I was so excited to research something I believed in for once! Of all the things we’ve talked about on the podcast, Alien life seems the most plausible. The diameter of the observable universe is 93 million light years and is estimated to hold 200 billion to three trillion galaxies, each consisting of billions of stars with some being as old as 13.2 billion years. As of 1 May 2020, there are 4,260 confirmed exoplanets in 3,149 systems, with 696 systems having more than one planet. It seems highly unlikely that we’re the only species in the universe that is capable of building spacecrafts and attempting to reach other planets.
That being said…while I still believe in the possibility of aliens and visitations from unknown species, I had my bubble burst a bit with this episode’s research.
History of UFOs
A Timeline of Ancient Sightings
Modern UFO Sightings
WWII Foo Fighters
“Foo Fighters” are the name given to the small metallic spheres and colorful balls of light repeatedly spotted and occasionally photographed worldwide by bomber crews during World War II.
The author Renato Vesco revived the wartime theory that the foo fighters were a Nazi secret weapon in his work Intercept UFO, reprinted in a revised English edition as Man-Made UFOs: 50 Years of Suppression in 1994. Vesco claims that the foo fighters were in fact a form of ground-launched, automatically guided, jet-propelled flak mine called the Feuerball (Fireball). This device, supposedly operated by special SS units, resembled a tortoise shell in shape, and it flew by means of gas jets that spun like a Catherine wheel around the fuselage. Miniature klystron tubes inside the device, in combination with the gas jets, created the characteristic glowing spheroid appearance of the foo fighters. A crude form of collision avoidance radar ensured the craft would not crash into another airborne object, and an onboard sensor mechanism would even instruct the machine to depart swiftly if it was fired upon.
The purpose of the Feuerball, according to Vesco, was twofold. The appearance of this weird device inside a bomber stream would (and indeed did) have a distracting and disruptive effect on the bomber pilots. Also, Vesco alleges that the devices were also intended to have an “offensive” capability. Electrostatic discharges from the klystron tubes would, he stated, interfere with the ignition systems of the engines of the bombers, causing the planes to crash. Although there is no hard evidence to support the reality of the Feuerball drone, this theory has been taken up by other aviation/ufology authors, and it has even been cited by some as the most likely explanation for the phenomena — in at least one recent TV “documentary” on Nazi Secret Weapons.
Most people think the foo fighters were a result of electrical discharge from the wings of the plane, St Elmo’s Fire (which is luminous plasma resulting from electrically charged atmosphere), or even ball lightning. Aviators vertigo has also been blamed for the visual anomalies.
Battle of Los Angeles
The Battle of Los Angeles, also known as The Great Los Angeles Air Raid, is the name given by contemporary sources to a rumored attack on the mainland United States by Japan and the subsequent anti-aircraft artillery barrage which took place from late February 24 to early February 25, 1942, over Los Angeles, California. The incident occurred less than three months after the United States entered World War II in response to the Imperial Japanese Navy’s surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, and one day after the bombardment of Ellwood near Santa Barbara on February 23. Initially, the target of the aerial barrage was thought to be an attacking force from Japan, but speaking at a press conference shortly afterward, Secretary of the Navy Frank Knox called the purported attack a “false alarm”. Newspapers of the time published a number of reports and speculations of a cover-up.
When documenting the incident in 1949, the United States Coast Artillery Association identified a meteorological balloon sent aloft at 1:00 AM as having “started all the shooting” and concluded that “once the firing started, imagination created all kinds of targets in the sky and everyone joined in”. In 1983, the U.S. Office of Air Force History attributed the event to a case of “war nerves” triggered by a lost weather balloon and exacerbated by stray flares and shell bursts from adjoining batteries.
At the end of the war, the Japanese stated that they did not send planes over the area at the time of this alert, although submarine-launched aircraft were subsequently used over Seattle. A careful study of the evidence suggests that meteorological balloons—known to have been released over Los Angeles—may well have caused the initial alarm. This theory is supported by the fact that anti-aircraft artillery units were officially criticized for having wasted ammunition on targets which moved too slowly to have been airplanes. After the firing started, careful observation was difficult because of drifting smoke from shell bursts. The acting commander of the anti-aircraft artillery brigade in the area testified that he had first been convinced that he had seen fifteen planes in the air, but had quickly decided that he was seeing smoke. Competent correspondents like Ernie Pyle and Bill Henry witnessed the shooting and wrote that they were never able to make out an airplane. It is hard to see, in any event, what enemy purpose would have been served by an attack in which no bombs were dropped, unless perhaps, as Mr. Stimson suggested, the purpose had been reconnaissance.
Roswell, New Mexico
On June 14, 1947, William Brazel, a foreman working on the J.B. Foster ranch, noticed clusters of debris approximately 30 miles (50 km) north of Roswell, New Mexico. This date—or “about three weeks” before July 8—appeared in later stories featuring Brazel, but the initial press release from the Roswell Army Air Field (RAAF) said the find was “sometime last week”, suggesting Brazel found the debris in early July. Brazel told the Roswell Daily Record that he and his son saw a “large area of bright wreckage made up of rubber strips, tinfoil, a rather tough paper and sticks.” He paid little attention to it but returned on July 4 with his son, wife and daughter to gather up the material.The next day, Brazel heard reports about “flying discs” and wondered if that was what he had picked up. On July 7, Brazel saw Sheriff Wilcox and “whispered kinda confidential like” that he may have found a flying disc.Another account quotes Wilcox as saying Brazel reported the object on July 6.
As it turns out, the government was indeed covering something up—but it wasn’t aliens. The crashed weather balloon was, in fact, part of a top-secret military endeavor called Project Mogul, which launched high-altitude balloons carrying equipment used to detect Soviet nuclear tests. The Air Force provided plenty of proof in a 231-page report released in 1997 called “Case Closed: Final Report on the Roswell Crash.”
Project Mogul was the forerunner of the Skyhook balloon program, which started in the late 1940s, as well as two other espionage programs involving overflights and photographic surveillance of the Soviet Union in the mid-1950s, Project Moby Dick and Project Genetrix. The spy balloon overflights raised storms of protest from the Soviets. The constant-altitude balloons also were used for scientific purposes such as cosmic ray experiments.
In 1995, film footage purporting to show an alien autopsy and claimed to have been taken by a US military official shortly after the Roswell incident was released by Ray Santilli, a London-based video entrepreneur. The footage caused an international sensation when it aired on television networks around the world. In 2006, Santilli admitted that the film was mostly a reconstruction, but continued to claim it was based on genuine footage now lost, and some original frames that had supposedly survived.
View the full “alien autopsy” hoax footage above, around 19 minutes long.
Kenneth Arnold Sightings
The origin of today’s fascination can be traced back to civilian pilot Kenneth Arnold. While flying his small aircraft near Washington’s Mount Rainier on June 24, 1947, Arnold claimed to have seen nine blue, glowing objects flying fast—at an estimated 1,700 m.p.h.—in a “V” formation.
He first believed the objects to be some sort of new military aircraft—this was, after all, just two years after WWII and the first year of the Cold War—but the military confirmed there were no tests being conducted near Mount Rainier that day. When Arnold described the crafts’ motion as similar to “a saucer if you skip it across water,” the media coined the now-ubiquitous phrase “flying saucer.”
On the evening of August 25, 1951, three science professors from Texas Tech were enjoying an evening outdoors in Lubbock, when they looked up and saw a semicircle of lights flying above them at a high speed. Over the next few days, dozens of reports flooded in from across town—Texas Tech freshman Carl Hart Jr., even snapped photos of the so-called Lubbock Lights phenomenon, which were published in newspapers across the country and LIFE magazine.
Project Blue Book, which led the Air Force inquiries into UFOs, investigated the events, and its official conclusion was that the lights were birds reflecting the luminescence from Lubbock’s new street lamps. Many people who saw the lights, however, refuse to accept this explanation, arguing that the lights were flying too fast.
