost Wisdom of the Ancient World
By Colin Wilson.  (1997)  Virgin Publishers.
Book review by Morley Legg

Colin Wilson's lucid unfolding of the main veins in human history arouses inklings that something vital has been lost and it begs recapturing.  We do, however, become aware of patterns in our more recent history.  Mankind works hard to consolidate a succession of plateaus of interpreting nature, and each plateau hardens into a belief to which the tribe or group strictly adheres.  Belief systems certainly become stabilisers, at least for a time.  But then bitter struggles arise as new concepts make a play for dominance.

Over the last three hundred years, for instance, constant battles went on to bring about belief adjustments in religious concepts as scholars, aided by science, were continually having to update theories about our origins, pushing them back to six thousand, ten thousand, and eventually even to three million years.  And today the plates of knowledge are shifting again and continue to threaten jarring upheavals, as the more open minded realise and expect.

An article by Colin Wilson in a 1997 English newspaper showed him to be a knowledgeable ufologist.  In this book UFOs or aliens don't get a mention.  In one respect we can be grateful in that their absence gives us a clean slate to do our own thinking as to where, and whether they may have intervened in our ancient past.
He unearths many theories to account for the 'sudden' enlarging of the human brain: "Between half a million years ago and modern times, the human brain expanded by one third, and most of the growth has been in the cerebrum, the top half of the brain, with which we think."  Among the theories aired to account for this is that of the meteorite which exploded over the Indian Ocean about 700,000 years ago, reversing the poles.  Did this cause the mutation for the brain to expand and intelligence to grow?  The development of language, religion, sexual attitudes, and the discovery of 'hunting magic' could also have boosted growth.
Wilson reasons that it takes a drastic change or a challenge to get man to use his thinking, otherwise he only copies the notions of his day and remains at that level for a hundred thousand years.  He mentions that the shark hasn't changed much in 150 million years.

He stresses that humans today feel quite separate from one another.  Telepathy is rare enough to be considered a myth.  He is not the only scholar to feel that Cro-Magnon man had group consciousness, an instinctive 'lunar knowledge', quite different from our current 'solar knowledge' which we store in universities and books.  Some primitive people still seem to possess this group consciousness, and their shamans may possess links to Cro-Magnon man's hunting magic.  There is a disturbing account of a shaman in the Gilbert Islands using sorcery to draw a school of porpoises to beach themselves for slaughter.

Drawing on the works of many respected researchers Wilson nudges us to the idea that Atlantis now lies in Antarctica under the ice.  Professor Charles Hapgood (author of Maps of the Ancient Sea Kings) believes the Piri Re'is map (dated 1513), that shows Antarctica as it appeared before it was covered by ice, appears to be a genuine copy of ancient maps.  In 1959 he delved into the United States Library of Congress and found many ancient maps, some showing Antarctica mapped as if free of ice.  Hapgood believes a world-wide maritime civilisation existed at this time.  Many serious researchers support the idea that this could be the Atlantean civilisation that was devastated by a sudden shifting of the earth's crust, and that many survivors from this catastrophe moved to India, South America and Egypt.  Convention now has it, by the way, that Antarctica's warm period began about thirteen thousand years ago and ended six thousand years ago.

This leads to those fascinating estimates and questions arising from recent research on the pyramids.  Why did the Egyptians build the Sphinx in 10,500 BC, and the pyramids eight thousand years later – with shafts aimed with gun barrel accuracy at Orion?  "[T]he only time the positions of the three pyramids on the ground reflect the positions of the three stars of Orion's belt is 10,500 BC, when Orion is at its closest to the southern horizon in the 'precessional cycle', which takes 25,920 years."

Diverse points of interest are included.  When Hapgood retired (and no longer cared much about what his sceptical colleagues thought) he published Voices of Spirit, a book on experiments to search back through history with a trance medium to contact scholarly figures.  He believed that the next step in man's evolution will be in the realm of the psychic and paranormal.  He tried contacting Nostradamas and others (as Dolores Cannon has recently done) with a view to finding clues as to who we are and what we are doing here.  Also, the most fascinating clue as to how the stones of the pyramids were put into place has been left by an eccentric American, Ed Leedskalnin who, an engineer claims, lifted huge blocks of coral on his own to build a dwelling (p.263).

