Over the decades people have had plenty of practice finding the right
words to alert the world about the growing environmental dangers. But our
technological revolution is fast outpacing and disrupting our sense of
what life on earth means, and what it is for. We need wider perspectives
to rein in actions that accelerate our gravest difficulties.
There is a controversial new angle into this dilemma and although it is hardly a purveyor of good news it could take some of the hostility out of polarities and get more of us on to the one side - the side of awe, caution and restraint.
It is the new view being assembled by the more informed researchers
into the UFO phenomenon. Forget about hoaxes, missightings and gullibility,
and those desperate to believe or disbelieve. The wiser ufologists remain
wary and sceptical, yet are willing to look at unusual phenomena with minds
open. More and more scientists with integrity are beginning to do this,
mainly in private, but some publicly.
John Mack, for instance, a professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School has proved brave enough to publish some remarkable insights into Gaia-like links between us and the environment through researching UFO abduction claims. Some of Mack’s abductees reported apocalyptical visions of a devastated earth, vast panoramas of lifeless polluted landscapes and waters, with fierce telepathic warnings of environmental collapse.
Broader research is being conducted by the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON)
the biggest UFO group in the world which hold yearly Conventions in the
US and lists nearly a hundred scientists in its membership. MUFON suspects
governments are withholding important information.
UFO stories, ignored by official science because they transgress known laws, do have a nagging consistency and it is the sheer volume of them that justifies their study. Ufologists claim that there is evidence but sceptics won’t look at it. Our general Western assumption is that such experiences must be hallucinatory or involve false memory, but whereas hallucinatory material is endlessly variable, the different types of aliens being reported along with their examination routine and warnings, generally run to a standard.
In 1992 Professor Mack of Harvard with support from professors from
other universities completed the Roper Report, where 5947 Americans were
chosen at random and interviewed to study the spread of the UFO Abduction
Syndrome. The 60 page report was sent to one hundred thousand mental health
professionals. The general finding was that abduction claims could run
But let’s be sceptical. In the Skeptical Inquirer Professor Baker (Psychology - University of Kentucky) admits the bulk of abductees that have undergone tests seem well balanced and show no sign of neurosis. But Baker believes the UFO and Aliens fad to be a false belief stemming from Temporal Lobe Epilepsy (TLE), a common ‘sleep paralysis’ where an electrical overload in the brain causes peculiar sensations and dreams, awakening the mind in panic but leaving the body asleep.
Sceptics also maintain that abductees seem fantasy prone and that hypnosis
is an unreliable tool in dissolving amnesic blocks. However, the dreams
from TLE should be endlessly variable and UFO researchers claim there is
a glut of people from diverse backgrounds and from different countries
sharing strikingly similar ‘alien abduction’ imagery. Professor David Jacobs,
the pessimistic author of SECRET LIFE, laments that his research along
with that of Budd Hopkins proves UFO abductions are a reality.
There are many reasons why the world doesn’t want to take this seriously. A main one is that the very idea of an alien presence on earth threatens the power-grip of the religious-scientific-nationalistic-economic establishments. Their disdain for the mystery sends the general message down to all that it is safer to dismiss it, and then it might go away. But anyone truly concerned about the depth of our environmental crisis should gauge the stories of abductees in John Mack’s ABDUCTION - Human Encounters with Aliens. The insights are gleaned from helping abductees cope with the greatest trauma of their lives and from their subsequent new environmental consciousness. Whereas Jacobs sees the negatives of this, Mack is optimistic.
Mack’s conclusions from a close examination of thirteen abductees -
all with no trace of mental illness - could prove disturbing to some, yet
reassuring to others. His establishment colleagues are contemptuous of
his openness in taking the memories of abductees literally and they resent
his criticism of the ethics in the American Way in business and philosophy:
“Among these institutions, for-profit business corporations, which impact
every part of the globe, are perhaps the most powerful agents of planetary
destruction that human beings have created....” ”...UFO abductions have
to do, I think, with the evolution of consciousness and the collapse of
a worldview that has placed humankind at a kind of epicentre of intelligence
in a cosmos perceived as largely lifeless and meaningless.”
So far the UFO impasse has been fought between believers and sceptics. It is fortunate that C.D.B Bryan, a prize winning investigative journalist was invited to attend a five day UFO conference at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and felt moved to write CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE FOURTH KIND. This ‘outsider’ had to conclude that “something is indeed going on” and that it needs to be investigated. It is probably the best and fairest book to inform newcomers about extraordinary issues and developments.
Are we looking at a new mass psychiatric phenomenon or the periodic
intrusion of a parallel universe? The validity of this material cannot
be settled by snap answers. There exists an enormous amount of data and
history that once digested leads to findings and theories running way ahead
of public comprehension. The paranormal aspect of the phenomena is often
enough to sabotage any inquiry and it takes a brave academic indeed to
make open inquiries or to be seen with some of the literature.
