Journal of Alternative Realities
                                                    Vol 8,  Issue 1,  2000


People From Other Worlds?                       New Light on Our Origins
Our Mystic Moon                                       UFOs In Raid On Soviet Space Centre
UFOs, Disinformation and Deception          Western Australian Sightings
The Star Children                                        Books on Out-of-Body Experiences
Psychic Surgery in the Philippines                The Biggest Secret
Near-Death Experiences

People From Other Worlds?
Henry Olcott, the Eddys and Materialization Phenomena
By John Frodsham

Colonel Henry Steele Olcott is best known to posterity as the joint founder, along with Madame Blavatsky (1831-91) of the Theosophical Society.  When the Society was established in December 1895, Olcott became its first Chairman.  It was largely due to his administrative ability and the energy with which he devoted himself to his work, that the Society was able to establish itself firmly enough to withstand and survive the storm of controversy which the scandal centring around Madame Blavatsky later unleashed against Theosophy.

It would be as well to point out at this stage, in view of what follows, that the Blavatsky scandal in no way implicated Olcott, who emerged from it with his honesty unscathed.  This is just as well, for he is best known today for his singular work, People From The Other Worlds, which caused something of a sensation when it first appeared in 1875 and has provoked a good deal of controversy ever since.  Olcott’s book, a weighty tome of over four hundred pages, provides us with a detailed record of a variety of materialisations “seen, heard and felt”, as he puts it, at the homestead of the Eddy family in the township of Chittenden, Vermont.  Olcott was sent there in 1874 by the New York Daily Graphic to investigate reports of unaccountable happenings in the Eddys’ home.  He stayed with the Eddys for ten weeks, during which time he witnessed a series of what must certainly be among the most remarkable happenings in the history of psychic research.  He told his story in a series of fifteen long articles in the Daily Graphic, which were later published as a book.

Olcott’s investigations were by no means scientific but they were certainly thorough and he himself emerges as a shrewd, hard-headed and competent fellow, though how far his accounts of what occurred were coloured by an attempt to appeal to the readers of the Daily Graphic we shall never know.  But to dismiss his reports out of hand, as apparently most writers on this subject have done, as either the ravings of a lunatic or the fables of the biggest liar since Baron Munchausen is clearly preposterous.  His story needs serious critical investigation, for the phenomena he described do not seem nearly so outlandish when we consider them in the context of other reports of materialisations current both at this time and later.

The two Eddy brothers, Horatio and William, came from a family which had displayed psychic powers for many generations.  Their mother, a girl of Scots descent, was a well-known clairvoyant as was her mother before her.  Her great-great-great grandmother had actually been tried and sentenced to death at Salem for witchcraft in 1692.  All the children inherited their mother’s abilities, much to their father’s dismay.  Convinced that they were the spawn of the devil he beat his children so mercilessly that they bore the scars to their dying day.  When William once fell into a trance, the father encouraged a neighbour of his to pour boiling water down his back and put a blazing coal from the hearth onto his head in an attempt to awaken him.  With  the advent of the Fox sisters in 1848, however, spiritualism became popular in the United States and the father hired the children out as mediums to a showman who took them around the United States and later to London for a season.  The four children became in effect a psychic travelling circus.  They suffered brutally at the hands of their audiences.  It was the fashion in those days to tie mediums up hand and foot so that they could not play tricks on the audience, so the soft young metacarpal bones of the children were squeezed out of shape by the remorseless pressure of the cruelly tight ropes while their arms were covered with scars from boiling sealing wax, which had been put on the bonds to make sure they could not be undone.  As Olcott (p.27) puts it graphically: “Every girl and boy of them has a marked groove between the ends of the ulna and radius and the articulation of the bones of the hand, and every one of them is scarred by hot sealing wax.  Two of the girls showed me scars where pieces of flesh had been pinched out by handcuffs used by ‘committees’?fools who seem to have been unable to discover suspected fraud without resort to brutal violence on the persons of children.”

It is well to remember when we hear allegations of the fraudulent practices and trickery of these early mediums that the tough, Yankee audiences of the time, who had paid good money to see spiritualist manifestations, were no fools.  They did not care what brutality they resorted to as long as they could be quite sure they were not being tricked.  Some of the quaint illustrations in Olcott’s book show devices used on these children which would have done credit to the Inquisition.  At Little Falls, NY, the children were tied to wooden crosses with whipcord and kept there until the blood trickled from under their fingernails owing to the tightness with which they were bound.  In Albany, NY, they were fastened down by their fingers to the floor for two hours, their wrists being so swollen in consequence that they were in great pain for days afterwards.  In addition to this, when the children did oblige their tormentors by producing genuine phenomena, they were more often than not mobbed as emissaries of the devil and frequently had to fly for their lives.  Orthodox opinion was so scandalised by spiritualism that at one place the children barely escaped tar and feathers, while in South Danvers they were fired upon and assaulted.  William was shot through the ankle and Mary through the arm, while Horatio escaped with a stab wound and Lynn with a broken finger and other injuries.

I have dwelt at some length upon the barbarities inflicted upon the Eddy children because I think it essential to counteract the misapprehension that the early days of spiritualism were characterised by cunning and unscrupulous mediums defrauding a trusting and gullible public.  Far from it.  Even the most cursory reading of the history of spiritualism discloses the fact that the public, so far from being gullible, was determined to see that it should not be imposed upon, while in the United States at least mediums ran the risk of being beaten or even lynched if they were so much as suspected of fraudulence.  Under these circumstances, the Eddys’ performance as mediums must rank very high indeed in the annals of psychic history.

During the ten weeks he spent with them, Olcott was unable to discover any evidence of fraud or deception whatsoever, in spite of the fact that he attended dozens of seances and inspected the house from top to bottom, even going so far as to call a qualified architect in to make sure that there were no hidden doors or cupboards.  Olcott himself seems to have been genuinely convinced of the Eddys’ powers.  As he puts it himself: “It will scarcely be said that children who, like Elisha, were caught up and conveyed from one place to another, and in whose presence weird forms were materialised as they lay in their trundle beds, were playing pranks to tax the credulity of an observant public, which was ignorant of their very existence.  It will not be seriously urged, I fancy, against youth, whose bodies were scored with the lash, cicatrized by burning wax, by pinching manacles, by the knife, the bullet and by boiling water, who were starved, driven to the woods to save their lives from parental violence; who were forced to travel year after year and exhibit their occult powers for others’ gain; who were mobbed and stoned, shot at and reviled; who could not get even an ordinary country school education like other children, nor enjoy the companionship of boys and girls of their own age; it will not be urged against such as these that they were in conspiracy to deceive when they had everything to gain and nothing to lose by abandoning the fraud and being like other folk.  The idea is preposterous; and we must infer that whatever may be the source of the phenomena they are at least objective and not subjective?the result of some external force independent of the medium’s wishes and manifesting itself when the penalty of its manifestation was to subject the unfortunates to bodily torture and mental anguish.” (Olcott, 1972)

Judging from what we are told of their attainments, the Eddies would seem to represent precisely that type of universal medium whose psychic powers had led them unerringly to the stake in earlier periods.  Not only did they excel as materialisation mediums but they were also known for their remarkable powers of telekinesis, of prophecy, of xenoglossy (speaking in strange tongues), of healing, of levitation, of psychometry (the reading of a person’s character through objects belonging to him), of clairvoyance and clairaudience and automatic writing.  Olcott remarks that although much has been made of the story of D.D. Home floating out of one third-storey window and in through another, Home’s exploits can hardly compare with those of the Eddys, one of whom was carried one summer night a distance of three miles to a mountain top, while Horatio was levitated twenty-six evenings in succession in the Lyceum Hall in Buffalo, even though tied to a chair, and was once found hanging by the back of the chair from a chandelier hook in the ceiling.  Such reports, one may add, are not to be taken lightly.  There are several completely authenticated cases of levitation known in Europe, among them that of Colin Evans who demonstrated levitation at a mass seance in North London in 1938.  (An infra-red photograph of this feat has been reproduced in several publications).  But an English audience of 1938 was very much more tolerant than a group of ignorant farmers in the backwoods of America in the middle of the last century, so it is hardly surprising that the Eddys were often forced to flee for their lives as emissaries of the devil if only half the stories that we hear of their levitations and other feats are true.

After the death of their parents the Eddys continued to live on their farm in Chittenden, plagued and obsessed all the time by the invisible powers and dominions that would not let them be.  They were a strange, close-knit family, embittered and sullen from the treatment they had received as children, deeply suspicious of the rest of the world, turning largely to each other for comfort and consolation.  Eventually, to alleviate their harsh poverty, they hit upon the idea of holding seances in their own house.  Since people came from far and wide to see them they generally allowed their visitors to stay with them as paying guests for as long as they desired.  Olcott attempted to get to know the Eddys during his lengthy stay, but found them so distrustful and reserved that he was never really able to make contact with them.

The seances at Chittenden were held in a first-storey room which Olcott describes in considerable detail.  He states that he had the room thoroughly inspected, reproducing a statutory declaration from “an inventor of many years’ experience and a grantee of twenty-three patents by the United States Government” to the effect that: “He has thoroughly examined the walls, windows, ceiling and floor of William H. Eddy’s ‘cabinet’ and the floor of the platform upon which it opens and there is no possible means by which confederates could be introduced into the said cabinet except through the open door in full face of the audience; nor any place where costumes or apparatus could be stowed.  Furthermore, that after witnessing numerous materialisations by alleged spirits, he is perfectly satisfied that the phenomena, whatever may be their origin, are not produced by jugglery, the personation of characters by William H. Eddy, or chemical or mechanical device.”

In the light of this, Olcott concludes: “Granted that certain forms, apparently differing in sizes, colours, costumes, sex and age present themselves on the platform they must be either (1) deceptive impersonations by one man or (2) the manifestations of an occult force.  There is no escape from the syllogism.  The battle must be fought out at the cabinet door.  I realised this the first day I came; I realise it ten-fold now.  The weeks I spent there, were weeks of as hard mental labour as I ever gave to any subject in my whole life.  I passed through every degree of incredulity and distrust.  I was ever on the watch lest I might miss some new circumstance calculated to overturn my formed opinion and ever ready to confess myself a dupe of imposters if the fact could be demonstrated to me, but I finally reached the same point with Mr Morrill?that whatever might be thought of the cause of the phenomena they were not due to charlatanry or prestidigitation” (p.83).

At this juncture we are entitled to ask whether we may trust Olcott as an observer.  If what Olcott says is true, and it would have been impossible for the Eddys to produce the phenomena he witnessed either through the use of confederates or by conjuring tricks, then we are left either with the possibility that Olcott and the audience were victims of mass hallucination over a period of ten weeks or that Olcott himself was an unmitigated liar.  Neither of these alternatives seems even remotely possible.  Contrary to popular belief, hallucination?especially mass hallucination?is a rare phenomenon and the possibility that it could occur at the Eddy’s house night after night for years on end is too preposterous to merit serious consideration.  We are left then with the question of Olcott’s veracity.  Although he wrote these articles for a newspaper, Olcott was not a professional journalist and may therefore be reasonably assumed to have been free from that passion for a good story at the expense of the literal truth which so often inspires professional journalists.  Furthermore, as I remarked earlier, his conduct in the Blavatsky scandal does him credit and would certainly appear to have placed his moral character above suspicion.  Moreover, Olcott came late to spiritualism and spent most of his life as a very shrewd Yankee businessman.  He is hardly the sort of person whom we would expect to have gone in for highly embroidered stories about spiritualist marvels.  It is much more likely that he would have seized the occasion, had it presented itself, to expose any fraud he had come across.

Olcott arrived in Chittenden in September 1874 highly sceptical of the stories he had heard and determined to expose the Eddys if he found they were imposing upon the public.  He was agreeably surprised to discover that the first phantom to appear on the evening of his arrival was that of an Indian woman named Honto, realising that this in itself was evidential since there were no Indians left around Chittenden at that period.  Olcott pointed out that he saw this particular phantom about thirty times and even measured her against a painted scale he had placed beside the cabinet door.  He was adamant that she bore not the slightest resemblance to William Eddy nor to any other member of the family, adding that the length of her hair varied from very long to quite short.  Apart from her curious habit of sinking into the floor from time to time, Honto seemed every bit as human as her audience.  On one occasion, however, a Mrs Cleveland asked if she could feel the beating of Honto’s heart, whereupon she opened her dress and allowed the lady to put her hand upon her bare breast, which apparently felt cold and moist and not like that of a living person.  Nevertheless, this phantom had a heartbeat which could be felt at the wrist as well.  A similar observation was made of the celebrated phantom, Katie King, whose pulse, as taken by a medical man present at the séance, was seventy-five compared with the medium’s ninety.
After Honto’s appearance, so Olcott informs us, two other squaws materialised, one called Bright Star and another Daybreak, both of them quite different in appearance from Honto.  They were followed by an Indian called Santum who stood over six feet three inches in height, far taller than either of the Eddy brothers.  He wore a hunting shirt of dressed buckskin with a powder horn slung across his shoulder.  Curiously enough this horn had been presented to Santum by a visitor some time before, so it remained behind each time he dematerialised, awaiting his next appearance.

Several phantoms of white men then made their appearance, all of whom were positively identified by members of the audience.  The first of these was a certain William H. Reynolds, a colonel of the Fourteenth New York Artillery who had died some months before of fever.  He was followed by his brother, John E. Reynolds, a Harvard graduate who had died fourteen years before.  Neither of these phantoms bore the slightest resemblance either in dress, physique or features to any of the Eddy family.  The next phantom to appear was apparently an habitual visitor.  He was the deceased father-in-law of Delia Eddy, who spoke “like a living man”, much to Olcott’s amazement, for most of the other phantoms were mute.  The evening closed with the appearance of an old woman, accompanied by a child of twelve or thirteen and a baby of about a year old (Olcott, p.140).

William Eddy, the medium, did not work in complete darkness, but in subdued light.  This meant that Olcott could actually see the phantoms and was not reduced simply to hearing them.  In order to help him judge their heights, he had two strips of white muslin painted out in feet and inches tacked on either side of the cabinet door.  By this means he was able to judge that the tallest phantom, Santum, “was almost six foot three inches in height and the smallest just over two feet tall” (Olcott, p.191).  This discrepancy in the heights is one of the surest indications that neither William Eddy nor any of his family could possibly have been responsible for these manifestations, since nobody in the family was that tall or that small.

On another occasion, shortly after his arrival, Olcott saw no fewer than seventeen spirits, none of them Indians this time, manifest themselves in the course of a single evening.  There were, he asserts, seven males, five women, three children and two babies.  Certain sceptics insisted that the babies were but an optical illusion caused by the medium wrapping white bandages around his legs and waving them out of the cabinet.  Olcott was properly scornful of this.  He pointed out that the smallest child he saw that evening bowed and curtsied to its mother in the audience when she asked it if it were really her own.  Furthermore, many of these phantoms, if not most of them, were recognised by the sitters present and since the light was dim, though not good, it was possible to make out the features of these apparitions without too much trouble.  Certain apparitions appeared again and again.  Honto and Mr Brown, the “talking spirit” as Olcott calls him, appeared at every seance.  Another frequent visitor was the phantom-mother of a certain Mr Pritchard, a lady who was identified many times not only by her son but by his sister and her many grandchildren, who were cordially invited to come up to the platform and be bugged and kissed by the old lady, though Olcott does not tell us whether or not they accepted this eerie invitation.

In Olcott’s opinion, Mrs Pritchard was the most satisfactory materialisation he had ever witnessed, since she not only appeared very frequently but was seen and recognised by so many of her relations.  On the evening of September 27, this domesticated phantom seated herself cosily in a chair by her son’s side and held a long, intimate conversation with him about the projected visit of her daughter to Chittenden.  Olcott noticed that as they talked the old lady was fingering her white muslin apron in a peculiar manner, pinching it up into folds until she reached the bottom hem and then smoothing it out again.  He mentioned this to Pritchard after the seance and was told that it had been his mother’s habit to do this when she was alive and that any of her acquaintances could have identified her by this nervous trick alone (Olcott, p.267).

After he had stayed at the Eddys’ for a week or so, Olcott decided that he would only be satisfied as to the genuineness of the phenomena if William Eddy would agree to hold a sitting in the family living-room and not in the hall where the seances generally took place, since this would eliminate once and for all the possibility of deception.

William not only readily agreed to this but managed that evening to produce a greater variety of phantoms than Olcott had seen during his entire stay at the house.  The first one to appear was the indefatigable Honto who, as Olcott puts it, “stepped to the dining-room door, lifted the latch and threw it open; then began capering about in her usual way, as if she were in fine spirits.… Then she stepped to the right of the cabinet door and stood just opposite me looking intently upon the floor, by the mop-board.  There was nothing to be seen at first but the bare planks, but presto! as I watched, I suddenly saw a heap of something black, as it might be a piece of a woman’s dress or a quantity of black netting.  She stretched out her hand, and daintily picked it up with thumb and forefinger, held it open and it was?one of her shawls!  Thus within a few feet of my nose she exhibited the whole process of materialising fabrics, and left me in a very pleased mood, as may be imagined” (p.277).

Honto was followed by a young woman carrying a child who was recognised by her sister as Mrs Josephine Dow, who had died twenty-four years before at the age of nineteen.  She stood there for some time to enable an artist by the name of Kappes to sketch her, much to Olcott’s astonishment.  It is, incidentally, a pity that Olcott did not bring a photographer along with him rather than an artist.  Photography was certainly advanced enough at that time to have given us quite adequate pictures of the phenomena that appeared at the Eddys’ house.  However, newspapers could not as yet reproduce photographs and it was for this reason that Kapps was sent along by the Daily Graphic, for his sketches could be reproduced as illustrations to Olcott’s articles.

Mrs Dow was followed by the phantom of William Packard, who moved along the wall to a position where his figure was thrown into relief by the light-coloured wallpaper so that the artist could sketch him the more easily.  He was wearing a dark suit, a single-breasted waistcoat and a white shirt with a collar, quite different attire from the medium, who was dressed in an ordinary gingham shirt.  Other phantoms then appeared, among them a Mrs Eaton, whom Olcott describes as “a little old wrinkled woman in an old-fashioned mob-cap, a greyish dress and a check, woollen shoulder shawl” (p.282).  She was followed by an old man who, in answer to a question from one of his relatives, replied that he had died thirty-nine years before at the age of eighty-two.  Then Augusta, a fourteen-year-old, appeared and smiled at her mother who was sitting next to Olcott.  Finally, the evening was brought to a close by the materialisation of a certain Jeremiah McCready of Cayuga County, New York.  All these phantoms were recognised by their relatives.

Olcott was especially impressed by both the appearance and the subsequent disappearance of the baby.  He was adamant that he had seen a child and not an impersonation put forth by the medium.  “The figure stood too near me and in too good a light to admit of such deceptions being practised.  It was a living, moving child which, with its right thumb in its mouth, nestled its little head in the neck of its bearer and passed its chubby left arm around her neck.... Made from the imponderable atoms floating in the foul air of that chamber, it was resolved into nothing in an instant of time, leaving no trace of its evanescent existence behind” (p.288).

Olcott’s testimony borders on the incredible.  Nevertheless, unless we assume that he was an arrant liar we must be prepared to give it serious consideration.  For one thing, although he was not working under laboratory conditions nevertheless he did his best to give scientific accuracy to his investigations.  He thoroughly examined the house and its surroundings, even going to the extent of bringing in an expert from outside to make quite sure he had missed nothing.  He brought a weighing scale from New York, obtained a certificate to the effect that it was accurate and then persuaded the Indian woman, Honto, to stand upon it and be weighed.  The results he obtained are extremely interesting.  She was a woman five foot three inches in height and should have weighed at least one hundred and ten pounds.  What she actually weighed was eighty-eight, fifty-eight, fifty-eight and sixty-five pounds in four successive weighings on the same evening.  This remarkable discrepancy in the weights of a single phantom agrees with results obtained many years later with other phantoms.  In other words, Honto’s apparently solid body was a mere simulacrum which drew its being in the form of ectoplasm from the medium and the sitters.  W.J. Crawford, working on this problem some forty years later, was to show that both the medium and the sitters contributed ectoplasm to the formation of phantoms.  The highest loss of weight that Crawford ever recorded in his medium, Miss Goligher, was fifty-two pounds, but he also showed that every member of the circle had contributed a few ounces of weight to the building of the ectoplasm.

Olcott also brought in two spring balances in order to test the power of the hands which had materialised one evening.  A left hand exerted a force of forty pounds on the balance and a right hand of fifty pounds, in a light which was so good that Olcott was able to see that the little finger was missing from the right hand (Olcott, p.257).  Under the circumstances one feels Olcott did his best even though he was not working in a laboratory.  He certainly cannot be accused of going about his investigations in a credulous or unmethodical manner.

This leaves us with only one burning question: Was Olcott a liar?  I have already pointed out that before his experiences at Chittenden Olcott had had no contact with spiritualism whatsoever and was, if anything, something of a sceptic.  Certainly, there is no indication that he went to Chittenden with any intention except to investigate the reports of strange occurrences there.  Even so, if we had no testimony other than that of Olcott we would, I think, find it hard to believe him.  What makes his story credible is the number of testimonies signed by well-known professional men which bear out his reports.  One testimonial signed by a Dr R. Hodgson and four other reputable witnesses certified that “Santum was out on the platform and another Indian of almost as great stature came out and the two passed and repassed each other as they walked up and down.... At the same time a conversation was being carried on between George Dix, Mayflower, Mr Morse and Mrs Eaton.  We recognised the voice of each.  We had examined the cabinet that evening and helped clear it of some plaster and other rubbish.  There was no window in it then” (Olcott, p.198).

Another certificate, signed by a businessman, Edward B. Pritchard, of Albany, New York, attests that “certain mysterious phenomena known as ‘spirit materialisations’ occurred; that among other forms presenting themselves and identified by persons in the audience as the shapes of deceased friends and relatives, there appeared the figure of an Indian woman known as Honto who approached so close to deponent that he distinctly saw every feature of her countenance, and her entire body; that he is well-acquainted with William H. Eddy and avows that the said Honto bore no resemblance whatever to him in any particular.  A deponent further says that a pair of platform scales being previously placed convenient to his reach, the said Honto stood thereupon four separate times for deponent to weigh her, and that without having apparently changed her bulk, or divested herself of any portion of her dress, she weighed respectively eighty-eight pounds, fifty-eight pounds, fifty-eight pounds and sixty-five pounds at the several [four] weighings.”  This particular certificate was subscribed and sworn on September 30, 1875, before H.F. Baird, a local Justice of the Peace (Olcott, p.243).

