Ark of the Covenant, Psychic Phenomena, and John Keel
By Brent Raynes
As I stated in my last column, could it be that psychically evolved spirit forms of intelligence have found it advantageous to communicate with us less psychically evolved homo sapien life forms through radio frequencies? Is it possible that what was reported in the Old Testament Biblical story of the Ark of the Covenant was one of the earliest forms of radio-type communication between mankind and a spiritual realm? Was the legendary Ark actually a large ornate boom box of sorts through which the ancient God of the Hebrew people communicated with certain of His chosen ones, including Moses?
In John Keel’s book The Eighth Tower, he wrote: “Electrical engineers who have studied the biblical descriptions claim it was really a massive condenser capable of collecting and discharging enormous quantities of electricity. Since it was hollow and resonant, it is also possible that the wings of the cherubin acted as antennae and that the whole thing was really just a huge VLF loudspeaker. As soon as the ark was completed, a luminous cloud settled over the tent in which it was placed. The Israelites hauled it along laboriously as they traveled across the desert, and they talked to it and supposedly received replies and advice from it. Since Moses was already accomplished at talking with burning bushes and ‘cloudy pillars,’ it probably didn’t seem too unusual to carry on conversations with a gold box.”
Keel even added that communicating with burning bushes wasn’t necessarily so outlandish. He wrote: “Since the 1920s radio experimenters have known that fire makes a perfect loudspeaker. You can prove this yourself in your own kitchen. Hook up the output leads of an ordinary hi-fi to a gas burner, and the gas flame will reproduce the VLF waves from your set with excellent fidelity. The bigger the flame, the louder the sound. A blazing bonfire could be made to react to VLF waves by the same principle.”
I know an Ohio contactee years ago who performed some pretty amazing sounding “contact” sessions with others present and one of his favorite techniques was the use of a blazing outside bonfire. As Keel pointed out, there is a whole historical tradition wherein the rites of many religious groups and cults used great bonfires, often from which powerful gods and spirits would reportedly speak!
I’ve long entertained possibilities that many others considered quite impossible, but I’ve never felt too awkward about it or alone. In fact, early on in our correspondence, the noted psychiatrist/parapsychologist Dr. Berthold Schwarz wrote me regarding the UFO contactee experience, back in 1976, in which he stated: “I have tried the same approach you describe and feel that a sort of modified séance takes place out in nature between the human batteries, as you call them, and the UFOs, or whatever the X factor is behind them—and that is what accounts for their materialization, or any term you prefer to use. It was my opinion that Patterson got his motion picture of Bigfoot because he had a monomania for it to the extent that he even carried a motion picture camera on his horse, for a prolonged period of time, until he saw them. In short, I feel he found what he was looking for, and they materialized at the propicious moment. Seek ye, and ye shall find—or something like that.”
Or something like that indeed. I was somewhat amused a couple of years ago, to interview for my magazine two former NASA astronauts and other respected people of establishment science whose evidence and speculations got as far out as that of me and my many ufological colleagues. Though journalist John Keel’s writings were recently described to me as “a bit frantic” and his books as not perfect, he nonetheless could think outside the box and capture my imagination like few other writers in this field. The correspondent who made these observations, by the way, was in fact deeply affected by one of Keel’s points regarding the contactee enigma, which he thought well enough of to email a copy from Keel’s book Operation Trojan Horse, a particular quote that he had come to find quite meaningful and applicable to his own investigations into such matters—not in this country, but down in Brazil, as a point in fact. The main quote: “The ufonauts are the liars, not the contactees.”
“When I got my first contactee case, a couple with an abduction similar to Barney and Betty Hill, I confirmed a lot of things this text remarks about,” my Brazilian correspondent wrote. “False information, false promises, false previsions, etc., etc. As to Betty and Barney Hill, they never tumbled into (those) traps… They both were realistic people, conscientious workers, etc. As to the case of the Brazilian couple, it was not the same, and their lives were dismantled, more or less, like Keel remarks about the sad life sunset of Howard Menger.”
