Part 4 of
UFOs - The Psychic
Alien Abductions - 2
Mythology and Astral Visitations
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9. Alien abductions - 2
The following cases show that abductions experiences can involve far
more than pure fantasy.
The first reported alien abduction during the modern UFO era
occurred in 1957 and involved a Brazilian law student named Antonio
Villas-Boas. In the morning of 16 October while ploughing on his
parents' ranch, he noticed an extremely bright red star overhead. As
it approached it changed into an egg-shaped craft which landed on 3
His tractor engine died. He was then confronted by
a short humanoid being, which he pushed away, causing it to stumble
and fall. But 3 other humanoids grabbed him and he was carried on
board the craft. The beings were 5 ft tall, wore tight-fitting
siren-suits and helmets, and communicated with one another by making
growling sounds. They stripped off his clothes and 'washed' him with
an oily-looking liquid. Blood samples were taken from under his
Left alone, Villas-Boas noticed a strange odour in the room and
finally vomited. A naked woman then entered. She was slim, with blue
eyes, high cheekbones, a pointed chin, very pointed breasts, and
bright red pubic hair. The woman began to caress him and he was
surprised that he felt sexually aroused. They had sex twice, and the
woman also took a sperm sample. Before she left, she pointed to her
stomach and then to the sky. After getting dressed, Villas-Boas was
taken to another room. He thought of stealing a box with a clocklike
face as proof of his experience, but one of the beings immediately
pushed him away. After a tour of the ship he climbed down a ladder
to the ground and the craft took off. He had been on it for more
than 4 hours.
Villas-Boas suffered from excessive sleepiness for about a month
after the incident. An examination revealed 2 scars on either side
of his chin. He was also found to have suffered radiation poisoning.
At the time the case was too bizarre for anyone to accept as
authentic, even though Villas-Boas was a sincere, intelligent young
man, who eventually became an attorney. It is significant that he
remembered the abduction consciously and that no hypnosis was used.
The case set the tone for the abduction reports that would follow.
Just prior to the above incident, Villas-Boas had 2 other strange
experiences. On 5 October 1957, he could not sleep because of the
heat, opened the shutters of his house, and saw a bright,
fluorescent light, which seemed to sweep up into the sky. Shortly
afterwards he looked outside again. The light was still there and
moved towards the window. He closed the shutters but the light bled
through the slats and through the tiles of the roof, while he and
his brother watched. On 14 October, he was ploughing a field with
his brother late at night when they saw a bright light hovering in
the sky. He tried to get close to it, but it kept moving away
The famous abduction of
Betty and Barney Hill on 19 September 1961
had several parallels with the Villas-Boas case, though the latter
was not publicized until 1966. The Hills saw a UFO following their
car on a lonely road in New Hampshire. Barney got out and saw
figures inside. Terrified, he got back into the car and drove off at
high speed. Shortly afterwards, the couple heard a series of
electronic beeps and felt drowsy. Later they heard a second series
of beeps and found that they were nearly home. It was only some time
after the event that they realized the journey had taken 2 hours
longer than it should have done.
Betty became obsessed with UFOs and began to have disturbing dreams,
which she discussed with her husband. Her husband developed ulcers
as a result of anxiety caused by his experience, and also developed
warts around his groin; he later remembered an instrument being
placed over his genitals on the UFO. Under hypnosis they recalled
that after the first set of beeps Barney had inexplicably turned off
the main road and stopped before a group of figures on the road.
They were taken on board a landed craft and subjected to a medical
Betty believed she had communicated with the alien
leader telepathically. The couple agreed that the aliens were about
5 ft tall, with broad foreheads, but Betty remembered large noses
and black hair, while Barney recalled no noses, just 2 slits for
nostrils, and no hair. The hypnotist took the view that they were
recounting a fantasy. It is worth noting that after the Hills' close
encounter, they began to experience poltergeist phenomena in their
home, and that Betty had a past history of paranormal experiences
The following abduction occurred at Bebedouro, Minas Gerais, Brazil,
in the afternoon of 4 May 1969. 24-year-old José Antonio da Silva,
an enlisted soldier, was fishing on a lagoon when suddenly he heard
voices, became aware of figures moving behind him, and felt a burst
of light strike his leg.
He dropped his fishing rod and fell to his
Two beings, about four feet tall, wearing aluminumlike suits and
what appeared to be helmets, seized him and dragged him to an object
sitting on a dirt road. The object was shaped like an upright
cylinder and had black platforms at each end. The soldier was taken
inside, where the beings put one of their 'helmets' on him. ...
Da Silva felt the craft rise. The beings talked animatedly among
themselves in a language he did not recognize. After a long period
of travel, he felt a jarring that suggested their craft had landed.
The soldier was then blindfolded and led to a large room, where they
removed the wrap from his eyes.
A being stood in front of him who was extremely hairy and slightly
taller than the rest. His waist-long hair was reddish and wavy. ...
When the others took off their helmets, they were of similar
Da Silva watched as the beings, at one point more than a dozen,
examined his fishing equipment and took one of every item he had in
duplicate. Later the witness noticed on a low shelf the bodies of
four human men, one black, and became terribly frightened. Later
still, the beings gave him a dark green liquid to drink out of a
cubical stone glass.
The dwarf leader then began a strange conservation with the soldier,
mostly about weapons, which was conducted entirely with gestures and
drawings. Da Silva also understood that they wanted him to help in
their relations with humans. When the soldier refused, the dwarf
snatched the crucifix from the rosary Da Silva always carried with
him. As the soldier began praying, a Cristlike figure appeared to
him, making revelations.
Shortly afterwards, Da Silva was blindfolded again and taken back to
earth. As the craft landed, he felt he was being dragged and lost
consciousness. He woke up alone near the town of Vitoria, about 200
miles from where he had been fishing. He was dehydrated and hungry,
but drank from a stream and was able to catch some fish as he still
had his rod with him. Only his identity card, which the aliens had
examined, had disappeared. He had a swollen knee where the ray had
struck him and three open wounds on his neck where the helmet had
rubbed against his skin.
He had been away four and a half days
Fig. 9.1. Alien encountered by Antonio da Silva, May 1969 (courtesy
of Harry Trumbore)
One of the central questions in this case is how
Da Silva travelled
the 200 miles from Bebedouro to Vitoria, and where his physical body
was during his 4.5-day absence. If there had been witnesses and
video equipment at both locations would they have observed him being
taken aboard a craft, the craft taking off, the landing of the craft
at the other location, and his emergence from it?