Books like this help us to realise that an interest in ancient history, UFOs and the paranormal, often indicates a feeling that mainstream science and religion have not yet provided us with satisfactory explanations as to our place and purpose on earth.  We are left hoping that melting ice, or the current drilling into Antarctica's ice, will one day bring forth revelations.

The essence of Wilson's book is that a former civilisation shared an instinctive-intuitive knowledge that to us would appear quite alien; and that it would require a shock of some kind before we could begin to remember or catch a glimpse of this 'Atlantean sense of reality'. 

References
Hapgood, Charles H.  (1992)  Voices of Spirit.
Hapgood, Charles H.  (1979)  Maps of the Ancient Sea Kings.
 
 

Alien Dawn
An Investigation into the Contact Experience
By Colin Wilson.  (1998)  London, Virgin Publishing.
Book review by Michael Jordan
 

A good mate of mine, a psychologist, with whom I've enjoyed a long friendship, recently returned to live and work in Cornwall, not far from the home of well-known and highly regarded writer, Colin Wilson.  Although we shared a number of common interests, this did not extend to my passion for ufology.  By unspoken but mutual consent I resolved not to talk about UFOs and he to refrain from mentioning his love of yacht racing and sailing.  By way of closure to my subject, he added, "When Colin Wilson writes about UFOs, I might have to take the subject seriously."

Last year fellow committee member, Morley Legg, sent me a cutting from the pages of a well-known British Sunday newspaper in which large headlines trumpeted, "It's Official – Colin Wilson Says They Are Here".  The 'they' of course referred to aliens and was in response to the publication of Wilson's Alien Dawn.  For my part I couldn't wait to see how he would assimilate the results of his prolific past research into the paranormal, consciousness, evolution, astronomy and cosmology, to name but a few of his pet subjects, with ufology, the boundaries of which seem limitless and encompass all of these fields and more.

A chance meeting with Harvard psychiatrist and author of Abduction: Human Encounters with Aliens, more or less led to Colin Wilson being thrust on his mission, from a previously sceptical launching pad.  A journey of discovery in an attempt to find out more about what Dr Allen Hynek termed, "the greatest mystery of our time."

Typically, Wilson's approach to the writing of Alien Dawn is in the manner his countless readers throughout the world have come to expect.  His source material comes not only from a study of literally hundreds of texts and manuscripts that can shed any light on the subject, but above all from having the right contacts.  This is a major reason why this book includes a more comprehensive examination of the whole UFO phenomenon than probably any other that I have read.  Colin Wilson's years of research into allied subjects means that he numbers amongst his friends and contacts, such people as John Mack, Budd Hopkins, Jacques Vallee, Linda Moulton Howe, Stanislav Grof, David Jacobs, the late Andrija Puharich and many other researchers of this ilk.  These are people who are recognised by ufologists around the world as making original and major contributions to the field.  Alien Dawn draws (often through direct contact with the author) on the theories of such thinkers.

It is Wilson's ability to synthesise material from a wide range of sources, in seemingly effortless fashion and weave it into a seamless tapestry of possibilities, that makes this book so provocative.  His compendium of related aspects range from studies of mythic entities, bizarre synchronicities, ancient folklore and mysticism, to a study of the so-called abduction experience.

The result should satisfy both relative newcomers to the field and seasoned travellers in this domain.  For the uninitiated, many well known cases and personalities are discussed in order to familiarise them with the concept of high strangeness, but usually within a theoretical context which challenges previously held assumptions.  What crystallises as we explore the phenomenon through Wilson's speculation, is that this is so much more than information to be considered from a purely materialistic point of view.  So very much more!  He makes it abundantly clear that what we are dealing with here, defies explanation in terms of our present knowledge and conventional logic.

In the first half of Alien Dawn, Colin Wilson's focus on mythology and the paranormal is an attempt to establish that the UFO phenomenon is too complex and diverse to be explained in everyday terms; seemingly defying categorisation.  He is never apologetic, even in the discussion of material which "raises the bar of credulity" (to use his term) "so high that it is important to remind the reader that it is not quite as insane and unprecedented as it sounds" (p.210).  He challenges the sceptics such as the late Carl Sagan and John Spencer, to come up with a view that is consistent with the facts, even going so far as to term Sagan a disinformation specialist and accusing him of going to extremes in distorting data on the Mars anomalies and the abduction phenomenon.

