extracted from The Anomalist-1
from Scribd Website
The cargo cults of the South Pacific islands show striking similarities to certain spiritual currents surrounding UFOs and Ufology, and I intend to demonstrate this relationship with the following short history of cargo cult evolution.
Though many religious sects share similar practices, it seems to me that cargo cults and saucer groups are more closely related, having occurred fairly recently in direct response to outside stimuli. With both the UFO phenomenon and the cargo movement, we have a chance to see what the lasting effects of contact with a higher intelligence may be.
In a sense some New Age groups may be seen as little more than cargo cults themselves.
With the exception of an isolated cult in Samoa now dated to the 1830s, the cargo phenomenon really began to proliferate only after 1871 when the Russian Baron Miklouho-Maclay became the first white settler in the area. The Baron and his crew settled in Madang, New Guinea, and were taken to be the long-dead ancestors of the people returning as gods.
As with most seafaring cultures, the
dead were thought to depart in great boats sailing west toward the
setting sun. People were born when the tide was coming in and died
when it went out. Visiting ships' crews would naturally be received
as gods, which the natives of the Pacific islands considered their
ancestors to be.
The departed white men had returned to
heaven (i.e. Europe), the natives were told. Gods don't die.
The natives came to see them not as gods
but men who had accidentally discovered how to control Kilibob
and Manup, the two brothers who were cargo deities identified
with the Baron.
Kilibob and Manup are credited with having founded the cultural systems in use in the various islands prior to European rule, systems which left the majority equally wealthy. The misappropriation of wealth under the Germans was now obvious in everyone's eyes, and it was during this period that native uprisings began. The Germans weren't shy about using their newly-introduced rifles.
In 1904 a large uprising in Madang was
squelched by the white men, and in 1912 the situation was again so
bad that many of the islanders were exiled.
Proselytizing christians were welcomed, and it was soon decided that the christian God and Jesus lived in heaven (now a suburb of Sydney) with the ancestors, where they all spent their time making cargo. Baptism and devout adherence to the forms of Christian worship were sure to bring the ancestors with ships full of cargo to the islands.
Early cargo devotees had watched for a
big canoe, but by this time they knew to keep an eye out for sails.
In 1919 the first steamship made its appearance in the area, being
the latest vehicle for delivering cargo.
Services held in formerly christian
chapels were again designed to honor the ancestors and bring their
return with dancing, feasting and offerings of food. By the time
World War II started, virtually all dependence on christianity was
gone; the traditional island gods had now been declared full-fledged
These messages encouraged fervent prayer, intense dancing akin to the frantic whirling of Sufi dervishes, and the use of the mildly hallucinogenic kava. As it turned out, the Japanese were more than willing to fulfill this role for the islanders, promising them abundant cargo if they would help drive out the white men.
The Japanese occupation didn't last long, and soon the natives were amazed to see black men like themselves fighting alongside the whites in the Allied armies. It was very assuring to the natives to meet these American blacks, who they could see obviously had the secret of cargo. They too could learn the secret, if only they did as these soldiers were doing.
The soldiers were friendly, giving out gifts of chocolate bars, beer and other foodstuffs, and leaving behind abandoned buildings and equipment.
The ancestors would return in airplanes, and to this end the natives abandoned their docks and wharves for newly constructed bamboo radio shacks with grass roofs, wooden antennae and vines for power transmission, ersatz airports with loose dirt runways that would look right at home on an episode of "Gilligan's Island."
Templar crosses may be found all over the area in imitation of the American Red Cross.
The natives sit for hours in these shacks even today, or in their chapels, repeating phrases into their imitation radios they had heard the soldiers use to bring the mighty birds:
Perhaps they even received messages, just as early telegraph operators recorded detailed transmissions which were never sent.
This is a subconscious process brought
on by hours of monotony straining at the headset, akin to
automatic writing or channeling. The source of these
messages seems to be some facet of the recipient's mind as yet
unrecognized by western psychology - or perhaps even an outside
"intelligence." Who can say?
Frum was said to have been a black G.I.
whom the natives decided was King of America. His field
jacket is still in the possession of one faithful group. All the
cargo cults now believe the ancestors will arrive by airplanes, as
numerous models in every cargo chapel attest. Some groups believe
that the ancestors are even more advanced than the whites, and will
return in "flying houses" (whatever that might mean).
I know for a fact there are white saucer
groups in Australia, and there have been
contactees in the area since the very beginning of
Ufology. What a magnificent chance we have, to watch the development
of two parallel traditions in this age of technology, at first
isolated and almost mutually exclusive, but now soon to inevitably
and irrevocably merge; what an honor we have to witness the birth of
a brand new mythos.
Those groups who do retain christian influence are more akin to the Pentecostalists with their healings, speaking in tongues and other manifestations of man's spiritual side. In their own words the islanders merely want to be wealthy like the white men.
Although certainly not poor by absolute
standards - none starve or want for shelter or clothing - who
wouldn't be tempted by such trinkets as portable radios, small
handheld appliances, etc.? Many destroy their crops after the manner
of potlatch, presumably to show the gods how poor they really are.
Though not literally true, perhaps one day it can be made so. I would like nothing more than for the ancestors (read: ancient astronauts, Space Brothers, et al) to return from above and shower us all with more material wealth than we could ever know what to do with; a golden age of brotherhood and spiritual satisfaction would be upon us.
Just as proof positive of intelligent life elsewhere in the universe would have a profound effect on every nation's culture, even a relatively minor arrival of cargo on the islands would have profound changes on the cults, changes which would be quite exciting to observe.
For once the planes (or saucers) would land at the islanders' airfields instead of being diverted by the white man's conflicting radio signals, to mistakenly land at his. Do you read me? Roger and out.
Cargo cults and saucer groups are alike in having a millennial ideal; the forms this ideal takes are remarkably similar. They both have a non-personal entity (the ancestors and the Space Brothers) expected to manifest via mechanical vehicles (planes, ships, UFOs) bringing cargo (chocolate bars, radios, and post-nuclear peacekeeping technology) and a just salvation.
The impetus for both groups is not necessarily the material goods, but the status they bring. Cargo devotees merely want to turn the tables, as it were, and restore a civilization they perceive to be ill. Saucer contactees don't literally yearn for cargo, but more often for knowledge or wisdom. The changes they desire are sometimes economic, as with cargo, but are also pacifist, environmental and spiritual. In short, they too want to heal our cultural sickness by making us all equals.
They want someone to enforce nuclear
peace, do away with economic disparities, fix the environment, and
return us to a Golden Age.
I'm not saying that we are being visited by aliens; perhaps the whole thing is a psychological response to conditions similar to those that produced the original cargo cults. The "higher" intelligence may only be one more unknown aspect of our own minds, or it may be a defense mechanism against something we don't understand or can't accept.
Then again - as the contactees have been telling us all along - it may be the next step in human evolution.