Monday, May 9, 2011

Upon Further Consideration:

Dear Reader: I'm discovering sharing my experiences with UFOs and their associated intelligences, at least, in a blogging format, is not my cup of tea.  It virtually guarantees a poor return on the investment.

Because relatively little is known about the UFO enigma, it provides the perfect stage for people to project their hopes and fears, busk for money and bask in the dim glow of their artificially inflated, vastly overrated brains.  The fears, by far, dominate.  As much as I love a good fright and the good fight, I will not feed or babysit the monsters, real or imagined, under anyone's beds. Contending with a world of human monsters, though none refer to themselves as such, is enough of a challenge. 

Let me be clear: I am not angry or upset. Disappointed, sure, but I realized from the outset there was a 95% chance it would end before it started. The overwhelming majority of persons interested in UFOs - regardless of educational levels, occupations and personality types - are no more willing than people who have zero interest in UFOs to entertain possibilities which might potentially destabilize their rigid belief systems. This is human nature. As I've previously noted, adapting to a new model of reality - one far less defined and far more wonderful, whatever its inherent challenges (and it is not devoid of heartbreak, I can assure you) - required nearly two years of painful soul-searching, a ridiculous number of unique contact experiences, and the support of my loving, begrudgingly open-minded wife of twenty-eight years.

With the rarest of exceptions, ufology's adherents consign people with positive contact experiences to the Space Brothers Cult Bin, or, when that label won't quite fit, blithely apply some vaguely implied psychological disorder and/or intelligence deficit to anyone who refuses to go into the box. I am strongly convinced the great majority of harm many people claim to experience as a result of the UFO phenomenon is inflicted by the staunchest guardians of the most enduring cult of all, Consensus Reality. You know who you are. Well, some of you do, even if you would never publicly admit it.

There exists a vanguard of the online UFO arena whose primary interest is to hold hands, stroke each other and drown out anyone whose experiences and interpretations deviate from its trenched-and-gassed razor wire boundaries. Not that they're all on the same page, but the book only has three or four pages.  By all appearances, very few of them have any direct experience with, much less appreciation of, cosmological intelligence(s). Dialogue is the furthest thing from their tiny, calcified, kidney stone minds. The irony is they see and portray themselves, and, sadly, are seen by the public as, intellectual powerhouses of critical thought despite behaving as courtesans, student council douche bags, celebrity whore mongers and nationalist fuckwits. They are, on the whole, a gutless gang of psychic vampires who sustain themselves on (a.) vicarious experience copped from people they revile and (b.) public theater.

While it is possible I could have a change of heart, however modest, that might conceivably result in a resumption of activities here at some undefined point in the future, from where I am standing today, it is unlikely. Until such a time may come, if it does, I leave this aspect of the online UFO experience exactly as I found it: firmly seized in the arthritic hands of the authorities, and to those who have yet to discover that's exactly what it is. 

To the dozen or so people who have shown some love, expressed genuine curiosity and, in essence, embody the truest and most admirable part of the human spirit, I appreciate your forbearance and acceptance.

I wish you all the best.

P.S.  I've deactived the comment function to avoid the spam influx common to dormant blogs.  Also, if I've been following your blog publicly through Google Friend Connect, please don't take it personally that I no longer am.  Since I won't be logging into and don't use Google Reader, I'm migrating to RSS feeds.  

Friday, May 6, 2011

Go Nuts! Go Bolts! Go Plasma!

Go Team!  Yaaaaay!

Nuts & Bolts vs. Not Nuts & Bolts. It's one of ufology's more pernicious black holes.  An endless debate hatched and mired in an impossible tangle of specious claptrap.

I've seen UFOs which were neither hallucinations nor holograms nor fancy DOD doodads; ones that, had they landed in my backyard, I am firmly convinced could be touched. And, who knows, perhaps, with enough headroom, even boarded. The most impressive material vehicle from - well, not here (dimension, planet, WTFever) was a black rectangle.  If I wasn't getting pummeled by work to the point of sleep deprivation, I'd tell you all about it, as I got a very good look at it.  "So," says the self-assured smart ass,  "Did it have nuts and bolts?"  No, Einstein, I didn't see any.

Incidentally, I'm ridiculously fond of fasteners.  If I ever reach a comfort level with personal disclosures, perhaps I'll share my official USAF portrait, probably on a day when I'm afflicted with terrible judgment.  Yes, long ago and far away, I was an aircraft mechanic - a good one, actually, and an obviously poor fit for the military.  What can I say.  I was young and unemployed and, quite literally, hungry.  Sorry, I have no exotic super-secret! tales from those days; only slightly provocative ones I rarely discuss.   But if our roles were switched, oh, thoughtful and curious reader, I would like to know if you ever worked the flight line.  Not that it means anything, really, since we all live, at least, in this incarnation, within a material dimension - though, in my opinion, not exclusively.

Does your silverware have nuts & bolts?  Does your favorite coffee cup have nuts & bolts?  No?  Well, then, I can only assume you eat your spaghetti and drink your coffee from (a.) figments of your imagination, (b.) intangible objects from The Spirit World, or (c.) material constructs manufactured by your all-powerful psyche.  Well done, magi.

I've also seen UFOs which are commonly associated with plasmatic energy, i.e. orbs.  For me, these have been the more ubiquitous variety.  They're intelligent, you know.  I didn't see any nuts & bolts on those, either.

And, finally, like others with sightings too numerous to detail (most of whom having the good sense to smile and nod and refrain from talking about it), I've seen UFOs which, typically, because of their light intensity, may have been plasmatic or material or some combination of the two, yet were not ambiguous insofar as being confused with terrestrial vehicles of conventional or unconventional design.  (Please.  Let's not play gotcha! with semantics.  I have no intention of writing a fucking paragraph of disclaimers and explanations every time I use UFO in this blog.  This ain't YouTube or The New York Times. You're welcome.)

You can surmise where I'm going with this, yeah?

If you happen to be on one side or the other collecting scalps, and maybe even losing a bit of your own, have you ever stopped to consider it isn't a game worth playing?  When it comes to UFOs, clinging to mutually exclusive concepts is unlikely to serve you well, unless your objective is to start off with a half-deck.  This phenomenon punishes arrogance, and, rightfully so.  It's kicked my ass more than once.  If it hasn't kicked yours yet, just keep on truckin' with your li'l lunchbox of absolutes and make sure to give me a call when you get a bit further down the meandering road. I promise not to be cruel about it.

And, now, if you'll excuse me, I have some unpaid work to do in the material constructs I call my home and landscape.

May your weekend be fabulous.  I'll be listening to PJ Harvey's "Let England Shake" for at least the next few days.  Every time she releases something new, the acquisition is like my first bottle of Laphroiag.  Cheers!


Monday, May 2, 2011

The Path Less Traveled

what others want to know
i cannot tell them
what i can tell them
they do not want to know

Such is the nature of The Enigma.

To say I have persistent reservations about engaging the public - sight unseen, as it were - is an understatement. It's very tiresome, all of it. Now, if I wanted to play a role - guru, victim, intrepid reporter, spooky storyteller, chin-scratching intellectual - maybe it would be a different story. But as little old me? Can it ever really be worth it? For the person who thrives on public attention, and/or those who can wrangle a profit from it, maybe. But the answer - for the malcontent, the spoiler, the what the fuck are you lookin' at outsider - is a resounding "You have got to be fucking kidding me."

As the years pass, I become more comfortable with being myself. Less inclined to tell others what they wish to hear (not that I was ever any good at it), yet also increasingly disinclined to confront them with their avoidances and aversions. This means, despite having more to say, I say it less often and to fewer and fewer people. By this point, I'm almost surprised I'm not living in a small commune hidden in the mountains; the wandering, half-starved stranger taken in by begrudging monks. If those monks were ufology types, I shudder to think of my fate.

Last week, I ran across this post by Paul Kimball, the brainy documentarian behind Best Evidence: Top 10 UFO Sightings and his current project, Beyond Best Evidence: The UFO Enigma. Kimball states:
Anyone who travels along the "road" of the UFO phenomenon will sooner or later reach a fork, where they they will be faced with two choices.

