Reality Checking—Alternate Perceptions Magazine, July 2017
It Is What It Is. ….But What The Heck Is it??
by: Brent Raynes
A quote that my good friend Dr. Greg Little, a Memphis psychologist here in Tennessee has periodically used in his writings, which he attributes to the late great Swiss psychologist Dr. Carl Gustav Jung, goes like this: “Something is seen, one doesn't know what.” The reference is in regards to UFOs.
Jung, formerly a student and close colleague of Sigmund Freud, eventually parted company with the legendary founder of psychopathology as he had his own unique perspectives and insights to pursue. Jung, recognized as a poineer in analytic psychology who gave us such popular terms today as complex, introvert and extrovert, also struggled with the development of a complex psychodynamic theory that he described as the notion of archetypes of the collective unconscious. He distinguished the collective unconscious from those of a personal unconsciousness as the collective realm of mind seemingly tapped into a reservoir of complex symbiotic imagery and associations – genetically and/or psychically based – whereas, of course, the personal unconscious processes more familiar and identifiable symbols and associations that correspond to what a subject's life background has taken in.
Toward the end of his long and productive life, Jung produced his last book, a book that delved deeply into the UFO data and belief system, carefully analyzing the mythic and belief-related aspects of it by applying as best he could his theories and reasonings of the collective archetypes and the phenomenon of synchronicity (meaningful coincidence), a term inspired by parapsychology and from his correspondence with Duke University's parapsychologist Dr. J.B. Rhine, whose pioneering laboratory experiments were designed to prove the existence of telepathy and psychokinesis are legendary. Jung explained that he was wading into the waters of advanced physics of the time, and so I imagine if still with us today he would have had much to say and write about concerning all of the developing theories revolving around quantum physics and the Dr. Edgar Mitchell's FREE organization's scientists who are presently paddling up those back waters of physics in search of explanations and deeper meaning.
Unfortunately, Jung's pioneering search for answers came to an end on June 6, 1961. In the 1970s I struggled to understand what this obviously brilliant man had tried to communicate in his final book, Flying Saucers: A Modern Myth of Things Seen in the Skies (1958). Freud was certainly quite upset and disappointed in Jung's interest in parapsychology, hoping that he'd instead have been interested in following in his own footsteps, critically characterizing the subject of parapsychology as a “black tide of mud.”
It saddened me to think that hardly anyone seemed to be continuing on with a serious and thorough examination of the issues that Jung had raised and described in such thought-provoking detail. Then in 1985, a correspondent in Massachusetts, who was very caught up in comparative studies of fairies and UFO contact encounters, mentioned in one of her letters that she had recently exchanged mail with a fellow Tennessean who was also interested in UFOs. It turned out to be Greg Little, who back then had recently had a book published entitled The Archetype Experience (1983). That book was like an answer to my prayers. Here was a psychologist, only about 150 miles from me, who was continuing on with Jung's complex and controversial theories and ideas, framing it in easy to follow language for non-academics like myself to understand, and updating Jung's concepts and ideas in light of more recent developments in the UFO field and science itself.
A strong friendship soon evolved. We seemed to have a good deal in common from the get go. We both were former Yankees (I'm from Maine and Greg is from Pennsylvania) who relocated to the South, though that probably wasn't near as relevant as the fact that we both worked in corrections, we both were deeply interested in UFOs, Jung, John Keel, the paranormal, and even Native American spirituality. I also wrote the foreword and afterword to his two next books, People of the Web (1990) and Grand Illusions (1994), which further carried forth Jungian concepts and ideas, taking things to a higher level, interconnecting material from the ideas and works of noted journalist John Keel, Native American spirituality, and many other potentially interrelated parts of this bewildering equation. I had also started a newsletter that same year of our acquaintance (1985), which was entitled Para-Ufology Forum, and generally consisted of about four pages. Greg contributed articles from the beginning, and then one day in 1993, as he and his wife Lora were showing my wife Joan and I some Indian Mounds in northern Mississippi, Greg expressed a desire to publish and help co-edit the newsletter. Pretty soon the newsletter was upgraded with a very professional appearance, first as a bulletin and after a few years, into a magazine with 50+ pages, with several distributors from coast to coast. We came to name it “Alternate Perceptions,” a title that would cover a full spectrum of phenomena and subject matter, as our wide range of interests certainly took in a lot more than mainstream ufology generally does, though in our minds there were potentially interrelated aspects to various phenomena that ufology's mainstream perspective ignored.
