Quoting Archbishop Desmond Tutu in this week’s edition of Time Magazine, apartheid’s fierce adversary and soon-to-be-retiring holy man commented that, “The texture of our universe is one where there is no question at all but that good and laughter and justice will prevail.” Considering this philosophy alongside popular speculation that alien species may have been visiting Earth for hundreds, if not thousands of years, one might surmise that their intentions were good, also. If aliens are actually here, they haven’t harmed us yet, right?
Speculation of this sort no doubt raises contention within ufological circles. After all, there appear to be two differing viewpoints present in modern ufology which, over the years, have slowly resulted in a sort of loose segregation among its ranks: those who believe aliens are here to help humankind, and those who feel that their intentions are more dubious, and present cause for concern. Though these differing perspectives will no doubt continue to foster argument, it is interesting to consider how people’s beliefs in this regard are affected by theology, namely that of Judeo-Christian origin.
During a recent interview, UFO researcher and Presbyterian minister Barry Downing told AOL News that UFOs “may have been around for millions of years,” and speculates that their presence could have had some influence on the “development of the biblical religion.” Downing’s 1968 book The Bible and Flying Saucers sought to draw connections between biblical mythology and visits from alien beings, similar to those proposed by the various progenitors of the “ancient astronaut” hypothesis, namely Ezekiel reporting the appearance of flying “wheels” in the Old Testament (Ezekiel 1:16). Downing cites the parting of the Red Sea that granted safe passage to the Israelites–and even the Ascension of Jesus Christ–as other instances where ancient people sought to explain complex phenomenon where aliens might have intervened.
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Since the instances related above are generally accepted as miracles or, at very least, circumstances that seemed to work in favor of Judeo-Christian people in the Old and New Testament, one obvious perspective would liken the resulting influence of presumed alien visitors to that of angelic beings. This notion is contrasted rather drastically with the assertions made in my colleague Nick Redfern’s new book Final Events, and the Secret Government Group on Demonic UFOs and the Afterlife. Redfern’s book tells the peculiar story of the Collins Elite, an organization with members in various branches of government (namely the CIA) who begun investigating UFOs and their potential link to the devilish dealings of Aleister Crowley and, perhaps more importantly, Jet Propulsion Lab co-founder Jack Parsons. The notion that UFOs and their alien occupants may actually be connected with dark, satanic rites is hardly new (as Redfern’s book illustrates), having been proposed in ufological circles by the likes of Daniel Boudillion, Greg Bishop and myself in my book Magic, Mysticism and the Molecule. But is there any credible link between the presumed activities of extraterrestrials and demonic forces?
Many have proposed the odd theory that alien abductions are actually representative of a tangible process of removing people’s souls, which our extraterrestrial visitors appear to be “harvesting” in various capacities. In his book Communion, famous author and alien abductee Whitley Strieber described how abductees “experienced feeling as if their souls were being dragged from their bodies.” Strieber even discussed one incident of his own where he had experienced “total separation of soul and body,” and reported hearing his alien captors literally say “we recycle souls.” Another peculiar exchange, and one which points to the possibly dubious nature of alien-human contact as being exclusively a physical phenomenon, was reported during an abduction encounter that appeared in David M. Jacobs, PhD’s book The Threat. An abductee interviewed for Jacobs’ book recalls telepathically communicating with one of his extraterrestrial captors, and asking what their intentions were. Rather cryptically, he was told “all they’re interested in… no matter what happens at all, is that they control.”
The foreboding circumstances presented within such reports can hardly escape designation within our so-called “evil” category. Still, they may be worthy of further interpretation, as seen from perspectives seeking to define the phenomena more broadly, rather than the strict, cut-and-dry labeling of “good and evil.” Consider the numerous consistencies between reports of UFO abductees and those who have had various sorts of mystic experiences, both self-induced (via entheogenic drugs, meditation, etc) and the spontaneous variety. One common theme would be the perception described by mystics that a “presence” accompanies their meditations, rituals, and other methods of entering altered states. This sometimes even culminates in trans-dimensional “encounters” with sentient beings, seeming so real that no explanation could exist in the mind of the initiate other than a literal meeting with an alien presence having transpired. Mystic experiences are also traditionally rife with descriptions of bodily dismemberment, as well as levitation, out-of-body experiences, tunnels of light, religious iconography, and a host of other things that similarly pepper various ufological literature, especially in the cases where alien abductions have been involved.
Does making associations between the two phenomena in this way challenge the notion that alien abduction is an entirely physical phenomenon? Perhaps so; but more to-point in the present circumstance, it illustrates the commonality between mystic experiences–many of which involve circumstances that could certainly elicit a sense of separation between soul and body–and the nuts and bolts, primarily medically-oriented alien abduction scenarios which, of no particular surprise here, contain many of the same sort of elements. Perceived in the absence of their mystical counterparts (and interpreted solely in a physical sense), alien abductions could hardly be received as anything but negative or “evil.” And yet, ironically, mystic practitioners have long noted circumstances that are curiously similar within their meditations and dream quests, having merely accepted them as one small part of a greater experience.
Religious beliefs, traditions, and cultural perspectives will inevitably influence the way any presumed contact with extraterrestrials–present of future–will be interpreted by a given race or group of people. Arguably, even those who may not adhere to a particular belief system will still find themselves influenced by the culture and religions of those around them under such circumstances, filtering the experience through an ideological window that isn’t entirely their own. Thus life on Earth, and our relationships with each other, create a picture of ongoing contact with a presence that, perhaps for lack of better classification, appears to represent alien visitation. We could choose to accept this conclusion blindly, or we can venture to take UFOs and alien abduction into context honestly alongside religious beliefs and other esoteric practices from around the world. By attempting to better understand the phenomenon in all its capacities, the likely outcome would involve people beginning to look at “aliens” as only one small piece of a much larger puzzle. Housed within the great frame of human consciousness, we may find an unexplored frontier as curious as any distant planet or alien realm we’ve ever imagined.by