Most of the abduction could easily be a vision.
points out the striking parallels between the man's experience and
initiation ordeals. Initiation rituals are characterized by the
following general scenes: the candidate is confronted by members of
the occult group wearing a special costume; he is blindfolded; he is
led by the arm along a rough and difficult route; he is taken into a
specially designed chamber with no windows; he is brought into the
presence of a 'master'; he is given a test and made to answer
questions; he is shown a variety of symbols designed to remind him
of death; the situation suggests he may not survive the ordeal; he
is given ritual food or drink; he is blindfolded again and led
All these elements are present in the case of Antonio da
On 25 October 1974, Carl Higdon, an oil-field driller, was hunting
in a forest in the Wyoming countryside. He spotted 5 elk, raised his
rifle and fired at one, but felt no kick from the high-powered
weapon and heard no report. Absolute silence descended on the
forest. The bullet seemed to float from the barrel and fell to the
ground 50 ft in front of him. After retrieving the bullet, he heard
a twig snap (a common feature in otherworldly encounters). He turned
to see a bow-legged humanlike figure, about 6 ft 2 inches tall,
standing near him.
His skin tone was like that of an Oriental, and
the face seemed to blend into the neck. As in so many other cases,
the being was dressed in a one-piece suit. His right arm ended in a
cone-shaped device. The man, who later revealed that he was called 'Ausso',
greeted him by saying, 'How you doin'?', and then asked if he was
hungry. Before Higdon could answer, a small package floated toward
Inside were 4 pills, and he found himself taking one.
Fig. 9.2. Alien
encountered by Carl Higdon, October 1974.
He then spotted the creature's ship in the distance, and was asked
if he wanted to come along. Before he could answer he found himself
inside a transparent cubical craft, strapped to a chair and wearing
Ausso and another ufonaut were with him, and the 5 elk
were crammed inside in a cage behind him. When Ausso pointed his arm
at the controls, the craft began moving and Higdon saw the earth
receding below him. Moments later they landed on a dark planet that
Ausso said was '163,000 light-miles' (!) from earth. Outside was a
huge tower with a bright rotating light, and he saw what looked like
5 humans standing in the nearby plaza. When Ausso pointed his arm
again, Higdon found himself inside a room in the tower.
came out of the wall in front of him and examined him for several
minutes. Ausso then told him he was not what they needed and would
be taken back. Ausso returned his rifle and floated the remaining
pills out of his pocket.
The next thing Higdon remembered was walking along a road, feeling
dazed and confused. About 2.5 hours had passed. He still had his
rifle, but didn't know who he was or where he was. In the distance
he saw a parked truck and decided to use it for shelter, not
realizing that it was his own vehicle. The truck stood in the middle
of a mudhole, with no tracks to show how it had got there. He used
the two-way radio to call for help and was eventually found. His
truck had to be towed out, and those involved concluded it must have
been deposited there from the air. He was taken to hospital, and
late the next day he began to regain his memory and equilibrium.
The bullet Higdon had fired at the beginning of his adventure was
examined by an expert, who could not explain the state it was in.
The lead had disappeared, it showed none of the deformation expected
of a spent bullet, and it looked as if it had been turned inside
out. Much of Higdon's experience, however, sounds very dreamlike;
some of the details were recalled with the help of hypnosis. Higdon
passed a lie-detector test, and was considered to be a reliable
character. Other people had seen lights in the sky on the night of
Another incident very different from the modern standard abduction
took place in Emilcin, Poland, on 10 May 1978. A 71-year-old farmer,
Jan Wolski, was travelling on a horse-drawn wagon along a country
road when he encountered 2 'freaks', as he called them. They had
greenish faces, wore one-piece overalls ending in some kind of foot
flipper, and walked by making supple jumps like divers on the
seabed. Suddenly they got into his wagon on either side of him, but
Wolski continued on his journey without saying anything. He thought
they must be 'foreigners', since they had slanted eyes, prominent
cheekbones, and spoke in an unknown language.
A short while later they came across a strange vehicle in a
clearing, looking like 'a bus hovering in the air'. The humanoids
signalled to Wolski to step onto a platform that was lowered from
He did so, then rose up into a dark rectangular room
where he met 2 more 'foreigners' who told him to remove his clothes.
After a brief examination with 'two plates', he was told to get
dressed. He galloped all the way home, then returned with his sons,
and they found a series of trapezoidal, almost rectangular
footprints. A 6-year-old boy who lived nearby said he had seen an
aircraft resembling a bus fly very low over a barn, then climb
vertically into the air and vanish.
This incident is regarded as a
benchmark abduction account, with little or no contamination from
the outside world and none of the media exposure that characterizes
American abduction stories
Fig. 9.3. Left: Jan Wolski
Right: The craft encountered by Wolski, May 1978 (courtesy of Harry Trumbore)
for interstellar travel!
Another intriguing case took place on the evening of 3 January 1979.
Americans Filiberto Cardenas, his friend Fernando Marti, and Marti's
wife and 13-year-old daughter were driving home when their car
engine quit. The 2 men got out and began to look under the hood.
They suddenly saw alternating red and violet lights reflecting off
the engine and heard a sound 'like many bees'.
The car began to
shake, the light turned a brilliant white, and Fernando began to
crawl further under the hood for protection. Meanwhile, Filiberto
felt paralyzed and began to rise into the air, shouting 'Don't take
me'. Fernando saw him rising up, and by the time he got out from
under the hood, all he could see was a bulky object that ascended
and moved away. The next thing Filiberto remembered was being nearly
run over by a car on the Tamiami Trail about 16 km from where he had
been lifted up.
The police were sufficiently puzzled by the story
that they listed the type of offence as 'close encounter of the
third kind' in their official report.
Under hypnosis, Filiberto said he had been given an examination that
left numerous marks on his body. A caped, human-looking figure then
spoke to him at length, both telepathically and in perfect Spanish,
and showed him many remarkable scenes displayed on the walls.
Filiberto then remembered being taken to an undersea base.
again paralyzed and examined, and a sperm sample was taken.
Afterwards, another caped, enthroned figure gave him instructions
illustrated with images on banks of TVs. After many similar
experiences that seemed to go on for many days, he was dropped off
near the Tamiami Trail after a lapse of about 2 hours.
Richard Thompson comments:
'It is possible ... that Filiberto
Cardenas was actually carried off into the sky as Marti testified.
But the experiences he related under hypnosis may have been
partially generated by his own mind. Or they may have been projected
into his mind by the agency that carried him off.'
There was a
second meeting with the aliens, when Filiberto and his wife
voluntarily walked up a ramp into the alien ship and had a friendly
conversation with its nearly human occupants. They were subsequently
able to remember this experience without hypnosis, but there were no
independent witnesses to confirm its objectivity
The following multiwitness case took place on 17 November 1971. At
9.30 pm, a Brazilian named Paulo Gaetano was driving his car,
accompanied by another man, Elvio B. As they passed the town of Bananeiras, Paulo felt the car was not pulling normally, and he
mentioned this to his companion, who reacted by saying that he was
tired and wanted to sleep. The engine stalled and Paulo had to stop
the car on the side of the road. He then saw an object about 12 ft
A red beam of light was projected at the car and seemed to
cause the door to open. Several small beings appeared, took Paulo
into the craft, and made him lie down on a small table. After
fastening his arms, they lowered from the ceiling an apparatus
resembling an x-ray machine. He felt a cut near his elbow, and the
beings collected his blood. (Investigators from a UFO research group
photographed the wound 3 days later.) Then he was shown 2 panels,
one of them a plan of the town of Itaperuna, the other a picture of
an atomic explosion. Paulo felt heavy.