Over the years, I have met a pretty good number of other UFO researchers and writers who early on got their initial inspiration to think outside the box from John Keel. My co-editor and friend Dr. Greg Little is one. Noted British author Andrew Collins is another. As I write these words, Greg and Andrew are meeting at a conference in Texas right now. They’re authoring a book together that further explores the electromagnetic spectrum theory that Keel proposed initially a little over four decades ago! Greg first explored this theory himself in considerable depth in his book Grand Illusions (1994), and in fact in a 1996 reprint of Operation Trojan Horse (IllumiNet Press), Keel himself added this footnote: “There has been an explosion of literature in these matters since, much of it written by scientists. For example, see Grand Illusions by Dr. Gregory Little, White Buffalo Books, 1994.”
I first met UFO and Bigfoot investigator Ramona Hibner (formerly Clark) back in 1973. She was the individual who first put me in touch with Dr. Schwarz, mentioned a few paragraphs ago. I learned a great deal from Ramona. We went on a number of investigations together, had many long, long talks, and one of our favorite stomping grounds was UFO/monster hotbed Brooksville, Florida. Ramona’s life had also been deeply affected early on by John Keel. In fact, after a UFO close encounter in 1967, followed by poltergeist experiences, it was personal correspondence with John Keel that helped Ramona to better deal with the strange events that were unfolding in her life.
A few years back when I did an interview for this magazine with British author Anthony Peake, the author of The Daemon (2008), a book that deals with déjà vu, precognition, the brain hemispheres, quantum physics, and so on and so forth, the name John Keel came up in our conversation. “He is one of my all time heroes,” Anthony exclaimed. “Way back in the late 1960s and early 1970s Operation Trojan Horse was a cult book for myself and my hippy friends. You can tell John that there was a group of guys living near Liverpool who absolutely loved that book. We talked about it for hours on end. I am sure that it was a major influence on my wanting to write something similar. I would love to believe that I have managed to do so.” “I don’t see how one can really study the UFO problem without being aware of the psychic aspect, which seems to exist in so many cases, and if it doesn’t and you look and explore you will discover it somewhere,” Dr. Schwarz wrote me way back in 1975. “Is it all a hoax, a giant deception, as John Keel would have us believe? Or is it some other type of obfuscation? It is all so contradictory that it is next to impossible to piece together a story, and as soon as you get something going, the next case knocks that right out of the ring. I am particularly interested in what I have now collected a few cases of: voices of the dead, in connection with UFOs. It sounds wild, but we have to account for the facts as they are supposed to be.” New cases emerge daily, but the bewildering paranormal dynamics remain essentially the same as when Keel first began reporting on them back in the late 1960s. Whether a psychiatrist or a freelance writer and online magazine editor like myself, John Keel’s findings and insights have inspired, directed, and guided a good number of us through the years.
Bob Teets, author of West Virginia UFOs (1995), was another writer/researcher who was powerfully influenced by John Keel. In a recent internet radio interview with him, as I shared with Bob my “John Keel” EVP (electronic voice phenomena) experiences described in previous editions of this column, he excitedly stated that he had felt after Keel’s death on July 3, 2009, that if anyone could shake things up on the other side and try and communicate something back to us, then his money was definitely on John Keel! Hmmm. Well, all I can say is that I’d like to think so. I mean, if Keel himself were still on this side of the veil and we were talking about someone else in this same context, then I know Big John’s response would be that we should look towards the likes of a mimicking ultraterrestrial as the probable cause. But another thing Keel bestowed upon us, his readers, is his fierce independence, the ability to think for himself and to think outside of the box. Personally, some of the “voices” I haven’t fully trusted, but some do sound rather like us, including some old friends I knew in this life, and John Keel wrote a great deal about the importance of objectivity. It’s up to us to be of that mindset, whether or not we feel Keel was always as objective as he needed to be. We all struggle with personal beliefs and biases. How many of us have had the kinds of first-hand experiences that John Keel described? Under the circumstances, pure objectivity would be a very hard line to adopt. In fact, I dare say that it would be rather impossible for any of us to be completely, 100 percent “objective.” We need to leave some room for uncertainty, speculative and philosophical discourse and ponderings, falling back too on our gut feelings, intuition and such. Unless maybe you’re something like a Vulcan?