Robert Girard, a Florida bookseller reviews about a hundred UFO books monthly in his ARCTURUS Catalogue. His overview of such literature grants him a unique insight into the human condition, as well as into the crunch into which it is heading. It moved him to write THE REVOLT OF THE FREE. and FUTUREMAN. Both provide shock previews of the retaliation awaiting our environmental irresponsibility gleaned from the ufology perspective. Girard has no sympathy for wishy washy belief in humanity being saved by spiritual space brothers. He is brutally impatient about the way we are pussyfooting with the consequences of overpopulation. He believes the aliens will get rid of us because they (like he) see us as ‘unwanted, unfit, unjustified and unawakened lives...a biological infestation overrunning the planet.’
His extended vision (which sees aliens as the sixth octave of earthly life that feeds on human emotion) gives us a devastating picture of the bad news (the consequences of 6 billion being prepared for consumerism) and as literature, as revelation, it is awesome and at times irrefutable. Realise that his extreme solution is to enable us to survive as a species along with the maximum diversity of other species. It is the right book, however, to give to those scientists, leaders and economists who show signs of waking up to face the degree of validity in this disturbing scenario.
Those interested in the new claims of ufology should seek out the authors
mentioned, do the TAFE UFO Studies course, or look up the phone number
of their city’s UFO group. Perth’s ASPR/UFORUM, for instance, has a hundred
members and publishes a newsletter and Journal and receives calls about
sightings and experiences. It interviews important cases, usually people
who would not dare go to the police or their GP or the media to tell what
happened for fear of ridicule.
UFORUM found Kelly Cahill a very spontaneous witness who was still devastated by an experience she wanted to disown. But in a recent ABC Compass programme on UFOs she seemed in complete charge of her life. After other Australian abductees were interviewed it was good to hear some apt closing remarks from Catholic theologian Frank Fletcher: “However traumatic the alien abduction, it seems that it becomes a breakthrough experience, and later on the person finds that life is larger, the universe is larger.”
Possibly ufologists like Mack, Jacobs, Hopkins and Girard are telling us what our scientists and politicians have failed to tell us. Their views may seem outrageous to those who think no further than the shallow end of the media’s coverage of science, politics and religion. Establishment science is like any establishment monopoly-religion or industry. It resists any change that threatens what has come to be ‘beliefs.’
Ecstatic or spiritual encounters are reported often enough but in Mack’s book ‘Ed’ tells of a female alien’s telepathic message of volcanic eruptions, earth shuddering in anguish and adding “You have a chance Ed. You have an inner sensitivity. You can talk to the earth.” Rather than literal predictions, abductees see these as allegorical warnings, and find that the abatement of ego-destroying terror has left a huge inner emptiness filling with compassion and concern for the earth, a new holographic sense that the environment is everything and infinite. The impact of this brought personal changes which included healing abilities, psychic gifts, motivation.
Mack’s assertion is that we live in a universe different from the one in which we have been taught to believe. From his work with abductees he believes that Western Scientific Materialism (WSM) has completed its cycle, and carried us to the brink of collapse. The gauntlet is down for apocalyptical arguments. WSM will fight to the end. The Harvard committee investigating him met over many months in efforts to censure him, but Mack received support from many quarters, some offering ‘proof’ of an alien presence on earth and has won his right to stay. But WSM does have a case: it has given us comforts in a technological paradise, it has proved how much of nature works, sent us to the moon, and it doesn’t want a return to primitive superstition.
The fundamentalists in WSM may act as villains. The heroes will reside on both sides of the argument and consist of those not out to believe or disbelieve, but those prepared to first look at the claims and then adjust to see the truths in the widest view, beyond the political desire to be in the power of the dominant side.
How seriously should we take warnings of environmental collapse from such an unexpected source? Ridiculous as it may sound it might be prudent to risk a look at the literature and gauge it as best we can. See if it can offer an awesome perspective - a new sense of place and meaning - from which we can live and act more responsibly. After all, the environment includes us.
Books mentioned are available in Australia, but for Catalogues write to ARCTURUS BOOKS 1443 S.E. Port St. Lucie Blvd. Port St. Lucie, Florida 34952 USA New applicants are sent a free Arcturus catalogue. Futureman costs $12.00 (US) postage extra.
Morley Legg is a member of the UFORUM committee of the Australasian Society for Psychical Research (ASPR) which studies the UFO phenomenon. He is editor of the ASPR newsletter and their bi-annual magazine The Journal of Alternative Realities.
ASPR/UFORUM PO Box 2001, Kardinya, West Australia 6163
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