What then are some of Wilson's conclusions?  He repeatedly reminds us that there is something fundamentally wrong with the way we view ourselves, and that the vision of universal energy, and of the mind's power to enter into creative interaction with it, is an accurate perception of underlying reality.  In other words, "that the mind – without knowing it consciously – has some sort of control over the material universe" (p.301).
He believes that UFOs are unknown forms of energy and that their purpose is, "not simply to remind us that the material world is not the only reality, but to draw us by a kind of suction into consciousness of another kind of reality" (p.295).  Their purpose would seem to be to act as a deconditioning agent, attempting to distance us from our unquestioning acceptance of consensus reality and drawing us into accepting consciousness of another kind of reality.  Finally he leaves no doubt that, "a UFO encounter can cause a basic change in awareness" (p.304) and speculates that if it is indeed a "control phenomenon", then it is likely to increase its impact on human consciousness as a result of Rupert Sheldrake's theory of morphogenetic 'induction'. 

References

Mack, John.  (1994)  Abduction: Human Encounters with Aliens.
Sheldrake, Rupert.  (1988)  A New Science of Life.
 
 

Cult Encounter
An International Story of Exit Counselling
By Helen & Rick Larsen.  (1997)  Australia, RCS Books.
Book Review by Morley Legg
 

"Life as a counter-cultist is rather like trying to put out a raging forest fire with a garden hose."       Rick Larsen.
 

Subtitled "An exposé of cult techniques and an explosion of the myths that surround deprogramming", this sincere book warns how easy it is to get mind-trapped if one strays too far from convention, and how difficult it is to return to one's accustomed values more anchored in reality.  A glance at the cover could give the impression of a US Bible-belt publication, but it was a pleasant surprise to find that Helen and Rick Larsen live in a Perth suburb in Western Australia.

Helen's interest in the New Age obviously grew out of a genuine care and concern for humanity.  She became intrigued by Extra-Terrestrial Earth Mission (ETEM) which was based in Sedona, Arizona.  It was founded by John, a 'walk in' (an extraterrestrial that had entered John's body).  An ETEM group had formed in Perth and Helen felt drawn to go to Sedona, USA, for a conference in June 1992.  Her husband Rick consented in spite of a growing reluctance.

Helen and Rick take turns in giving their account of developments mostly a chapter at a time, sometimes a paragraph at a time when developments quicken.  They reveal much about their background; their honesty is moving.  Both were raised in devout Catholic homes.  Rick's experiences as a pupil at Christian Brothers College makes compelling reading.  Others drawn into the tug of war also have their say.

Rick gives his first impressions of ETEM.  Helen tells of her contacts in Perth, and of settling in at Sedona and meeting the twenty-two female and seven male participants, and the leaders Zavi (John) and Ziva (Ellen).  She is taught how to resist 'dark forces' (family and friends) who would try to break the true message of Zavi or the 'Visionary Interdimensional Masters'.  She writes, "I am still not clear what the trigger, offered by Earth Mission, was for me but bells rang, the earth moved.  I was 'IN'."  Helen returns renamed Xanthe.

Back in Perth a period develops when they no longer risk sharing their thoughts and we understand perfectly the tactics they are using against each other.  Six months after returning from Sedona the real drama begins when in December 1992, after twenty-four years of marriage in which they had a daughter and two sons, Rick farewells Helen at the Perth Airport.  She is on her way to join the Melbourne ETEM group.  Rick agrees to let her go but desperately wants to find a way to bring 'the old' Helen back.

Because of the stress and bouts of depression he is granted leave from his teaching post.  Through the advice given by the husband of another ETEM member he contacts Joe Szimhart and Patrick Ryan, US 'exit counsellors'.  They reveal a wealth of information concerning the patterns of destructive cults, patterns that can be recognised, understood and combated.  There is mention of the Moonies, Heaven's Gate, Waco, and New Age movements familiar to many.

Pat and Joe arrive in Perth and then, with the aid of his son and friends, all go to Melbourne for an 'Intervention'.  The enormous costs dawn on us: phone calls, flight costs, hotel bookings, hired cars, an intervention venue, a TV compatible with US videos – all resting on the timing of plans that are full of 'what ifs'.  Would Xanthe agree to meet or listen?  A maze of interesting fronts and cover stories are invented before they can even think of talking Helen out of ETEM.  At times touches of humour add surprising depth to the drama.
Helen's brother Paul phones Helen to say he is coming to Melbourne on business to possibly buy a fish farm and arranges to meet her.  The nervousness of the six interventionists, when so much is at stake, escalates.  The time arrives when Helen, expecting her lone brother, is greeted by her son, then her brother and his wife with Rick and two Americans.  Helen remains for a while but refuses to watch the video and returns to her ETEM group.  Each of the six interventionists express their thoughts and feelings of the time.  Helen has to contend with her own rising feelings and the views of the others in ETEM.

The book unearths the powerful mental war that goes on, not just between Helen and Rick or Helen and ETEM, but in each individual as to what is the right thing to do.  In the chapter 'The Dark Night of the Soul' Helen battles with Xanthe.

Much praise is heaped on Pat and Joe.  After the first failed intervention they attended another case involving a near tragedy in a different cult.  This ended in the wife being hospitalised through " 'listening' to tapes which were repetitive, suggestive and hypnotic in nature."
It would be a pity to dismiss this book as just a battle between one family and an obscure cult.  Those with a healthy interest in the New Age should welcome the Larsen's warnings.  They give an invaluable, blow by blow account of the age old battle between captive minds and free minds.  At times we sense striking parallels to being trapped in a disastrous marriage, or in drug addiction.  The 'cult' develops a new and exclusive set of rules that promises benefits far beyond the norm, but which traditionally degenerates into dogma-armed extremes.  But then, of course, are any of us really free when we are all so moulded by the society we are born into?  Consider the difference in our attitudes if we had grown up in a time or country markedly different from our own.

The studies of authors and academics are presented to reveal the negativity in cults.  Steven Hassan: "Destructive cults commonly induce trances in their members through lengthy indoctrination sessions.  Repetition and forced attention are very conducive to the induction of a trance .... 'loaded language' of words and expressions .... governs how one thinks" (Hassan, p.90).  From Michael A. West of the University of Sheffield: "Over-meditation can be dangerous .... prolonged meditation may cease to have beneficial effects and become detrimental" (West, p.143).  Professor Graham Reed: "Channelled 'messages' are at a low level of inventiveness."  Australia's Dr Margaret Singer, Adjunct Professor of Psychology at the University of California, stressed that cult victims tend to be "unaffiliated, altruistic and trusting."

Helen eventually consented to watching Dr Singer's video on mind control, and took part in lengthy discussions.  Interesting indeed were the alarming physical reactions Helen and Rick experienced just before, during, and after her decision to leave ETEM.  Helen: "Initially when I came out of the cult I felt numb.  It seemed that I had no feelings about anything at all.  My dream of a heavenly earth populated by perfect, loving beings had been absolutely shattered."  Helen's chapter 'Recovery' is packed with insights that are healing in themselves.

Surely, however, the core of a cult can be close to a legitimate truth.  Is it not the negativity of people who, once involved, become virus-like and 'capture' this truth, or this experience, and use it to ensnare others, like a predator in wait by a waterhole?
Much of the New Age has become unashamedly commercial; thankfully many use care and knowledge wisely and beneficially; some take on a darker aspect depending largely on who runs them, and what the core belief or policy is.  We should remember that religions, throughout history, have been infiltrated by those who have used the blind belief of followers to prey on the innocent and trusting.

The authors are full of praise for the two exit councillors.  All of those taking part in the intervention warmed to Joe and Pat as genuine and likeable.  Details are given of their escape from cults.  Joe was in Elizabeth Clare Prophet's 'Church Universal and Triumphant' (CUT).  Once free he took part in about one hundred and thirty intervention situations and became "familiar with Eastern based, Bible based and New Age cults in particular."  In 1980 Pat graduated from the Maharishi International University.  He reported that with its guards and repressive discipline it was totally unlike the TM (Trancendental Meditation) many are familiar with.  He suffered a breakdown and feels he was lucky to escape and eventually recover his health.

After Helen's safe return to Perth, Rick wanders through a local New Age Expo looking at the stalls, as many of us probably did.  His devastating comments may jar us or have us chuckling, but we fully understand his point of view.  Our Space Brothers are not here to save us, however much our times cry out for change.  The New Age will not save us, not at least until its followers are more aware of the pattern of pitfalls that are now well-researched.