The most astonishing manifestations that Olcott witnessed, however, were connected with the renowned Madame Blavatsky whom he met at Chittenden when she arrived there on October 14, 1874.  On that very evening a phantom materialised colourfully clad in a Georgian jacket, baggy trousers, yellow leather leggings and a white fez, an apparition whom Blavatsky recognised at once as a certain Michalko Guegidze of Kutais, Georgia, a serf who had once waited upon her at a relative’s house.  Madame Blavatsky asked him in both Georgian and Russian if he were really Michalko and then requested him to play a famous national tune, the Lezguinka, followed by another Georgian dance known as Tiris! Tiris! Barbarè.  Michalko promptly played these exotic songs, the music of which Olcott transcribes in his book.  When this account was published in the Daily Graphic, Olcott received two letters from a bemused businessman in Philadelphia, stating that he was himself a native Georgian, one of the only three Georgians in the United States, and that he had known Michalko when the latter had lived in Kutais as the serf of Alexander Guegidse, a Georgian nobleman.  He went on to point out that Lezguinka was indeed a Georgian dance while the other tune was a Georgian air “commonly sung by lower classes and peasantry” (Olcott, p.298).
The presence in a farmhouse in the wilds of Vermont of a Georgian-speaking phantasm, whose identity was confirmed by an independent witness is in itself a striking coincidence.  It also decisively corroborates Olcott’s story and by implication, the rest of his narrative as well.

The following evening, to the general astonishment, another Georgian phantom calling itself Hassan Agha appeared.  Madame Blavatsky claimed to recognise him as a wealthy merchant from Tiflis whom she had once known well.  He appeared gorgeously attired in a long yellow coat, Turkish trousers and a black astrakhan cap covered with the national bashlik or hood, with its tasselled ends thrown over his shoulder (p.310).  Along with him came a Russian peasant woman who was greeted with delight as a retainer of the Blavatsky family?an old nurse who had looked after Madam Blavatsky and her sister when they were children.  Both of these phantoms addressed her, the one in Russian and the other in Georgian (p.310).  To cap it all, a picturesquely dressed Kurdish warrior, carrying a spear over twelve feet in length, later walked out from the cabinet.  He was identified as Safar Ali Bek lbrahim Bek Ogli, who had been one of the Kurdish bodyguard attached to Blavatsky’s late husband when he was Vice-Governor of Erivan (p.320).

The artist, Kappes, who had accompanied Olcott to Chittenden to provide illustrations for the Daily Graphic, sketched all these phantoms where they stood, thus providing us with an independent witness to Olcott’s veracity.  Olcott’s book reproduces a bold drawing of this Kurdish warrior with his long spear in his hand, a weapon which Olcott asserts he had conjured up from the air even as they watched.  Even more astonishing was the appearance of a tall Negro dressed in a short tunic, wearing on his head four horns with bent tips with brass balls hanging from each point.  Madame Blavatsky promptly recognised this phantom as chief of a party of African jugglers whom she had once encountered in upper Egypt.

In his History of Spiritualism (1926), Arthur Conan Doyle comments favourably upon Olcott’s reports of the ten weeks he spent investigating the Eddys.  As the creator of Sherlock Holmes, Conan Doyle himself could hardly be said to have an uncritical or credulous intellect, yet he accepts without demur Olcott’s assertion that he saw four hundred apparitions appear from the Eddy’s cabinet.  His only reservation was that he did not believe that the sitters could infallibly recognise the spirits of their relatives since: “With a dim light and an emotional condition, it is easy for an honest observer to be mistaken.  The author has had the opportunity of gazing into the faces of at least a hundred of these images, and he can only recall two cases in which he was absolutely certain in his recognition.  In both these cases the faces were self-illuminated and he had not to depend upon the red lamp.  There were two other occasions when, with the red lamp, he was morally certain that in the vast majority of cases it was possible, if one allowed one’s imagination to work, to read anything into the vague moulds which rose before one.  It is likely that this occurred in the Eddy circle.  The real miracle consisted not in the recognition but in the presence of the figure at all” (Doyle, 1926, p.267).

The fact that so shrewd an observer as Conan Doyle had carefully examined Olcott’s account and was prepared to grant that these materialisations had actually occurred is highly significant.  In fact, he goes so far as to reprove Olcott for his hesitations and reservations about what he had seen, pointing out that his concern that the phenomena he had witnessed were not experienced under “test conditions” was quite unjustified.  “This expression ‘test conditions’ has become a sort of shibboleth which loses all meaning.  Thus, when you say that you have beyond all question or doubt seen your own dead mother’s face before you, the objector replies: ‘Ah, but was it under test conditions?’  The test lies in the phenomenon itself.  When one considers that Olcott was permitted for ten weeks to examine the little wooden enclosure which served as the cabinet, to occlude the window, to search the medium, to measure and to weigh the ectoplasmic forms, one wonders what else he would demand in order to make assurance complete” (Doyle, p.97).

Conan Doyle has made a very good point.  This early literature has on the whole been completely disregarded by researchers in parapsychology as quite unscientific.  It is alleged that we cannot possibly trust any of these accounts; that the narrators themselves are not qualified observers; that the phenomena did not take place under laboratory conditions and that it all happened so long ago that it is impossible to take it seriously.  But none of these arguments seem to me to hold water.  A narrative must be judged by its own internal consistency as well as the critical comments of the time.  What we are dealing with here, after all, is history.  Olcott’s book is an historical document which has to be weighed and assessed in exactly the same way as any other historical document.  The fact that the occurrences it described are themselves apparently incredible should not deter us from making a judgment, let alone inspire us to dismiss the matter out of hand but rather make us even more cautious and thorough in our critical approaches to the text.

This means that the historian has to scrutinise the text closely for inconsistencies, falsehoods, contradictions and obviously inaccurate reporting.  At the same time, he has to use all the other historical evidence he can obtain and bring it to bear upon the text.
In this case we are dealing with the known character of Olcott, his position as a reporter for the Daily Graphic and his previous and subsequent status as an observer.  We are fortunate that Olcott has left us a detailed and intimate account of his own life in his other book, Old Diary Leaves, which enables us to form a much clearer idea of his capabilities and shortcomings.  On the basis of this, we should be prepared to conclude that Olcott was a courageous and truthful observer who was not afraid to state what he believed he had witnessed, even though such testimony would do nothing to increase either his popularity or his standing in the community.

We must also be prepared to look closely at other journalists involved.  Olcott’s account of the Eddys is substantiated by many other writers, among them C.C. Massey and M.D. Shindler.  Massey, who spent a fortnight with the Eddys, while insistent that few of the sitters could recognise the phantoms which appeared, never doubted what he saw.  Shindler’s book A Southerner Among The Spirits (1877) also provides valuable corroboration of Olcott’s assertions.

Furthermore, Olcott’s articles in the Daily Graphic caused a nation-wide sensation, with the result that almost all the major American dailies sent reporters to Chittenden.  Over the next few months the Eddys’ home was invaded by a score of hard-bitten, sceptical  journalists from all over the United States.  To the best of my knowledge none of these men was prepared to contradict the major part of what Olcott had said.
In the light of all this I believe we must be prepared to take Olcott’s allegations seriously.  We can no more dismiss them out of hand than we can dismiss any other historical document which has been proved largely trustworthy and consistent by both internal and external evidence.  It is not enough to be able to say simply: “What Olcott relates is impossible, therefore it could not have happened”.  Such a procedure, though totally inadmissible, appears to have been adopted as a general rule by practically all modern psychical researchers and historians of the occult.

Olcott on the whole emerges extremely well from this inquiry.  After the lapse of over a century he still comes across to us as a practical man full of shrewdness and commonsense who was prepared to spend ten uncomfortable weeks living in a primitive farmhouse in the middle of an isolated rural community in the company of uncongenial people in order to discover the truth about materialisation.  I find his character portraits of the Eddys singularly convincing.  They were illiterate farmers endowed, unfortunately for them, with a rare and perilous gift.  Had they been born into a more congenial culture?say that of India, China or Tibet?they would undoubtedly have achieved resounding fame as holy men, shamans or magicians.  As it was, they were thrust by some ironic trick of fate into one of the roughest sections of the American backwoods at a time when the prevailing philosophy was a crude and intolerant materialism, coupled with a bigoted and sometimes brutalised version of fundamentalist Christianity.

Circumstances could not have been more unfavourable for them.  The miracle is rather that they were allowed to survive at all.  Had they been born even a century or so earlier, they would undoubtedly have met their fate, like so many of their kind, in the agony of a blazing bonfire.  No wonder, then, that they were surly, suspicious and often downright hostile.  They did not get on with Olcott, who was their social and intellectual superior, nor he with them.  But this only makes his testimony as to the magnitude and vigour of their mediumistic powers all the more convincing.

In the final analysis the question we must ask ourselves is simply this: Did Olcott really see what he claimed to have seen?  Unpalatable though it may seem to many of us, the answer must be an unqualified “Yes”.  The phantoms that came into being on the stage of that lonely farmhouse so long ago were real enough, for they were witnessed by many observers.  The presence of these four hundred entities of many shapes and diverse nationalities, talking half a dozen different tongues, among them languages as remote as Georgian, constitutes perhaps the most astonishing, sustained demonstration of mediumistic power ever witnessed.  The Eddy family must undoubtedly rank as the greatest materialisation mediums of both the nineteenth and the twentieth centuries.  ?

Doyle, A.C.  (1926)  The History of Spiritualism, Volume 1.  New York: George H. Doran.
Olcott, H.S.  (1875/1972)  People From The Other Worlds.  Rutland, Vermont: Charles E. Tuttle.
Shindler, M.D. (1877) A Southerner Among The Spirits. Memphis, Tennessee: Southern Baptist Publication Society.

Our Mystic Moon
So Much More Than Green Cheese
By Michael Jordan

Any traveller knows that if you really want to find out everything about a particular destination, there is no substitute for a direct visit.  However, this has not proved to be the case with our mysterious moon.  In fact, despite half a dozen visits by astronauts between 1969 and 1972, it’s fair to say that more questions have been generated since that period than existed previously: prompting science journalist Earl Ubell to write in the New York Times, “The lunar Rosetta stone remains a mystery.  The moon is more complicated than anyone expected; it is not simply a kind of billiard ball frozen in space and time, as many scientists had believed.  Few of the fundamental questions have been answered, but the Apollo rocks and recordings have spawned a score of mysteries, a few truly breath-stopping” (Ubell, p.32).

The number of anomalies surfacing as scientists attempt to probe the secrets of the moon’s origin, composition and relationship to Earth, can only be described as astonishing.  A Harvard astronomy journal reported in 1973 that one moon rock was found to be 5.3 billion years old, which makes it almost a billion years older than Earth.  In addition, not only did chemical analysis show the lunar dust in which the rocks were found to be a billion years older than the rocks themselves, but that the composition of the lunar rocks differed completely from the soil in the area around them.  If dust and soil are the result of the weathering of surrounding rock, how did this come about?  Geophysicists are at a complete loss to explain how a number of rich refractory compounds such as titanium, usually concentrated in the interior of a world, found their way on to the moon’s surface in large quantities.  Ubell asks the question, “If the Earth and moon were created at the same time, near each other, why has one body got all the iron and the other (the moon) not much?  The differences suggest that earth and moon came into being far from each other, an idea that stumbles over the inability of astrophysicists to explain how exactly the moon became a satellite of the earth” (Ubell, p.173).

Despite the late Carl Sagan’s assurance in his 1966 book Intelligent Life in the Universe, that “a natural satellite cannot be a hollow object”, there is amazing evidence that the moon could indeed be hollow.  In 1969 the crew of Apollo Twelve, in an attempt to create an artificial moonquake sent the ascent stage of the lunar module crashing back down to the moon’s surface.  To everyone’s surprise the highly sensitive seismic equipment recorded something totally unexpected.  For more than one hour, the moon continued to reverberate like a bell.  Dr Frank Press of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) commented, “None of us have seen anything like this on Earth.  In all our experience, it is quite an extraordinary event.  That this rather small impact ... produced a signal which lasted thirty minutes is quite beyond the range of our experience” ( Marrs, p.6).

When Apollo Thirteen’s third stage was deliberately sent hurtling into the lunar surface by radio signal, crashing with the impact of eleven tons of TNT, NASA claimed that the moon, “reacted like a gong.”  Seismic equipment as distant as one hundred and seventy-three kilometres from the crash site recorded reverberations lasting for three hours and twenty minutes and travelling to a depth of thirty-five to forty kilometres.  Writer Don Wilson in Secrets of our Spaceship Moon, claims that one NASA scientist had admitted that the United States government had conducted a series of experiments (without any public announcement) to determine if the moon is hollow.  Nobel prize winning chemist Dr Harold Urey suggested that the reduced density of the moon was due to the fact that large areas inside the moon were “simply a cavity” and Dr Sean Solomin of MIT wrote, “the Lunar Orbiter experiments vastly improved our knowledge of the moon’s gravitational field ... indicating the frightening possibility that the moon might be hollow.”

The burning question that everyone would like answered is how our moon came to be there in the first place.  It’s the only moon in the solar system that has a stationary, near-perfect orbit.  Even stranger, its centre of mass is about eighteen hundred metres closer to the Earth than its geometric centre (which should cause it to wobble), but the moon’s bulge is on the far side of the moon, away from the earth.  How did it come to be in orbit with its precise course, altitude and speed?  Coupled with this is the ‘coincidence’ that the moon is just the right distance, not to mention the right diameter, to completely cover the sun during an eclipse, causing Isaac Asimov to comment, “There is no astronomical reason why the moon and the sun should fit so well, it is the sheerest of coincidences, and only the Earth among all the planets is blessed in this fashion.”  In his excellent book Alien Agenda, award-winning writer Jim Marrs includes this fascinating passage from science writer William Roy Sheldon:
“It is important to remember that something had to put the moon at or near its present circular pattern around the earth.  Just as an Apollo spacecraft circling the Earth every ninety minutes, while one hundred and sixty kilometres high, has to have a velocity of roughly twenty-nine thousand kilometres per hour to stay in orbit, so something has to give the moon the precisely required velocity for its weight and altitude.  The point ?and it is one seldom noted in considering the origin of the moon?is that it is extremely unlikely that any object would just stumble into the right combination of factors required to stay in orbit.  ‘Something’ had to put the moon at its altitude, on its course and at its speed.  The question is: what was that something?” (Sheldon, 1970, p.58)

Two Russian scientists, Michael Vasin and Alexander Shcherbakov advanced an amazing theory in relation to the origin of the moon, in an article published in the Soviet journal Sputnik, in 1970.  In the article entitled, ‘Is the Moon the Creation of Alien Intelligence?’ they theorise that the moon is not a completely natural world but a planetoid that was hollowed out by the technology of intelligent beings who directed it through the cosmos and placed it in precise orbit around the earth.  In their extraordinary article the Soviet scientists wrote:
“Abandoning the traditional paths of ‘common sense’, we have plunged into what may at first seem to be unbridled and irresponsible fantasy.  But the more minutely we go into all the information gathered by man about the moon, the more we are convinced that there is not a single fact to rule out our supposition.  Not only that, but many things so far considered to be lunar enigmas are explainable in the light of this new hypothesis” (Marrs, p.10).

In support of this idea, writer Don Wilson in Secrets of Our Spaceship Moon, appeals to scientists to re-examine the theory in keeping with new information supplied by the Apollo missions, adding, “Scientists themselves are continuing to uncover bewildering and baffling scientific facts that indicate that the moon is not what it seems, but a world that may not be entirely natural” (Wilson, p.11).  Having examined and rejected a number of theories, modern science now tends to be leaning towards the same process that gave a multi-moon system to the outer planets, as a theory for the origin of our moon.  The problem with this line of reasoning is that it does not explain why instead of a collection of smaller moons, an Earth that is too small has finished up with a moon that is too large.

According to Zecharia Sitchin in Genesis Revisited (1990), some answers are provided if we go back to Sumerian cosmogony.  The assertion here is that the Moon originated not as a satellite of Earth but of the much larger planet, Tiamat, which they placed beyond Mars, which would qualify her as an outer planet.  The Sumerian cosmogony describes an unstable solar system caused by emerging gravitational forces disturbing the planetary balance and causing moons to grow disproportionately.  Using as his source the poetic words of the Enuma Elish, Sitchin wrote in The 12th Planet, “the new planets ‘surged back and forth’; they got too close to each other [‘banded together’]; they interfered with Tiamat’s orbit; they got too close to her ‘belly’; their ‘ways’ [orbits] ‘were troublesome’: their gravitational pull was ‘overbearing’ [excessive, disregarding the others’ orbits]” (Sitchin, 1978, p124).  Amazingly, the eminent scientist George Wetherill, writing in Science in 1985, uses words, according to Sitchin, “that are astoundingly similar to those of the Enuma Elish.  He speaks of ‘lots of brothers and sisters’ moving about, colliding with each other, affecting each others orbits and very existence.  He uses the same word (‘battle’) as the Sumerian narrative to describe the conflict between these ‘brothers and sisters’ ” (Sitchin, 1978, p.125).

According to this ancient cosmogony, one of the eleven moons of Tiamat did grow to an unusual size as a result of the instability of the newly formed solar system.  This moon ‘Kingu’ proved to be increasingly disruptive to the other planets, particularly when Kingu was raised to the status of a full planet:
She gave him a Tablet of Destinies,
fastened it on his breast.…
Kingu was elevated,
had received a heavenly rank.
Sitchin states that, “in the ensuing Celestial Battle ... Tiamat was split in two; one half was shattered; the other half, accompanied by Kingu, was thrust into a new orbit to become the Earth and its Moon” (Sitchin, 1978, p.127).

For hundreds of years observers including Plato, Eratosthenes and Aristarchus have reported the appearance of mysterious lunar transient phenomena.  In the early nineteenth century Sir John Herschel in England saw unidentified lights on the moon during an eclipse and noted that some of the lights appeared to be moving above the moon.  Other astronomers of the period reported seeing geometrical patterns of lights that resembled city streets.  On July 29, 1953, John O’Neill observed a nineteen kilometre long ‘bridge’ straddling the crater Mare Crisium.  Following the report of his discovery to the Association of Lunar and Planetary Observers, he was subjected to verbal attack from a number of astronomers.  However just one month later, famous British astronomer Dr H. Wilkins verified his sighting.  Since that time other equally strange objects have been photographed on the lunar surface.  ‘The Shard’ an obelisk shaped object discovered in 1968, towers nearly two and a half kilometres above the Ukert area of the moon’s surface, and another feature, ‘The Tower’, is an amazing spire that rises more than eight kilometres from the Sinus Medii region.  Dr Bruce Cornet, a geologist and palaeontologist, who submitted these photographs to laboratory study commented, “No known natural process can explain such structures.”

As far as the Apollo missions are concerned, rumours have circulated for years about what the astronauts are reported to have witnessed on the lunar surface.  In Above Top Secret: The Worldwide UFO Cover-up, Timothy Good stated that former NASA Chief of Communications Systems Maurice Chatelain, claimed that astronaut Neil Armstrong viewed two UFOs resting on the rim of a crater.  “The encounter was common knowledge in NASA, but nobody has talked about it until now.”  Soviet scientist Dr Vladimir Azahzha, a physics and mathematics professor, has stated, “Neil Armstrong relayed the message to Mission Control that two large, mysterious objects were watching them after having landed near the moon module, but his message was censored by NASA” (Good, p.381).

In general the astronauts, nearly all military officers controlled by security regulations, have maintained a united front.  However, there have been exceptions.  Dr Edgar Mitchell on the Oprah Winfrey Show of July 19, 1992, suggested that all information regarding UFOs had not been released, adding, “I do believe that there is a lot more known about extraterrestrial investigation than is available to the public right now (and) has been for a long time....  It’s a long long story, it goes back to World War II when all of that happened, and is highly classified stuff” (Good, p.206).  Colonel Gordon Cooper, in a letter to a meeting of the United Nations in 1978, to discuss UFOs, stated, “I believe that these extraterrestrial vehicles and their crews are visiting this planet from other planets, which are obviously a little more advanced than we are here on Earth” (Huneeus).

Any interested person looking back at the objectives stated by NASA at the beginning of the Apollo Lunar Programme would have to wonder what went wrong.  Why did the missions come to a complete halt after Apollo Seventeen?  Many members of the public and most scientists queried the end of the moon missions, when more questions than answers were being generated by the flights.  “It’s like buying a Rolls-Royce and then not driving it because you want to save money on gasoline”, complained Dr Thomas Gold, professor of astronomy at Cornell University (Ubell, p.66).  Jim Marrs in Alien Agenda writes that moon researcher George Leonard observed that prior to the lunar landings there was much media speculation on the profitable aspects of a colony and mining operations on the moon.  All such talk ended abruptly after the Apollo missions were cancelled.  “We put enough billions into the [US Space programme] to pull all the major cities of America out of debt, and then some.  And after the successful Ranger, Surveyor, Orbiter and Apollo flights, we dropped manned lunar exploration like a hot potato”, he noted (Marrs, p.25).

Does this mean then, the end of manned lunar exploration?  In an attempt to find some answers to this question, let us shift our attention to psi research and, specifically, to the mental process that makes possible the perception of details from distant locations, bridging the normal constraints of time and space, namely Remote Viewing (RV).  A recent book by perhaps the most highly regarded and experienced remote viewer, Ingo Swann, entitled Penetration – The Question of Extraterrestrial and Human Telepathy, provides yet another dimension of speculation to the lunar question.  Were it not for Swann’s long and distinguished career as perhaps the father of RV, as a remote viewer for US military intelligence, as well as his involvement as a renowned psi researcher, instructor and writer, then there would be no hesitation in completely omitting his strange claims from this article.

In 1975, two years after the Pioneer space-probe had revealed the high level of accuracy of the information about Jupiter that Swann had previously obtained by RV, he received a call from Washington, DC, telling him that it was very urgent that he come to Washington himself to meet a Mr Axelrod.  This led to a chain of events that can only be described as bizarre, including a long journey under strict supervision by twin guards, by car, helicopter and elevator, wearing a hood to ensure no likelihood of place recognition, concluding in an underground facility.  Here he meets the mysterious Mr Axelrod, who is completely familiar with Swann’s work at the Stanford Research Institute, and who persuades Swann, in return for a thousand dollars a day, to undertake an RV mission that is so secret that it exists without any paper trail.  A condition of his employment is that he agrees not to reveal any details of his assignment for at least ten years, having been assured that after that time the mission would have ‘disappeared’.

After a period of time during which Swann and Mr Axelrod discuss the protocols of RV, the latter finally gets to the purpose of the mission.  Ingo Swann’s task is to RV a specific section of the moon.  Swann reflects, “I had no idea what Mr Axelrod wanted.  Maybe they, whoever THEY were, were looking for places to build moon-bases.  Maybe THEY had lost a secret spacecraft or something along those lines” (Swann, p.45).