The first is to follow the path of old information simply represented in a new way. George Adamski becomes Steven Greer, Aztec becomes Roswell, and Donald Keyhoe's conspiracy theories about the USAF become Stan Friedman's "Cosmic Watergate".

This is the easier path to choose, because you know where it will lead. You can follow it on a map. Comfortable and well-marked out, it winds its way to a small village inhabited by fellow travellers, kind of like a hobbit town from Lord of the Rings, with whom you can sit down, share a good meal, and tell some stories to each other. It's familiar, and has the siren call of certainty.

This path is all about finding a place to settle.

I'll let you in on a not-so-little secret: I don't know beans about Adamski or Aztec or Keyhoe, and what I know about Greer, Roswell and Friedman might, with enough injected air, fill a modestly sized cracker box. Sure, I know the plot points, but insofar as real study, I don't care. Now, I'm not saying these people and events are unworthy of study; only that I waste enough time on inconsequential bullshit, I'm hesitant to criticize others who may be doing the same. I am ambivalent about most subjects UFO aficionados take pleasure in dissecting - and quibbling over - ad nauseum. The degree of intellectual wankery, rank elitism, ingratiating smarm and relentless chest-beating - particularly by people who, by all appearances, show no sign of ever having even noticed the sky - is something I find very hard to stomach. Consider it a character flaw. It's a big rock in my shoe, and no matter how many times I stop and remove it, another one takes its place before I can finish tying my laces.

I say this only because there exists a widespread, if largely unspoken, assumption anyone who might self-identify as a contactee actually gives a shit about (a.) the personalities and events UFO types obsess over, and (b.) the myopic obsessives who focus on the celebrated personalities and events comprising the fatty tissue of the UFO enigma - they whose thumbs are uncorked from their their asses only for the purpose of signaling up or down on the validity of other people's experiences. It's a mistaken assumption.

But that's just me. Swaying the deniers, a group to which I have never belonged, has never been a personal priority or pastime, but I'm glad there are others who feel compelled to do so.  To the extent being honest about my experiences pierces static (and statist) belief systems which deny  cosmological intelligence(s) - and it has for a few people with whom I am personally acquainted - yay. If not, it takes nothing away from the experiences themselves, as they are mine and will forever remain so.

I don't know if the specifics of Paul Kimball's analogies are true, but the larger point stands with monolithic clarity: There is a finite amount of knowledge to be drawn from historical - and vicarious - analyses. And while such knowledge is likely far from exhausted, it is nonetheless limited in scope, as history, by definition - at least, as we process it - tends to be.

Kimball continues:
The second path is more difficult. It requires you to take a leap into the unknown, to embrace uncertainty, and seek out new information and new ideas. There is no map, no familiarity, and no promise of a comfortable resting place at the end of the road. But there is the possibility of so much more.

This path is all about a journey.

And therein lies the difference, because only by undertaking that journey can one ever really hope to arrive at the destination of true discovery.
I quite agree. The first path, if it can be said to be a path at all, is a tight circle; one where the masses gather and chatter. The second path - the one all about a journey - is an inner one propelled by a combination of objective and subjective experiences.

My response:
"The second path is more difficult. It requires you to take a leap into the unknown, to embrace uncertainty, and seek out new information and new ideas."
What is your plan for traversing this path? And, once undertaken, what constitutes success or progress?

These aren't rhetorical questions. I'm genuinely curious.

Ufology's freak show obsession with cults, including the all-consuming preoccupation with contemporary cults of personality, i.e. celebrity - whether it's Greer or Kaku or Vallée - in my meaningless opinion, accounts for a large degree of its willful retardation. Should you develop and share any insights derived as a result of direct experience (the latter being considerably more difficult than the former; neither being easy), the UFO Intelligentsia - an oxymoron if ever there was one - will reflexively file them in whatever dilapidated boxes comprise the prevailing paradigm, (or, perhaps, more accurately, non-paradigm). That's their role, and, if it isn't singular, it's damn close: rendering judgment on other people's experiences and interpretations. These are the folks who burned Bruno at the stake.

If achieving some degree of personal understanding is your primary objective, expect wonder, awe, experiences that don't translate well (or at all), and a fresh appreciation of the limitations of language.

If, on the other hand, achieving consensus is your bag, you're in for an extremely rude awakening.

And if your quest is 50/50, that falls under the rubric of "having one's cake and eating it, too." Bon appétit!

In any case - and with all sincerity - good luck in your mission. May your experiences be many and profound.
I was, and remain, curious about how Mr. Kimball envisions this second path. Maybe he doesn't, which wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing. I can only guess since he hasn't responded.

My curiosity stems, in large part, from an awareness that, while The Enigma is transpersonal, at least some of its manifestations present themselves in an intensely personal fashion. This is the contrivance aspect of The Engima, which I believe is The Trickster element found throughout human history in numerous cultures, and is often associated with UFO experiences even today. Expectations may or may not effect (yes, effect with an e) experience, but the color of experience is influenced by personal expectation.

That's why I asked those two questions, and I present them here to you, whomever you are. It is a question worth considering, and answering, if at all possible, should you consider pursuing The Second Path.  Or, if, like me, you are on it now.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Synaptic Sky

Lightning over West Treeline in NE Denton County TX
2011APR23 • 8:43PM

Monday, April 18, 2011

Idle Hands (are not my problem)

Posting has been light because I'm mired in The Mundane performing real work.  You know, the paying variety.  I'd starve to effin' death - and may yet - if all I did was blog.  And just because I tweet every now and again, that doesn't mean it's what I should be doing.  I apologize in advance to anyone whose correspondence might languish in my inbox.

The current project will likely be consuming most of my time for the week of April 18th, which is a total drag because I have a lot of material to share with you - some of which, you might even find marginally interesting.  But them's the breaks. 

In the interim, Mike Clelland of Hidden Experience posted an interesting audio conversation with Phil Imbrogno.  UFOlogists are boring as hell - how many ways can one say We Don't Know - but Imbrogno impresses me as being less dogmatic and more engaging than most, and Mike does a great job on his end.  Give it a listen if you're so inclined.

There is one subject I feel compelled to address.  Phil mentioned it a couple of times in the linked conversation, but it arises almost anytime Contactees are discussed: being chosen or selected

I don't speak for anyone but myself, and, in fact, my communications with other Contactees - or, at least, people who would describe themselves as such (or as experiencers) - has been minimal.  I've never read any books by or about Contactees, and I have yet to attend a UFO conference of any kind, so I have no knowledge about other Contactees who have said they are chosen or selectedThose are terms I avoid like The Plague when describing my experiences.  I believe it is much more accurate to say my Contact experiences are of a reciprocal, as opposed to a unilateral, nature.  Whatever conclusions others may draw - and I am very aware of just how few people reading this understand such a dynamic is possible - those conclusions are theirs, not mineI ain't that special, my friends & adversaries.  If I believed myself to be a prophet or an angel or an ascended master taking a smoke break, you'd be reading this in the premium subscribers section - and I'd be robbing you blind instead of toiling all week on a pain-in-the-ass graphics job.

Later, my curious Taters.  I hope you all have a great week.  We'll catch up soon, okay?

Friday, April 15, 2011

UFOlogy's Dystopian Present

Pauline Wilson of UFOs - Scientific Research, like a lot of other people, is pondering the future of UFOlogy:
After reading a number of new books about the UFO phenomenon recently, I took time out the other day to reflect on what was contained in these works.

Martin Plowman in his book "The UFO Diaries" (click here for my review post) concludes at one point that UFOlogy "'s as far from proving the existence of UFOs as it ever has been." (p.281.)

John B Alexander in his book "UFOs:Myths, conspiracies and realities" (my review is here) wrote (p.273) "I conclude that the ufo observations are manifestations of issues that are anfractuous and beyond current comprehension."

These statements made me wonder, what is the future of UFOlogy? There is little doubt in my mind that the popular cultural version of the UFO phenomenon will continue, and perhaps even grow. However, what of serious research?