He remembers being helped by Elvio, but does not recall how they got home.
Elvio's story, however, is very different. He reported that near
Bananeiras, Paulo had begun to show signs of nervousness, saying
there was a flying saucer following them, when in fact it was only a
bus. Elvio added that the car had slowed down and stopped, and that
he had come to Paulo's assistance after he had fallen to the ground
behind the car, with the door on the driver's side remaining open.
Elvio managed to get Paulo on his feet and started with him by bus
towards Itaperuna, where Paulo was examined by the first-aid
station. The police sent a patrol to the site and found Paulo's car
on the highway. Elvio was unable to explain what had happened to
Paulo and why the door was open. He did not remember when Paulo had
got out, and could not explain why they had taken the bus. The
police found no trace on the car that could explain the wound on
Vallee comments that some experiments with microwaves suggest it is
becoming technically feasible for sensory impressions to be
projected into people's minds at a distance. He asks:
'Is this part
of the technology that is involved in the UFO phenomenon? ... [A]re
we dealing with a technology that systematically confuses the
Another possibility is that instead of the mind
being influenced by means of advanced psychotronic devices acting on
the physical brain, the mind could be affected directly on the
astral level without the use of any physical technology.
The above accounts show that some abductions seem to have a physical
component. There is certainly a great deal of evidence that UFOs can
manifest physically and leave physical traces. In some cases people
may have been physically taken on board these vehicles, and there
are a few abduction cases in which the abducteé was apparently
dropped off miles from the pickup point. If humans are occasionally
taken on board materialized craft, then a physical medical
examination is not inconceivable, though it may only be a simulated
one, conducted by paranormal entities rather than by
extraterrestrial scientists. However, many aspects of abduction
experiences sound like visions or dreams.
Abduction cases with definite physical elements seem to be rare
compared with the numerous cases where there is no hard evidence of
anything extraordinary, only events remembered mainly under
hypnosis. In these cases the entire experience could be taking place
on the mental plane, and reflect a variety of influences. Some of
these cases could be generated during the hypnosis session itself,
while others may originate in an actual unusual experience.
Popular culture has had a major influence on abduction accounts.
From the beginning of the 20th century, films, books, etc. have
often presented stories about alien spacecraft, big-eyed aliens, and
abductions, including medical examinations, implants, scars, memory
blocks, and missing time.
Several elements of the Hills' abduction
tale, for example, seem to be derived from the movies Invaders from
Mars and Killers from Space, an episode of the television programme
The Outer Limits, and a book by Donald Keyhoe entitled
Saucer Conspiracy that Betty had read just after her strange
. The vast increase in media attention for abductions
in the past couple of decades means that no abduction stories are
likely to be entirely uncontaminated by cultural influences.
The abduction motifs that first emerged in the Villas-Boas and Hill
cases could therefore have originated partly from cultural
influences and partly from the witnesses' imaginations. But this is
unlikely to be the whole story. For the motifs that find their way
into popular culture and into our own minds are themselves largely
drawn from the 'memory of nature', the 'collective unconscious' or,
in occult terminology, the astral world -- the thought-atmosphere in
which our minds are constantly immersed.
That something more than individual imagination is involved is
underlined by the fact that during the 1960s, even before the
Villas-Boas and Hill cases were publicized, John Keel had collected
many other reports by people who had cloudy memories of having been
stopped on lonely highways and taken into some kind of a structure
(not always a flying saucer), where they were medically examined
Keith Thomson suggests that 'perhaps something quite ancient
from the world soul was making its periodic return, in a novel form,
as part of a larger cycle or spiral of manifestation'
Abductions are, after all, a recurrent theme in mythology and
Some abductions begin with a sighting of something strange, often a
bright light, which helps to trigger further experiences that do not
take place in our physical reality. It seems that the more people
who report abductions and the more publicity they receive, the
greater the chance of other people tapping into the same nexus of
'archetypal' themes and images, especially when in trance or under
This may also happen during the transition between waking
and sleeping and during dreams -- for even dreams are not simply
products of our brains. The brain is an extension of the mind, which
operates on different levels of the astral plane, and is part of the
collective mind of Gaia.
Comparing abductions to visions, apparitions, and hallucinations
does not therefore mean that they are generated solely in our own
heads. In one close encounter, a woman remembered leaving her bed
one night and joining a male friend, and they walked across the
fields to a waiting aircraft, which then took off.
The woman was
taken to a huge mother ship and shown round. The next day her friend
reported an identical experience, describing walking with her across
the fields to the aircraft, and corroborating every detail on the
plane till they parted company, when the man remembered going to a
planet with golden cities on it.
Victoria LePage writes:
Many researchers now deem it highly probable that UFO witnesses,
especially those involved in close encounters and abductions, are
reporting events that have a genuinely objective basis but which are
perceived imaginally, as dreams are, through the lens of a
subjective and entranced consciousness, and in terms that are
according to their own unconscious prejudices, expectations,
neuroses and level of intellectual or psychospiritual development.
The subtle, mental body may undergo a purely visionary abduction
experience based on a series of standard archetypal elements. And
some experiences could involve astral travel, i.e. the temporary
separation of the subtle mind from the physical and astral bodies.
Both types of
experience may be influenced by external agencies, as the astral
world is inhabited by various kinds of beings, both high and low. In
rare cases visionary or out-of-body experiences might begin after
the witness has been taken on board a physically materialized craft.
However, as Michael Talbot says, most medical
examinations are probably only a symbolic representation of the
probing of the subtle anatomy of our 'energy selves' or souls
Only an advanced adept could unravel all the various physical,
astral, and mental factors involved in any particular abduction
* The astral 'model body' or 'design body' ('linga-sharira' in
Sanskrit) is said to be able to travel no more than a few meters
from the physical body. However our consciousness can be transferred
to a higher astral form or subtle body (sometimes called the 'mayavi-rupa',
or 'illusory form') that can travel far from the physical and astral
bodies, either spontaneously or intentionally.
Michael Grosso says that 'there is such an admixture of mythic and
psychic elements, it is hard to take UFO narratives at face value'
John Whitmore comments:
'the patterns alleged to have been
discovered by abduction investigators often have religious overtones
or similarities with more traditional types of religious experience.
In addition, the abduction experience is often given a religious
meaning by the percipient, and these interpretations are habitually
overlooked or ignored by the UFO investigator'
Jacques Vallee, too, stresses that abduction stories should not
automatically be taken literally:
At close range, UFO phenomena act as a reality transformer ...,
triggering for the witness a series of symbolic displays that are
indistinguishable from reality. These displays, which frequently
begin with a bewildering series of blinking colored lights of
extraordinary intensity, induce a state of intense confusion for the
subjects who are vulnerable to the insertion of new thoughts and new
The response of the ufologists to the confusion of the abductees has
been disastrous. By taking the symbolic displays at face value, and
by hypnotizing the witnesses in an effort to dispel their confusion,
many well-meaning researchers have actually reinforced the
alternative reality induced by the UFO sighting, thus exacerbating
what may be a spurious side effect and losing sight of the main
display seen by the abductees is identical to the type of
initiation ritual or astral voyage that is embedded in the
traditions of every culture. In that sense, the UFO experience
is a very real trigger that releases powerful imagery we are all
carrying in our 'collective unconscious' ...