At his initial RV session, Swann realises that his coordinates are for the far side of the moon.  He views whitish sand with some sort of repeated pattern like rows of large tractor treads on the sand and becomes a little confused when he senses something like an atmosphere.  At this point he is given another set of coordinates and, finding himself in an entirely different site, believes that he is back on Earth.  So he apologises, has a break and then tries again using the same coordinates as before, only to find he is seeing the same thing:
“ ‘I am in a place which is sort of down like in a crater I suppose.  There is a strange green haze like a light of some kind.  Beyond that, all around is dark though.  I am wondering where the light is coming from....’  I jolted to a stop again.  After a moment Axel prodded. ‘Yes, what else?’  ‘Well you won’t like this, I guess.  I see or at least think I see, well ... some actual lights ... sort of like lights at football arenas, high up, banks of them ... up on towers of some kind.’  Axel stared at me for a moment.  He was NOT smiling.  ‘Well I see lights!  But how can they be on the Moon?’ ... There was no answer forthcoming from Axel.  I pressed onwards.  ‘Have the Russians built a moon-base or something?  Is that what I’m supposed to remote view?’  Again no answer.  ‘How high are the light towers?’ Axel interrupted ... I swallowed again.  ‘Well if I compare it to something I am familiar with in New York, about as high as the Secretariat building at the United Nations?which has thirty-nine floors in it.’  Axel narrows his lips.  ‘You can see that then?’  ‘Am I, then, to assume this stuff IS on the Moon?  If so, this is more than a moon-base isn’t it Axel?’  Again no answer.  So I continued: ‘But this stuff is big.  Does NASA or the Soviet space programme have the capabilities of getting such large stuff on to the moon?’  As I talked myself through all this, a certain glimmer began to dawn in the recesses of my mental darkness.  I suddenly stopped speaking.  I stared incredulously at Axel.  ‘You mean?am I to assume this stuff is?not OURS!  Not made on Earth?’  Axel raised his eyebrows, trying to grin.  ‘Quite a surprise, isn’t it?’ he said” (Swann, p 50).

After many more lunar ‘visits’, Ingo Swann finds towers, lights, machinery and strange looking buildings, “a lot of domes of various sizes, round things like small saucers with windows.  These were stored next to crater sides, sometimes in caves, sometimes in what looked like airfield hangars ... I found long tube-like things, machinery-tractor-like things going up and down hills ... obelisks which had no apparent function.  There were large platforms on domes, large cross-like structures.  Holes being dug into crater walls and floors obviously having to do with some kind of mining or earth-moving operations” (Swann, p.56).

Finally he sees some kind of entities or humanoids busy working in a dark lime-green fog who start talking excitedly and gesticulating in his direction.  He writes, “Immediately I felt like running away and hiding which I guess I psychically did, since I ‘lost’ sight of this particular imaging.  “I think they have spotted me Axel….”  Axel said in a calm, low voice, so low I hardly heard it at first.  “Please quickly come away from that place.”  My eyes were wide as understanding drained in.  “You already know they are psychic, don’t you?”  Axel raised his eyebrows and gave a deep sigh.  And, at that point, he abruptly closed his folders.  “I think we had better end our work here” (Swann, p.57).  ?

Ecker, Don.  (1995)  The Long Saga of Lunar Anomalies.  UFO 10, No.2.
Good, Timothy.  (1989)  Above Top Secret: The Worldwide UFO Cover-up.
                                                                                  London: Grafton Books.
Huneeus, Antonio.  Fate, Vol. 48, No.7.
Leonard, George.  (1977)  Somebody Else is on the Moon.  New York: Pocket Book.
Marrs, Jim.  (1997)  Alien Agenda.  London: Harper Collins.
Sagan, Carl. (1966)  Intelligent Life In the Universe.  New York: Mass Paperback.
Sheldon, William.  (1970)  Winning the Moon.  New York: Little Brown.
Sitchin, Z.  (1978)  The 12th Planet.  NY: Avon Books.
Sitchin, Z.  (1990)  Genesis Revisited.  NY: Avon.
Swann, Ingo.  (1998)  Penetration.  Rapid City, South Dakota: Ingo Swann Books.
Wilson, Don.  (1979)  Secrets of Our Spaceship Moon.  New York: Dell.
Ubell, Earl.  (1972)  The Moon is More of a Mystery than Ever.  New York Times Magazine.

UFOs, Disinformation and Deception
By Simon Harvey-Wilson

Many ufologists claim that the US and UK governments are doing secret research into UFOs while telling their citizens that they do not exist.  If this is true, an understanding of deception and disinformation techniques may make us less vulnerable to being fooled.  For obvious reasons few governments publish much information about such techniques.  However, deception is frequently used during wars, so by studying some historical examples we might learn about what is happening today.  Because official disinformation is not the only source of confusion about UFOs, this article will also discuss other sources of misleading information.

Deception is to create a misleading impression in your target audience by your actions.  It is something that you do to mislead whoever may be observing you, either on a small or large scale.  Deception might be directed at the intelligence services of a country that you are at war with, or at your own citizens during peace time.  Most intelligence services see little difference between war and peace time, and unfortunately if you wish to fool the international community you generally have to mislead your own citizens as well.  Deception techniques take advantage of the fact that people tend to think that information they had to ferret out is more likely to be true than if it were handed to them on a platter.

An example of deception was revealed in an article in the Sunday Times entitled “Germ war reports exposed as hoax” (1998).  The report tells how released Russian intelligence files had revealed that in 1952 the North Koreans had deliberately infected a couple of their own citizens with plague bacilli, and then used tissue samples from their bodies to convince the world that the Americans were using germ warfare in the Korean conflict.  The United States had unsuccessfully denied the claims because, as the article says, “Historians had questioned whether the Koreans and Chinese could have mobilised thousands of people and faked evidence from scores of doctors, scientists and officials.  But the new papers show they did exactly that.”  This illustrates that some governments will occasionally go to inordinate lengths to mislead.

Disinformation is the release or leaking of misleading information.  I think it was Churchill who claimed that to keep something secret sometimes one needed “To surround the truth with a tissue of lies.”  By releasing three parts disinformation to one part truth you can confuse and mislead your target audience.  This is especially important with the UFO phenomenon because, unlike technical secrets which can be kept locked up, UFOs appear in public so a completely different technique is needed to keep them secret.

UFOs were probably first noticed by Western governments soon after WW II.  It is not within the scope of this article to discuss why the authorities decided to keep them secret, but once that decision had been made, the best way to do it was obvious.  If they could not make UFOs disappear physically, the solution was to make them disappear psychologically using perception management or what the military calls psy-ops (psychological operations).  Regardless of what many people were seeing, they simply decided to define UFOs out of existence, and ridicule the minority who did claim to see them.  I believe that it will eventually be shown that the UFO cover-up has been the most successful deception campaign in human history.  Ironically, it continues to be so effective that those in authority may be concerned that the public will refuse to accept the truth even if concrete evidence is presented to them.  In other words, the continued UFO secrecy may partly be a result of the effectiveness of the earlier secrecy.

For ease of recall, the categories used in deception and disinformation involve five verbs beginning with the letter D.  These are: to deny, distract, demean, deceive, and divide, and it is not hard to think of examples from the history of ufology that illustrate each of them.  These techniques are also frequently used in politics, especially around election times.

Military History.   Some might challenge the suggestion that a UFO deception campaign could succeed to the extent that many ufologists claim.  However there have been several historical precedents that demonstrate how to keep a secret under difficult circumstances.  Michael Lindeman (1999) gives us the example of the US government concealing the fact that German U-boats were attacking merchant ships off the eastern American coast during the early years of WW II.  “Today few Americans have even the slightest notion that between December, 1941 and September, 1942, 292 vessels were torpedoed and hundreds of merchant seaman lost, most within sight of American beaches” (p.68).  Wreckage and bodies that washed up on the shore were impounded by the military, newspapers were persuaded not to publish stories about it, and “those who were in the government information loop on this policy were strongly informed that any breach of security would be considered treason, a crime punishable by execution” (p.68).  Not surprisingly the information was not made public.  There is every reason to suspect that a similar policy exists today about UFOs.  The question we need to ask is, when is it going to end?

There are a few interesting books about deception that I would recommend.  None of them mention UFOs, but they give numerous historical examples which reveal the imagination, cunning, ruthlessness and audacity that exponents of deception and disinformation employ.  The first is The Deception Planners: My Secret War (1980) by Dennis Wheatley who was a famous best-selling author at the outbreak of WW II.  He describes how he became a deception planner in the offices of the British War Cabinet, and reveals how important such planners were to the war effort.  They had access to all War Cabinet documents and came up with some amazing ideas to mislead the Germans into sending troops to places where they would do the least harm.  Wheatley clearly sets out the basic guidelines of deception and illustrates them with examples.  It does not take much imagination to see that those rules could easily be used today in misleading the public and other governments about what the USA really knows about UFOs.  This is an important point.  For example, Stanton Friedman claims that by spreading convincing cold war rumours that they had mastered UFO technology, the USA might have deterred other governments from using that same technology to attack them (Lindeman, 1991, p.26).

A more recent book on deception is The Art of Military Deception (1997) by Mark Lloyd which gives an historical overview of the subject from ancient times to the present.  Some of his examples should be of interest to ufologists.  During WW II the British set up propaganda radio stations that, while actually based in England, pretended to be German stations transmitting from Europe.  One of them was specifically aimed at German U-boat crews.  It played the latest German dance music, had request programs and, “contained dedications for genuine birthdays and anniversaries gleaned from censored mail passing between German navy prisoners of war and their families” (p.150).  Among the music, news stories and highly detailed reports of bomb damage in Germany was, “slipped subversive information, morale-sapping innuendo and highly accurate details of the situation on the home front” (p.151).  As Lloyd points out, “The effect on U-boat crews, cramped, in constant danger and thousands of miles from home in the mid-Atlantic, can well be imagined” (p.151).  As this example reveals, rather than simply disseminating false information, a deception source may aim to become a trusted organ of influence with the purpose of gently guiding their target audience’s views in a desired direction.  To do this they do have to publish some accurate information.  Conspiracy theorists generally assume that the US government monitors UFO researchers, and may at times wish to divert their attention away from areas of higher national security significance towards less threatening topics.  One way of doing this would be for them to have secretly funded a public UFO research organisation or magazine whose covert intention would have been to centralise the attention of ufologists, keep them distracted and amused with low level, narrowly focussed ‘scientific’ information, while actually discussing very little of genuine relevance.  In other words, ufologists perhaps need to pay attention not to what some of today’s UFO magazines are getting excited about, but rather what it is that they consistently do not discuss.  We also need to realise that there is every chance that a few leading ufologists are not as dedicated to revealing the truth as they might appear.  We need to distinguish however between what we could call double-agent ufologists and those who publish misleading information in order to help sell their books or promote themselves, although pretending to be the latter would be ideal cover for those who were actually the former.

Another book that reveals the high level of secrecy and planning that goes into covert deception activities is Op JB: The Last Great Secret of the Second World War (1996) by Christopher Creighton, which describes how British Intelligence secretly smuggled Martin Bormann, Hitler’s private secretary and executor, out of the ruins of Berlin at the end of the war and gave him a new identity in England, despite the worldwide manhunt for him.  This was done in exchange for Bormann giving them access to the vast fortune that the Germans had looted from across Europe.  The book also reveals the absolute ruthlessness used to keep vital information secret.  For example, Creighton claims that, as an undercover British agent, he was required to blow up a Dutch submarine and all its crew just to prevent them from revealing that British and US Intelligence had been forewarned of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour.  This suggests that, as a last resort, people might be killed (‘terminated with extreme prejudice’) to protect important enough UFO information, provided that it could be done in a deniable fashion.

A final recommendation is the book By Way of Deception: The Making & Unmaking of a Mossad Officer (1990) by Victor Ostrovsky & Claire Hoy.  Once again UFOs are not mentioned, but I believe that anyone that is serious about ufology needs to read a few such books to learn, firstly just how little they previously knew about deception, and secondly how imaginative, ruthless, cynical, well-trained and well-funded the professionals who work in such fields really are.  Unfortunately, and with no disrespect intended, this means that, in comparison to those managing the UFO cover-up, the average ufologist is an absolute amateur, and we need to realise that if the authorities really want to mislead us, there is probably very little we can do about it.

Examples.  Let us look at a few examples of possible UFO deception.  In his book Above Top Secret (1989, p.397) Timothy Good describes a 1962 incident where some US navy aviators, who were temporarily at Wright-Patterson Air Force base, entered a hanger looking for sports equipment to use during their daily fitness workout.  Once inside they were stunned to find a flying saucer-shaped object about four metres wide suspended by two engine test stands.  It was roped off and surrounded by eight guards.  They were promptly told to leave “by an air police sentry with a sub-machine gun”, and later the senior pilot was reprimanded by his general for breaking security.  There are several points to be made about this incident.  If the story is true, we could ask why something that is so secret that it warrants eight guards is kept in an unlocked room.  Surely a better means of security would have been to lock the door and put the guards outside, thus ensuring that they too did not see what was inside?  Secondly, if one didn’t want people to see the UFO, why rope it off?  A screen would have been far more effective.  The standard of security in this example was so incompetent that whoever was supervising it should have been promptly court-martialled, unless it was deliberately designed that way.  I do not know if this scenario was actually an example of deception, but we could ask what purpose the incident might have served if it was?  By ‘accidentally’ allowing the pilots to see the craft surrounded with armed guards, and then accentuating the importance of the situation with a security reprimand from their general, the whole incident probably became indelibly etched in their minds.  Timothy Good writes that, once outside, the pilots “had reassured each other that the good old US had developed, or had all along, flying saucers in service” (Good, 1989, p.398), and the story then found its way into his best-selling UFO book for anyone to read.  So much for secrecy!  Perhaps the whole episode was carefully designed to reassure US servicemen, and later the public, that the Pentagon had the UFO situation under control, even if it didn’t.

Cergy-Pontoise.   Even if various government are involved in UFO deception, their motives and methods may vary considerably.  The apparent abduction of Franck Fontaine at Cergy-Pontoise on the outskirts of Paris in November 1979 is a good example.  The story is quite complex and is described in several UFO books (Evans, 1984).  Franck and a couple of his friends were loading their car with clothes to sell on their stall in a market about sixty kilometres away.  They had got up before dawn and, while the others brought the clothes down from their flat, Franck remained in the car to stop it stalling.  They then saw a brilliantly shining UFO and several smaller lights near the car and, after some confusion, Franck was found to be missing.  The incident was reported to the police and received nation-wide publicity.  One week later Franck reappeared near where he had disappeared and was amazed to discover that he had been missing for so long.  Most books that mention it leave the case open, however in Jacques Vallee’s book Revelations: Alien Contact and Human Deception (1991, p.149) we get quite a different story.  Vallee quotes an unnamed official from French Air Force headquarters who, in November 1980, admitted that the Cergy-Pontoise abduction had actually been carried out by the French government in order to observe the reactions and behaviour of the police, media, scientific investigators and the public.  The abduction had been authorised by a member of the French cabinet and no more than fifteen people knew what had happened.  Franck Fontaine had been grabbed, kept drugged in a secure place for a week and then returned to where he had been abducted without knowing what had really happened to him.  Vallee advises that, to eliminate such official deception in future, abductees should be promptly checked for syringe marks and given blood and urine tests to check for any knockout drugs.  If Vallee’s report is true, we have the ironic situation of a leading Western government trying to fool the public into thinking that UFO abductions do exist, rather that their usual denials.  The question that ufologists may need to ask themselves now, is whether other countries carry out similar fake abductions to assess public reactions, and if so, how often do they do it?

Patent Applications.   In 1997, Sydney engineer and inventor Ted Roach published a small book entitled The Physics of A Flying Saucer.  Roach believes that the propulsion of UFOs involves discoveries about a unified field theory and the nature of time.  He describes how he had submitted several patent applications to the Australian Industrial Property Organisation (AIPO) for, “ten inventions for machines in gravitational, electric and magnetic fields” and claims that, “The pending patent comprised the physics of flying saucers and other applications using the Unified Field Theory and six dimensions of space time” (p.21).  In reply to his application Roach received a letter from the AIPO which said that, “due to the nature of the invention and the possible military interest, the applications have been forwarded to the Department of Defence and the Australian Safeguards Office for a determination as to whether or not a publication prohibition order should be placed on the inventions” (p.116).  In the meantime Roach was told not to reveal details of his invention.  A couple of months later his application was cleared by both those authorities, and a copy of the relevant letter appears in the back of his book.

Most people would probably have never heard of the Australian Safeguards Office, however it is well known to many ufologists and ‘free energy’ researchers, that patent applications in most Western countries can result in a new invention being confiscated by the authorities and an information blackout being placed on the subject.  This generally only happens if the Safeguards Office believes that the invention has genuine national security implications, otherwise there is no point in classifying it.  So what are we to conclude from Roach’s case?  If Roach is telling the truth, can we assume that he was allowed to proceed with his patent application because someone decided that his invention wouldn’t work, or was of no relevance?  As Roach points out (p.21), if UFOs don’t exist why should anyone be interested in his invention?  Are we to conclude therefore that the Australian Department of Defence and the Australian Safeguards Office do know that UFOs exist?  Or should we be cautious and suspect that someone behind the scenes saw Roach’s patent application as an ideal opportunity to muddy the waters a bit more by pretending to be interested in his inventions, confiscating them for a few months, and then handing them back knowing that he would probably write about the incident in a book?  I do not know the answer to these questions, but it may be possible that, if UFOs do exist, the authorities do not want any information about their propulsion systems to be made public for reasons of national security, and so are obliged to intercept patent applications such as Roach’s, just in case they are on the right track.

Fake Photos.   There are numerous examples where misleading UFO-related information appears not to have been generated by disinformation experts.  Plenty of magazines and Internet sites publish suspect UFO information.  An example of a misleading UFO-related photograph can be found in the February 1996 edition of Encounters magazine (‘Gotcha’, p.68).  The cover photo, described as a ‘World Exclusive’, showed two jet fighters accompanying a black triangular craft that is being refuelled in midair.  The photo seems to have been taken towards a bright yellow sunset so that all four craft are just black silhouettes.  The article inside (p.68) claims that the photo was taken from the ground by a man on holiday in Cornwall, and reveals that the military has been concealing their connection with such craft.  However, an article in the March/April 1996 edition of UFO Magazine (p.4) by Bill Rose claimed that the details in the Encounters story were completely fictitious, and that the ariel refuelling photo is actually a, “simulation photograph of an Aurora Project aircraft” created by him to illustrate a sighting of such a craft being refuelled by a KC-135 tanker over the North Sea in 1989.  Bill Rose’s UFO Magazine articles are very informative and well-referenced?he appears to be a mine of information on modern military aircraft?and it seems reasonable to believe his account of the photo’s origins.  So here we have a simulated B&W photo, created with good intentions to illustrate a genuine sighting report, which ends up being superimposed onto a colour photo of a sunset on the cover of a rival UFO magazine to illustrate a fictitious conspiracy theory article about the air force.  Ironically, Bill Rose’s article also suggests that the original triangular craft sighting helps prove that the US or British air force have secretly developed such a craft.  It would be hard to invent a more confusing scenario that does so little to enhance the credibility of UFO research.

Insider Leaks.   The UFO literature increasingly contains revelations by people who claim to have had something to do with UFOs or aliens while working for their governments.  Examples are Bob Lazar (1991); Nick Pope (1996, 1997); Col. Philip Corso’s book The Day After Roswell (1997); Dan Sherman’s Above Black: Project Preserve Destiny (1997); Michael Wolf’s The Catchers of Heaven (1996); and Ingo Swann’s Penetration (1998).  Dr Steven Greer who runs the Centre for the Study of Extraterrestrial Intelligence ( claims to have numerous US government insiders prepared to testify before an official UFO inquiry, if given permission to break their security oaths.  Some insider leaks may be because these people are no longer worried about breaking their security oaths because they are old and sick, while others may have been persuaded to take part in one last disinformation project.  So, how much insider information should we believe?  It is a standard security practice to compartmentalise highly classified research, meaning that top secret information is only given to those with a need to know.  Christopher Creighton (1996) claims that, of the dozens of people involved in smuggling Martin Bormann out of Germany, only three or four actually knew who he was.  The rest were only told he was someone important.  This suggests that few insiders would be able to leak the full picture about government UFO research, even if they wanted to.  An example of an insider not being given the full picture is Michael Wolf (1996) who claims to have been the head of a friendly US team profiling the various alien groups visiting earth, while another branch of the military (which he says he wasn’t supposed to know about) was using futuristic energy-beam weapons to attempt to shoot them down.  This duplicitous state of affairs? simultaneously friendly and hostile? sounds so ridiculous that one is tempted to believe that it might be true.  However, a good disinformation planner would obviously attempt to create plausible scenarios.

Some leading ufologists warn us to be extremely suspicious of insiders offering convincing UFO information.  Such a scenario might be a deception set-up in which the ufologist?if sufficiently naive? publishes the information using his or her credibility (‘Trust me, I’m a ufologist!’), only to have it convincingly refuted some time later.  Not only does this sabotage his or her credibility, and that of ufology in general, but it also helps persuade others that might in future be leaked genuine inside information, not to believe it, or to abandon the field all together out of sheer frustration.

Disinformation or Education?   In this vein we need to ask ourselves whether the Majestic 12 documents (which supposedly describes a top secret UFO briefing given to President-elect Eisenhower in 1952) or the ‘Alien Autopsy’ film are genuine?  (A copy of the MJ12 documents can be found in the appendix of Timothy Good’s Above Top Secret.)  Could a sophisticated disinformation game be being played here?  Those in charge of the UFO cover-up ?assuming that someone is in charge of it?probably have contingency plans ready in case, for example, a UFO landed in the middle the Olympic Games, or a football grand final.  They would hopefully also know that one day they must reveal at least part of the truth about UFOs, so they might be preparing us for such a revelation by feeding us genuine UFO information in a semi-fictitious but entertaining form.  It has even been suggested that popular films such as Men In Black are part of that educational program.  When one considers the Pentagon’s increasingly unlikely Roswell explanations?parachute test-dummies indeed!?we could be excused for suspecting that they are implying that the Roswell story does have some validity, but that it is still too early for them to admit it out loud.  Let us be aware therefore that any future US president’s ‘full and frank admission’ about UFOs has every probability of being only a self-serving part of the whole picture.

NASA & SETI.   Following on from the ‘Are we being educated?’ question, what are we to make of the US space agency NASA and a majority of its astronauts acting as if UFOs do not exist?  How could NASA not know about UFOs?  Is their behaviour just a public deception?  Although a civilian agency, NASA is still subject to national security restrictions, regardless of how much its employees might dislike it.  In his book Unconventional Flying Objects: A Scientific Analysis (1995, p.24), NASA rocket scientist Paul Hill points out that, while he worked there, NASA’s policy was that, regardless of the evidence, UFOs do not exist.  He was not happy with this situation, but could do nothing about it.  Unlike the military, scientists tend to see scientific discoveries as transcending national boundaries.  So we could have some sympathy for those NASA scientists who might dearly wish to make what they know about UFOs public, but are perhaps reluctantly obliged either to keep silent or make misleading statements about them.  However, even if not actively engaged in spreading disinformation, such silence does contribute to misleading the public.

That brings us to the various Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) projects, which are now funded largely by private enterprise.  How is it possible for millions of dollars and hours of valuable radio telescope time?which includes Australia’s Parkes radio telescope?to be spent listening for alien radio messages while some of those very aliens appear to be flying over our heads.  An article in Flying Saucer Review by Jorge Martin (1999, p.23) reports that numerous UFOs, including some very large ones, have been seen near the radio astronomy observatory at Arecibo in Puerto Rico, which is involved in SETI.

