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Ummo or Ummoism [1]describes a series of decades-long claims that aliens from the planet Ummo were communicating with persons on the earth.

Most Ummo information was in the form of many detailed documents and letters sent to various esoteric groups or UFO enthusiasts. The Ummo affair was subject to much mainstream attention in France and Spain during the 1960s through the 1970s, and a degree of interest remains regarding the subject.

General consensus is that the Ummoism was an elaborate hoax. The culprit (or culprits) is unknown, but a José Luis Jordán Peña has claimed responsibility for instigating Ummoism. [2] However, there are still a few small groups of devotees, such as "a strange Bolivian cult called the Daughters of Ummo".[3]

Another group, which claims a more scientific approach to the question of whether Ummo is a hoax or not, has set up a website in which one can find the materials on which is based the Ummo story, and some analysis of this documentation ( One person of this group claims to have understood the fundamentals of the language of UMMO, which is present in the texts in the form of what we would call words or sometimes expressions . He contends that the structure of their language is inherently different from the structure of any language on Earth, and has published a book on the subject.

Dr. Jacques Vallee has said the Ummo documents might be a real-world analogue of the fictional creators of Borges' "Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius".


[edit] History

Historian Mike Dash writes that Ummoism began on February 6, 1966, in Madrid. On that day, Jordán Peña claimed to have had a close encounter of the first kind when he saw "an enormous circular object with three legs and, on its underside, a curious symbol: three vertical lines joined by a horizontal bar. The two exterior lines curved outward at the edges, which made the pictogram resemble the alchemical sign for the planet Uranus." (Dash, 299)

Peña's report generated a fair amount of excitement, but it was only the beginning. Not long afterwards, a Madrid author of a UFO book received several photographs in an anonymous mailing. The photos were of a craft similar to the one reported by Peña, and bearing the same symbol.

Within a few weeks, "a leading Spanish contactee named Fernando Sesma became involved when he began receiving lengthy, typewritten documents which purported to come from a spacefaring race called the Ummites." (Dash, 299)

Within the year, various persons (mostly in Madrid) received about 150 Ummite documents, totaling over 1000 pages. Every page of Ummite documents was stamped with the same symbol of three linked lines. New Ummite documents would continue surfacing for many subsequent years. Many others have received Ummo letters, including French scientist Jean-Pierre Petit, a researcher at the CNRS.

In the letters, the Ummites relate their story and claim to have landed on Earth in March 1950 in the southern French département of Alpes-de-Haute-Provence, in the area of Digne-les-Bains. Reports mention three spacecraft with some explorers coming from their planet. They describe how they found our planet, their arrival on Earth, analysis of our habits, their language, and scientific descriptions of their activities.

In June 2003, a scientist with the pseudonym Jean Pollion released, in French, his book Ummo, de vrais extraterrestres, or, Ummo, real extraterrestrials in which he analyses the "Ummite" thoughts and language. He shows that the Ummo language is different from any other language we know in that it is a "functional" language. One of the astonishing properties of this language, according to the author, is that it works without a dictionary. One must only know 18 symbols, that Pollion has named "soncepts", which if combined make up a functional description of the thing or situation that the creator of the "word" is trying to convey. Currently, more than 1300 pages of those letters have been registered, but it is possible that many other letters exist. In a 1988 letter, reference is made to the existence of 3850 pages, copies of which having been sent to several individuals, represent perhaps up to 160,000 pages of total Ummo documents.

The true identity of the authors of those reports remains unknown.

Dash notes that "few ufologists outside Spain took the Ummoism seriously--the photographic evidence was highly suspect, and, while the Ummite letters were more sophisticated than most contactee communication, there was nothing in them that could not have originated on Earth." Still, Dash allows that, whatever their origins, "considerable effort had gone into the supposed hoax." (Dash, 299)

[edit] The documents' contents

The Ummites write that they first visited Earth in 1950 as a small group of scientist-explorers. Their goals were the study of Earth's biosphere, atmosphere and culture. They explain how they discovered the Earth by chance, thanks to a Morse radio message sent by a Norwegian ship 15 years prior to their landing, and also describe scientific data from their planetary system, including its gravity, orbit, revolution period, sizes, and information about their star.