Around the turn of the century we discovered (as many magazines discovered about that time) that the arrival of the internet was stealing a good deal of our readership, and so we took our magazine into cyberspace where it remains to this day.
Recently I was talking on the phone with another old friend, an experiencer/researcher out in Arizona named Stan Morrison who I've known since the early '80s. He confessed to me his own personal difficulties in always being able to establish with absolute clear-cut certainly what is perceptually internal (psychological/psychic) and external (physical) in nature. Certainly modern quantum physics hasn't made distinguishing, isolating and understanding those components any easier for the vast majority of us, but indeed when we delve into the subatomic realm with presumed interactive aspects of energetic consciousness, we're traversing highly complex and truly puzzling, albeit unchartered territory.
Way back around October 1975, I had what I'd describe as a spiritual/existential type crisis going on. During this time I noticed some curious synchronicity erupting around me. An experiencer friend in Florida wrote me about how I was suffering a huge depression, something that really wasn't characteristic of me. (I was suffering in silence. How did she know? She periodically had told me in person in previous years that she could sense my emotions and thoughts. I realized maybe she could!). Earlier in October, as I recall, I had a vision. I'll call it that anyway, though it seemed physical in the very beginning. I really thought that I had just climbed out of bed, after just getting into bed, walking across the darkened bedroom floor toward the doorway leading out into the hallway. The light was on in the hallway, and my father was taking a last minute bathroom pitstop, right around the corner, before heading off to bed. But then things took a very odd direction as perhaps 10 feet from the door I stopped, though my attention remained directed to the door. I somehow knew I was being held back by someone standing behind me, though I felt no hand or anything else restraining me, and I didn't see any evidence to support that belief. I didn't even turn around! Sometime later, I was reading a book about visionary type states of consciousness and there was this label, it was “trance logic,” and that seemed to fit my experience. You do reason things, in the moment of an experience involving an entranced state, that seemingly would make no sense in a normal, everyday conscious episode.
Soon the experience unfolded with a new and very unusual addition. It looked like hundreds of small marble sized, white glowing, pulsating and translucent balls of light swirling down from up around the ceiling of the hallway. Those lights kept swirling downward and eventually appeared to concentrate in a mass near the floor (a mass that resembed a small four legged animal), around the lower right portion of the doorway. Then I found myself instantly laying in bed, on my back, looking up at the bedroom ceiling! At that point, I had time to stop and question what had just happened. Before that I was just going along with everything that was happening without question. There wasn't an ounce of concern or fear, which was interesting as two days earlier I remembered having prayed to God (I had accepted Christ back in May of that year) to allow me some sort of vision that would help me to better understand and comprehend what was going on in the world – and that included a clearer understanding behind the UFO contact phenomenon, which I was then, and still am, deeply committed to better understanding. To many in the UFO field they were and still are simply “nuts and bolts” extraterrestrial visitors, perhaps going back to ancient times, many advocating a belief in ancient aliens responsible for awesome engineering feats like the construction of the Pyramids of Giza or the beliefs of the African Dogons that seem to describe visitors from the Sirius star system. But to others they might be demons or angels. To UFO author John Keel, a writer-researcher-investigator who influenced me considerably back in my teenage years (actually began a correspondence with him as early as 1969) they were earth-based tricksters he called “ultraterrestrials.” Though he was a life-long atheist, the beings he described sounded pretty demonic, and I noticed how different Christian authors who wrote about UFOs often cited his works.