There are not many researchers employed by SETI (computers do most of the listening) so is it possible that they too have been misinformed about UFOs?  In an end-of-the-millennium article in Scientific American (Dec, 1999) entitled “Is There Life Elsewhere in the Universe?” SETI scientists Jill Tarter and Christopher Chyba write that, “Despite tabloid reports of aliens and artefacts everywhere, scientific exploration so far has revealed no good evidence for any such things” (p.85).  It is hard to know whether such comments are the product of ignorance or deception.  It is clearly untrue that UFO information comes only from tabloids, and Tarter and Chyba neglect to mention which ‘scientific exploration’ it was that ‘revealed no good evidence’ for UFOs.  Had they been more honest, they might have admitted that there was plenty of good scientific evidence for the existence of UFOs, but that they were either unwilling or not permitted to mention it.

Could SETI have a covert purpose apart from listening for aliens?  As Terence McKenna (1991) writes, “To search expectantly for a radio signal from an extraterrestrial source is probably as culture-bound a presumption as to search the galaxy for a good Italian restaurant.”  Even if we did pick up an alien message from a planet that was, let’s say, twenty-five light-years away, what are we then going to do?  It would be a very tedious conversation if we answered it, and then had to wait another fifty years (twenty-five years there and twenty-five back) for their reply.  While keeping a few computer engineers, software designers and astronomers in gainful employment, perhaps SETI actually serves the more important purpose of introducing the public to the idea that there are almost certainly aliens out there somewhere.  Rather than listening for aliens, SETI’s main function may be to send a non-threatening message about aliens to the public here on Earth, as a prelude to informing them that those aliens are already here.  Most SETI scientists might be unaware of this covert motive, which would make the whole project a masterpiece of deception.

Freedom of Information.   Many ufologists had hoped that FOI legislation would provide access to numerous revealing UFO related documents.  However this has not generally proved to be the case.  For a start, all FOI legislation has exemption clauses preventing the release of documents that might jeopardise national security, and the bureaucrats are not silly enough to give the game away by saying “Sorry we cannot release those documents on the grounds of national security”.  Instead they adopt more frustrating tactics.  They may take ages to answer your letter, or deny having the documents, or ask exorbitant fees for copying them (Fawcett & Greenwood, 1984).  Some of the documents that have been released suggest that the US and British governments do take UFOs seriously.  Nevertheless FOI documents provide an ideal deception opportunity, and so we should be cautious in interpreting them.  An Internet site that contains a large number of UFO-related US government documents is The Black Vault (

It has been claimed that when the US government started to research UFOs in the late forties they set in place a security system the likes of which had never been seen before.  That system has no doubt been redesigned numerous times since then, but would still appear to be working effectively.  Col. Corso (1997) claims that some UFO debris was handed over to trusted defence contractors to reverse-engineer.  Even if this is not true, it is still possible that a significant proportion of UFO research has been conducted by private enterprise where the paperwork is protected by commercial secrecy and beyond the reach of FOI legislation.  In Ingo Swann’s book Penetration (1998) he claims to have worked briefly for a US organisation which was so secretive that it left no paper-trail at all.  It would obviously be impossible to obtain documents from an organisation that does not have any.

Religion.   Another category of deception is the sensitive subject of self-deception.  There are some people with strongly held religious views who are convinced that UFOs and abductions are the work of the devil, designed to fool humanity into straying from the path of righteousness.  Such people seldom consider that it may be they who are misled, and their dogmatism does not compensate for their lack of concrete evidence, or disregard for the basic principles of science.  It is bad enough that our governments appear to be deceiving us about UFOs without various religious groups adding more confusion to the subject.  As an example, consider the following information that was e-mailed from Alex Ruxton to about fifty UFO ufologists and research groups worldwide in January 2000.  Ruxton claims that there are “200 million reptilian devils that are now in a state of hibernation underneath the pyramids of Egypt and Mexico!... They are scheduled to resurface very soon.  They already have their battle plans prepared.  The majority of their troops will be sent to invade the leading industrialized nations.  We do not have much time left…. If you think that I am kidding then please find the hole in my story.”  Ruxton’s evidence comes largely from the Book of Revelation, and his website describes his theory in detail.  Unfortunately, there are so many holes in his story that most people would probably not even bother replying.  However, to be fair, we should acknowledge that much of the information supposedly provided by aliens to abductees over the last few decades is fairly garbled.  Are aliens also trying to mislead us, or are our technical and cultural differences so great that we would be incapable of understanding them whatever they told us?

Thankfully, some students of religion are more rational.  Timothy Paul Prevett claims to have completed an honours thesis in 1998 at Regents Theological College on the ‘Demonic Eschatological Hypothesis’ (DEH) which claims that “ETs are a demonic deception heralding the approach of the return of Christ”.  After reviewing the available literature, Prevett concludes that UFOs, “should be seriously and calmly investigated by the full power of science” because, “the DEH is unsatisfying and theologically questionable.  There are too many possibilities, and little ground for dogmatism” (Prevett, 1998).

To justify the belief that we are being deceived about UFOs, it helps to believe that a well-funded, well-informed, top secret UFO research project does exist.  However, the assumption that an ubiquitous, all-powerful, unknowable, superior authority, has the disturbing matter of UFOs under control could itself be seen as a type of reassuring religious belief.  We therefore need to be careful that we are not deceiving ourselves into believing that ‘the authorities’ know more than we do about UFOs, because deep down we are frightened that they really know very little.  Could they be using UFO disinformation to reassure us while they desperately try to work out what to do?  After all, a military mentality is probably the least appropriate mind-set to research a phenomenon that appears to be a combination of nuts-and-bolts, paranormal and spiritual ingredients.  Or have we also been mislead about that?

Humour.   To illustrate that UFO disinformation does occasionally have its lighter side, a short article in the MUFON UFO Journal (‘509th’, 1999) describes how that magazine had been sent a shoulder patch supposedly now used by the 509th Bomb Wing whose members were formerly stationed at Roswell (and recovered the July 1947 crash debris), but who now fly B-2 stealth planes from Whiteman Air Force Base.  The circular patch displays the Latin phrase ‘Gustatus Similis Pullus’?which means ‘tastes like chicken’? and shows an alien’s head above a delta-winged craft.  So, do the 509th really eat aliens for breakfast?  The MUFON UFO Journal editor contacted Whiteman AFB and was told that, although ‘pretty funny’, the hoax patch did not belong to the 509th.

Conclusion.   This article has only been able to address a small proportion of the questionable information about UFOs available to the public, but it is nevertheless obvious that we have to be careful about what we choose to believe, because there are those out there who seem determined to mislead us for one reason or another, while others may actually be trying to educate us.  Unfortunately, the situation is likely to get even more confusing as some new air force planes appear to be modelled on genuine UFOs, and rumours exist that the US government may one day stage a fake alien attack in order perhaps to justify the subsequent militarisation of space (Hayakawa).  Helmut Lammer (1999, p.14) even believes that US military involvement in some abductions may be related to mind control research on their own citizens.  It is claimed that the second most popular type of Internet sites are UFO related ones.  Unfortunately, this means that an ever increasing number of people are available to be misinformed.  Let us hope that one day soon someone in authority?human or alien?has the decency and courage to begin telling us what is really going on about UFOs.  ?

CSETI.  Available at:
Corso, Philip J.  (1997)  The Day After Roswell.  New York: Pocket Books.
Evans, Hilary.  (1984)  Cergy-Pontoise.  In Brookesmith, Peter (Ed.).  The Alien World (pp. 87-95).  London: Macdonald & Co.
Creighton, C.  (1996)  Op. JB. The Last Great Secret of the Second World War.  London: Simon & Schuster.
509th Bomb Group Files.  (1999, November)  MUFON UFO Journal, No.379, p.11.
Friedman, Stanton.  (1991)  The Case for UFOs as Alien Spacecraft & the Government Cover-up.
In Lindeman, Michael (Ed.).  UFOs & the Alien Presence.  Santa Barbara, California: The 2020 Group.
Fawcett, Lawrence & Greenwood Barry J.  (1984)  Clear Intent: The Government Cover-up of the UFO Experience.  Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.
Germ war reports exposed as hoax.  (1998, November 15)  Sunday Times [WA], p.43.
Good, Timothy.  (1989)  Above Top Secret: The Worldwide UFO Cover-up.  London: Grafton Books.
Gotcha! Exclusive Report Captured With Camera.  (1996, February)  Encounters, Issue 4, 68-69.
Hayakawa, N:
Lammer, Helmut.  (1999, Nov-Dec)  Milabs: Military abductions of alien abductees.  UFO Magazine, 14-16.
Lazar, Bob.  (1991)  Alien Technology in Government Hands.  In Lindeman, Michael (Ed.), UFOs & the Alien Presence.  Santa Barbara, California: The 2020 Group.
Lindeman, Michael.  (1999, Nov/Dec)  Challenging UFO Secrecy.  UFO Magazine, 66-69.
Lloyd, Mark.  (1997)  The Art of Military Deception.  London: Leo Cooper.
Martin, Jorge.  (1999, Winter)  Are UFOs watching the radio-astronomical observatory at Arecibo?  Flying Saucer Review, Vol.44/4, 23-25.
McKenna, Terence.  (1991)  The Archaic Revival.  San Francisco: Harper SanFrancisco
Ostrovsky, Victor & Hoy, Claire.  (1990)  By Way of Deception: The Making & Unmaking of a Mossad Officer.  New York: St. Martin’s Press.
Pope, Nick.  (1996)  Open Skies, Closed Minds.  London: Simon & Schuster
Pope, Nick.  (1997)  The Uninvited.  London: Simon & Schuster.
Prevett, Timothy P.  (1998)  An evaluation of belief in extraterrestrial life.  BA (Hons) thesis, Regents Theological College.
Roach, Ted.  (1997)  The Physics of A Flying Saucer.  Sydney: Roach Industries.
Rose, Bill.  (1996, March/April)  The Hidden Aurora.  UFO Magazine, 4-7.
Ruxton, Alex.  Available at:
Sherman, Dan.  (1997)  Above Black: Project Preserve Destiny – Insider Account of Alien Contact & Government Cover-up. Tualatin: One Team Publishing.
Swann, Ingo.  (1998)  Penetration: The Question of Extraterrestrial & Human Telepathy.  Rapid City, South Dakota: Ingo Swann Books.
The Black Vault:
Vallee, Jacques.  (1991)  Revelation: Alien Contact and Human Deception.  New York: Ballantine Books.
Wheatley, Dennis.  (1980)  The Deception Planners: My Secret War.  London: Hutchinson.
Wolf, Michael.  (1996)  The Catchers of Heaven – A Trilogy.  Pittsburgh: Dorrance Publications.

The Star Children
By Mary Rodwell

In this article the Australian Close Encounter Resource Network (ACERN) open its files on research into ‘the New Humans’, Homo noeticus, ‘the Star Children’, or ‘the new kids on the block’, and compares that Australian evidence with the latest research from America and the United Kingdom.  There is a quote from the last chapter of the book The Aliens and the Scalpel (1999) by surgeon Dr Roger Leir who writes, “I believe that any mother that looks at her recently-born child in comparison with children born twenty years ago, will testify that there is a tremendous difference.  Some look upon the differences in the ‘new humans’ and say the reasons for this have to do with better prenatal care etc.  In my opinion this supposition is nonsense, and in light of my more recent studies and exposure to the alien abduction phenomenon, I have come to the conclusion that the rapid advancement of the human species is due to alien intervention in our bodies and minds.  UFO researcher Bob Dean has spoken many times of the development of a new humanity called Homo noeticus.  This is a term coined by noted author John White who has been doing research into parapsychology and noetics (the study of consciousness) for many years” (Leir, p.191).  Some of the unusual qualities Leir is referring to are:
- The ability of babies to read written print.
- Sign language being used to communicate with toddlers not old enough to speak.
- Advancements in crawling or age of speech.

“The question is why?  I suggest the answer involves alien manipulation of human genetics” (Leir, p.192).  More research will obviously be needed to conform these claims before the scientific and medical world will accept them.  We first need to establish whether more gifted children than normal are being born and what their range of abilities are, and then we would need to eliminate other causes for such abilities such as better nutrition and parenting.  Unfortunately, proving that an increased incidence of genius-level children is the result of alien intervention is made even more difficult in a society that denies that UFOs, aliens, and paranormal abilities even exist.

Another respected researcher, Colin Wilson, in his book Alien Dawn (1998, p.309) writes, “Not long before Andrija Puharich’s death, I was asked to write an article about him, and rang his home in America.  When I asked him about what he was working on, he told me he was working on the study of supernormal children.  ‘You wouldn’t believe how many of these kids are out there.  They seem to be on genius level.  I know dozens, and there are probably thousands’.”  Wilson ends his book by writing, “And this, I suspect is the beginning of the change that the UFOs are working on” (p.309).

Richard Boylan, psychologist, clinical hypnotherapist, and secretary of the Academy of Clinical Close Encounter Therapists (ACCET) in America, not only acknowledges the evidence for Homo noeticus, but has a name for them.  He calls them ‘Star Kids’.  He believes they exist in sufficient numbers to run workshops for both them and their parents.  These workshops are called ‘Helping Children Explore their ET Encounters’ and are designed for those:  “special children, and their parents, who have been touched by a heritage from the Stars.  They often seem like little adults in children’s bodies.  They often have a gaze, a knowingness that belies their years.  Telepathic down-loading, often during the night, in what are made to seem like ‘dreams’ increases the range and perspective in which these children operate.  The children seem at home with complex devices, which their parents struggle to master.  Some of these children are what I call Star Kids.  Defined as a child with both human and extraterrestrial origin.  The extraterrestrial contribution to the child’s make-up may come from reproductive material, from genetic engineering, from biomedical technology, and telepathic consciousness linking, as well as from directed incarnation of an ET into a human body” (Boylan, 1999).

He continues: “The child is conceived from parents who are themselves ‘experiencers’.  And the genetic material is in part extraterrestrial, or they have at least had their human genome altered by ET bio-engineering to bring out abilities beyond the average.  These children are either much brighter, more cosmically minded, more psychic, or all three, than their human peers.  Some invariably remember a previous life in which they have lived with their ET family.  I have found they have volunteered for a round of incarnation as a human on Earth, particularly at this pivotal time.  These kids are often confused at first by the primitiveness of Earth, their dense physical bodies, and often witless thinking and behaviour of their age mates, not to mention the adults they observe.  These children really unnerve their parents when they talk about where they came from, or their ‘real’ ET parents ‘up there!’  When these children make profound observations about human foibles, more than one parent has shaken her head and asked herself, ‘What kind of child have I had?’ ” (Boylan, 1999).

ACCET offers these workshops to address such perplexity and outline a path of understanding about these children.  The workshops provide an environment where the children have freedom to use their advanced abilities such as telepathy, precognition, telekinesis, penetrating intuition, aura reading, and the close connection with their ET guardians without the ridicule and negative peer pressure they would face in ordinary schools.  The workshops also have a component to give parents guidance on how to help their Star Kids be all they can be.

I wrote a letter to Richard Boylan inquiring about the Star Kids and a possible link to Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) or Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD), because several of my clients with contact experiences have had some of their children diagnosed with ADD or ADHD.  He replied that, “Some seem to think there is an ADD or ADHD disorder in Star Kids.  What I think is the case is that Star Kids are crushingly bored by regular school and other pedestrian information presentations, and seem distracted with wandering attention as a result of their boredom (‘How slow the teaching goes, I can’t pay attention to something presented that slowly, that simply, with that much repetition’).  I think it is worthy of comment that as little as twenty years ago the ADD syndrome was unknown.”

From books written by ‘contact experiencers’, we hear that many can recall having been taught in spaceships, or special ET night schools.  Author and experiencer Whitely Strieber wrote about attending such a school as a child in his book The Secret School (1997).

Many of the people that complete my encounter experiences questionnaire mention having information and knowledge that they had not consciously learnt.  This may be in the form of general information, ecological awareness, or sensitive, secret information.  It may be precognitive knowledge, even mathematical formulae, physics, and spiritual concepts.  These individuals are often very confused about what to do with the information, as well as being bewildered about how they just know this stuff.  It is often beyond anything they may have learnt at school or educational establishments.  It is also interesting that it is not necessarily only down-loaded to our academics or scientists, although that happens too, but to many people from all walks of life, like the farmer who suddenly becomes knowledgeable about complicated mathematics or quantum physics; or the builder who finds he has information on anti-gravity devices.  Added to this are experiencers who suddenly start to speak a language or languages that they say feel more comfortable to speak than their primary language, such as English.  They also find they have a desire to write in an unusual language or script and feel compelled to draw unusual symbols or pictures.

Homo noeticus or Star Kids are being recognised in America, but what is the evidence in Australia to support the existence of these ‘new kids on the block’, which is my name for them?  From my research I have become increasingly convinced that there is growing evidence to support the hypothesis that they do exist.  For example, a young mother struggling to come to terms with her own contact experiences said her main concern in writing to me was not for herself, but for her young son.

“I am seeking someone to listen and understand”, she wrote.  “Believe me I am not filling his head with stuff, rather it is him telling me things.  My little boy is four and a half years old, and yes, he does have a vivid imagination.  But he does and says things that there is no way he would have picked up anywhere else.  He knows what I am thinking, finishes my sentences for me, and feels pain when I do.  Lately he has been talking about ‘baddies’ that steal him.  He’s worrying the hell out of me.  I try to make light of it and support him at the same time.  He insists it’s true.  He is very blasé about it, and also says he will introduce them to me one day.  ‘Some aliens look like us’, he said.  ‘There are blue ones too.’  Today, he was unwell and I kept him at home.  He was chattering about his ‘ghosts’ in the bedroom which were like teletubbies.  He said they float, not walk, and they talk to him all the time.  He has the knack of answering my questions before I ask them, and this morning he told me what he wanted for lunch, which was exactly what I was going to suggest.  I find this happens so much that it becomes the norm.  He tells me details of the aliens in such a matter-of-fact way it has actually made it easier for me to cope with the concept.”

“I still have my doubts about their intentions, but can see he is unharmed and somehow accepts it as part of everyday life.  He doesn’t seem traumatised and if he says those ones are scary (meaning the Greys, I think), he doesn’t appear to worry too much and understands that they are scary looking, not evil.  He says that they come through the walls and can become invisible when need be.  They visit him apparently to teach him things, more than he learns at school.”

“For a child to say they only come out at night, come through walls, float not walk, become invisible, but are still around, astounds me.  It is something that, as an adult, I am just reading about as the characteristics of ETs.  He once was sick with flu and said to me, ‘I didn't want to go in the spaceship’.  I asked when this happened and he said, ‘Last night I went with you mummy, I didn’t want to go’.  I asked if the ‘ghosts’ took us and if it was the small ones, and he nodded.”

“ ‘They are fantastic you know mummy, really great, you should meet them.  Maybe I will show you them one day.’  He said he had an ‘aliens’ dream.  They made him ‘big’, and daddy and I were there.  We didn’t stop them.  Why?  He said he was bigger, not taller, and that he liked going through the walls.  He mentioned the tall dark aliens grabbing him and hurting him.  They hurt his shoulders when they grabbed him and were doing something in his tummy, they also stuck their fingers in his ears.  His third-eye area hurts today (referring to the space in the middle of the forehead, believed to be the centre for clairvoyance, clairaudience, and psychic abilities).  He also talks about his dream in which ‘the pavement is shaking and breaking up’.”  Such information about possible earth disruptions or global catastrophes is common with experiencers.

Elizabeth Robinson (1998) talks about how she copes with her daughter Jessica’s contact experiences and how au fait Jessica is with this.  For example, in recounting a dual-conscious experience, Elizabeth writes, “Suddenly, what seemed like seconds later, I felt an enormously commanding energy presence in the room.  Feeling slightly dizzy, I sat next to Jessica.  She had her head down and was busily writing out the spelling words that I had asked her to write.  Then I noticed that Jessica had stopped her work again and raised her head, staring motionless ahead of her.  Mummy she began, ‘I think the aliens are here.’  I realised then that she too was picking up the energy presence.  ‘How do you know I gently inquired?’  ‘I just know!’ she replied.”

I have had numerous accounts of young children in recent years that seem to be equally as comfortable with their ET visitors; many times confronting their parents with rather bizarre and challenging information for them to acknowledge.  One five-year-old girl said to her mother “You’re not my real parents.  They are in fairyland.  You are just here to look after me.”  On another occasion she said to her mother, “I don’t really look like this.”  Her mother asked, “What do you look like?”  Her daughter replied, “I am different ‘inside’.”  Her mother replied, “What do you look like inside?”  And her daughter said, “I can’t tell you.  It would frighten you.”

ACERN acts as a resource overseas as well as within Australia.  I am contacted regularly by a mother with a young teenager, who reside in the UK.  She often struggles to support her fifteen-year-old son, especially as his maturity, wisdom and abilities are bewildering for her, and sometimes she even feels well out of her depth in attempting to understand what he tells her.  The abilities he displays are still considered to be paranormal.  He regularly has conscious out-of-body experiences (OBEs) in which he ‘astrally’ goes to distant places to perform healing.  He has been having contact experiences since he was a small baby.  His mother writes, “My son says it’s the ETs who usually choose the parents, not the children.  He says the children are genetically altered before they are born.  They are given ET DNA.”

I had sent her a description of Richard Boylan’s Star Children as I wanted to see how the information resonated with her and her son.  She said, “The more I read of Mr Boylan’s description of the Star Children, the more it fitted my son.  He often complains about the bulkiness of his body, saying how limiting it is.  He talks way beyond my comprehension and gets annoyed with me for not understanding.  As you know, he is usually very tight lipped about his experiences, and I asked him why this is.  He explained to me that it is very hard to trust anyone because you never know who they are working for.  I thought this was stretching things a bit far, but he was very serious when he asked me if I thought it was ‘strange’ that, after hundreds of years of slow progress, we had suddenly come on in leaps and bounds in just the last fifty years.  According to him, ‘they’ (and he includes himself) gave us the knowledge.  They showed us how to split the atom and harness nuclear fuel so that we might finally meet them as equals.  However, he says angrily that we turned all this knowledge into power over others less fortunate as, for example, with the atomic bomb.  He told me that we were warned that we should only harness eighty percent of nuclear power, as any more is too much for our use and is dangerous.  He says that naturally we didn’t listen.  He spoke angrily because he said that ‘they’ had made a mistake in teaching us those things.  They assumed that we were ready.”

The mother adds, “Coming back to Mr Boylan’s workshop, my son thinks it’s a great idea, as he still has painful memories of being treated differently at school and is glad that this man (Richard Boylan) cares enough and is clever enough to recognise these galactic visitors and nurture them to obtain their full potential.”  Despite regular, conscious OBEs, and the healing performed in this state, this young man, according to his mother, is sometimes exasperated by how little we know, and when his mother wanted to learn a recognised form of spiritual healing, he responded by saying that the method was rather ‘primitive’ and he could teach her a better way.

I have only briefly told some of the accounts of the new kids on the block, and what seem to be rapid changes apparent in some of our children.  This suggest a reprogramming, not only of our genetic make-up, but a deliberate and continuous non-human educational program facilitating a super-awareness with abilities that, up till recently, would have only been seen in a select few.  As I continue to research and explore these accounts from parents who have had contact, I become more convinced by the possibility that we are indeed witnessing a rapid evolution of the species on many levels of awareness.  If this is indeed the case, then it is vital to recognise it and instigate programs to assist our new kids on the block to integrate and grow healthily and with the correct support, as is being pioneered by ACCET and Richard Boylan.  If any parents feel that their children exhibit any of these characteristics they are welcome to contact me.  ?