The Ummites were amazed, seeing our multi-cultural society, and also the social disorder so prevalent on Earth. They explain their civilization is older than ours, with appropriately advanced technology, and they will not disturb our social evolution.

About fifteen letters describe living conditions on their planet in painstaking detail, with many pictures. They give their society the term "social network" and explain that it is an enormous and dynamic network, where each person is a knot, and each relationship between people is a dynamic arc. In this way they describe their daily life: their housing, the importance of perfumes to their culture, their supply network, their cooking and food, work, games, family, their mode of transport, sex, their education system, psychology, marriage, arts, "the concept of God", their history, different governmental steps they have known, and the discovery of other planets having life. Dash notes that the letters discuss social issues "from a noticeably left-wing stance.")

Philosophy and "the concept of God" are strongly featured in the Ummo letters. Several letters are devoted entirely to these subjects. Also mentioned are Ummites' morals, ethics, human beings' free will, man's role in the universe, the end of existence, the soul, and the collective unconscious (or collective soul as the Ummites call it). In several letters the Ummites discuss Earth's problems, including abortion, the oppression of women by men, and problems they see in our education and political systems.

Many scientific subjects are described in detail, including network theory (or graph theory), astrophysics, cosmology, the unified field theory, biology, and evolution. Some of this information is thought to be dubious pseudoscience, but much of it is scientifically accurate. However, Jerome Clark (Clark, 1993) notes that Dr. Jacques Vallee argued that the scientific content of the Ummo letters was knowledgeable but unremarkable, and compared the scientific references to a well-researched science fiction novel -- plausible in the 1960s, but dated by the standards of the 1990s.

Controversy sparked about one particular assertion the Ummites made. In 1965, they wrote they were coming from a planet orbiting Wolf 424, adding this star is at 3,68502 light-year of the Sun. This was coherent with the estimation made by astronomers in 1938, but after some addional mesurement, this distance was re-estimated at 14,3 light year. Fernando Esma asked then the Ummites about this apparent mistake. The Ummites replied in another letter the same year the difference between the number given in the precedent letter and the latest mesurement was caused by fluctuations in the spacetime. [4]

[edit] Hypotheses and proposed explanations

Several hypotheses about the real authors have been offered:

  • It's been proposed that the Ummoism is genuinely what it claims: Communication from extraterrestrials. However, apart from a small number of true believers, this idea has little support.
  • Some people think some class of secret service, such as the CIA or KGB, may be responsible, but their motivations and aims are unknown, and no proof of such a scheme has been presented.
  • Dash notes that some suspect that the Ummite material was "an attempt by a socialist group to publish radical material that could not otherwise appear under General Franco's dictatorship." (Dash, 300)
  • Others suspect one or several religious sects, but the Ummo authors do not, in any letters, at any time, suggest that their beliefs become the foundation of any "rite", or worship. Nowhere in the documents is an incitement to such activities.
  • The most popular hypothesis, however, seems to be that the entire affair is an elaborate hoax, perhaps perpetrated by a student group composed of scientists and philosophers. As noted above, a Jose Luis Jordán Peña claimed in 1992 that he had instigated Ummoism, but people who have met him say that he does not have a sufficient background to have authored the texts.

[edit] Popular culture

References to Ummoism appeared during the third season of the hit ABC drama Lost. While the references were subtle, a graphic symbol for ummo has appeared several times, including as an image burned into a the character of Juliet Burke's lower back. The possible extent of this graphic reference has yet to be explained. Theories exist on several fan websites concerning the possibility of an alien explanation, and also of a hoax explanation, to the mysteries of Lost. [5]

[edit] See also

[edit] References

  • Clark, Jerome, Unexplained! 347 Strange Sightings, Incredible Occurrences, and Puzzling Physical Phenomena; Detroit, Visible Ink Press; 1993, ISBN 0-8103-9436-7
  • Mike Dash, Borderlands: The Ultimate Exploration of the Unknown, ISBN 0-4402-3656-8

[edit] Notes

[edit] External links

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