Leslie Kean in her book "UFOs" (click here for my review) calls for the establishment of a small "UFO Office" based in a US Government agency. John Alexander doubts the political possibility of this happening.
I'm just enough of an ass to attempt an answer:  The future of UFOlogy depends on inclusive, open source, multidisciplinary cooperative research with an emphasis on real time field investigation.

UFOlogy's stasis is largely attributable to social stratification, ideological factionalism and egoism converging to form an imbalanced, gridlocked environment weighted heavily toward individual competition at the expense of cooperative research.

"Serious" research is not the exclusive domain of academics and institutions.  Were it otherwise, there would be no need for this discussion.

The credentials fetishism so prevalent among UFO aficionados reflects a very narrow awareness of, and appreciation for, the nature and variety of human intelligence.  It creates a significant impediment to developing egalitarian approaches to evidence gathering and analysis which could very well lead to deeper understanding of the phenomenon.  The result is a hierarchical research model - with scientists, politicians and their sycophants at the top of the hierarchy - that has outlived whatever usefulness it may have once served.  UFOlogy's dead end is a consequence of plain old human intransigence.

Societies have long been conditioned to expect government, academia, private enterprise and mass media will provide answers to the most vexing problems facing humanity; yet, most of us carry those expectations without examining the interdependency of these institutional constructs, and so we fail to comprehend the motivations driving them - and us.  One needn't look any further than the conspicuous official silence about radiation entering the food chain in North America because of the Fukushima disaster - or, for that matter, the slow-rolling nightmare of last year's BP/USG slaughter of the Gulf of Mexico - to understand the primary purpose of our most revered institutions is singular:  preserving an exploitative economic system responsible for the plodding ecocide and incalculable misery of myriad life forms, including humans - all, for the grossly disproportionate benefit of a relative few.

Technological advancements are meaningless without corresponding developments in human consciousness.  It is incumbent upon each and every one of us to deliberately push ourselves beyond the dark comfort zones of complacency, cynicism, malice and resignation.  Until we begin to do so, humanity's positive potential will continue withering on the vine.

Everyone has something to contribute. Horror of horrors!  By my estimation, we are not yet close to appreciating this, and our collective and selective myopia is hardly unique to UFOlogy.  Bitching about "fortune tellers" ruining UFO conferences, dismissively harrumphing about people who subscribe to religious and spiritual paradigms, and devising Litmus tests to determine the credibility of people who are simply looking for - and, occasionally, perhaps, finding - pieces of the puzzle does nothing to advance the field, and only serves to illustrate a more formidable and pervasive obstacle: tribalism.

I never said it would be easy.

If UFOlogy - like the human race itself - is to reverse its dying potential, it will be because we learn the value of working together by marshaling the diverse talents, skills and capabilities of all interested parties, and develop insights derived from individual and group experiences which can be synthesized into coherent hypotheses, tested, shared and progressively built upon. 

There are few reasons to be optimistic about UFOlogy's prospects in the coming years.  But I live for surprises, and, very often, being proven wrong is the best surprise of all.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Hot Spots & Flaps

Sounds like they could have been lifted straight from the lexicon of veterinary, or perhaps, geriatric, medicine (not that it matters which, as they're both unaffordable).

A hot spot, for anyone who just fell off the turnip truck, refers to a geographical area of increased UFO activity, whereas flap is used to describe the [increased] activity itself. (As far as I can tell, anyway. I've had some Syrah tonight.)

PROPOSITION: Increased reporting of UFO activity does not necessarily reflect actual UFO activity.

People look up for a variety of reasons. Astronomical activity. A sunny day after a week of thunderstorms. A popular film or television program. A break in work routines, such as weekends or holidays. Other people reporting UFO activity.

Some of the more intense periods during which I frequently witnessed UFOs were very often quiet according to MUFON and NUFORC - and it wasn't because I was misidentifying alien craft. (I'm confident I wasn't confusing a 747 with a fireball or rectangular craft with running lights.)

I'm not saying hot spots and flaps don't exist. It stands to reason they probably do. However, the association between reporting and actual UFO activity is waaaay more squishy than is generally recognized.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011


Depression. Despair. Hopelessness. Lethargy.

I remember these feelings. From the foreboding collapse of the WTC towers. From war! war! war! From Katrina. From BP's toxic slaughter of the Gulf of Mexico. Now radioactivity pouring into air and Pacific ocean, courtesy of Tokyo Electric and the global consortium of nuclear power moguls whose incantations, and those of their agents, have always soothed minds which might otherwise stir from Denial's slumber.

Remember is not the right word, really. I drag these and other events around like a chain of cannonballs welded around my neck.

I'm not blind to the joy, increasingly bittersweet though it is, that remains. I tell myself to savor and, when possible, share what lends itself to sharing.

But some days, my friends. Some days...

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Metaphysical Fundamentalism

"People who think the phenomenon is a positive one need a good wake-up call."
  ~Nick Redfern
I have no axe to grind with Nick.  The opinion he expresses is one held by a great many people.  It's also why I'm generally wary of paranormal investigators, and caution experiencers about the potential perils of seeking external validation.

Describing the phenomenon as positive or negative is not my cup o'tea.  What I do know, beyond any shadow of a doubt, is that my experiences have been overwhelmingly positive. Someone else could have basically the same experiences as mine and describe them as negative.

I would humbly suggest "People who think the phenomenon is a negative one" could conceivably benefit by studying this staggeringly complex phenomenon from a different perspective.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Greenbelt Dragon (by moonlight)

Greenbelt Dragon by Moonlight
March 2011

This was an iPhone image. Time to drag out the Canon & Tripod.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Telepathy Freakout

When discussing the subject matter with neophytes or others unaccustomed to swimming in its waters, the boundaries of acceptable conversation vary enormously, and predicting individual reactions can be highly challenging. Mere mention of UFOs, for some, is verboten.  Many of you know this all too well. The awkward silence. The distant look. The pupil dilation. The conspicuous change of topic. Please, can we talk about something else? For GOD'S SAKE.  It's all in the eyes.

Was it something I said? If so, the conversation probably turned to telepathy.

Mind to mind.

Soul to soul.

The exchange.

The Universal Language.

Telepathy skeeves people out. Especially those who prefer their information filtered through however many sources it takes to maintain their existing paradigm. In other words, most people. It's acceptable to talk about the aunt who calls you on the phone when you think about her, or the oddly intuitive old soul neighbor who seems to magically appear when you're in a jam. Introduce a UFO encounter into that conversation and watch as your guest suddenly discovers they're late for an appointment.

Growing up in the 1960s and 70s, the subject of telepathy - commonly referred to as ESP, or, extrasensory perception - generated a great deal of public interest, including mine, that extended far beyond the aging spiritualists, tripping mystics, incipient New Agers and psychic spies rumored to serve The Cold War. Society today, beyond the insular warm fuzzies of The New Age Ghetto, seems more suspicious and fearful of psychic phenomena than it was in my childhood and early youth.

Few of my telepathic experiences translate into simple anecdotes, in part because psychic communication may or may not be expressed in linguistic terms. Often, it isn't. The simplest type of telepathic experience to describe in terms of interactions with cosmological intelligence involves what I call choreographed sightings, a form of contact in which a person is telepathically influenced to either go or look outside to witness a UFO.

The majority of my most strikingly unambiguous UFO sightings - a fireball, boomerang, black rectangle and several others - have been choreographed events.

Hear that? It's the shriek and cry of alien mind control!, programmed!, hybrid! belched from abduction porn and scary monster quarters, where wide-eyed residents, like producers of bad movies and worse television, perpetually write and rewrite the same script of human/alien interactions with Tarantino-esque S&M flair, hackneyed police procedural cliches, wise protagonists and gratuitously morbid plot points.

I can't win with that crowd, and don't care to.  My horror story is not some campfire yarn about a lock of hair liberated from the clutches of darkness. It is an epic tale of war, brutality and deprivation, generation after generation, playing out in the full light of day, every day, as told by sun-bleached bones pulverized into bricks and stacked high to form the regal facades of Church and State.  Nobody's buyin'.  The narrative - unless and until we decide to look at it, listen to it and write it differently - dumbly plods through the overgrown hedges and foggy swamps of unfounded and tragically misplaced optimism, impervious to pretty thoughts and disapproving jeers assembled over lifetimes of denial. I didn't like the ending.