Andrews, Ann & Jean Ritchie.  (1998)  Abducted: The True Tale of Alien Abduction in Rural England.  London: Headline.
Boylan, Richard.  (1999, Winter)  Academy of Clinical Close Encounter Therapists (ACCET) Newsletter.
Boylan, Richard.  ‘Star Kids Benefit From Special Schooling.’   At:
Cannon, Dolores.  (1998)  The Custodians: Beyond Abduction.  Ozark Mountain Publishers.
Leir, Roger.  (1999) The Aliens and the Scalpel.  Columbus, North Carolina: Granite Publishers.
Robinson, Elizabeth.  (1998)  Secrets, Truth & Destiny.  Perth: Key Publishing.
Strieber, Whitley.  (1997)  The Secret School: Preparation For Contact.  New York: HarperCollins.
Wilson, Colin.  (1998)  Alien Dawn. An Investigation into the Contact Experience.  London: Virgin Publishing.

Mary Rodwell is Principal of the ‘Australian Close Encounter Resource Network’ (ACERN) and can be contacted on: phone/fax (08) 9385 7795, or by e-mail at:

Psychic Surgery in the Philippines
By Judy Bryning

In 1984 I decided to visit the Philippines to see for myself the psychic surgeons, after hearing first-hand reports from a couple of friends, one of whom claimed to have been cured of two brain tumours.  Before I left Australia, one of my friends sarcastically suggested that I should break a leg on the way to give myself a reason for going there.  Apparently sheer curiosity, and my chronic back pain were considered an ignoble impetus compared with some dramatic, preferably terminal, ailment.  However, I safely arrived in Manila, and reached the town of Urdaneta, where many of the healers live, after a four-hour bus journey north.

My first visit was to the best known healer, Josephine Sison.  She was watering her plants near the gate when I arrived.  She told me to go and sit in the Chapel where she performed the operations after praying.  There were only local people present and one other European.  The healing session commenced with those who had arrived before me.  During the operations I observed, it was hard to see where the blood which appeared on the patients’ bodies was coming from, as her plump hands had the fingers grouped for probing.  When it was my turn, I lay on my back on the treatment table.  I didn’t know where to begin, so I started by telling her about my chronic neck and back problems.  She wouldn’t let me take any clothes off, just pulled them uncomfortably apart, so afterwards there were bloodstains on them.  She told me that she would work on my thyroid.  She considered that there were blockages to the circulation in that area.  Then I was told to turn over, and from the right side of the base of my neck, she removed large dark clots which she showed me before throwing them into a bucket.  A Swiss lady was assisting her.  Her hands probing down my back felt as though she had long fingernails, which wasn’t the case.  When she was operating on my abdomen, the blood which appeared was light-red and fluid.  After she had finished with me, she said that there was not too much wrong with me apart from nervous tension.  I then returned to my seat in the pews.

The next patient was an elderly Filippino, and she worked on his chest and thyroid.  Then another small group arrived, educated and well-off Filipinos from Quezon City.  On their previous visit a week earlier, Josephine had inserted cotton wool in the man’s knee.  They invited me to watch as she probed and removed it from underneath his ankle.  I watched closely as it came out, narrowly compressed, and soaked with blood.  With the same intense scrutiny, I watched as she folded cotton wool tightly into a long narrow wad, and poked it into the outer part of his right arm, just below the elbow.  There was a definite swelling under the skin, but no mark to show where it had disappeared or penetrated.

A few days later I made a second visit to Josephine.  I took a tricycle-taxi.  The driver asked for fifteen pesos.  I suggested ten, and he accepted.  Later Madeleine Riedel, the Swiss healer who was helping Josephine, told me that she only pays two pesos!  A lady asked to share the tricycle, which had room for two.  Then a few metres down the road, her sister, two children and a man joined us.  I asked if the tricycle would stand the strain, and I was assured that it was customary to take more than two people.  On a previous jeepney bus ride there had been a baby goat on a rope, and on the recent trip, the inevitable livestock component had been a pig in a sack held firmly at the corners by its two owners.  The tricycle mode of transport on country roads is so bumpy that anyone would acquire a back problem en route, if they didn’t have one already.

This time Josephine worked on the lower left side of my abdomen and extracted a large, hard-looking, dark clot which she said had resulted from a previous operation.  It seems that she focuses on the body’s energy centres, popularly known as chakras.  She worked on my solar plexus and again on the thyroid.  Interestingly enough, when I was lying on my front, she went to the base of the skull.  I had woken up with a headache that morning, although I had not mentioned this to her.  The healing session continued with two or three Filipinos, young and old, and one small baby.  In the latter case there was no blood materialised, but she used oil, smoothing it on the baby’s abdomen.  It did not murmur throughout this procedure.

Josephine had told me on the first visit that I could take photos if the patients did not mind.  I still felt embarrassed at intruding on strangers in such a personal situation.  She looked at me a few times while operating, obviously wondering why I hadn’t accepted her invitation to take photos.  Her movements while operating seemed casual and unstudied, almost as routine as if she were doing the washing up.  She looked across at me while groping her fingers around in a patient’s body, and asked, “Here, don’t you want to photograph this?” and paused, holding up a clot.

She and Madeleine Riedel also posed together for me near the operating table, and later in the garden, at my request.  Then Madeleine took one of me with Josephine.  She was very thoughtful and kind, and when I asked her what type of meditation she did, she described what sounded like a bhakti (devotional) state, focussed on the heart, and concentrated on Jesus Christ.  She dismisses any other aspects of God as being less powerful than Jesus.  In the Chapel, where she draws energy down from the banners of the Union Espiritista Cristiana de Filipinas Incorporada, there is a notice about post-operative care.  Showers or baths are forbidden for twenty-four hours.  Also there is a quaint injunction to “refrain from romance” for the same period of time.

A week later I visited another healer, Juanito Flores, at his barrio (village), Nancayasan, just two kilometres or so down the main road south toward a larger town called Villasis.  Ten piso there and back by tricycle.  An off-duty member of the hotel staff named Illuminada?Luming for short?came with me.  We arrived after ten in the morning and found the cement brick chapel at the rear of the woven palm-leaf houses.  Apart from wooden pews it was very bare.  Work on it was uncompleted, as its Mexican benefactor was affected by currency devaluation.  The congregation numbered approximately thirty to forty persons.  There was only one other European, a young German Rajneeshi woman I had met previously at the Banaue youth hostel where I had been staying.

Before Juanito Flores appeared, seven or eight members of his group stood in a semi-circle around glass jars of water and medications, arms outstretched, fingers spread out, hands shaking.  Luming said that they were giving energy, charging the medicines.  In front of this table was the raised dais, separated by a stone balustrade, with two steps on each side.  Here was the hard wooden table, with a worn copy of the Bible which acted as a pillow.  When Flores, or Brother Juanito, as Luming called him, appeared, I was surprised.  I had unaccountably expected him to be older, perhaps some venerable authority figure.  There had been two negative reports of his temperamental behaviour; one in a book by Gert Chesi, and another from a friend who had heard a personal report of his smearing blood over some patient and then laughing.  I mentioned these qualms to Luming, who looked amazed and disbelieving.  She knew him well and said that he had helped her and he was not like that.  Sometimes American visitors had turned up mid-week while he was working in the fields and requested treatment.  He preferred people to attend the Sunday chapel service which preceded the healing session.

I felt rather nervous when he and his assistants? mainly two or three women?looked in my direction.  I was told to stand near the steps.  Then when I was called to the table, I pointed out the areas of my neck and spine where the problems were.  Previously I had asked Luming if I should tell him of my recent operations by Josephine Sison.  “No need, he knows” she said, “he can tell.”

The first treatments were spiritual injections only.  This is a unique and extraordinary phenomenon.  He touches the palm of his right hand under a Bible which an attendant holds out.  Then he places his right hand on the patient and knocks on it three or four times with the knuckles of his left hand.  During one of these knocks, a pin prick is felt, just as though from a real needle.  I wasn’t expecting it to be quite as definite, even though I had been told that it hurt.  Afterwards medicated coconut oil was rubbed on my temples by a woman helper.

In my case, another amazing ability (common to some other healers also) preceded the injections.  This was diagnosis through my eyes and then a type of psychic x-ray.  They pulled up my tee-shirt and vest and inserted a piece of paper next to the skin.  I don’t know whether he scanned this through the clothes, or looked at it when he removed it.  I was too distracted to ask details.  My glasses were removed and this time surgical spirit was rubbed on my temples; then he seemed to twist and pull my hair quite painfully and knocked, giving a needle prick.  This was repeated on the shoulders and at intervals down each side of the spine.

Manipulations, which were much more primitive than Western chiropractic, followed.  For these I had to lie face downward, forehead resting on the Bible.  The assistants warned me before the most drastic one, saying ‘masakit’ (painful).  As soon as he rubbed over the area it stopped hurting.  While this was going on, my clothes were pulled all awry, bra just unhooked and the tee shirt removed.  A sheet held up by three women screened me partially from the congregation.  If I had been one of them, listening  to the sounds I was making from behind this sheet, I would have been scared out of my wits.

In between recovering from each manipulation, he asked me what work I did.  When I first saw him, I was struck by his relaxed and easy manner.  He seemed to have a bland, mild, Malay quality, or perhaps equally Javanese.  The ethnicity of the archipelago knows no national boundaries.

Towards the end of my stay in Urdaneta, a young Queenslander, at the Urduha Hotel restaurant with his wife, approached me to ask about my experience with the healers.  They had just been to Sister Rosita Agaido who had charged seventy pisos, including the medicine, and asked for a donation as well.  A great deal of blood had been manifested, and the woman had fainted at the sight of it.  She was fair-skinned, blonde and aged in her late twenties.  She had already had one ovary removed by Western surgery.  We got on very well and I took them to Josephine.  On that occasion the operation was very interesting.  Mark King, the husband, and I peered closely at his wife’s lower abdomen, and I felt  free to be only about  twenty-five centimetres away, as I felt quite close to these people.  Her skin was very white, and as Josephine’s fingers pressed in, the blood appeared to well up through the skin, like a sort of osmosis in reverse.  Some opinions claim that the blood is manifested in an  area just above the surface of the skin.  When the area which appeared to have been penetrated was closed over and wiped clean, I had kept my eyes fixed on the spot where it had been.  All that was left to indicate the spot was the faintest pink, barely perceptible spot, much less than the area which could be covered by the little fingertip.  This faded almost instantly as I watched it.

Mark King was quite shaken by this experience.  He had been rather sceptical at first, and had watched every movement.  He recounted a sequence of movements which he had closely observed.  He had noted her cleanly-rinsed hands dive in and remove material.  When his wife Jo stood up afterwards, she fainted while walking back to her seat in the chapel.  Madeleine Riedel, the Swiss healer, then worked on her while lying down and later when standing.  This healing was done, in contrast to Josephine’s, with vibrating outspread fingers, both on the body and slightly away from it.  The three of us felt quite emotional after this.

On my return to Western Australia, seven months later, I had the bloodstains on my vest analysed by Forensic Biology at the State Health Laboratories to see if it was actually human blood.  Their report dated 21st December 1984 stated that the fluid extracts were tested using, “ ‘the crossed-over electrophoresis’ technique with anti-sera to the following species: Horse, Cow, Cat, Sheep/goat, Pig, Mouse/rat, Human, Dog, Deer, Rabbit, Kangaroo.”  It then stated that, “The extract reacted with the horse anti-sera, in a non-typical way, so that the result is of doubtful validity.”  I did not fully understand this, and a few months later at a party I chanced to meet the technologist-in-charge who had signed the report.  He seemed irritated by the topic and was predictably sceptical about the authenticity of psychic surgery, as orthodox medical people usually are.  He felt that the blood had been treated in some way, but he did not make it clear to me whether the test revealed the blood was human or not.

In the intervening years I have sought theories which could give possible explanations for the phenomena I had undergone.  In my experience, both Josephine Sison and Juanito Flores were genuine and unpretentious people.  I had been told that Josephine had been investigated by physicists from the Max Planck Institute, who had visited her.  She had emerged from this with no discredit.  These physicists, I was told, also tested a healer specialising in spiritual injections done by pointing with the index finger from a short distance.  An oscilloscope, tape recorder and a sheet of plastic under the clothing, connected to the oscilloscope were used.  The result was a neat hole in the plastic, an audible click on the tape and a visible reading on the oscilloscope.  This information was given to me by a visiting lecturer, David Boadella, editor of a bio-energetic journal called Energy & Character and author of the book Wilhelm Reich: The Evolution of his Work (1973).  Boadella used the term ‘bio-laser’ to describe the phenomenon and also described the effect of healers on a glass of water.  The bond energy between water molecules is measurable, and this showed a difference after the attentions of a healer.  The water was chemically unchanged?still H2O?but the bonding between the molecules had become destabilised.

Along with other researchers in this field, Boadella mentioned a theoretical framework for such occurrences, posited by some quantum physicists.  This is described in detail in a chapter called ‘How Healing Happens’ in Realms of Healing by Krippner and Villoldo, which also contains a chapter on Josephina Sison.  An analogy was drawn, on the one hand, between healers focussing their consciousness to effect change in the energy matrix which bonds the physical constituents of matter together, and on the other hand, the theory in quantum mechanics that the consciousness of the observer changes the behaviour of sub-atomic particles.  So, the paranormal parting of flesh and the bending of spoons may have something in common and become feasible in these terms.

Any investigation into the historical importance of blood-letting in medicine shows it to be a key feature, not only as routine treatment, but also as a highlight in literature from the past.  A typical dramatic element in novels was a life-or-death crisis featuring bleeding using leeches as a medical treatment, which could have had more causal connection with the demise, rather than the recovery of the patient.  A morbid preoccupation with the appearance of blood seems inherent in the human psyche.  Hardly surprising, as it evokes anxiety about the most fundamental condition of existence.  One would have thought that a concern for blood’s containment within the body would be safer for existence.  So, the most perplexing examples of its controlled display are in the European tradition of blood-letting, just referred to, and in Aztec rituals.  One is used as a curative procedure, while in a different cultural context, the other offers blood as a propitiation to the gods.  Human manipulation of blood could be seen to assert some measure of control, competing against uncontrollable events of nature.

There is a school of thought which contends that in psychic surgery, the appearance of blood is not a necessity, but a concession to people’s inherent need to see some physical change to confirm their healing experience.  Somewhat similar is the appearance of froth and bubbles in a liquid detergent, also not necessary for the cleansing effect, but as an adjunct to convince the user of the efficacy of the product.

Important formulae for spells in Wicca rituals and in Haitian Voudoun rituals, along with the transubstantiation of blood into wine in the Christian Mass, confirm this substance as being of crucial importance.  The two former show this in a material sense, and the latter as a sophisticated symbolic, though still powerful, development from the origins of blood sacrifice.  We can therefore appreciate the part blood plays in psychic surgery.  In an article, called ‘The Power of the Placebo’ in The Bulletin, Melissa Sweet (1998, p.22), refers to a related aspect of the need for visible manifestation by quoting from the American Journal of Cardiology (1960), which reported that, “when angina patients were randomly allocated to surgery or a sham operation, those who had only a skin incision were more likely than the other group to report an improvement in their symptoms a year later.”  The implications of these findings are complex and perplexing in that they suggest that the mind-set of the patient is interacting with some independent force operating through the particular mind-set and abilities of the healer.  Healers are quick to disclaim personal power, and attribute their capability to spirits or Jesus, according to the cultural framework within which they operate.

To revert to the physical component of healing, I feel that there may be a parallel in the 1894 experiments by Nikola Tesla quoted by Stan Deyo in The Cosmic Conspiracy (1982).  Tesla claimed that the effects of low frequency, high voltage, electrical discharges on human beings produced a pricking sensation (p.12).  Perhaps the prick of the Filipino psychic injections could be due to their ability to generate a similar electrical field.  Upon inquiry, Stan very kindly e-mailed me the reference for his quote.  An induction coil and his own body were two of a number of conditions required for the following experiment by Tesla.  “My arm is now traversed by a powerful electric current, vibrating at about the rate of one million times-a-second.  All around me the electrostatic force makes itself felt, and the air molecules and particles of dust flying about are acted upon and are hammering violently against my body.  So great is this agitation of the particles, that when the lights are turned out you may see streams of feeble light appear on some parts of my body.  When such a streamer breaks out on any part of the body it produces a sensation like the pricking of a needle.  Were the potentials sufficiently high and the frequency of the vibration rather low, the skin would probably be ruptured under the tremendous strain, and the blood would rush out with great force in the form of fine spray or jet so thin as to be invisible, just as oil will when placed on the positive terminal of a Holtz machine.  The breaking through of the skin, though it may seem impossible at first, would perhaps occur, by reason of the tissues under the skin being incomparably better conducting.  This, at least, appears plausible, judging from some observations” (Martin, 1977, p.319).

Tesla’s 1894 hypothesis may have a bearing on my 1984 experience with two of the Filippino healers?the pricking sensation from Flores’ spiritual injections, and Sison’s manifestations of blood?suggesting a practical approach to further research into the healing phenomenon.  However it is difficult to find persons well-informed enough in disciplines such as electrical engineering, physics, neurophysiology, etc, who are broad-minded enough to discuss these connections.  If there are such persons, I would be glad to hear from them.  However, even if it were discovered that electromagnetism was somehow involved in psychic surgery, further research would still be needed to explain how such healers are apparently able to invoke this force.  ?

Boadella, David.  (1973)  Wilhelm Reich: The Evolution of his Work.  London: Vision Press.
Deyo, Stan.  (1982)  The Cosmic Conspiracy.  Kalamunda: West Australian Texas Trading.
Krippner, S. & Villoldo, A.  (1986)  The Realms of Healing.  Berkeley, California: Celestial Arts.
Martin, Thomas C.  (1894/1977)  The Inventions Researches & Writings of Nikola Tesla.  Hawthorne, California: Omni Publications.
Sweet, Melissa.  (1998, December 1)  The Power of the Placebo.  The Bulletin, 22-23.

Near-Death Experiences
By Arthur (‘Tom’) Pope

I was born on 12th April 1928 in a hotel in Kandy, the ancient capital of Sri Lanka, then the British colony of Ceylon.  My mother, who was a nursing sister in the local hospital, having had three previous miscarriages on ships going home to England, for some reason decided on birthing me, not at the hospital, but at a private hotel.  The result of this was that she became infected, developed post-natal fevers, and nearly died.

She left her body and floated, as she later told me, over the seas to Wimbledon, in the UK, where her parents lived.  Although she called to them, and tapped at the windows of the house, they could not see or hear her and she was wondering what to do when she heard what she took to be angels saying, “Do you want to go on, or go back?”  When she said she wanted to go on, they encouraged her, but another, different, voice said to her, “But you have just given birth to a living baby boy.  Won’t he need you?”  Of course he will, she decided, and suddenly shot back over the ocean and landed back in her body in Sri Lanka.  It must have been from that moment that the nurses attending her noticed that her body, which had become cold and stiff, although retaining a very faint heart-beat, began to revive, relax and warm up again.

In those days, before modern resuscitation techniques had been developed, such NDEs were apparently rare and never talked about except to immediate family.  However this experience gave my mother a firm faith in ‘the powers that be’ and in an afterlife, which she never afterward lost.  Nowadays things are very different, and many such NDEs are reported.

My own experience was at the end of August 1990, when I was sixty-two years old and living in the Subud Complex in Jakarta.  I had been there with my wife and family for twenty-three years, following the Subud spiritual latihan and working in a joint venture architectural practice which I had founded with others in 1967.  As my long-serving German partner had retired in 1988, by 1990 I was in a very stressful situation in the architectural practice, caught between the insistent demands of our mainly foreign clients and the more placid approach of my eighty-odd Indonesian colleagues and employees.

One morning I woke up with heart pains, which became progressively more severe.  Fortunately, by the time I actually had my coronary arrest, I had already been taken to the emergency room of the local hospital.  Lying there, I suddenly felt my heart give a big jolt and stop beating.  My breathing stopped, too.  I found myself thinking, I must be dead!  Immediately, I began to leave my body through the top of my head and at the same time I could see beautiful little coloured lights streaming upwards.

When he visited Perth some years ago, I asked Professor Kenneth Ring of the University of Connecticut, an expert on NDEs, how I was able to feel myself leaving my body and be watching it at the same time.  He explained that at the moment of physical death, apparently consciousness expands and one can see oneself from outside.

My next memory was of the cardiologist and several nurses trying to revive me while I watched them from somewhere near the ceiling.  I was not at all concerned about whether they would succeed or not; on the contrary I was very amused by the antics of the little Indonesian nurses who had to try and catch my arms and legs as they jumped off the bed and into the air when the electric shock treatment was applied to my body.

The second shock must have worked and I must have come back as I remember nothing more until several hours later when I woke up to see my Indonesian partner looking down at me.  My worrying mind came back with a start.  “Don’t forget we have a meeting tonight”, I began, “I don’t think I’ll be able to go, but do tell them to do this and this and that...”  What a difference from the feeling of freedom and happiness I had experienced out of body!  Whatever crosses over to a different state of consciousness has very different values.

This realisation has stayed with me ever since.  After a triple by-pass operation I retired and came to live in Perth, where I have tried to live a less stressful life, convinced that loving one’s family and friends, and caring for others is more important than amassing wealth, possessions and social status.  You certainly cannot take it with you!

There have been many books written on NDEs.  Perhaps the best known and certainly the first to become a best-seller was Life After Life (1975) by Raymond Moody, MD.  Although his many examples of NDEs are mostly pleasant and reassuring experiences, another medical doctor, Maurice Rawlings MD, has described some experiences of other people who have been through unpleasant and even ‘hellish’ experiences, described in his book Beyond Death’s Door.  An excellent Australian book on the subject is Transformed by the Light by Cherie Sutherland PhD of the University of NSW.  She is particularly interesting in her analysis of the changes in personality undergone after an NDE.  Among the other books written since, the most interesting to me, and to other students of psychic research and ufology, is The Omega Project by Professor Kenneth Ring, mentioned above.  In this, he suggests that “NDEs and UFO encounters are perhaps alternate pathways to the same type of psycho-spiritual experience.”

Dr Ring came to Perth in 1995 and gave a very interesting talk to some three hundred people in which he reported on his latest research into NDEs experienced by people totally blind from birth.  He quoted more than thirty cases in which such people, including children, had visual NDE experiences similar to those experienced by people with normal eyesight.  These blind people watched their bodies being worked on by physicians, looked down on hospital grounds from above and experienced in some cases the tunnel and ‘Being of Light’ phenomena.