At the end of November 1989, citizens of Belgium reported seeing a large, triangular UFO hovering in the sky. But beyond the visual sightings, no evidence was found of any UFO’s existence.
A few months later, in March 1990, new sightings of multiple objects were reported, confirmed by two military ground radar stations. Two F-16 fighter jets were sent out to investigate the anomalies, and though the pilots could not see anything visually, they were able to lock onto their targets with radar. But the UFOs moved so fast that the pilots ended up losing them.
Some 13,500 people are estimated to have witnessed the incident, making it one of the most widely experienced UFO sightings of the modern era. The Belgian Air Force had no logical explanation for the activity, but it acknowledged that an unknown activity had taken place in the air. The Belgians reached out to the UK’s Ministry of Defence to investigate further, but once they determined that the incident was not a hostile or aggressive one, they stopped the investigation.
There is one single photo associated with this phenomena (out of thousands of reports of sightings, just one photo seems unlikely) but it has been admitted to be a fake.
But even that single photograph turns out to be emblematic of the quality of all the evidence that characterized the Belgian UFO Wave. In 2011, a guy named Patrick Maréchal invited Belgian reporters to his home to show them what he and some buddies had done at work one day when the media hype had been at its peak. They took a sheet of styrofoam, cut it into a triangle, painted it black, embedded a flashlight in each corner, then hung it from a string. Maréchal still had tons of photos that they’d taken trying to get that one that was just right, and that fooled the world.
A quote from the noted UFO skeptic Philip Klass, who wrote in his 1986 book *UFOs: The Public Deceived:
Once news coverage leads the public to believe that UFOs may be in the vicinity, there are numerous natural and man-made objects which, especially when seen at night, can take on unusual characteristics in the minds of hopeful viewers. Their UFO reports in turn add to the mass excitement, which encourages still more observers to watch for UFOs. This situation feeds upon itself until such time as the media lose interest in the subjects, and then the flap quickly runs out of steam.
Notable Alien Abductions
While the term “alien abduction” did not achieve widespread attention until the 1960s, modern speculation about some older stories interpreted them as possible cases. UFO researcher Jerome Clark dubbed them “paleo-abductions”.
- In the November 27, 1896, edition of the Stockton, California , Colonel H. G. Shaw claimed he and a friend were harassed by three tall, slender humanoids whose bodies were covered with a fine, downy hair who tried to kidnap the pair.
- In the October 1953 issue of an article by Leroy Thorpe titled “Are the Flying Saucers Kidnapping Humans?” asks the question “Are an unlucky few of us, and perhaps not so few at that, being captured with the same ease as we would net butterflies, perhaps for zoological specimens, perhaps for vivisection or some other horrible death designed to reveal to our interplanetary invaders what makes us tick?”
- Rogerson writes that the 1955 publication of Harold T. Wilkins’s declared that Karl Hunrath and Wilbur Wilkinson, who had claimed they were contacted by aliens, had disappeared under mysterious circumstances; Wilkins reported speculation that the duo were the victims of “alleged abduction by flying saucers”.
Antonio Villas Boas: Alien Daddy
Antônio Villas Boas (1934–1991) was a Brazilian farmer (later a lawyer) who claimed to have been abducted by extraterrestrials in 1957. Though similar stories had circulated for years beforehand, Villas Boas’ claims were among the first alien abduction stories to receive wide attention. Some skeptics today consider the abduction story to be little more than a hoax, although Antonio nonetheless reportedly stuck to his account throughout his life.
At the time of his alleged abduction, Antônio Villas Boas was a 23-year-old Brazilian farmer who was working at night to avoid the hot temperatures of the day. On October 16, 1957, he was ploughing fields near when he saw what he described as a “red star” in the night sky. According to his story, this “star” approached his position, growing in size until it became recognizable as a roughly circular or egg-shaped aerial craft, with a red light at its front and a rotating cupola on top. The craft began descending to land in the field, extending three “legs” as it did so. At that point, Boas decided to run from the scene. He was captured on foot by a 5′ tall humanoid who made barking or yelping sounds instead of speaking.
They brought him into the craft, covered him in a strange gel, and led him through a doorway into an interior room where they proceeded to collect blood samples. They led him into a different room where a gas was pumped in and he became violently ill. Later, a humanoid female alien who he described as very attractive came in and had sex with him, afterward gesturing at her stomach and then upward which he took to mean she would raise his child in space.
Researcher Peter Rogerson, however, doubts the veracity of Boas’ story. He notes that several months before Boas first related his claims, a similar story was printed in the November 1957 issue of the periodical O Cruzeiro, and suggests that Boas borrowed details of this earlier account, along with elements of the contactee stories of George Adamski. Rogerson also argues:
One reason why the [Boas] story gained credibility was the prejudiced assumption that any farmer in the Brazilian interior had to be an illiterate peasant who ‘couldn’t make this up’. As Eddie Bullard pointed out to me, the fact that the Villas Boas family possessed a tractor put them well above the peasant class … We now know that AVB was a determinedly upwardly mobile young man, studying a correspondence course and eventually becoming a lawyer (at which news the ufologists who had considered him too much the rural simpleton to have made the story up now argued that he was too respectable and bourgeois to have done so).
Betty & Barney Hill: Proto-Abduction
Barney and Betty Hill were a mixed race couple who claimed to have experienced an alien abduction in 1961 during a road trip to Niagara Falls.
Barney worked a grueling night shift at the post office, driving 60 miles each way. Betty’s job handling state child-welfare cases was no easier. The little free time this biracial couple had was devoted to their church and activities related to the civil-rights movement.
On the last night of their three-day trip, they stopped at a diner for coffee at around 10pm and decided to push through the drive to arrive home at around 2 or 3am and beat the approaching hurricane. They reported seeing a strange light in the sky that looked like a falling star but grew brighter and bigger each mile. Barney assume it was a plane or satellite that went off course. They said the light seemed to move with the car along the curving mountain road. It would disappear behind the trees and reappear moments later. The couple pulled over to get a better look at the object. Through binoculars, Betty claimed to see that the object was spinning in the air. She said “Barney, if you think that’s a satellite or star, you’re completely ridiculous.”
Barney was noted to be of extremely high intelligence with an IQ of 140, as his niece recalled, and he wouldn’t have easily bought into the idea of a flying saucer. He was scared, though.
He kept the engine running, retrieved a handgun from under the seat of the car, and rushed into the dark field, leaving Betty in the car. He described an object as big as a jet but flat like a pancake with rows of windows and grey uniformed beings that were looking right at him. He attempted to lift his hand to the gun he tucked into his pants but felt paralyzed. A voice told him to put down his binoculars. He remembered thinking they were going to be captured and running back to the car, quickly driving down the road as Betty continued looking at the craft with her head out of the window. They reported loud, rhythmic beeps coming from the cars trunk which made them instantly drowsy. They lost consciousness. When they came to, they had lost two hours and were 35 miles down the road.
Back home they tried to make sense of what had happened. In the months after, Betty discovered a UFO group called National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena (NICAP) and also reported the occurrence to the Air Force as she was worried about radiation. Betty suffered disturbing dreams and Barney developed anxiety and ulcers, so they sought mental help with Benjamin Simon, a psychiatrist and neurologist specializing in hypnosis.
During months of hypnosis, they “recovered” memories of what happened. A UFO landed on their car, putting them to sleep. Grey beings walked them up along a long ramp into the craft where they performed tests on them. Barney was essentially paralyzed as he was much larger than the beings, but Betty wasn’t affected as much being petit. She claims to have communicated through broken English with the entities and also later claimed to have been shown a star map of where the beings came from. She later drew the map and an amateur astronomer made a guess at a constellation called Zeta Reticuli by creating a 3d star map in her living room and figuring out which constellations matched Betty’s drawing the closest. The woman who figured out the constellation later completely retracted everything she said and didn’t believe Betty’s account anymore, but so many people reported Zeta Reticuli that it has become a continuing theme in science fiction. It must be said that ZR is not home to any exoplanets, mainly just two sun-like stars; also, Betty’s drawing was just a series of dots and it’s not out of the realm of possibilities for there to be a constellation that just happens to match to some degree.