The cooperative context of my experiences cannot be overstated: I explicitly requested to see as much as ^They were willing to show me, preferably in a fully conscious state. As a neophyte, I had no idea whether such engagement, from a practical standpoint, was even possible. I knew nothing - and I do mean nothing - about other people attempting communication with cosmological intelligences, as I had deliberately confined my UFO investigation, as much as possible, to examining photographs and reading eyewitness accounts of sightings. It would be another two years before I could say ufology without blushing and using air quotes.

The shock of reciprocal engagement, initially in the form of close proximity fly-by's at night while sitting in my semi-rural back yard, was mitigated by the beautifully precise, restrained and highly structured manner in which ^They demonstrated various aspects of the phenomena, providing only as much information as I could absorb and synthesize at any given time.

Events featuring telepathic connection were fairly frequent, often awe-inspiring and integral to the paradigm shift I embarked upon in 2008. ^They took great care to avoid freaking me out, lest my mind be blown. No small accomplishment, though it's a given some readers will believe ^They or I, jointly or separately, failed in that regard. I did go to the brink once or twice. Or so. Think you can do better when your model of reality collapses? I'll take that bet, and hope to lose, while harboring the assumption you haven't adequately contemplated the definition and implications of the concept, model of reality. I was glad - make that elated - to see my old model of reality go, but, even in the best of circumstances, navigating a paradigm shift is intense and draws on one's whole catalogue of life lessons, be it volumes or a thin brochure.

I am left to surmise that people who reflexively conclude I've been chipped! tend to view telepathy as an unnatural force.  It isn't.

Is there no place to enjoy my thoughts in privacy?
, asks the offended party.

Seriously?  Enjoy your thoughts?  I'll have what you're havin'.  But just a shot or two.

Even if we didn't live in The Age of Intellectual Property, free to contemplate freedom beneath an infinite canopy of surveillance cameras, the answer would still be no. Whether or not there is always someone or something eavesdropping on us, I have no way of knowing, but the ability to tune in  by the skilled telepath, human or otherwise, - and, to a lesser extent and in different fashion, the skilled technician-bureaucrat, most likely human - is, by my estimation, a constant.

Telepathic interactions other than the choreographed sighting are considerably more challenging to discuss publicly. Once telepathy migrates from theoretical to actual - having been validated through experiences which strongly appear to be structured, in part, for that specific reason - mediumship becomes difficult to casually and categorically dismiss as an exercise in self-indulgent psychowankery.

Good old discernment.  It works us to death, doesn't it? The word channeling is only slightly more prejudicial than it is broad, and I will readily admit to thinking of it skeptically and, often, cynically, as I do with all manner of public performance, including my own.

When The Source of my Contact experiences wishes to communicate directly with individuals, recruiting a channeler as a cipher-conduit impresses me as wholly unnecessary.  I find it a little sad, if sadly understandable, that people either (a.) think so highly, or, perhaps, lowly of themselves as to believe that would be their primary role in this life, or (b.) lacks confidence in their ability to receive or discern a direct message from a highly evolved cosmological entity.  Having said that, I've always been a teach a person how to fish type, so I can only ask of mediums, and those who consult them, that they not take my general wariness as a personal insult.

I often find myself relearning the value of thinking in terms of inclusive possibilities rather than exclusive probabilities, the former requiring humility (hence, the relearning), the latter not. Hey, neighbor. Have you heard The Good News? There's a needle in the haystack! Here, as everywhere, the delusional and fraudulent tempt me toward intolerance, but I am, at least, discriminating when it comes to throwing out the channel babies with the bathwater.

The question of whether dreamscape encounters are of a telepathic nature is probably best answered by degree. No one I know understands dreams or telepathy well enough to define the nature of whatever overlay, if any, they may share, but I've long had reasons (since childhood) for believing there exists some kind of relationship between them. Whatever neurological processes converge to form dreamscape experiences, this does not mean the dreamscape is always or solely comprised of neurological processes.  That's a different essay.

So, why would ^They cultivate an acute awareness of psychic phenomena among experiencers?  Theories, as always, abound.

Might popular awareness leading to the eventual acceptance of telepathy as a scientifically valid and natural phenomenon may pose an intrinsic threat to the dominant socioeconomic global paradigm (you know, the one killing the planet)?  Humanity's self-exploitation - our cannibalism - is driven by secrecy in the service of social advantage. You may recognize this force by its other name, politics. Nothing noble there, even if you put an exo- in front of it. Telepathy undermines individual and collective secrecy. For the citizen whose State relies on vaults of secrets and lies for its very existence, direct knowledge - as opposed to the official variety, which isn't knowledge at all - is the ultimate sedition.

Skating on the outer limits of speculation, I wonder if perhaps development of humankind's psychic intelligence has been impeded by social and/or environmental factors, which may partially account for our consistently poor-to-nonexistent judgment in critical matters affecting the health and well-being of planetary life. Nuclear energy springs to mind, as does the enterprise of permanent war and the ecocidal pyramid scheme of turbocapitalism that spawned and sustains humanity's obscenely wasteful resource-dependent consumer culture. These, of course, are all different faces of the same menace.  It appears  we are advanced enough to build and ride a bicycle, but not so bright as to avoid pedaling over a cliff.

Whatever ^Their motivations, it would not be absurd to entertain the rather mundane proposition that grownup civilizations possess grownup powers of Consciousness including telepathy. If so, what may be thought of as advanced lessons in telepathy to contactee-experiencers could be interpreted as entirely consistent with a familial or communal relationship between us and ^Them.

Based on my own experiences, my operating assumption is those who are willing to actively cultivate their own perceptual and analytical skills have prospective allies up there capable of providing, and willing to provide, assistance to those ends.

And, yes, it is amazing.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Beachcombers

Experience transforms The Theoretical to The Actual.

If The Theoretical instills genuine life-threatening fear, people will not seek experiences that could make it manifest into The Actual.

The fear itself may or may not be justified, but, in terms of how it affects the experiences we seek or avoid, it doesn't really matter.

Thrillseekers - whether they're screaming on an amusement park ride or feeling their own elevated heart rate while 'ghost hunting' in a haunted house or - do these things to simulate fear for the body/mind adrenaline rush. The thrillseekers' activities have a beginning, a middle and an end, and, once they're over, everyone fully expects to go back to wherever they came from in the same condition as they started out. That's the paranormal in a nutshell. It's entertainment. A scary movie. A freak show.

Ufology, for the vast majority who explore the subject, is no different. People drawn to it are like children who play all day on the the beach without ever stepping foot in the water because, well, you know, there's an undertow out there, and sharks and barracuda and stinging jellyfish. It never occurs to them they're sharing a beach with predators.

They'll never see living coral or a stealthy flounder half-buried in the sand or the octopus with its tentacles in a conch or darting schools of colorful fish - all just below the surface of the scary, scary water.

The beach bound boy and girl will never be eaten by sharks. Yet, they remain mortal and, as such, will die without ever seeing these things for themselves. Whatever they may see in a digital image will never convey the wonder, excitement and insights emanating from direct experience. Like all captives of their own fear, they prefer the sign to the thing signified, and, in fact, are incapable of recognizing, much less appreciating, the distinction.

We who seek direct experience - seeing and feeling, not through others, but with our own senses - we jump into the water to see what we can find. When we return to shore - changed by the experience - we beckon others to follow. "Come see for yourselves!" But we are condemned, often harshly and cruelly, by all who refuse. Reckless idiots! Liars! Crazies! We endure the accusations and insults and cutting remarks because there will always be those who prefer Not Knowing over Knowing; Arrogance over Humility; Fear over Wonder.

The interested parties who confine themselves to the beach - the boy and the girl too afraid to venture into the water - mature into adults who dutifully study the sand and waves, broken chunks of coral, little seashells and their fragments, and everything dead and dying that washes ashore. They stroke their chins and devise elaborate theories to explain the aberrant psychology of the fools who swim in the dangerous sea and return to share their experiences with people who demand we do neither. And the interested parties make boldly waffling statements about what it all signifies, without ever saying anything at all.