These cases are to me, a dramatic answer to those doubters who see all NDEs as the, “result of certain bio-chemical processes”, as suggested by Elton Greig in his article “Into the Light and Back Again” in the February 2000 issue of Perth’s Nova magazine.  In this he says that, “There are sound scientific ways in which NDEs can be explained.  These seem to point to the NDE as being the brain’s way of promoting survival, or providing a comforting exit from life” (p.9).  It seems unlikely that the brain of a small child, blind from birth, and unfamiliar with adult concepts of life and death, should be able to produce such a sophisticated strategy for ‘survival’.  But there will always be the doubters.  For those of us who have been privileged to have an NDE, we have an unshakeable conviction that our consciousness can exist outside the physical body and that there can be life after death.  And finally, that this other world is more free, more spiritual and in fact, more real than this one.

Some years ago an NDE study group was started in Perth.  Some sixty people attended the inaugural meeting and twelve of us recounted our experiences.  The group was extraordinarily diverse, but the experiences we shared were extraordinarily similar.  Some said that they had never been able to tell anyone else what had happened to them.  As a result of this meeting, an NDE Support Group was formed and this still holds meetings from time to time.  A regular observer at these meetings is the Western Australian Police Chaplain, the Reverend Barry May, who gave the Australasian Society for Psychical Research a very interesting talk on ‘Ghosts, Spirits and Exorcism’ in February 1999.  ?

Greig, Elton.  (2000, February)  Into the Light and Back Again.  Nova: Magazine for the New Millennium, Vol.6, No.12, 8-9.
Moody, Raymond.  (1975)  Life After Life.  Atlanta: Mockingbird Books.
Morse, Melvin & Perry, Paul.  (1992)  Transformed by the Light: The Powerful Effect of Near-Death Experiences on People’s Lives.  NY: Villard Books.
Rawlings, Maurice S.  (1978)  Beyond Death’s Door.  Nashville: T. Nelson.
Rawlings, Maurice S.  (1993)  To Hell and Back.  Nashville: T. Nelson.
Ring, Kenneth.  (1992)  The Omega Project: Near-Death Experiences, UFO Encounters & Mind at Large.  New York: William Morrow & Co.
Sutherland, Cherie.  (1992)  Transformed by the Light: Life After Near-Death Experiences.  Sydney: Bantam.

Anyone who has had an NDE and would like to attend the NDE Support Group meetings is very welcome, and should contact the secretary of the group, Rosalie Smith.  Phone: (08) 9275 3782

New Light on Our Origins
By Morley Legg

The sudden increase in human brain size two hundred thousand years ago seriously challenges evolutionary theory.  The Biblical version of Creation defies the laws of physics.  Yet we are here, and a new explanation for our presence has been put forward.

The ongoing Creation versus Evolution debate on the Internet can be cruel or kind.  There are volumes of articles to be viewed there, each taking the high moral ground as to why their side is right and the other is wrong.  As yet, it is difficult to find traces of this third view that is gathering interest.  It claims a basis in science, finds both the above views wrong and could have profound implications, if the latest claims get into the media and turn out to be right.

About a hundred and fifty years ago, Western archaeologists dug into a mound in Mesopotamia (Iraq) and began uncovering the remains of ancient Sumer.  The mound turned out to be the remains of a library of clay tablets.  Scholars have spent lifetimes deciphering the ancient scripts and since the mid-seventies Zecharia Sitchin has been publishing his findings in the six volumes of The Earth Chronicles.

Sitchin gives details, deciphered from the tablets, that ages ago the Anunnaki (the gods from the ancient myths) landed on Earth from the elliptically orbiting planet Nibiru, which only crossed into our part of the solar system every three thousand six hundred years.  The Anunnaki genetically engineered our species, originally as slave-animals to work in mines, by mixing their genes with the local Homo erectus.

Some independent support for such ideas appeared in The Sirius Mystery (1976) by Robert Temple.  He produced detailed evidence that the Dogon, an African tribe, possessed extraordinary knowledge of the Sirius star system.  Sceptics have attributed their knowledge to visiting missionaries but this has easily been discounted.  Temple writes that the knowledge the Dogon possessed is more than five thousand years old and, “was possessed by the ancient Egyptians in their pre-dynastic times before 3,200 BC.”

Gods of the New Millennium (1999) by Alan Alford updates and clarifies Sitchin’s excellent, though at times complex, Earth Chronicles.  Alford’s four hundred and sixty-seven page book can be recommended as the thirty-nine-year-old author has done much research in the Middle-East, covers and savours the essence of Sitchin’s message, and moves on with arresting ideas of his own.  The book’s sixty-three photographs are an impressive aid.

Alford’s focus is on who or what we really are.  There is the puzzle of Homo erectus remaining ape-like for a million years, and then around two hundred thousand years ago Homo sapiens suddenly emerging with a fifty percent increase in cranial capacity, the capability for speech and a change in anatomy.  By 11,000 BC our ancestors had expanded through most of the globe and by 4,000 BC, we now should be astonished to realise, they had quickly formed great civilizations and had advanced astronomical knowledge.  (This is significant research and it would he unfair to dismiss it because of the popular but less accurate treatment Von Daniken gave to the subject in 1968).

The Darwinian theory of evolution as a gradual process has had to admit to periodic accelerations, but as yet there are no convincing explanations for the sudden over-engineering of the human brain and the contribution that music, art, mathematics and religion played in the process of survival of mundane hunter-gatherers.  Other species have remained the same for millions of years.

The text books of conventional archaeology contend that the stories of the gods from the sky must be myths.  Yet the clay tablets of the Sumer civilization disclose an advanced knowledge of mathematics, metallurgy and astronomy.  They record that the Flood was a genuine historic event in approximately 11,000 BC and was caused by an unusual alignment of planets that pulled Nibiru closer to Earth.  Today’s scientists are reluctant to admit that a six thousand-year-old text could explain the origin of the solar system, and also have knowledge of Earth’s 25,920-year precessional cycle.

Today, at the beginning of the year 2000, the more perceptive among us feel that the rate of change in the world is accelerating as never before.  We are already aware of the slow-motion catastrophe of climate change, and how our enormous advances in science and technology are accelerating it.  The media also helps us to see the positive and negative aspects of humanity more vividly, more often and in better perspective.  In earlier times there were many generations of scant change, and people knew from experience that it was suicidal to stray from the beliefs laid down by religious authorities.  But now we realise that our survival may depend on our ability to keep adjusting to faster rates of change, accelerating through increasing knowledge and shifts in consciousness.  If we are too slow to keep in touch with reality, we are in danger.  We may wonder if Sumer also arose from a time of breakneck advances which resulted in the sudden demise of them and their knowledge.

As for the elliptic orbit of Nibiru, Alford states that in 1987 NASA made an official announcement to recognise the possible existence of Planet X (p.160) and soon afterwards unprecedented funds were pumped into the Hubble telescope.  In December 1995 plans were announced to launch another telescope out as far as Jupiter, estimated to cost a billion dollars.  Only a search for a planet that periodically entered our solar system would seem to justify such expense.

Neil Freer is a teacher of philosophy and history of religion in New Mexico.  In his book Breaking the Godspell (1987), Freer explores the claims of the “archaeological, astronomical and genetic proof” for our being an age-old genetically engineered species.  He presents it as a paradigm that he believes resolves the current creationist-evolutionary conflict.

In September 1999 Neil Freer’s seventeen page letter to twenty different organisations was posted on the Internet site.  In this he gives persuasive reasons for his growing belief in Sitchin’s work and calls for it to be more widely scrutinised, along with the supporting research of the historian and genealogist Sir Laurence Gardner who, Freer writes, has confirmed that there exists a highly documented history stretching all the way back to the Anunnaki.  Freer also exposes the vested interests opposed to these findings.  These are some interesting points that he makes:
- The Anunnaki (possibly the Nordics), the trans-cultural gods known to all ancient cultures, were not mythological, but real flesh and blood humanoid aliens who had come here from the tenth planet Nibiru.
- The relatively recent find of the room in Sippar where, neatly arranged on shelves, some four hundred elaborate clay tablets were found to contain an unbroken record of the history of those ancient times, parts of which appear in the Old Testament.
- The Anunnaki mining for gold, now seen in a new light with the current, “rediscovery of monoatomic gold.  Monoatomics are superconductors at room temperature, have anti-gravitic properties and are only now being investigated by the advanced physics community.”
- The Anunnaki’s genetic engineering could explain the ‘sudden civilizations’ and perhaps why our unique genetic code endows us with four thousand plus genetic diseases while other species have none.
- The tablets state that around 4,000 BC those humans who had a higher percentage of Anunnaki genes were taught mathematics, astronomy, technology, crafts and the ways of a civilized society.

Freer pre-empts any scepticism with facts: ancient cultures around the world were obsessed with the calendar and the vast time span of Earth’s 25,920-year precessional wobble.  No one can explain why.  In addition, our rapid progress from hunter-gatherer to astronaut after only two hundred thousand years, does not correspond to the millions of years of negligible evolutionary development of other species.

All this brings a new perspective to the current creationist-evolutionary conflict and one wonders about reactions and the outcome of debates.  This is where Alan Alford comments that religion has got it half wrong and science has got it half right.  Science has proved that evolution has been at work in many species, but in mankind there is still the missing link.  Some people believe or hope there is a higher awareness that can be attained through meditation or prayer which can raise one to dimensions beyond the scope of our senses, to Christ Consciousness, to God.  This was challenged harshly by evolutionist Richard Dawkins speaking on Compass, on ABC TV: “Living creatures are made from the same range of atoms as the rest of the cold dead universe,” and that, “the modern molecular digital gene is a nail in the coffin of the religious world view.”

The Sumer historical records claim that two Anunnaki brothers, Enlil and Enki, had fallen out.  Enki had created humans and was favourable to them.  But as Enlil dominated them with severity, it is thought that Enlil gave rise to worshipping in ‘fear of God’, and Enki brought forth the human-centred strain of Christianity, the ‘love of God’.  Alford believes that science is now taking over from religion in that it is far more capable of binding us back to our long lost past, to our, “most recent common ancestor?mitochondrial Eve.”  Freer sees religion as the transmutation of the Anunnaki-human relationship?the master-subject servitude?a subservience ingrained in us, through ongoing religious institutions, in the form of a sublimated ‘fear of God’.  He speculates that this is a conflict still being played out today in the world’s main trouble spots.

Do such ideas stir something buried deep in our psyche, our folklore, our fundamental beliefs?  The truth or falseness of these claims touches on our everyday sense of meaning and purpose, and our future.  In the face of abrupt change we are often prone to premature accepting or rejecting, to avoid the risk of anxiety or panic.  However, a more healthy reaction in the flux of these times would be to look into the various reasonings and enjoy the intrigue of unexpected questions: what if it is true, or partly true?  Where will it lead?
In the Creation versus Evolution debates on the Internet, one of the rare articles that appealed said that both views were right, that they did not contradict, because they were views through different lenses.  This is remindful of the story of seeing the reality of three views of a razor’s edge.  First as a straight line, then under the microscope as a jagged line, and then different again under the electron microscope as wavering and diaphanous.  But of course if there is any likelihood of Anunnaki genes being implanted in us aeons ago it seems that it will involve more than getting used to an adjusted focus.  For quite a while it will be mind-boggling.
There could be political ramifications, mainly due to the ‘ingrained subservience’ Freer sees in us.  Apparently it has always induced us to permit warlords, dictators, and these days the thousands of entrepreneurs heading transnational corporations, to take on the role of gods.  They are using technology to consume and exploit on a scale that is destroying planet Earth, and widening the gap between rich and poor as they go.  Freer believes that only by the restoration of our true history can we begin to disengage from narrow tribal, political and religious warfare and arrive at “this expanded, radically free, self confident and fully independent consciousness.”
Perhaps we should explore these ideas ourselves and not wait for someone to tell us what we must believe, and hopefully when next we hear Creation and Evolution being debated, a third speaker will step forward to air the viewpoint that we are a genetically engineered species awaiting the truth of our origins.  And perhaps also, with some trepidation, the return of Nibiru and the Anunnaki.  ?

Alford, Alan F.  (1997)  Gods of the New Millennium.  London: Hodder & Stoughton.
Alford, Alan F. website:
Freer Neil.  (1987)  Breaking the Godspell.  Los Angeles: Falcon Press.
Sitchin, Zecharia.  The Earth Chronicles (6 volumes).  New York: Avon Books.
Vol. 1.  (1976/1996)  The 12th Planet.
Vol. 2.  (1980)  The Stairway to Heaven.
Vol. 3.  (1985)  The Wars of Gods and Men.
Vol. 4.  (1990)  The Lost Realms.
Vol. 5.  (1994)  When Time Began.
Vol. 6.  (1998)  The Cosmic Code.
Sitchin, Zecharia.  (1990)  Genesis Revisited.  New York: Avon.
Sitchin website:
Temple, Robert K.G.  (1976)  The Sirius Mystery.  London: Sidgwick & Jackson.

UFOs In Raid On Soviet Space Centre
By Simon Harvey-Wilson

In a chapter on UFO incidents in the Soviet Union, in his book Beyond Top Secret. The Worldwide UFO Security Threat (1996), Timothy Good briefly describes ‘dramatic events’ that occurred at the Baikonur Space Centre in Kazakhstan in June, 1982.  He tells us that the details were provided to, “the Latvian-born American journalist Henry Gris” (p.247) by scientists Dr Alexi Zolotov and Dr Vladimir Azhazha.  However Good only devotes about a quarter of a page to recounting what is actually supposed to have happened at Baikonur.  The following detailed report seems to describe these same incidents.  It appeared in the South China Morning Post, Hong Kong’s major English-language morning newspaper, on Sunday 13 March 1983, under the headline, “UFOs ‘in raid on Soviet space centre’.”  The article’s by-line said, “From Henry Gris in Moscow”.  The article was accompanied by what are probably two stock photographs.  The caption beneath the first one read, “One of Russia’s Soyuz rockets being prepared for launch at the cosmodrome,” while the second photo was described as, “A rocket carrying a manned spaceflight on the launch pad at Baikonur.”  At the end of the article were the words ‘Camera Press’, the name of a large international photo-agency, which may have been the source of the two photographs.

A recent Internet search for information about Henry Gris revealed that a person by that name was born in 1904?which would have made him seventy-nine in 1983?and was the co-author, with someone called William Dick, of a book called The New Soviet Psychic Discoveries (1978).  It is interesting to speculate whether a similar ‘raid’ was ever made on a United States facility.  This is the full text of the 1983 newspaper article:

UFOs ‘in raid on Soviet space centre’.
A concerted ‘sabotage’ effort was made by alien spacecraft to shut down the giant Baikonur cosmodrome, Russia’s answer to America’s Cape Canaveral, during the first two weeks of last June according to reliable Soviet scientists interviewed in Moscow.  During an anxiety and tension-filled sixteen days not a single Soviet spacecraft was launched from the usually bustling Soviet multiple-launch quadrangle as work crews repaired the damage which was discovered just in time to prevent a major disaster.

Scheduled launches of spacecraft including an important test flight of a new space vehicle were diverted to two other cosmodromes, the Kapustin Yar space centre, about one thousand six hundred kilometres to the west, and Plesetsk, some two thousand four hundred kilometres to the north.  One of the scientists said: “Whatever you like to call the uninvited visitors from the skies?UFOs or alien spaceships?two of them flew in from a northerly direction at around 2am on June 1.  One apparently concentrated on Baikonur’s major launch sites, the other on the two sites housing Baikonur personnel, thirty-two kilometres to the south.  They were flying side-by-side.  Witnesses described them as orange-coloured and having jellyfish-like shapes.  One headed south to the city.  The other remained over the spaceport.  It hung motionless right over the huge towers of Launch Pad Number 1, the key installation.  Then, suddenly, a silver-coloured shower, almost like rain, came down from the hovering craft.  The shower seemed to envelope the target below.  The attack lasted fourteen seconds.  Then the silver rain stopped and the craft began to move again.  It made a giant circle over the outside perimeter of the spaceport, then flew on.  Not more than half a minute had passed between its arrival and departure.  It moved noiselessly.”

The other UFO’s attack had the effect of smashing windows along the upper floors of the town’s buildings.  Some thirty seconds later the two UFOs rejoined each other near the spaceport then headed back north.  Within seconds they disappeared from sight.  The scientists reported that witnesses found it impossible to judge the size of the craft as they were apparently flying very high.  “Incredible as it may sound,” one scientist said, “the elaborate defences of Baikonur were taken completely by surprise.  There was a lot of commotion the following day when the damage to Launch Pad Number 1 was discovered.  A single launch of a smaller Cosmos satellite from an isolated pad some sixty-four kilometres from the main installation was allowed to proceed on schedule, but two dozen launch sites were shut off and put under heavy guard.  Within twenty-four hours Baikonur was totally paralysed.  Nothing like this has ever happened before to our space-port since 1955.”  That was when the site in the Kazakhstan steppe was chosen for a space centre.  The land was flat and empty of people for hundreds of miles; the sky was always clear.  The remote area was considered the safest in the Soviet Union.  When it was decided to shift the site of the test launch it entailed a feat of improvised logistics involving the use of giant military helicopters, the scientist said.  The vehicle was dismantled and rushed to Kapustin Yar, ninety-six kilometres east of Volgagrad in the Astrakhan steppe.  As the substitute site was situated on approximately the same latitude as Baikonur?forty-eight degrees north?it meant the spacecraft would go into the same orbit as if it had been launched from the original site.

Crash crews working around the clock completed the installation as zero hour struck and the space capsule took off on June 4 to perform its mission as planned.  Baikonur heaved a sigh of relief, the scientist said, while continuing to clear up the mess around the main launch pad and checking every bolt and rivet on each of the twenty-four other sites.  “It was more luck than foresight,” he said recalling that Kapustin Yar, the Soviet Union’s first cosmodrome, had been placed in mothballs, soon after Baikonur came into existence.

It was from Baikonur that on October 4, 1957, the Soviets ushered in the space age by shooting off its two hundred and fifteen pound [97.5 kg] Sputnik satellite.  Baikonur was considered secure, tucked away between the Aral Sea and the Ural Mountains; Kapustin Yar was much too vulnerable to US aerial surveillance, radar and bombers.  But recently the old cosmodrome underwent a total modernisation and new launch pads were installed to include one capable of handling payloads as heavy as most of those shot into space orbit from Baikonur.  “Should there be more sabotage at Baikonur,” said a source, “we’ll have to fall back on Kapustin Yar for help unless we agree to curtail our space programme, which we have no intention of doing.”  In fact, when on June 18, Baikonur resumed operations it was to conduct a complicated “defence manoeuvre,” according to US intelligence.  Both Plesetsk and Kapustin Yar participated.  “On that day,” said a US military source, “in a major Soviet missile programme, six to eight launchings from all three space centres were carried out within several hours.  It was a major military exercise involving rocket launchings and re-entries, a most impressive military space action.”

A challenge to those unwanted space visitors?  Whatever it was, from June 2 to June 18 the rest of the Baikonur space traffic was carried by Plesetsk in northern Russia.  Plesetsk is the Soviets’ most modern cosmodrome and its space shots are mainly of a military nature.  It was recently extended to include simultaneous launches in a wide range of inclined orbits.  Ideally situated in the lowlands of the frozen north for spy overflights of most inhabited parts of Earth, it was built behind an overpowering wall of secrecy and security.  Thus, while Baikonur has been merely ‘misplaced’ on the maps of the Soviet Union, deliberately identified with a small mining settlement instead of the town of Tyuratam, three hundred and four kilometres to the south where it is actually located, Plesetsk, officially, is simply Plesetsk.  It is just a small town on the railway line from Moscow to Archangel, four hundred and sixteen kilometres below the Arctic Circle, one is told.  It has no significance whatsoever.

The Plesetsk cosmodrome, a quadrangle forty-eight by sixty-four kilometres dotted with sophisticated installations, to all intents and purposes, does not exist.  To be sure, the Russian people have been denied all knowledge about it.  The only ones who have suspected that “something is going on up there,” to quote them, are the Russian civilian UFO spotters who have long pinpointed the area of Plesetsk as having had more UFO overflights than any other rural area in European Russia.  “They keep flying in and out of this region like bees around a beehive,” said one Russian ufologist.  Told that Plesetsk harbours a giant, if secret cosmodrome, long photographed by US satellites, he nodded: “Makes sense!”

It was this, Plesetsk, then, that found itself working overtime to fill in for the sabotaged Kazakhstan cosmodrome while carrying out its own extensive space programme.  The sabotage of Baikonur coincided with its main launch site, used to lift eleven manned space vehicles, getting ready to shoot off the new Soyuz T spacecraft.  This latest Soviet manned transport vehicle carries a crew of three and is considered the newest, extremely efficient, workhorse of the Soviet space programme.  “Nobody was talking,” said Doctor of Geology Alexei Zolotov, a prominent and highly respected Soviet scientist and explorer, who happened to be in the area the day the UFO attack happened.

“Apparently something was very wrong as there was feverish activity all over the place.  Also, during the night searchlights kept scanning the skies.”  Dr Zolotov stayed at the Hotel Cosmonaut in the town where everybody works for the spaceport.  Said to house some sixty thousand people, the town came into being at the same time as the cosmodrome and is still growing.  In addition to rows of neat six-storey apartment houses, the deliberately nameless new town features space research installations, space training facilities, laboratories, a hospital, sports arena and other sports facilities, a theatre, cinemas, restaurants, a television centre, and a cosmonaut club, all built within the last few years.  Everything but a church.  The town is situated on a railway line and major highway and is connected to the cosmodrome by several smaller roads.

The actual spaceport, the largest such installation in the world, is criss-crossed by special concrete roads capable of carrying extreme weights during winter and summer, railway tracks and security trenches.  It is dotted with numerous outside hangars, immense rocket assembly installations, fuel storage facilities and sophisticated test facilities.  The whole area is protected by three concentric rings of military outposts.  It is completely isolated from the rest of the world.  “Not that this stopped the UFOs,” Dr Zolotov said.  “The city was helpless against the intruders, and was vandalised on the night of June 1.  “No one was killed even though people were injured by flying glass caused by unknown ‘snipers’ apparently shooting holes into windows.  Having been to Petrozavodsk and most recently to Leningrad, I recognised the neat round holes.  Similar sniping there has been attributed to overflying spacecraft.”

In the morning Dr Zolotov was told that the people he had come to see were not available, and he was advised to leave the space city as soon as possible.  He was only too happy to get out, he recalled.  It appeared that Dr Zolotov knew more but preferred to keep his mouth shut.  But another Russian scientist elaborated on what happened to Baikonur on that night, on condition that his name be withheld: “People still up at 2am when it happened saw holes mysteriously appearing in their apartment windows, and pieces of glass falling to the floor.  But they never saw where the shots came from or who did the shooting.  It all happened in total, oppressive silence.  The window panes with the holes in them were immediately replaced on orders of the town administration.  “All I know about the events at the spaceport itself is that it was the other object that overflew it and shot bolts and rivets out of the launch pad support structures.  Again there were no casualties.  The launch site which was damaged was Number 1, built to hold the heaviest space equipment.”