The general impression of cults is that they are small groups that become dedicated to breaking away from wider society in order to toe a line of belief that ensures a 'superior' realisation of reality.  Trends of this nature often stem from channelled material, or from people who have 'inner dialogues' that motivate them to seek followers with similar isolationist views.
One realises in retrospect that preoccupation with repetition or trance indoctrination etc is not only used by individuals and small cults.  Dictatorships and totalitarian societies have become masters of it.  Is not our whole Western civilisation way ahead with the very same tactics?  Think of the never ending torrent of advertising, and the resulting consumerism no matter what the risk to the planet.  This may have become the norm, but when massive wealth from these obsessions and addictions goes to a controlling elite, then surely high levels of indoctrination are at work.  How can we get out of that?
Somehow the quiet touches of humour move us to take the Larsens' message very seriously.  We speculate on how close we can become to being ensnared in shaky beliefs, in paradigms unseen.  Their warnings to those involved in anything cult-like not to get in out of their depth is like a touch on the arm that restores a sense of balance and direction. 

References
Hassan, Steven.  (1990)  Combating Cult Mind Control.
Reed, Graham.  The Psychology of Channelling.
Singer, Margaret Thaler.  (1995) Cults in Our Midst (a video on mind control).
West, Michael A. (editor)  The Psychology of Meditation.

Rick Larsen provides free assistance to people in trouble with cults.  He can be contacted at
PO Box 90, North Beach, Western Australia 6020.  His book is available to Society members at half price ($10).
 
 

Robot Warriors
The Top Secret History of the Pilotless Plane
By Hugh McDaid & David Oliver.  (1997)  ISBN 0 75281 024 3
Book review by Simon Harvey-Wilson

This is a coffee table sized book of interest to those who have ever suspected that some UFO sightings were advanced military craft built here on planet earth, even if their design might have been based on observations or reverse engineering of alien craft.  The authors however make no such speculations.  Robot Warriors is a straightforward history of what the United States Air Force apparently calls UAVs (uninhabited or unmanned aerial vehicles).  The closest it gets to discussing extraterrestrial craft is on the inside cover where it is claimed that the technology of today's UAVs is "so close to the cutting edge of science that they might just as well have been built by aliens."  The book's forward is by Admiral Barton Strong, Head of Cruise Missiles and Unmanned Aircraft for the United States Department of Defence.  Its introduction is by General Kenneth Israel, Director of DARO, Defence Airborne Reconnaissance Office, also for the US Department of Defence.
The book's cover photo is a very flying saucer-like picture of the Lockheed Martin Boeing 'DarkStar' which seems to epitomise the new generation of stealthy hi-tech surveillance UAVs.
Robot Warriors is packed with colour photos of weird looking craft, some so small they look like toy models, while others clearly resemble various shaped UFOs.  I found one of the last chapters the most interesting because the authors discuss future trends and technical developments in space and air power.  It is here that we see an increasing convergence of futuristic aircraft and UFO design.  One cannot say whether this is the result of reverse engineering of alien craft, or perhaps because the universal laws of physics oblige both human and alien aerodynamic engineers to follow the same lines of thought and design parameters.  Nevertheless the points of technical similarity are interesting and should be obvious to UFO enthusiasts.
The authors suggest that in future unmanned combat aerial vehicles (UCAVs) will be carried aboard and launched from larger aircraft, somewhat like flying aircraft-carriers or mother-ships.  Directed energy weapons will become commonplace, as will improved stealth capabilities.  UCAVs will be developed that can fly at hypersonic speeds (more than Mach 5), but which
 

can also loiter in reconnaissance mode at between fifty and one hundred thousand feet.  Increased UCAV manoeuvrability will be necessary.  Without pilots, such craft will be free to reach acceleration speeds well beyond the tolerance limits of even the toughest humans.
Symmetrical designs will enable UAV to accelerate immediately out of harm's way in any direction.  And speaking of futuristic aircraft design in general, the authors also claim that developments in human-machine interaction and lightweight materials will be important.  While this makes it sound as if the authors of Robot Warriors got many of their ideas from reading UFO books, there are also many other suggestion that do not seem relevant to the debate about whether some UFOs are of human or alien construction.  Nevertheless this is an interesting, informative, colourful book for those UFO readers with a technical interest in futuristic aircraft design. 
 