That's what it's like from this side, my friends and adversaries. And it still isn't enough to make me wish I'd stayed on the beach.

Come on in.

The water is awesome.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Missing The Point on Missing Time

I enjoy reading the amusing musings of Billy Cox.  His wit, candor and aversion to the platitudinous fawning that characterizes this area of interest are much appreciated by this outsider, though the 'tude wouldn't amount to much without his skillful writing.   Even the name of his blog, De Void, with its sad little tragicomic tag line, The mainstream media's lonely UFO blog, brings relief to my furrowed brow.  

Given the scarcity of humor surrounding the subject matter, De Void readers often confuse his irreverence for contemptuous disregard.  I run into that myself.  Frequently.  Sharing and caring with a largely humorless, thin-skinned demographic can be a challenge.

Cox ruffled a few feathers with his latest, GOING PUBLIC WITH MISSING TIME, in which he gives the Reader's Digest version of The Phoenix Lights and, more specifically, Lynne Kitei's "astonishing claim that she may have documented a missing-time episode with photographs."  Responding to critics of the post, Cox states:
March 12th, 2011 10:21 pm
I’m not disputing the events over Phoenix on 3/13/97. If we accept the reality of UFOs – whatever they are, and we must, if we’re paying attention – then our understanding of physics is obsolete. It doesn’t really matter whether it’s ET or inter-dimensional or Jungian projections or something else. What it means is that anything is possible, literally, the whole table’s in play, everything. But where do those possibilities end? After awhile, it’s like running a faucet over a glass. My storage capacity is finite; I’ve reached a saturation point. Call it a failure of the imagination. [emphasis mine ~Arvin] Perhaps if more researchers were a bit more adventuresome and courageous, they could coax me deeper into the odyssey. I applaud the few who make the effort.
The portion of the comment I emphasized in red italics is exactly what makes personal disclosure exceptionally difficult.  Billy's saturation point, having been reached, precludes processing additional information unless and until he's willing to take a few items out of his strained luggage.  Maybe more than a few items. 

Yes, the whole table is in play.  Everything.

During 1960's and early 70's, Americans trying to balance their distaste for hippies with their own reservations about the Vietnam War police action adopted the axiom "My country, right or wrong."  Updated forty years later - in a much broader context - it's "Consensus Reality, right or wrong."

No researcher, regardless of how adventuresome and courageous, can coax anyone "deeper into the odyssey" without their consent.  UFO researchers - at least, the ones who present themselves as experts and are looked upon as such - do tend to be staid.  If Nick Pope has ever said anything interesting or insightful, it slipped by me.  But his brand sells. Billy Cox and a lot of other people (you, perhaps?) would be better served by becoming their own researchers instead of depending on others to coax them out of what amounts to a self-imposed, and strictly policed, state of ignorance.

Truly amazing things happen when people stop expecting profound insight from vicarious experience and hand-me-down theories, and reject the authoritarian model of Researcher/Subject/Interested Party.

The rigid institutional, social and personal enforcement of fundamentally flawed consensus-based reality paradigms can only have one result: collective retardation and stasis.  Many refer to this as "stability" and they would rather kill and die than part with it.  If you live your life on autopilot, sooner or later, you're going to fly into a mountain.  The human race is flying straight into a mountain.

Let's set aside Lynne Kitei's "astonishing claim that she may have documented a missing-time episode with photographs."

If you - yes, you - captured photographs of UFOs during an unambiguous missing time event, would you step forward with that information - knowing full well the kind of criticism and scrutiny doing so would invite?  How would you present that information? What is gained by stepping into the harsh light and cacophonous din of the pitchfork & torch-wielding ufology mob?  And what is lost by declining to do so?

These are not academic questions for me, and when I pose them to other people, the silence is deafening.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

The Conference That Won't Go Away

The arbitrary nature of comment moderation on UFO websites is often a curious thing.  Especially when the commenter - in this case, yours truly - isn't a serial author, self-proclaimed authority or servile conference monkey heaping praise on the post du jour.  God forbid I comment anywhere else using a URL to a pertinent post on this blog.
Arvin Hill says:
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Okay, let me try this once again.

Hussein’s comment provides a refreshing contrast to the myopic, obsequious cheerleading that has surrounded the Global Competitiveness Conference since its announcement.

The lack of critical commentary on this and other UFO websites reflects a shocking lack of awareness regarding the dynamics of power on this planet – who wields it and to what ends. “Global competitiveness” is THE paradigm in a which a tiny minority – the ones with the most money – is able to justify the relentless exploitation of humanity and the environment.

It is difficult to understand how it is people who decry “The Powers That Be” with such frequency and volume as those in ufology – and exopolitics, in particular – can be so blinded by celebrity and the prospect of validation.

Apparently, some public figures, and the institutions they serve, are simply above reproach in “respectable” public venues.
Maybe I'll have better luck this time than I did on the first attempt to comment on this story.   That one disappeared into the moderation ether.  Considering it included neither profanity nor a hyperlink to my Zazzle store, I'm starting to second guess my earlier praise for Open Minds Magazine - not to mention my subscription.  Here's hoping I won't have to put on my Toady Hat just to offer a comment there.

Celebrity worship is one of the more unpalatable aspects of the whole paranormal/UFO subject.  Anyone who thinks Jacques Vallee, Michio Kaku, Nick Pope, Stan Friedman, et al should be exempt from public criticism is in the bottom of a very deep well.  UFO aficionados who prefer vicarious experience to the real thing, like cats that eat and puke the same hairballs, again and again and again, are depressingly content to lap up whatever is being dished out at the ufology cafeteria.

Tick Tock

One night while sleeping in my bed
I had a beautiful dream
That all the people of the world got together
On the same wavelength
And began helping one another
Now in this dream universal love was the theme of the day
Peace and understanding and it happened this way

The sick, the hungry, had smiles on their faces
The tired and the homeless had family all around
The streets and the cities were all beautiful places
And the walls came tumblin' down

People of the world all had it together
Had it together for the boys and the girls
And the children of the world look forward to a future

Tick tock, tick tock, tick tock people
Time's tickin' away
Tick tock, tick tock, tick tock people
Time's tickin' away

I had a vision of blue skies from sea to shining sea
All the trees in the forest stood strong and tall again
Everything was clean and pretty and safe for you and me
The worst of enemies became the best of friends

People of the world all had it together
Had it together for the boys and the girls
And the children of the world look forward to a future

Tick tock, tick tock, tick tock people
Time's tickin' away
Tick tock, tick tock, tick tock people
Time's tickin' away

Remember that, remember that
Remember that, remember that

People of the world all had it together
Had it together for the boys and the girls
And the children of the world look forward to a future

Tick tock, tick tock, tick tock people
Time's tickin' away
Remeber that
Tick tock, tick tock, tick tock people
Time's tickin' away


Apparently, there are no crimes or offenses so horrendous people will assume responsibility for the fate of this planet. It's so much easier to casually defer to our self-interested global elite and submit to the propaganda which tells us, over and over, all this will work itself out. It plays into our denial, a sugar pill that hastens our demise.

No, it will not work itself out, my friends. We are writing our own epitaph, bit by bit, faster and faster, and the legacy we create each day is a sorry, shameful one, indeed.

It was events like these that prompted me to actively pursue Contact. Not to seek rescue or even intervention, but just to say "I'm so very sorry. With all this potential, the human race has consistently and tragically chosen to shroud itself in ignorance and wage war on each other and the planet that gives us life." Some might call that repenting.

No matter how much joy I've taken from the positive Contact experiences that promptly followed, and continue still, I live each and every day with a deep, agonizing sense of sadness and remorse at the sorry state of affairs in this world.

So much potential. Wasted.

Humanity is steeped in denial. The snake eats it tail and the circle of planetary life constricts tighter and smaller.  Every day we deny who we are now, who we could be now, what might have been now, and all that could be tomorrow.