“During the night, guards on the site heard strange creaking sounds.  At daybreak while inspecting the steel structures they noticed rays of light shining through the steel beams.  As they closed in, they found the holes and realised that these were bore holes for bolts and rivets.  The bolts themselves were gone.  In all, workmen discovered hundreds of holes?according to one version several thousand?in the steel beams that make up the intricate structures, in the upright towers and the leaning support-and-feed masts.  The missing bolts were later found below, lying on the concrete flooring intermingled with their nuts which, too, had been removed.  Neither bolts nor nuts had been damaged.  The men also discovered that some of the weld seams had been tampered with and that some of the sections had indeed become separated.  Obviously, no human hands could have brought this about, especially in so short a time.  One must rule out any theory that saboteurs infiltrated the intricate tower system and carried out their work hanging from beams five storeys above ground.  It would have taken them days.  There simply was no other explanation but one?and this was an eerie one to say the least.  On the other hand, the damage was far from catastrophic,” the scientist said.
“In fact it was well within ordinary maintenance repairs.  The bolts could be put back in place, and the unwelded beams rewelded.  The act of sabotage appeared almost as though as whoever did it wanted us to notice in time to carry out repairs before drastic consequences set in.”  Twenty-four days later, he said, the Soyuz T carrying three spacemen including French astronaut Jean-Loup Chretien, was supposed to blast off.  Its objective was to dock with the orbiting space lab Salyut 7 with two Soviet cosmonauts aboard.

Things were back to normal a full nine days before the important launch and nothing further upset it.  The sabotage remained a well-kept secret until recently when a cosmonaut mentioned it in passing at a meeting with scientists in Moscow.  Actually, the scientist said, a check on all other launch sites determined that no other structures had been sabotaged.

The one affected, on the other hand, was a key launch pad surrounded with a veritable forest of steel beams, cable supports and anchors.  Its mainstay, an elaborate quadruple tower opening like a giant steel tulip, embraces the vertical rocketship suspended over a steel pod sunk deep into its concrete flooring.  “Unlike the American support towers,” he said, “ours swing from ground-level hinges, their tops sailing away in arcs of over seventy metres to let the space vehicle and its cluster of boosters pass through unhampered at lift-off.”  It was these towers that had been precariously weakened by the removal of connection bolts.  A sudden wind could have caused the tower to topple and collapse tearing the rocket down with them.  But there was no wind that night and the steppes of Kazakhstan lay peaceful and calm under a starlit sky.  “And so, incredibly, all ended well,” the scientist said.  “Still, for a full two weeks not a single rocket shot up from the Baikonur cosmodrome while new measures to protect it were being adopted.”  He refused to comment on the significance of the triple military operation of June 18, claiming he knew nothing about it.  The fact that Baikonur came to a mysterious standstill last June has since been confirmed by the American National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

Soviet space expert and noted astrophysicist Vladimir Azhazha, reached by phone in Moscow, said: “I have no reason to doubt that extraterrestrials must be well aware of our increased space activity.  For all I know they are better informed about its objectives than the average man in the street.  I have always contended that superior civilisations are more concerned with peace and harmony than we are.  Those ‘star wars’ that fiction writers dream up, are, in my view, sheer nonsense.  “Beings more advanced than we are will keep us in check somehow even if it hurts us on occasions.  At least, I hope so.”  ?

Camera Press:
Good, Timothy.  (1996)  Beyond Top Secret. The Worldwide UFO Security Threat.  London: Sidgwick
& Jackson.
Gris, Henry.  (1983, March 13)  UFOs ‘in raid on Soviet space centre’.  South China Morning Post, Volume xxix, No.70, p.2.
Gris, H. & Dick, W.  (1978)  The New Soviet Psychic Discoveries.  Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.

Western Australian Sightings
Compiled by Brian Richards

After a very quiet winter and spring, an increasing number of reports are coming in from various parts of Western Australia, Perth, and surrounding areas.  Most of the sightings are unusual nocturnal lights that cannot be recognised as anything conventional.  The problem is, such sightings tell us nothing of the makeup, origin, and purpose of these illuminated interlopers.  We may reason from all this that visitations are still occurring worldwide.  The frustration is that the ‘authorities’ and/or science are still not taking them seriously?at least not openly? leaving us to wonder if we are getting any nearer to the truth.  What makes solving the problem more difficult is our own technological advancement.  Could many of these sightings be nothing more than advanced stealth-type aircraft?  Are huge silent craft or lights nothing more than holographic images beamed from satellites or secret bases on Earth?  Why you may ask would any government undertake such bizarre testing?  As proposed for future warfare, multiple holographic images of tanks, guns, men and military hardware could fool the enemy into believing their foe was vastly superior.  To attempt an onslaught against such firepower would seem to be sheer suicide.  This theory doesn’t explain away UFO sightings as such.  It may suggest a test of public reaction to images of this kind.  Or the sightings could be of real extraterrestrial, inter-dimensional, Earth-based or time-warp intrusions.  The hologram theory may have been introduced as disinformation to allay the public’s fear of the unknown.

What we do know is that a paradigm shift is occurring in our thinking about life beyond Earth.  As the frontiers of space forever expand with the eyes of Hubble, Cassini and the numerous deep space probes sent out over the years, it is now thought that life may exist under the ice of Europa, fed by thermal vents.  New planets are also being discovered orbiting distant suns, all of which gives rise to the question of whether life exists elsewhere in the universe.  Twenty years ago such thinking would have bordered on heresy.  But is it not unreasonable to assume that life on Earth is a reflected microcosm of life elsewhere in the Universe?  Life on Earth is diverse, and found in huge concentrations such as Mexico City, London, Beijing, Bombay, or scattered in tiny pockets across arid deserts where nomads seek out food and water, or affluent cities and small towns where everything is in abundance.  Such might be the case in the wider universe.  Some vast areas teeming with life, then millions of light years of desert.  Scattered civilisations with great distances between, and ‘galactic oases’ with more diversity.  Life.  No life.  More life.  Endless and timeless repetition, but varied beyond belief.

It is interesting to listen to Paul Davies and other respected astronomers and physicists discussing life in the universe.  Most suggest that there are primitive cellular-type organisms ‘out there’.  Little is said about advanced civilisations and, if it is, there is no support for faster-than-light or instant-transferal travel is ever given.  Cosmologists currently theorise that the universe started about twelve to fifteen billion years ago in what they call the Big Bang.  But maybe there were many Big Bangs, some still occurring at the edge of forever.  And how can anyone accept a theory that does not clearly explain where all the energy for the Big Bang came from in the first place?  What was the source and cause of it, and how did that original energy eventually produce complex stars, solar systems, vast galaxies and nebulae?  But we digress.  Few scientists in the public eye allude to UFOs and the possibility of Earth being visited, in spite of the vast amount of supportive evidence.  But at least there is a change in thinking amongst the establishment.  It’s a pity that ufologists and like thinkers won’t be given credit one day for having had the foresight to know that Earth is only an oasis in the scheme of things, but special enough to attract visitors from beyond.  Or maybe we should have a shift in thinking.  Perhaps we ourselves were originally the extraterrestrial visitors to Earth who, for a million years now, have become firmly established as permanent residents.


Sunday 20 February 2000, 9pm.  Golden Bay, Western Australia.  The witness would not leave his telephone number, name or address, but insists he saw something very unusual.  Two red/orange balls of light (OBOLs) glowing like hot coals were seen to the south-west over the ocean.  The leading sphere stopped, allowing the other to catch up.  It did not catch up by travelling in a straight line, but zig-zagged left and right in a very erratic manner.  The two spheres remained stationary together for a while before moving away to the south-west and at the same time rising up into the night sky, increasing speed until they appeared as two star-like dots before disappearing altogether.

Sunday 13 February 2000.  Mr Herbig, a retired mining engineer, related an incident from 1967.  He and three colleagues were near Dampier in north-west WA (then King Bay), when a huge, bright, white, moon-shaped object came in from the ocean to the west and stopped over them for a while.  It then flew back from whence it came.  No sound was heard.

Thursday 10 February 2000, 4.30am.  Gosnells, WA.  The witness, Peter, was looking east when he saw a bright, white, stationary light at forty-five degrees.  The object then moved erratically up and down and side to side and assumed a bluish tinge with a haze around it.  There appeared to be a black spot in the central area which was not well defined.  The witness watched the object for about ten minutes before it faded out.

Sunday 6 February 2000, 9.15pm.  Greenwood, WA.  Emmet reported an orange/red fireball with a long tail travel from south-west to north-east in ten seconds.  There was no sound or sparkle from the object.

Thursday 3 February 2000, 10.07pm.  John of Currumbine, WA, thirty-five kilometres to the north of Perth, was looking south-west.  There was a flash and the witness noticed an unusual ‘star’ at about forty-five degrees.  It moved north towards the witness, then east before resuming a northerly direction and back east before disappearing, flashing all the while.  Later that night John saw an unusually dull meteor streak from north to south, parallel to the ground.

Sunday 30 January 2000, 12.05am.  Kununurra, WA.  Steven was at the Lakeside Resort on security duty.  He watched a very bright orange light approach Kununurra from the north-west.  He described it as, “like an incandescent street lamp.”  It traveled very fast and was about the size of a Australian two dollar coin (20mm) at arm’s length.  The object slowed down and stopped north-west of Kununurra.  It appeared to be enveloped in a sparkling substance.  Burning, bright orange/red stuff was falling straight down from the object, like wax from a candle.  The object slowly rotated and the witness noticed a darker central area on what appeared to be a sphere.  After about a minute the sphere moved to the right (north-east) and then headed east-south-east and was lost from view.  Apparently the same or similar object was seen in the same area in the early hours of Saturday 15 January, also shedding burning debris, and around Christmas time was reported twice at 11pm and 2am when it split in two and flew in opposite directions.

Friday 28 January 2000, 9.35pm.  Rockingham, WA.  The witness, Trevor, watched a very bright light with a bluish tinge, half the size of a full moon, drop down from a forty-five degree angle.  He described it as a ‘beamless searchlight’.  It could have been a meteor except the object did a complete double-back (turn) on the spot and shot up into space.  It traveled faster than anything the witness had ever seen or could imagine, disappearing in less than two seconds.

Thursday 27 January 2000, 8.10pm.  Mt Masura, near Armadale, WA.  Erica and a friend were facing west.  A very bright star-like object  dropped down from almost overhead, dimmed and disappeared.  It reappeared to the right (north), dropped down again, before shooting up at great speed and vanishing.  The witness saw a silver disc when she was twelve and has psychic abilities, especially clairvoyance.

Wednesday 26 January 2000, 10.50pm.   Bibra Lake, WA.  Greg and a friend watched a single white light travel from south to north-east.  Some distance behind, three more lights were following two hand-spans at arm’s length behind, one lower than the other two.  The second light was larger than the third and the fourth which faded out.  Another caller named Greg, also of Bibra Lake, reported the same sighting at the same time, although he thought the following lights were a reddish colour.

Wednesday 26 January 2000, between 10.30pm & 11.30pm.  Halls Creek, WA.  Warren, the witness, forgot to record the exact time, but described a very bright, white light travelling north-east from the south-west.  Bits seemed to be falling off the object.  About twelve smaller lights were following close to the main light and were ‘peeling away.’

Saturday’s West Australian newspaper of 29 January 2000 ran a story of this sighting.  It seems the object described as a fireball was seen from Albany and Esperance in the south-west heading north-east, crossing Halls Creek, Kununurra and Wyndham on the north-east WA/Northern Territory border.  The Perth Observatory’s director, Dr James Biggs, believed the object was either a meteor travelling one hundred kilometres up, or a Russian Molniya satellite, launched in 1986, breaking up.  The following lights described by witnesses could have been bits of the satellite breaking off and continuing on a similar trajectory for a while.  As this is only speculation, more investigation is needed.

Monday 24 January 2000, 8.04pm.  Mosman Park, WA.  Russell, a resident of Wellington street, was looking west and watched four lights travelling north to south, following the coast.  What made the lights unusual was their configuration?a Southern Cross.  The trailing light was blue and the other three white, with one flashing.  There was no sign of wings, tail or fuselage.  The witness thought he could hear the roar of engines (This may have been a military jet on night exercises: BR).

Thursday 13 January 2000, 8.42–8.57pm.  Spearwood/Munster area, WA.  Mark and three friends watched an OBOL travel from east to west at about seventy degrees.  There was no sound and an orange flame came out the back of the object, flickering and fluttering like a candle.  The witnesses calculated they must have sighted it over a sixty kilometre distance before it disappeared over the Indian Ocean.

Saturday 8 January 2000, 11.30pm.  Hamilton Road, Coogee, WA.  Scott reported an OBOL travelling south to north in a seven minute period.  It was very bright and the witness, using a twenty magnification gun-sight, observed ‘veins’ or fine lines running through it.

Saturday 1 January 2000.  Southern River, Armadale, WA.  Looking east, Kelly reported two balls of light, one pink, the other white.  At first, what appeared to be an unusually bright, white ‘star’ started to move south.  Then in one jump, moved left or north.  A huge pink ball of light materialised and started to move erratically up and down, disappearing and reappearing several times in different locations.  The larger pink light was joined by the smaller white light, hovered for a few moments and (both) disappeared.  Total sighting time was fifteen minutes

Friday 17 December 1999, 3.50–4pm.  Julia of Lansdale, WA, saw a small silver speck very high up to the left of a three-quarters full moon.  Through a pair of binoculars she could see four more similar objects? spheres or ovals without any appendages.  They appeared to be dropping like falling leaves with a side-to-side motion and were lost to view behind some trees.

Sunday 12 December 1999.  A woman phoned to relate an experience her father had had fifteen years ago whilst working in the North-west.  He had not spoken of the event to anyone until recently.  Her father had tripped over one evening.  In his horizontal position he saw the cause of his predicament.  A small picket fence formed a compound.  Within this area were tiny people and a fleet of miniature buses going about their business.  (Shades of Gulliver’s Travels!)  His following memory is vague, but for several years a series of five vertical lines like a bar-code remained on the witness’s forehead until they finally faded away.

Monday 6 December 1999, 9.25pm.   Martin of Hilton, WA, watched three white lights in a triangular formation head north-north-east from the south-west.  They faded away with distance.

Saturday 4 December 1999, 10pm.  Rosanna watched a glowing red object fly overhead to the east of Joondalup, WA.  The object came down and was burning on the ground.  The witness was too frightened to approach the object and drove away as fast as (legally) possible.

Thursday, 28 October 1999, 11.30pm.  Wally, a taxi driver, was near Mt Henry Bridge, Perth, when a fireball went overhead south-east to north-west.  The unusual feature was its cylindrical shape.  Flames were discharging from the rear of this ‘cylinder’, yet no sound was heard.

Sunday 5 September 1999, 9.05pm.  Ken of Singleton near Mandurah, WA, reported seeing, through binoculars, a star-like object moving north from the area of the Southern Cross.  It was flashing intermittently and jumping about in a most unusual fashion.

Monday 30 August 1999, 8.45pm.  Frank was east of Mt Newman, WA, when he spotted an oval object travelling east to west over a ten minute period.  He took photos, but the images were too small to analyse.

Wednesday 25 August 1999, 10.15pm.  Melissa was leaving a house in Shelley, WA, where she had been visiting friends.  With friends and neighbours she saw a bright candle-shaped object (three centimetres at arm’s length) with a yellow glow travelling west to east horizontally.  It was travelling quite fast and rising.  It grew smaller by distance and disappeared.

Sunday 1 August 1999, 6.30pm.  Ron and Cathy of Rivervale saw three star-like objects very high up zig-zagging about erratically.  They watched for ten minutes until the objects disappeared.  The witnesses, along with scores of others, had seen an illuminated cigar-shaped object, complete with portholes, over Perth in 1968.

Thursday 29 July 1999, 5.55pm.  Drysdale Crossing, Kimberlys, WA.  A report was made of a bright, blue fireball with tail travelling south to north-north-east.  Stuff was falling off the object as it passed overhead.  At 6pm a possible impact explosion or sonic boom was heard from over the horizon.

Monday 26 July 1999, 9pm.  Glendalough, Wembley, WA.  The witness, Matt, looking east, reported seeing a milky-white, cigarette-shaped object travelling fast and silently from north to south.  The duration of the sighting was three to four seconds.

Sunday 18 July 1999, around midnight.  Rockingham, WA.  The two witnesses, Dave and Virginia, saw a large, green, tailless fireball cross the sky from north to south.  Shortly afterwards the witnesses saw two luminous spheres the size of grapefruit on their back patio.  Virginia tried to lift one up, but her hand went straight through the object, which then disappeared.  She felt a sort of pressure/energy within the object which left a sooty residue on her hand.  Unfortunately none of this residue was kept for analysis.  There seemed to be no negative after-effects from this experience.

Saturday 10 July 1999, 5.50pm.  Huntingdale, WA.  A man reported what looked like a wing or plane on fire moving from east to west.  The bright orange/red object was moving about seventy kilometres per hour.  It rose, did a half-circle manoeuvre and continued on its way.

Thursday 24 June 1999, 7pm.  Welshpool, WA.  Peter was ‘freaked out’ by a very bright, orange/red object travelling silently below cloud from east to west.  He described it as being, “Brighter than the brightest star” (Possibly a fireball: BR).

Tuesday 15 June 1999, 5.30pm.  Bindoon, WA.  Fiona and three witnesses watched a contrail, or what appeared to be a vaporous streak, at twenty degrees to the north.  From this ‘vapour’ emerged a rocket or bullet-shaped, dark object.  The vapour trail turned an orange colour (The setting sun? BR) and both the trail and object continued northwards at great speed.

Wednesday 9 June 1999, 10am–3pm.  Esperance, WA.  This is not a UFO report in the true sense.  It relates to a fall of white, filamentous, web-like substance, sometimes referred to as ‘Angel Hair’.  The witness, Peter G was some ninety kilometres east of Esperance.  At 10am he noticed thread-like substance falling out of a clear sky.  There was no wind.  He traveled west, and near Esperance the stuff was still falling and continued to do so till 3pm.  Trees, bushes and power lines were festooned with threads up to four and a half metres long.  The ground took on a sheen as the stuff settled.  Reports came in from the north, east and west, from Gibson’s Soak, Condonup and Munglinup, covering a 10,000 square kilometre area.  The local paper ran a story, and an Esperance resident, Marilyn Burnet, collected a sample.  I had some of that sample analysed spectrographically and with electron microscopy.  Copper, aluminum, zinc, iron, sodium, manganese, silicon and a number of other minerals were found in it, which eliminated the spider’s web theory.  It appeared to be some sort of extruded inorganic/organic polymer.  No UFOs were reported at the time, although between three and five contrails or chemtrails were seen over Esperance that day, one with a spiral formation.  This is mentioned because there have been similar occurrences in the USA and elsewhere, which are believed to cause a lot of sickness through respiratory problems.  This is purely speculation here; there may be no connection.  But, for more information on this disturbing phenomenon, type ‘chemtrails’ or ‘contrails’ into your Internet search engine.  You’ll be in for a surprise.

Monday 7 June 1999, 6.40pm.  Beldon, WA.  Graeme and family watched a bright-red, flaming object travel north-west to south-east very low and silent.  The witnesses thought it was an aircraft on fire about to crash and watched it for ten minutes before losing it from view.  A second independent witness, in Padbury, saw a very bright, orange object approach from the north.  At first it was the size of Venus or Jupiter, but as it got closer it grew bigger.  She described it, “like a Cessna on fire.”  The object stopped over her house for three minutes.  The witness raced inside to get her binoculars.  When she returned, the light had gone much higher, dimmed, and moved to the north-east.  After another three minutes it grew brighter and moved south-east in a series of zig-zags and jumps before fading from view in the distance.

Sunday 6 June 1999, 10.30am.  Wanneroo, WA.  Sylvia reported a metallic, cylindrical object moving slowly from the north-east to the south-west.  High above were two white stationary specks.  The witness averted her gaze for a moment.  When she tried to re-locate the objects, they had gone.

Sunday 30 May 1999, 7.30pm.  Gosnells WA.  Mark J reported a flaming, red ball travelling north to south in seven minutes.  It was lost to view by distance.

Saturday 29 June 1999, 9pm.  Armadale, WA.  Sian and friend reported two OBOLs to the south, one above the other.  The lights moved over the couple’s house and remained stationary.  The male witness grabbed a video camera and started filming.  As soon as he did this, the tape got chewed up and no record was made.  The lights then moved south and were lost by distance.
Friday 28 May 1999, 8pm.  Gosnells, WA.  Kim, looking north-east, saw five orange lights travel north-east to south-west in a group.  Two of the lights disappeared, the other three formed a diagonal line before dimming out five minutes later.

Friday 28 May 1999, 11.30pm.  Terry, a ranger covering the Jarrahdale and Bedfordale areas in WA, watched three lights in a triangular formation moving south-east at the back of Wongan Dam.

Saturday 22 May 1999, 10am.  North of Gingin, WA.  Shanon and a friend were travelling north.  They claimed a disc-shaped object dropped out of the sky some two kilometres in front of them.  It paced their vehicle, keeping the same distance ahead along the Brand Highway.  After a few minutes the object accelerated ahead and disappeared.

Saturday 22 May 1999, 5.30pm.  Gingin/Dongara area, WA.  Pat S and her mother were south of Cataby in the Gingin/Dongara area travelling north.  They noticed an orange/red oval object travelling in a north-east to south-west direction leaving a visible trail.  It appeared to be dropping down, but after twelve minutes it leveled off and sped away to the east.  Pat shot a full two minutes of video, but accidentally erased all but a few seconds of the trail.

Monday 17 May 1999, 6.30pm.  Scarborough, WA.  Sandy was looking south towards Perth.  Three stationary orange/red lights appeared in a straight, horizontal line spaced equally apart.  They blinked out and were not seen again.  The witness insisted that it was not a conventional aircraft.

Saturday 15 May 1999, 8.45pm.  Noranda, WA.  Andrew B and four witnesses described three stationary lights in a triangular formation over Perth to the south-west.  They did not move or flash, but faded out after three minutes.  They were spaced equally apart, ten centimetres at arm’s length.  A conventional aircraft flying nearby had a flashing red light.

Tuesday 11 May 1999, 3.30pm.  Perth, WA.  Doug M’s daughter, aged nine, described a black cylinder with flames coming out the back travelling silently from east to west at the same speed as a light aircraft.

Monday 3 May 1999, 11pm.  Kingsley, WA.  John was lying on his bed.  He watched a very bright yellowish/white light approach from the south and stop over his house.  He noticed it wasn’t one light but two, close together and oval in shape.  To the north of these bright lights he could see a cluster of star-like lights moving about.  After a while all the lights headed upwards and disappeared.

Saturday 24 April 1999, 11.30–11.45pm.  Heathridge, WA.  Andre was driving along Marmion Avenue and noticed a very bright, red, stationary light some distance to the south.  As he watched, a smaller white light came out of the red light, then another, which dropped straight down.  He then lost sight of the object.

Wednesday 21 April 1999, 10.30pm.  Armadale, WA.  Kevin C was looking west towards the coast.  An orange/red light appeared and divided into two.  One half was round.  The second diamond-shaped object was surrounded by five or six white lights that lit up the clouds.  What appeared to be cloud, vapour, or steam was being sucked into the diamond shape.

Friday 16 April 1999, 4.30pm.  Inglewood, WA.  Andrew M watched two metallic-looking spheres head west.  Both were rolling over and over or tumbling as they accelerated out of sight.