The UFO enigma is a mixed bag of inexplicable phenomena that both fascinates and frightens. And what I had done in my prayer back in 1975, when I put forth the request for a helpful vision, was I asked that whatever I was presented with, please don't let it frighten or harm me. I wanted to observe a divine sign without being scared out of my wits (what little I had left at that point). Scared of the dark since early childhood, I certainly didn't want to “see”, so to speak, something alien some night (at least to my everyday reality) that might give me a divine dose of post traumatic stress disorder.
My Arizona friend Stan talked with me about the huge influences the ideas of John Keel and the other equally well-known author Brad Steiger had on his ufological quest for answers, even though Keel presented things from the dark place of ultraterrestrials and Steiger generally gave us the benevolent, almost angelic Star People. He also mentioned how Keel, in his descriptions of energy forms/beings from the various reaches of the electromagnetic spectrum, also wrote about schizophrenics as tapping into these realms it seemed. I watched a Youtube video recently where Carl Jung was describing how he once interviewed a woman patient who was describing a classic description of the Kundalini serpent, even though this was something that should have been foreign to her knowledge base. I remember a phone conversation once where I was describing to parapsychologist/psychiatrist Dr. Berthold Schwarz, a man who was also deeply immersed in the study of UFOs, the 1975 balls of light vision. He listened thoughtfully and then told me how Jung noted how to the schizophrenic dreams were experienced in the waking state. I was taken aback by this initially, thinking something like, “Wait a minute. I'm not schizophrenic!” Schwarz continued, “The line between dream and reality is hard to define many times, and then when the dreams or feelings, or whatever the psychodynamics are, when they're in a certain order you have changes of matter, namely telekinesis, filmic effects. Impossible things, and maybe that's the kind of thing that's intimately related, in my opinion, to the UFO thing. It's an awful tough thing to study, but a very important thing. We had better study it.”
“You had such a numinous – to use a word that Jung was very fond of – a numinous personal religions experience, and it can change your whole life,” Dr. Schwarz added. “But then how do you separate the depth of the experience from person to person, because each one is going to have his own little particulart flair with it you see. And yet it's what moves people with spirit, or whatever you want to call it. Then when you hit the psychic aspects of the whole thing, which really in my opinion is what religion is all about...how is it any different from what they're saying, be they fundamentalist or whatever they are, than what the physicist or the psychologist would say in his own more precise, technical, scientific lingo. It comes down to the same thing. The answers are not known although a lot is known where they merge.”
Without a doubt, in case after case, UFO contact encounters do contain repeated descriptions of experiences that reportedly occur in recognizable altered states of consciousness, be they human or alien induced. In the alien abduction accounts, so-called “screen memories” associated with alleged encounters is one noteworthy example, but one example alone. Dr. Schwarz had told me how many contactees he had interviewed proved to be very deep trance hypnotic subjects, which was certainly not to be the expected norm. He also felt that many experiencers were unaware of how they often were in a near altered state much of the time. Statistics portray a higher than normal proneness to a wide variety of “paranormal” experiences among UFO contactees, and this seems to apply to experiencers of different categories, be they NDErs, visionaries, mediums, etc. (visit: www.experiencer.org) There are numerous accounts of people with “trance logic” during these episodes, of “seeing” and doing odd and normally impossible things, like going through solid walls, levitating in the air, carrying on telepathic conversations, etc. During many of these experiences they have “visions” or “downloads” (visions within visions?) where often they feel they're being shown catacylismic events like massive earthquakes, nuclear destructions, flooding, etc., events that will be brought on (is the general message) if we don't smarten up and bring a halt to our self-destructive human behaviors and activities.