The Snake begins feasting on its own head.  And it is horrible.

Tick Tock, people.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Beware The Spoilers!

Sneering over nomenclature ascribed to features associated with UFO phenomena, is très chic among the many obtuse loudmouths who love to display their brilliance by habitually condeming the New Age know-nothings, Jesus Freaks, ETH proponents, end-timers, spiritual frauds, channelers, casual witnesses, contactees, abductees, book-shilling conference monkeys (except themselves) and assorted rank amateurs ostensibly standing between the self-proclaimed paranormal intelligentsia and the silver platter of peer-reviewed, rational explanations to which - by virtue of their mighty brains and highly advanced powers of discernment - they are supremely entitled.

Yeah, you, over there peeking through the drawn blinds and dirty window.  Yap-yap-yapping your half-assed Theory of Not-This and Not-That like a scroungy toothless dog, traumatized and wary, chained to a sad old car that hasn't left the driveway since its owner defaulted on the student loan.

Opining on the nature of The Enigma is not unlike walking through a locally renowned minefield laid in a long forgotten war.  Stick to the narrow, well-worn path, the one hard and barren like cement, enveloped by a thriving forest, and Nobody Gets Hurt.  It gets you from Point A to Point B, unscathed, every time.  If that's your objective, you're exactly where you need to be.  But you know that already. 

If safety is your mission in life, learning isn't.  Knowledge is intrinsically dangerous.  It upsets apple carts.  Your apple cart.

Declaring "No one knows a damn thing," is extremely unlikely to result in any loss of social capital, much less capital capital.  The inference - as increasing numbers of people are discovering each day - is that anyone who claims otherwise is lying, delusional, gullible, stupid or any combination thereof.  In less polite company - pretty much any public online venue - people will just come right out and say it.

How wonderful it must be to know what every person on the planet knows and doesn't know, even if that knowledge is confined solely to what every person on the planet knows and doesn't know about UFOs and their associated intelligences.   Let us bow to the awesomeness of your omniscient powers of perception, oh Great Podcasters, Bloggers, Undergrads, Professors, Bureaucrats and Insightful YouTube Commenters.  How do you do it?  Factually, no doubt.  You wouldn't have it any other way, right?

Relentlessly harping and carping on the pathetic state of ufology - in lieu of actively seeking relevant personal experience - contributes less than nothing.  Reductive speculation, in and of itself, does not fill the void.  Attempting complex equations using only subtraction eventually collapses the floor beneath one's feet, and when that happens, there will be no one else to blame.  There never is.

As in every other aspect of life, there are frauds.  Fear mongers.  Narcissists.  Greed heads.  Racists.  Militarists.  Individuals and institutions eager to exploit whatever biases  we cling to like flotsam in a vast, capricious sea.  You were expecting an exemption for your areas of interest?  Epic fail.  Try again. 

Is this all there is?  Hucksters?  Idiots?  Crazies?  Smart asses like me?  Of course not.  But don't expect to find The Truth™ in a PDF.  It ain't gonna happen.

Do you see what I'm getting at here?  No one is "ruining ufology" except the spoiler in the mirror.

Proof is a sucker's game.   How can you not understand this?  Stop thinking solely with your brain.  It is not the Alpha and Omega of understanding.  The terror of being wrong keeps you exactly where you are right now.  If you aren't willing to stumble and fall and get up and do it all over again, you will depart this life without ever having learned to walk. 

But don't listen to me.  Why should you?  Go build a case.  Stack "the facts" like the overpriced, interlocking bricks sold at Home Depot.  Make this or that declaration about what they represent.  When you make your closing statement that no one else could possibly know more than what you know,  the only proof you will have provided is the relationship between hubris and blindness.

Recognizing the distinction between an event and an interpretation is extremely important, but the utility of such  awareness vanishes like a stone sinking in muddy water when we fail to appreciate our interpretations are not immutable.  Allowing oneself the freedom required for self-cultivation - the freedom to fail, the humility to recognize personal failings and the fortitude to overcome them or, at least, try to overcome them - will bring one's interpretations closer to what they truly represent.  Interpretations do not self-correct any more than you or I self-correct; but they do co-evolve with personal development.

The language of UFO phenomena is experiential.  This is why Contact, for those who venture into the deep waters of The Enigma, does not come as an option.  Are you ready for it?  If all you see and imagine are demons and monsters, the answer - until you can begin to question why you cannot see and imagine beyond them  - is an unequivocal No.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

HEAD TONES: Chris Whitley

Music is an extremely important part of my life. Given the grim choice between losing my sight or my hearing, I would probably choose to keep my hearing even though I'm a visual artist.  My musical tastes run wide and deep, though I'm partial to (a.) singer-songwriters, (b.) guitar slingers who don't wear Spandex and (c.) real jazz.  When not attending a live music performance at Dan's Silver Leaf, I'm either looking forward to a show or regretting one I've missed.  If none of those things are commanding my attention, I'm going through some crisis or another.  Depression, I think it's called.

Sure, I could create a separate blog about music - or, for that matter, depression - but what's the point in segregating topics?  Oh, that's right.  Monetization.  How could I have forgotten. I'll just stick winging it and not maximizing profit [understatement].

Besides, this way, I'll reduce the number of times I'm required to break it anyone how weird I am.  That's not a self-pity trip.  See, people who either (a.) don't understand they are, in fact, weird as hell, or (b.) know very well they're weird as hell and use every lame ass trick in the book to act "normal" - those are the ones I advise backing away from ever so diplomatically.  They are, apart from natural disasters, responsible for the overwhelming degree of misery in this world, and, probably, most others.  In the words of Frank Zappa, You Are What You Is.

Maybe I'm just attempting to rationalize my appalling organizational skills, but I don't live in staggered rows of compartmentalized obsessions, and do not intend on starting now. My life is not a tapas bar.  It's a spaghetti bowl with a single 100-yard pasta strand and a dozen or so sauces.

If you don't like music, or you only like whatever atrocious or moderately atrocious music you were drawn to when you were young and not terribly bright (don't pat yourself on the back too much; everybody gets lucky), I will forgive you for not developing much affection for my Skyward musings. That doesn't mean I'll buy you a whiskey or pick up the check for our lovely Thai dinner at Andaman, but you can die having been forgiven for your music, and thus, character, deficiencies.  Forgiven only by me, but, still, it's something.

I'll kick off my HEAD TONES series with someone very near and dear to my calcified, semi-necrotic, underconditioned and somehow-still-beating (and let me check; yes, still bleeding) heart. Chris Whitley. A masterful artist who never got his due, and never needed acclaim as a precondition for revealing his greatness.

Fans have their favorites.  These are mine.

Blues purists and guitar slingers lean toward his earlier work.

Some musician friends - workmates, really - turned me on to Terra Incognita when it was released.  The cover art, with its rich jewel tones and wry humor, conveyed the passion, originality and authenticity of the music to come.

The greatest pleasures, for me, are most often acquired tastes.  Terra Incognita refused to go all the way on a first date.  Or the second.  Or the third.  The damn thing made me work for it, and, even then, seemed impervious to my attention.  I must have played it twenty times before I finally started getting it, and it me.  I'm crazy like that.

Soon thereafter, Chris played Caravan of Dreams in Fort Worth.  I was violently ill that night and heartsick to have missed him.  I gave my ticket to one of the guys who introduced me to his music, and he ended up selling it to a stranger at face value (which is good, because I loathe ticket scalping) to a stranger.   I hope the stranger enjoyed the show as much as I would have. My workmates said it was magic.

If there exists a more beautiful album than Chris Whitley's final work, Rocket House, I'm not sure my heart could bear it.  It is impossible to listen to it without believing some part of Chris foresaw his premature mortality.  Everything I've read suggests he had no such conscious knowledge of his impending departure when the songs were written and recorded.  Five weeks after being diagnosed with lung cancer, Chris Whitley died on November 20, 2005.