In one case, a woman awoke in bed to see a helicopter over her house
as if the intervening ceiling and roof had disappeared. She also saw
2 unusual humanoid beings at the foot of the bed. Fortunately 2
friends were able to witness this scene: they saw a blue sphere of
light around her (as she did) with brighter lights shooting through
it, but they heard no helicopter and saw no beings. The blue light
apparently created a virtual-reality scenario
Kenneth Ring says that abduction experiences can be regarded as a
variation of the archetypal initiatory journey, with its familiar
sequence of separation, ordeal, and return.
The separation stage is
the abduction, with the individual usually being spirited away
against his or her will. The ordeal takes the form of the medical
examination, which can be compared to the dismemberment motifs in
traditional shamanic initiations. Among the Buryat of Siberia, the
shamanic apprentice is taken away by his ancestors, and then
tormented by the Saajtani, who poke around his belly with knives,
cutting whole chunks of flesh off him, and throwing them about. The
'spirits' cook his flesh to 'ripen' it, and the initiate acquires
his inner knowledge during this procedure.
After being examined, abductees, like shamans, may receive
teachings, instructions, or revelations. Finally they return to
their normal surroundings. They frequently suffer feelings of
confusion, disorientation, time loss, and memory impairment, but
there is often a sense that something extraordinary has happened
that will leave a lasting imprint.
Ring argues that, like near-death
experiences, which are another variant of the initiatory journey,
abductions take place in an alternate reality -- the 'imaginal
There are often significant surface differences between UFO
encounters, angelic visitations, shamanic journeys, and near-death
experiences. Yet, as Keith Thompson says,
in all of these realms we find archetypal images of initiation
involving otherworldly journeys amid extraordinary -- and apparently
autonomous -- beings. Many ufologists, seeking to keep their
precious field of study unique and discrete, question such parallels
because, they say, there is no evidence that the beings described in
non-UFO reports are 'from the same place' as UFO beings. What they
seldom point out is that there is no evidence, either, of where 'UFO
beings' are from!
[I]t requires an
act of will not to notice thematic parallels between ceremonies
of dismemberment undergone by shamanic initiates inside
traditional round initiation huts, on the one hand, and the
invisible 'medical' procedures experienced by UFO initiates
inside rounded operating theatres inside disk- or oval-shaped
craft, on the other.
Paul Devereux mentions the intriguing work going on with
most hallucinogenic substance known. It is produced naturally in the
human brain and occurs in psychedelic plants that have been used by
shamanic peoples from time immemorial. For years people who have
used this substance have reported rather similar experiences, such
as encountering alien intelligences.
Also noteworthy are the
experiences of a man who has experimented with trying to enter the
lucid dream state directly from the waking state. He reported that,
deep into the extreme relaxation and concentration required, he is
interrupted by the tangible experience of being 'examined in the
dark by robots' or being 'operated on by small beings'
Some researchers suggest that the 'aliens' are reflections of
ourselves -- alien-ated, dis-eased with ourselves and one another,
and with the dis-spirited, impersonal, and uncontrollable society we
live in. In a similar vein, Michael Grosso interprets abductions as
symbolic evidence for disturbances in the collective unconscious.
Visions of unhealthy-looking beings (the grays), who sometimes claim
to come from a dying planet, who examine captives and take genetic
material to create a hybrid species mean 'we are the sick ones, and
... we, as a species living on planet Earth, are in need of
regeneration'. The fetal appearance of these beings suggests the
child, the continuity of human life. According to Grosso, 'The "new
man," the future of the species, is in great danger -- our future is
threatened with extinction. ...
If we learn to cooperate with the
forces of rebirth, we may yet rise from the "examination table,"
resuscitated from our planetary near-death experience'
1. Kevin D. Randle, Russ Estes and William P. Cone, The Abduction
Enigma: The truth behind the mass alien abductions of the late
twentieth century, New York: Forge, 1999, pp. 30-6.
2. The Abduction Enigma, pp. 36-9, 125-9, 133-4, 140-1, 385-8;
Richard L. Thompson, Alien Identities: Ancient insights into modern
UFO phenomena, Alachua, FL: Govardhan Hill Publishing, 2nd ed.,
1995, pp. 162-3.
3. Patrick Huyghe, The Field Guide to Extraterrestrials, London:
Hodder and Stoughton, 1997, pp. 44-5;
4. The Field Guide to Extraterrestrials, p. 45 (illustration by
5. Jacques Vallee, Dimensions: A casebook of alien contact, New
York: Ballantine Books, 1989, pp. 170-1.
7. Kevin Randle and Russ Estes, Faces of the Visitors: An
illustrated reference to alien contact, New York: Fireside, 1997,
pp. 108-12; The Field Guide to Extraterrestrials, pp. 64-5;
8. Dennis Stacy and Patrick Huyghe, The Field Guide to UFOs: A
classification of various unidentified aerial phenomena based on
eyewitness accounts, New York: Quill, 2000, pp. 100-1.
10. The Field Guide to UFOs, p. 101 (illustration by Harry Trumbore).
11. Alien Identities, pp. 176-7.
12. Dimensions, pp. 171-2.
13. Keith Thompson, Angels and Aliens: UFOs and the mythic
imagination, Reading, MA: Addison Wesley, 1991, pp. 65-6.
John A. Keel, Disneyland of the Gods, Lilburn, GA: IllumiNet,
1995, pp. 103, 131-2.
15. Angels and Aliens, p. 65.
16. Victoria LePage, Shambhala: The fascinating truth behind the
myth of Shangri-La, Wheaton, IL: Quest, 1996, pp. 248-9.
Michael Talbot, The Holographic Universe, New York: HarperPerennial, 1991, p. 283.
18. Michael Grosso, Frontiers of the Soul: Exploring psychic
evolution, Wheaton, IL: Quest, 1992, p. 210.
19. John Whitmore, 'Religious dimensions of the UFO abductee
experience', in: James R. Lewis (ed.), The Gods Have Landed: New
religions from other worlds, Albany, NY: State University of New
York Press, 1995, p. 66.
20. Jacques Vallee, Confrontations: A scientist's search for alien
contact, London: Souvenir Press, 1990, pp. 157, 161-2.
21. Charles F. Emmons, At the Threshold: UFOs, science and the new
age, Mill Spring, NC: Wild Flower Press, 1997, p. 136.
22. Kenneth Ring, The Omega Project: Near-death experiences, UFO
encounters, and mind at large, New York: William Morrow and Company,
1992, pp. 64-5.
23. Angels and Aliens, pp. 188-9.
24. Peter Brookesmith, 'Do aliens dream of Jacobs' sheep?', Fortean
Times, no. 83, Oct/Nov 1995, pp. 22-30 (p. 28).
25. Thomas E. Bullard, 'UFOs: Lost in the myths', in: David M.
Jacobs (ed.), UFOs and Abductions: Challenging the borders of
knowledge, Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas, 2000, pp.
141-91 (pp. 162-3).
10. Mythology and astral visitations
References to human interaction with:
Some of these
entities were believed to kidnap people and subject them to
stressful and surreal ordeals. 'Aliens' seem to be part of this
spectrum of paranormal beings.
Fig. 10.1. An early painting of a woman being abducted by a mythical
satyr(courtesy of Keven Randle)
Some materialistic writers have argued that the 'gods' of old were
really 'ancient astronauts'. There are certainly several accounts in
religious writings that could be interpreted along UFO lines, though
they need not involve extraterrestrials. The biblical Book of
Ezekiel, for example, opens with
Ezekiel's description of how in 593
BC, on the banks of the Chebar River in Chaldea,
'a stormy wind came
out of the north, and a great cloud, with brightness round about it,
and fire flashing forth continually'.
In its midst he saw 'the
likeness of four living creatures'; each had a human form but with 4
wings and 4 faces (those of a man, a lion, an ox, and an eagle). In
the midst of the creatures was 'something that looked like burning
coals of fire'. Beside the creatures he saw four wheels on the
ground, each being 'a wheel within a wheel', and above the creatures
he saw 'the likeness of a firmament, shining like crystal'. Above it
was 'the likeness of a throne', above which was seated a human form
surrounded by brightness. Ezekiel fell on his face before 'the glory
of the Lord', and then heard a voice speaking to him.
He subsequently had several similar experiences, and described how
the 'spirit' had lifted him up and taken him to other places. Some
people today believe Ezekiel encountered a space vehicle piloted by
extraterrestrials, while others believe he had a vision.
light of modern close encounters his experience could have been
partly physical and partly visionary.
Fig. 10.2. Left: The vision of Ezekiel, as interpreted by Raphael
spaceship encountered by Ezekiel, as
interpreted by engineer Josef Blumrich (1974)
Vedic literature contains many accounts of encounters between humans
and other humanoid races, including interbreeding and abductions.
The beings are sometimes benevolent and sometimes malevolent, and
often come from other worlds. It also contains references to flying
cities, flying horse-drawn chariots, and various types of aerial
craft, some of which could vanish abruptly
In evaluating religious and mythological stories it is of course
crucial to bear in mind that not everything is meant to be taken
literally. The narratives may combine descriptions of actual events
and experiences with allegory, symbolism, and pure fantasy. Some
genuine encounters with unusual beings and other 'alien'
manifestations may take place on the physical level and others on
the mental level.
As already shown, the extraterrestrial hypothesis is of little use
in explaining such phenomena as it fails to account for the varied
appearances and often strange and paranormal behaviour of the beings
The modern UFO phenomenon seems to be essentially a
space-age version of the long-standing interaction between humans
and the denizens of the psychic world. As
Jacques Vallee says, we
seem to be confronted with the reappearance of an occult current,
coloured with 'our new human biases, our preoccupation with science,
our longing for the promised land of other planets'
Witnesses interpret encounters with otherworldly phenomena according
to their cultural and personal preconceptions. For example, an
African man saw silver-suited figures and a ball of red light and
thought they might be the spirits of his ancestors
Hawaiians claim to have observed UFOs for a thousand years, in many colours and shapes, including balls of fire, cones, and discs; they
call them akualele, or 'flying spirits'
. During periods of UFO
sightings elsewhere in the American Southwest,
Hopi Indians have
observed blue star kachinas ('spirits') in the night air above the
In the West, with its pervasive science-fiction imagery, many people
who experience strange luminosities or think they have seen strange
beings automatically assume they have had an extraterrestrial
experience. Those who turn to ufologists for help do so because they
believe their experiences can be explained by extraterrestrial
But some people may believe they have experienced a oneness
with the Divine, made contact with their own higher selves, had an
inner revelation or, alternatively, had an encounter with demonic
Christian fundamentalists see UFOs as demonic,
while others suspect they might be angels. If all the evidence is
considered, they can be seen as sometimes the one and sometimes the
other -- including everything in between!
In the Middle Ages there were numerous reports of demonic possession
and sexual exploits with male and female demons (incubi and
Beginning in 1230 with the establishment of the
Inquisition, stories of demonic possession and witchcraft would
cause misery and death for tens of thousands of people for the next
several hundred years.
The 15th-century work
(The Witch's Hammer) set out several criteria for possession that
bear a striking resemblance to modern descriptions of alien
abduction. People possessed by demons were allegedly able to float
through the air, communicate telepathically, and had knowledge of
future events and enhanced intellectual abilities.
Witches were said
to be able to pass through solid doors and walls, to fly, to steal
and eat babies, to disguise themselves by taking on the shapes of
other beings, and to engage in sexual orgies
. Thus similar
themes existed then as now, and rather than being purely imaginative
inventions they could be derived in part from actual physical or
The 'medical examination' to which abductees frequently claim to
have been subjected is reminiscent of the medieval tales of
encounters with demons.
Betty Hill was the first abducteé in modern
times who reported that a long needle was inserted into her navel
and caused her pain.
But it is interesting to note that in a
15th-century French calendar showing the tortures inflicted by
demons on people they have taken, the demons are depicted piercing
their victims' abdomens with long needles
Fig. 10.3. A 15th-century representation of demons inflicting
tortures. From the Kalendrier des Bergiers (courtesy of Jacques
Priests and nuns sometimes claimed they had been seduced by
and incubi respectively. Although they often awakened only after the
demons were gone, nocturnal ejaculations were seen as physical
evidence that the demons were collecting sperm for interbreeding
Nuns began to claim they had been raped in the night by
incubi and injected with sperm collected by the demons.
tales became popularized, many townspeople began to have similar
experiences, with certain events occurring in a specific order. As
time passed, the act of having sex with demons came to be seen as a
definite sign of witchcraft. Women claiming this experience were
arrested and their bodies examined for any scars or marks that would
indicate the presence of their demonic lovers.
Some of them were
Fig. 10.4. An incubus straddling the chest of a sleeping victim
(courtesy of Kevin Randle)
Clearly, nocturnal emissions alone hardly amount to evidence of sex
with demons! In some cases, tales about incubi and succubi may well
have been rationalizations of forbidden sexual impulses arising from
enforced celibacy. But this does not explain everything. Many
countries have traditions of similar attacks, sometimes called 'old
hag' attacks, which are characterized by paralysis and a feeling
that someone is pressing down on the sleeping person.
experiences are simply attributed to 'sleep paralysis', but giving a
phenomenon a scientific-sounding label is not the same as explaining
it. It may be that during the transition between waking and
sleeping, people are more susceptible to receiving impressions from
the inner self or other astral entities, of a high or low nature.