While she initially said she and Barney were terrified, she later reported that she wasn’t scared and she asked the aliens to come back. People have also reported her identifying a street lamp as a UFO and claiming that the aliens come back to her often. She also had a sister that was obsessed with UFOs before their supposed abduction, so none of this seems realistic to me. While Barney claimed to have retrieved memories of an abduction, it’s likely his wife’s nightmares made it into his subconscious and there was some subtle priming going on from the hypnosis.
This reported abduction became the model for what we know about alien abductions today.
Christoper Bader, Professor of sociology at California’s Chapman University
Before the Hill’s story, alien encounters were friendly, according to Christoper Bader, a professor of sociology at California’s Chapman University. Some aliens even lived on earth and commuted back on weekends. But once the Hills’ story became better known, abduction accounts shared certain characteristics, such as medical examinations and missing time. Aliens with large heads and big eyes—dubbed “grays” in UFO circles—became classic sci-fi staples in personal accounts and pop culture, Close Encounters of the Third Kind and shows like the X-Files.
"You have a biracial couple at a time where obviously it was not easy to be a biracial couple. Look what those aliens were: a mixture of black and white. I find that very meaningful."
Travis Walton: Fire in the Sky
According to Walton, on November 5, 1975 he was working with a timber stand improvement crew in the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest near Snowflake, Arizona. While riding in a truck with six of his coworkers, they encountered a saucer-shaped object hovering over the ground approximately 110 feet away, making a high-pitched buzz. Walton claims that after he left the truck and approached the object, a beam of light suddenly appeared from the craft and knocked him unconscious. The other six men were frightened and supposedly drove away. Walton claimed that he awoke in a hospital-like room, being observed by three short, bald creatures. He claimed that he fought with them until a human wearing a helmet led Walton to another room, where he blacked out as three other humans put a clear plastic mask over his face. Walton has claimed he remembers nothing else until he found himself walking along a highway, with the flying saucer departing above him.
It has to be said that the National Enquirer had listed a cash prize for “The Best UFO Case of the Year” to be confirmed by polygraph. I read a few places it was 100k, but the Walton experience only garnered 5k. It must be said that polygraph tests are inadmissible in court because it’s notoriously faulty and that people running the tests stated that Travis was using deceptive techniques to pass (holding his breath, etc) and was therefore accused by the tester of being “the plainest case of lying he had seen in 20 years”.
There were a lot of discrepancies in the story from the young men during early press, both Travis and his brother were avid UFO enthusiasts before the incident, Travis wasn’t suffering from any sort of illness related to exposure or dehydration/malnutrition despite being missing for five days, and police weren’t called when he showed back up. Furthermore, while the search was still on for Travis, two of the loggers were giving interviews to UFO investigators.
There’s also no proof of Travis actually making the phone call from the payphone, his prints weren’t on it. Cognitive psychologist Susan Clancy argues that alien abduction reports began only after stories of extraterrestrials appeared in films and on TV, and that Walton was likely influenced by the NBC television movie The UFO Incident, which aired two weeks before his own claimed abduction and dramatized the alien abduction claims of Betty and Barney Hill. Clancy noted the rise in alien abduction claims following the movie and cites Klass’s conclusions that “after viewing this movie, any person with a little imagination could now become an instant celebrity”, concluding that “one of those instant celebrities was Travis Walton.”
US Government's Project Bluebook
Dr. J. Allen Hynek, First International UFO Congress in Chicago, 1977
I hold it entirely possible that a technology exists which encompasses both the physical and the psychic, the material and the mental. The psychic realms, so mysterious to us today, may be an ordinary part of an advanced technology.
Josef Allen Hynek was an astronomer, professor, and ufologist best remembered for his UFO research. Hynek was an advisor to UFO studies undertaken by the U.S. Air Force under various projects, the most notable being “Project Bluebook.” In later years he conducted his own research into UFOs, developing the commonly used “Close Encounter” classification System.
Project Blue Book was one of a series of systematic studies of unidentified flying objects (UFOs) conducted by the United States Air Force (USAF). It started in 1952, the third study of its kind, following projects Sign (1947) and Grudge (1949). A termination order was given for the study in December 1969, and all activity under its auspices officially ceased on January 19th, 1970. Project Blue Book had two goals:
- To determine if UFOs were a threat to national security, and
- To scientifically analyze UFO-related data.
Thousands of UFO reports were collected, analyzed, and filed. As a result of the Condon Report (1968), which concluded there was nothing anomalous about UFOs, and a review of the report by the National Academy of Sciences, Project Blue Book was terminated in December 1969. The Air Force supplies the following summary of its investigations:
- No UFO reported, investigated, and evaluated by the Air Force was ever an indication of threat to our national security;
- There was no evidence submitted to or discovered by the Air Force that sightings categorized as “unidentified” represented technological developments or principles beyond the range of modern scientific knowledge; and
- There was no evidence indicating that sightings categorized as “unidentified” were extraterrestrial vehicles.
By the time Project Blue Book ended, it had collected 12,618 UFO reports, and concluded that most of them were misidentifications of natural phenomena or conventional aircraft. According to the National Reconnaissance Office a number of the reports could be explained by flights of the formerly secret reconnaissance planes U-2 and A-12. A small percentage of UFO reports were classified as unexplained, even after stringent analysis.
Project Bluebook’s files can be found on the FBI website as they have been released via the Freedom of Information Act. I gotta be honest with you, the information is pretty dry. I was excited about reading through it but it’s pretty dull.
That being said, I don’t discount that it’s entirely possible for the US government to keep specific on-going research under wraps and we’ll perhaps never know what our government knows. Honestly, I prefer it that way. Humans are dangerous little monkeys when they are scared.
Creating an Abduction
Who experiences abductions?
Women seem to be more likely than men to report abduction by aliens, although that could be a result of patriarchal ideas of weakness in being assaulted.
One likely reason for this gender difference is that it is more socially acceptable for women to talk about emotional and non-rational subjects including alien abduction experiences. For example, Bader (2003) reports that participants in “new age activities and memberships in new religious movements” are disproportionately fe-male. Hopefully, the disappearing gender gap indicates an increasing social space for description of anomalous experiences by all people regardless of gender.
Around 88% of abductees identify as white, 12% as black, 11% as Native American, and around 4% as Hispanic/Latin.
There is evidence that AAE’s are likely to be more educated than the general public, around 28% going to college, 15% graduating college, and some going on to some graduate work. (Note: This isn’t a comment on intelligence, just in access/desire to go to receive a higher education).
No trends seem to exist on marital rates.
Psychopathology is not higher in AAEs than in the general public in some research studies, but in others AAEs were more likely to experience unusual feelings, thoughts, and attitudes; to be suspicious or distrustful; and to be creative, imaginative.” In this study AAEs were also found to have significantly high levels of childhood trauma and 57% reported suicide attempts.
Childhood abductions are often reported at an early age (51% reporting a first abduction at age 5 or earlier), but it must be stated that these are almost always “discovered/remembered” much later in life and reported to have occurred in childhood.
Another interesting phenomenon is that repeat abductions are often reported, at 87.7% of AAEs. Reports of repeat abductions depend on the type of experience, “possible abductees” (those who weren’t sure but thought maybe they could have been abducted) were more likely to only report one experience. Researchers believe that as an individual becomes more committed to their beliefs, they may begin to adhere more to accepted lore of alien encounters.
If an individual experiences something strange only once—waking paralyzed, unexplained bruises, mysterious nosebleeds, or any number of anomalous experiences—it may be easier for them to shrug it off and forget about it. When some-one experiences several of these things over time, however, they may be more likely to explore the possibility of having had an abduction experience. Likewise, once an individual has committed to the belief that s/he has an experience with extraterrestrials, it is understandable that s/he would then interpret various strange events via the abduction paradigm. Therefore, the incidences of “one-time” abduction experiences may be underreported.