Terra Incognita
and Rocket House each carry overt and covert alien contact themes, with various degrees of ambiguity, complete with a deeply resonant spiritual context.  Each of these albums (yes, albums, as in a collection of songs released as a project; maybe you've heard of those?) have moved me to tears more than once.  (Real men human beings aren't afraid to cry, or admit it - even to heartless, soulless automatons. Not that you are.)  These two works, each of which I obtained well before embarking on the current marathon, are perfect soundtracks for my own Contact experiences and the spiritual perspective they yielded on this side of my new paradigm.

Go ahead and call it projection. I don't care. It isn't.

Rocket House is the single most indispensable album I hope never to live without, and I have a few.  Chris and DJ Logic created a wholly unique sound that is neither urban nor rural, is exotic yet familiar and emanates joy and melancholia simultaneously.  I had not heard such sounds before and never will again.  A floating, grooving, rhythmic masterpiece that soars, dives and ascends into the clouds like the hawks I watch from my backyard.  It is a work of timeless, breathtaking, soul-stirring beauty.

I've never anticipated a documentary so eagerly as Dust Radio: A Film About Chris Whitley. At the time of this writing, it is currently in post-production.

One of the things I enjoy about middle age - let's not quibble; I could live to see 98 - is knowing everything manifests in patterns and cycles. Discovery. Routine. Stasis. Loss. Familial engagement. Self-awareness. And so on. Discerning them is a life's work, and given the macrocosmic and microcosmic nature of every Life, it will forever be an incomplete study.

Given my affection for Chris Whitley, I've been waiting for his daughter, Trixie Whitley, to cross the threshold and become the artist I've long suspected - known, really, like many of her father's admirers - she would become.  That wait is over.

Today, I learned Trixie Whitley has teamed up with heavy-hitters Daniel Lanois, Brian Blade and Daryl Johnson to form Black Dub:

I so hope to get a chance to see them perform.   You never know how often those opportunities will come along.  Or if you'll get more than one.

Monday, February 28, 2011

The Illusion of Objectivity

From The Interstellar Housewife:
Ufology:  Live at Budokan
"I do have sympathy for abductees who have placed their faith in things like the alien hybridization program, because questioning hypnosis questions the result of hypnosis. Those who have spent years believing they have had certain experiences would surely have a difficult time considering those experiences may not have existed at all -- or at least occurred anything like they thought or were led to believe."
Sympathy is very much in order, as it always is when a person's belief system - any belief system - collapses.

An example.  Politics, as I once knew it (the two-party model to which politically active Americans subscribe), was a civic responsibility.  After three or four decades - yeah, you read that right - of discovering one lie after another, I reached a different conclusion: politics is theater.  Left and Right are an illusion crafted by The Have's against The Don't Have's

Now *that* is missing time.

Painful, too.  I grew up on Watergate and believed The Law, in the anachronistic Constitutional sense, was noble.  Journalism was one of the few high school courses I  enjoyed.  Woodward and Bernstein, to people who read newpapers, were damn near everybody's heroes.  This was right around the time it became difficult to hear anyone admitting they voted for Nixon.  Twice.

That I ever thought well of Bob Woodward is enough to give me diarrhea and an intractable headache.  So what if I was eleven years old.   Who's got the Lortab?

The essence of a paradigm shift - not to be confused with the new paradigm itself - is this:  It fucking hurts.  No pain, no gain.  There is no smooth transition to a new reality.  There is only a sprawling, pitch black Abyss with steep drop-offs and hard ground.  Rolling tumult.  Quaking chaos.  If you possess the courage, tenacity and masochistic willingness to crawl in the dark over shards of glass and bone, over the killing fields of rotting myth and willful delusion, you will eventually reach more hospitable terrain.  Good luck getting there without a little faith and a great deal of humility.

We Won't Get Fooled Again?  Sure, whatever you say.  Over the course of a lifetime, it happens enough that anyone with two neurons can figure out they will get fooled again.  Eventually, you come to understand you're being fooled right now.  The most any of us can hope for is we don't get fooled in perpetuity.  This, in my more lucid moments, seems like an unreasonable expectation.  But it's a hard way to go through Life.
If you have an experience that is based purely on so-called retrieved memories, the reliability of those memories is often at the mercy of the regression hypnotist and what an individual might think have happened to them, which in many cases could be based on pop culture and their own research and interest in ufology and abduction. 
When you're a hammer, everything looks like a nail. 

Less mentioned is this:  If you've ever been a nail, everything looks like a hammer.

The abduction paradigm models all interactions between human and other cosmological intelligences, be they extraterrestrial or intraterrestrial, in terms of power dynamics.   Victimhood. 

The nails run are still running the show.

The Interstellar Housewife continues:
"As Kevin Randle put it in his recent piece 'A Response to Budd Hopkins:
'If these people, and their clients, aren't already "programmed" to believe in an abduction, then why search out Hopkins for assistance? Wouldn't anyone versed in hypnosis be able to help them learn what happened during this supposed missing time? Aren't each of them "primed" for an abduction, just as those who go to a reincarnation specialist are "primed" for learning about a past life.'
An excellent point -- one that is pretty fucking obvious, but needed to be said. If abductions are happening as frequently as some believe, or happening at all, shouldn’t the same results come from non-biased therapists and hypnosis specialists?
It would be easier to prove the existence of highly advanced non-human, trans-human or non-corporeal intelligent lifeforms than prove the existence of non-biased therapists or hypnosis specialists.

Is there an Association of Non-Biased Therapists and Hypnosis Specialists?  I suppose I could just ask one. Hey, before plunking down my $130 for this regression - and, please be honest with me:  Are you biased or non-biased?

I'd bet everything on the answer.

There is a term for people who are non-biased: anthropomorphic robots. 

Kevin Randle does, indeed, make some very good points, and they all illustrate how people seek out experiences likely to confirm their biases.  It isn't clear whether Randle and The Interstellar Housewife appreciate that no one gets to claim an honest exemption from the dynamic.

Randle's use of the term "supposed missing time" appears to signify one thing:  He's never missed any.  Nor have I, although I'll cop to having stumbled over the tripwire of crude language.  (I didn't create ufology's errant lexicon; if I had, there would be no ufology in it.)

What I experienced was one incident involving a peculiar episode of unambiguous amnesia which did not involve traumatic brain injury, tequila, scotch, wine, kamikazes, benzodiazepines, narcotics, sedative-hypnotics, bad-ass indica or any combination thereof. 

Despite having considered myself a contactee for nearly a year prior to that experience, I had remained ambivalent about whether or not reports of missing time represented a valid phenomenon. Although I remain skeptical of missing time reports, I am absolutely, unequivocally, uncharacteristically certain amnesia does, in fact, occur during at least some close encounters.  Experience has a way of winning over doubters.

But it's late - 4:24am, to be exact - and I have a long week ahead.

Let's do this again soon, though, and I'll tell you about it.

UPDATE:  Deirdre of Interstellar Housewife was kind enough to leave a comment citing a follow-up post, Clarification on a Statement.  Thanks, Deirdre.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

THE OUTSIDER: Born 2 Observe

I'm a congenital outsider. My three half-siblings - brothers seven, eight and nine years older than me - shared many bonds I was fortunately not privy to, including each having their childhood scarred by an abusive father, my mother's first husband.  They perceived my life as charmed.  Compared to theirs, maybe it was.  Everything is relative.

The only things I felt fairly confident doing were writing, drawing and, in small groups, anyway, making people laugh.  Comedy was very useful in my family.

Mrs. Collins, a bitter old hag whose objective was to destroy the scholastic potential of the eight-year olds she made miserable daily, accused me of cheating because the dolphins I drew didn't look a Rorschach test. "I said no tracing.  You traced this!" she hissed.  I was mortified.  Being utterly convinced of my own virtue, and shocked that any adult - especially a teacher - thought so little of me as to make such an unfounded and hurtful accusation, it was the first time I felt compelled to challenge a person in an absolute position of authority.  She wouldn't listen.  The other children, having some awareness of my moral character and prowess with crayons, were terrified.  I elicited testimony from a quiet, traumatized but resolute little girl who sat next to me.  It was an airtight defense.  "He didn't trace.  I saw him draw it."  Mrs. Collins took her time, but had little choice except to relent, sans apology.  I'm still surprised the old lady didn't snuff my star witness.  It was the trial of 1970.