Some of the descriptions of 'demonic' attacks, past and present,
suggest that sexual interaction with ethereal entities is quite
possible, and sometimes these entities can assume a visible or
'Spirit' materializations were commonly reported during the heyday
of spiritualism in the late 19th century, and sexual contact with
these entities was sometimes claimed as well. H.P. Blavatsky
accepted that this really did happen, saying:
'If there are
"Spirits" capable of drinking tea and wine, of eating apples and
cakes, of kissing and touching the visitors of séance-rooms, all of
which facts have been proven as well as the existence of those
visitors themselves -- why should not those same Spirits perform
matrimonial duties as well?'
She added that there is a 'ghastly
connection' between the 'spirit' husbands and wives of mediums and
the fauns, satyrs, incubi, succubi, sylphs, nymphs, and
'elementaries' reported by medieval mystics and kabalists
According to Blavatsky and her adept teachers, succubi and
were often the astral corpses or shells of discarnate humans, but
had nothing to do with the higher human soul
. In particular,
the astral souls of humans of a particularly lustful and malicious
nature (known as 'elementaries') may be conscious after death,
especially if their lives have been cut short. Largely devoid of
reason, they follow their animal instincts and try to cling to
material life by vampirizing the living.
Such 'demons' can become
tangible and visible by attracting matter from the surrounding
atmosphere, from the body of the victim if the latter is a medium,
or from any other person in whom there is little cohesion of the
lower elements, possibly as a result of some disease. Ethereal
attackers can also be generated by the victim's own intense
imagination, or they may be sorcerers or black magicians who have
the power of projecting their astral forms
Franz Hartmann relates a case in which a young man killed himself
after a married woman had rebuffed his passionate advances. After
his death, his astral form became attracted to her, and as she was
of a mediumistic temperament, he found the necessary conditions to
become partly materialized. It required a long-continued effort of
her will and a course of treatment before she finally managed to rid
herself of the incubus
Evans Wentz heard of a case involving a
man who was in love with a 'fairy woman' who visited him every
night. Finally he became so worn out that he began to fear her. To
escape, he emigrated to America, but she continued to haunt him
During the summer of 1975, a single mother living with her 4
children in a dilapidated house reported a plague of ghostly
manifestations. Most involved a semisolid, 6-ft-tall apparition.
mother and her eldest son also reported seeing 2 dark solid figures
with oriental faces in the bedroom, at times struggling with one
another. In addition, the mother claimed that on several occasions
she was sexually assaulted by 3 semivisible beings who left large
black-and-blue marks on her body
Long before metallic spacecraft and their occupants arrived on the
scene, small humanoid beings from the otherworld were enshrined in
folklore and mythology. Such creatures are in fact nearly universal,
with the various types of fairies being among the best known.
Jacques Vallee says that most of the entities encountered in early
UFO sightings during the last half century fall into 2 main groups:
(1) small, dark, hairy beings with small, bright eyes and deep,
rugged, 'old' voices, who resemble the medieval gnomes
beings with human complexions, oversized heads, and silvery voices,
who resemble the sylphs of the Middle Ages or the elves of the
These types have since been largely displaced by
the widely publicized grays.
Although fairies are generally thought of as small creatures, some
were reportedly as tall as humans or even taller. Some were said to
have beautiful human forms, others to be ugly. In Ireland, they were
also referred to as the 'good people' or 'little people'. Such
beings were often seen playing, dancing, singing, making music,
floating or flying through the air, and engaging in battles, hunts,
and food gathering.
There are stories of them stealing or borrowing
things from humans, especially food, helping with domestic chores,
entering into bargains, deceiving or attacking travellers, and
guarding or revealing treasures. As in some modern alien encounters,
they were sometimes seen pailing water from streams and wells. There
are also stories of them threatening, pinching, beating, paralyzing,
blinding, and even killing human witnesses.
In other stories they
would place humans in trances, play pranks, and then flee, climb to
a cloud, or simply vanish. Physical evidence, such as footprints,
was sometimes reported in connection with such incidents.
It is impossible to say for certain to what extent any particular
fairy story is factual or fictional, or involved a physical,
psychic, or mental experience. Interestingly, the word 'fairy' comes
from fai-erie, meaning a state of enchantment. Fairies were usually
regarded as nonhuman nature-spirits (elementals), or as the
'spirits' of the dead (decaying astral shells or corpses of
discarnate humans, rather than genuine human souls). Sometimes they
were regarded as fallen angelic beings who had been exiled from
heaven. They were considered to have ethereal bodies that were
normally invisible, though perceptible by clairvoyants.
Fairies were said to live underground (e.g. in hollow hills),
undersea, in the sky, or in an invisible world, where time ran at a
different rate. They are described as mischievous, capricious,
sometimes irritable, but not wicked. It was believed that they could
change form according to their whim or the mind that sees them, and
could appear or disappear suddenly.
Like modern aliens, they often
worked at night, and showed great interest in reproductive matters:
they allegedly seduced humans and gave birth to their offspring.
There are numerous accounts of abductions by fairies. Many people
claimed to have been kidnapped and taken to their underground
palaces. Some men returned with bizarre tales of having been forced
to mate with the fairy queen. The fairies would also kidnap females,
especially pregnant women or young mothers, and steal healthy
children, sometimes substituting a child of their own, known as a
This belief is found not only in Europe but also in
China and the American Pacific.
It seems unlikely that fairies literally bred with humans or swapped
their own children for human children! During his first-hand study
of fairylore in the early 20th century, Evans Wentz was shown
several contemporary 'changelings'. He concluded that many
changelings were so called merely because of some bodily deformity
or because of some abnormal mental or pathological characteristics
capable of ordinary rational explanation, but that other cases
involving a change of personality were often best explained by
Stories about manifestations of small humanlike creatures --
sometimes associated with UFOs -- are found today among various
cultures. The Tzeltal Indians of Mexico, for example, have legends
about 3-ft-tall, hairy, black humanoids called ikals, who live in
caves and whom the natives frequently encounter. ('Ikal' means
'black' in Tzeltal, but 'spirit' in the Mayan language.) They are
sometimes associated with strange lights in the sky. Ikals are said
to fly, attack people, and, in the modern reports, carry a kind of
rocket on their backs and kidnap Indians. Occasionally people have
been paralyzed when they came upon the ikals
In June 1982, a 12-year-old Malaysian girl was going to the river to
wash some clothes when she encountered a strange female being of her
own size who invited her to see another land. She felt no fear and
found herself in a beautiful place where time seemed to whiz by. 2
days later, she was discovered lying unconscious on the ground by
relatives who had been frantically searching the area the whole
time. Malaysian tradition assigns the strange female to a group of
beings called Bunians, who are known for abducting children. They
are not associated with UFOs
The fairies of old were known for their mischievous pranks, and
virtually every ancient culture had legends about a Trickster
figure. One variety is the viscera-sucker of the Philippines. This
creature flies about at night, extracting the organs, body fluids,
and fetuses of its victims by means of its long, thin, razor-sharp
tongue. (Fetus extraction has also been reported in some modern
cases of cattle mutilation.)