 

Legacy From The Stars
By Dolores Cannon.  (1996)  Ozark Mountain Publishers.
Book Review by Morley Legg
 

Dolores Cannon suggests in the opening chapter that we largely fear aliens because they are an 'unknown' and we fear what we don't understand.  She states that we are all aliens because none of us originated on earth, and that because of reincarnation we have lived on other planets, other dimensions.  She has learned much of this from her subjects and this has led to a philosophy which is scattered through her ten books.  Such material does not draw the average scientific mind to make any inquiries.  A pity indeed when she argues her case well.

Dolores Cannon seems to have fined-tuned her hypnosis technique to activate subjects to tune into scenarios which are taken to be past or future lives.  Some scenes may seem a bit like Star Trek, a bit too bland and easy flowing to be true.  She admits to some editing of taped sessions.  Although Dolores constantly interrupts with questions to clarify and draw out details, we feel she makes honest attempts to make sense of it all.
Initially I had misgivings about reviewing it, but her three volumes on Nostradamus (reviewed in the Journal of Alternative Realities, Volume 5, Issue 1, 1997) was impressive enough to justify a closer look at this one.  She claims to have been practising hypnotic regressions for twenty years.  In the mid-1990s she was invited to speak at a Conscious Living Expo where she gave demonstrations.  Two people whose judgement I respected listened to her and have remained open in their praise of her maturity and rationality.

In the United States in 1987 she was asked to investigate UFO cases with her methods.  This book opens up the subject of alien involvement in human life when none was originally expected.  Around a dozen cases are presented where people are regressed and tell of their experiences as they live in other worlds, sometimes as beings quite alien to humans.

This can be bewildering, enraging or comforting, depending on the rigidity of your points of view.  The overall picture she offers is that we appear to have a soul, a core of energy that can become conscious, that carries on after death and sometimes gets caught in karmic cycles.  The experiences of these people suggest that earth is not our only home and that we have lived countless lives in unusual environments and times.  She claims that past life therapy can dissolve problems that have carried over from past lives, that sometimes a repetitive pattern has been set up through a series of lives.  Her gift for inducing hypnosis often has the client quickly voicing surprise at new perceptions and animatedly telling of scenes and happenings.  Many people experiencing them came to feel they provided a therapeutic release.

Case 2)  Terry, a Roman Catholic is regressed to find himself as an old man in the desert about the time of the birth of Christ.  He describes angelic beings who answer questions concerning 'watchers' who descend from the skies.

Case 5)  Chris felt linked to Nostradamus after reading Dolores Cannon's books on the prophet and expected to make contact with him, but in his first regression he went straight into a life on a scorched planet that had two suns.  He battled with alternating waves of energy that induced spells of trembling.  His companions were greys.  He gave descriptions of passing through a doorway as if passing from one dimension to another.

Case 6)  Steve, described as a "control orientated personality", breaks through to the realisation that he is a space craft, his intelligence is bonded to it to do reconnaissance work in a war.  In a following regression he provided much detail of his life as a saxophone player in the twenties.  In another he is on a small moon that has pyramids, and describes himself as a monkey-like being encased in a membrane.

Case 7)  Mona, in her thirties, begins by being shocked by a spinning sensation.  She also feels she is the mind-power grafted into the controls of a spaceship

Case 9)  Fred, a student with severe stomach disorders revisited his existence as a membrane in the early formation of earth, where he filtered and cleaned earth's atmosphere into air.

Case 10)  Jack was regressed by a novice hypnotist who ran into difficulties and who then called Dolores to take over.  Jack was regressed to the life of a creature who could transfer his consciousness to animals and birds. In another regression he gave details about other creatures on a spaceship where he was a creature with pointed ears.

Case 12)  Pam explores the idea of occupants in UFOs being time travellers from our future and opens up the possibility of us having some access to the past and the future.  Pam found herself in an elaborate underground tunnel that, with the aid of a crystal pyramid, stored knowledge and acted as a materialisation chamber for beings visiting earth.