Had it not been for dyscalculia, I would have excelled academically.  I performed very well in other subjects, and, as a result, over and over, despite my protests, I was placed in math classes which exceeded my ability.  I'd been set up to fail by an indifferent school system.  Worse, I knew it.  Learning disability?  Not in the early 70s.  Administrators and perplexed teachers said I was lazy.  They could not conceive of any reason why an otherwise intelligent, artistic, well-behaved child had begun to flounder in the shallow waters of multiplication tables.  But I could see the sharks, and they delivered.

I wasn't smart enough for the geniuses.  Asthama-on-exertion and unimpressive eye-hand coordination doomed me in athletics.  Shyness assured my failure as a ladies man.   My empathy, curiosity and general intelligence disqualified me from being a thug

How I hated school.  By thirteen or fourteen, I knew college wasn't going to happen.  Authority fucked me over, and I decided to hate Authority until the day I became plant food, one of the few commitments firmly intact today.  What came to be known as The Math Thing was my tortured undoing, and, as undoings often are, it was also my salvation; one that delivered me from - well, not Evil, exactly - but the selective blindness required by the all-too-human need to settle down with the right mob.

I've worked as a dishwasher, busboy, drugstore clerk and delivery driver, classified ad sales rep, cement truck loader, aircraft mechanic, medical management field rep, loss control transcriptionist, claims adjuster, legal support clerk, tape jockey, IT support technician, programmer, medical transcriptionist, reinsurance accountant, copy writer, typesetter, business writer, graphic artist and branding consultant.  I probably wouldn't have made it past the first two if I hadn't been (a.) born white, and (b.) developed an unnatural early fondness for polysyllabic language.

I try to stick with graphic arts, including, increasingly, photography.  

The whole problem with trying to earn a living in the creative arts in 2011 is the expectation by entrepeneurs and corporations that creative expression is intrinsically worthless except in the form of free labor.  Writing goes largely unappreciated monetarily, as content providers are all the rage.  Many of the people who appreciate photography enough to actually pay for a unique artistic perspective are, like me, taking up the art themselves.  Capital no longer translates into income or investment. "Thousands of people will see your work, for which you will be paid nothing, PLUS you get to put it on your résumé!"  That's capital, 21st Century style.

I can't eat my résumé, much less make a house payment with it.

A few days ago, a writer for a local news and entertainment weekly approached me at a live music performance by Beth Orton trying to wrangle some photographs "for credit."  I folded the piece of paper with his contact information and tucked it in my pocket, barely concealing my seething contempt for every self-inflated goon who works in "media" - you know, the ones who actually get paid for writing insipid bullshit, sometimes for mannequins who regurgitate it for teevee and film audiences.  Had he paid my door cover and paltry bar tab, there would have been quite a bargain to be had.  Credit, my ass. I do hope your iPhone pics give you a lifetime of pleasure, Andy.

Employers want it all.  Credentials.  Experience.  Ability.  Complete subservience.  A few months ago, my wife interviewed for a position at a local university seeking, among other things, a marketing professional who could work independently and rapidly assimilate.  Thank God, she didn't get the gig.  The things people are willing to do for health care. I fantasized about how amusing it would be to apply for the job myself, and, during the interview, emphasize my chameleon-like ability to rapidly assimilate.  "Rapid assimilation is my specialty.  It's what I do best.  I've done it a million times."  Like my brother "quitting" cigarettes.

If you have not yet located the point on this pencil, please forgive me for stabbing you in the eye with it.  It hurts me more than it hurts you.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

The Brain Eaters

From the prolific Regan Lee:

Octopus Confessional: Fascism, Mind Control in Cyberspace
From this story that appeared on February 18th, 2011 about government contracts involving the creation of fake identities on-line. This isn't about sock puppets or trolls, but focused, targeted manipulations by the government with very specific intents.

Revealed: Air Force ordered software to manage army of fake virtual people | The Raw Story
In the continuing saga of data security firm HBGary, a new caveat has come to light: not only did they plot to help destroy secrets outlet WikiLeaks and discredit progressive bloggers, they also crafted detailed proposals for software that manages online "personas," allowing a single human to assume the identities of as many fake people as they'd like.

The revelation was among those contained in the company's emails, which were dumped onto bittorrent networks after hackers with cyber protest group "Anonymous" broke into their systems.

In another document unearthed by "Anonymous," one of HBGary's employees also mentioned gaming geolocation services to make it appear as though selected fake persons were at actual events.

"There are a variety of social media tricks we can use to add a level of realness to all fictitious personas," it said.
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Allow me to state for the record: I am not a National Security State persona.  If you're up for an LSD interrogation, I'm game, but only if you pay for the LSD.

Were I bettin' man, I'd bet the farm on Glenn Greenwald's notorious commenter, "bernbart" - a "Democrat" who - with bot-like frequency, speed of light reflexes and spooky (no pun intended) consistency - defends each and every police state action perpetrated by the lawless U.S. government. Surveillance, murder, torture, war crimes. No atrocity too large or small! Granted, these things are also routinely supported by a broad swath of people - voters - who choose party loyalty over conscience or informed consent.   There is a lot of this kind of activity at, which, apart from Greenwald's incisive tenacity, is beyond pathetic considering that publication's shameless role as a empire fluffer.  Whatever It Takes to maintain the illusion of democracy.  I don't visit Daily KOS, but the sheer size of that particular sycophantic playground is undoubtedly irresistible to U.S. intelligence and counterintelligence operatives. 

This is what Poindexter's "Total Information Awareness" looks like.

As for UFO sites with a proliferation of disinfo types, I ain't goin' there.  Pardon me for saving the death threat material for later. 

Those who pay close attention to patterns of language, context and timing can discern the professionals from the dimwitted stooges and breadcrumb-peckin' ducks who do the elites' work for free.  "Who benefits?" is always a good starting place. It doesn't take a genius to figure who they are, nor genius required to maintain a deeply sick authoritarian culture.

By the way, is it e•Propaganda or i•Propagandae•Prop or i•PropYouProp would be my choice.  Hard to keep the brands straight.  I say, Let The People Decide!  Oh, how I love freedom and democracy.  Don't you?

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


It's rare to find anything worthy of a good laugh in the comments of any UFO websites but I got a charge out of this.  Forgot I'd even posted there until just a day or two ago.  When I looked again, it was apparent one haughty commenter bit off more than he could chew.  You'll have to take the link to find out why I thought it was amusing.

Scientists say Earth Should Prepare for Alien Encounters

Thanks to Bob Idaho

for your spirited defense of dissent,
commitment to fine entertainment
and interesting commentary.
Give me a holler sometime, Bob.

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Surprising, isn't it, that Open Minds Magazine receives so few comments?  It's one of the few sites out there - relatively speaking - that features interesting work that actually rises to the level of professionalism and lives up to its name.  Come to think of it, I just answered my own question.  Also, the name Nick Redfern doesn't appear every freakin' time I visit there. Not that I have anything against Nick, who, if he ever went outside, would see much of the same patch of sky as myself; not at night, however (I'm in a somewhat more rural setting).  It's fairly risky subscribing to print magazines, the dying media dinosaurs of our time, but this one is worth supporting.

Unfortunately,  Open Minds Magazine is sometimes confused with Open Minds Online Forums where cliques, tribalism, celebrity wankfests, obsessive self-congratulation, nationalism, militarism, douche-ism and admin smarm converge into one big booga-booga! stewBut I'm not really a forum person, so what do I know.

Comments aren't activated at SKYWARD because I don't have the time, energy or inclination to deal with 'em.  (I'm too busy leavin' 'em on everyone else's.  Not that I feel bad about it, as hardly anyone engages me anyway.)  Maybe later.  Maybe never.  Beats me.  However, I'm very easy to reach by email - and, now, on Twitter, which, given my benevolent misanthropy, is probably the stupidest move ever.  If you're compelled to respond to anything I've written here (or anywhere), feel free.  And, if not, that's perfectly fine, too, as it's hard to imagine why anyone would.