In American Indian folklore, Trickster
is an essentially formless entity, usually called Coyote, Raven, or
Hare, which plays all sorts of tricks on other animals and on
humans. He is often involved in animal and human mutilations --
decapitating, skinning, and eviscerating his victims. He is even
described as coring out the anus of animals -- a staple feature of
cattle mutilation reports
Keith Thompson says that,
'Given the protean thematic richness of the
UFO epic, we should not be surprised to find that the continuum of
alien encounters runs from uplifting contacteé accounts, at one end,
to terrifying abduction chronicles, at the other'
The contacteés are rather like modern prophets; some of them had
face-to-face meetings with benign beings in a remote spot, sometimes
even in the desert, while a saucer hovered nearby, whereas others
received messages telepathically.
The messages tended to be high in
ethical and prophetic content, with appeals for humans to change
their ways before the coming apocalypse. Many contacteés emerged
with heightened psychic abilities and spiritual awareness, only to
face harassment, ridicule, and scorn from 'nonbelievers'. Some of
the more famous 1950s contacteés ended up feeling betrayed by the
space brothers when their prophecies failed to be fulfilled.
Several contacteés founded cults after their encounters. Similarly,
Joseph Smith founded the
Mormon Church in the 19th century on the
strength of angelic visions. He described how he saw a pillar of
very bright light over his head, which descended upon him. Next he
saw 2 personages, 'whose brightness and glory defy all
descriptions', standing above him in the air; one of them then spoke
In the 6th century AD, an Arabian man called Mohammed
had a vision of the Angel Gabriel 'in the likeness of a man,
standing in the sky above the horizon'. He was ordered to become a
prophet, and over a number of years he would periodically go into
trance and dictate messages, which were later compiled to form the
As Keith Thompson notes,
'Just as contacteé encounters are rich with
prophetic undertones and images of ascent to worlds in space,
abducteé encounters feature striking echoes of mythological journeys
to the world below, the underworld, the realm of the dead and the
dispossessed, the infernal regions of the collective soul'
Abductees speak of being confined in quarters usually termed dank,
oppressive, and dimly lit. The landed 'saucer' becomes a scene of
traditional underworld torments, a prison of suffering inflicted by
primeval demons. Both contacteés and abductees often report finding
their encounter experience transformative, along the lines of a
cosmic rite of passage. And while the space brothers, with their
handsome human forms, are akin to angels of light, the sinister 'men
in black' correspond to angels of darkness.
It appears that the elemental and psychic energies of the astral
world can manifest in all manner of different forms, mimicking the
moral traits of human beings, ranging from benign to barbaric. In
the theosophic tradition, the astral world or astral light is said
to comprise several spheres of increasingly ethereal, more plastic
matter surrounding and interpenetrating the physical earth.
higher reaches merge into the akashic or spiritual realms. The
astral light is sometimes called 'nature's picture gallery', as it
contains a record of everything that has ever happened on earth,
both in the present evolutionary cycle and in past cycles. Since it
records thoughts, emotions, and deeds of every conceivable quality,
it comprises everything from the collective 'unconscious' to the
The astral world is populated, among other things, by all manner of
shape-shifting entities, known by the generic terms 'elementals',
'nature-forces', or 'nature-sprites'. Medieval alchemists and
mystics divided them into 4 classes, according to the element they
inhabited: gnomes (earth), undines (water), sylphs (air), and
In theosophy, 3 kingdoms of elementals are
generally distinguished, which are placed below the mineral kingdom.
This means that the consciousness-centers (or monads) manifesting as
elementals are in the earliest stages of their evolutionary growth,
and still have to pass through the other kingdoms of nature: i.e.
the mineral, vegetable, animal, human, and 3 superhuman (or dhyani-chohanic) kingdoms. From another standpoint, there are 7
kingdoms of elementals, as there are elementals associated with each
subplane (or cosmic element), in increasing grades of ethereality or
Elementals are the semi-automatic, quasi-conscious agents and
building stones of nature. They are involved in everything that
happens on the physical plane, since every physical atom is ensouled
by an elemental. While some elementals are atomic in size, others
are gigantic, with corresponding powers. Although they do not
possess self-consciousness, conscience, or free will, those
associated with the higher subplanes can display a degree of
intelligence. Most elementals have no permanent form of their own,
and can change shape with great rapidity.
They adopt shapes (and
also clothing) that mirror the pictures and thought-forms existing
in their environment, including human minds. The higher elementals
may take the form of beasts, either living or extinct, and those on
the mental plane tend to assume a more or less human shape. Some
elementals are said to be hostile towards humans, and others
friendly. The elementals of the air are the most dangerous, because
of their close connection with the desire part of the human
Other beings inhabiting the astral realms are humans who have
attained a high degree of occult power and who are able to live or
operate self-consciously in the astral world after leaving their
physical body behind, either temporarily or permanently. These may
be humans of mahatmic stature, or their evil counterparts, the
sorcerers, black magicians, or 'brothers of the shadow'. Superhuman
entities associated with the 3 highest kingdoms of nature inhabit
the higher astral or akashic realms.
Some physical manifestations of ethereal entities may be spontaneous
and instinctual, while others could be orchestrated by higher
intelligences possessing the necessary powers. The earth is also
subject to influences from other planets and solar systems and some
of these could at times be involved in UFO manifestations. Only an
advanced adept could speak with certainty on such matters.
Aliens and UFOs therefore appear to be part of a broad spectrum of
otherworldly phenomena that intrude into our own reality from the
astral plane or 'twilight zone'. Materializations of 'spirits' were
commonplace at spiritualist séances in the late 19th and early 20th
During such phenomena, the medium and other sitters
are often 'vampirized' to some extent by the astral entities
involved; the elements required for the materialization are drawn
from their bodies, depleting their vitality. In alien encounters,
too, less-developed astral entities -- whether they manifest
physically or not -- may feed off the emanations of witnesses,
including intense emotions of fear and pain, especially if the
witnesses are at all mediumistic.
Certain areas seem to attract a disproportionate amount of UFO
activity. Moreover, during periods of intense UFO activity, an
upsurge in other strange phenomena is often reported in the same
areas, and sometimes by the same witnesses: e.g. falls of odd
substances from the air, sightings of monsters and apparitions, and
poltergeist activity. In such areas geomagnetic and electromagnetic
conditions may be more conducive to astral manifestations.
significant that more UFO sightings occur during periods of intense
magnetic activity and in areas characterized by magnetic
disturbances and anomalies. Many sightings also occur around
reservoirs, lakes and rives (water being a concentrated form of etheric energy).
There may be various factors at work which cause
astral visitations to become easier or more difficult at periodic
1. Kevin D. Randle, Russ Estes and William P. Cone, The Abduction
Enigma: The truth behind the mass alien abductions of the late
twentieth century, New York: Forge, 1999, plate 3.
3. Josef F. Blumrich, The Spaceships of Ezekiel, London: Corgi,
1974, p. 14.
4. Richard L. Thompson, Alien Identities: Ancient insights into
modern UFO phenomena, Alachua, FL: Govardhan Hill Publishing, 2nd
ed., 1995, pp. 199-241.
5. Jacques Vallee, Dimensions: A casebook of alien contact, New
York: Ballantine Books, 1989, p. 63.