Here's the thing, and I feel that it may be a very crucial point, but one that can be easily overlooked or ignored because we're so conditioned by classic physics and our almost textbook conditioned SETI science and anthropocentric life forms and similar ways that creep into our science fiction of alien visitors from outer space. But what if the real answers lie in the persistent domain of parapsychology, the infant science still struggling for academic recognition, that nonetheless has profoundly impressed many scientists who have taken the time to pursue and ponder thoughtfully the large body of evidence that has accumulated over the years. What if the underlying forces and mechanisms behind the UFO phenomenon are actually what we loosely call the “paranormal”? One physicist who has studied both quantum physics and the parapsychological data noted once that we knew more about the paranormal than string theory. [Was he stringing us along?]
Science, of course, demands precise terms and definitions to explain and describe any phenomenon. Admittedly the label “paranormal” is a good ways from being a truly adequate descriptor. But for now it is what it is. It's a word that embodies a wide-range of reported psychic phenomena.
Not long after my “vision,” or whatever it was, where I perceived the small balls of light dancing in the hallway, I investigated the account of two young men up around Oxford, Maine, who felt that they may have been abducted by alien beings early on the morning of October 27, 1975. After all, something they claimed temporarily took control of their car, they saw strange airborne objects, and had some missing time. Their experience contained visionary elements and was followed by a series of strange “visions,” as well as paranormal phenomena, like an ashtray inexplicably rising up into the air, a voice, door inexplicably opening and closing, etc.. Months later, a librarian up in Dover-Foxcroft, Maine, who I had been in touch with since 1971, and who had described a number of previous UFO experiences going back to the early1950s, shared with me notes from her personal journal of “visions” she had begun having for the first time in her life since October 26, 1975, beginning just the day before the Oxford incident with visionary elements (some of which I felt were interestingly similar).
For example, in the Oxford case, from my notes: “Monday night, Oct. 27, time not stated, Glen (Gray) was watching television in the livingroom of David Stephen's parents home and he saw a black cube shaped thing 'tumbling' in midair. It seemed to disappear through a wall. A few minutes later, over the TV set, he saw what looked like 'golden wires' on a curtain. They strangely disappeared also, and though David was present he saw nothing.” In the Dover-Foxcroft situation, this subject wrote in her journal: “April 9, 1976, a ball of yellow light, size of a tea cup, appeared on our TV set. The light got extremely bright until I finally noticed it. ...The globe of light began to fade and just as quickly it would brighten again. Soon I decided to close the draperies to all outside lights. The light still remained. Shortly after this I noticed that under the light there was a shadowy object like a square and to the left of it were other things in motion like arms and hands. The phenomenon lasted about five minutes.”
David described seeing a red face like outline while visiting Tripp Pond, one of the encounter sites, on the afternoon of October 28th. Again from the Dover-foxcroft experiencer's journal: “Jan. 25, 1976. A person in a red helmet and silver white space suit appeared. He was quite large. However, I could not see his face. His red helmet really impressed me.” “Jan. 31, 1976. The reddish face of a man appeared but briefly. It was a small face with good looking features. He seemed to be examining my chest area very closely. In the next instance, a black silver square, quite large, with a big thick tail behind it appeared.” Interesting, during the visit to the pond area where David reported seeing the red face like outline, they both said they had visions of black cubes and spheres heading towards the pond, as well as silver spheres that went in all directions. David claimed to have “seen” like a giant airborne bird's beak in the air.