Many AAEs claim other members of their family experience similar events, at 64%. 53% report they have feelings of not being human or part extraterrestrial.
AAEs have a higher than average incidence of experiencing physical or sexual abuse as a child, 40.2%. Some research claims a lifetime prevalence of about 30-32% for some type of sexual abuse experienced by women.
Hypnosis as a means to retrieve memories are reported in early research at 80-90% of abductions with experiences being described as “immediately forgotten after the experience”. It has since dropped to around 20%, likely due to hypnosis as a means of memory retrieval being controversial and known for memory implantation by the practitioner. Furthermore, about 64% of those hypnotized reported physical examination by aliens versus 36% not hypnotized.
68.9% of AAEs report being examined by aliens.
According to a CNN poll conducted in 1997, 44% of respondents said they believed that extraterrestrials would be friendly while only 26% expected hostility. 50% of AAEs report a positive experience while 28% report both positive and negative aspects to their experiences.
One thing to note about the quality of the experience as described by AAEs is the seeming inconsistency between experience and attribution. Many individuals talk of painful medical examinations and frightening situations, yet simultaneously describe their experience as a positive thing. Twenty-five (43.1%) respondents in the current study who report physical exams also report having a positive experience. The fact that these people have attributed a larger purpose or meaning to their experience is important. Some AAEs claim that those individuals who think the aliens are acting in the best interest of humans are really simply deluded. Likewise, experiencers who report a positive experience explain that those individuals who are having negative experiences simply have not yet come to recognize the larger purpose of abductions.The ways these people explain the motives and intent of the aliens certainly warrants further exploration, as do the argumentative and justificatory positions they assume.
As people report an increasingly definite experience, the likelihood of them reporting a “message for humanity” increases.
In the general population, about 50% of people reportedly believe in ESP, but 93% of AAEs believe they possess some sort of psychic ability. Often, paranormal abilities by AAEs are reported to be a result of their abduction, and some claim that their abilities are the reasons for their abduction. However, “paranormal belief is not indicative of psychopathology”. People who believe in paranormal function just as normally as low believers. There are other factors that go into paranormal beliefs, though, for example, high believers had more friends with similar beliefs and watched more paranormally oriented television programming.
61.7% of AAEs reported the ability to heal themselves or others.
89.1% of AAEs reported extremely vivid dreams, with 20% reporting hypnagogic (relating to the state immediately before falling asleep) and hypnopompic (state of consciousness leading out of the sleep state) imagery upon awakening.
Why do people believe?
People embrace pseudo-science in direct proportion to the amount they misunderstand science.
It gives them an explanation for psychological distress and anomalous experiences. People don’t just wake up and say “I’ve been abducted;” they have experiences they don’t understand, they ponder them, and then say “…I wonder…”
- Gives a meaning to feeling like an outsider.
- Culturally available way to explain away symptoms and experiences.
- Most people don’t know about anomalous experiences like sleep paralysis, but do know about aliens.
- “Where there’s smoke, there’s fire…”
10% of people who believe they’ve been abducted go on to develop realistic and distressing memories. Most of these come from hypnotic memory retrieval. They are primed, asked leading questions, etc. To be fair, to them, these memories are REAL. Any technique like hypnosis that lulls you into a relaxed, suggestible state will make you more prone to creating false memories – in that state you get confused between things you imagine and things that really happen to you. Researchers call it source monitoring problems. You can read transcripts of various famous AAE hypnosis sessions and witness first-hand the priming and leading.
- Feeling of transformation.
- Having Wisdom to share.
- We aren’t alone.
- Not so hung up on worldly issues.
- “These beings are like god’s angels. … I have experienced a one-ness with the universe.”
- Provides meaning in their lives.
- Creates the feeling of Being Chosen.
- We suspend skepticism in search for meaning in our lives and world.
- Memories can be distorted by stress, distraction, or even outright manufactured. When a false memory is in place, the brain works to fill in the details, creating a REAL experience for the person.
Dr. Susan Clancy - Harvard University Psychologist
Past experience also shapes human perception. Barney Hill, a World War II vet, thought the head “gray” looked like Hitler and seemed menacing. Betty, meanwhile, who had been excited to see the aliens, bantered with the affable gray who performed her medical examination. That alien even agreed to give her a book to bring to earth with her, she said, though other crew members would later overrule that decision.
Folklore / Urban Myth Creation
In her research paper KIDNAPPED BY AN ALIEN Tales of UFO Abductions, Joyce Bynum states “Not surprisingly, UFO lore contains elements common to other forms of folklore, and a ‘fervent controversy’ so characteristic of legends in general, but the folkloric aspects are most noticeable in tales of abduction.” “An important point is that abductees, like actors in legends, were hapless victims who were carrying out a very mundane activity at the time of the abduction.”
Thomas Bullard found that abduction stories contain a maximum of eight episodes: capture, examination, conference, tour, otherworldly journey, theophany (encounter with divine being), return, and aftermath; capture and examination are the two most common coinciding reports. This fits in neatly with folklore often containing tales of traveling to otherworldly places (often heaven/hell, etc) and receiving a moral warning. Abductees often report coming back with messages that the world will experience impending doom if we don’t shift our ways to be more peaceful; often messages of a spiritual nature are tied in with abductees being told to take spiritual paths, study occult practices, and become more enlightened beings.
We’ve talked about a lot of this stuff before, specifically hallucinations, top down processing/bottom up processing errors, and night terrors. You can check out our Ghost Episode Notes to read more about those. For the sake of brevity (lol, too late) I’m just going to mention a couple of things here.
priming: The implicit memory effect in which exposure to a stimulus influences response to a subsequent stimulus.
- Unconscious perception involves the processing of sensory inputs that have not been selected for conscious perception.
- Unconsciously, the brain processes all the stimuli we encounter, not just those we consciously attend to. The brain takes in these signals and interprets them in ways that influence how we respond to our environment.
- Priming is an unconscious process whereby neural networks are activated and strengthened, which influences perception of future stimuli.
- Priming allows for the brain to quickly and efficiently process stimuli from the environment.
The perceptual learning of unconscious processing occurs through priming. Priming occurs when an unconscious response to an initial stimulus affects responses to future stimuli. One of the classic examples is word recognition, thanks to some of the earliest experiments on priming in the early 1970s: the work of David Meyer and Roger Schvaneveldt showed that people decided that a string of letters was a word when the letters followed an associatively or semantically related word. For example, NURSE was recognized more quickly when it followed DOCTOR than when it followed BREAD. This is one of the simplest examples of priming. When information from an initial stimulus enters the brain, neural pathways associated with that stimulus are activated, and a second stimulus is interpreted through that specific context.
Experience affects the activation of neural networks: When information from an initial stimulus enters the brain, neural pathways associated with that stimulus are activated, and the stimulus is interpreted in a specific manner.
One example of priming is in the childhood game Simon Says. Simon is able to trick the players because of priming. By saying “Simon says touch your nose,” “Simon says touch your ear,” and so on, participants are primed to follow the “Simon says” direction and are likely to slip up when that phrase is omitted because they expect it to be there.
In another example, individuals in a study were primed with neutral, polite, or rude words prior to an interview with an investigator. Priming the participants with words prior to the interview activated the neural circuits associated with reactions to those words. The participants who had been primed with rude words interrupted the investigator most often, and those primed with polite words did so the least often.
The presentation of an unattended stimulus can prime our brains for a future response to that stimulus. This process is known as subliminal stimulation. A number of studies have examined how unconscious stimuli influence human perception. Researchers, for example, have demonstrated how the type of music that is played in supermarkets can influence the buying habits of consumers. In another study, researchers discovered that holding a cold or hot beverage prior to an interview can influence how the individual perceives the interviewer. While subliminal stimulation appears to have a temporary effect, there is no evidence yet that it produces an enduring effect on behavior.