6. John Spencer, Gifts of the Gods? Are UFOs alien visitors or
psychic phenomena?, London: Virgin, 1994, p. 119.
7. M.K. Jessup, The Case for the UFO, New York: Citadel Press, 1955,
8. Richard Grossinger, The Night Sky: The science and anthropology
of the stars and planets, Los Angeles, CA: Jeremy P. Tarcher, 1988,
9. Gifts of the Gods?, pp. 95-6.
10. The Abduction Enigma, p. 107.
11. Dimensions, p. 107.
12. Jacques Vallee, Passport to Magonia: On UFOs, folklore, and
parallel worlds, Chicago, IL: Contemporary Books, 1993 (1969), plate
13. The Abduction Enigma, pp. 107-9.
14. Ibid., plate 2.
15. H.P. Blavatsky Collected Writings, Wheaton, IL: Theosophical
Publishing House, 1950-91, 12:193-4; also 10:156-7.
16. Ibid., 12:712-3; A.T. Barker (comp.), The Mahatma Letters to
A.P. Sinnett, TUP, 2nd ed., 1975, pp. 109-10 / Wheaton, IL:
Theosophical Publishing House (TPH), chron. ed., 1993, p. 198.
17. Franz Hartmann, The Life of Paracelsus and the Substance of his
Teachings, San Diego, CA: Wizards Bookshelf, 1985 (1887), pp. 29,
35, 40, 89-92; Franz Hartmann, Magic White & Black or The Science of
Finite and Infinite Life, Bellaire, OH: Tat Foundation, 4th ed.,
1980 (1886), p. 196.
18. The Life of Paracelsus, pp. 87-8fn.
19. W.Y. Evans Wentz, The Fairy-Faith in Celtic Countries, Gerrards
Cross, Buckinghamshire: Colin Smythe, 1999 (1911), pp. 112-3.
20. Hilary Evans and Patrick Huyghe, The Field Guide to Ghosts and
Other Apparitions, New York: Quill, 2000, p. 52.
21. Dimensions, p. 147.
22. The Fairy-Faith in Celtic Countries, pp. 244-53, 491.
23. Dimensions, pp. 73-4.
24. Alien Identities, p. 287.
25. Dennis Stillings, 'Myth, mutes, and more', The Anomalist, no. 2,
1995, pp. 80-6.
26. Keith Thompson, Angels and Aliens: UFOs and the mythic
imagination, Reading, MA: Addison Wesley, 1991, p. 147.
27. Ibid., pp. 70, 145.
28. Alien Identities, p. 301.
29. Angels and Aliens, p. 146.
30. G. de Purucker, The Esoteric Tradition, Pasadena, CA:
Theosophical University Press (TUP), 2nd ed., 1973, pp. 249-52; G.
de Purucker, Questions We All Ask, TUP, 1929-30, 2:325-36; G. de
Purucker, Studies in Occult Philosophy, TUP, 1973, pp. 49-52; G. de
Purucker, Fountain-Source of Occultism, TUP, 1974, 232-7; Dialogues
of G. de Purucker, TUP, 1948, 3:60-5.
31. See 'Visitors from the twilight zone',
Sightings of unidentified flying objects and encounters with alien
beings are not a completely new phenomenon that began in the
mid-20th century. They are a part of a spectrum of unusual sightings
and encounters that have been taking place since time immemorial.
The majority of UFOs are unexplained lightforms that often seem to
be living, conscious entities. Most of them probably emerge into
visibility from the ethereal realms interpenetrating our physical
world, and are able to change their shape, size, and density.
There are also sightings of apparently structured craft that behave
at times like solid physical objects, but are also capable of
suddenly appearing, disappearing, and changing shape. The
possibility that genuine extraterrestrials who have evolved on other
physical planets or even on nonphysical planets are visiting earth
cannot be ruled out.
However, the incredible diversity of entities
and their often weird and eccentric behavior suggest that the
majority are temporary manifestations of shape-shifting elemental
entities, moulded by pictures in the earth's thought-atmosphere.
Their craft, too, may be temporary manifestations modeled on astral
images rather than the product of a technology that has evolved on
some other planet.
While some people report strange encounters with 'aliens', others
report encounters with all sorts of monsters or other religious,
mythic, and legendary beings, some of which are seen in conjunction
with bright lights or aerial 'craft'. No one would claim that all
these entities come from other planets. In fact most ufologists
prefer to ignore such accounts and their parallels with UFO
encounters so that they can continue to propagate the modern,
space-age myth of extraterrestrial visitations.
While close encounters often include definite physical phenomena,
other aspects are more like visionary experiences. Many abduction
reports seem to be at least partly generated by, and certainly
distorted by, the use of hypnosis. But there is little doubt that
many people have had genuine strange experiences in which they enter
an altered state of consciousness and see visions that incorporate
patterns of archetypal themes and images, drawn from the collective
psyche and modified by contemporary cultural obsessions and
The UFO phenomenon involves elements that are both rational and
absurd, both friendly and hostile. There is no reason to think that
there is a single intelligence or consciousness behind it. It is an
agglomeration of many things, from spontaneous manifestations of
playful elemental lifeforms, to phenomena orchestrated by unseen
intelligences, not necessarily benevolent. We are witnessing
projections from the multilayered mind of Gaia, of which our own
minds are one facet.
The answer to UFO encounters appears to lie not
so much in the stars as in ourselves.
Although ordinary humans are unable to predict when or where or to
whom the next UFO or alien will manifest, there is nothing
accidental about it; chance is merely a word that conceals our
ignorance of the real causes. According to the ancient wisdom
tradition, we reap what we sow, life after life, and encounter the
experiences and challenges needed to help us to recognize and
correct our shortcomings and deepen our understanding of nature.
The UFO phenomenon can be seen as a collective intelligence test --
and one that is widely flunked. Like spiritualistic and other
paranormal phenomena, it is challenging the modern materialistic
worldview. Scientists are being confronted with impossible flying
machines that break the laws of physics. The military must often
look on helplessly while strange lights circle round their
installations and leave their jet fighters standing. Most scientists
are happy to dismiss and ridicule the whole phenomenon as it does
not fit into their narrow conceptions of reality.
Many ufologists continue to adhere rigidly to the simplistic
extraterrestrial hypothesis, even though it fails to do justice to
the overall complexity of the phenomenon. Having grown disillusioned
with the angels and gods of old, many people now prefer to look to
space beings for their salvation, and some join UFO cults that
behave like irrational religious sects.
Instead of being extraterrestrials from outer space, 'aliens' appear
to be 'psychoterrestrials from inner space', as Michael Grosso calls
'Alien adventures,' he says, 'turn into allies for
transformation when they ... force us to question our metaphysical
assumptions and to revise our workaday maps of reality'
phenomenon deserves to be investigated with a critical but open
mind. Or as one 'alien' reportedly said: 'You should believe in us
-- but not too much!'
1. Michael Grosso, Frontiers of the Soul: Exploring psychic
evolution, Wheaton, IL: Quest, 1992, p. 224.