Synchronistically, if you will, all hell broke out on October 27, 1975 also at Loring Air Force Base in northern Maine, as an unidentified aircraft initially identified as a helicopter began to manuever around restricted nuclear storage igloos. NORAD, the FBI, Washington's National Military Command Center, SAC Headquarters, and even the Canadian Royal Mounted Police became notified and involved. Whatever it was it came too close, came to make more than one appearance, and had also been tracked on radar as well. Sometime that month Brunswick's Naval Air Station in southern Maine had a similar unauthorized visitation. According to a civilian witness, who was a Bowdoin College student at the time, he and a fellow student observed the following: “It came in very low, at treetop level from the ocean. It was like a helicopter, but different. More than twice the size of a normal helicopter. It had red lights and a white light. It would make ninety-degree turns and fly very fast. ...The base lighted up like a Christmas tree. There were trucks going every which way. It stayed over the base for five or ten minutes, and then scooted over the Atlantic.” The owner of Ernie's Drive-In, just off the base, later confirmed for me the night the base went on high alert because of a UFO. David and Glen initially thought they were seeing a helicopter as their UFO rose up from a field, but it was silent and then they could see it wasn't shaped like a helicopter (it was cylindrical shaped), and then later it was accompanied by two smaller disk-shaped objects that made classic falling leaf type movements over the local Tripp Pond.
On May 15, 1978, the librarian claimed that she had encountered a strange square-shaped UFO with very thin poles that pointed down at her, toward her right side. It then left silently at “great speed.” She felt, for some reason, that something might happen to her right foot. Four months later, on September 25, she had a car accident, from which she sustained a fractured right heel. Coincidence?
From Dover-Foxcroft again: “Jan. 10, 1977. A man appeared wearing a hat with stripes going around it. The only part of the man seen was from the next up. Next vision, in the next instance, was of a UFO with black with a narrow band in the middle of it.” In a book called The Portable Jung, edited by Joseph Campbell, there is the account of a man who dreamed how he took off his hat and slammed it against a wall, whereupon it became what Jung called a classic “mandala” image, divided into eight parts. To Jung the mandala, the archetypal sacred circle, fit perfectly with the round and circular images commonly associated with the so-called “flying saucers.”
Back on May 14, 1981, I received this letter from the Maine librarian who wrote me: “Since my last UFO sighting there has been a change, and I seem to have lost the previlage of visions. Some of the visions I did not understand. In fact, most of them. Perhaps someday it will be revealed. The last vision was of a table and people surrounding it. After the vision came the following message: 'Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of thine enemies.' This, of course, came from the 23rd Psalm. The 23rd Psalm, at my request, was read by the minister at mother's funeral two years ago.”
I was quite surprised to receive this letter at that time, as on May 6th, just the week before, I had announced to my wife that it had suddenly dawned on me that the 23rd Psalm, of all things, which I had memorized as a child as a Sunday School assignment, addressed issues that I, now as an adult, contained familiar elements to situations I had been pondering. I felt that it might relate to a mental image (vision?) that popped into my mind one day months earlier of a white haired elderly looking man, who I fear may have represented my father, sitting at a heart shaped table at his home, I thought, in Maine, in front of the livingroom fireplace perhaps. What resembled a candle in the middle of the table seemed to be falling over. There were two dark figures at the table to the right and left with my father seated straight ahead at the pointed end of the heart. Unbeknownst to me at the time, my mom, brother or sister, dad at one point had confided in the husband of one of my mom's sister's that he had had at least one episode of severe chest pains and breaking out in a sweat, but since he pretty much didn't believe in doctors he asked to try one or more of this man's nitroglycerin tablets, but my dad had sworn him to secrecy about what had happened to him. On September 5, 1984, my father died of a heart attack.
A few months later, in January 1985, I dreamed of being at an intersection, located near a bridge that crossed the nearby Kennebec River, that I knew well, which was located in Gardiner, Maine. However, in the dream I seemed unable to get beyond this intersection. Interestingly, the bridge across the river was no longer there (in reality), and within a few days I got a phone call from my mom, telling me that my first wife's father had died in that river! [He had just reached the shore apparently while driving a tractor he had used to move a fisherman's fishing shack out on the ice, when his tractor fell over on him as he was coming back to the shoreline. His body was found frozen in the ice when found] During my dream, I was planning to visit my ex-wife's father's home, and honestly I never dreamed about my ex-wife or her family, so this was unique. I don't recall dreaming of them since this dream either.