To the scientifically orientated these books must seem like regression into fantasies and superstition.  However, the spontaneous quality of the perceptions are remarkable.  They do support some of the recent theories of alien intervention.  The people taking part seem mentally healthy and hold responsible places in society.  Of course a sceptic would say, "Surely she must lead them into these fantasies."  However, at times she shows how, when she deliberately tries to lead a subject into a rational explanation, each subject resists and insists their version is correct.  Dolores Cannon seems to have the intuition to ask non-leading questions that draw out this steady flow of ideas and information that can be either true or symbolic of much that is worthy of further study.  Particularly interesting are the accounts of entities bonded into the controls of space craft – reported here from regressions made many years before Colonel Phillip Corso's claims of this in his 1997 book The Day After Roswell.
Before closing a session she often brings the person out of their past life and, while they are still hypnotised, back to the present day.  She then asks if there is any message in that other life that can help them overcome difficulties in their current one.  This is where we realise what a good psychologist she is.  She encourages listening to what the subconscious suggests because, she claims, no therapy can be accomplished without it.  The subconscious has no sense of time and doesn't realise it is now inhabiting a different body, and once it agrees to work with the therapist, amazing changes can occur in the subject's life that would be impossible through psychoanalysis and therapy alone.

She believes more attempts should be made to study history through the lens of past life therapy in order to recover "lost knowledge".  This is a book that attunes us to the possibility of new ways to gain behind-the-scenes-glimpses into the way the universe works. 
 
 

Underground Bases & Tunnels
What is the Government Trying To Hide?
By Richard Sauder.  (1995)  Illinois, USA, Adventures Unlimited Press.
Book review by Simon Harvey-Wilson

Dr Richard Sauder does not claim to be a UFO researcher, but he has certainly done ufology a service by publishing this book.  The UFO literature contains numerous rumours of secret underground bases that are run by aliens and/or the US government.  Using the document search skills that he probably developed in doing his political science doctorate, Sauder has attempted to sort fact from fiction in this field by hunting down all sorts of government, military or industry references to tunnel digging and underground facilities.  To do this he has ferreted through mining company documents, industry conference proceedings, patent applications, as well as scientific, government and military feasibility studies.  What he has discovered is a wealth of documentation which strongly suggest that the United States military-industrial complex has for many years had the capacity to create enormously deep, complex, and well equipped underground facilities for almost any purpose.

Not all underground bases are military ones.  For example the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is reported to cooperate with the Pentagon in administering about fifty secret underground posts which are "equipped to function as an emergency White House" (p.43).  Most of the twelve Federal Reserve Banks, the National Security Agency (NSA), and the leading aerospace companies have their own underground facilities (pp.63 & 68).  There are also several Federal Relocation Centres within a 450km radius of Washington as part of the nuclear war Continuity Of Government (GOG) plan (p.51).

Although Sauder repeatedly states that he cannot prove how many of these facilities actually exist, the implication that at least some of them do is obvious.  The advantages of deep underground bases are that they may be nuclear and sabotage proof, highly secure, and, because they are effectively invisible – especially to satellite surveillance – your enemies and/or the public are unaware of their size, probable cost, and location.
Some critics have objected to claims that such bases exist by saying that it would be impossible to conceal the rubble produced in digging them and anyway, surely all the logistical support and personnel for such bases would be impossible to conceal.  Sauder points out that all the necessary technology exists to equip such bases with their own power, water, cooling and possibly access by high speed underground trains.

For example, as long ago as 26th September 1972 a patent was issued to the United States Atomic Energy Commission for a nuclear powered tunnelling machine that was "designed to convert the rock that it excavates into a molten liquid, which fills cracks in the rocks, bonds to the walls of the tunnel, and leaves behind a smooth, vitreous lining" (illustration 39).  The patent application lists seven inventors, all from Los Alamos in New Mexico.  Sauder also points out that the US Patent Office does not issue patents unless it is reasonably convinced that the invention described does actually work.  This does not prove that such devices are in operation, but this sort of documentation certainly makes one think.

Another very interesting illustration contains a map which shows how the US Environmental Protection Agency "tracks the migration of atomic particles from the Nevada Test Site into the animals and humans of the surrounding environment."  The map "shows the location of about 40 families who are brought into the EPA twice a year for whole-body analysis.  Part of their examination takes place in the reclining chair pictured in the photograph.  The machinery which hangs from the ceiling performs a whole-body scan of the subject" (illustration 45).

There is a similarity between this scenario and reports by UFO abductees who likewise describe being given full-body scans for some, as yet, unknown purpose.  This and other illustrations suggest that the purpose of some animal mutilations could be to monitor the biological distribution of something that aliens and/or covert sections of the US government are interested in.
Underground Bases and Tunnels has fifty pages of illustrations of interest to serious UFO researchers, showing, among other things, the layouts of various types of underground facilities and TBMs (tunnel boring machines).
 
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