Paranormal and occult hypotheses about UFOs

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Photo of a purported UFO over Passaic, New Jersey, in 1952.
Photo of a purported UFO over Passaic, New Jersey, in 1952.
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There has been a fair amount of crossover between paranormal events and Unidentified Flying Objects. Both are sometimes seen as dubious fields of study by mainstream science, and generally, have seen little support.


[edit] Mystics, extraterrestrials and contactees

In his 1758 book Earths in the Solar World, Emanuel Swedenborg reported a number of visions where he was escorted around various planets. He regarded these visions as genuine.

Among Madame Blavatsky’s writings were her descriptions of “The Lords of the Flame”, who resided on Venus. Guy Ballard - one of Blavatsky's disciples - popularised her teachings in the United States. He founded an offshoot, “The Great I AM”, which made contact with extraterrestrials a vital part of its teachings.

Though early contactees spoke of extraterrestrial contact, but the general tone and the sort of messages imparted by extraterrestrials seemed almost interchangeable, in many accounts, as those offered by mediums and mystics. As early as the 17th century, the polymath John Dee and his assistant Edward Kelley, working together, communed with superior and unearthly beings (which he called angels) who imparted to them a strange language, Enochian, and imparting to them "wisdom" and knowledge.

Heavily inspired by the writings of H. P. Lovecraft, the Left Hand Path occultists Kenneth Grant and Michael Bertiaux have formed magical orders devoted to using tantric and ceremonial magic as a means to contact extraterrestrial (and/or extradimensional) entities.

[edit] Theorists and popularizers

Carl Jung, the famous psychologist, also theorized that UFOs might have a primarily spiritual and psychological basis. In his 1959 book "Flying Saucers: A Modern Myth of Things Seen In The Sky", he pointed out that the round shape of most saucers corresponds to a mandala, a type of archetypal shape seen in religious images. Thus the saucers might reflect a projection of the internal desires of viewers to see them. However, he did not label them as delusions or hallucinations outright; it was more in the nature of a shared spiritual experience. However, Jung seemed conflicted as to possible origins. At other times he asserted that he wasn't concerned with possible psychological origins and that at least some UFOs were physically real, based primarily on indirect physical evidence such as photographs and radar contact in addition to visual sightings. He also considered the extraterrestrial hypothesis to be viable. In 1958 the AP quoted him as saying, "A purely psychological explanation is ruled out.... If the extraterrestrial origin of these phenomena should be confirmed, this would prove the existence of an intelligent interplanetary relationship.... That the construction of these machines proves a scientific technique immensely superior to ours cannot be disputed." [1][2]

John Keel and Brad Steiger promulgated various paranormal/UFO theories in a series of modestly successful paperback books in the 1960s and 1970s. Keel in particular speculated that UFOs might have their origins not in space and time as we know it, but outside of it. He advocated that we may not do well to trust superior beings but to regard them as quite often deceptive or manipulative if not parasitic. Dr. Jacques Vallée, a French UFO researcher, followed with more serious studies taking a similar tack. Vallée has noted an almost exact parallel between UFO and "Alien" visitations and stories from folklore of Fairies and similar creatures. This was documented in his 1969 book "Passport to Magonia" and explored further in his later works. The significance of these parallels is disputed between mainstream scientists, who contend that both are fanciful, and Vallée and others who feel that some underlying poorly understood phenomenon is actually interacting with humans to cause both kinds of sightings. Incidentally, Vallée was the inspiration for the French scientist depicted in Steven Spielberg's film Close Encounters of the Third Kind.

Terence McKenna, in contrast, believed that UFOs are manifestations of the human soul, or collective spirit. He thought they appeared to individuals and groups in order to exert psychological influence over the course of history and might preside, in the year 2012, over history's end.

In the 1980s, this point of view had formalized into a paradigm in and of itself. Researcher Hilary Evans published two well-researched studies, Gods, Spirits, Cosmic Guardians: Encounters with Non-Human Beings and Visions, Apparitions, Alien Visitors: A Complete Study of the Entity Enigma trying to examine phenomena ranging from "ghosts" to "aliens" using similar principles, seeming to conclude that entities may have originated in the minds of the experiencers, with paranormal components. Since that time, discussion has stalled, with no one having much of substance to offer; writing tends to consist of repetitions of old theories.

The U.S. Government Printing Office issued a publication compiled by the Library of Congress for the Air Force Office of Scientific Research: "UFOs and Related Subjects: An Annotated Bibliography". In preparing this work, the senior bibliographer, Lynn E. Catoe, read thousands of UFO articles and books. In her preface to this 400-page book she states:

A large part of the available UFO literature is closely linked with mysticism and the metaphysical. It deals with subjects like mental telepathy, automatic writing and invisible entities as well as phenomena like poltergeist (ghost) manifestations and possession. Many of the UFO reports now being published in the popular press recount alleged incidents that are strikingly similar to demonic possession and psychic phenomena.

[edit] UFOs and mainstream religions

An example of this overlap is the miracle at Fátima which occurred in Portugal in 1917. This involved over 70,000 witnesses observing strange aerial phenomena, which might well be considered as UFOs today.

A few Protestant fundamentalists regard UFOs as inherently demonic and part of a Satanic plan to undermine Christianity, which may involve the supernatural Nephilim as pilots of the UFOs. (see [3])

Similar views are held by some [Christian Orthodox] priests and believers, with direct references to affirmations made by saints of the Orthodox Church. [4], [5] (links in Romanian), [6] (short note in English), see also [7]. The UFO phenomenon is connected to the arrival of the Antichrist and the wonders he would make to fool the world into believing him, including great fire coming down from the sky. The sky is seen as the place where demons live (see the similarity with Beelzebub - "the lord of the flies", sometimes interpreted as "the lord of the fliers" - i.e. of those who fly). Many similarities can be drawn between UFOs and demonic manifestations: both involve revealing half truths, double truths or deceit, both tend to have a volatile character, as they seem to appear unexpectedly and have an indefinite or illusory character, inducing a sense of wondering and awe, and, more subtly, exposure to or knowledge of both, as incomplete as it is, can induce some abnormal or even pathologic states to those exposed - anxiety, fear, obsession with the phenomenon, and even paranoid schizophrenia, demonomania and suicide, according to John Keel's book "UFOs: Operation Trojan Horse", cited in the links above. [8]

[edit] See also

[edit] External links

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