Human Perception of External Imaging is Flawed
Listen, our eyeballs and brains are incredible, but they get shit wrong all the damn time. I once watched a cryptid documentary where researchers tried to get people to guess how big a kite in the sky was and almost every time people got it way wrong, overestimating its size by double or triple. I tried to find that doc to put here, but I AM A FAILURE, OK. Instead, I’ll put this much more legitimate actual educational link here so you can see how the eyeball relays information, perceptual anomalies, and some fun information on how optical illusions work.
A mirage is a naturally occurring optical phenomenon in which light rays bend via refraction to produce a displaced image of distant objects or the sky. The word comes to English via the French mirage, from the Latin mirari, meaning “to look at, to wonder at”. Mirages are created when light passes through air of different temperatures. Two types of mirages are inferior and superior. An inferior mirage occurs when you have a dense layer of cold air sitting on above of your line of sight, with a layer of less dense warmer air below your line of sight.
A Fata Morgana is a complex form of superior mirage that is seen in a narrow band right above the horizon. It is an Italian term named after the Arthurian sorceress Morgan le Fay, from a belief that these mirages, often seen in the Strait of Messina, were fairy castles in the air or false land created by her witchcraft to lure sailors to their deaths. Although the term Fata Morgana sometimes is applied to other more common kinds of mirages, true Fata Morgana is different from both an ordinary superior mirage and an inferior mirage.
Often, a Fata Morgana changes rapidly. The mirage comprises several inverted (upside down) and erect (right side up) images that are stacked on top of one another. Fata Morgana mirages also show alternating compressed and stretched zones.
Source: Fata Morgana (mirage) Wiki
A video showing how ball lightning can be easily mistaken for a UFO.
Ball lightning is an unexplained atmospheric electrical phenomenon described as luminescent, spherical objects that vary from pea-sized to several meters in diameter. Though usually associated with thunderstorms, the phenomenon is said to last considerably longer than the split-second flash of a lightning bolt.
Source: Ball Lightning (Wiki)
St. Elmo's Fire
St. Elmo’s fire is a weather phenomenon in which luminous plasma is created by a corona discharge from a sharp or pointed object in a strong electric field in the atmosphere (such as those generated by thunderstorms or created by a volcanic eruption).
St. Elmo’s fire is named after St. Erasmus of Formia (also called St. Elmo, one of the two Italian names for St. Erasmus, the other being St. Erasmo), the patron saint of sailors. The phenomenon sometimes appeared on ships at sea during thunderstorms and was regarded by sailors with religious awe for its glowing ball of light, accounting for the name. Sailors may have considered St. Elmo’s fire as a good omen (as a sign of the presence of their patron saint).
Source: St. Elmo’s Fire Wiki
These lens-shaped clouds typically form where stable moist air flows over a mountain or a range of mountains. When this happens, a series of large-scale standing waves may form on the mountain’s downwind side. If the temperature at the crest of the wave drops to the dew point, moisture in the air may condense to form lenticular clouds. As the moist air moves back down into the trough of the wave, the cloud may evaporate back into vapor. So lenticular clouds can appear and disappear relatively quickly. Plus they’re not familiar to people who live in low-lying or flat terrain. And, just to confound things, lenticular clouds have also been known to form in non-mountainous places, as the result of shear winds created by a front. For all of these reasons, lenticular clouds are often mistaken for UFOs (or “visual cover” for UFOs).
Media & Technology: Influencing the Masses
Science Fiction Literature
Science fiction (sometimes called sci-fi or just SF) is a genre of speculative fiction that typically deals with imaginative and futuristic concepts such as advanced science and technology, space exploration, time travel, parallel universes, and extraterrestrial life. It has been called the “literature of ideas”, and often explores the potential consequences of scientific, social, and technological innovations.
Science fiction had its beginnings in ancient times, when the line between myth and fact was blurred. Written in the 2nd century CE by the satirist Lucian, A True Story contains many themes and tropes characteristic of modern science fiction, including travel to other worlds, extraterrestrial lifeforms, interplanetary warfare, and artificial life.
Following the 18th-century development of the novel as a literary form, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (1818) and The Last Man (1826) helped define the form of the science-fiction novel. Brian Aldiss has argued that Frankenstein was the first work of science fiction. Edgar Allan Poe wrote several stories considered to be science fiction, including “The Unparalleled Adventure of One Hans Pfaall” (1835) which featured a trip to the Moon. Jules Verne was noted for his attention to detail and scientific accuracy, especially in Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea (1870). In 1887, the novel El anacronópete by Spanish author Enrique Gaspar y Rimbau introduced the first time machine.
Many critics consider H. G. Wells one of science fiction’s most important authors, or even “the Shakespeare of science fiction.” His notable science-fiction works include The Time Machine (1895), The Island of Doctor Moreau (1896), The Invisible Man (1897), and The War of the Worlds (1898). His science fiction imagined alien invasion, biological engineering, invisibility, and time travel. In his non-fiction futurologist works he predicted the advent of airplanes, military tanks, nuclear weapons, satellite television, space travel, and something resembling the World Wide Web.
HG Wells’ science fiction tale “The War of the Worlds” and the famous broadcast on national radio put on by Orson Welles had an amazing impact on the culture around alien and UFO beliefs. Furthermore, an increase in printed media such as the National Enquirer and UFO specific publications created the most impact in reported abductions and craft sightings. Most sightings were reported after magazine articles detailing alien lore, television episodes about aliens and UFO crafts, or other popular media releases related to the subject.
TV & Movies
UFO sightings evolve with the culture. By the `60s, classic saucer images had started to fade. Instead, people began reporting more direct contact with aliens (who often resembled the big-eyed creatures seen in the TV movie The UFO Incident). But a darker strain emerged, when tales of gray aliens performing experiments on human abductees flourished. UFO stories sometimes took on spiritual dimensions: Aliens were godlike creatures coming to save our planet–or transport us to a better one.
Early movies and literature described UFOs largely like pilot Kenneth Arnold, saucer shaped and silver. Likewise, aliens were small, with large eyes and often green or grey in appearance. As special effects got better and utilized more of our technological advances to inform the appearance of UFOs, you can see the crafts become more details, often with multiple levels, featuring what we might anticipate anti-gravitational devices to look like, and no longer creating sound but floating silently in the air. Aliens are now most often represented as tall, gangly, and often frightening in their appearance.
In recent years, most UFO reports have grown far less sensational; many sightings these days simply describe lights in the sky.
In 1896 a wave of UFO sightings occurred in the United States. Described as large and steam powered, people were not seeing alien spacecrafts, but the first iterations of Zeppelins, a rigid airship developed in 1893 by Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin. Past that there were reports of flying machines with propellers (early airplanes), rocket-shaped objects moving at great speed (Soviets utilizing German missiles they had procured), and now we are more likely to spot drone-like objects and label them alien. To be honest, if I were to see any of the bombers or airplanes pictured above without knowing they were built by humans, I might think they were alien aircrafts.
Source: Smithsonian Magazine
It has been suggested that UFO sightings and government research were directly influenced by paranoia around the Cold War.
David Clarke and Andy Roberts wrote a book called “Out of the Shadows” about uncovering military records suggesting that flying saucer sightings were a product of Cold War paranoia, not alien contact.
Instead the widespread belief in UFOs that began in the 1950s and lasted until the present day should be seen as a social phenomenon.
Clarke said that the UFO craze began at the start of the Cold War, when the new threat of atomic war with the Soviet Union hung over the world. ‘It was just simple to want to believe in something up there in the sky that could come and rescue us,’ he said.
Many of the early UFO sightings were seemingly confirmed by Britain’s fledgling radar system, often scrambling fighter planes into the sky to investigate sightings. But, as the new technology improved, the number of incidents appearing on radar quickly dwindled to zero. ‘That cannot be a coincidence. Those early confirmations were just a product of a primitive radar system,’ Clarke said.
But they did uncover evidence that the American Secret Service, with the possible connivance of the British, looked at ways of using the public panic over UFOs as a psychological weapon against the Russians.