Curiously, a little over a month after my dad's passing I had a dream of being at my dad's house and seeing the dark lifeless form of a rabbit laying motionless on the ground outside, seemingly between the lawn and the garden. Up next to the house, on the same side (facing east), was a roll away metal door that leads to the basement, and on it were four small white rabbits. I probably would have forgotten this dream, but within a few days of the dream a friend in Maine wrote to inform me of something published in the Waterville Sentinel newspaper about the odd finding of two dead rabbits, in Winslow, about a quarter mile apart, with their heads removed, their bodies bloodless with no blood around their bodies either.
As I recall in that dream there was the impression of a crossroads (intersection?), where danger lurked. Was that danger what was symbolized at the intersection near where a bridge once was? Wheels on water certainly don't work well and didn't do so for my ex-wife's father.
Coincidence? Well sometimes a crow is just a crow, but to certain Native American's they can be a sign and crows and other creatures of nature (and other things) can present powerful synchronistic signs for certain people. Perhaps the shaman was the first human to recognize a connection between the physics of nature and what we're presently trying to unravel and understand as the quantum physics of modern scientific theories of particle entanglement and so forth. But I've had too many of my own “coincidences,” in various forms, to dismiss too quickly all of these events in my own life. I'm still haunted by a murder I feel I foresaw in a dream. Before it had happened I felt something major was happening in that person's (the murderer, someone I knew) life, and it happened in the same neighborhood I dreamed of a murder happening.
One time I told some people in a cabin in the Maine woods near Manchester that if we stepped outside in the night at a certain time and looked in a certain direction, we'd see a UFO, and indeed three of us did see something quite odd in the sky [a strange vertical column of light, one that could stop and start, moving forwards and backwards, which after this I began to find other examples of, like a man in New Jersey who gave me some UFO photos he had been given by a UFO experiencer, one showing a UFO projecting a bright beam of light that stopped in midair without reaching the ground, as a normal light should do]. I still can't explain to this day what we saw. Later one of those persons was visiting me and we were standing outside my parent's home in the driveway as my friend was arguing with me that I was more psychic than I cared to admit, that I had made a number of accurate psychic predictions and statements to him and others in that cabin in the woods, and I argued back and said something like, “Look Charlie, I can't just take my finger and point like this and have something happen!” at which point there was a bright flash of light from the very direction I was pointing in! We hopped into a car and drove straight over to this street and discovered the cause. A tree limb had fallen and snapped some power lines. I was like, “See, a natural explanation!” My friend Charlie though was like, “But why did the limb break just as you pointed over here!”
Another time I noticed a Native American Indian blanket on top of a dresser in my bedroom. I had seen it several weeks before and thought it looked odd, piled up the way it was, as though something was underneath it, but retired to my bed and sleep without giving it much more thought, until in the light of morning I awakened and noticed the blanket was gone. This second time, however, as I starred at it in wonderment the blanket began to blur (the only item in the room that did that) and then it was simply gone. This happened years ago now. I haven't had a repeat of that experience. I have no idea what it could have meant. A Native American thought it might have been an omen or something and asked about enemies. I told him it was hard to tell. I worked in a prison.
Certain people seem to be especially prone to these synchronistic and psychic experiences, as we generally call them. I am thankful that often during times when these kinds of things were happening in my own life that I was keeping a journal. It certainly is very helpful to do so as one's memory of events over time can become a little distorted or uncertain (especially where dreams are concerned) and so it's a good idea to have such things written down for later review and reference, and sometimes during that review process things come to light that you missed the first time around, or that later events may have clarified, so it's good to have written details to compare with possible later developments.
I always encourage people who feel they're having these kinds of experiences to journal them. Over time it just may well surprise you the sort of events you may end up recording. And as Dr. Schwarz told me those many years ago, it could be “a very important thing” and “we had better study it.”