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Reality Checking—Alternate Perceptions Magazine, January 2024

"Ultraterrestrial" mentioned in the New York Times in 1905

by: Brent Raynes

As anyone who has devoted any time at all to reading the books and articles written by the late John A. Keel, he used the term "ultraterrestrial" a great deal. He used it in place of the UFO mainstream's incessant usage of extraterrestrial to point out how the phenomenon appeared to him to be more of a terrestrial based manifestation than an ET one.

Until recently many of us pretty much assumed it was a term Keel himself probably invented, though Steve Ward, a noted lecturer on Keel who works in the Mothman Museum in Point Pleasant, West Virginia has pointed out Keel once revealed in an interview that he had borrowed the term from his friend Ivan Sanderson. However, Jerry Hamm, creator and administrator of Facebook's John A. Keel page, has set us all straight on this matter. "It's been used before," he wrote. "The term was also used to describe the supernatural, such as ghosts and spirits. And used in a religious context, for God and the Holy Spirit."

Hamm had even found the term in a 1905 New York Times article, of all places! Here's a link: https://zoomar1.wordpress.com/2023/08/21/life-by-chemical-action/?fbclid=IwAR1P-mGAX6V2IGK-qKVEtUhFh4WS41GDVexPuMlgPW6I6G7jKG5gOej05tA

I find myself here of late digging through my filing cabinets a lot, looking as far back over cases I collected back in the 1960s when I first became involved in the UFO field as a teenager. It certainly stirs up a lot of old and thought-provoking memories about various UFO cases. Some still seem pretty clear in my mind, though as I prowl through the vast accumulation of reports, clippings, magazines, books, and letters going back some 57 years it causes me to realize how much my memory also needed refreshing in many instances, and I have even come across stories and details that I have either completely forgotten or overlooked.

Preserving these ufological materials is no small task, something that I can personally attest to when rifling through my own seven filing cabinets (5 4-drawer & 2 2-drawer) and a good number of cardboard and plastic boxes, looking for various cases to share with fellow researchers and, in many instances too, share with the readers of my online magazine Alternate Perceptions. It's really frustrating when your search ends up having you locate various parts of a story that are located in more than one file folder, and in more than one box or filing cabinet. It can become a frustrating madcap paper chase that may take hours and even days to complete.

With that in mind, I am highly appreciative, and my hat is off to those individuals who have rolled up their sleeves and engaged in the largely thankless, time-consuming, and very challenging task of accumulating and preserving records of these accounts that have been produced over the years. Organizational files, newspaper clippings, magazine articles, UFO publications and books, recordings of eyewitness testimonies, podcasts, videos of interviews, television reports and movies. And, alas, not just here in North America, but globally, as this phenomenon is one that has been reported on every continent.

Sweden's AFU (Archives for the Unexplained) got its start back in 1973, and today they have an extremely impressive collection of more than 50,000 original European UFO reports, some half-a-million news clippings, and an over 20,000 title reference library. Here's their website: https://www.afu.se/afu2

American researcher David Marler, who became active in ufology back in 1990, became a curator for the National UFO Historical Records Center (NUFOHRC) in November 2020, located in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He has case files from NICAP (National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomenon), Hynek's CUFOS (Center for UFO Studies), as well as Hynek's original Project Blue Book files, and recently the APRO (Aerial Phenomenon Research Organization) files, considered one of the largest collection of UFO-related materials here in America.

Rice University in Houston, Texas, in 2021, thanks to Rice Professor Jeffrey Kripal and his graduate researchers, have been compiling a massive archive collection (called Archives of the Impossible) from prominent figures in ufology like Jacques Vallee and from the John Mack Institute. Read about my conversation with Karin Austin, the executive director of the Mack Institute, on this matter here from the August 2023 issue of AP: https://www.apmagazine.info/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=2053&Itemid=53

Isaac Koi, a British barrister, devotes large chunks of his time to his very impressive online UFO archival site: https://www.isaackoi.com At his site, there is a huge collection of audio files, consisting of past radio news broadcasts and UFO lectures, which includes collections provided by other dedicated researchers like Wendy Conners and Roderick B. Dyke. The website includes UFO cases, UFO photos and videos, and more.

In a recent Facebook post, Isaac encouraged people in ufology to become more organized, to which one person replied, "trying to organize UFO groups is like trying to herd cats." I couldn't help but chuckle over that comment, as there has been a history of unproductive infighting and disagreements within the field over the years, but certainly these organized archival movements is a serious and heart-warming step in the right direction.

I also recently heard from Stephen Miles Lewis of the Anomaly Archives of Austin, Texas, founded back in 2003. While their Anomaly Archives have a huge collection of over 7,000 books, a significant portion are devoted to ufology as well as archives that include books, videos, documents, periodicals and "zines" on parapsychology, Forteana, and Jungian theory. For 2024, Lewis hopes to create distance learning classes for those interested in learning more on these subjects. He'd even like to see the creation of something along the lines of a 24/7 streaming channel on YouTube. Here's the Anomaly Archives website: https://anomalyarchives.org/

Sunday, July 14, 2024