In CIA memos marked ‘secret’ and seen by The Observer, top officials consider exploiting the UFO craze. ‘I suggest that we discuss the possible offensive or defensive utilization of these phenomena for psychological warfare purposes,’ wrote CIA director Walter Smith in 1952. ‘Shortly after that meeting the CIA sent a delegation to Britain to discuss UFOs. It is hard to imagine that they did not discuss the psychological warfare aspects of it with their British counterparts,’ Clarke said.
World Contact Day
World Contact Day was first declared in March 1953 by an organization called the International Flying Saucer Bureau (IFSB), as a day on which all IFSB members would attempt to send a telepathic message into space.
The IFSB voted to hold such a day in 1953, theorising that if both telepathy and alien life were real, a large number of people focussing on an identical piece of text may be able to transmit the message through space. IFSB members focused on the following message during 1953:
Calling occupants of interplanetary craft! Calling occupants of interplanetary craft that have been observing our planet EARTH. We of IFSB wish to make contact with you. We are your friends, and would like you to make an appearance here on EARTH. Your presence before us will be welcomed with the utmost friendship. We will do all in our power to promote mutual understanding between your people and the people of EARTH. Please come in peace and help us in our EARTHLY problems. Give us some sign that you have received our message. Be responsible for creating a miracle here on our planet to wake up the ignorant ones to reality. Let us hear from you. We are your friends.
Is Alien Mythology a New Religion?
Replacing Traditional Religion
Diane Pasulka is a professor of religious studies at the University of North Carolina and the author of “American Cosmic,” a book in which she argues that belief in UFOs and aliens is following the same path historically blazed by new forms of religion — and that humans might be hoping aliens will be our species’ savior from above.
But there’s something different about the UFO narrative. Here we have people who are actual scientists, like Ellen Stofan, the former chief scientist at NASA, who are willing to go on TV and basically make announcements like, “We are going to find extraterrestrial life.” Now, she’s not exactly talking about intelligent extraterrestrial life, but that’s not how many people interpret her. She says we’re going to find life, we’re going to find habitable planets and things like that. So that gives this type of religiosity a far more powerful bite than the traditional religions, which are based on faith in things unseen and unprovable.
But the belief that UFOs and aliens are potentially true, and can potentially be proven, makes this a uniquely powerful narrative for the people who believe in it.
Is it fair to call this a new form of religion? I think so.
Cult & Religious Practices
There are SO. DAMN. MANY. New Age, Cult, and Religious practices with Alien undertones, but these are the ones I find most interesting.
Marshall Applewhite began his foray into biblical prophecy in the early 1970s. After being fired from the University of St. Thomas in Houston, Texas over an alleged relationship with one of his male students, he met Bonnie Nettles, a 44-year-old married nurse with an interest in theosophy and biblical prophecy, in March 1972. Applewhite later recalled that he felt like he had known Nettles for a long time and concluded that they had met in a past life. She told him their meeting had been foretold to her by extraterrestrials, persuading him that he had a divine assignment.
Applewhite and Nettles concluded that they had been chosen to fulfill biblical prophecies, and that they had been given higher-level minds than other people. They wrote a pamphlet that described Jesus’ reincarnation as a Texan, a thinly veiled reference to Applewhite. They believed they would be killed and then restored to life and, in view of others, transported onto a spaceship, describing this event as the Demonstration.
Eventually, Applewhite and Nettles resolved to contact extraterrestrials, and they sought like-minded followers. They published advertisements for meetings, where they recruited disciples, whom they called “the crew”. In 1975, during a group meeting they shared their “simultaneous” revelation that they had been told they were the two witnesses written into the Bible’s story of the end time.
It was not until the death of Nettles in 1985 and Applewhite’s subsequent revision of the group’s doctrines that the crew gained an eventual reputation as a “cyberculture” form of religious thought reform; by the mid-90s, the group had become reclusive, identifying themselves using the business name “Higher Source”, and using their website to proselytize and recruit followers.
On March 19–20, 1997, Marshall Applewhite taped himself in Do’s Final Exit, speaking of mass suicide and “the only way to evacuate this Earth”. After asserting that a spacecraft was trailing Comet Hale–Bopp and that this event would represent the “closure to Heaven’s Gate”, Applewhite persuaded 38 followers to prepare for ritual suicide so their souls could board the supposed craft. Applewhite believed that after their deaths an unidentified flying object (UFO) would take their souls to another “level of existence above human”, which he described as being both physical and spiritual. Their preparations included each member’s videotaping a farewell message.
To kill themselves, members took phenobarbital mixed with apple sauce or pudding and washed it down with vodka. Additionally, they secured plastic bags around their heads. All 39 were dressed in identical black shirts and sweat pants, brand new black-and-white Nike Decades athletic shoes, and armband patches reading “Heaven’s Gate Away Team” (one of many instances of the group’s use of the Star Trek fictional universe’s nomenclature). Each member had on their person a five-dollar bill and three quarters in their pockets: the five-dollar bill was to cover vagrancy fines while members were out on jobs, while the quarters were to make phone calls. Once dead, a living member would arrange the body by removing the plastic bag from the person’s head. They then posed the body so that it lay neatly in their own bed, with faces and torsos covered by a square purple cloth for privacy. The identical clothing was used as a uniform for the mass suicide to represent unity whilst the Nike Decades were chosen as the group “got a good deal on the shoes”.
Before the last of the suicides, similar sets of FedEx packages were sent to numerous Heaven’s Gate affiliated (or formerly affiliated) individuals, and at least one media outlet, the BBC department responsible for Louis Theroux’s Weird Weekends, for which Heaven’s Gate had earlier declined participation.
Unarius is an acronym for “Universal Articulate Interdimensional Understanding of Science”. The founder, and subsequent “channels” and “sub-channels”, have written books filled with channeled dissertations from alleged advanced intelligent beings that exist on higher frequency planes. Over 100 volumes have been published since 1954.
Unarius was established to teach the ‘fourth-dimensional science’ aka “the Science of Life” which incorporates harmonic frequencies, karma, reincarnation, past-life memories, channeling, and an elaborate cosmology of ‘spiritual planets.’ Central tenets of the belief system include contact with the ‘Space Brothers’ and a millenarian prophecy that predicts a mass landing of starships.
“The Science” asserts that everything is energy: atoms, higher knowledge, our bodies and our experiences. This energy ‘vibrates in frequencies and wave forms’. ‘Understanding’ these vibrational energies allows contact with all things: higher intelligence, the ‘advanced teaching centers’ and our ‘past lives’. By being ‘in tune with spiritual frequencies’ we can heal ourselves of mental and physical illness.
Saliba summarises Unarian belief under four basic themes: intelligent life on other planets/galaxies; an infinite creative intelligence (God); that human beings are developing into an advanced state of consciousness; the millennial hope of the advent of a landing. According to Unarius, the purpose of the research institution is “to awaken the individual to previous life encounters, the clairvoyant aptitude of the mind, and the reality of one’s spiritual connection.”
Although the group is generally known for its predictions regarding flying saucers landing on Earth, Ernest L. Norman stressed these scientific core understandings as the key to personal development and mastery over material circumstances and in one instance derided flying saucer chasers as just another manifestation of people pursuing an “escape mechanism”.
Source: Unarius Academy of Science Wiki
Xenu was, according to Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard, the dictator of the “Galactic Confederacy” who brought billions of his people to Earth (then known as “Teegeeack”) in DC-8-like spacecraft 75 million years ago, stacked them around volcanoes, and killed them with hydrogen bombs. Official Scientology scriptures hold that the thetans (immortal spirits) of these aliens adhere to humans, causing spiritual harm.
These events are known within Scientology as “Incident II”, and the traumatic memories associated with them as “The Wall of Fire” or “R6 implant”. The narrative of Xenu is part of Scientologist teachings about extraterrestrial civilizations and alien interventions in earthly events, collectively described as “space opera” by Hubbard. Hubbard detailed the story in Operating Thetan level III (OT III) in 1967, warning that the “R6 implant” (past trauma) was “calculated to kill (by pneumonia, etc.) anyone who attempts to solve it”.
Within the Church of Scientology, the Xenu story is part of the church’s secret “Advanced Technology”, considered a sacred and esoteric teaching, which is normally only revealed to members who have completed a lengthy sequence of courses costing large amounts of money. The church avoids mention of Xenu in public statements and has gone to considerable effort to maintain the story’s confidentiality, including legal action on the grounds of copyright and trade secrecy. Officials of the Church of Scientology widely deny or try to hide the Xenu story.Despite this, much material on Xenu has leaked to the public via court documents and copies of Hubbard’s notes that have been distributed through the Internet.
Source: Scientology Wiki
Teal Swan, an emerging cult leader, claims she is a multi-dimensional Arcturian alien working with 11 other aliens in an “intergalactic Green Peace” type organization. She says she has x-ray vision and hearing, that she can inject herself into people’s brainstems to revive them and can hear tectonic plates moving. She has a massive following, many of whom, called “Tealers,” tattoo themselves with her symbol. Teal claims suicide is a “reset button” and that “death is delicious.” At least two of her followers have already committed suicide. Teal also claims to have suffered 13-years of abuse in a child-murdering Mormon Satanic Cult where she was routinely tortured, sewn into a corpse for 12 hours and made to torture other children.
“How do I have all this information? It’s because I’m extra sensory. I’m not limited to this dimension or time-space reality.” “My goal is not to become what I already am, which is a spiritual guide, that is just a means to achieving my actual goals.”
‘I knew that I wanted to be famous and be on people’s television screens and be on stage,’ she once said. ‘At a cellular level, I knew that I was destined to be a performer.’
“I am non-physical energy that is projected forth into an Arcturian body, an extraterrestrial body. Before I even came down there was an entire panel of Arcturian beings, 6th dimensional beings, who even chose the way I would look in this life. There will not be a person on the planet, regardless of what country you go to that does not perceive some level of attractiveness. Thus, they’ll pay attention. It’s sort of funny to feel like I’m a giant science project.”
As evidence of the mind games and manipulation Teal uses, she tried on several occasions to plant alien abduction stories into people’s minds:
“She convinced him that he was brutally sodomized and had spikes driven through his body by gray aliens. Teal walked him through an alleged abduction describing what had happened to him and his sister to the point he was SCREAMING BLOODY MURDER upstairs. He threw something and almost broke her sliding glass closet door. I was so scared when I heard him that I thought I was going to have to call 911. He seemed to me to be having a psychotic break.”
“Teal told me her cat, Cosmos, was actually a holographic soul projection from the planet Sirius, and he had been sending me telepathic images of my pancreas, to tell me that my blood sugar was off.”
As of May 2020 she has 434,000 subscribers on YouTube, 53 million total views on her videos, 162,000 Facebook likes, and 60,000 followers on Instagram.
Universe People or Cosmic People of Light Powers (Czech: Vesmírní lidé sil světla) is a Czech and Slovak UFO religion founded in the 1990s. Their belief system is based upon the existence of extraterrestrial civilizations communicating with Benda and other contactees since October 1997 telepathically and later even by direct personal contact. They are considered to be the most distinctive UFO religion in the Czech Republic. Following the mass suicide of the members of the cult Heaven’s Gate in 1997, the Universe People attracted the attention of Czech media as a group with similar ideology and potential to commit similar acts. The probability of this development has diminished in later years (2004). From 1998 to 2000, the ideology of the Universe People was close to sectarianism, with a central idea of coming cosmic catastrophe and evacuation of people to another planet. However, their later efforts moved to defence against the attacks of negative extraterrestrial beings, called saurians or lizard people (in Czech: ještírci). In 2007, the Slovak private television channel TV JOJ reported that the Universe People sent instructions on how to defend against attacks of evil extraterrestrial entities to the Slovak Ministry of Defense. These envelopes contained instructional CDs and promotional materials of the group. Ivo Benda stated on TV: “If you were attacked by a lizard man from an outer world, the Ministry of Defense should defend the people, shouldn’t it? Or do you consider those lizard people as friends?”
Source: Universe People Wiki
Robert Scott Lazar is an American conspiracy theorist who claims to have been hired in the late 1980s to reverse-engineer purported extraterrestrial technology at what he described as a secret site called “S-4”. Lazar alleges that this subsidiary installation is located several kilometres south of the United States Air Force facility popularly known as Area 51.
There are some details that Bob Lazar nails with his earlier interviews, but he’s also a crazy intelligent guy so I can’t discount that he might figure out some shit through research and put it together in an elaborate tale. Basically, I think it’s entirely possible that he’s telling the truth in some aspects of his story (not necessarily that he was working on alien technology, but that he was working on something he didn’t understand), but that there is no way to prove or disprove so I kind of don’t see the point in entertaining. Even he has absolutely zero physical evidence, which I find suspicious if he knew he was likely going to be fired or he would need collateral for some sort of confrontation.
A documentary was released on Netflix about his claims called Bob Lazar: Area 51 and Flying Saucers. I have to mention it was made by the same documentarian that pro-ports to be a skeptic but has created (admittedly entertaining) “documentaries” on Skinwalker Ranch and Bigfoot where it’s kind of clear that he really wants to believe in all this shit so he’s not quite as critical as he thinks he is. I wasn’t convinced by it, but it is a really fun watch. In the documentary, a lot of credit is paid to a journalist that did research on him and was convinced, which, cool, but to be frank, the research seems full of holes and lacking the amount of integrity I would expect.
There is an incident at his company that is told (not through direct video evidence, mind you, just through recap) where he claims FBI raided his offices looking for materials from his time at Area 51. From the documentary, I don’t really believe it. While it might have been scary for the people involved, it was likely a routine investigation by police based on previous charges of his company for violated the Federal Hazardous Substances Act.
Source: Bob Lazar Wiki
From the Bob Lazar Wiki Entry
In 2006, Lazar and his wife Joy White were charged with violating the Federal Hazardous Substances Act for shipping restricted chemicals across state lines. The charges stemmed from a 2003 raid on United Nuclear's business offices, where chemical sales records were examined. United Nuclear pleaded guilty to three criminal counts of introducing into interstate commerce, and aiding and abetting the introduction into interstate commerce, banned hazardous substances. In 2007, United Nuclear was fined $7,500 for violating a law prohibiting the sale of chemicals and components used to make illegal fireworks.
The former Blink 182 guitarist, who quit the band in 2014, has spent the past few years enmeshed in the mysterious world of ex-government contractors, attempting to get to the bottom of this whole aliens thing. …DeLonge truly believes that these shadowy deep state figures have “entrusted him and his company, To the Stars, with slowly revealing the truth” about aliens to the rest of us.
I think it’s fascinating that there doesn’t seem to be a mention of the terminology UFO to mean vastly different things from the perspectives of the military and of civilians. To civilians, UFO has come to be synonymous with “alien aircraft” where as to military it just means “we don’t fuckin’ know, could be anything.” It’s such a reach to think that the military has “admitted” to witnessing alien crafts or to having contact with alien crafts just because it says it has witnessed UFOs it can’t explain.
From a Consequence of Sound Article
[...] thanks to videos posted by DeLonge’s research academy, the US Navy has confirmed that aliens do exist. The three clips in question were shot in 2004 and 2015. One shows US Navy pilots chancing upon an unknown aircraft in San Diego, while the other two capture an unusually rotating object flying over water. DeLonge made the videos public through his To The Stars Academy in 2017 and 2018, with each racking up millions of views. The finding is significant because, up until this time, the Navy has determined other unusual flying objects to be weather balloons or drones. In the case of DeLonge’s video footage, however, the Navy is specifically using the label “Unidentified Aerial Phenomena”.
So, the big thing here is that people give inordinate credit to pilots as though they can’t misidentify something while they are in flight. During a flight, pilots are focused on a lot of things, so it’s not out of the realm of possibility that they could attribute flight patterns, speed, and shape of the object to being out of the normal because they are not able to focus on it exclusively. Furthermore, the Navy said it doesn’t know, that doesn’t mean it’s an alien, it just means “we don’t know.” I don’t feel like I need to remind people that the US is on a lot of hit lists (ahem, N Korea)…seems like if any of the world’s super-powers wanted to create a technology that could spy on us, they would have the means. Basically, I’m saying YEAH, OK, could be aliens, but also could be run of the mill secret military shit. Humans are crazy.
Source: Consequence of Sound
John Mack was a psychiatrist specializing in hypnosis who wrote many books on alien abduction phenomena. He became interested in alien abduction experiencers in the 90s, saying that he was “very doubtful.” He said, “I thought it must be some kind of mental illness.”
Other psychologists had major concerns with his embrace of hypnotism, warning that his belief in “recovered memories” was dangerous and pointing out that hypnosis coupled with suggestive interview techniques can create false memories that seem very real to the patients. Dr. Elizabeth Loftus, a professor of psychology at the University of California, Irvine, and an expert in the malleability of memory, said John Mack “underestimated his own role in creating the recollections and beliefs” of his patients and that “his use of hypnosis gave the method undeserved credibility.”
When asked to provide physical evidence in his research, he stated that those demands were part of a flawed “Western” construct of science that failed to appreciate “other dimensions”…so…yeah…sounds legit.
We did a whole episode on David Icke’s Reptilian Lunacy that you should absolutely listen to, but here’s a rundown…
- The Illuminati is real.
- Every major government organization, corporation, and a lot of celebrities are in the Illuminati.
- The entire Royal family is made up of blood-drinking, shape-shifting Reptilian aliens.
- The Illuminati is run by Reptilians that populated this world millions of years ago.
- The Reptilians spy on us from the moon, which is a satellite that essentially streams our lives.
- Reptilians are controlling us through possession, vaccines, and 5g wireless networks.
- Some humans are half Reptilian, half human.
Paintings Depict Ancient Aliens
The gist of this one is that people are seeing objects and human-like creatures in cave paintings from pre-history as well as various paintings (mostly from the Renaissance) and interpreting them with a modern “understanding” of UFOs and “alien beings” instead of thinking about what they would have represented when they were created. Lots of people didn’t study art history and it shows.
Ancient Aliens Populated the World
Julien Benoit, a postdoctoral researcher in vertebrate paleontology at the University of the Witwatersrand (South Africa
Firstly, these people try to prove their theories by travelling the world and desecrating ancient artefacts. Secondly, they perpetuate and give air to the racist notion that only Europeans – white people – ever were and ever will be capable of such architectural feats.
We’ve talked a lot on our show about people just not believing that brown and black people could have possibly thought up solutions to architecture and technology a couple of thousand years ago. The logic seems to be “I DON’T UNDERSTAND IT AND I’M A MODERN HUMAN SO IT MUST BE ALIENS.” It’s rooted in racism, for sure. Also, there’s a distrust of scientists as “hiding” what they know, as though some low wage archeologist or paleontologist who is just trying to get tenure is going to have something to gain from hiding proof that aliens helped us shape our world. I mean, that would be a career-making discovery…if it was at all real.
I often say, “thank god the world doesn’t operate based on my limited understanding of things,” and I think people who spout this ancient aliens nonsense need to take that on as their motto.
Men in Black
In 1947, Harold Dahl claimed to have been warned not to talk about his alleged UFO sighting on Maury Island by a man in a dark suit. In the mid-1950s, the ufologist Albert K. Bender claimed he was visited by men in dark suits who threatened and warned him not to continue investigating UFOs. Bender maintained that the men in black were secret government agents who had been given the task of suppressing evidence of UFOs. The ufologist John Keel claimed to have had encounters with men in black and referred to them as “demonic supernaturals” with “dark skin and/or ‘exotic’ facial features.” According to the ufologist Jerome Clark, reports of men in black represent “experiences” that “don’t seem to have occurred in the world of consensus reality.”
Historian Aaron Gulyas wrote, “during the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s, UFO conspiracy theorists would incorporate the Men in Black into their increasingly complex and paranoid visions.”
In his article, “Gray Barker: My Friend, the Myth-Maker,” John C. Sherwood claims that, in the late 1960s, at the age of 18, he cooperated when Gray Barker urged him to develop a hoax—which Barker subsequently published—about what Barker called “blackmen,” three mysterious UFO inhabitants who silenced Sherwood’s pseudonymous identity, “Dr. Richard H. Pratt.
Folklorist James R. Lewis compares accounts of men in black with tales of people encountering Lucifer and speculates that they can be considered a kind of “psychological drama.”
Black Knight Satellite
Skinwalker Ranch, also known as Sherman Ranch, is a property located on approximately 512 acres (207.2 ha) southeast of Ballard, Utah state that is reputed to be the site of paranormal and UFO-related activities. Its name is taken from the skin-walker of Navajo legend concerning vengeful Shaman’s retribution for enslavement of the Navajo people by the local Ute tribe.
I don’t like the word paranormal. I don’t like it at all because it suggests that if we see something in the universe and it exists within the universe that it’s not supposed to be in the universe. And what I saw was within our universe so to me I’d say it’s normal. I’d say [it’s] something that we just don’t understand and don’t know what it is. Now what I will tell you is that absolutely without a doubt we have scientific instruments that detected and measured, multiple witnesses see, multiple cameras and multiple occasions, phenomena that cannot be explained by human technology. It doesn’t mean it can’t be explained by a better or future understanding of physics but it does mean we can’t explain it with human technology [right now]. Dr. Taylor from the “documentary” series The Secret of Skinwalker Ranch
In Navajo culture, a skin-walker (Navajo: yee naaldlooshii) is a type of harmful witch who has the ability to turn into, possess, or disguise themselves as an animal. The term is never used for healers.
In the Navajo language, yee naaldlooshii translates to “by means of it, it goes on all fours”. While perhaps the most common variety seen in horror fiction by non-Navajo people, the yee naaldlooshii is one of several varieties of, specifically a type of ‘ánti’įhnii. The legend of the skin-walkers is not well understood outside of Navajo culture, mostly due to reluctance to discuss the subject with outsiders. Navajo people are reluctant to reveal skin-walker lore to non-Navajos, or to discuss it at all among those they do not trust.
We as Native people are now opened up to a barrage of questions about these beliefs and traditions... but these are not things that need or should be discussed by outsiders. At all. I'm sorry if that seems 'unfair', but that's how our cultures survive.
Colm Kelleher and co-author George Knapp subsequently authored a book in which they describe the ranch being acquired by the National Institute for Discovery Science (NIDSci) to study anecdotal sightings of UFOs, transdimensional portals (lol) which lead to bigfoot-like creatures coming to play on the property, crop circles, glowing orbs and poltergeist activity reported by its former owners. Currently, there is no hard evidence of the phenomena reported aside from the usual blurry photographs of “orbs” and what looks like sick or injured wolves prowling the property.
A lack of proof via video, photography, or any number of legitimate resources is explained away as the phenomena magically knowing that they are trying to record it and circumventing their efforts. “It is a precognitive, sentient phenomena” says retired Army Colonel John Alexander, who is most known for attempting to use paranormal techniques in the military. The man literally said he tried to create “jedi warriors,” so I’m not super keen on using him as a neutral source who was swayed by “evidence.” Also reported on the property are a series of cattle mutilations that are “seemingly impossible” by natural explanation.
Wolves have been observed bringing down a 600 pound moose and eating half the carcass in three hours.
Vultures can eat 2 pounds in a single meal, can find a carcass as soon as enough decomposition chemicals build up in the body or when insects and other animals have located it, and are known to fly in social groups of up to 100. New World vultures lack a voicebox and are nearly silent, so you likely wouldn’t notice them until the carcass was picked apart.
Crows and ravens are also amazing at picking apart carcasses in what seems to be almost surgical precision.
So, Are Aliens and UFOs Real?
Honestly, I have no idea. I want to believe in them but I’m also 99.9% of the mind that any “evidence” we have of visitations from extraterrestrial beings is not real or based in misunderstanding of totally earthly phenomena. Thanks for joining me on this deep dive.