Wednesday 14 April 1999, 1.15pm.  Joondalup, WA.  Shane watched a very high flying object.  No appendages were seen.  It appeared round or oval moving west.  It changed course heading north and stopped and moved north again disappearing very rapidly.  No sound was heard.

Monday 12 April 1999, 10pm.  Kalamunda, WA.  Geoff reported a large star-like object to the north at seventy degrees flashing every three seconds.  An orange glow appeared around the light for about four minutes.  It faded out after eight minutes.

Monday 5 April 1999, 8.05pm.  Leederville, WA.  Megan watched a silent, yellow/white fireball with a long tail travel north to south in six seconds.  It was very bright.  Bits were falling off as the object made its pass.  The same object was also reported by Luigi of Noranda at 8.05pm.  He described it as, “white with a long tail going north-east to south-west”.  Joe in Mundaring thought it was bluish/white with a long tail going north-east to south-west.  Des W of Langford saw it at 8.04pm as blue/green with a very long tail going north to south-west.

Saturday 3 April 1999, 7.35pm.  Mandurah, WA.  Debbie and seven other witnesses watched an OBOL travel south to north.  It was four times brighter and bigger than the brightest star/planet and although not deviating from its course appeared to move up and down (Possibly a satellite, the orange colour being sun reflection: BR).

Sunday 21 March 1999, 11pm.  Chidlow, WA.  Shelley watched a ‘clump’ of light to the north shaped like a kangaroo with rainbow colours.  It was drifting westwards.  Later, in the early hours of Monday 22 March, a group of five star-like objects, two white, three gold, performed aerial maneuvers for one and a half hours before fading out.  ?

The Western Australian UFO Sightings & Reporting Centre
can be reached on:  (08)  9337 1638

Books on Out-of-Body Experiences
By Philip Paul

Because the out-of-body experience (OBE) strongly suggests that we have a soul, it is surprising so little has been written on this topic.  The first OBE book was published in 1850.  A hundred and forty years later in the 1990s, there were only about seventy-five books on the subject, with only a few having any substance.  The count today is about one hundred and fifty, with about thirty books being published in the last five years.  This article will briefly discuss the latest books and comment on their contribution.

Projections of the Consciousness (self-published, 1995), by Waldo Viera, was published in Portuguese ten years ago.  Released in English, Viera used this book to launch the small but striving ‘Institute of Projectology’, the first international effort devoted to promoting the OBE.  The author relates his OBEs which began occurring at age nine.  In diary format, Viera tells what he was doing prior to an OBE, what happened during the OBE, and his post-OBE observations.  It’s unfortunate Viera didn’t update this book prior to its English release so we can see how Viera’s excursions, and his analysis of his psychic voyages have changed in the ensuing years as he gained more experience and perspective.
William Buhlman has written Adventures Beyond the Body (Harper SF, 1996).  Intrigued by a neighbour’s comment about having an OBE, Buhlman experimented and had his first experience in 1972.  His book gives excerpts from his OBE journal.  There’s a section relating what Buhlman and others speculate regarding the nature and physics of consciousness.  Of the books being discussed, Buhlman’s is the only one that gives ‘advanced’ OBE techniques?and they are quite good.  The book has a helpful question and answer section, where the author tells what to do when out of the body to answer spiritual and cosmological questions.

Albert Taylor, an aeronautical engineer, has written Soul Traveler (Verity Press, 1996), giving background on the ‘witch rides’ he took as a child, and then moves us into his current thinking about the OBE.  Easily read, culled from short journal entries, Taylor’s book walks the reader through the last two years of his thirty-five years of ‘soul travelling’, and his conclusions about the spiritual element of the OBE.  Taylor comes across as fatherly, especially in his radio interviews, making one feel comfortable about seeking an OBE.  Considering Tayor is an engineer though, there is relatively little analysis of the OBE.  Also, at his website Taylor is identified as having a PhD.  However, despite repeated requests, Taylor would not tell me where he attained his doctorate, so maybe one might consider caveat emptor until his academic background can be confirmed.

Carol Eby’s Astral Odyssey (1996) is one of seven recent OBE books written by women.  Eby too is a ‘traveller’.  As a matter of fact, in the Acknowledgment section, when thanking those who helped her with her book, Eby includes friends who live on the astral planes.  Eby learned about the OBE in her early teens from her aunt, but did not begin having OBEs until her late twenties.  The first part of the book is a very good summary of OBE history and current research and theory.  Eby aptly comments on the better open and academic literature and contributes her own elevated insights, including an analysis of the ‘OBE-or-only-a-dream’ argument.  The last part of her book, in journal form, is a sample record of her OBEs, and though these experiences are interesting, the last journal entries are in 1992.  What’s been happening up to 1997, a year prior to the publication of her book?

Robert Peterson has written Out of Body Experiences (1997).  Charles Tart, author of ‘the classic’ on altered states of consciousness, has written the forward for Peterson’s book.  Peterson had an NDE when he was about twelve years old.  A being, who Peterson felt was God, told Peterson, “it was time to go”, but he didn’t want to die, so God asked Peterson what would he do if he were allowed to return to his body.  Peterson replied he’d tell everybody that death is painless and somewhat joyful, and via his book he’s doing a super job of it.  One of the strengths of this book is that Peterson offers a section on “What Other OBE Books Didn’t Tell Me”, and he addresses such issues effectively.  Via an OBE journal, Peterson relates some interesting OBEs, and also provides affirmations at the end of each section which helpfully establish practiced focus on ensuring an OBE.

In Astral Love (Llewellyn, 1996), D.J. Conway tells how to find a satisfying relationship on the astral plane.  Rather than sexual, Conway emphasises building an intimately mature relationship.  In explaining how to become involved with an astral resident, Conway?who also wrote, Flying without a Broom, (Llewellyn, 1995) ?warns that all is not divine ecstasy, but one has to work hard at finding the right companion, and the same issues that exist between people on earth apply when dealing intra-dimensionally.  There is even rejection.  Plus, she says, one can be molested/assaulted by slimy, lower entities.  So why bother?  Conway says because the astral experience is so amplified and sublime.

Bruce Goldberg, a dentist, psychologist, metaphysical lecturer and author has self-published The Astral Travel Workbook (1996).  Anyone who has seen Goldberg on the talk circuit knows how brash and energised he is, easily taking to task the uninformed sceptic and captivating the audience with his knowledge of psi subjects.  Though his books contain much information, they lack the stimulation of the live, animated Bruce.  An astral projection instruction book needs to ‘pump’ the reader up so they can’t wait to have an OBE, but Goldberg falls flat here (the best motivator in this area would be Rick Stack’s audio tape).  Too many of Goldberg’s OBE induction techniques are hypnotically-oriented, while there are many other diverse techniques available in the literature which are just as effective, and need to be mentioned.  Over the years there have been attempts to produce an effective OBE workbook, but none have stuck to a simple, occult-unfettered approach, and Goldberg is no exception.

In Explorations Out of the Body (Kroshka Books, 1997), Eddie Slasher covers ground other OBE books do, but in a more abbreviated manner.  He also writes in a very informal and somewhat more motivating style than do the other OBE authors being discussed.  Slasher says he’s had thousands of OBEs, beginning in 1975 when he did a sixth grade project on dreams using the book Lucid Dreams by Stephen LaBerge.  He and a friend even had simultaneous OBEs and compared notes when returning to the body.  Slasher says the OBE has solved two eternal philosophical questions regarding the human quest, and these are alluded to in the book’s concluding question and answer section.

Joe Slate, a PhD psychologist, has written Astral Projection and Psychic Empowerment (Llewellyn, 1998).  He articulates well the psycho-spiritual elements of the out-of-body experience.  At times Slate seems to make the experience more complex than it has to be, and using academic language he fashions new terminology for old OBE concepts and appears to want to incorporate these ideas as uniquely his.  The best value of his book is that among his professional colleagues he might perform the same service for the OBE as did Moody for the Near-Death Experience.  Slate might make the OBE more professionally palatable.  In addition, though other psychologists have analysed the OBE, they more or less kept it at a distance because of its controversial nature, but Slate boldly embraces all the metaphysical/spiritual implications of the OBE, and even goes a step further by drafting therapeutic and/or adjustment strategies for psychologists to consider when working with people who announce they’re having OBEs.  I’d be a bit cautious however about the ‘research’ coming out of Slate’s ‘lab’ because I don’t remember seeing any of it being published in the more critical publications.

Bruce Moen, a student of the late Bob Monroe (the ‘Godfather of the OBE’) has written Voyages into the Unknown (1997), and Voyage Beyond Doubt (1998, both Hampton Roads Publishing), where he talks about his experiences at the Monroe Institute.  Moen says the only difference between him and most of those reading his books is he already knows what the afterlife is like.  He first began writing his books right after visiting the Oklahoma bombing and doing some ‘rescue’ with those who died there.  That is, while out of his body, he helped calm and explain the afterlife to those killed in the bombing.  Moen’s first book talks about his early experiences with the OBE.  His second book deals more with his rescue work.  More than other authors, Moen conveys the angst in dealing with OBEs (for instance neglecting other important areas of his life, encountering intense family conflict, or confronting a radical change in religious perspective).  Readers will benefit from Moen’s exposition so they might either avoid the same mistakes Moen makes in his pursuit, or at least be better prepared to face the same issues.

Along with OBEs, Remote Viewing (RV) is discussed in Angela Thompson Smith’s, Remote Perceptions (Hampton Roads Publishing, 1998).  RV is the ‘sanitised’ term for clairvoyance these days.  Smith says she experienced both phenomena when a child and later put her abilities towards practical application as she worked either directly or indirectly with both private and government psi research organisations.  Smith is to be commended for arranging her life to give her maximum exposure to the major psi research labs, and though she covers a broader range of topics associated with OBEs and RV than do the other authors, the coverage is sometimes disjointed and incomplete.  I would have enjoyed reading more about OBE specifics than autobiographical detail.  For instance, how well did she feel each lab was designing, controlling and reporting their research?  And instead of reading that she ‘heard’ the Rand Corporation and Motorola ‘expressed an interest’ in psi research, I want to know the intensity of such ‘interest’, and the source of the ‘rumour’.

A much needed book is Doubles: The Enigma of the Second Self  (Robert Hale, 1998), written by Rodney Davies.  This book is the first effort to survey the literature on all phenomena that could classified as a double: the astral body, apparitions, ‘doppelganger’ (double-goer), ‘vardogr’ (following spirit), bi-location, and even animal doubles.  One phenomenon Davis did not include which also might be related to the subject of doubles is teleportation.  Though a somewhat scholarly work, Davies’ informal writing style allows for an easy read.  He references a variety of sources as he discusses each phenomenon.  He also gives a variety of examples so one can examine each phenomenon from a different angle.  Just when one thinks a pattern might be forming Davies gives another example that throws a spanner in the works.  Truly, the ancient and contemporary sources of these phenomena prove to be almost as interesting as the phenomenon itself.  One is struck by how prevalent and well-witnessed these phenomena are.  There’s a major disappointment in this book.  One anticipates Davies will tie it all together in the end, but for some reason Davies fails to do this.  Instead it appears he wrote a brief ‘non-conclusion’ which leaves the reader in suspense.  Maybe the phenomena are so diverse and inexact that Davies really just could not get a handhold on it, or maybe he had to meet a publishing dead-line.  In any case Davies has produced an unique book and it will be ‘the’ classic, but only until someone who can better ‘put it altogether’ comes along.

Another student of Robert Monroe’s, Patricia Leva, has written Travelling the Interstate of Consciousness (Q Central Publishing, 1998).  In this thick, large-size paperback, Leva offers the analogy of the astral body as a car which travels the consciousness ‘Interstate’ (the continuum of consciousness experiences).  Leva’s book is a driver’s manual where one learns to prepare for a trip to non-ordinary reality.  The reader is told how to start his car, set it in motion, become familiar with the rules of the road, and how to how find the on/off ramps.  Using such a device Leva is really extending the language Monroe uses in his program to help convey metaphysical concepts.  Leva also draws comparisons to the OBE vis-a-vis Castaneda’s and Ouspensky’s cosmology.  Leva’s book is too complex for the beginner and too simplistic for the seasoned traveller, and will not interest those who aren’t as endeared to the Monroe system as she is.

Another author who cut their teeth on Monroe is Rosalind McKnight.  She’s delivered Cosmic Journeys: Out of the Body Explorations with Robert A. Monroe (Hampton Roads Publishing, 1999).  More than a student of Monroe’s, McKnight was a close friend and one of the first ‘Explorers’ at the Monroe Institute.  Explorers were/are proficient Christopher Columbus-type OBE travellers who attempt to ‘map’ other-dimensional terrain.  Rather than being out-of-body though, it appears McKnight was engaging more in a mix of Remote Viewing and channelling.  She’d enter an altered state of consciousness, and responding to Monroe’s directions and questions, she would voice into a tape recorder answers to metaphysical and cosmological issues?some quite interesting, but no stunning revelations.  The sessions date from the seventies through to the eighties, and also predict events to the year 3000.  Along with intimate details of Monroe, McKnight also describes the mood when he died in 1994 and his touching funeral service.

Naked Soul: Astral Travel and Cosmic Relationships (Llewellyn, 1998) is penned by Marlene Druhan.  Marlene was raised in a metaphysical home and began having OBEs at fifteen.  Since then, she, like the psychic voyager Ingo Swann, has translated her celestial sojourns onto canvas.  Additionally, she conducts a variety of spiritual workshops.  As with D.J. Conway’s Astral Love, Druhan centers on how to have an ‘intimate’ relationship on the astral plane.  While Conway’s exposition is somewhat superficial, Druhan’s is detailed and quite sensuously intimate.  Druhan opens the reader’s eyes more to the possibility of negative entity influence (and how to avoid experiences that sound as bad as Dante’s Inferno).  She also offers a very helpful list of ‘guides’ one can call upon to stay both safe and to help one locate an ‘astral mate’.  For both physical and astral sex Druhan references Tantra, a sexual experience based on subtle energy transfer or melding.  As does Conway, Druhan allows that other-dimensional sex mirrors earthly relationship issues, both in responsibility and commitments, and she agrees astral sex can be intensely sublime.  Druhan talks candidly about her other-worldly lovers.  As a matter of fact her first love was in an astral affair that lasted for three years when Druhan was seventeen.  Because of its detail and breadth Naked Soul can become a referenced classic, not in a scholarly sense, or because it is the first to allude to cosmic relationships, but because Druhan has brought into the book detailed insight not yet surpassed.
The final OBE book is Astral Projection for Beginners (Llewellyn, 1999) by Edain McCoy, the seventh female author, who has written four other popular, spiritual-type books.  Though others may not agree, McCoy says there’s a broad range of experiences that count as an OBE.  “Any time that you are wholly involved in a time or place removed from your physical body, or are simultaneously aware of both your physical self and a self that seems somehow distanced from your body, you are astral projecting (ie: intense daydreaming)”.  McCoy tells the reader how they can prepare for an OBE and mentions accessories such as candles, incense, oils and herbs, and even gives a recipe for a ‘flying ointment’.  She also talks about the role chakras play in her concept of astral projection.  When it comes to discussing fears and anxieties of astral projection, some books offer a quick, dismissing statement saying there’s little to worry about, while McCoy offers a twenty-six page chapter about such dangers?real or imagined.  Even though she does not offer anything unique in the way of astral projection techniques, she offers an insightful ‘Checklist’ which will help the projector to become more aware (not to be confused with conscious) of what the experience entailed.  This Checklist will give more definition to an otherwise amorphous experience.  The book’s last section mentions things people can do once projected.

With the above books (plus the Internet) there is no longer an information vacuum in this area.  Each book gives a slightly different approach to the OBE, but unless future books can offer improved substance or a novel angle on the OBE (eg: Astral Projection for Dummies) then redundancy is going to occur as has occurred for Near-Death Experiences.  As a collective these books are valuable because they continue to bring to the public the idea that one is certainly more than the physical body, and gradually more people will more seriously look at that possibility, which eventually might cause a ‘critical-mass spiritual shift’.

I hate to end on a sceptical note, but I observed that although each author gave examples where they could leave their body at will and travel to any place and easily give proof that they had been there (or were even seen there by others), they could not say they do the same under controlled conditions so as to give ‘non-anecdotal’ proof that some quasi-physical aspect of them could actually leave the body.  For whatever reason, if Robert Monroe, the ‘Godfather of the OBE’ could not prove that something leaves the body, then sadly it’s doubtful any of his students or other hardy astral travellers can do so.  Hopefully, though, that’ll be the theme of the next OBE book.  ?

The Biggest Secret
The Book that will Change the World
By David Icke (1999): Bridge of Love.
Book Review by Morley Legg

A preamble seems necessary before reviewing this book.  I had never heard of it until I came across two outrageous reviews of it on the Internet, one by Robert Girard that was so negative I had to laugh.  A few days later some friends called and surprisingly had a copy which they insisted I borrow.  Noting its five hundred pages I intended a quick browse only.  Days later another society member phoned and happened to mention it.  He rejected my criticism by praising some parts and said I needed to read all of it to judge it properly.  I finally warmed to the challenge and weeks later, when half way through it, I was having regrets.

Icke’s first interesting ideas were about dinosaurs.  Although their bodies may have been destroyed over sixty million years ago, “their consciousness would have survived because consciousness is energy and energy is indestructible.”  He suggests there could have been evolving reptilian humanoids that survived the time of the dinosaurs, or perhaps they came from another dimension, or planet, or perhaps, “they move from planet to planet, covertly infiltrating the host society and eventually taking over.”

There is no doubt that David Icke, who claims to have had a major kundalini experience, has disgorged an enormous amount of flowing information to cause a mix of reactions and labelling?illuminating, annoying, ridiculous or dangerous.  His awesome perspective discloses considerable outlines of ancient history which provides a decidedly disturbing Big Picture scenario.  Although some aspects could be true, they are entangled with wild speculation that can’t be true, or at least we hope they can’t.

He insists that this Babylonian Brotherhood (from Earth, Mars, or other dimensions) long ago infiltrated the human race and doctored our DNA for their purposes.  “It is from this process of ‘possession’ by the reptilians and other low-vibrational entities that we have the ancient tales, indeed modern ones too, of demons, devils and evil spirits taking over a human mind and body.”

Rationality begins to evaporate when the reader is meant to accept that the surviving royal families in Europe carry the reptile bloodline of this Black Nobility, including some royals like the Queen Mother, Britain’s House of Windsor, and many world notables ?George Bush, Henry Kissinger, etc?and many in positions of royal, religious and political power.  “Today the initiates and front-men for the Babylonian Brotherhood control world politics, banking, business, intelligence agencies, police, the military, education and media.... The Windsors are the highest profile reptilian family on the planet and they operate at the heart of the global manipulation ... They are shape-shifting reptiles hiding behind human form.”

Many pages are devoted to the drama of Diana, Princess of Wales.  He believes the deaths of John F. Kennedy and Diana were long planned to happen at certain locations at certain times.  He predicts that, “the Brotherhood Agenda to the year 2012 include global financial collapse to introduce the one-world electronic currency; conflicts and terrorism galore.”

There is an underlying strength in his impressive details of genealogy and ancient history, although we could do with the reviews of scholarly critics to warn us of any discrepancies.  Each chapter, however, is followed by a substantial list of sources.  Much of the insight behind power/money laundering involving bloodlines seems feasible, or obvious, depending on the politics or naivety of readers.  It is written as if it is reality unveiled, but it is a book of speculation.

My initial expectation was of enjoying a unique version of the Big Picture to compare with other models, to aid in choosing which model offered the better chance of understanding our global purpose and problems, as currently our accelerating technology is steadily making things worse.  Icke challenges us to consider that reptilians on another level of existence have designed us with flaws so that they always maintain control over us.

Despite becoming disenchanted and increasingly annoyed, I felt compelled to read on.  How far could an author go and not run foul of the law?  He has surely got bits of the Big Picture right, but is the madness included as insurance to prevent his disappearance, or is it a set-up to discredit the whole idea of an ancient alien presence?  What side was he really on?  Has he been a target of Remote Viewing mind control, and fallen for baited information that will discredit his more accurate insights?

At a lecture he shared with David Summers at Murdoch University in March 1997, Ike at times walked around as if searching for words, and then with increasingly expressive shoulders and arms he would ‘take off’ with outpourings of mankind’s need for freedom.  This behaviour suggested channelling.  One suspects he would write the same way, and any sensation of a ‘high’ would convince him it must be true.  Surely bursts of inspiration need to be monitored as to whether they are runs of truth or flights of fiction, and he shouldn’t start building on the latter just because it all seems a good thing at the time.  Often one feels he is not awake to unbalanced people telling him stories that should be treated with caution.

Jim Keith wrote a scathing review of The Biggest Secret saying Icke was muddle-headed, completely scatterbrained, couldn’t discriminate between probable truth and probable falsehood.  Robert Girard of Arcturus Books wrote, “Icke glories in ... sloshing around in suspicion, plot, innuendo, racism, conspiracy ... don’t let him suck you down to his level of degradation.”

After reading at random from his book (p.143) Judy Bryning, a former ‘Australasian Society for Psychical Research’ newsletter editor, wrote in her inimitable style: “The absurdly false etymology in David Icke’s book should be patently obvious in his example of the name ‘Elizabeth’ being derived from ‘El-lizard-birth’.  It is ludicrous to suggest that the inhabitants of the ancient Near East used a word similar in both sound and meaning to the modern English word lizard (which derives from French and Latin), or that lizard was derived from Sumerian, Babylonian or other contemporary text.  Ike’s attempt to downgrade the accuracy of the immeasurably superior work of Sir Laurence Gardner (1996, 1999) in terms of scholarship, is not clearly reasoned and communicated enough to be credible.”

We have to admit, however, that the very core of his theme is found in much of UFO literature: humanity being infiltrated and modified by a long-standing alien presence.  And yet he discounts UFO sightings and abduction experiences as a deliberate deception to throw us off the truth.

It is obvious that Icke antagonises orthodox beliefs and writes a lot of things many would not want to hear, and yet some praise for this monumental effort seems deserving.  For what?  For audacity?  Insensitivity?  Perhaps ingenuity?  Certainly there is a power in the book.  With reflection one has to admit that he has lined up an incredible sequence of truths booby-trapped with half-truths, many of the latter quite dangerous if they fell into the hands of groups looking for excuses to unload grudges.  It gradually dawns, however, that much of the worth lies in the way his disclosures needle us. Here lie amassed the ingredients with which Hollywood could make a blockbuster science fiction horror movie to shock the world into facing the murk in our ancient history.  There is only the resulting problem of Icke’s interpretations turning the world to hate, and blaming the British Royals and the United States for everything.  While the United States might not back such a film-making venture, there may be several other countries that would.

Bryning, Judy.  (15/11/99)  Personal correspondence.
Gardner, Laurence.  (1996)  Bloodline of the Holy Grail.  Shaftesbury, Dorset: Element.
Gardner, Laurence.  (1999)  Genesis of the Grail Kings.  London: Bantam Press.
Girard, Robert.  (1999)  Arcturus Online Book Review.
Keith, Jim.  (1999)  Arcturus Online Book Review.

Arcturus Online Book Reviews are available under ‘Shopping’ at the UFOcity website which is available at: